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Friday, May 29, 2015

One More Tank for Summer!

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I finished another Wiksten Tank in Liberty of London’s Tana Lawn!  From beginning to end, it took me three hours to get this all finished.

I’ll be doing more sewing over the summer.  I am doing the sewing version of Camp Loopy, but I hope to do some other projects as well.  My summer is starting today because yesterday Caleb and I finished 8th grade!  We had a great year, but we’re both looking forward to the summer.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and if you live here in Texas, stay safe and dry (if possible).

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Big Damn Heroes

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It’s finished!  This is the Big Damn Heroes shawl/poncho/thing, knit in Madelinetosh Pashmina in Smokestack.  Despite having two skeins, which should have been more than enough for the small size, I ran out of yarn.  I ended up skipping the i-cord bind off and just doing a regular lace bind off at the end.  Also, once I blocked it and tried it on, I decided the neck line was just too big, so I seamed it up a bit.  Here on Fifi, I had pinned it smaller, but hadn’t sewn it yet.  I think my yarn choice made it grow a bit.  The original was a wool/nylon sock yarn, which would have had less drape and less weight than the pashmina.  Of course, if I had been thinking, I could have used a smaller needle size and by tightening everything up, there would have been less growth.

Either way, I’m happy with the finished project.  It looks cute on, and it’s super soft!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A New Tank for Summer

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Shortly before my big gallbladder adventure, I got three pieces of Liberty of London’s Tana Lawn to make Wiksten tanks.  I got them all cut out in a single day, but they each needed a different color of thread to sew them up.  I made the first tank in March, and wore it to the Cinderella movie, and then got miserable and ended up in the hospital.  The other two tanks have been sitting in my sewing room, all cut out, with their bias binding pieces waiting for me.  Now I’ve made the second tank!
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I used off white thread for this one because neither red or pink looked right.  (While the fabric looks like red with white flowers, it’s actually hot pink with off white flowers and red leaves.)  I also did a rolled hem on this tank, and I will be doing rolled hems on all future tanks - it’s so easy.  I’ve got the thread set out for my third tank, I’ll just need a few hours to get it made.

Oh, and in case you were concerned that once I finish the third tank I would be out of Tana Lawn (oh, the horrors), there’s more on its way, as we speak.  This tank is perfect year round for the climate here in North Texas and it layers under cardigans (of which I’ve knit a few) really well!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Magnolia and Rose Finished!

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I finished my Loopy Academy extra credit project: knit something that reminds you of spring!  This is Ondine, knit in Malabrigo Mechita in Natural and English Rose.  I followed the pattern exactly except for closing my Yarn Overs at the edges to make weaving in ends from the stripes easier.  There are full notes on this on my Ravelry project page as well as in last week’s blog post.  The edging is crocheted, but it’s not difficult to do.
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This was a well written pattern and I enjoyed knitting it.  As you can see by how it hangs on Fifi, it’s a good sized shawl and will be nice and snuggly.  I’m very happy with my finished project!  Also, I’m still head over heels in love with the colors in the English Rose yarn.  I have some more set aside for a striped pullover at some point!

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Excellent Question

I’ll be blocking my Extra Credit shawl today, but I really don’t have anything to show you right now. Fortunately, KayT of the comments asked a great question about the Yarn Over edging of Ondine!

Like many, many shawl patterns, Ondine uses Yarn Overs (YO) as increases.  This results in a row of YO’s at the edges of the shawl, which looks great and blends well with a lace pattern when there is lace in the middle of the shawl (Ondine has stockinette stitch, the only lace is the crocheted lace edge).  Since there is no other lace in the shawl, I didn’t feel like I was necessarily married to YO’s for my shaping increases.  Then, as I was reading through the notes on other people’s projects, I noticed one person mentioned that the YO’s at the edge made weaving in the ends from the stripes difficult.  That helped me make up my mind.  I was going to do this differently.

For my Ondine, I decided to go ahead and work the YO’s, but I would close them on the following row.  I could have worked Make One’s as my increases, those are closed when you make them; but they also tend to tighten the area they’re in.  With several rows of plain stockinette between them, it isn’t noticeable, but all of them in a single area (the edge) would have made it tighter than I wanted it.  By using YO’s, the edge didn’t get too tight, and then I could just twist them on the next row.  The YO’s at the beginning of Right Side Rows and the end of Wrong Side Rows were wrapped the usual way, and then knit (or purled) through the back loops on subsequent rows.  The YO’s at the end of RS rows and beginning of WS rows were wrapped reverse (back to front) and then knit (or purled) the regular way through the front loops.  This gave me the shaping the pattern called for, but made it easier to weave in the ends because I didn’t have a row of holes at the edge.  This is the only change I made to the pattern, which is beautifully written and very easy to follow.

