Saturday, July 10, 2010

Not as bad as I thought

Normally I absolutely hate weaving in ends and that's why finished objects are stuck at 99% because they've been tossed into the "I'll weave these in later" pile. But this was actually, dare I I was a little sad that I ran out of ends and immediately cast on to create an even bigger pile. My new challenge to myself is to see how big of a pile I can get before it topples over enough that I get tired of re-stacking it.
Tonight will be an evening of seaming. I'm not sure I'll ever be a convert but at least single crocheting it together makes it less torturous. All I can say is I am very grateful of learning at least the basics of crochet.
I love these little shells. Only 140 more to go!

Friday, July 9, 2010

An evening of weaving

30 shells for my Shell Counterpane afghan. 60 ends to leave in. At the end of this blanket I'll have woven in 400 ends. I hate weaving in ends. I promised myself when I started this that as soon as I finished a skein of yarn I would weave in the ends and attach them together so it never becomes daunting. This worked for the first two skeins.
I thought I'd win this time, especially after reminding myself of the hundreds of ends I had to weave in and the squares I had to seam together all at once for my sock yarn blanket. Clearly, I am not very convincing.
These little shells only take half an hour and they're just so damn addicting that I can't stop myself! At one point they piled up so high in front of me that any movement made them topple over. I love a good pile so I'd carefully stack them all up again and stare at them every so often while I knit while patting myself on the back.
Sometimes I'd make so much that at the end of a knitting session I'd look at the pile and be a little shocked at how high it had gotten in just a couple hours.
So that's what I'm doing tonight, weaving in ends and seaming the shells together. I'm not letting myself knit any more shells until each and every one of these are safely attached. I will then start a new much bigger pile.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Coming Around

Pattern: Vernal Equinox Shawl (Ravelry only link)
Yarn: I have no idea where I got this yarn from and it didn't have a brand label on it which leads me to believe it's someones handspun. All I know is that it's a delicious red and cashmere
Needle size: 1.5mm
I used to turn my nose up at Mystery KALs until I did this. I knit this way after the actual KAL but I can totally see the fun in them now. I'm not really on speaking terms with surprises so I I'm still kind of unsure about the jumping into making something that you don't know what the end product looks like because it could be a huge waste of time, but the fun of the KAL and everyone working on the clues at the same time makes up for all of that.
I worked on it off and on but the clues were what kept me going. It started with, "Oh, I'll do a clue a day!" and then when I had 300 stitches on the needle and a very big clue, I ditched that idea and went for a clue a week instead. Charts in general keep me pretty motivated because even if there are several I find myself saying, "After this chart, and the next chart, there's only two charts left!" and completing a chart just feels so satisfying, it's like moving on to the next level.
This shawl actually looks a lot more intricate than it is, after just one repeat I had the row memorized and could do other things while knitting; I originally thought I'd have to isolate myself. The only downside is the huge cast off somewhere around 500 stitches, but I'll gladly take a big cast off over a big cast on. I hate casting on. I'd really like to make Annis and almost cast on for it the day it was released (as in had the yarn, the needles and the pattern in my hand!) but decided against it as soon as I saw the 363 cast on stitches. I'll do it one day because I really really love it. One day.
The downside to lace shawls (which are my absolute favourite thing to make ever) is the blocking process. I really need to invest in a blocking table or at the very least foam blocks for blocking because I'm tired of doing it on the floor and refuse to sacrifice my bed. You see, I'm a nap person. I will take a nap whenever I'm tired and that could happen in the middle of the blocking process which just doesn't work for me. I also find that I put off blocking for a very long time because I can never situate myself properly to get it all blocked out nicely. One day I will learn to love blocking. I have to. There are many many gorgeous shawls in my very near future.
I made it with laceweight and much smaller needles so it ended up being a lot smaller. This was planned. I love the drama of big shawls but because I wear shawls pretty much everyday I find they just don't really go with my life. So I try to keep them on the small side but not the shawlette side. Just big enough to wrap around and cover half my torso so I can still move around.
I'm in love with this shawl. Normally when I work on something for a long time (okay, it was a month but that's a long time in my knitting world) I get so tired of it I throw it in a corner and come back to it later. Not this time, it was only out of direct eyesight for two days before I had to wear it. You can marry a shawl, right?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Parade of FOs

