Friday, December 21, 2012

2012 FOs

I haven't done a FO post in the last few months, so here we go!

Everlasting Bagstopper #4, made with KP Cotlin (the tan) and Hobby Lobby's "I Love This Cotton!". I made this for myself because my bagstopper #1 broke on a camping trip this Spring.

Nalu Mitts #2, made with KP Sugarbunny yarn in platinum. I bought this yarn just to try it before it went away, and it's so lovely that I'm sad I didn't buy more. The mitts are a little longer than the pattern calls for, and I used almost the entire skein.

Vanilla Latte Socks, made with Kroy Sock Stripes in Bronzed Berry for my BF's mom for Christmas! She hasn't seen these yet, and I'm very excited to give them to her.

Mock Cable Boot Cuffs, made from Lamb's Pride in Spruce. This is an improvised pattern that I made up for my friend Lanny.

Dashing, made with Cleckheaton Country 12-ply in blue, for the BF. I had started this pattern years ago, making gloves for an ex-roommate and friend of mine. But a week or two after I started on them, my friend died of a drug overdose and I frogged the project. I made these for the BF after debating for a long time, and am glad I did. If I make them again at some point, I would use a thumb gusset, as the afterthought thumb felt weird to me. BF loves them and wears them every day though, so clearly he didn't mind much.

Hat Fit for a Boyfriend, made mainly with Olive Wool-Ease, but also used up some other washable wool/acrylic scraps for the stripes. This was made for a local homeless charity drive.

And last but certainly not least.. the biggest project I completed this year... Pendulum, my first real shawl, made with Cascade Heritage Silk in Marine and Lemon. This is a Christmas gift for one of my close friends, and is purposefully done in Harry Potter Ravenclaw colors, as she is a huge HP nerd. It measures almost 6 feet from tip to tip and took every last inch of the blue color (in fact I had to tick back a row to get enough yardage for the BO row). I am really happy with this FO and proud of my work. And the end result? She loves it!

I have another pair of Husbeast socks OTN right now that I expect to be done in the next few days, and will update with pictures when I have them. Using Wool-Ease, as I want these to be thick and warm for Minnesota winters (they're a gift for the BFF). WIP shot:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2013 Planning

I've been thinking a lot about 2013. I've been running into an issue lately with matching my yarns with my patterns and this leads to terrible indecisiveness. Additionally, as time goes on, the yarn I have is stuff that I really love and want to "honor" by picking THE BEST pattern for it. Ugh. I need to break out of this mindset and have been thinking about different ways to do so, without boring myself. What seems to work well is picking monthly goals in advance, somewhere between 2-3 projects (depending on size), and then not second guessing myself. I'm going to try to do this more often in 2013.

That being said, these are the goals I'd like to accomplish at some point in 2013:

-BFF socks - Owlie pattern has already been picked out, but need to buy/find yarn suitable for these. Also need to buy seed beads for the eyes.
-Mindy socks - Yarn??? Pattern??? I can't decide yet.
-BF socks - plain pattern, self striping yarn. He has one pair already and wears them almost everyday, so clearly he needs another (few) pair.
-Baby stuff - 6-8 month old socks/sweaters/hats. I have several friends giving birth this year and want to have a stash of gender-neutral gifts.
-Finish my ONE WIP - French Press Slippers: still waiting on re-felting. I thought my house water issues would be resolved weeks ago, but now we are in a standoff and have no idea when I'll be able to refelt these. I guess I could try doing it by hand, but lord...

Specifically in January I want to do:
-Sock KAL with the Stash Knit Down Group from Ravelry. The two patterns available that I like are Owlie and Monkey. Owlie I wanted to already do, and Monkey has been on my todo list forever. I haven't decided which pattern or yarn yet.
-One baby item. I have 5-6 queued, but need to actually sit down and decide what I want to do. I think this will be a great way to use up some left overs from all my socks.
-Felted Christmas trees. I want to create these for a Christmas gift next year, and given my track record with felting, it will be good to get a head start.

