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Monday, February 29, 2016

The Pink Dexter is Finished!

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It's completely finished now!  This is my second Dexter cardigan, knit in Madelinetosh Dandelion in the (sadly discontinued) colorway Carnation.  I stopped at 3/4 length on the sleeves because the color just seemed to call for shorter sleeves.  Otherwise, I followed the pattern exactly.  This is my first time knitting with Dandelion.  It's very similar to Tosh Merino Light, but it has linen added to it, which adds more texture to the yarn.  I like Tosh Merino Light, and I enjoyed knitting with Dandelion.  I'll have to see how it wears.
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Here's a detail shot which shows the color more accurately.  I used pearl buttons on this cardigan.  I love the classic shape of this pattern, with its fine gauge yarn and tiny buttons.  This one and the long sleeved Dexter I knit in Ink should be wearable for thousands of years.
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I thought I'd include this picture as well for anyone who doesn't understand what a difference blocking makes.  This is the picture you saw last week, when the knitting was finished but before the blocking and buttons were added.  Kind of a huge difference!

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Stripes

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I've gotten a lot more stripes on my Drachenfels shawl.  I've got to decide if I'm going to continue striping or what I'm going to do, since I'm only using 2 colors.  This weekend I will weigh my yarn and make some decisions, but I think I've got enough stripes.

I will also get to start a couple of other projects this weekend since I've finished my Pink Dexter (once I sew on the buttons) and the striped Mohair Loop.  I'd also like to get my pajama pants made for Loopy Academy.  I prewashed the fabric a while ago, but then I got sick and just didn't feel like messing with it, but yesterday I pressed it, so it's ready to cut.

It looks like I've got a busy weekend ahead!

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Knitting is Finished for Pink Dexter

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I finished the last sleeve on my Pink Dexter, and I've gotten all the ends woven in.  Now it desperately needs a blocking and then I can sew on the buttons and it will be finished!  I've even finished it in time to still wear it this year!  In another month, sweaters will have to wait to be worn.

The Dandelion yarn is superwash, so I'll probably just toss the sweater into the washer (in a delicates bag) and then let it spend a few minutes in the dryer before laying it out to finish drying.  I've found (the hard way) that the dryer is very important with superwash wools to get things back to their original size.  My Pashmina Dexter just needed a good steaming, but it didn't look anywhere near as wonky as this one looks after knitting.  I think we're going to need lots of water this time!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Little Heart

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I played around with some more crochet last night.  This is the Valentine's Heart Coaster, by the same designer as the flower.  I used a 4.5mm hook and I think it's a little bit smaller than I'd like so I'm going to make another one using my 5.0mm hook and see if that works out better.  I'm using the same yarn, Hobby Lobby's I Love This Cotton.

While it's small for it's purposes as a coaster (at least for my big tea mug), it's exactly the right size to slap around, toss in the air, and try to knock onto Logan's back as he walks by (which Logan doesn't even know is a game).  At least it's perfect for those things if you have tiny gray paws with pink toe beans.  That means I'm probably on the right track with the hearts.  Max does the same thing with the knitted leaves.

What I'm really working on is the second sleeve for my Pink Dexter.  I'm hoping to get it finished up soon - the temperature is dropping around here again!

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Finished!

I finished my striped loop over the weekend.  This is the Mohair Bias Loop that I've made before (four or five times before).  This time I used Kid Silk Haze Stripe, which gave me, wait for it...
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...stripes!  There are blue green, dusty lavender, and gray stripes in this yarn, although they're all muted and subtle.  Being amused by things like stripes that appear as I knit, I enjoyed knitting with this yarn.  I've knit the pattern so many times at this point that it's pretty much autopilot knitting.  I've figured out the best way to work the Kitchener stitch at the end (Max asleep, ceiling fan off) and I did this one in less than 30 minutes.  I don't know what my previous time was, but that seems pretty quick to me.

I think I might have another yarn for another of these upstairs in the stash, but I don't really feel the need to make another one immediately.  Maybe I'll wait a while and knit some other things for a few months before I crank out another loop.

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Flowers!

