Thursday, September 19, 2013

Color Theory

Yesterday I started on the second pair of mittens I'm making for my Canadian friend. I CO for a pair of stripey mittens, and actually finished the first mitten only a few hours later. I was very excited to take a picture and show off the pretty purple, blue and neutral color stripes until I saw the picture.
I swear that they aren't this ugly in person. However, that hasn't stopped me from continuing to look at this picture and think about ripping it all apart.
Color theory in any kind of art has always interested me. I spend a HUGE amount of time thinking about color combinations, colors on skin tones, complimentary colors, etc. This one fell short though. I think I've figured out that the purple in this mitten is too 'warm' for the stripes, and as a result looks.. just.. ugh. :( It's going in time out for now, while I think about it.

In a more positive color outcome, I finally have a picture of my finished rainbow socks to share:
I love them. The yarn is self striping from Kroy, and as you can see (if you look closely) there was a problem with the striping. That's because there were several knots in each of the skeins I used. If I was gifting these socks, I would have not been happy about the sudden interruptions in color, but as they are for me, I don't really care that much.
Kroy yarn is not the softest, it's not merino or anything, but it wears hard and I can see myself wearing these rainbow socks for years to come.

I also finished up my Spruce Tree mittens that I started only a week or two ago and mentioned in the last entry. I love the color of these mittens, and love the end result. The pattern was bloated and semi-confusing, but not so much that I couldn't get through it, and hey, it was free so I can't complain too much.
Here is my FO pic, unblocked, so they're a little wonky yet. Everything will be going in a bath this weekend.
These were knit in KP's Wool of the Andes "Spruce", which I thought to be quite fitting.

Adding the socks and Spruce mitts to my yearly yarn/knit totals, I'm four yards away from breaking 3000 yards for the year, which is very exciting! I've already beat my knit totals for 2010 and 2011, and should easily beat my 2012 totals as well since I'm only ~600 yards away, with 3.5 months to go. Not sure what's up next, maybe finishing my Octopus..?

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Fall has Arrived

Fall is here. We're under a flood watch, here in Seattle, for the next 48 hours, as we're expecting about 4 inches of rain. Yech. I already miss the summer, but I guess the silver lining is that I get to wear lots of knits!
Speaking of knitting; I try not to make many knitting goals. Knitting is fun, knitting is relaxing, knitting is productive, but knitting should never be stressful, and I've been stopping myself from the habit of forcing myself to knit when I don't want to, or placing a lot of guidelines around it. It stresses me out, I feel behind, it's just no good. That being said, I made a knitting goal this year of knitting all year. Every year since I've been knitting, I quit during the summer. It's too warm, I don't have the same amount of downtime, there are outings and visitors, etc, lots of excuses. This year, I tried to keep a small project in my project bag at all times, even if I wasn't knitting a lot, knitting a little is still a great step.

So what did I knit this summer? Well, since the last entry I finished the clownbarf socks I was working on, or rather I finished one.. and then frogged it.
In my last blog entry I noted that the left leaning ribbing didn't look right, and sure enough, I was doing it wrong. I figured it out about halfway through the sock, and the bottom half looked good, but overall the sock was just wrong. It was too tight, too short, the toe ended up wonky, the first half of the sock pattern was messed up.. so it got frogged. That being said, it was a learning experience and I'm glad I forced myself to complete at least the first sock.

Immediately after ripping it apart, I decided that the yarn wouldn't defeat me, so I started another octopus with the same clownbarf yarn. It's being knit on tiny size 0 metal needles, so after a leg or two, I have to put it down due to hand cramping. This is my progress so far, with half the legs done:

While procrastinating knitting the tiny tiny octopus I made another Hat for Eudora, but this time for Dixon, who fell in love with the first one I made. I made this one from the same yarn I made his gloves in (also featured in the picture below).
It's weird to see him smoking. Since this picture, he quit smoking. Anyway! I used some really old stash on this, the main blue yarn is something I traded for back in 2008 (from New Zealand!). Inside, it has an integrated brim that was knit using a hand dyed yarn someone made for me back in 2009. Get ready for a low quality picture:
Note the brim. Anyway, he loves the hat, and has actually started wearing it now that it's not hot out anymore. I'm waiting for the real cold before I wear my baby alpaca Eudora hat, because that thing is going to be toasty.

After I ripped up the clownbarf socks, I wanted to start another pair, as those were supposed to be for me. I decided summer knitting doesn't need to be so complicated, so I CO a pair of vanilla socks in a terrific rainbow self-striping yarn that I traded for last year. This WIP picture is old, because these babies are actually 20 minutes from being done (just need to sew ends in and graft the toes).
Once I have these finished up and blocked, I'll get a better picture and recap the yarn and pattern. It's funny, most of my sock stash is self striping or hand dyed, but I find myself really gravitating toward solids or semi-solids the last year. Goes to the point of not having a large stash, as your interests are always changing. For now, I think whipping out a few pair of vanilla socks with any of my fabulous self-striping yarn is a good idea.

I CO a pair of mittens last night as well, the Spruce Tree Mittens. I decided to make two pair of mittens for my friend and her daughter that live in Canada. It's cold up there! Since I only CO last night, there are no pictures yet, but I'm already through the ribbing of glove #1 (which is 3" long), and finished with the first few gusset increases. This pattern allegedly has an "interesting" increase section, so I'm looking forward to completing these mitts. I'd like to get these mitts and the rainbow socks and the octopus all finished up over the next few weeks, and I think that's realistic.

Summer knitting is a good thing, and something I'm going to push myself to do next year as well. It doesn't need to be a lot, just a continuation of skills/production. This summer, when I normally would not be knitting, I completed 1.5 toys, 3 hats, a cowl, and ~2 pair of socks. That's awesome! Not a ton of yardage, only ~1200 yards, but lots of FOs when there wouldn't normally be FOs. Now, to ramp that into some serious Fall/Winter/Spring knitting... ;)