Little things, big plans

Combining a House Cup off-month with summer heat equals not a ton of knitting happening right now, but a lot of planning given Christmas season is coming up.

I did manage to whip out a quick pair of basic fingerless mitts with some super soft, nice yarn I got a couple weeks ago, I think they turned out pretty cute:

The yarn’s interesting because it’s almost variegated, but not quite.

That’s my digital camera case for size reference at the top.

I also finished the Summer Flies shawl that I started while I was on vacation at the end of July, though I haven’t blocked it yet.

I used just under 2 balls of (about 300 yards) Classic Elite Yarns Fresco, which is a 60% Wool, 30% Alpaca, 10% Angora mix DK weight yarn, and lovely to work with. I loved the stitch definition I got with it too, I’m looking forward to seeing how it blocks out.

I don’t think I’m going to block it too aggressively, as it’s a pretty nice small scarf size now, so a light blocking should bring it to decent scarf size. It’s a little smaller than the pattern said because I used a DK weight instead of a worsted, but I think the size will work out in the end.

Still on the needles are the baby booties for my sister’s friend’s baby shower, which I hope to finish tonight since the baby shower is in two days! I also have my Spectacular Sightseeing Sunset Socks on the needles, but those are currently my in-the-purse-to-work-on-on-the-go project, so they don’t get a lot of love at home.

Speaking of purses, I got my Namaste Monroe bag last week, a birthday present from my parents! I love it, I’m using it as my regular purse plus knitting. It’s got 2 huge side pockets and one big center section, so I have plenty of room for all my purse things, plus a knitting project or two, and I don’t have to worry about my yarn snagging on my car keys, or falling out of my bag. Oh, and did I mention it’s purple?

Isn’t she beautiful?

Looking ahead, I’m working on my plans for the upcoming House Cup term. I was leaning toward doing an Arithmancy OWL (at least 8 of the same object) and doing 6 pairs of fingerless gloves, but then I discovered The Beekeeper’s Quilt, and may change my plans. I’m currently debating how I want to tackle the term, I might do the quilt as an OWL instead, and do the gloves for classes, or maybe do the gloves for the OWL and do groups of hexagons for the quilt for classes. I definitely have a lot of thinking to do, lol.

Image courtesy of tinyowlknits on Ravelry

Advertisements

Sightseeing socks, lace addictions and the consequences of marathon knitting

What do you get when you cross marathon knitting with wrists that have personal vendettas against you?

You get almost a week of no knitting time, that’s what. 😦

I think the fact that I was knitting lace on tiny needles (My Aeolian and My Heaven, both lace on size 2s, and a sock also on size 2s) didn’t help either.

Let me just tell you, you know your hands need a long break right. now. when your thumb starts involuntarily shaking whenever you bend it, so much so that you can’t type on your phone with it. Ask me how I know.

As difficult as it was, I did make myself rest from knitting for several days. I was able to alleviate some of the restless hand-ness by spinning on my drop spindle, something I haven’t done in quite a while. I spun some gorgeous chocolate brown alpaca top that I had gotten at WEBS a few months ago, which proceeded to shed all over me. (Have you ever cleaned up after an alpaca? I have. It. Was. Awesome.)

Granted, I should have seen this coming. Let’s think about what I’ve been knitting over the past several weeks…

You can see where the sunset part comes in.

Spectacular Sightseeing Sunset Socks

Why yes, I am a fan of alliteration, how did you guess? 😉

These socks actually came about for exactly two reasons: 1) I wanted to try Michaels’ new Loops & Threads Luxury Sock yarn, and 2) I wanted something small and mindless to knit on a trip to New York City. I figured a pair of plan stockinette socks would be the perfect travel project, and would allow me to try this new yarn (which is very nice, I might add, I just wish it came in solid colors).

Over the course of two days, these socks were knit at:

  • Car ride from CT to NY train station
  • Train ride to New York City
  • NYC subway station while waiting for the train
  • Central Park bench
  • Yankee Stadium while waiting for the game to start
  • Train back from NYC
  • Car ride home from NY
  • Car ride to the beach
  • On the beach
  • At the outlet stores waiting for the rain to end
  • On the way home from the outlets

That’s a lot of tiny needle knitting.

That red is my lifeline, juuuust in case.

Aeolian

I’ve blogged about my Aeolian before, it’s my Ancient Runes OWL for the House Cup. In order to get “midterm credit” for it, I need to have it 50% done by the end of the month. My goal was to get out of the yucca pattern repeats (there were 12 repeats of 8 rows, and with each row getting longer, those yuccas seemed to go on forever).

