WIP Wednesday 28
Well Wednesday is here and I have a new project to show you! I finally finished off the lace edge for Magrathea and it’s ready to be blocked! I have some new blocking mats - the interlocking ones on the way, but I don’t think they’ll come before tomorrow, or Friday, and I really want to get Magrathea blocked so I’ll probably get out spare towels and my yoga mat and use them tonight. My yoga mat is too thin to hold the pins so I have to put a couple of towels under it, which is why I decided to get some new mats - plus my yoga mat isn’t wide enough for big shawls. The bind off edge of Magrathea is going to take a bit of blocking to give it the same nice spikey edge as the other side. I’m really excited to see this one done, and I’m planning to take it down to London with me next week. Here’s a photo of the nearly finished lace for you.
I let my hairpin lace blanket fall by the wayside a little last week, because I was so keen to get on with Magrathea this week. But I picked it back up yesterday, and I’m currently on 250 loops on my third strip. It should be finished and joined up by the weekend if everything goes to plan.
And last night I cast on something new! I’m finally getting to use my stash addict yarn and it is gorgeous! I love the colours and the way they sit together, and the Blue faced leciester yarn is lovely and soft. I’m never used BFL before, and I really like it. I’ve cast on for Henslowe. It looks beautiful in the photos and hopefully it shouldn’t be too hard. It will be the first crescent shaped shawl I’ve done and so far it’s going well. I’m using 3.5 mm needles which are tiny! the only in my right hand is fine, but holding the one in my left feels a little awkward. I think it’s partly the change from 5mm to 3.5mm and I’m sure I’ll get used to it soon.
Check out Tami’s for more WIP Wednesdays!
Year of Projects: Week 29 Summary
Here we are at another Monday, and another whole week till the weekend! It was sort of light on my way to work this morning, so it’s starting to feel like spring is actually on the way at last! I’m looking forward to warmer days soon. I’ve been pretty busy this week. We’ve got a new TV - a flat screen at last, instead of our old huge bulky one - so we rearranged the living room to give us more space now we can have the TV wall mounted. It’s opened the room out a lot and makes it feel a lot bigger.
This weekend the Hairpin lace has fallen behind a little, because I’ve got swept away with Magrathea! Magrathea is nearly done! I used around two and a half skiens of yarn to make the body, which was 17 repeats long. Then I joined the fourth skien right befor starting the lace border. I didn’t want to have to join a new skien during the lace, so I thought this way would be best - which didn’t work out because I found a large ugly knot and had to cut it out, but I managed to get the join in the middle of one of the diamonds, so it shouldn’t show too badly. I’ve only got a few more rows left to go, so hopefully it’ll be done by the end of the week and I’ll get it blocked.
The blanket has been going along fine, although it was very ignored yesterday, after I’d started working on the border of my scarf! I have the colours all planned out, so I know which strips I’m doing when. The third strip is underway and I quite like the colours so far, although the pink is very hard to photograph well! The true test will come after this strip, when I move into other colours, and start to get a feel for how the colours will look together. I chose this colour scheme by putting all of the colours into a colour wheel, then taking every third colour , round and round in circles. I have 19 colours, so using every third number let it go round nicely, moving the pattern over one colour every time I went round.
The most exciting thing about being nearly done with Magrathea, is that I can start thinking about what to cast on next! I’m off to London a week on Thursday. I’m going there and back by train, which is a seven hour journey each way! That’s 14 hours of knitting time, with no distractions! I’m going to treat myself to a new audio book for the trip, and I’ll work on a Garter Ruffles Scarf on the trip! I’ll be making it with the Debbie Bliss Andes yarn my husband gave me for Christmas - it’s replacing the two options I had in my list before, because it’ll make better use of the yarn. It should be uncomplicated enough not to give me any problems - important when I don’t know if I’ll be able to get internet access on the train - but the short rows will hopefully keep it interesting. As for the next week or so, I should be good and work on my Childhood Memories shawl, but it’s another crochet piece, and I’d really like to have some knitting on the go, along with the blanket which is crochet. I’ve also been longing to do something with my Stash Addict yarn for ages! the blues and greys are gorgeous, and some of my favourite colours. So, I’m going to give in to temptation and cast on for Henslowe.
