FO: Thyme

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Doing FO posts has been a staple for me since I started this blog, however I haven’t written one in 2013, despite finishing 13 projects, and two yarns, so far this year.  I’ve been finding the prospect of writing all those posts mightily overwhelming and so this will be the last FO post in this complete style I will be posting for a while.  I’m going to do some combined project posts, some mostly-photos posts and some of my usual blogging to get through my project backlog.  The only reason that this and the Tokyo Cream Cowl post, which went up earlier today, were formatted like this was because they were done back in December & January.

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Another challenge I was having with my FO posts was the fact that I live in Ontario, the big windows in my apartment face north.  Which means there is very little direct sunlight with which to photograph my knits and that light is almost non-existant when I’m home (eg. evenings).

So this shawl, which I finished in December and I have been wearing happily ever since, only got photographed this past week, now that the days are getting longer and we are having more sunny days.  SO the lace isn’t as perfectly stretched as it was after it’s blocking, but it looks as pretty to me as when it was first finished.

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– Details –

Project Name: Thyme

Pattern: Flukra by Gudrun Johnston from The Shetland Trader

Recipient: Mine, mine, all mine

Yarn: madelinetosh Tosh Lace in Thyme

Modifications:

  • None – I actually followed the pattern.

New Skills:

  • Shetland Shawl Construction – The center garter triangle is an interesting way to create a shawl and helps break up the monotony of shawl knitting by changing the direction fairly regularly.
  • True Garter Lace – The way the lace section works you are essentially doing garter lace (rather than stockinette) and the patterning is on every row.
  • Knitted on Border – LOVE IT!  As someone who has issues with tight bind offs the knitted on border is kind of genius and I will be seeking out other shawls that use this technique

Feedback:

  • Yarn – This Tosh lace has been hanging over my head for a while, I first wound it into a ball almost 2 years and I made at least 3 attempts to knit it into the first pattern I picked.  However, after getting a chance to actually knit it, I really enjoy the yarn.
  • Pattern – The pattern was great.  There are some tricky parts the pattern (mostly the Shetland construction that I wasn’t familiar with) and the pattern gives all the information I needed to finish the pattern. I’m very excited to try more of her patterns, including more shawls.

Re-Knit?: No, but I have a very similar pattern by Gudrun in my queue and am on the lookout for a nice yarn to make it out of.

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FO: Colors and Stripes

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I find that my loom is a perfect palette cleanser.  I haven’t spent much time getting fancy with my weaving, so for it is mostly plain weave on my little loom.  It’s like meditation to me, the constant rythym of up and down, back and forth gets me to a spot in my brain that I don’t seem to find with knitting, which I use to challenge me and to make increasingly complex items.

I like having a project on my loom, however I find that once I sit down at my loom I don’t find I get up until the item is finished.

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This scarf was a bit of a surprise, the warp looked great, then as I wefted with the yellow (the same yellow used in the warp stripe) it looked terrible, and like it was all yellow.  But when I cut it off the loom and washed it it magically became something really quite special.

– Details –

Project Name: Colors and Stripes

Draft/Warping Plan: I started warping with the darker purple till I ran out, then I did four ends of yellow and then warped the remainder of the loom with the lighter purple.

Recipient: The Box

Yarn: KnitPicks Palette in Iris Heather (dark purple), Pennyroyal (light purple) and Cornmeal (yellow)

Modifications:

  • None

New Skills:

  • None

Feedback:

  • Yarn: Palette has such great colors and softens nicely with a good soak, but I won’t be sad to see the last of the Palette from the Woodland Winter Mitts from two years ago.
  • Draft: I’m really happy with the warping plan I was able to make up as I was setting up the loom.  I’m really enjoying learning how to use colors by weaving scarves like this.

Re-Weave?: Yeppers, but it won’t be like this one, but using what I have on hand and figuring out how to make the colors work in my favor.

FO: Apricot Scrubber

Apricot Scrubbers

I wanted to learn something new, and thankfully for someone like me who lives in the middle of nowhere who can’t take classes at an LYS, Craftsy exists. I enrolled in the Tunisian Crochet class with Jennifer Hanson (Stitch Diva) and while I can’t see it as my primary craft, I enjoyed Tunisian Crochet and Jennifer is an excellent teacher.

This is my swatch/washcloth, and I’m already planning my next project, because I want to make sure I keep knowing how to do it.

