Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Finishes - Yarn Edition

     I have several finishes from the past few weeks to share today. All but one are for me. And one of those might get frogged. Let's begin.

First, a picture of me wearing all the finished knits. 

     Here is the Astrid hat I mentioned on Wednesday (I'm making a cowl to match). I used leftover yarn from the cardigan I'm wearing - more information about that below. It's Cascade Venezia worsted in the Denim colourway.

Here's a picture of it flat. Great pattern. Easy to memorize. And stretchy.

     Crocheted cowl that I "designed" myself. I used the worsted skein of yarn I had bought from Turtlepurl Yarns earlier this year. It was the last one so I knew it was going to end up a hat or cowl. When I saw how wide the stripes were going to be I opted for this cowl. I used the same stitch pattern as the rainbow cat scarves but joined in the round after the first row. I crocheted until I ran out of yarn. I also love that the cowl still stands up after blocking.

      Stripey without being striped. Does that make sense? (Here is the same colourway, in sock weight, showing the stripes). I like that the colours dip into each other here. Pattern is simple; chain an even number of stitches. Make a single crochet in second chain from hook. Chain 1, skip next stitch, then single crochet in the next chain stitch, end with a single crochet. Chain 1 and turn. To join in the round I just chained one and then single crocheted in the chain 1 space at the other end, making sure not to twist. When I was finished, I used the yarn end to close up any space that remained. Second row you're making single crochet's in the Chain 1 spaces, and Chaining 1 over and skipping the single crochet's. Simple, if you know how to crochet, and great for watching TV. 

     This red scarf uses the same pattern as the cowl above. I guess when I find something I like, I use it over and over again.  This scarf will be donated. It is made out of two balls of Cascade Superwash 220, really red.

Wraps around a couple times with enough to tuck into a coat.

     And my last finish has been in all the other pictures, my Beacon Hill cardigan. Here it is with the original collar (the above pictures have a different collar). I followed the pattern and then decided the collar was big enough and didn't knit the last 20 rows. So, yeah, it was suppose to be even bigger. For me, it was just too big and too warm at the neck. My husband liked it and my daughter now admits she likes it better than what I have now, too. 

The back and sleeves are my favourite parts of this cardigan. There is a lot of collar there.

      I frogged  the collar and picked up the stitches 4 different times. I thought I was happy with this collar and reblocked the whole cardigan. But I'm still not happy. The buttons are too heavy (obviously that can change, and I am missing one at the bottom), and it forces me to have it done up all the time, or the button side hangs low. And I don't like how the collar sits at the back of my neck. I think I stretched it too much during blocking. I could block it again but... I'm not sure that is the answer.

      Back view with the latest collar. I've tried to wear it several times since I finished it and I never wear it more than a couple minutes. I feel like I'm constantly adjusting the collar so I take it off. I'm afraid this cardigan is doomed. I love the stitch pattern. And the yarn. But there's something about the cardigan that doesn't allow me to feel comfortable in it. I think I might have to frog it. I'm thinking a sweater to avoid buttons. Perhaps this Feathernest Raglan would be best? I must be crazy to even be thinking about frogging it and knitting a different sweater (and having to knit 2 more sleeves!) but I'm just not comfortable in it and don't want to wear it, as is.

Did you have any finishes this week? I'm almost done quilting the Cuzco Corners quilt, so I'm hoping to have that finished and ready to share next Friday.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

WIP Wednesday

     It's time for another edition of WIP Wednesday. I have a few knit WIP's to share this week and a quilt WIP. I've been trying to focus on just a couple projects at a time to get more finished. It's working as I have several finishes to show you this Friday.  Let's get started.

     The Flower Garden shawl has been my main knitting focus. I would like to get this finished as soon as possible. I force myself to knit several rows before doing any selfish knitting (see WIP's below). I'm on my fourth pattern repeat. There's suppose to be one more but I might add an extra repeat (24 rows) since I have enough yarn. The yarn is dark green and almost impossible to take a picture of.

I've done a few more rows of the MKAL since yesterday. Still have lots more to go for this clue.

     And one of the finishes I'll share on Friday is an Astrid hat. I still had some yarn leftover from it and the Beacon Hill cardigan so I altered the hat pattern to make an Astrid cowl. I added extra stitches and will do at least 8 pattern repeats before doing the top border. This has become my take along project since I have the pattern memorized. 

      Last week was a crazy one. I spent 20 hours working on a fundraiser at my older son's school. So, I spent the weekend trying to get in some selfish time. Saturday afternoon I had a 4 hour nap (yeah, it was pretty great) and that evening, I sewed the Cuzco Corners quilt blocks together into a quilt top. The quilt is lap size, roughly 57 x 66.5 inches. Above it is laying on our full size bed.

Love the little pops of colour on the black background.

More pops of colour.

     Today I enjoyed the afternoon sunshine in the living room and basted it. Pins are at a weird angle as I plan to quilt this with diagonal lines. I placed the pins so they won't be in my way. Or at least that's the plan. We'll see what happens when I get the quilt under the needle.

What have you been working on this week?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A New Knitting Book and MKAL time!

     I should have titled this post a Jen Lucas Designs/Knitting Like Crazy post since that is all I'm going to write about. Last month, Jen went on vacation and asked those who are part of her ravelry group to help answer any questions knitters might have while she was away. I helped answer two questions and as a thank you...
... Jen sent me this book. Totally unexpected, it arrived on my doorstep last week.

Above is the hat designed by Jen. Of course, it's my favourite from the book.

But I like this hat, too.

     And this smocked one looks fun to knit. This book arrived just in time for some holiday knitting. Thanks, Jen.

