Wednesday, November 30, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Gift-Making

On Monday, I made a list of everything I would like to make by the end of the year and...Yikes! I need to prioritize and finish up the things I have on the needles. I had some travel time this past week so I have a couple finishes for Friday and some good progress to share today.
The Side Squiggles sweater is just a couple inches away from needing sleeves.

Sock is ready for a heel.

My two older children have started to knit washcloths for gifts. My 10 year old son's washcloth is at the top of the picture. 14 year old daughter's is at the bottom. Both with mistakes but made with love and will be very appreciated.

Making some gift bags. Think I need to buy some ribbon for them this weekend. And then finish up some gifts to put in them.

And I couldn't resist some selfish knitting once I saw this new pattern this week. A great way to use up sock yarn leftovers.

And, it's the end of November and NaNoWriMo. I didn't finish this year. I don't think I wrote more than 3,000 words. The story was just too depressing and I couldn't handle writing it, right now. However, I did spend time this month learning about designing my own website and trying to convince myself I can do it. And I've been researching a project for 2017. Not sure yet if I'm going to do it or not, need to do more thinking and research.

What have you been working on this week?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday Finishes - 3 Shawls!

Hope everyone who celebrates had a good Thanksgiving yesterday. And I hope to do a little shopping today, then I'll be watching Gilmore Girls with my daughter. Very excited! 

Anyway, I'm finally getting around to posting these shawls today. They have been finished for a while but getting modeled pictures taken just kept being forgotten. Let's get to it.

Flower Garden shawl. Pattern by Jen Lucas of Knitting Like Crazy. I picked this yarn (knit picks Stroll sock yarn in the Forest Heather colourway) and pattern the night my mom called to say she had lung cancer. We now know it wasn't cancer but a slightly rare infection but she still had part of her lung removed last month- which helped with the clear diagnosis and saved her from endless tests while they tried to figure it out. She will now be taking medication for four months to try and kill the infection completely. I knew I wanted to knit her something that would stay on her shoulders while she rested, watched tv or read. I've had it finished for a while but didn't want to post it until she received it. I'm actually wearing a tank top and shorts in the modeled photos.

It's nice and light, but provides that extra bit of warmth you sometimes need when your upper half is covered by the warmth of a quilt on the couch.

Sits nicely on the shoulders. I still need a picture of my mom using it.

Nice, simple pattern was quick to knit up. Think it would be fun in a worsted weight yarn. Then it would be perfect for sitting outside on cool evenings.

Close-up of the flower border detail.

Bradway shawl. Pattern by Shannon of Very Shannon. A worsted weight shawl, it is so warm and comfy. It will be hard to put this one under the tree for somebody else next month, but I will. Can you tell I have plans to make myself a nice, warm, worsted weight shawl soon? Once the Christmas knitting is complete... one is going on the needles for me.

It was really cold when we took these pictures.

So warm! Love it.

I haven't taken measurements but the shawl is huge. 

Love the colours. Yarn is Cascade 220 but I don't know which colours. I thought I bought them at The Loopy Ewe but I can't find them in my order history. I was a little unsure about using two dark colours but I was trying to use stash and not buy yarn. I think the blue/teal really helps. I added a few extra garter rows in the last section since I was trying to use up all the yarn and I wanted the shawl to have more colour. I then knit one brown row before binding off with the brown. Think the dark colour on the edge really helped define it.

A texture pic.

And last, but certainly not least. Another shawl designed by Jen. This was her MKAL this fall. I don't think the shawl has an official name yet. I ended up making a few mods to this pattern since the one clue was causing me a lot of trouble. Go here to see what the shawl is actually suppose to look like. I think I like mine better.

All wrapped up.

Ended up being a fairly long shawl.

Detail shot. Even with aggressive blocking, my points didn't stay pointy. Got an almost ruffley edge which is okay. Wish they had stayed a little pointy.

Have you finished anything this week? I have a quilt to share next week and I'm close to finishing several other projects. Guess I better go watch some Gilmore Girls and get them done.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WIP Wednesday

I've been making good progress on three WIP's this week. 

This is a test-knit I am doing for Sarah of Imagined Landscapes. Her designs have great texture. I am past the halfway point and now that I am decreasing stitches it seems to be knitting up a little quicker. Wait until you see what happens to the bottom edge once it's complete. I'm nervous but it should be fun.

Pocket on the Side Squiggles sweater for my older son is now attached to the body of the sweater. Still have several inches to knit before I have to make the sleeves. Thinking on making one now. I wonder if that will help me get the sleeves done faster?

And the socks have seen a little attention this week. I am now onto the second green section (I actually got to the next purple section since taking this picture). I realized this week that I wanted to have 3 pairs of socks knit for gifts this year. This is the second sock of the first pair. I need to get them finished and start the next pair.

What have you been working on this week? Come back Friday as I have 3 finished shawls to share.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Making Felt Ornaments

Yesterday, my daughter and I hunkered down and made some ornaments using felt while we got our first snow.

Here are our four little ornaments waiting for us to put up the tree.

My daughter made the bell and stocking. The bell will be given to a cousin but the stocking will go on our tree. She says she made the lines on the stocking "jaunty" on purpose.

I made the tree and owl. The owl eyes are a little off centre but overall it was fun. 
I still have a ton of felt leftover (and I mean a ton), so I see more felt creations in my future. 

The tree and stocking templates can be found here. And the owl template was from a book, but there is a online tutorial here that is similar.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Casting on all the things

There are several new WIP's this week as crazy me decided not to finish anything before I cast on a few new projects. 