I’ve added these notes to my project page on Ravelry as well so they’ll be easy to find (and I’ll be able to remember if I do this pattern again).

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Extra Credit

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The extra yarn arrived yesterday, so last night I finished the crocheted edge of my extra credit.  I loved knitting this (and crocheting it, since the edging is crocheted).  Once I get the ends woven in (I didn’t do that earlier this week), it’s ready to block.  After blocking I’ll get photos and upload them to The Loopy Ewe and then I’ll have completed my first year of Loopy Academy!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Slowly But Surely

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In addition to yesterday’s crochet, I’ve also been working on my Big Damn Heroes.  It’s impossible to photograph right now, and it’s so big that it’s hard to show progress as well.  I started the second ball of Pashmina yesterday, so I know I’m getting somewhere, even if I can’t really tell.  It’s taking 30 minutes to work two rows (yes, I time myself) and each right side row just gets longer and longer.  On the other hand, I think this will be very wearable here in the summer, tossed over a tank top.  Texas may be hot outside during the summer, but inside you can get hypothermia.  Add a glass of sweet tea and something like Big Damn Heroes will be perfect to keep me warm this summer.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Other Things

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Running out of yarn on my extra credit project means the crochet hook is free for other things.  Unlike knitting needles, I only have one set of crochet hooks and I’m using the same hook for the edging of the extra credit and for my second attempt at the Meditative Blanket.

I’ve completed the first row of the blanket, and I’ve begun the second row.  I’m so much happier with the colors being sorted and using a more compact portion of the color wheel.  As I use each color, I take the yarn from the yarn bag and it goes into the project bag until I’m through with the row.  This is my way of attempting to not use each color more than once in a row.  Some of the colors are pretty close though, so it might not look that way at the end.  I’m going with 24 blocks per row, but I’m not sure how many rows I’ll do.  I guess I’ll just see where the yarn takes me!

Or something like that.  I’ll figure it out when I get there.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Playing Chicken With Yarn

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The yarn won.

I’m on my last row of the crocheted edging and have less than a quarter of the way to go.  I’m out of yarn.  Fortunately, I’ve got more on the way, but until it gets here, my Loopy Academy extra credit project is on hold.  Once the yarn arrives, I’ve got less than an hour of crocheting to go, so I’m not worried about getting it finished.  I’m going to use some of the time while I wait to weave in ends.  Where there are stripes, there are ends.

Last week’s little medical adventure was the last thing related to this big gall bladder mess.  I’ve got to see the surgeon again this week, but that’s just a final re-check.  All the poking and prodding and sticking me with needles is over.  Now I get back to normal.

This morning I ran.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends, Once More

Tomorrow I’m going back to the hospital.  Fortunately, it’s for an out-patient procedure, so I should be home by lunchtime.  When I was in the hospital at the end of March, for the whole gall bladder removal thing, there were complications.  Due to this not being a standard, straight forward situation, the gastroenterologist solved the problem by leaving a few things inside me (not going into details, it’s kind of gross).  Tomorrow morning, I’ll be having an endoscopy so she can get everything she left there six weeks ago.  She has assured me that this would be very easy, in and out, because she knows exactly where she’s going (I guess she left a trail of breadcrumbs last time).  Nothing for this whole adventure has gone as planned, but I’m not too worried about tomorrow - I’ll be asleep, so as long as they get everything they came for, I don’t care how long it takes.

I’m so ready for everything to be finished with this stupid gall bladder!

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Little Crochet and I Completely Change My Mind

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I’m still working on Ondine, but I’m in the middle of the crochet border now!  I’ve just started the cream section which means there are only a few rows left, but the edge is approximately 274 feet long.  It takes a while to do each row.  I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel though, and I believe I will finish my second semester of Loopy Academy plus extra credit in plenty of time.

Did I mention I love the color of the English Rose yarn I’m using?  Yes, I’m still in the throes of a color crush with the pinks in this yarn.  I haven’t started writing poetry to it yet, but it’s really only a matter of time at this point.  It’s all downhill from here.

On a different note, remember how I said I wasn’t going to do Camp Loopy this summer because I wanted to knit from stash?  Well…I’m still going to knit from stash, but I’m going to do the sewing version of Camp Loopy this summer.  Sewing is faster than knitting, so I should be able to do that and knit from stash, and I had been wanting to do some sewing over the summer anyway.  But yeah, I’m doing Camp Loopy again.  I’ve done it every year it’s been offered so why quit now, right?

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Friday, May 08, 2015

A Rose By Any Other Name...

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I’m still in the stripe section of Ondine, but I’m at the point now where the cream colored stripes are smaller than the pink stripes.

