Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 4 of the Ravellenic Games

PROGRESS! I am making it! I have hopes of finishing this gray panel tonight (knock on wood!) and then I will be onto the yellow lace portion again. I spent some quality time in my jammies watching the Men's gymnastics last night and knitting away. Uffda. USA really struggled on that pommel horse and the vault.

Ok - Less typing! More knitting!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 3 of the Ravellenic Games

I had to RIP! The further I got in my shawl the more I realized it just wasn't looking right. I tried to rip out just the yellow lace work - pulled it all out and picked back up all the stitches (not fun), but upon closed inspection I realized there were some mistakes in the first section as well, and since I was already ripping....

I recast on and saw that I had missed the Knit 3 rows line at the very beginning of the pattern which would have prevented the neck from rolling. So already I am happy that I ripped the whole thing out and am starting over. (I wondered why the neck was so unstructured! DOH!) I think my next go at this will be much better!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day 2 of the Ravellenic Games

I have been working away on my Collonade Shawl for the Ravellenic Games. This yarn feels very large after working in lace weight for two weeks! I am very happy with my progress and love the yarn and the look of my product. I am not enjoying this yellow section as much as the gray - but perhaps when I get the rhythm down a little more it will feel better. I think because my stitch count was a little off going into this I feel like I have been fighting the pattern a little. I believe I got that all worked out with the first pattern repeat and hopefully it will be smoother sailing now!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ravellenic Games 2012

The Olympics opening Ceremony was last night and I was finally able to cast on my project! I am making the Colonnade Shawl by Stephen West. It was supposed to be my first Stephen West project, but as I researched this for the games I got swept into the Westknits Mystery Kal. These things happen.

I am very happy with my first days work. I had been up for 14 hours by the time I could cast on and was already pretty tuckered out from a long work week, but I was very exited about the games and the new project. I am knitting this in Sun Valley Fibers MCN Worsted which is just HEAVEN! Very soft and lush. I would work with this again in a heartbeat!

I knit until my hands were clawed and I was so tired I could hardly stand it. Then I set my knitting aside and watched Sir Paul McCartney sing Hey Jude. An interesting opening ceremonies. I wish it had been broadcast without commercials as I know they cut a lot of stuff out. (Although the commercials were good bathroom and stretch points, so they had their value I guess.)

Progress on my Westknits Mystery Kal will pretty much stop while the games are on. Clue 3 was released yesterday and although I read it and looked at the boards on Ravelry about it, it will be a while until I get to it. I am not quite half way through Clue 2 at this point.

Above is a photo of me using a crochet hook to pick up stitches on the icord edge. I tried over and over to pick up the stitches with my knitting needles, as the moderators for the KAL insisted that this was the easiest way, but it just didn't work for me. I need to remember that not everything works for everyone and I have to find the path that works for me with my work rather than trying to force myself to do something the way someone else tells me to. Honestly I felt a bit bullied by the attitude of the moderators and like there was something wrong with me for not being able to pick up the stitches the way they said too. I think it was just a very simple skill for them and they were a bit surprised at even needing to explain it to people.  There is a bit of snobbery on this Kal - it's not terrible, but there is a bit of an attitude that people with a lower skill set are needing a lot of help. I am still really happy I am doing this and my skill level is much higher than it was before I started it, but I can't help but feel a little feather ruffling at the snobbery.

Anyone else participating in the Ravellenic Games?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

FINISHED! Noro Shawlette!

I finished another project I have had on my needles for a few months. My Noro Shawlette which I started back in March. This is a free pattern on Ravelry that i have made several times called 22.5 Degrees by Martina Behm. Very simple, very functional and just wonderful!

I knit this from most of two balls of Noro Silk Garden Lite I had in my stash. This yarn had SO many bad splits and joins in it that I actually cut out a color join at one point. It made me a little hostile at Noro, but it's hard to be pissed off when the results are so pretty.

A shawl in the bush is worth????

Here it is blocking out. I soak it in Eucalan for about 20-30 minutes, squeeze it, roll it in a towel and then pin it to the mat to air dry. I only used about a dozen pins on this one - I wasn't trying to aggressively block it - I just wanted it to dry in a nice shape.

I love this pattern and am very happy with my finished product!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL Progress Report

I feel like this KAL has kind of taken over my life - and I am pretty happy about it! Clue 1 was waiting for me when I got home from work last Friday and I cast on and dove right in. I started this in
Sun Valley Fibers MCN Lace in the colors "Plum Crazy" and "Autumn". I swatched and had the needle I wanted - a Size 4 - which is probably one of the smallest needles I have done a project on! By Sunday I had 9 "wedges" complete and was kind of at a stand still. My short rows were pretty ugly and I was just not happy with how the project looked. My knitting was not pretty. Add to this my hubby asking if I "would really wear a shawl in THOSE colors?" which turned this from looking like an Autumnal shawl to Witchy-poo socks in my head in a hot second. Suddenly I was feeling kind of sad about the shawl.

After going through all my stash options (a process that took a couple hours! Must organize stash!) we ended up going to The Yarn Garage where I picked up some Noro Taiyo Sock yarn. When I got back home I did a practice test of German Short Rows on some acrylic and when I was satisfied I started over with renewed vigor! Am so happy I started over! Normally it kills me to "knit over" but it was a really good move this time!

The Noro is a three ply and the Sun Valley Fibers is a 2 ply - so my new project is coming up just a tiny bit larger than my old. Here is a comparison of the two projects side by side - the difference in the 9 wedges is just about an inch in length. I can't feel the difference and the way it is working up I feel like this was a good choice to make. I have more than enough yardage so I know I will be fine on that end as well.

The new Clue was unleashed yesterday and I cannot wait to dig in. I finished knitting up my Clue one  today and will be heading in to Two-ville as soon as I get some chores done.

This is my first Westknits pattern I have worked up and I am really happy I am doing this with a huge crew of people in this KAL. There are many things I am doing in this project that are new to me and the support in the Ravelry Forums has been amazing! Enough talk! Time to Knit!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's Fugly and it's Finished!


This took me four months to hook up and it was a real learning experience. It was really fun to just grab a ball out of my scrap bin and add it onto the growing blanket. I methodically weighed each scrap and ball on my handy scale and recorded that on note cards to enter onto my project page on Ravelry. My yardage ended up being 2620.1 yards although that is a bit of a guestimate since most of my scraps did not have ball bands, but I think most cotton yarns have similar weights and yardage per gram - so I am pretty comfy with my guestimate. (You can read the list with all the weights and stuff on my project page on Ravelry.)

Sometimes I would try and place colors next to each other - and sometimes I would "need to work with pink" and would just add pink yarn where ever it landed. I started out thinking I would just use up my scrap bin, but I ended up running out pretty quick, so I found myself crocheting wash cloths on my lunch hour and then going home that night and hooking the rest of the ball onto the blanket!

Emma enjoyed me placing a blanket out on the grass for her and she had some nice rolling around on it. Any time I lay out a knitting/crochet project she has to come over and lay down on it. It's funny. I appreciate her being so kind to my knitwear though. She only ran off with one hat and no damage was done. And she's just the cutest little model!

I did a test run for possible future picnic's and the size is really good. I can sit here and have a nosh with Emma no problem. I think my hubby could even squeeze in! Nice! :)

Here's a shot of the denim blue border in single crochet. I think I did 6 rounds but it might just be five. I have a hard time counting rows still and I didn't track this as I went. I just added rows until it told me it was done. The corners have three single crochet into the corner stitch for the turns. I think a darker border would probably look better (in hindsight) but this color is more pet hair forgiving - so I call it a win.

