WIP Wednesday: October 31st

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Sorry about the poor quality of WIP Wednesday photos, it is really dark here in the morning.

Last week, I had a few more projects on the needles, but I finished the Pomatomus socks and I decided to hibernate my crocheted stole in preparation for KAL Chaos.

This leaves (from left to right):

  •  Thyme – I have made it through the main body and first lace repeat, just three more and a knitted on edge
  • Hello Sweetie – This is going to be my purse project for the next little while, these should be quick but they just haven’t been at the top of the to do list.
  • Too Cool for My Socks – Finally got the toes knit on these, but they are going into hibernation until I finish my TFA KAL socks and Hello Sweetie.  I would like to have them finished by the end of the year.
  • Rockberry Triangle – Through the 3 charts, but really only one section (stitch pattern). As a worsted weight shawl, it really shouldn’t be that much longer. I’m not hibernating it, but maybe lowering it down the list.

So, tomorrow I will be casting on for the TFA KAL projects and then not long after I will be starting the other KAL projects.

 

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FO: Forest Baby Flying Duck Hat and Mitties

So several weeks after asking the question “What to Knit for a Baby Boom” I am starting to get some answers.  You have seen what I came up with, the Legwarmies and Vertabrae combo and now the Duckie Sweater and today’s matching pieces, a hat and mitties.

These little projects were unplanned bonuses, after finishing up the Duckie Sweater with nearly 50g of yarn remaining I thought a hat and mitties would be perfect for the remnants. After finishing up both I still have about 15yds remaining, so I managed to get a nice gift set out of a single skein of DK weight.  And with DK being such a good option across some of my favorite hand dyers dyers, Tanis (Yellow Label), madelinetosh (tosh DK or tosh merino DK for a single) and SweetGeorgia Yarns (Superwash DK), and they all happen to be superwash which can make life so much easier for new moms and dads (or whoever gets the short straw and has to do laundry).

So I would say that I have a good answer to my question about what to knit for babies, I enjoy making little sweaters, but not from fingering weight and legwarmies and mitties are a great way to bust some stash without committing to something too large.  I will wait to hear back from new mom about what was the best part and what can be improved upon.

– Details –

Project Name: Forest Baby Flying Ducky Hat AND  Forest Baby Mitties

Pattern: Aviatrix Baby Hat by Justine Turner of Just Jussi AND Baby Mitts by Susan B. Anderson for Spud Says!

Recipient: Forest Baby

Yarn: SweetGeorgia Yarns Superwash DK in Tourmaline

Modifications:

  • Mitties – Did 1×1 rib to match the sweater and hat

New Skills:

  • Hat – Overlapping shortrows (ie. eating up some gaps while still creating more), I am not certain I did them correctly but the baby will be cute enough no one will notice.

Feedback:

  • Yarn – As seen in my effusive praise on the sweater I am a HUGE fan of the yarn and the color and am excited to use some of the other SweetGeorgia in my stash.
  • Patterns – Both were fine, although the Hat pattern seemed needlessly complex in places.  I don’t love the hat but I will be on the look out for other helmet shaped hats.  The mitties were straight forward but the pattern made it easier.

Re-Knit?:  Probably not the hat, it was more fiddly than I would like but the mitties are cute but seem super small, I will find out how much too small when the baby is born and I will modify the pattern accordingly.

FO: Opal Burnham

This project is a combination of a few of my favorite things, KnitPicks Palette for mittens and a Brooklyn Tweed pattern.

When the LOFT Collection came out from Brooklyn Tweed this fall, I dropped my plans to get my Woodland Winter Mitts done on schedule in order to jump these up the queue.

While they didn’t turn out exactly the way I had pictured them in my mind, they are really, really nice. Stranded colorwork mittens are one of the things I quite enjoy, they are warm and fun.

– Details –

Project Name: Opal Burnham

Pattern: Burnahm by Leila Raabe in the LOFT Collection

Recipient: Me

Yarn: KnitPicks Palette in Opal Heather and Cream

Modifications:

  • Adapted needle size to get gauge

New Skills:

  • Latvian Braid, Sorta.  I had used them on my Bevo Hat almost two years ago, but I had to relearn how to make them for this project.

Feedback:

  • Yarn: As I have said before Palette is a great yarn, I know it gets a bad rap for being scratchy, but it comes in 120 colors and is durable as all get out making it perfect for stranded colorwork in things like mittens.  Also it is crazy cost effective.
  • Pattern: The charts are clear and the overal visual appearance of the pattern is fantastic.

