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Friday, July 29, 2016

Beeline and Max

Beeline and Max 
This morning's photo was taken with the assistance of Max.  I use the word assistance loosely here.  I've separated the sleeve stitches from the body of my Beeline pullover now and I've started working the "beelines" down the sides of the front.  I've also added a second skein of yarn and I'm alternating them.  I almost always alternate with Madelinetosh, but I like to get around halfway through the first ball of yarn before I start the second.  This way they overlap each other and I don't run out of both them at the same time.  Also, having two balls of yarn attached to my knitting is amusing to Max.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Finished Socks

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I went ahead and got that second sock finished last night!  These socks are for me and were also a test drive of the stitch pattern (Simple SKYP socks), before I commit to a pair for Mickael.  I learned the hard way that not all stitch patterns are something I want to use for a man sized pair of socks.  I will definitely make him a pair of socks using this stitch pattern - it's a fun one to knit.
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Here's a close up of the speckles.  The Birch Gray colorway is cream with gray speckles.  If you're looking for cream with black speckles, the Optic colorway, also from Madelinetosh is what you're looking for.  There's more information about the yarn and socks on yesterday's post, just below this one.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

SKYP-ing Right Along!

SKYP sock 
I'm about halfway down the foot of my second Simple SKYP sock.  I should get these socks finished this week!  There was a question about the yarn the last time I blogged these, so maybe I can answer the question.

The yarn I'm using is Madelinetosh Twist Light in Birch Gray.  Birch Gray is one of Madelinetosh's speckled colorways.  I knit a pair of socks in January of this year using Cosmic Wonder Dust, another speckled colorway.
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Speckled yarns are definitely trendy right now and they are fun to knit.  With a simple color like Birch Gray, I don't know when or where the next speckle is going to show up.  With a multicolored yarn like CWD, I don't know which color will be next.  These make for very fun socks and I think would make great mitts.  I've seen some shawls using speckle yarns and those can be fun, but since the speckled yarns are hand dyed (not just by Madelinetosh, there are many brands out there doing speckled yarns right now, I just happen to have used MT twice now), they may not be consistently speckled.  If you look at my CWD socks above, the sock on the right is more heavily speckled than the sock on the left.  They are both knit from the same skein, so if I had made a shawl, part of the shawl would be more densely speckled than the other part.  This might bug me on a shawl.  This would definitely bug me on a sweater, even if I were alternating skeins, I could end up with clumps of speckles.  Now this is not to say that speckled yarns should never be used for bigger projects, if you look around Ravelry you'll see lots of larger projects using speckled yarns.  I just personally think it would make me crazy.  For that reason, I think I'll stick to smaller projects with these yarns and just admire other people's speckled sweaters and shawls.

I am curious how they might weave up, so it's possible that some speckles could find their way to the loom at some point. . .

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A New Pink Sweater!

When you finish up one pink sweater, it's time to cast on a new pink sweater!  (For those of you counting, this will be the fourth pink sweater of the year, and I still have stash for at least three more.)  2016 somehow became the year of the pink sweater, I'm not sure how, but I'm just going with it.
Beeline in Carnation
This new sweater is a pullover.  I just realized I've been alternating styles:  Dexter was a cardigan, Pink Memories was a pullover, the Featherweight was a cardigan, and now I'm doing another pullover.  I'm also tired of typing the word pullover.  Anyway, the pattern is Beeline, which is basically a classic sweater shape with a scooped neckline and decorative yarn overs (the holes).  I'm knitting this in Madelinetosh DK Twist in the (discontinued) colorway, Carnation.  It's the same colorway I used for Dexter, but a different yarn base.  Also, I'm still amused by the pink needles.

You can see a little bit of the yarn overs in the raglan shaping even though it's trying to roll up in itself - maybe it's shy?  Going from fingering weight gauge to worsted weight gauge is always fun.  These heavier weight sweaters fly off the needles.  They don't get as much wear here in North Texas, which is why I don't knit very many of them, but they do knit up quickly!