-BF socks - self striping/vanilla latte socks?
-One baby item

I want to update soon with a FO post as well. I've gotten a LOT of stuff done in the last few months and pictures need to be posted. :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

November Update

What I've been working on:
French Press Slippers: still waiting on re-felting (long story -- water/sewer issues at the house, should be resolved next week, so I'll get these done shortly).
Sugarbunny mittens: turned into Nalu Mitts! I wear these things everyday pretty much, and they're fantastic. So soft, very warm, and holding up well to lots of wear. I'm sad I didn't buy more Sugarbunny yarn while it was available. I'd like to find a similar yarn to this, because it was just gorgeous and perfect for smaller accessories.
Everlasting Bagstopper (pt 4): made to replace my first bagstopper, which finally bit the dust on my summer camping trip. Love it!
Vanilla Latte Socks: a Christmas present for Dixon's mom (K). She's great and very thoughtful, so I decided to make her socks this year. I'm sure she'll appreciate them, but I hope she also gets a lot of use out of them! Pattern and yarn were decent, first time using both.
Mock Cable Boot Cuffs: one of my friends sent me a picture of some crocheted boot cuffs and I took it as inspiration to whip out some mock cable boot cuffs. Real simple pattern, only took two short days of knitting to complete (maybe 3-4 hours total?). Used some Lamb's Pride worsted wool on this project and it was perfect.
Dashing (gloves): made these for Dixon, and he loves them. Used ollllld stash yarn (from Australia, no less!), dark blue wool. I shortened the pattern a bit, as lots of people complained that it ran a bit long. These are still long, but only go about 1/3 of the way up the forearm.
Christmas gift shawl: making this for a friend for Christmas. This is also my first real shawl, and I'm like 90% finish. Almost! After Christmas, I'll share a photo of this. :)
Homeless hats: my friend is doing a drive for a local homeless shelter, and along with donating a bunch of clothes and other warm things, I'm donating a few hats. Going to see how many I can crank out before her deadline. So far I've got 1.75 finished.
Everything else: didn't happen!

Cold Sheeping:
I've been trying to reduce my overall stash. That's the point, right? Well, this year I've completed 15* projects (*at the time of writing, this actually means 13, with another 2 that I'm trying to finish before EOY), and of those 15, 10 were from old stash yarn. Old stash meaning acquired at least a year before I knit it up (in some cases, I have been using 7-8 year old stash!). 66% of my knits this year being from stash isn't too terribly bad. I'd like to increase this percentage, and have been trying to trade stuff I know I won't use, but that is a slow process (which apparently happens you start being real picky about what comes into the stash). What is important: there is a noticeable and visable different in my stash!

What is up next:
Finishing up my 3 current WIP (hat is 75%, slippers need refelting, and shawl is about 90%).
Setting 2013 goals, including FO/project goals. So far, I've got ideas, but nothing solid. I will try to update with these goals before the end of December.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Felting Woes and an Update!

I haven't been knitting a lot lately. It's normal, it's the summer, and even though our summer here in Seattle was delayed, it's finally coming around a bit. Of course, as I type this I am looking out the window to a total downpour, but, hopefully it will clear up in the next few hours.
I tried felting the French Press slippers (from the last post) recently. After FOUR cycles, they're about 85% felted. I let them dry over night and tried them on, and they're about a half inch too big for my feet. The problem is that they're not for me, they're for my friend, and she has feet two sizes smaller than I do. So I need to take about another inch and a half off of them. Good luck with that, I guess. If I make these again, I will probably go down a needle size, as I think my gauge was pretty loose due to the giant needles and thrice held yarn.
I'm not great with felting, but in the past I've only done it with projects that don't need to acquire a specific gauge, so this is newer to me. Anyone have tips for successful felting? I'm doing a hot/cold cycle in my top load washer and putting the pieces in a zipped pillowcase.
To follow up on the projects I discussed in my last post:
  • Finish up Everlasting Bagstopper bag (~60% done) Finished (I have used it a few times but don't have any good pictures of it yet..)
  • Socks: Noro Stripey Socks? I have numerous skeins of Noro Sock yarn as well as two skeins of KP Chroma, all of which would work for these. I picked out some Chroma for this, but haven't started anything yet.
  • Hat: I'm digging the Marram Hat pattern recently. Not sure I have good yarn for it though, will have to stash dive this weekend. Still haven't found a good yarn or pattern combo.
  • Gloves: I have a single skein of KP's new Sugarbunny yarn, which is 80% Merino and 20% Angora, stashed away to make myself a pair of Nalu Mitts. I made this pattern last fall for my mom, and LOVED them (hers were in baby alpaca). Started these recently and have the first glove done, except for the thumb. This yarn is soooooooooo ridiculously soft that I'm instantly regretting not buying more before they discontinued it.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Partial Update and Future Planning

