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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

One Down, One to Go!

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I finished my first Essential to Perfection sock, AKA Loopy Academy Twisted Stitches project!  The second sock is cast on and barely begun, but it is underway.  The pattern is simple enough, once you get a feel for it, and it does work up fairly quickly for an intricate lace pattern.  I've also found that it's easy enough to work in front of the TV.

I've got a serious case of cast-on-itis right now and I want to start lots of new things.  So far I've been able to behave myself, but I'm not sure how much longer I'll hold out.  In addition to these socks, I have Lorelai the Mermaid (I need to start her arms next), my Meditative blanket in cool colors (also crochet), the Carson Throw (which I'll start working on again on Friday), and the weaving and the spinning (which hasn't been touched in weeks), and that's not counting the sewing projects.  It's not like I have nothing to do.  I do think that after I finish these socks I will do another shawl/wrap thing, and I've got yarn for a sweater wound and ready to go, but I'm waiting for some specific needles for that.  The only thing keeping me from losing my mind and casting on for everything in my stash is the knowledge that when I have too many projects in progress it feels out of control and crazy to my brain.

Must.  Not.  Cast.  On.  Keep knitting!

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Monday, March 28, 2016

One Last Pair of Pajamas...For Now!

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I finished up the last pair of pajamas I had cut out.  These are obviously Christmas pajamas, so they are going to be sitting in the drawer for a few months.  I was actually hoping to get these sewn up before this past Christmas, but I was just too busy to get them made.  I know this next Christmas will be just as busy, but now I'll have my pajamas all made and ready to wear.

The red socks I'm knitting for Loopy Academy right now happen to match the poinsettias in the print perfectly, so I'll have some fancy socks to keep my toes warm with my festive pajamas.

Now that I've sewn everything I had cut out and ready to sew, I can start thinking about my table runner for sewing Loopy Academy and get that made.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

A New Pair of Pajamas!

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I made another pair of pajama pants and put a matching pocket on a store bought T-shirt to make a set!  Once again, I used the Margot pajama pant pattern from Tilly's book.  (Just in case you're curious, the book does have other things in it, not just a pajama pant pattern.)

I cut these out when I cut out my Loopy Academy pants (as well as a third pair), but they all need different colors of thread.  This pair used the same gray serger thread that I'll use on the third pair, so I won't have to rethread the serger, but the machine will need to be rethreaded in a different color.  If I didn't have to change thread colors, I would sew them assembly line style and have them all done at once.

After I get the third pair finished (hopefully this weekend), I want to get back on my Loopy Academy sewing.  I've got a table runner and a pin cushion to make.  I'm knitting on my third project for the knitting version, so I'm doing well timewise there.  We have until the end of May to finish, but I want to have a little extra time at the end, unlike last semester, where I was sewing the last week before the deadline.

Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Essential To Perfection

Essential to perfection 
My Loopy Academy Twisted Stitches project is moving along!  I've passed the heel turn, and now that I only have to knit the pattern on half of the stitches, it's really going to move quickly.

There was a question the last time I showed you this sock about why I don't use cashmere blends for sock yarn, and it's because (while admittedly, I've never tried it) I'm pretty sure my feet won't be able to tell the difference.  Also, cashmere is delicate and I just don't see it wearing well between foot and shoe.  These will be sleep socks, so they'll mostly be laying about with Max curled around one or the other all night.  Maybe he'll enjoy the cashmere, I don't know.  Once I get these finished and try them on, I might completely change my tune, but that's why I don't use cashmere blends for socks.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Fourth Weaving Project

Weaving project #4 
I warped my loom for a new project over the weekend!  You'll never believe what I'm weaving this time - a scarf!  I'm using another set of mini skeins for the warp on this one.  The darkest shades are on the selvedges, blending to the lightest in the center.  This is SpaceCadet's Lucina base, which has little bits of silver sparkle.
Weaving project #4
For the weft, I'm using a fingering weight yarn from Burrow and Soar on Etsy, this is the Mercurial colorway.
Fourth weaving project
I think I did a better job on tension than I have on previous warping jobs.  That's one of the things I'm really working on getting better at.
Fourth weaving project
I'm using the 12 dent heddle again.  It's the right size for fingering weight yarns, and I love that I can do some stash busting with the loom.  I can get one long scarf out of two-pairs-of-socks worth of stash.  You can see the silver sparkles in the picture above, but they're pretty subtle - definitely not in your face bling!

