Wednesday, 29 June 2011

WIP Wednesday - Knitty Startitis Extravaganza!

Have you seen the new knitty yet?

So many lovely patterns!! I followed the link from Laura Chau's blog (she made the lovely Darrin cardi pattern)and immediately queued a whole bunch of them. Then I cast on two :)

WIP Wednesday - Lingerie Socks

First of all I cast on the Lingerie socks out of Patons Fairytale Dreamtime 3ply wool. I went up to 2.5mm needles because I think the 2mm called for would be far too tight around my cankles, even if it is ribbed lace :) I've knit the top of the cuff so far, so down to where the ribbed portion begins. It looks very cute so far :)

WIP Wednesday - Commuter

Then I cast on the Commuter mitts out of Sirdar Click yarn. I tried it on 3.75mm needles first, but my gauge was too tight - I was getting 24 sts to 4 inches instead of 21. So I went up to 4.5mm needles, and all seems well now :) I love the folded over cuff on these mitts, can't wait to have these on my hands!

WIP Wednesday - Something Floral

I also cast on another pattern, although this isn't a knitty pattern - the Something Floral mitts by Miranda Grant. I'm using stash yarns for these, but I don't know what the yarn is. The ball bands disappeared long ago! These are knitting up nicely, although not as nicely as they would if they were in my handspun (I'm totally spoiled now as far as colourwork mittens are concerned! They'll never be the same again!)

I knit a few more rows on my Willow scarf this week, and finished my afterthought socks, which I'll write about in another post, so I have a feeling I'll be casting on more of them this week. Also, I have a severe case of startitis in case you couldn't tell. I'm itching to cast on Dunes from the new knitty. I'm trying to hold off till my willow scarf is done, but I don't know how long I'll be able to hold out :) Also, I'm looking at my stash wanting to cast on cowls and socks by the dozen.

Other patterns from the new knitty that I'm drooling over are Rhodian, Darrin, Leaflet, Undercurrent, Chasing Snakes, Double Heelix and Inlay. Half the patterns in this issue, basically! And if there were any little girls around me to knit for, then I'd be casting on Kindling right now! So cute!!

Add to that my massive ravelry queue, and I'm feeling very inspired to cast on bajillions of projects just now. It's lots of fun! :D

Saturday, 25 June 2011

FO: Galileo Mittens

My very first ever project knitted with my own handspun!!!

Galileo Mittens - Being Worn

Pattern: Galileo Mittens by Laura Chau
Yarn: My own handspun :D Corridale, orange and black spun into a heavy fingering weight

I love these mittens!! Ever since I first saw the pattern come up on ravelry, I've wanted to make them. I was going to use my pink handspun as the contrast colour, but it turned out too thin, as I've blogged, so I spun up some orange that I had left over from another spinning project, and deliberately tried to make it the same size as the black. This was my first spinning project intentionally spinning my yarn to a certain size, and it turned out pretty good!

Galileo Mittens - After Blocking

I really loved knitting with my handspun. I would have written "enjoyed" there, to break up the monotony of the word "loved" which I've used about ten million times in regard to this project, but that really is how I feel about it. I didn't just enjoy knitting with it, I really, really loved it! I kept saying to my partner about how I was knitting with yarn that I had made, and that I'd actually made knitable yarn that I liked. It got to the point where he was fed up hearing about it :D

It turns out that I really like my yarn to be tightly spun and plied. It had never even occured to me before, but it turns out that I naturally spin yarn how I like to knit it. How awesome is that?! There was no splitting, none of the twist fell out as I was knitting with it, as has happened with some commercial yarns. And not just the cheap acrylics!

I just can't get over that I spun the yarn, and then knit it into these mittens! I'm already spinning for another pair of mittens - I'm going to have quite a handspun mitten collection at this rate. The only thing is that spinning on a drop spindle is quite slow, so it'll take me a bit of time to get enough yarn to make a pair of mittens, but I'm knitting some colourwork fingerless mitts out of commercial yarn in the meantime. It's just not the same now though! I've been totally spoiled!