The Revised List
Scarves and Shawls
WIP Wednesday 27
Well this week, I haven’t got too much done. I had a disasterous time with my second New Era glove, which you can read about here. They’ve been banished to the bookshelves for a while, until I can face frogging them - they could be there till autumn! I did manage to finish the hairpin lace strip I was working on last week, as well as a second one, but I haven’t started the third strip yet. I planned out a few different ideas for a blanket and you can see more about the blanket here. My husband chose the pattern he likes best - it’s the middle one on the left in this image, so I’ll be starting that tonight. You can see in the photo, that I’ve joined the first two blanket strips together - they are really easy to join, so I’m going to keep joining as I go. So far I think I need 32 strips, but if I’m joining as I go I can either stop early, or put in some more colours.
Last night I picked up Magrathea again. I’m really glad to be working on it again, and I’m going to resist casting on any large projects till I’ve got it done - everyone needs some instant gratification every now and then! I frogged back to where I’d missed a yarn over the last time, and I’ve done another repeat or so since then. I’d forgotten how soft the yarn I’m using is! It’s gorgeous and I’m loving working on it again. I’m being very careful now, and counting the lace every time I finish a row now, to make sure I’m up to the right place. I need to always have an even number of stitches, either 24, 26 or 28. As long as I can keep that right, everything else should follow on nicely.
I’m already starting to think about this years Christmas presents. For the girls/women I want to try and do as many handmade things as I can - and for the guys too, although they’re a lot harder! I have plans to try a lot of new things this year, like making soap, and I’ll definitely be blogging about them all. So this year I want to start early. I always put a small toy in the boxes I make up for friends and sisters (have a look here). Last year I made knit bunnies for everyone. This year I want to make something else cute! There’s a lot of cute patterns on ravelry like bunny nuggets, chubby chirps, owl puffs and monster chunks. Loads of things that would be prefect for using up the scraps of blanket yarn I’m sure I’ll have, and be cute and cheerful little gifts. So on weeks when I know I’m not going to have anything else finished, and I need a little instant gratification knitting, I’ll be testing out these patterns with scrap yarn in my stash! This week I’m going to make an out of yarn ball. One of my friends is having a baby this summer, and I think some of these in loads of colours would make great little baby toys!
Check out Tami’s to see what everyone else is working on!
Year of Projects: Week 27 Update
For a second time, I’ve lost my whole post when I pressed submit. I’m going to have to go back to writing these in notepad and copying them over. I can’t believe how fast January has gone. I’m still not used to it being 2012 and we’re almost in February! I think I’ve made pretty good progress this week, although I have had a falling out with Magrathea. I kept missing one yarn over, and not realising it until the next lace row. After ripping two rows out three times, and having to pick my stitches back up thne sort out the twisted ones, I was fed up! This weekend I also needed my 5mm needles for something new I’ve cast on, so Magrathea is having a week off, and hopefully we’ll work things out!
I managed to got my Long Nights Cowl finished last week, and I’ve been wearing it every day since. It’s fantastic and so warm. I waited half an hour for a bus this morning and by the time it turned up, my neck was the only part of me still warm! I used up two skiens of the Drops Nepal yarn I had. I couldn’t get gauge - I had 4 stitches in an inch instead of 3, so I just made my cowl an extra ten stitches wide, so it finished up the same size. I didn’t want to go up a needle size as I wanted to keep the fabric tight and warm. I also didn’t make mine as long as the pattern - I stopped at 21 inches, with just the right amount of yarn to do the two bind off rows and whip stitch the rest of the live stitches around and not enough for a single row more. I really liked this pattern, it was so simple and fast to make, but it is a great cowl. It would make perfect gift knitting I think.