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Another Finished Pink Sweater!

Featherweight cardigan in Pop Rocks 
This is the Featherweight Cardigan, knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the (sadly, now discontinued) Pop Rocks colorway.  I followed the pattern exactly for the smallest size*, except for the edgings.  I used a K3, P1 rib for the lower edge, the sleeve cuffs and the front sections of the front/neck bands.  The back neck section was worked as K2, P2 so it would draw in more and fit properly.  The change in rib is not noticeable unless I point it out, which I'm only doing here on the blog.  The general public will never know.

This is the fourth time I've knit this pattern.  Not only is it a fun pattern to knit, but the cardigan goes with everything.  It can dress up or down, looks good with jeans or a skirt and generally just works in any situation.

This is the third pink sweater I've knit this year, for those of you who are counting.

*It looks like there's an updated version of the pattern with a smaller size now, but the version I knit was for about a finished 36 inch bust measurement.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

I Don't Even Know What This Is

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This was the other project I took on our trip, and while I had a well defined plan when we left town, I completely changed that plan before lunchtime on the first day.

The yarn is Handmaiden Mini Maiden in Ruby Red.  It's a fingering weight singles yarn, similar to Madelinetosh TML or Malabrigo Mechita, but the Mini Maiden is 50% silk, so it has more shine and drape than the other two.  The original plan was to knit Brickless and I looked on Ravelry to find other Brickless projects knit in this yarn.  I grabbed my US 5's (3.75mm) because that seemed like the right size, printed out the pattern and tossed the whole thing in the car.  Once I got started, I changed my mind.

Brickless has three sections: lace, ribbing, and garter stitch (I think, it might be stockinette, I'm not looking at the pattern right this second).  I was loving the lace (it's a simple mesh type lace), and I was fine with the garter stitch/stockinette section as well.  I wasn't loving the ribbing.  It just wasn't working for me on those needles with the singles yarn.  I think if I'd had a plied yarn or smaller needles, everything might have been OK, but I had the one yarn and the one pair of needles with me.  I thought about it for a bit and tried to decide what to do.  I knew I was enjoying the lace stitch pattern, so I wondered if I could plug it into the Hitchhiker shaping.  Never mind that I have Dropbox on my phone, so I could have pulled up the Hitchhiker pattern to double check, I just went by memory.  There was some scribbling on the back of the Brickless pattern and a chart of questionable usefulness was drawn, but then I was off!

The best way I know to explain this is that it's the lace stitch pattern of Brickless combined with what I think is the shaping of Hitchhiker.  I still have no idea how accurate the Hitchhiker memory is, I've been too lazy to look it up.  So this might be what I think it is, or it might be something completely different altogether.  I just don't know.  I'm calling it Ruby Hybrid on Ravelry.

(I don't want to give too many specific details because Martina Behm has written so many variations of Hitchhiker, that it's possible that this is one of her patterns.  In addition to being too lazy to look up Hitchhiker, I've been too lazy to look through her designs and see if I reverse engineered one of them accidentally.)

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Featherweight Cardigan

Featherweight cardigan in pop rocks 
This little cardigan has been a great project to work on while I've been sick.  There's nothing like stockinette for simplicity!  I've finished the body of the cardi and I tried something new with the ribbing.
Featherweight cardigan in pop rocks
On the lower edge, I did a K3, P1 rib because I wanted enough ribbing to keep the edge from curling (once it's blocked), but not so much that it drew in.  For the front/neck band I did the same K3, P1 rib for the fronts, but I switched to K2, P2 for the back neck area.  I've knit this cardigan several times before and know from experience that the back neck and shoulder section of the band needs to draw in so it lays right at the back neck.  If it's just knit straight, it flops around.  The K2, P2 compresses enough that it lies right for the shaping.  I don't think it's super obvious that I changed the ribbing and I figured with my long hair, it probably won't show anyway, but it solved the fit problem!

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