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Monday, March 21, 2016

My Mermaid Has A Head...And A Name!

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I've been crocheting!  This pattern is so well written, and she's really a pretty easy mermaid so far - as long as you can count.  I have trouble after I get past four, but I've learned that I need to turn off the TV and wait until after Max is asleep to work on her.  Otherwise I get all kinds of messed up, and Max decides to start a squabble with Logan and then they try to get me involved, and that isn't going to happen except that I still have to referee because Logan has feet the size of Max's head and he's trying to slap Max in the head, and Max uses teeth and goes for Logan's jugular vein, but thank heavens, Logan has a huge mane of hair around his neck, and what with all the puffing up, and hopping sideways at some point Max is going to hop on my iPad, which is where the pattern is and at the very least he's going to change what's on the screen, if he doesn't change the row, reset the pattern, and add his own annotations, and at that point I'm trying to remember if I've crocheted six single crochets or only five and where does the next decrease go?

I've learned to wait until certain furry people are asleep before working on the mermaid.  It's just better for everyone, including the mermaid.

Anyway, I have made her body and her head and she has eyes!  The pattern calls for 6mm eyes, which I have, but I had 9mm eyes in periwinkle blue (I'll get a better picture next time she gets blogged, when I can get one in daylight) from this Etsy seller, and they're so pretty, I knew they'd be perfect for my mermaid, so I'm using slightly bigger eyes.  She obviously still needs arms and hair and flippers at the end of her tail*, but she's looking more mermaid-y!

Finally, I figured out her name, so I don't have to call her "the mermaid" anymore.  I've decided that she's Lorelai (Laura-lie), named after the German Siren

OK, on proofreading today's post, I realize that it's kind of one big run on sentence, but I've decided to leave it that way, because that's the way my brain is working today.  Some days are like this!

*I was going to make the flippers and attach them before I started the body, but I realized that a lot of the time, as I was working on her body, I had her balanced on her tail in my lap.  If I had jumped ahead and added her flippers, they might be squished by the time I finish the rest of her.  There's probably a reason the directions are in the order they're in!

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Eat.Sleep.Knit's Flash Challenge KAL

Capture cowl. ESK flash challenge. 
 Last Friday Eat.Sleep.Knit announced a flash challenge KAL.  Anyone who could knit Capture, starting Monday, March 14 and get it finished by next Monday, would get a star for their team!  We had to use 400 yards in the project.  I knew shipping something here would be tight, so I went stash diving (this is exactly why stash is important!) and found a skein of Madelinetosh Twist Light in Opaline.  The color reminds me of purple heather, although in true Madelinetosh fashion, it has other tones washed into the skein as well.

Monday rolled around and I cast on, and I was off and knitting!  I averaged one section a day, and last night I bound off.  The finished cowl is around 10 inches wide and will loop nicely around the neck twice.  I have two yards left from the skein, so not only will this project win a star for the Rabbiteers (Go Bunnies!), but I'll also get the Yarn Chicken badge from it!  (It could also potentially earn the All the Single Ladies badge and the Speedy Crafter badge, but I already earned those this year from my Honey Badger socks.)

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Loopy Academy, Knitting Version, Project Three

Essential to perfection sock 
The parade of finished projects stops today!  This is the start of my third project for this semester's Loopy Academy, Knitting Edition:  Twisted Stitches.  This project is also a sock.  This is Essential to Perfection (it's part of an ebook based on quotes from vintage etiquette guides), and I'm knitting them in Fable Fibers Story in Ruby.  It's a more involved sock than I've done in a while, but it's moving along nicely.

When I ordered this yarn, I think I was planning a scarf or shawl because I don't usually knit socks from Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blends.  In between ordering and casting on, I decided to make these socks.  I almost un-decided against socks when I wound the yarn and realized there was cashmere in it, but my swift and winder are in the sewing room and I have another couple of pajama pants waiting for me to sew sitting right there.  This yarn happens to match the Christmas pajamas I'm making (soon), so those pajamas will have matching socks!

Also, doesn't Logan's meaty drumstick make a lovely backdrop?

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Weaving Project Three - Finished!