I still had one skien of Drops Nepal after finishing my cowl, so I cast on a pair of New Era fingerless gloves. I’ve been using the magic loop technique to knit them, and it’s so easy! So far this pattern is going really well. I seem to be knitting tighter doing it in the round, so when I started with a 4.5 mm needle I couldn’t get my hand through the loop, even thoughmy hand is smaller than the pattern. I borrowed the 5mm needles from Magrathea and everything is fine now. The first glove is a little tight, but I’m sure it will stretch out with a little wear. I’m as far as the band at the top now, and everything has been going smoothly. It’s my first pair of knit gloves so I’m a little worried about picking up the stitches for the thumb. I’m a little worried it’ll be too tight, or too loose and holey. I’m just going to hope for the best though, and not over think it.
My Hairpin Lace blanket has been going quite well. I now have 300 loops on the loom, and I’ve worked out each strip needs to have between 400 and 500 loops to be long enough for our bed. I figure it’s best for the first couple to be too long - then If I want to I can rip back some of the loops easily. If the strips are too short they’ll be harder to fix. So far it looks like I’ll be able to get at least two strips from each skien of yarn and since I have 19 coloured skiens, plus three black ones, I’m sure I’ll hae more than enough yarn for my blanket. Once I’ve got the second strip done, I’ll start joining them together and hopefully be able to work out how many strips I’ll need. I’ll also be able to plan how I want the colours to go. I don’t think I want to do rainbow stripes, I’d rather mix up the colours a bit. Since I want to be able to join the strips as I go, some planning is definitely needed. I’ve joined the One-a-Day group on Ravelry so I’ll be posting about it again tomorrow. I’m aiming at between 50 and 100 loops per day, which should be enough to keep it going nicely, while still giving me plenty of time to work on other things.
The Revised List
Scarves and Shawls
FO Friday 23
I already wrote this all out once, but then Tumblr had a fit, and eerything disappeared, so here we go again! I have an FO to show you this week, as I finished my Long Nights Cowl on Wednesday! It was actually really easy to finish - instead of binding off like normal, you bind off a couple of stitches at each end, then whip stitch the live stitches to near the start, to make it into a tube. It works really well and looks really neat too. Another thing that you can’t really see from the photos on Ravelry is that it has a mobius twist that you put in right before sewing it up. The cowl is super warm! Its definitely the warmest cowl I’ve made this winter and it was just in time since we’e hit another cold patch. The cowl hugs your neck really close so that no drafts can get down, and unfolded it’s long enough to keep your face warm too.
This was a really easy knit. The yarn I used was Drops Nepal, which is a wool/alpaca blend and was really nice and pretty easy to work with, except that stitches kept wanting to jump off my needles. I think wood might have been better for the yarn, or maybe that’s just and excuse for me to get some Symfonie needles for my interchangable circulars! I couldn’t get gauge - I had 4 stitches in an inch instead of 3, so I just made my cowl an extra ten stitches wide, so it finished up the same size. I didn’t want to go up a needle size as I wanted to keep the fabric tight and warm. I also didn’t make mine as long as the pattern - I stopped at 21 inches, with just the right amount of yarn to do the two bind off rows and whip stitch the rest of the live stitches around and not enough for a single row more.
Check out what everyone else has been doing this week over on Tami’s!
WIP Wednesday 25
Well, it’s Wednesday again, and I always look forwards to Wednesday lunchtime as it marks halfway though my week, and means I’m halfway to the weekend! I managed to get quite a bit done this week, and I’m happy with how my projects are doing, although I am getting a bit bored with so much garter stitch in both my projects. I really want to use my stash addict yarn so I might start the Henslowe shawl on my Year of Projects list, but I should also work on some of the things that have been hibernating for a little while. On the other hand though I should really use up the last of my Drops Nepal making some fingerless gloves, if I have enough yarn left, before the weather warms up and I don’t need them any more. At the moment though, I’m being strong and resisting the urge to start anything new until the Long Nights Cowl is finished.
