Friday, August 17, 2018

More Green

This weekend is move-in for the college, which means town is very full and very busy. I'm planning on holing up in my apartment and not leaving unless I absolutely have to. My best friend just sent me the codes for the digital copies of movies she recently bought that I haven't seen yet, so I'm looking forward to a movie marathon and some serious knit time.

My green sweater hasn't been a good lunchtime project this week, since it's getting so large and I needed to check the sleeve math a couple of times, so I've been keeping a new sample in my purse. My friend sent me this yarn during a destash, and it's perfect for a double-layered cowl I've had floating around my head for a few months. Right now it's just endless knitting in the round, but once I reach the halfway point I'll be able to start the fun stuff.

What are your weekend plans?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sweatering Along

I made some decent progress on this sweater over the weekend. I'm on the first sleeve now, and I should be able to get the second sleeve started before the weekend. I also finished all the math for the pattern, so I'm hoping to actually start writing the pattern this week.

Today is the first day of Shannon's Summer Sweater KAL, and I'm hoping to finish this sweater as well as the orange Finn I started back in the spring. I'm not worried about finishing this one, since it's been going so quickly so far, but Finn has just over half a body and full-length sleeves, so I'm not sure if I'll get that one finished by the end of the KAL. Either way, it's always a fun group to knit along with, and even if I don't get both sweaters finished, I'll be well on my way to having some new knits ready before it gets too cold out.

Monday, August 13, 2018

OAL 2018 Finished Photos!

The OAL has been over for almost two weeks, and I only JUST got FO pics! I had such a blast this year, and I'm beyond thrilled to have finally finished both projects within the time frame. I love my sweater and my dress, and I'm definitely going to be wearing them both a lot.

Up first, the dress. This is New Look 6392, view A, in an astronaut-print quilting cotton I found at the thrift store this spring. I used bias tape instead of the neck and armhole binding in the pattern because after trying out the written binding on the neckline I didn't love it.

Part of that might be due to the fact that the neckline is too wide on me- the upper chest and upper back are a smidge too big, and I didn't fix it before hand. I have an idea to try out some pleats along the neckline  to bring it in some so it fits a little better, but it's really only noticeable to me and my sewist friends.

I also modified the dress to have a side zip. The pattern calls for a back zip, but I am single and not flexible enough to do a back zip on my own, so, it had to move. I'm pleased with how the zipper looks, given that I had no clue what I was doing and I pretty much just made it up as I go along (am I supposed to use a special foot for a zipper? I feel like I probably am.).

My sweater is Hetty, which was my sweater for last year's OAL as well, but this year I kept the length as written. After finishing my hip-length Hetty last year, I knew right away that this pattern was a winner for me and that I needed a cropped version too.

I also did some fooling around with gauge to knit this out of a lighter weight yarn than the pattern called for, and I'm really pleased with how the finished cardigan came out. It still doesn't have buttons, but that's not keeping me from wearing it. I'll be going through the city next month on my way to NCFF, and I'm planning on stopping to look for buttons then.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Body Grows

The body of this sweater is moving along quickly now, and I'll be able to start the sleeves this weekend. I've just completed the fourth set of hip increases out of six, and there's just about five more inches left on the body.

Generally, I like to start writing my sweater patterns once the body is finished and the first sleeve cap is shaped. Before that I work off of a spreadsheet, but once I know I'm not going to be making any significant changes to the design, I feel free to start putting all my spreadsheet information into an actual written pattern.

What I'm really struggling with now is that I have NO CLUE what to name this sweater. Usually by now if I don't have a name, I at least have some idea of a direction to go while looking for one. Right now, I have nothing, so I'm probably going to spend the next few days trying to think of something.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Making Up

I am almost caught up to where I was before I had to rip back on this sweater, and it feels good to be seeing it take shape. This week I've been dogsitting for my parents, so I've been knitting on this quite a bit instead of bringing a bunch of projects to their house, and the monogamous knitting time is paying off. 

It's been interesting, being back in my parents' house for an extended period again. I love my apartment, but it's been so great to go out back and see butterflies in their garden and hear the squirrels chattering in the walnut trees. It's a bit late in the season for this year, but next year I plan to get a planter to go by my back door and a bird feeder to go in front of the living room so I can see more wildlife around my apartment.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Knitting Backwards

As part of my current round of WIP wrangling, I pulled out a sweater sample I started back in the spring and set aside because I didn't want to do the armscye math. Having just finished two shawl samples back to back, I really liked the idea of digging into a sweater project again. I did the math, and after a marathon of knitting on Saturday and another few hours on Sunday, I was almost finished with the waist decreases.