Galileo Mittens - One Hand

I think what I really like about this pattern is the (almost)random/abstract-ness of the design. Geometric repeating patterns are good, but this pattern looks so different that it was the first pattern I thought of when I decided to knit mittens out of my handspun. Not that that stopped me from queuing loads of others for the future! :D They fit really well too, the first pair of mittens I've knit where the fit is just perfect and not too tight or anything.

Galileo Mittens - How My Hand Fits Into The Mitten

The pattern knit up really well, no errors or anything, and I really like how it was explained and written out. Laura's an excellent designer, one of my favourites - I really must knit more of her patterns. I have a major desire to knit the Cityscape pullover - a larger handspun project, perhaps? ;)

I think I will definitely knit these again. I just love the pattern (there's that word again, but it's true!) and I had a lot of fun making them. Now if only December would hurry up and arrive so I could wear them outside!! :D

Thursday, 23 June 2011

WIP... Thursday :/ - Mostly The Afterthought Heel Sock

This week I haven't had as much time to knit as I would have liked :( I've been busy with other things - some of which have been fun, like dancing at a hafla on Saturday night, and some of which have not been so much fun, so I won't mention them :) I did go to see my mum the past couple of days, which is why WIP Wednesday has to be WIP Thursday this week. But hey, at least I'm making myself write something, so I won't beat myself up too much :)

Because it's on youtube already, I'll link to the video of me on Saturday, but I think I'll try to write a more in-depth post for my dance blog, which has been sorely neglected as of late.

I was dancing to "Tribute to Um Koulthoum" by Ahmed Bergaoui.

Anyway, knitting!! I've been mostly knitting on my afterthought heel socks.

Afterthought Heel Experiment Sock - Before The Heel

I've knit most of one sock. The heel will go where that yellow line is in the middle of the sock (in between two lines of grey.

Afterthought Heel Experiment Sock - Before The Heel

It's so weird seeing just the tube of the sock without any heel. I measured the foot of the sock against one of my short-row-heel socks that I have. I figure they should be the same size since the afterthought heel is essentially the same shape, just constructed differently.

Sock Toe

For the toe, I was doing the usual ssk, k2tog decreases, but it's been bugging me for some time that when I do these decreases, they don't look the same on either side. I started with the ssks on this sock toe, but it was annoying me how they looked different, so I started experimenting with the decreases as well.

I ended up using a different decrease for the majority of the decreases (you can see the ssks on the first few decrease rows and how it's different from the ones above). I ended up doing a slip one knitwise, knit a stitch then pass slipped stitch over decrease, and I think it looks far more like the k2togs on the left hand side. I think that will be my standard replacement for ssks from now on, because I was evidently doing something wrong with my ssks (either that or ssks are just not the same as k2togs, but everyone seems to think they are, so I figure it must be me) Anyway, that's what I'll be doing from now on.

So, I've still to put in the heel, I'll write about that next week.

I also did a repeat and a half on my willow scarf, but it's at the stage where it just doesn't seem to be growing. I think I've got about another 5 repeats or so till it's done. I'm just knitting a little on it at a time whenever my partner's mother comes to visit, so it'll get done eventually :) I figure it looks much the same as last time, so I didn't take another picture of it.

I'm hoping to get more knitting done this week, I've got a few things to finish for the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup. I also have a bunch of FO posts to write at some point this week, yay!!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

WIP Wednesday

This week I've been working on more than one project!! I finished last week's WIP - the lacy baktus scarf - but I still need to get pictures of it so I can write an FO post. I knit 3 rows on my willow scarf, another previous WIP Wednesday, but it's not grown enough to bother taking another picture of. Just imagine another 3 rows added onto the last pics :D

I started 2 more projects though - I seem to have a bit of a case of startitis going on, for small projects especially.

Firstly - my afterthought experiment sock.

