Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Ravellenics Observer Shawl - Progress Pictures

Pattern page here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/observer

My ravelry project page here: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/yarndancer/observer

After day 3, I had finished the fourth section of this shawl.

Here it is looking rather sombrero-like. It's getting too big to stretch out without taking it off the needles.

Ravellenics Day 4 - Observer Shawl - After Section 4

And here's a close-up of the zig-zag section:

Ravellenics Day 4 - Observer Shawl - After Section 4

This section confused me a bit at first. I was finding it hard to "read" the lace pattern because it's a written pattern, and the yarn overs were a little difficult to figure out where to place because I was trying to overthink it instead of just following the pattern :) But the designer Mindy posted some helpful tips on the ravelry board, and I also began to recognise the relationship between the yo's on the rounds. I did have to rip out the section half way through, because I'd made a mistake somewhere, but I'd recognised the relationshi[ by then, and could just zoom straight through.

I knitted a whole lot on it yesterday, and am now at the halfway point of section 5 - yay! I'm at the next zig-zag portion now :)

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Ravellenics Day 1 - Observer Shawl

I cast on for my Observer Shawl last night :)

Pattern page here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/observer

My ravelry project page here: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/yarndancer/observer

I'm using this huge cone of light fingering weight yarn

Ravellenics Day 1 - Observer Shawl - Big Cone Of Yarn

on 5mm needles, and it's coming out great! I had wondered about the large needle size, but it's really knitting up into a nice fabric.

The shawl is knitted using the Pi formula by Elizabeth Zimmerman and each part of the shawl is written out as a separate section, which is very useful for keeping track of where you are in the pattern. It's a written pattern, not charted, but having it in these sections makes it much easier to read - also the way Mindy writes her patterns with regard to pattern repeats makes it a "clean" pattern and very easy to read. There's no extraneous waffling - it's all very much to the point and straight-forward. I like her style of pattern writing :)

This is the shawl after section 2:

Ravellenics Day 1 - Observer Shawl - After Section 2

And this is is after section 3:

Ravellenics Day 1 - Observer Shawl - After Section 3

which is where I stopped last night.

Getting pictures of black yarn in knitting is very difficult! I ended up with my fingers etc being washed out and just a big white blur because the camera needed to absorb so much light for the dark stitches to show. Still, nobody's looking at the pictures for my fingers or toes (hopefully, lol) :) Also - trying to take a picture of circular knitting that wants to fold in on itself requires about 3 or 4 hands! I don't know how I'm going to manage it when the shawl gets bigger!

I'm really enjoying this project. The beginning was hard - I had to knit my end piece of yarn from the CO into my first row, because I kept picking that up and knitting with that instead. I had to frog it a couple of times because I was getting muddled up with that bit of yarn. But now it’s got going, it’s really quite addictive! I'll be knitting more on it tonight, I'm super excited! :D

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Ravellenics Tomorrow, Yay!

Tomorrow is the start of the Olympic Games, and that means it's also the start of the Ravellenic Games over on Ravelry - yaaay!!

I've joined Team MinKnit this time - it's a team being captained by Mindy from MinKnit designs and also she hosts the Knitting Minknits podcast, which I really enjoy and recommend. She talks about her knitting and her designing, which I find really interesting. Her podcast is both informative and friendly - it's one of my favourite ones now. This is going to be a smaller team, which is ideal for me, because I get totally overwhelmed by the larger groups. I go on and see like 500 new posts in one day and just don't bother even looking. I think this group is going to be lots of fun. There are some lovely people talking on the thread already, and I feel like I can chime in at any time and be welcomed, which is always good in a team/group :)

Mindy has designed the Observer shawl, which is a $4 on ravelry, or free if you're in Team Minknit. It's beautiful! I've never made a circular shawl before, but I really like this one. I like the geometric-ness of the zig-zag lace, and I think it would look awesome in 2 or even multi colours because of the defined rings of lace. My first knitting of it is going to be in one colour though.

The pattern is designed so that the small size would use only one skein of sock yarn, which is awesome! I have a large cone of black yarn though - of a light fingering weight, so I'm going to make either the large size, or even larger :D

I've added my project page on ravelry, and changed my ravatar to the Team Minknit one - I can't believe I'm going to have to wait till 9pm tomorrow to cast on!

So that means that I'm taking part in the shawl sailing and the lace longjump events with this project. I've only officially added this project just now - if there's any time left after finishing it, I may add another, but I'll wait and see :)

Are you taking part in the ravellenic games? What team are you on, and what are you making - I want to know! :D

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Arrrg - Dyelots!!

I'm knitting - well, attempting to knit - the Kourtney Light Weight vest top by Mishellee Zaharis. I'm using a pink Stylecraft Special 4 ply yarn that has been in my stash for ages. I've tried to use it for 2 other large projects and it hasn't worked for anything. In fact, I kind of wanted to just get rid of it, but I'm a Taurus - I'm stubborn ;) I kind of had this idea that I could "defeat" the yarn, and make it become something lovely.

This vest is a lovely pattern - I like the ruffles round the front neck - totally girly and un-me :) And so I started knitting it in this pink yarn. My gauge was off - 6sts to the inch instead of 5, but no bother, I did maths (!) and knit the numbers for a couple of sizes larger. I even worked out the different numbers of row to account for my 8.5 rows to the inch instead of the 7.5 in the pattern. I get all the way to the armholes, change balls and look:

Dyelot Disaster

A great big stripe where the new ball is a completely different shade of pink! Arrrrg!

(Strangely, the yarn in the balls looked identical. Weird.)

I actually almost cried. It didn't take terribly long to knit this far because it's quite a loose gauge for the yarn, on 4mm needles. And up to the armholes only took one 100g ball! But still! To make matters worse - I have another half ball in this yarn (3 total) but this other ball matches the top darker stripe, not the bottom one! Of course, I had to start knitting with the odd ball!

So I (quite literally!) threw it in the corner, and went to sleep. My partner suggested just keeping knitting and then over-dying the whole garment, but I don't even know if that would work properly. I suppose I could chuck it in a basin full of Dylon! :D

But since I have this 150g that match, I guess it makes more sense (to me, at least) to start again, and re-knit the whole thing. Dying seems like a whole other step, and an unknown one at that. I haven't really done any dying before.

After having slept on it, it doesn't seem like such a disaster, more of a huge annoyance. But ooh, I was so angry last night! I'm sure the balls all had the same dyelot number, and stylecraft are usually very good at getting all the dyelots to match. Maybe it wasn't the same dyelot after all - I lost the band months ago when I tried to make it into some other random thing. But dammit, it should have been! Cos I wanted it to be!! Yeah, I've just gone into peevish mode now about it, which is better than angry crying mode.

(Seriously, crying over dyelots!!! In my defence, it was late and I was sleepy, and apparently I just am the type of person who would cry over such a silly thing! lol!)

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Some Actual Knitting Content!

In my quest to slowly get back into blogging etc, I took some photos of some FOs that I finished at the end of last year/beginning of this year. Gloves and mittens are easy to take relatively decent photos of, so I started with them :)

First off, last year at some point I frogged my version of the Druid Mittens that I had started to make with fingering weight yarn (I posted about them here) They were just a bit too small, and I never got round to finishing them, because I kind of knew that I'd be unhappy with them. Then I thought of making them with DK weight yarn instead, as it would be an easy way to make them larger without having to mess about with the pattern. So I used this green yarn (it's wool/acrylic, possibly Stylecraft Life DK, but I've forgotten exactly. I'm about 80% sure it's Life DK though), and slightly larger needles I think. See, this is why keeping blog posts and putting things on ravelry is much easier when you do it directly after making the item! :D Anyway, I just knit the pattern as written, since I didn't have much brain space for modifications, and I just wanted to get them done and out of my queue. Here's some photos:

Druid Mittens

Druid Mittens

And here's a photo with one of them steam blocked and the other not:

Druid Mittens - mid blocking

Pattern: Druid Mittens by Jared Flood, from Vogue Knitting Fall 2008
My ravelry project page: here

I did another re-knit as well. I don't know if I'd ever posted about the Something Floral fingerless mitts, but I'd started to knit them in some fingering weight yarn before - in black and white. But again, they were small. So I decided to just frog them (I went through a bit of a frogging phase in my knitting slump!) But I really like the pattern, and wanted to make them, so I cast them on again. This time I used different yarn - it's possibly Regia sock yarn, but again, I've forgotten and lost the ball bands :)

This is the project that made me figure out that I need to knit colourwork either on very large needles compared to the pattern recommendation, or go up a yarn weight. They're still snug, even using larger needles, but they can at least go on now :) They'll be perfect for autumn days either with T-shirts or under a cardi or something.

Something Floral Mitts

Something Floral Mitts

Some detail shots:

- top edgeSomething Floral Mitts

Something Floral Mitts - detail

Something Floral Mitts - flower detail

And mid-steam-blocking:

Something Floral Mitts - mid blocking

Pattern: Something Floral by Miranda Grant
My ravelry project page: here

And finally, a pattern I'd been wanting to knit for ages, in a yarn that I'd been wondering what to make out of for ages :)

Reading Mitts

Reading Mitts

Reading Mitts - top edge

Reading Mitts - bottom edge

Pattern: Susie Rogers' Reading Mitts by Susie Rogers
Yarn: a colourmart merino (DK?) that I got in my goodie bag at Knit Camp. I'd been wondering what to make out of it for ages, because I wasn't sure how much there was. Then I saw this pattern in my queue and the two matched together! I had a teeny bit left over, it just went in my scraps bag :)
My ravelry project page: here

Yay, a post about actual knitting! I'm going to try to photograph some more stuff later on or tomorrow - it turns out that even though I considered I was in a knitting slump, I still managed to get quite a few projects finished! :D