On the morning of June 7, I had it at 15.10% (thank you handy Google spreadsheet). By the end of the day on June 11, I had it at 25.83%. That means I knit 7,332 teeny tiny stitches, complete with a whole lot of teeny tiny beads, in four days.

This is the edging as it’ll look on the shawl.

My Heaven

For some reason, I’ve become addicted to lace, and decided a couple weeks ago that I just HAD to find the perfect lace pattern for some gorgeous red baby alpaca yarn I have. I decided on a My Heaven (Ravelry link), as I had done a search for red lace shawls and saw a project page for a My Heaven done in red, and absolutely loved it. I haven’t been able to work on it much yet, because I want to get my Aeolian to 50%, but I’m trudging along on it.

The construction on this shawl is interesting because it’s unlike any shawls I’ve done before: you knit the entire edge sideways first, then pick up the stitches along the long edge to knit the body. The shawl as written has a garter stitch piece in the middle of the body, but I plan to just continue the lace pattern the entire way to make an airy, delicate shawl.

The colors are a little richer than this photo shows, but you can see the stitch definition.

Cotyledon Hat

This hat I’m doing as a test knit for another Raveler. I’m using madelinetosh tosh dk, and it is sucha lovely yarn to work with. It’s super soft, but it has a fairly tight twist and great stitch definition for the knit-through-the-back-loop ridges and the cables in this pattern.

The pattern actually caught my eye because it looked pretty and complex, but it turned out to be very simple, consisting of a few cables strategically placed.
So yeah. I think I can understand why my hands decided to freak out. For now, I’m going to work on finishing my hat on size 6 needles before moving back to my teeny tiny projects.

The month of the gloves (and hat and cowl and monster)

Remember how I was all about the scarves a few months ago? Well, apparently this month it was gloves that were all the rage.

Let's all say it together now: Awwwwwwww!

If you count pairs I’d started before the month began, I finished a total of 7 pairs of gloves this month, along with a buttoned cowl, a striped scarf, a test knit hat, a cute little monster toy, half a pair of socks, and the baby hats I’m currently crocheting for charity (4 done so far, I’ll update later with my final total).

Of those 7 pairs, 4 of them were Broken Spiral Mitts (each word links to a separate pair), a fingerless glove pattern I test knit for fellow Raveler and HP House Cupper benningsm back in February.

Part of what motivated me to do so much crafting this month was the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup group on Ravelry, which splits participants up into the four Harry Potter Houses and pitts the four groups against one another in 3-month terms. The group with the most points (gained through crafting for monthly “classes,” term-long “OWLs,” Quidditch, and other bonus point-gathering methods) at the end of the three months wins the House Cup.

Let me tell you, while it may be an internet game of sorts, it’s very competitive, and great for motivation. I definitely wouldn’t have done so much crafting over the past year-plus if it weren’t for the House Cup.

I was particularly motivated to craft this month, because I’d completed a full roster of classes in January and February, and wanted to finish out the term strong.

My first finished project of the month was a redo on a pair of gloves that I’d made for my boyfriend’s sister-in-law. The first pair was too big in the hands and too small in the fingers, so I started over (with measurements this time!) and they fit perfectly, which made both of us happy. 🙂

My second and third finished projects, both part of my OWL, were particularly special to me. One was a pair of London Eye Glittens (convertible fingerless gloves/full mittens) that I made for my sister using Patons Classic Wool, and the other was a pair of Celtic Moonrise Mittens I made for myself out of Knit Picks Capra yarn (one of my favorite yarns ever!).

I loved the glittens for several reasons:

1) They were SO my sister. Purple and green, mismatched-bur-not, bright colors, the whole nine yards.
2) They were fun to knit. They used some techniques I hadn’t used before, like picking up stitches in the middle of the piece for the mitten flap, and cabling without using a cable needle.
3) My sister was super excited to get them, and she wears them all the time (honestly, she’s one of the most knitworthy people I know).

The Celtic Moonrise Mittens were great for a list of reasons of their own:

1) The cable pattern is just gorgeous. I’ve always loved Celtic knot patterns, and had been looking for a good mitten pattern incorporating the knots.

2) The yarn is soooo comfortable. It is nice and soft, but still has great stitch definition, so it really shows off the cables.

3) I was able to modify the pattern very easily in order to continue the cables to the end of the mittens instead of the cutoff the pattern called for.

My other favorite project of the month: my Happy Monstie. I think his photo speaks for itself.

😀

Winterfell socks at the end of winter

I am currently working on a test knit of a sock pattern that I found on Ravelry, and it is coming out great so far!

(more…)

%d bloggers like this: