Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ravellenics Wrap Up

Like I said in my last post the Ravellenics are now over.  I finished my Shalom Cardigan with one day to spare...but I still had 34 Hexipuffs to make. I kind of left these to the last minute because I knew they were fast. But they bore me soooo much to do more than a couple in a day.

I had declared 50 Hexipuffs and actually made 51 somehow. I already have 52 or so puffs in the yellow so I wanted to make all 50 in black to even it out. But then I ran out of black yarn and had no time to go out and get more (especially at 3 in the morning when this happened) but still had plenty of the yellow (Why do I even have this yellow?!) I also ran out of stuffing. I knew this was going to happen and I just let it happen because I was delusional in thinking I'd be able to make another 20 puffs when I clearly only had enough for 10 at the most. So a My Little Pony plush was sacrificed. I'm so sorry, Rainbow Dash. I promise I will stuff you and sew you back up and love you forever. 

I also at one point managed to switch needle sizes so there are two very tiiiiiny black puffs in there. 

So I finished those at about 1 p.m. I had 6 hours to make something else!

Yarn: Diamond Yarn Luxury Collection Stellabella [1 skein black; 191 yards]
Needle Size: 4mm
Ravelry Project Page: Sparkle Mitts
Ravellenic Events: Single Skein Sprint, Mitten Medley

So I knit these up really quick. I had this yarn in my stash for a while and I wanted some sparkly mitts. Finished them just before 6. 

I had also planned to do some dyeing (at least three hanks) but then didn't have the proper supplies and of course leaving it to the last minute (because "yarn practically dyes itself") meant that of course I didn't have time to run out and get what I needed.  I then noticed the next day that I had exactly what I needed all along. Oh well. 

Shalom Cardigan

The Ravellenics are over. I managed to complete 8 items and was awarded with 18 medals!

I was originally going to make a Simply Pi Shawl as one of my bigger projects and cast on for that last Friday. I got about 100 rows in before I decided I would never wear it and dropped it. But now I needed another big project! So I spent a day looking for something that was doable in less than a week and still let me finish 34 hexipuffs.

Pattern: Shalom Cardigan (found in sidebar)
Yarn: Cascade 220 [6 skeins black, 1320 yards; 1 skein red; 220 yards]
Needle Size: 5mm
Ravelry Project Page: Shalom Cardigan
Dates: 8/6/12-8/11/12 5:22 AM
Ravellenic Events: Sweater Triathlon, Synchronized Stash Busting

I decided to go with the Shalom Cardigan. I had wanted to make it for a long time and figured this was the push to do it. It's designed to be made in bulky weight and doesn't have sleeves. I'm not a fan of making sweaters out of bulky yarn because I'm already bulky enough as it is and don't need any extra. My exception for this is coats/jackets because pretty much any coat I wear will add bulk. 

So I read some project pages on Ravelry on switching from bulky to worsted and then also increasing it significantly because the pattern is written for a small/medium and I'm more of a 1X/2X (48" bust) but then I got kind of bored and itching to cast on. I just added  12 extra stitches and went with it. After casting on 79 stitches I worked the pattern as written except when I got to the twisted rib section I switched colours to this lonely skein of red I had. When I got to the garter ridges/increase row I switched back to black. And repeated. 

I then tried separated the sleeves from the body and tried it on. It fit. But it was just...not right. I didn't like the way it cut me up so I decided to add two extra repeats to make the yoke go down to right before my underbust which is what is shown in the original. 

Those two extra repeats (including increasing in the same manner) added quite a lot of extra stitches and a lot of extra time. Once again after the fifth repeat I separated and tried it on. It fit and it looked right and it didn't cut me up weirdly and I was satisfied. 

I cast on 32 stitches for the underarm and embarked on the long journey of seemingly endless stockinette for the body. I worked 6 plain rows of stockinette directly after the row where I added the underarm stitches. Then i decreased 4 stitches (double decrease) every 4 rows a total of 9 times. I then increased 4 stitches every 4 rows for a total of 6 times. This landed me almost at a perfect length so I then knit 10 rows of garter and bound off. 