I've had a bit of knitting ADHD lately. Not feeling very inspired by patterns lately, but still feeling the urge to knit a lot. As evidenced by the recently completed Man Socks:
I started and frogged THREE different pattern/yarn combinations (all done to the heel turn.. grr) until I grabbed some KP Simply Stripes (sadly discontinued, but I managed to buy 4 skeins before it went away! Still have one and a half left :) ) and forced myself to just push through and do a normal, vanilla pattern (CO 68 st on 2.75mm needles, 2" of 3X1 ribbing, then two sections of color before the heel flap, reduced down to 64 st on the foot itself, knit to fit). These are kind of special to me, as I backpacked them during our camping trip this May. At least 9 miles RT, with them in a special pouch of my 40lb+ pack, so they wouldn't get crushed/broken. The recipient, my lovely BF, loves them and wore them every day for nearly a week after I finished them. I will certainly be making him socks again at some point.

Speaking of socks, I'm not going to post everything I've knit recently, but I did knit these Spiral Eyelet socks recently for my friend Chantelle, and was extremely disappointed when I had to actually give them away to her.
These were knit from OLD stash, some of the first sock yarn I ever bought, JL Yarn's "Vinca" in the 802 colorway. The yarn itself was a bit splitty, but turned out so beautifully. I have two more skeins in different colorways that I might redo these in someday, but this time for me!

I also finished knitting some slippers for my friend Amanda recently. They're the French Press Felted Slippers (rav link), but I haven't actually felted them yet, so I just have these giant yellow slippers hanging out...
They knit up incredibly fast, as triple held worsted will tend to do I guess. I'm definitely considering making myself a pair, but the truth is that I really dislike the felting process. It's not really difficult, just time consuming, and I don't like how fiddly it all is. Leave it in for 5 extra minutes on accident? You've got slippers for your barbie doll. Anyway, I'm going to felt these soon (!!!!!) and get them mailed out to her. I'm sure what she needs in the dead of a Minnesota summer is thick wool slippers.

My current project is making yet another Everlasting Bagstopper (rav link). This will be my fourth one that I've made. I have given two away as gifts and my only remaining one broke on the camping trip in May (the stitching at the top gave way and unraveled half of one side, I was pretty upset for a bit), so I need a new one. I'm using the last bits of some KP CotLin (one of my favorites) and mostly Hobby Lobby's I Love This Cotton (which is so smooshy soft that I have a hard time believing it's cotton). I'm over halfway done, but have been slacking recently and hope to get it done this weekend.

I haven't written in quite some time, but mainly wanted to do so to create a list of ideas for upcoming projects. So here we go:
  • Finish up Everlasting Bagstopper bag (~60% done)
  • Socks: Noro Stripey Socks? I have numerous skeins of Noro Sock yarn as well as two skeins of KP Chroma, all of which would work for these.
  • Hat: I'm digging the Marram Hat pattern recently. Not sure I have good yarn for it though, will have to stash dive this weekend.
  • Gloves: I have a single skein of KP's new Sugarbunny yarn, which is 80% Merino and 20% Angora, stashed away to make myself a pair of Nalu Mitts. I made this pattern last fall for my mom, and LOVED them (hers were in baby alpaca).
I think the above will keep me busy through a good part of this summer, and who knows, something else I have to knit RIGHT NOW will probably come up in the meantime.