But something felt a little off. I get in the habit of counting my stitches, not as a way to keep track of them, but just as something to keep my mind busy, and I kept getting really high numbers for the front of the sweater. So I actually counted them, for real, and I had over twenty extra stitches. And then I realized that I'd made a terrible, terrible mistake when I'd cast on the front neck.

It turns out 29 and 29 and 39 do not, in fact, add up to 77. And all those extra stitches aren't something I can just hide away. So, rrrrrip. I'm enormously frustrated, and this sweater is the last thing I want to look at right now. It's been ages since I've had to rip back like this, and I'm SO ANGRY. But I don't want this sweater to get the best of me, and I'm going to fix it and carry on. After I have a little cry about it, of course.

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, August 3, 2018

WIP Evaluation

It feels like the summer has completely flown by. This year I'm finding myself in a real "get things finished" mood. Having just finished the OAL and Bubblegum Spice, something in me is craving the satisfaction of getting things off the needles. 

Mottled Daydream is currently my second-oldest active WIP, having been cast on in May of 2015. And, honestly, this project is even older than that. Way back in 2014 I tried knitting this shawl twice with a different yarn, but it never quite worked, so I set the pattern aside until I found this yarn in my stash. This shawl has been sitting in a basket for years, and I recently dug it out to bring along on a night out with friends, and it was the perfect thing to work on. I have no clue why I let it languish in a basket forever.

I'd love to get this finished soon. I really love this pattern, and the yarn is so soft, I'd love to be able to tuck it up against my neck this fall. It's certainly not going to be finished quickly, but maybe a marathon stockinette project is just what I need right now.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Finished: Cowl

Community theater is done for the summer, but it always holds a special place in my knitting life. Knitting during play rehearsals can be tricky - it needs to be something that won't get finished too quickly, but I also need to be able to put it down in the middle of a row if I need to.

Recently my good friend Annika released Olympic Boulevard, and I immediately wanted to cast on. So I downloaded the pattern to my phone, grabbed a skein of yarn from my stash, and headed over to play rehearsal. But as I sat winding the yarn into a ball, I realized that what I thought was a variegated skein was actually a self-striping gradient! I love a gradient, but I hate letting any of the color progression go to waste, so I knew a hat wasn't going to work. HOWEVER, if I knit a cowl, I could keep going until all the gradient had been knit up! So that's what I did.

This is just a stockinette tube with eight rounds of k1p1 ribbing at the bottom and the top. I'm really pleased with how it came out, and I absolutely love the gradient with the darker stripes in it. I still need to dig around in my stash for a better yarn for Olympic Boulevard, but, knowing my stash, I'm sure I'll find something.

Ravelry Page: Cowl
Pattern: from my head
Yarn: ModeKnit Yarn ModeWerk DK "Night Cirus"

Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, July 30, 2018

New Pattern: Bubblegum Spice

Happy Monday!

Bubblegum Spice is the perfect extra layer by a campfire on a cool summer night or tucked up against your neck under your winter coat.

Ideal for showing off your favorite hand-dyed yarns, Bubblegum Spice is worked from the center top down with edge and center increases on every RS row. The chevron lace body transitions to a diamond border.

As always, the pattern includes both charts and written instructions.

Bubblegum Spice is available on Ravelry now, and is $1 off this week!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Playing Catch-Up

Oh man, it's been FOREVER since I've visited with you all! The past week and a half has been absolutely crazy, but I'm finally starting to get back into my regular routine. Last week was tech week for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and we just finished production on Monday night.

The Sunday of tech week I woke up and immediately knew that I had strep (again!). I stayed in bed most of the day and went into the clinic that afternoon for a strep test. The Rapid Group A culture came back negative, but I tend to get Group B strep a lot, and I know what it feels like in my throat, so I called in sick to work for Monday and started waiting for the 48-hour culture results. We didn't get the confirmation until Wednesday morning, so I didn't go to work at all last week, and I missed the first three nights of tech week. Thursday night was a little bit crazy, as I hadn't been at rehearsal for four days and it was the night before opening, but everything went great.

Joseph was amazing. It's such a fun show, and we had great audiences for every performance. As much as I enjoyed the show (and community theater in general!), I'm ready to return to my regular, quiet schedule.

Since I was sick for most of last week, I didn't get as much knitting done as I'd have liked to, but I did manage to finally finish a pair of socks for my mum at the bar after performances! These have been on the needles for two years, and it's about time I finally finished them. I'm definitely not knitting socks like I used to, but I really did enjoy working on these, and I'm glad I was finally able to give them to my mum.

Pattern: my own sock recipe
Yarn: Schachenmayr Regia Design Line by Arne & Carlos 4-f├Ądig "3761 Iris"