     And Jen usually does a Mystery Knit-Along (MKAL) in November. This year she moved the start date to October as some have commented that the MKAL was too close to the holidays. The first clue was released today so there is plenty of time to join. Go here to find out more.

Floyd helped wind yarn yesterday.

Hoping there is enough contrast between the two yarns.

This isn't much of a spoiler but I couldn't resist casting on today. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

WIP Wednesday

     A few WIP's to share today. This week and next are pretty busy so I'm not sure how much crafty time I will have. Hoping the second half of October calms down and I can complete projects and start new ones. Is it wrong that I'm already thinking about what I'm going to knit myself once I am done all the holiday gifts I need to make? I'm sure I'm not the only one.

       I finally kept the living room floor free of toys long enough to decide the layout of my Cuzco Corners quilt. It's a pretty simple block. Using a charm pack (of Cuzco fabric, thus the name of the quilt), I cut each charm into 2.5 inch squares, then sewed a square on each corner of a black layer cake square. I think this would also look neat with a patterned layer cake and a solid charm pack. This quilt will be a gift. And for those who don't know, a charm pack is 5 inch squares, while layer cakes are 10 inch squares. The quilt will be 6 x 7 blocks, roughly 57 x 66.5 inches finished.

     I've finished the first pattern repeat of the Flower Garden shawl and started the second. This is also a gift. 

      And 3 repeats of the Nosbonsing socks have been knit. These are going slow. I might frog them and go down a needle size as they seem a little loose.

      They've been sitting out drying for 24 hours. I'm hoping they are dry by tomorrow so I can take pictures to share here on Friday. 

What have you been working on this week?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Finishes... Kind of

      It's been a long, long week. After bragging to my sister when I talked to her on Sunday that my back seemed all better, I hurt it Monday and Thursday and today. Needless to say, I'm moving slow this week and blogging and all forms of social media have been ignored. It's not as bad as January, no pain pills really needed, but it's been a rollercoaster of feeling good then feeling bad that has me really frustrated.

      Here is my stack of finishes waiting for modeled shots. From top to bottom there are, a red scarf (for charity), a cowl (for me), Cuzco blocks finally trimmed and ironed, Beacon Hill cardigan blocked and waiting for buttons and Spin Cycle quilt blocks pieced and ironed and ready for me to decide the final layout of the quilt.

     This is as close as I got to an in progress shot. My empty cereal bowl holding yarn scraps as I wove in the ends of the Beacon Hill cardigan.

     I do have some new stash to share. Jen, of Knitting Like Crazy, gave everyone who finished something from her latest book, Cozy Stash-Busting Knits, during the KAL earlier this summer, some yarn. This is what I received and it's so soft and the colours are so me. I love it. I've already wound it and started a little something for myself with it that I hope to share soon. Details about the yarn here.

     And my prize for finishing all three Camp Loopy projects. I've been wanting a speckled yarn and I'm happy to finally have one.

      Trying to decide what to pair it with.  My daughter likes it with the variegated yarn on the left. I kind of like it with the blue on the right. Maybe I'll have to make something with all three?   

What have you been up to this week? Fingers are crossed here that next week is more crafty with less pain.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

WIP Wednesday

     Made progress on several projects this week. I started a couple new ones but almost done an old one. Several WIP's got ignored last week but hope to get back to them this week.

     Has anyone else found it harder to find the time and energy to craft with the kids back in school? I'm definitely out of the house and doing more this month, than I did all summer. Guess that is what happens when you say yes to volunteering at your kid's school. I should circle September 23rd on the calendar. That will be the first day that I will have a couple hours to myself, all the kids will be at school/preschool. It will be great. Already trying to decide what I will do that day. Yoga? Quilt? Knit and watch a movie? Read? Sleep-in? I can hardly wait.

Anyway, here's some of what I did this week.

     The quilt I pulled fabrics for last week, is coming together. Fabrics are all cut and piecing has started. Time to pause and iron before moving onto the next step. These will become a Spin Cycle quilt.

     And my Beacon Hill cardigan is almost finished. Two sleeves. Two button bands. Just working on the collar. Think I will have to go to the store this weekend to find some buttons. 

Cast on and knit the cuff of some Nosbonsing socks

      Started a Flower Garden shawl. Think this is the third time I have started this shawl and have always frogged it. Loving the colour of the yarn this time with the pattern.

     I need to finish these up as Jen announced her Mystery KAL today. It starts October 7th. Need to decide what stash I will use and get it ready.

What have you been working on this week?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Some Quilts and a Knit

I have a few WIP's to share this week. 
     I'm not even sure when I started this quilt. Either last year or the beginning of this one.This will be a snowman wall hanging,  - just keep reading to find out more. I had almost 2 rows quilted before I set it aside for months. I finished it yesterday. (Found it - started it last December.)

Close-up of all those pebbles. I'm considering them snowballs for this quilt.

      And the whole inspiration for this quilt came after I bought a set of carrot noses and black buttons to make snowmen. Originally, I had enough buttons to give every snowman a carrot nose and two eyes. But I think the bigger ones need smiles, so I need to buy more buttons. Above they are just placed, not sewn on yet.

I got 6 carrot noses sewn on yesterday. This might take me a few weeks to finish.

The second sleeve of my Beacon Hill cardigan is coming along. 

Pulled fabrics for another quilt yesterday. Hope to iron and cut them today.

      I put a charity quilt under the needle yesterday, too. It's nice to do some free-motion stippling after making all those little snowballs. This is the 2 inch quilt top I finished earlier this year. Hope to get several charity quilts finished before the end of the year. 

What have you been working on this week?

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