WIP Wednesday - Afterthought Experiment Sock

It's just a plain 64st sock knit from the cuff down, but I'm going to put in an afterthought heel in this pair of socks. It'll be the first time I've ever done this, and I don't know if I'll like how it turns out, but if I don't it doesn't really matter. I'll wear the socks anyway, and its good to try new things once in a while. Keeps the brain fresh :)

The yarn I'm using is some kind of Opal yarn, possibly the toucan colourway, but I've lost the ballband. I got it a couple of years ago, and decided to use this one because it's the sock yarn I'm least attached to in my stash. It'll be interesting to see how those weird stripes look in a finished sock.

I've been knitting this one mostly in my bedroom, which has quite dim light, so it was surprising to take the sock into the kitchen to photograph and see all that blue! In my room, it looks gray, or even black at times!

Dim light is why I haven't finished my next project yet - my teddy bear hat.

WIP Wednesday - Teddy Bear Hat

I only have the nose and eyes to do now, but it was impossible to crochet with black yarn in my room. I just couldn't see anything, and with crochet I'm still at the stage where I need to see where I'm putting my hook all the time. So I had to put it aside last night :(

This pattern is the Teddy Bear Hat by Diane Langan. It's so cute!! I so want it for next year, so I can walk about with a teddy bear face on my head! My partner is in horror at this, it's far too weird for him, but it's my head, and I want a teddy bear face on it, dammit! :D

This is a project for the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup. I'm going to try to squish it into the Defense Aganst The Dark Arts class - reveal a truth about yourself (that I'm nuts and want a teddy bear face on my head?!) It's been in my queue for ages, so it's a good excuse to get it out of there and actually make it.

So yeah, that'll probably get finished today in the living room where there's actually some light, and the socks will just get worked on whenever I need some mindless knitting.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

I Made Curtains!!

Well, a curtain :)

My bathroom faces due east, and is in such a position relative to my bedroom that in the morning, light just pours in. Not so good in the middle of the year like now, when the sun starts to rise at about 4am. I had a lacy white net curtain over the window, but that kept out none of the light at all. So I wanted something that would block out the majority of the light in the morning.

I got some fabric from my fabric stash - some sort of purple satin-y stuff - sorry to anyone who wants to know more, I'm such a beginning sewer that I don't even know what kind of fabric it is. It was given to me in a huge pile of fabric from a friend who was clearing out her own stash. It was long enough sideways to make a curtain the same width as the original net one, that was what I was bothered about yesterday :)

I laid the net curtain over it, and cut it down to the same width. It was a little longer, but I was going to hem it and anyway, it would just cut out more of the light if it was longer. So I folded over the sides and bottom to make a hem (I should really have taken pictures of all these steps, but I was concentrating too hard on getting them done. One thing about sewing, it's not like knitting where I'm happy to spend loads of time on the process. I just want it sewed up as fast as possible :)

I did an invisible stitch to sew in the hem (kind of like mattress stitch in knitting). I should probably mention here that I handsewed the curtain, not machine sewed. I'm still a little scared of my machine. Stupid, I know, but there it is. Then I folded over a much larger portion at the top to make a kind of slot for the pole the original curtain was on to go through, and I invisible-stitched that too. That invisible stitch probably has a proper name, I should look that up at some point!

And voila, I sewed a curtain!! It's more than a little lilac purple, which is not one of my most favouritest colours, but it's what fabric I had in my stash, and it works. I've decided not to buy any more fabric till I've used all or most of the fabric I have, and practiced on that.