Third weaving project 
I got my third weaving project off the loom, fringe made and washed!  This was woven with my 12 dent heddle (12 ends per inch).  I used Fleece Artish Kidazzle in Topaz for the warp and I used Beach House for the weft (also Fleece Artist Kidazzle).  One of the things I really love about weaving is watching the colors play together and seeing how they combine in unexpected ways.  The picture below is the most accurate colorwise that I could get.
Third weaving project
I was going for about a 72 inch long scarf, but I lost track of where I was and I wove it longer.  When I took it off the loom, it was 81 inches long by 9-3/4 inches wide, and after washing it, I lost two inches in length and a quarter inch in width.  I made the fringe 5-1/4 inch long.  So while it's a bit longer than I originally wanted, it works really well for folding in half and pulling the ends through the fold.  The tails are long enough to stay tucked into a coat.
Third weaving project
I did get a "hair braider" to help me with the fringe and it definitely made things faster.  I got this one from Amazon.  There are some cheaper ones, but they aren't rated very well and I didn't want it breaking halfway through its first scarf.  On my previous scarf, I used my cord twister, and while it worked, it took quite a bit more time.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Loopy Academy, Knitting Edition, Socks Finished

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I've finished my socks for Loopy Academy!  These are the Shotgun Shuts His Cake Hole socks, knit in Malabrigo Sock in Indiecita.  The sock assignment required that we knit them from the direction we're least comfortable with.  Fortunately for me, I'm just as comfortable with toe up as I am with top down, but since I haven't knit big socks toe up lately (just the little footie socks), I decided to do these toe up.  Also, my twisted stitch project is socks too and those are knit top down. 

These socks are mirror images of each other, mostly a twisted rib, but then it gets more interesting on the leg.  I used the Fish Lips Kiss heel.  The first sock had some weird pooling, but the second sock kind of striped regularly.  Both were knitted from the same skein, from the same direction of the skein end.  I cannot explain this at all.

This means I've finished two out of the three projects for Knitting Loopy Academy and one of the three projects for Sewing Loopy Academy!

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Loopy Academy, Sewing Edition, Project One

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I've completed my first project for this semester's Sewing Edition of Loopy Academy.  The project is for pajama pants.  Naturally, I used the Margot Pajamas (Pyjamas?) from Love at First Stitch again.  This is the third pair of pajama pants I've made with this pattern, but the pattern fits, so why mess with what works, right?  I found the t-shirt after I bought the fabric for the pants, and since I like things matchy matchy, I decided to add a pocket to it.  I mostly winged it, but there are tutorials online for adding pockets to t-shirts.  I didn't add a bow to the front of these (after the first pair was attacked by Max in the middle of the night, I've skipped the drawstring too and just gone with elastic), but I did put a little tag of twill tape in the back, kind of like a locker loop, so I can tell the front from the back.

I love the giant flowers all over this fabric, and I think it makes fun pajama pants!  Also, I think I should let you know, both legs are the same length, Fifi's "foot" is making one look shorter.  They match. 

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Second Sock!

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It's just as funny looking as the first sock was off the blocker!  I think it's a combination of the ribbing and the twisted stitches used for the top of the foot being a different gauge from the stockinette used for the sole.  As the blocker shows, it won't affect wear, just in-progress blog photos.  Also, I'm getting a completely different pooling pattern on this second sock, which is knit from the same ball of yarn as the first, in the same direction.  I expected pooling with this yarn, so I'm not upset, but it's weird how this kind of thing can happen.  One of the mysteries of knitting I suppose.

I've worked the heel turn on this second sock and begun to work my way up the leg.  I hope to get this one finished and begin on my last pair of socks for Loopy Academy over the weekend.  I guess I need to finalize which pattern I'm using!

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Wednesday, March 09, 2016

A Mermaid

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I've finished my mermaid's tail (except her flippers), made her a belt, and just started her body!  The ties for her belt have to be finished, but for now I'll just let them hangShe's being made in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light.  Her tail is in Mandala, her belt (and there will be other accessories) is in Nassau Blue, and her body is Natural - she's a sea creature and doesn't get a lot of sun.  I'm planning on making my mermaid's (she really does need a name doesn't she?) hair different from the pattern.  I love the pin curls on the pattern, but I'm thinking for this mermaid, I want long hair.  I've marked some crochet hair tutorials on Pinterest and I don't think it's going to be too hard.  She's fun to work on, but I find that I have to work on her when I'm not watching TV or likely to be spoken to because I have to do so much counting.  Also, there's the fact that I have trouble counting over four complicating things.