Speaking of which, my cowl is now 19” long, with five to go! Hopefully I’ll be able to get most of it done tonight, then assemble it tomorrow and have an FO for you to see on Friday. I have still got some off my skien to go, but I’m not sure how much - I should probably weigh it. Hopefully it will be enough to finish off the five inches, but if not, I’m tempted just to let my cowl be a little bit shorter - provided I can still get it over my head! To bind this off, you sew the last row to the straight section to join it in a loop. I’ve never done anything like this before so I’m not quite sure how it will work out, however, I guess the best thing to do is just to try it and see.
Magrathea is still getting longer and wider. Each row takes longer and longer to complete, but it’ll be worth it in the end. I try to do a minimum of one repeat per day to make sure I keep going. I’m going to London at the endo of February, so I’m aiming to have it finished and blocked before I go so I can wear it when I’m down. I’ve finally reached a point where I’m beginning to remember the pattern. For some reason it’s taken me a long time to remember how the four rows (not counting the purl rows) go.
I also started my Hairpin Lace blanket this week. So far I’ve done between 70 and 80 loops. I kept losing count last night, so I put it down and left it. I’m going to aim for an easily accomplished number of loops per day to keep this one moving a long too. Hopefully I’ll be able to complete one or two strips a week this way. I might even join in the One a Day group on Ravelry to keep me motivated and moving along with this one. If I can get this blanket done, then I’ll have a lot more room in my yarn boxes!
For more WIP Wednesdays, check out Tami’s!
Year of Projects: Week 26 Summary
Another week is over, and we seem to be getting through January quickly. It’s even still a bit light when I leave work now, so it feels like we’re on the way to spring. I’m starting to think about my birthday and Christmas presents for people this year. One thing I’m considering, is letting my best friends choose a few scarf or shawl patterns they like on Ravelry, then making it up for them in some gorgeous yarn. One of my friends is also having a baby, due on the 31st of July, so I’d like to have something ready for her when the baby arrives, so there might be a few more things on the list soon!
This week I’ve been working on my Magrathea. We bought a couple more skiens of yarn to make sure I have enough to finish it. The yarn was on sale in the shop, so I got two for the price of one which was a bonus! The pattern states you need 25% of your yarn to complete the lace border once you’ve reached the length you want. That means, I can use up to three skiens to make the rest of the shawl. I’ve just joined my second skien and I’ve done 8 pattern repeats. I think I probably want it around 16 repeats long, so hopefully I should have enough yarn for that, bearing in mind that each repeat uses up slightly more yarn as the body gets wider. Sorry for the awful photo - my desk isn’t big enough anymore, so I laid it out on the bed, but the lighting is terrible.
I also started out on a Long Nights Cowl, to use up my Drops Nepal yarn. Originally this yarn was going to be a Broomstick Lace Scarf, but I didn’t really like the way it felt when I crocheted it. I love it in garter stitch though, and it feels lovely and soft. I’ve just joined my second skien of yarn for this, and I think I’m around halfway through. I’m hoping that I won’t need to use my third skien of yarn, because I’d like to turn it into some fingerless gloves. There should be just enough in one skien to make a pair.
I’ve added a scissors case and a needle book to my list below, as they’re a couple of things I have missing from my knitting bag. I’ll probably make a case for my crochet hooks later too. My plan for these (and the pincushion) is to make them out of scraps and left over yarn.
I’ve also changed the realta blanket on the list. The idea of making 80+ hexagons, and even more squares and triangles for the blanket is just too boring and I can’t motivate myself to do it. Instead I’m going to be making a hairpin lace blanket - I expect it’ll probably still be boring, but I’m not going to need nearly so many strips - probably only 20-30, so hopefully it won’t be so tedious, and I love the joining method, so I won’t have to sew anything. Once I’ve made a couple of strips I should be able to work out how many I need for the whole blanket. I’ll definitely be blogging about hairpin lace later this week if you want to pop back.
Hope you all have a great week!
The Revised List
Scarves and Shawls
WIP Wednesday 24
Well Wednesday is here again, and I’ve been doing very well with my blogging this week. I’ve had a post on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, so today makes four in a row. I’m not sure what I’m going to post about tomorrow though! This week I’ve been quite busy. I’ve done a bit more on my Magrathea and I think it’s about a third of the length I want now. The thing I love about patterns like this, is that I can just keep going until it’s as long as I want. I have four skiens of yarn for this shawl, and the lace border at the end takes 25% of your yarn according to the pattern, so I can keep going until I’ve used up the other three skeins. I’m about to finish my first skien of yarn and I have the russian join all done and ready.