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Some of you might remember that a few years back I knit some leaves (I remember knitting them in the pickup line at the elementary school, it was that long ago).  We've used them as coasters on our kitchen table, but every year I think that maybe we should have more than leaves.  If I had more "things" I could switch them out seasonally or because it's Tuesday or whenever.  So yesterday I was Pinterest-ing (is that a verb yet?), and I wandered across this pattern for the Flower Power Dishcloth, and I thought they were adorable, and would be super cute on the table this spring, and before I knew it I had the pattern in knitCompanion, I had found a bag of Hobby Lobby's I Love This Cotton in various colors, and I was chaining for the start!  (And yes, it did happen that quickly.  There was no time for things like pausing for separate sentences.  Sometimes enthusiasm is a run-on.)

Anyway, by the time Vikings came on last night, I had made four of them!  The pattern is free and it's easy and fast.  I learned how to crochet through the back loop and how to make half double crochet stitches (look at me - that's four different crochet stitches now).  Also, I didn't work the last round of the pattern (round 8) because the flowers were big enough after round 7, and I liked their blobbiness.  Round 8 kind of defines the shape better.  I might make a few more this weekend because they're so cute and fast!

I hope you have a great weekend!

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Dexter Has A Sleeve!

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I've finished the first sleeve of my Pink Dexter and started the second.  As you can see, I've decided to go with 3/4 sleeves on this Dexter.  Between the color and the linen content of the yarn, it just feels more spring-like, which means 3/4 sleeves around here. 

Every time I take a photo of this cardigan, I can't wait to block it.  It's such a mess!  The moment I finish this second sleeve, (so glad I'm not an octopus) I'm weaving in the ends and blocking this thing.  I can't wait!

(And just in case you're curious, there are several reasons I'm glad I'm not an octopus, the sleeve thing is just one of them.)

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Stripes!

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I've managed to get a sinus infection, and the not feeling well has meant I didn't get as much done over the weekend as I normally do.  One thing I was able to manage while waiting for the meds to start working and get ahead of this thing was some garter stitch, so I curled up with Drachenfels, Netflix and copious amounts of tea.  I made it to the striped section and I'm starting to think about how I'm going to work beyond the stripes.  The pattern uses three colors and I'm only using two.  I've got more than enough yarn, but I've got to figure out a few things.  At least the stripes are easy and don't require a huge amount of thinking.  They were perfect for this weekend!

I am feeling better now so I'll be better able to work on more complex things (like weaving in the ends on my Meditative Blanket, which just felt like too much over the weekend), and getting back to normal around here.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

My Crochet Blanket

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I've completed the ninth row of my Meditative Blanket (but haven't woven in the ends yet).  This is possibly a bit of a milestone because my original plan was to make this 24 squares wide by 36 squares tall.  This means I'm 1/4 of the way there!  Apparently, I started this in April of last year, so it's only taken me 10 months to get this far.  At my current pace, I'll be done in 30 months, or in August of 2018.  Of course, that just means I'll be done with the center section, I'll still have to add borders.

I think I need to pick up the pace a bit on this!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Sleeve

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I finished the neck band of Dexter (that's all three bands done if you're counting), and I've begun my first sleeve.  I used three skeins of yarn to knit the body and bands, but I didn't use any of the skeins completely.  I've divided each of the leftovers in half for Sleeve 1 and Sleeve 2.  Now I'm knitting from these little mini balls and alternating them so the sleeves match the body of the sweater.  Once I run out of the mini balls, I'll start knitting from a fourth skein, but I won't worry about alternating.  Both lower sleeves will be knit from the same ball.  I know it sounds a little OCD, but it does make a difference in how well the skeins blend in the finished sweater, which is important for hand dyed yarns.  My biggest problem with this sweater right now is that the little mini balls keep rolling away.  Once they roll away, the fuzzy rescue team goes into action and then I'm climbing around under furniture and removing Max and Logan before I can retrieve my yarn.  Good times.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Loopy Academy, Sophomore Year, Semester Two, Yarn

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I've started knitting on my Loopy Academy projects!  This is my multicolored yarn with a solid/tonal yarn project.  The yarns are Madelinetosh Pashmina.  Cove is my multicolored yarn in all it's blue and green and murky glory.  (Clearly, my love for Cove is showing no signs of letting up after all these years.)  My solid/tonal color is Undergrowth, a medium blue green.  I'm using these to knit Drachenfels, but I'm only using these two colors instead of three, as the pattern is written.

I didn't realize it when I chose the pattern, but the stitch pattern that gives you the little dots in this project is the same one used in the Carson Throw.  Drachenfels only uses one repeat periodically, so you only get one row of dots, where the Carson Throw uses multiple repeats, but the technique is the same.  I just thought it was funny that I'm working two unrelated patterns with the same stitch pattern.