First, I've changed domains for a different feel for my blog and other exciting developments for the old one...eventually. I'm also just going to pretend that I've blogged everyday since my last post and just pick up from there. Here are a few noteworthy FOs before my first official up-to-date post.

Pattern: Falling Water - PDF link (+Ravelry Link)
Yarn: Cascade 220 (440 yds)
Needle Size: 5mm
I made this for my Aunt for Christmas, it was a total last minute thing. I actually ran out a couple days before Christmas to buy the yarn and made it in almost one sitting. All I can say is I'm very thankful that I pushed myself to learn how to do cabling without a cable needle, without that knowledge I wouldn't have been able to get this done so quickly. I greatly suggest this tutorial by Grumperina, very well illustrated and informative. I caught on and was doing it without a problem very quickly.
I've never been good with cable needles, and after trying every single type and still feeling horrible about it I stumbled across said tutorial and it just clicked. I have a hard time doing fiddly things and I find that having to use a cable needle just makes things more difficult...especially with DPNs...that was my first encounter with cabling. Never again.

Pattern: Counterpane with Leaves (+Ravelry Link)
Yarn: Bernat Worsted (2511 yds)
Needle size: 5mm
Another Christmas gift, my parents desperately needed a new afghan and I desperately needed to make this pattern. It was awesome to knit up, easy to memorize and easy to find yourself by reading your knitting. I had knit up all the triangles and then left it until Christmas Eve to seam up. I figured after my sock yarn blanket I could seam anything in no time! I was so wrong.
Sure the first block was really easy, but once I tried attaching two blocks together it got a little complicated. I was making stupid mistakes, the whole thing wasn't lining up's still a little wonky to be honest but after sitting under this blanket for most of the day I was starting to get pissed off and just wanted to wrap it and get it over with. Each block ended up being 25"x25" so it's actually a pretty quick knit in worsted weight.
The lesson I learned? Before starting a project like this, make sure you give adequate time for dwindling patience.

Pattern: Hemlock Ring Blanket (+Ravelry Link)
Yarn: Cascade Ecological (956 yds)
Needle size: 6mm
I made this for a fellow BSGFPB member, Megan, well for her baby actually. I am so in love with this pattern and already have the yarn for one in green for me, but will go for the larger size for sure. Kind of a crappy photo but I had already put it in to be shipped and had to take it back out to take a photo before I sent it off. I'm a sucker for feather and fan.

Pattern: Deirdre (Ravelry Link)
Yarn: Araucania Ranco Solid (376)
Needle size: 4mm
I loooove this yarn, definitely one of my favourites. Why yes I did seriously screw up the pattern even though it's one of the simplest ones I've done lately. Thank you for noticing. This was a quick two day mindless knit, my favourite kind especially when wedged in between large projects.

Pattern: Eliina (Ravelry link only)
Yarn: Diamond Yarn Baby Alpaca Lace (655)
Needle size: 4mm
I also adore this yarn and it's one of my favourite laceweights. My favourite colour is green but for some reason I didn't have a green shawl until I made this one in June. I adore shawls, how could this be possible? Well, I have a very hideous one that I try not to speak of because it's been at the bottom of the frog pond for almost a year. It was just a poor judgment in yarn + pattern match up. Let's never speak of this again.
I also screwed up this pattern, the edging, I wasn't paying attention and just decided to call it quits rather than frog back and fix it. It works, I wear it all the time. It's light and squishy and I love it. I'll probably take another stab at the pattern but in the recommended light fingering and not such an airy yarn.