– Details –

Project Name: Apricot Scrubber

Pattern: Tunisian Crochet Spa Cloth by Jennifer Hanson for Craftsy

Recipient: The Box/not sure yet

Yarn: Paton Grace in Apricot

Modifications:

  • None, I figured I should follow the rules when learning a new technique

New Skills:

  • Tunisian Simple Stitch
  • Tunisian Knit Stitch
  • Tunisian Purl Stitch
  • Tunisian Crochet

Feedback:

  • Yarn – Thank goodness I’m finally done with this yarn, it has been hanging over me since I started knitting in 2007.
  • Pattern – Jennifer is an excellent teacher and the Craftsy platform is an interesting way to distance learn techniques

Re-Crochet?: Nope, but I will keep going with these techniques to learn more about it

FO: Fling Scarf

Sometimes a project is more than a project, when many hands are on a project it can make things more fun, in this case, this scarf got woven on by quite a few people at indigodragonfly’s Haliburton Highlands Fling back in August.  I brought along my Cricket loom to expose more people to the fun of Rigid Heddle weaving.

As someone who has trouble with knitting stranded colorwork, I find that weaving is my way to play with colors and combinations, and in this case highlighting (and using up) some multi and tonal colorways from a local fiber vendor.

I think this one is going to the gift box, it is really nice, but a girl only needs so many scarves.

– Details –

Project Name: Fling Scarf

Draft: Plain Weave

Recipient: The Box

Yarn: Pondering Rock Farms Bulky in “Eggplant and Grass” and “Ochre” (The colorways are unnamed but these seemed fitting

Modifications: None, just a plain weave scarf (which I love making)

New Skills: I got to teach some people about weaving on a rigid heddle loom, which is new to me!

Feedback:

  • Yarn: Its rough and rustic, but I love the way the two colors play together.
  • Draft: Oh plain weave, how I love you.

Re-Weave?: Yeppers, pairing a multi with a solid makes for a great looking scarf.

FO: It’s Sunny Being a Kid

Ahh, plain vanilla socks, they are great knitting a comforting friend in times of stress and boredom and with with stripe-y Felici they become something greater than just vanilla socks.

I have been enjoying working with Felici, I have made 2 other pairs of Felici socks (Groovy and Recess) and I wore them all winter.  While I have enjoyed the pattern I was working, I wanted to try different heels, and when I ran across the garter short-row heel of the Up + Down Socks in Simply Sockupied eMag (which as a side note is a great publication for learning basic sock stuff and a great format) I was sold.  However it has a short-row toe and wasn’t designed to be two-at-a-time so I decided to hijack the heel and act like old Frankenstein and make myself a hybrid/mutant sock.

I think this, with a modified slightly more roomy heel that I just figured out yesterday, might be my new go to vanilla sock.

In addition to being awesome, these are my May entry to my Year of Socks. I have a pair of patterned socks on the go, but with my lacy test knit cowl (that I hope will be released soon-ish), a crocheted cowl, some handspun yarn and two woven scarves, I’m only on the leg repeats of the patterned socks right now.  So these will be my May socks and hopefully I will get my patterned pair done for June.

– Details –

Project Name: It’s Sunny Being a Kid

Pattern: Proto-Casserole Socks (a plain sock pattern I have been designing), but are a hybrid of the Up+Down Socks and the Kid Stuff

Recipient: Me

Yarn: KnitPicks Felici Sport in Sunny Day, a 2011 Color

Modifications:

  • Well, these are hybrid socks, so I took the toe and leg from the Kid Stuff and the heel from Up+Down Socks.

New Skills:

  • Short Row Heel: LOVE IT!  I find that the arch/instep fit more tightly than a heel flap sock.
  • Garter Short Rows: LOVE IT TOO!  I’m finding myself more and more in love with Garter Stitch, I may feel differently about Garter Short Rows after I make my own Color Infection Affection Shawl

Feedback:


  • Yarn: Felici Sport is one of my favorite yarns, it makes for interesting plain socks and is so soft and wonderful. No knots or big jumps in this one, so that is a good thing.
  • Pattern:  I want to make the heel cup bigger, and I have my proof of concept so my next pair will have deeper short-row garter heels.

Re-Knit?: Yep, next pair is already on the needles and I have an impressively large stash of Felici.

FO: Cranberry Juice Does a Slayer Good

Isn’t it amazing when a pattern and yarn comes together in a perfect storm of knitting perfection.  For me the combination of a sock designed with a vampire slayer in mind and a yarn that is delightfully bloody in color (if not in name) was just perfect.