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Monday, February 08, 2016

The Carson Throw

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Over the weekend I added Color 2 and Color 3 to my Carson Throw.  I'm a little past the point of where I'm supposed to be for the Eat.Sleep.Knit. knitalong for February (it's a seven or eight month project), so I'll probably just let the project hibernate until March.  You can just see the spots of Color 3 at the edge of the throw right now, but Color 3 is the one that will be used the most.  It's on the greener side of the blue greens I chose for this blanket, but I'm looking forward to seeing more of it as the throw progresses.

Like I said, I'll be working on this for months, but that gives me time in between to work on Loopy Academy and other projects!  I've already begun my first Loopy Academy project for this spring.  I'll show it to you tomorrow!

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Friday, February 05, 2016

Dexter

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I've finished knitting the body of my pink Dexter and I've gotten the front bands done!  I've just got the neck band and sleeves to go.  Also, in case you've ever wondered what blocking is for, this picture is a great example.  All the curling and twisting and general wonkiness you see here will disappear with a good blocking.

I'm really enjoying this yarn (Madelintosh Dandelion) and I think it's going to make a very nice, lightweight cardigan.  I'm playing with the idea of making it 3/4 sleeved instead of long sleeved, but I haven't decided yet.  Maybe I'll decide over the weekend.

I hope you all have a great weekend!  Enjoy the Superbowl if you're into that kind of thing.  I'm looking forward to the commercials.

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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Carson Throw

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Monday was the start day for the Carson Throw knit-a-long through EatSleepKnit, so I cast on and started knitting in circles!  My throw looks kind of like a beret for a small garbage can right now.  I'm almost to the point where I'll switch to Color 2 (so exciting!) and then the texture will start shortly after that.  I'm very excited about the texture, even though I know that the rounds will be getting longer and longer. 

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Two More Bethioua Tops

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Since I'm loving the Bethioua tops I've made, I've made two more!  This first one is the same fabric as my first gray one, Stretch Bamboo Rayon Jersey, only in Dark Teal.  I loved the feel of the first one so much, I knew I wanted another!  This fabric is kind of funny to work with.  It's super soft and drapey, which is why it feels so great to wear, but that makes it a bit challenging to sew.  If I just take my time and am patient though, it all works out.
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The second one I made is Stretch Rayon Bamboo French Terry in a Smokey Blue color.  It has the loops of French Terry on the back side, but the front looks like a regular knit.  It is also super soft and drapey, but it was a little easier to work with than the jersey.  The pattern directions say to go up a size if you use fleece or French Terry, but I decided not to because this rayon French Terry is just a medium weight and the pattern is kind of oversized anyway.  I haven't worn it yet, so if that choice backfires on me, I'll let you know!

I did all the sewing with my serger, except for the hems, which were serged, turned under and then topstitched with a double needle.  This gives me five of these tops and this also completes my winter sewing.  I'm going to be sewing spring and summer things now, which (in addition to pajama pants for Loopy Academy) means some Moss Skirts.  Knowing me, there will probably also be a Wiksten Tank or two, or maybe I'll surprise everyone, and find a new warm weather top pattern!

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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Dexter

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I'm working right along on my Dexter cardigan.  I've made it to the lower texture band, which is just a little bit above the lower ribbing.  I'm hoping to get this finished in the next couple of weeks because I want to get to work on my Loopy Academy projects as soon as I can.  Last semester was my first time doing both the knitting and the sewing semesters, and I kind of waited until the last minute to finish the sewing.  I don't want to do that again!

On a completely unrelated note, Happy Groundhog Day!

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Monday, February 01, 2016

The Carson Throw

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Our family loves blankets.  Every single one of us loves snuggling under a blanket, including Logan and Max (although Logan doesn't stay too long before he gets hot).  When Eat.Sleep.Knit announced that the Carson Throw would be one of their knitalongs for 2016, it didn't take me long to decide to participate!  I'm doing mine in shades of blue greens, using Cascade Eco+.  I've wound my first two colors and they're ready to go.  I had to hand wind them because they're too big for my winder - you can see the size compared to Logan.  I've got everything in a (giant) tote, and at some point today I'll cast on!

I know this blanket won't be finished anytime soon, but it will be finished by the time it gets cold this coming fall.  This time next year, I could be wrapped up in it!

Oh, and just to make today even more exciting, the assignments for Loopy Academy will be announced today too!

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