There is also a little bit of pucker from my border - but not enough to really bug me. I suspect going from Extended Single Crochet to Single Crochet may have been part of the problem here - but I like the slightly denser fabric around the edge of the blanket.

I did crochet blocks of color together in areas which left ridges all over the back. I decided they bothered me too much and went back and sewed them all down. Not very pretty - but like I said. LEARNING EXPERIENCE. Also - It's called a fugly blanket - so yeah. No pressure to look pretty.

The size is perfect. I can wrap it around my shoulders and it just reaches my feet. Since it's all scrap cotton I can wash and dry the crap out of it. If I stain it I can bleach it. And it sleeps like a dream. I finished sewing in my last stray end last night and within 30 minutes after I did that I was sound asleep under it in bed. Just love it.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fugly Update

I thought I would update on my Fugly blanket this week. I spent a couple hours last night weaving in the ends and tacking down the fugly seams I created when I crocheted chunks together. Today I pulled my blanket our and measured it and took a few pictures. It's currently 56 inches by 52 inches (142 cm x 132cm). I feel like if I make it too much larger it will hit "blanket" or "afghan" level rather than throw. I wonder if there is a real division in the those or if that is just my feelings? Anyway - I don't want a HUGE blanket. I want a mini blanket for throwing over my shoulders in bed at night or wearing on my lap while I knit. My internal voice told me I was there.

My next challenge is picking out the color I want to edge it in. I THINK I have it figured out now, but honestly I have changed my mind three times this morning already, so.... Yeah.

My only requirement is that it be in my stash. I have a whole bin of cotton - so that's really not an issue I don't think. This whole blanket is an experiment and since I have declared it FUGLY from day one there really is nothing I can do to it to make it worse. That really takes the pressure off.

In other news, my weekly weight in was pretty successful considering how much I consumed over the 4th of July holiday! I gained about half a pound this week and I was pretty happy with that since I was sure it would be much worse.

Another blessing is our heat wave finally broke. We hit 102F (38.88C) yesterday and it was over a week of temperatures like that. Last night we had storms roll in and today we are a bit cooler - so yay for that!

Is anyone doing the Stephen West KAL that starts next Friday? Lord help me - I signed up for it! I don't work with small needles  - like ever - and I am thinking if I am lucky I will be knitting this up on a size 4, but the yarn states size 1-3 needles so I may end up smaller than I think. Uffda. What have I gotten myself into?!?! My other concern is that this KAL will only be halfway over when the Olympic Games starts and I have a project geared up for that as well! So.... Yeah. We will have to see how this goes!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's Just a Triangle - Shawl

FINALLY - I took the time to take pictures of my It's Just a Triangle - Shawl which I actually finished a little over a week ago. Of course I had to wait until the temp was 93 F (33.89C) so .... Yeah. Check out one very warm gal trying to look like she wasn't feeling like a pork roast out in the sun.

I am very happy with how it turned out. The top of the triangle is almost exactly my height and the spine covers my torso nicely.

This was yarn that I originally had designated for a dog sweater for Emma. It did NOT work out and it went for a nice long swim in the frog pond. Now it is resurrected as a shawl for me!

I foresee myself wearing this in the morning's when I have to go outside with Emma and I am still pajama clad. Like this morning when we got up at 3:30 in the morning and the sirens were going off and a storm was rolling in. Miss Emma was shaking and didn't want to go out - but she needed to go out! So out I went in my pj's, robe and crocks. The bummer about robes is they collect grass and water on the bottom edge - NOT so with shawls! So I am pretty excited about this.

AND it's acrylic so I can throw it in the washer and dryer with no issues! WIN!

The pattern is really easy and you can use pretty much any yarn. Wonderful stash buster! The pattern is called "It's just a triangle - Shawl" and it's free on Ravelry or you can go to Laughing Purple Goldfish Blog and find the pattern there. I love the multi colored ones!

Now I am off to make myself another Flatout Pizza and a nice Salty Dog! :)
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