Moving on to the sleeves I picked up 79 stitches between the stitches I put on hold and the underarm stitches (1 stitch for every 2 stitches I cast on) and knit 30 rows of plain stockinette which reached my elbow. Then I decreased (double decrease) 2 stitches every 4 rows 17 times. And then ended with 10 rows of garter. I wasn't really paying too much attention to the decreases and the yarn was black and I was mostly knitting in dimly lit rooms at night so when i finally looked at it when it was done I was not satisfied with the decreases. If I were to do this again I would have SSK'd and K2TOG'd for a more seamless finish. I originally chose the double decrease because where I was decreasing matched up with the side seams perfectly and I felt it may have been more fluid to have the same decrease throughout.  I would definitely change the side decreases as well. 

This is surprisingly my first sweater of the year and I finished it just in time for some sudden cool weather. Still a bit warm to wear right now though but I have the perfect outfit to wear it with once it cools down more.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bigger on the Inside

Yarn: Marks & Kattens Alpaca Silk [3.1 skeins of 707 blue; 675 yards]
Needle Size: 3.25mm
Ravelry Project Page: Bigger on The Inside
Dates: 7/30/12-8/4/12 4:17 PM EST
Ravellenic Events: Shawl Sailing, Balance Beads, Lace Longjump
Ravellenic Project Count: 5
Challenge: Shawl 8/52

As I mentioned in my last post I've modified this pattern a bit. I added an extra 15 centre lace repeats in an attempt to make it longer. This resulted in a total of 21 TARDIS repeats. I'm pretty happy with the length (72") but could be happier with the depth (15") I probably won't wear it much as a traditional shawl because it just doesn't sit right on me. I'll probably end up wearing it like this:

Or if I'm wearing a coat, a combination of both. 

I replaced the bobbles with beads because it makes it look like the TARDIS light is on which I like. I don't really know about the colour. I'm not a big fan of blue on me but that may be because i just don't wear a lot of blue. 

It's all worth it (even if it looks horrible on me) for the TARDIS

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bigger on the Inside WIP

I love Doctor Who. I love shawls. So naturally I've wanted to make this since I first saw it. I had a couple of plans before I cast on. First I wanted to make it in worsted weight to make it larger. Then I wanted to make the lace section in a black sparkle to represent space. Then I found an almost perfect blue in Alpaca (70%) and silk (30%) and I had to have it. So I cast on with a fingering weight in the 3.25 mm needles suggested in the pattern on Monday (July 30)

I worked on the lace section for a couple of days and enlarged it to 15 centre repeats instead of the 3 called for because I have large shoulders and I want to wear this in a specific way. I probably could have done closer to 25 repeats and been a little happier with it. But we'll see how it looks when it's blocked.

Yesterday I picked up the stitches (433) for the TARDIS section. I picked them up several times. I picked up on the wrong end (the straight edge) twice. Then I picked up every stitch instead of picking up the stitches evenly but I had the right edge that time. Finally I picked up the stitches evenly (4 for every 5 stitches) and started on the chart. 

If I were to make this again (or had the guts to frog back) I would probably have a little more clearance between the picked up edge and the beginning of the TARDIS. Maybe another 5 rows or so. 

I also added a bead instead of bobbles to represent the TARDIS light. I thought I had these really great foil beads but it turns out they were gold and not silver so I had to improvise. I had plans to bead the bind off too but I don't think I'll have enough beads for that and I don't want to hunt down more of the same type. 

I'm hoping to get at least the chart done tonight so all that's left is the ribbing. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Holden Shawlette

 Pattern: Holden Shawlette (Ravelry link)
 Yarn: Malabrigo Sock [.85 skein; 374 yards]
 Needle Size: 4mm
 Ravelry Project Page: Holden Shawlette
 Dates: 7/28/12-7/29/12 6:06 PM EST
 Ravellenic Events: Shawl Sailing, Lace Longjump, Single Skein Sprint
 Ravellenic project count: 4
Challenge: Shawl 7/52

Normally I hate making shawls with variegated yarn but I think it's subtle enough here that it works well. I wound this yarn over a year ago and lost the ball band so I have no idea what colourway it is. Comparing it to others I think it's Aguas but it could be something else. 

This is my fourth project for the Ravellenics. After this things are going to slow down because this is my last instant gratification project. It took about two days but I probably could have finished it in one if I hadn't waited to make a decision on the extra repeat. I did one extra repeat of the lace section and still had yarn left over for another but didn't want to risk it because sometimes that picot bind off can really get you in yardage. The bind off didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. And it's not as small as I thought it was going to be but I think blocking really helped open it up. 

I'm really loving the texture on this. And it's such a quick project that doesn't require a lot of yardage and has  an easy to remember chart that I'll probably make a couple more eventually.