Saturday, May 30, 2009

Summer is time for challenges

Sure, there are plenty of little challenges throughout the year all across the board. 52 projects in 52 weeks, 52 socks in 52 weeks, project spectrum, Holiday make-along, year in a blanket, actually..I'm not even going to bother listing them all there are soo many. But there seems to be an even bigger amount of challenges that take place just during the summer, the one I chose for myself this year was a given to anyone who knows me. It's the Battlestar Galactica Fleet Power Battle over on Ravelry. It has everything for me, it combines my three favourite things. My fantical love for BSG (and how I have to fill the void somehow now that it is over) making things (in this case, knitting) and a good challenge. And when I mean good challenge, I mean goooood. Teams, points, prizes, everything. I love rankings, I love points, I love stats. I love it all. So for the next three months, most of my projects will revolve around this lovely challenge.

The first briefing was to make something for a pet, because I do not have a pet (my kitty died last year =( ) I decided to make a blanket for the Toronto Humane Society Thinking I'd start things off with a bang with my favourite thing ever, entrelac.

Kinda crappy photos (the sun was hiding, didn't bother cleaning off the table so it's a little lumpy too) it measures 30so" X 45" Completed in about four days, I was able to get the first half of it done in one day, but as it got heavier I just couldn't bother working on it for more than a tier at a time.

I just used whatever scraps I had laying around, I believe two skeins of Bernat Super Value in purple, and one in yellow. And Phentex sport (about 600yds) in baby pink. Originally it was going to be all purple and yellow, but I ran out of yarn.

On to the next briefing!

Friday, May 29, 2009

A swallowtail for you, a swallowtail for me!

I have been staring at the Swallowtail Shawl for quite a while now, so I decided to make one for my mom for mothers day. I did the worsted weight version as it was the only yarn I could find in the exact red that my mother loves. It was Patons Classic Wool in Bright Red. (top photo is most true to colour)
Of course, about half way through the budding lace repeat I realized I wasn't going to have enough yarn. So I cut it short at around the 9th or 10th repeat, and continued on. I then realized once again I would not have enough yarn, so I skipped a lily of the valley and eventually made it with about 10 yards to spare. phew! So unfortunately, it's a little smaller than what I had expected. It got the "loverly" title from my mom, so I guess it went well enough.

As soon as I finished, I absolutely needed to cast on again, but this time for myself. I went with Estelle's Cadenza in the purple colourway once again, it really is a lovely yarn/colour. AGAIN I noticed halfway through the budding lace repeat that I would run out of yarn. grr. I did 12 repeats of it and then jumped into the next chart, but managed to do everything else exactly as stated from there. Well...until I got to the cast off edge. It was going good, I was digging it, and then all of a sudden I ran out of yarn. I ran out of yarn halfway through the cast off edge. The horror! Well, actually, I kind of saw it coming and planned on just doing a regular cast off (instead of the elastic one) to see if I could stretch the yarn. It worked..for a little while. Then I frantically searched around for a colour even remotely close to it, I finally found a deep purple. But it was mohair, and it also had other colours in it. It would have to do.

Patting myself on the back, I figured I did good. You could barely tell there was another yarn, and it was just half of the cast off edge, no biggie. So then I washed it and went to block it. Yeah, that little section I used a regular cast off...that was stupid. Don't ever do that. So half of it is pointed and half of is it just sort of scalloped.
I also had the most perfect beads ready for the nupps, which I forgot about until the bind off when I was searching for yarn and found them. Again, ah well.
I was really proud of myself, both shawls took more time to block than to knit! Total instant gratification, I knocked them each out in a day.

I see many more of these babies in my future.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Another first!

I had decided that this year was the year of learning new things, I generally end up picking up a new craft here and there, but I wanted to actively scratch things off my to-learn list. I'm incredibly comfortable with knitting, and we covered crochet, so what could I learn that could bring the two together?

Spinning, of course! I attempted it here and there, but never really sat down and actually gave it a real try, until this week. I picked up a drop spindle and some roving, and just went for it. So my first ever spun yarn:

It's a tweedy merino, magenta, horribly underspun, overspun and just right. But for the most part it's about a worsted. It's just a mini practice skein of about 30 yards because I was just too excited to finish, I wanted to set the twist immediately.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Da de dum...Oh look some crochet!

Yeah, I kind of abandoned the blog. It's sad because it totally had to do with lack of photos, which had to do with the fact that I'm terrible at keeping batteries around. So now that I've solved that problem, I'm getting back into blogging. I was also horribly distracted by Battlestar Galactica, that show will steal your show.

Since I last posted, I decided to really give crochet a try. I think I may even love it more than knitting some days. I'm so very proud of myself for finally learning, and since switching to continental, it's become a lot easier...although there's sometimes a clicking noise in my right hand when crocheting, but I just sort of pretend not to hear it which I'm sure I'll pay for later. It took me so long to learn how to crochet, and it sucked because I knew all the stitches, I knew how to do each and every one but I could never make anything because I could never figure out where to put the damn hook. Finally I just sat down one evening and went for it, lots of frogging and "Shut up! Don't talk to me!" I finally produced this:

After looking at the photo, I've decided I don't like it. But it looks much much better in person, and even if it looked terrible I'd still wear it with pride because it was my first real crochet project. The yarn is Moda Dea's Tweedle Dee (2 skeins), in Blackberry and the pattern is Crochet Lacy Wrap. Probably should've picked a project that didn't involve such a fiddly hook. There was also an issue with the second row of the pattern which, at first, really discouraged me but I eventually got it through trial and error. Or at least I think I got it, either way I can't really tell and that's all that matters to me.
I had to run around the house and find another quarter skein because I guess I had screwed up somewhere and had run out of yarn halfway through the final row. It was incredibly fast which got me really excited, I finished it in about five or six hours which was really nice.

With that under my belt I was feeling a little cocky and figured I'd make some easeter baskets as well, I started the night before and managed to make 7 or 8. Each took me about half an hour.

I have no idea what happened to the rest of them, I think I gave one to my sister, and one to my Godmother, and who knows where the other one is. They were really fun to make, and really great for scraps (about 50yds for each). So much fun to make. Pattern here I changed the handles a bit because mine were looking ugly, so instead of working them vertically, I worked them horizontally. I think I chained 15 sts and did one row of single crochet. Yarn is Satin by Bernat and hook is 6mm (J)

And finally, my lastest crochet project, the Seraphina Shawl. I made mine a lot smaller because I wanted to wear it the next day and was getting tired, and figured I could easily add on later if I wanted but I like the size of it, anything more and it'd be too much for me to handle, I think.

Love the colour, also made with Satin. The pattern was a little tricky to follow and had a few errors but after searching for a bit I was able to make sense of it. It's a really nice project once you get the hang of it and figure out the repeat. After a while I didn't even need the pattern.

It's probably my favourite project I've made recently, actually. I wear it alllll the time, and I'm going to be a little sad when it gets too hot for it, but might wear it anyway.

I've also picked up a new hobby, possibly the most dangerous hobby ever for me, which I will post about tomorrow. That is all.