Can I just take a moment to say that not only is this yarn super soft, I am falling head over heels in love with the color - English Rose.  It’s just so very pink, and yet there are so many pinks within the pink.  As I knit it, I’m planning more projects, knit with more English Rose!  Not only does it come in this yarn base (Mechita, fingering weight singles), but also in Rios (worsted weight, super wash), and I think it would make a beautiful pair of socks (in the Sock base).  I’m thinking a striped pullover in more of these two yarns, maybe a worsted weight cowl, a worsted weight cardigan (or sport weight, if English Rose comes in Malabrigo Sport, and why wouldn’t it?), and of course socks.

The funny thing is, I fell just as hard for Malabrigo’s rich, deep greens in Aguas last summer when I knit the Storyteller Vest.  I have some Aguas in Sport in my stash for a shawl and some in Sock for, well, socks.  I clearly need to take a better look at Malabrigo’s colors because at this point, they’re two for two in knocking me out with the color punch!

Have a great weekend!  Hopefully I’ll get a lot done on Ondine and then I’ll get back to working on several projects at a time, so I can blog about more than one thing, every day!

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Thursday, May 07, 2015

Stripes!

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I’ve been working on my extra credit project, and I’ve gotten to the point where I get to add stripes!  The English Rose stripes will gradually get wider and the Natural stripes will get narrower, until I’m just knitting with the English Rose color.

I’m trying to get this extra credit all finished just as soon as possible so I can check off Loopy Academy as finished, and also so I don’t get side tracked and forget where I am on the project.

Yesterday in Sheri’s blog (Sheri of The Loopy Ewe), she mentioned that she would be announcing Camp Loopy soon.  If I were a betting Lemon, I’d guess Friday, but I don’t know for sure.  I’ve decided not to participate in Camp Loopy this summer because I want to knit from my stash.  I love Camp Loopy, it’s a lot of fun, but with the size of the projects and the time constraints, it’s basically all I work on all summer.  This summer I want to do my own thing, knit from stash (both patterns and yarn) and work on more than one project at a time.  Caleb and I are finishing up school around here this month and I’m looking forward to some time to knit and spin and sew and even do a little crochet.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Loopy Academy Extra Credit

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This semester, Sheri offered the chance to do an extra credit project.  We were to do a project that reminded us of spring - either the color or the pattern or something that reminds us of spring.  I chose the shawl Ondine, worked in Malabrigo Mechita in Natural and English Rose.  I’ve never used this yarn before, but I like it.  It’s fatter than Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (also a super wash Merino singles yarn), but it’s also bouncier than most singles yarns.  As I knit it, it feels more like a plied yarn than a singles with the bounce.  I’m starting with the Natural (obviously) and it will be the lace at the lower edge as well, with stripes and the lower section in English Rose.

My springtime inspiration?  The colors remind me of my Magnolia blossoms and roses (Knockout, not English).  The roses started blooming right after I got home from the hospital and the magnolias started blooming over this past weekend as I cast on for this project.  I would have shown you photos of the flowers, but it’s raining here.  Hopefully I can get pictures later when it stops (and I’m not wearing pajamas).


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Monday, May 04, 2015

Loopy Academy, Second Semester, Slipped Stitch Project: Finished!

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I knit like a fiend over the weekend and I finished my mitts!  Each mitt used 98 yards before the thumbs, so I was well over the yardage requirement.  They fit perfectly and will be great this next winter!

I knit them using my Endless Love pattern in the size Small (there are three sizes in the pattern because I hate loose, floppy mitts) in The Loopy Ewe Solid Series in Charcoal.  The dark gray, almost black color made taking pictures a little more difficult, but I know it will be very useful and go with everything.

This is my third and last completed project for the second semester of Loopy Academy.  The semester isn’t over until May 30, so I will be doing the extra credit project, which I’ll show you another day!

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Friday, May 01, 2015

Loopy Academy, Freshman Year, Semester Two, Slipped Stitches

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I have started my third project for this semester of Loopy Academy:  Slipped Stitches.  This past winter I realized that I didn’t have any gray fingerless mitts, so when I saw that slipped stitches were one of the assignments for Loopy Academy this semester, I knew I wanted to make my Endless Love mitts in gray!  I’m using The Loopy Ewe Solids Series in Charcoal, which is a dark, almost black kind of gray.

There is a requirement to use at least 175 yards per project in Loopy Academy, so I needed to double check the yardage.  Fortunately, I’ve knit these mitts twice before, so I just weighed one of the other pairs and figured out how many yards were used.  I figured out that to get to the yardage requirement, I would need to add 24 rounds to each mitt.  These were going to need to be longer in the cuff than the originals!  Fortunately, the main hand repeat is 16 rounds, so I just added two more of these.  I also cast on with larger needles and gradually decreased to my US 1’s (2.25mm) to make the longer cuffs fit my arms comfortably.

At this point, I’m almost finished with the first mitt, they do fit nicely, and as soon as I get this first one finished, I’ll weigh it and double check my yardage calculations.  Fingers crossed!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

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