Re-Knit?: Probably not, although my mom was drooling over these mitts so if I want go back to it I might make a pair for her.

FO: Dad’s Christmas Mittens

The hat was knitted for my dad by my sister.

Generally, I find knitted gifts a poor decision, it is so easy to invest too much time and energy in something that is at best unappreciated and at worst hated.  However, with my father back in Canada for the winter mittens are always appreciated.

My Oma, his mother, was a talented knitter, and although she didn’t teach me (her hands and mind weren’t their best when I wanted to learn) I have many of her tools in my stash.  She knitted in rough wools and crunchy acrylics, so he hasn’t always loved knitting, but hopefully the fantastic soft and beautiful Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label will sway him to the dark side.

Now that Christmas morning is past us, I can report that he likes the mitts (and even more the hat my sister made for him in matching yarn).

– Details –

Project Name: Dad’s Christmas Mitts

Pattern: My Own (built from the Fried Chicken Mitts) but with similar mods to my Winter Sunshine Mitts

Recipient: Dad

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label in Olive

Modifications:

  • Knitted two at a time (and amended pattern to work that way)
  • Knitted two thumbs at the same time (and amended pattern to work that way)
  • Adapted gauge and size
  • Changed top to paired “flat” decreases rather than spiral decreases
  • Used kitchener stitch on the top instead of a gather.

New Skills:

  • The desire to start writing patterns
  • Two at a time thumbs

Feedback:

  • Yarn: The twist is very tight, which makes it abrasion resistant but also a bit odd to use as a center pull ball.
  • Pattern: Same issues as last time, but this time I think I wrote my mods in such a way that I can make my own default mitten pattern

Re-Knit?: Yep, but with my own mods.  I am interested in writing up a mitten pattern based on my experiences making these mittens.

WIP Wednesday: November 30th

Hint, there used to be stripes.

While I have been doing some fibery things, the real WIP this week has been the upstairs rooms.  I will take more photos (the sun is out for the first time in days, but I don’t think I will be home in time to get pictures in the daylight), but here is a sneak peek at some of the work we have been doing to the house.

Also, I am getting some work on done on my blanket and finally got started on my Burnham Mittens.  Also my wheel has been for a spin recently, I’m working on a wild colored batt I got from bohoknitterchic this fall, as part of her club.

FO: October Mittens

When the Woodland Winter Kit came out from KnitPicks last winter I knew I had to get it.  Up until very recently, KnitPicks kits were a one time deal, the patterns were exclusive to the kits and they only exist in limited quantities.  Only the most beloved kits are re-colored and re-released.  So I snatched this one up with the intention of knitting up all the mittens this summer and being ready for fall.

However, I went through a bit of a knitting slump this summer and Palette, with all its rough and sheepy charm was not the thing for summer knitting. As soon as the air started to cool and I was wearing my Endpaper Mitts all day, every day I knew it was time to start the first of many pairs of Palette mittens for the fall and winter.

There are a total of six pairs of mittens (and enough yarn to make all of them) in the kit and I intend to have each pair done before the end of the month they are named for, wish me luck!

P.S. The kit was made available again this winter (in the soft palette I have, and a new bright palette, using black as the background color).  Also, you can get it as a download now, in case you don’t find Palette as wonderful as I do and want to sub in a different yarn.

Project Name: October Mittens

Pattern: October in the Woodland Winter Mitten Kit by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence.

Recipient: Me

Yarn:  KnitPicks Palette in Bittersweet Heather, Thicket, Camel Heather, Almond, Cornmeal, Green Tea Heather, and Celadon Heather

Modifications:

  • On the right mitten I made the thumb larger by picking up two stitches across the gap and ssk/k2tog after about three rounds

New Skills:

  • None

Feedback: Nice charts, but the thumbs are a bit skinny for me.  For the upcoming months I will make the thumbs 2 to 4 stitches larger to accomodate my shapely thumbs.

Re-Knit?: Yes and no, I will be making the remaining five pairs of mittens but the October chart is far from my favorite.

On Autumn and Knitting Plans

This is what it looked like at work on Sunday morning ... yes, there are some perks to my job.