So, does anyone know any mermaid names other than Ariel?  She's not an Ariel, I'm pretty sure.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2016

One Sock for Loopy Academy

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I've finished my first Shotgun Shuts His Cake Hole sock!  I actually got the second one started later last night, but it's overcast and rainy this morning and we all know how those photos come out, so I didn't bother.  This sock looked really strange off the needles, but it fits my foot and fits the sock blocker normally.  I think it was the twisted ribbing pulling it in.  I've pretty much decided that these will be my "sock" project, although my twisted stitch project will also be socks.  I still haven't picked which pattern I'll use for that last project, but I've got it narrowed down.

I think the stitch pattern shows up pretty well despite the multicolored-ness of the yarn.  I knew I wanted to use something simple and repetitive with this yarn, and this pattern checks those boxes.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to need more caffeine than usual if it's going to be this dark and rainy today!

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Monday, March 07, 2016

Carson Throw - March!

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I've knit the March portion of the Carson Throw!  This is part of a knit-a-long from EatSleepKnit that will go for eight months.  I might drag my project out to nine months so I can get the Long Haul badge along with it.  I'm loving this project even though I know it's going to be huge and heavy before it's done.
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I'm trying to wait as long as possible before going up to a longer cable on my needles, because when the stitches are smushed up together, I don't have to do much pushing and pulling on them.  They just go around the needles nicely.  It is getting pretty crowded on the current cable though.  I'm also a bit surprised that Max hasn't tried to climb inside the blanket while I'm knitting it, since it's clearly perfectly shaped to be a cat bed!

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Thursday, March 03, 2016

A Mermaid's Tail

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I've loved the look of Lalylala's creatures for a while now, and I've finally begun to make one!  This is MICI the Mermaid, although my Mermaid hasn't told me her name yet.  That might be because I'm only halfway done with her tail and she has no mouth and can't speak - yet.  (Don't worry, she'll get flippers at the end later.)

I'm crocheting her entirely in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light.  Her tail is made in Mandala, which I decided would be a great mermaid tail.  I love how TML looks crocheted up.  I also love it knitted, so maybe I should just say I love TML.  The giant loop on the top right is where the hook will go when I start working on her again (I'm using a 2.25mm hook).  I always use a marker when I crochet in the round.  I keep it in the last stitch of a round (or spiral depending on how whatever it is, is built).  Sometimes I have trouble counting and that little marker has saved me many times.  I also entered the entire pattern into knitCompanion to keep track of it.  It's a pretty involved pattern, but there are tons of photos and it seems well written.  The designer is German, but her English is great (way better than my German) and she uses US crochet terms.  I've also got a couple of her other patterns to make when I finish my mermaid!

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Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Loopy Academy Socks

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My second Loopy Academy project is a pair of socks.  This is my first sock using the Shotgun Shuts His Cake Hole sock pattern, and it's knit toe up*.  It's knit in Malabrigo Sock in Indiecita.  They look very skinny right now because of the twisted ribbing.  Once I put them on my foot they look totally normal.  (I had to check for myself a couple of times.)  I'll definitely be putting these on the sock blockers before their official Loopy Academy shot!

The two remaining knitting assignments are:  to knit a pair of socks in either top down or bottom up (whichever you're least familiar with), and to knit something with twisted stitches.  I'm comfortable with either top down or toe up socks, so for my sock assignment I can do whatever direction I want.  This pattern also has twisted stitches in it.  So basically, these socks could count towards either assignment.  I'm planning another pair of socks for my third project but I haven't settled on a pattern yet, so I'll probably wait and turn them both in together, once I know what the other pair of socks will be.  It's nice to have options!

* Just in case you're curious about what happened to the first part of the quote, the designer also did Driver Picks the Music, which looks identical, but is knit top down.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Loopy Academy, Project 1 of 6, Finished

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I've finished my first project for this semester of Loopy Academy!  This is the project using a multicolored yarn (Madelinetosh Pashmina Cove) and a solid/tonal yarn (Madelinetosh Pashmina Undergrowth).  The pattern is Drachenfels, but I only used two colors instead of three.  Because I didn't follow the pattern like a good little knitter, I had to figure out a few things as I went, but I added notes to my project page on Ravelry about what I did.
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I didn't bother blocking it because it's just garter stitch.  I also forgot to measure it, but it's big.
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This was a fun project to knit (Pashmina is always fun) and I think it worked up pretty quickly.  I kind of want to make one using three colors now!

Loopy Academy scorecard:  1 knitted project finished, 2 knitting projects and 3 sewing projects to go.

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