It does seem fitting that I use one of the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Color club yarns with a Glenna C. pattern to make socks, as it was the March 2011 shipment of the club that inspired me to finally make socks.  When the Marching On Socks, which paired Glenna C.’s fun bobble-y sock pattern with TFA Purple Label in a color that is perfectly named Clover arrived I realized that socks weren’t lame (and so ridiculous as SmartWool socks were the best thing going), but rather totally awesome little canvasses to try out amazing stitch patterns and to wear art every day.  I remember reading Glenna’s blog post over a year ago where she talked about how her sock drawer was filled with handknit socks and how happy it made her, and I thought, how silly why would anyone want handknit socks when you could have a drawer full of SmartWool socks.

Now I know why.  And I look forward to wearing my handknit socks every week, and at the rate I am going I will be replacing a good number of my SmartWools with handknit socks, which is very exciting.

– Details –

Project Name: Cranberry Juice Does a Slayer Good

Pattern: Staked by Glenna C. for the Indigodragonfly: Smart-Ass Knitters/World Domination 1 Skein Club

Recipient: Me

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in Cranberry (YIC November 2011)

Modifications:

  • Shortened the leg, my calves are really quite large and I would rather err on the side of too short rather than too tall (and not able to stay up)

New Skills:

  • One at a time Socks – And I need to get a second set of needles so I can at least work on them in parallel, getting one done and then having to start the second so didn’t work for me.
  • Cable without cable needle – Not the first time for this skill but this one really solidified the skill for me.  My fave tutorial is Glenna’s which you can check out here.

Feedback:

  • Yarn: As always TFA Blue Label is TFA Blue Label, a good yarn in a great color.  No pooling and a touch of attractive striping that doesn’t distract from the knitting.
  • Pattern: A great pattern, there is a bit of a hiccup in the size L left foot chart but if you follow your gut (decreasing on the inside and increasing on the outside) everything works out exactly as it did for the right foot. I understand there are new charts in the works, so don’t be discouraged, just patient.  I appreciated that Glenna had done a proper set of charts for each size (rather than greying out stitches to knit or not depending on size) and the full page of stitch info (including on how to cable without a cable needle).  The file was quite a few pages but they all seemed useful.  Also she made it for both Magic Loop/2 Circ knitters as well as DPN knitter, the best of both worlds.

Re-Knit?:  Probably not, so many socks so little time.  When they wear out and I have gone through my queue they may pop up again.

FO: Peaches, Theatre and Christmas

Peaches: Peachy Keen, DK (11 wpi), 55g, 70yd. Worsted Spun, Chain Plyed. My second chain plyed yarn.

Theatre: On Broadway, Sport (12wpi), 65g, 120yds. Worsted Spun, Two Ply. Was my first balanced yarn, needed very little blocking to hang straight.

Christmas: Orchid Christmas Twine, Worsted (9wpi), 40g, 40yd. Woolen spun, Chain Plyed. This is the inside of the orchid batt, and it was my first chain plyed yarn.

FO: Endpaper Mitts

There are quite a few knitting patterns out there, like the February Lady Sweater, Clapotis, Monkey  & Jaywalker Socks that have been made by so many Ravelers, that they feel like a must-knit. The Endpaper Mitts were for me one of those uber-popular patterns that I needed to try myself. I have found myself with a terrifyingly large stash of KnitPicks Palette yarn, a fingering weight two-ply peruvian wool yarn that comes in 100 colors. As it comes in many colors and is not the softest wool ever milled (as I learned from my Chevalier Mitts, it wears well and felts like a champ) it is ideal for colorwork.   To me, and the 762 other people who have done the same, Palette seemed the ideal yarn for the project.

So I started swatching, and swatching and swatching.  So either I am the tightest knitter than ever lived or something was different about my swatch, because I ended up using US 6 (4mm) needles for the body and US 2 .5 (3mm) needles for the ribbing.  That is a full millimeter difference between my needles and recommended needles.  Either way, it means I will never have to buy needles of the multiple 0 varieties (ie. 00, 000, 0000).

Project Name: Endpaper Mitts

Pattern: Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang

Recipient: Me

Yarn: KnitPicks Palette in Merlot Heather and Cream

Modifications:

  • Used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Cast-On and Bind-Off instead of the Italian Tubular method.

New Skills:

  • This was only my second go at stranded colorwork, so it still feels like a new skill.

Feedback: This is such a classic pattern, and I know that it is on an archived website, but for something that is so popular it would be easier to read.

Re-Knit?: Probably, as I have lots of Palette, but I will use one of the other charts that have been designed for the pattern.