My desk is crazy. I've been doing most of my knitting here and I move from project to project. Let's see if I can identify the chaos. The green yarn is for a shawl I am test-knitting. Don't know why I said yes as it needs to be finished by December 4th. I started it with a different yarn but didn't like how it looked so I am starting over with the green yarn. The light blue across the top is my Beacon Hill cardigan becoming yarn cakes again. I bit the bullet and started frogging it. It's taken almost all of my patience to unweave the ends. The black blob at the bottom is a super bulky cardigan I cast on for myself for some unknown reason. This yarn had been a bulky sweater that I never wore. I'm hoping I'll like it more as a cardigan. Who knows. And the teal on the right is my older son's Christmas sweater. Another Side Squiggles to match the one I knit Floyd this summer.

Here's a closer look at the Side Squiggles sweater. The pocket is hanging down in the picture above.

And here it is up. I have about 10 more rows before I join the pocket to the sweater. 

A slightly closer look at the super bulky cardigan, Camille. The model on the cover of the magazine seems to like it.

And some sad WIP's that are still hanging around, is this second sock that sits near me everyday, ignored.

And the boomerang shawl that got forgotten while I worked on the Mystery KAL shawl.

Speaking of the Mystery KAL shawl. It and the Bradway shawl are dry and waiting for their pretty pictures to be taken to share on Friday.

What have you been working on this week? Have you had a case of startitis this week, too?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Blocking Day!

Well, last week seemed like a good week to take off from blogging and just craft. Today I'm back with a couple finished knits that are finally being blocked. Both were finished last week but I didn't get them blocked until today. Hopefully they'll be dry and have some nicer pictures of them taken to share on Friday.

Here are the two shawls that have been patiently waiting. Top is the MKAL shawl designed by Jen of Knitting Like Crazy. The bottom shawl is Bradway, designed by Shannon of Very Shannon. Bradway is a Christmas present, while I might keep the MKAL shawl for myself. Still waiting to hear what Jen will call this shawl design so for now it is the MKAL shawl.

The MKAL shawl needed a lot of blocking wires and pins to take shape. Should be lovely once it's dry. Apologies for the lighting in the blocking photos. Our bedroom doesn't have the best lighting when things are on the floor.

Bradway shawl much easier to block. No pins or wires. Just straightened it out and am hoping it dries quickly. It is worsted weight yarn and really sucked up the water during it's bath. A nice, warm shawl for winter.

What have you been up to the past week?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

WIP Wednesday - 2 Shawls and a Novel

Only a couple knits to share this week as I have mainly been working on two shawls. The last clue of  Jen's Mystery KAL was released yesterday. But Clue 3 and I didn't really get along last week, which caused me to frog some of the shawl and rework clue 2. 

Last Wednesday, I shared a picture of the shawl with leaf tips at the end of clue 2. Clue 3 involved picking up stitches on the wrong side of the shawl and making an "undershawl" beneath the leaves, so the leaves would be left loose. I tried a couple times and even after starting with the correct number of stitches, by the end of the first row of the first chart worked in Clue 3, my stitches were off. It got frustrating. I will pick up 300+ stitches only so many times before I give up and find another way. So I undid all 25 leaf tips. Lucky for me I had only wove in the ends of 5 of them so the first 20 were easy. The last five, I had to unpick the ends which caused the rows below them to begin to unravel, and well... I had to frog the shawl to the middle blue line you see above, between the two green sections. I reknit Clue 2, doing option 2 which didn't have leaf tips, but instead worked lace between the leaves. Originally, everyone was suppose to cast-off after clue 2 and pick up stitches for Clue 3, but I changed that. I added in some garter rows after clue 2 (the blue and green rows on top of the leaf  row), then did the last chart of Clue 3, which is the blue section on the needles. (sorry to any non-knitters who are totally confused right now).

A closer look at the leaves and garter rows.

Now I am onto the final clue. It's a bunch of garter rows before doing an I-cord bind off, which I've never done before. I admit, I kind of like my alterations compared to the original pattern so I'm not too upset that my shawl is different. There are over 500 stitches on the needles right now so it's hard to tell what it really looks like. Or how big it will be. Hope to have it off the needles by this weekend.

And last week, I got an email from my sister-in-law saying a shawl I had knit her got accidentally shrunk in the wash and asked if I could knit her a new one. I had the above yarn in my stash, which is the same brand as the old shawl, and cast on a Bradway shawl. Working with worsted weight yarn knits up so quickly. Loving the texture.

I made myself a wrist rest this weekend so I can write more at my desk instead of the couch.
And it's November, which means NaNoWriMo. I wasn't going to write a novel, since I had just finished writing one in August and have been trying to edit it. I looked through my notebook of novel ideas and nothing really jumped out at me. Then I looked at the ideas I had written down for the book series I had started with the novel "Lucy" written during Camp NaNoWriMo in 2012. And I started thinking I should have 2 books written and edited before trying to get the first published and so I made some notes about the second book and started writing yesterday morning. Wrote over 2,000 words while still in my pajamas. But, the novel is much darker than anything I have ever written before and I'm not sure I can keep that up for a month. It's kind of depressing to write. I'm thinking I might write the ending next so I know that my character has a happy ending, despite how crappy her life will be for most of the novel. We'll see. 

What have you been working on? Have you ever done NaNoWriMo? Or want to do it? It's not too late to start.


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