I'm quite proud of this curtain, despite its glaring lilac-ness. It's rectangle-y with only one wonky corner, and the sewing is not too badly executed. That's probably just my perfectionism and tendancy to talk my own work down showing through though. It's a good curtain, for my very first one ever!!! I'll probably make a different one at some point, in a more suitable fabric, but this one definitely works for now. I wasn't woken up this morning by insane sunshine, or the dog getting overexcited by the fact that the sun is up, and demanding we get up too! So, yay!!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

WIP Wednesday - Lacy Baktus

Hey, 3 weeks in a row blogging on a specific day!! Go me!! I never thought I could manage even 2 weeks in a row, not really, but it's actually been really motivating. Thinking "Right it's Wednesday, gotta take a photo and blog" has been really helpful for me (I know, it's only 3 weeks, but for me to maintain any kind of routine for any amount of time is pretty spectacular!) And even if I don't blog in between Wednesdays (like this week), it means that the poor blog doesn't get abandoned until I can find the time to take tons of photos of FOs.

So, this week my main project has been my Lacy Baktus:

Lacy Baktus - 1st Half Done

The pattern is Lacy Baktus by Terhi Montonen. The ravelry pattern page is here. It's a triangular scarf knit side to side, based on the Baktus pattern by Strikkelise: ravelry pattern page for the Baktus scarf is here, with lacy stripes.

It's quite an easy knit, which is why it's been worked on so much this week. I cast it on only 3 days ago, and I've already knit half of it, and am onto the decreases. I'm using a heavier weight yarn than called for in the pattern, a DK yarn instead of a fingering weight yarn, and I'm also using more of it. You would normally get one skein of sock yarn and split it in half to knit the two sides, but I'm using 2 full 100g balls of Stylecraft Life DK Prints. It's 75% acrylic, 25%wool, 298m/326yds to a ball. I'm using colourway 2398 (pampas), which is green with red and blue flecks.

Lacy Garter Stitch

I was going to knit a plain Baktus out of this yarn. I got the two balls of heavier yarn because I knit one from sock yarn before, and I wanted a larger, cosier one this time. But then I was watching the Round The Twist video podcast, and Carin was making a lacy Baktus scarf from handspun, and I thought that the pattern would look really good with this yarn as well. So I cast on, and liked it :)

This WIP will probably become an FO before too long - it's knitting up really fast. The only thing I had to do was to put a safety pin in the side where I was doing the increases (you can just see the silver line of the pin at the bottom of the scarf running along the side, beside the needle in the photo). Before I did that, I was making a few mistakes as the scarf got larger - doing increases on the wrong row, or on the wrong side, but as soon as I put that pin in, I didn't make any more mistakes and it started going super fast. I'm enjoying knitting it very much, I may have to make more of these :)

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

WIP Wednesday - Spinning

I've written loads over the past few days about the knitting project I'm currently working on - the cedar leaf shawlette. That's coming along fine now, no more ripping back (fingers crossed!), so I figured there wasn't much point in writing more about that. The only other thing I've been *actively* working on the past week (apart from HPKCHC stuff, of course), is spinning.

Spinning Basket

I'm spinning this fibre to make colourwork mittens. I've already knit, and am waiting to block a pair of Galileos by Laura Chau (but I haven't written about them yet, so it hasn't really happened yet, lol). This fibre (Corriedale, I think, need to doublecheck that at the shop next week) is going to become a pair of Deep In The Forest mittens. The light turquoise is going to be the trees and the dark jewel tone green that I'm spinning now is going to be the background.

My default spinning size seems to be perfect for mittens. When plied, it seems to be a large sock weight. My wraps per inch means that my yarn is fingering weight according to the charts out there, but it seems a bit larger than normal sock yarn. But it's so perfect for mittens. My Gailileos are so lovely... but that's another post!

I've got 100g of each fibre, and what I do is to split it up into 4 equal amounts, spin them into singles, then ply them together to make 2 equal amounts of approx 50g. That seems to be what my spindle will hold without falling to the ground every second, and it works out well for knowing where the halfway point in my yarn is - just knit till one ball is finished and the other will be roughly the same :)

I'm enjoying spinning this. I just do a little at a time, whenever I have a moment. It's so portable and pick-up-able that it's easy to just spin a little amount at a time. And before you know it, those little bits have added up into a whole big bit :) I love spinning :)