I also cast on a new small project this week. I was considering turning this yarn into fingerless gloves, but instead I’m making it into a Long Nights Cowl. The cowl looks gorgeous in the photos, although the instructions for assembling it look a bit strange. I’m hoping it’ll make more sense when I’ve reached that stage and I can try it out for myself. It find things often make more sense to me if I just try it instead of overthinking it. I’m really enjoying the yarn for this project. It’s Drops Nepal which is a wool/alpaca blend and beautifully soft. It’s funny because I bought it originally for a crochet broomstick lace scarf and I wasn’t really keen on the feel of it then, but in garter stitch I love it. It’s surprising how differently crochet and knitting make yarn feel sometimes.
To see what everyone else has been upto this week, check out Tami’s!
Year of Projects: Week 18 Summary
I’m late again! But this time I have a much better excuse because we were very busy. We were at my parents over night for my dad’s birthday, and my mum gave us a lift home. Then she spent the last two hours of daylight helping us out in the gardenand took us down to B&Q for a new starter motor for the kitchen light. By which time I was shattered and stuggling to stay awake past 7 pm!
I’ve had a busy week on the crochet and knooking front. I finished the Shawl Collared Cowl, and wore it this weekend. It’s so warm, I love it! Now I have two choices of cowl too, which is never a bad thing! Since I’d finished something, that meant I got to start something new! However, since I already had eight current WIP, that didn’t seem like such a good idea. So I did the next best thing. On Friday we went yarn shopping, to get some yarn for my husband’s Windschief hat. We got him some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in a blue-grey, which is gorgeous, and I got some Debbie Bliss Rialto in a dark brown shade.
So how do you start something new, without adding to WIP? Ages ago, I made a skaði fingerless glove, in some random purple yarn I had in my statch. It was a bit scratchy and it wasn’t a colour I would normally wear, so I decided to make the pair out of some other yarn. Originally I was going to make it out of some 4ply, bamboo/nylon yarn, but it was taking forever and I was getting bored, plus they wouldn’t be very warm at all. So I’ve started again, and I’m making them with my Debbie Bliss Rialto! As you can see, I’ve finished one glove already and I’ve finished the cuff for the second, so hopefully by the end of the week, I’ll have a pair. The yarn is so nice for these. They’re warm squishy and cosy, and I’m going to need them soon, because the weather seems to be turning cold at last. It’s been so warm recently that my plants are confused - my rose bush has new buds on it, and one of my big bushes is flowering again!
I’ve also put a bit more work in on my Happy Lavender Scarf, and there is another turquise stripe at the top, although it seens to be disappearing into my lovely assistant’s t-shirt! I’m still enjoying the scarf, but working with fingering weight yarn feels so slow after working with bulky for so long!
I’m going to have to start work on my husbands Windschief Hat soon, and for myself I’ve added Calorimetry for me, which should be pretty quick and keep my ears warm while my hair is up. I’m also adding the Snowbaby Hat for myself, and I think the colour work will be fun to do and hopefully not too hard. So here’s the new list. Have a great weekend everyone!
The Revised List
Scarves and Shawls
FO Friday 17
It’s Friday and I had the day off so I’m late posting today! Normally I have to finish things and take photos the night before, but this time I decided I could leave sewing on buttons and sewing in till this morning. Then I didn’t get round to it till four o’clock! But the buttons are on, ends are sewn in and the photos are done. I’ve finished my Shawl Collared Cowl! It is really cosy and warm to wear! I haven’t tried it on under my coat yet, but I’m sure it’ll be great to wear. I really love the Rowan Colourscapes Chunky yarn. I think it’s now my favourite bulky yarn. The colours are great and I love the way they fade into each other. I also love the buttons on this one, but I forgot to take close up photos of them, sorry!
For more FO’s hop over to Tami’s!