The weather is starting to change here, and while I know we will have at least two more blasts of summer, you can tell that Winter is Coming (and no I haven’t read A Song of Fire and Ice, yet) by the chill in the air.  After getting practically nothing knit this summer (okay I did get some knitting done, but I miss how much knitting I was getting done when I was marginally employed, although I couldn’t afford yarn), I went through and reordered my queue, because my knitting bug is back with a vengence.

Unlike my sister, who plans her knitting projects around the seasons, I am a bit more random (we are a perfect examples of a product knitter and a process knitter).  However, now that fall is on our doorstep I am starting focus a bit more on getting through my queue and turning my closet of wool into wearable objects, because right now it is only giving me a mental warm fuzzy feeling not a physical one.

So here is what we have next, however this is subject to change pending the release of jaw dropping new patterns, like the ones in the Fall 2011 Brooklyn Tweed LookBook (which just about knocked my socks off when it came out a couple of weeks ago.

I want to make this scarf/shawl, it is #6 on the queue so not quite yet.

Seeing as how I have been slacking at WIP Wednesdays, I do have a project on the needles, it is the Thundercloud Cowl by Snowden Becker, however since I only have one skein of KnitPicks Aloft, it will be shorter than the pattern describes.

Also on my needles, just barely, is the first half of the October Pair of the Woodland Winter Mittens.  This kit contains enough KnitPicks Palette to make six pairs of mittens, themed for the months of October to March.  They are fun colorwork mittens and they have been sitting in my stash since last January. I am planning on keeping on adding the next months pair to my queue till I get them all done.  I know many people find Palette to be evil, scratchy and felty, I however find it warm, lofty, soft and felty. For me the felty nature of palette helps make the mittens warmer and more windproof, something you need here year round, but most critically in the winter.

So, here is my list.  You all can keep me honest now that I have confessed my fall knitting plans.

After that, I am going to try and finish off the KnitPick Comfy Sport stash I picked up and turned about half into My First Crocheted Blanket.  I am going to make a baby sweater and possibly (depending on what is left) matching hat and baby socks/booties.  I am going to use the Playtime Colors Pattern, because it was designed for KP Shine (Cotton/Modal) Sport, which is quite similar to KP Comfy (although the Modal will give more shine and drape than Acrylic will).  Also, it uses multiple colors, which is good, because I need to get this moved out of my stash.  The Comfy is a nice yarn, but I do prefer wools and future baby things will probably be made out of superwash wool, rather than cotton.  The other reason for doing this pattern is that it uses a more complex sweater construction than the top-down seamless cardigan I made last fall.  I may want to start knitting garments at some point (because I will reach a point where I have enough mitts, hats, cowls and socks to keep me happy for a good long while), and making small garments is a good way to try out some new skills.

After that, another pair of Palette Mittens.  This time Strago by Jared Flood.  I have had this pattern in my queue for a while, but there is something about fall that makes me want to have an obscene number of mittens, and again Palette because it is versatile, cheap (or was when I bought it) and warm. I think this color work will be a nice change from the more involved Woodland Winter Mittens, that will be dotting up all winter.

So, after warming my hands (and some mystery, yet to be born child) I think it will be time for a hat.  Capucine has been in my queue since I first saw it being knit by Phat Fiber folks. It seems like an ideal hat for me in the winter, because I prefer earflaps on my hats, but I look insane if I wear an earflap hat, so hopefully this cap, along with the Lara pattern from the Twist Collective last winter will fit well  and look good on me.  The yarn for this comes from a local fiber producer.  I used the same stuff on a Mobeus Cowl for my Mom last winter, and while it is scratchy (it is farm fresh wool), I think the pattern will leave room for lining if needed.

Guess it is time for the November’s Woodland Winter Mittens.  Not much to say here, but I sure hope I like these patterns, because there are another four pairs after this one.

Finally, some crochet.  I loved making the Baby Blanket and watching Carla make her hexagons, so I thought I need to crochet more often.  Initially I had bought the tosh DK I am using for this to make a large triangle shawl, however, I don’t wear triangle shawls, at all., I love crescent shawls and stoles, but traditional triangle shawls aren’t for me.  So instead I found the pattern for this Calm Cowl (cowls being one of my favorite things to knit or wear). I am excited to crochet with a nice yarn and make something larger than a hexagon.

So those are my next five projects (not including the two already on the needles), hopefully I will have some finished objects to start showing off soon.

P.S.  If you are on Ravelry, feel free to come check out my live Queue, it is always changing, but I do have some awesome stuff planned (and for most of them I already have yarn, yikes).