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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What Do Middle Earth and Seahorses Have In Common?

Sepp the Seahorse 
One of the benefits of homeschooling is that we can take some time and wander off on whatever learning tangents we want to.  (Within reason of course.)  British Literature is one of Caleb's subjects this year and he is finishing up The Hobbit.  At some point we decided that after he had read it, we had discussed it, and he had finished the writing assignment for it, we should watch the movies and compare and contrast the book versus the movies.  (The compare and contrast part was my idea, he just wanted to veg out and watch the movies.)  One of us mentioned that it would be like a field trip to Middle Earth, so that's what we did yesterday!

We ended up eating our sack lunches (you always have to bring a sack lunch on a field trip, right?) in Rivendell and then tea and afternoon snacks were in the Woodland Realm.  In between all the meals though, I worked on Sepp the Seahorse.  He's my last project for Loopy Academy this semester and I need to get him finished.  I got quite a bit done yesterday in between the orcs and the spiders and the battles, and I've actually finished his body!  I'm ready to begin his head now, but I've got to find his eyes before I can start working on his head.  I think they're upstairs somewhere.  I've still got his head, hood, arms, and fins to make.  Then there's his baby.  Finishing his body means I'm most of the way done, but there's a lot of small details that get added before he's completely finished.  I've got one month to get everything done (oh, and there's also Christmas and four family birthdays in there too).  I better get hooking!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gray. Stockinette. Rectangle.

image 
I've been working on my Easy Folded Poncho and I'm past the neck opening.  The original pattern calls for seaming, but when I was glancing through the projects, I noticed that someone had figured out how to make it without seaming.  Just reason #258 why you should always check the Ravelry projects before casting on - someone else may have done the thinking already!

This is currently my only completely brainless project (my current sock is pretty easy, but nothing beats stockinette), so as you can imagine, it got some needle time last week in the chaos that is Thanksgiving.  Now that I'm past the neck, I'm working both the front and back on each row, but it's still super easy and will be faster in the long run than seaming the front and back together.  If I was working a yarn that might stretch out with wearing (100% alpaca or cotton), I might rethink the seaming because the seam would give the garment some structure and keep the growing in check.  For this project (one yarn is 100% wool and the other is 50% wool/50% alpaca), I'm not worried about it. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Another Blanket

Meditative blanket 
After finishing my Carson Throw, I now only have one blanket going - The Meditative Blanket.  I got it out over the weekend after Thanksgiving was over and added another row of squares.  I now have 11 rows (by 24 wide).  The initial goal was to go to 36 rows, but if I still have yarn left, I might just keep going.  I've got a couple of skeins set aside for the border, but I've got a ways to go before I even have to think about that.

I plan on keeping this as my only blanket project until it's finished.  Two blankets going at once feels like a bit much for me.  I'm really enjoying working one square at a time versus knitting rounds of 1000 stitches each.  Also the fingering weight yarn in crochet feels very different from the bulky weight yarn in knitting.  I prefer the smaller yarns (although the finished Carson Throw is super squishy and thick).   I'll weave in the ends from this row before I start the next row, I just haven't gotten to them yet!


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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It is Finished!

Carson throw 
I've finished the Carson Throw!  Almost ten months of work, thousands of stitches, and it is finished.  It's around seven feet in diameter and it took over the entire floor of my sewing room for blocking.  I didn't stretch it at all; I just smoothed it out flat, sprayed it with water and let it dry.
Carson throw
It's already received Max's stamp of approval - he took a full bath on it and then settled in for a nap while I worked out this morning.  Of course he assisted with the actual knitting as well, climbing inside it, nesting under it, basically testing that it would be a good blanket when it was finished.  It's nice and warm and will be perfect for snuggling under on a cold day.

I will be back next week after Thanksgiving, after the turkey coma wears off, and the stretchy pants are again optional.  Have a great Thanksgiving if you're celebrating this week!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Carson Progress

Carson throw 
I have six rounds to go!

I'm going to continue updating when there is visible progress, but since this is all I'm knitting right now, blogging will be random and sporadic.  Once I get this finished (and it has a proper TA DA! post) I'm going to take next week off.  Thanksgiving dinner is at our house so there's a lot to do!

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Monday, November 14, 2016

The Carson Throw

Carson throw. 
I am trying to get this project finished.  It was the only thing I worked on all weekend and I'm just past the halfway point in the edging.  There are almost 1000 stitches per round so it's not particularly fast.  Finishing it earns six stars for my Eat.Sleep.Knit. team (the Rabbiteers), plus it's worth a few badges in Boosterthon, but honestly at this point, I just want it finished.

I think I prefer a modular blanket like the Meditative Blanket and I'm wanting to get back to my Meditative Blanket.  I also enjoyed crocheting Caleb's Neat Ripple a few years ago - that was back and forth.  Maybe I just prefer to crochet blankets instead of knitting them.

Anyway, I'm going to keep pushing on this until it's finished, so this might be a very boring week of blogging.  You've been warned.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

A New Pair of Socks

Scatterby Socks 
I started a new pair of socks!  This is the Scatterby pattern which is a really simple, allover texture pattern.  I've never knit this pattern before but it's fun.  I'm actually only using the stitch pattern because the sock pattern is worked toe-up.  I'd rather work top down, so I just plugged the stitch pattern into my plain, vanilla sock recipe.  The yarn is Lemonade Shop Simple Sock in Willow.

I'm always on the lookout for new stitch patterns that work well for socks that I can easily memorize.  This one seems to be a good one!

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Tuesday, November 08, 2016

A New Project

Easy folded poncho 
Since finishing my cowl last week, I had a hole in my regular project rotation in the shawls/wraps/scarves category.  I have a few shawls-to-be in my stash, but I decided to grab my Churchmouse Yarns Easy Folded Poncho kit first.  Churchmouse is the yarn shop in Washington state that did the Mohair Bias Loop that I've knit multiple times.  I've always liked the look of their Easy Folded Poncho (it kind of looks like a socially acceptable adult security blanket) and I think it will work with my wardrobe, so I bought the kit earlier this year (mine is Charcoal, which is apparently sold out at the moment).

There are two yarns, you knit them together, and there is a lot of stockinette.  Someone on Ravelry figured out how to knit it so you don't have to seam it (I'll be following those directions).  At the moment it's rolling quite a bit, but I think that will block out.  If it doesn't, I could always add a crochet edge to make it behave.  It's very soothing to knit, and super simple.  That's the genius in the Churchmouse designs, they're simple and relaxing to knit, but also very wearable.  If I love this as much when I finish it as I think I will, there might be another one or two in my future.  I think it might be nice in a color or two!

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Monday, November 07, 2016

Finished Footies

image 
I finished my Blue Fluffy Unicorn Footies.  I used the leftover Pop Rocks for the toe and instep patterning.  (I kind of just winged it on the first one and then knit the second one to match.)  This is my favorite footie pattern that I've knit many times before.

Now that I've completed these, I get to start a new pair of socks, and since I finished my cowl last week, I get to start something else to fill that gap.  Also, I don't have a sweater on the needles right now, so...

I GET TO CAST ON ALL THE THINGS!!!!!!

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Friday, November 04, 2016

Loopy Academy Bobble Project Finished!

Biscuit cowl 
I finished my bobbles/nupps/popcorn project for Loopy Academy.  This is the Biscuit cowl and I really enjoyed knitting it!  If you're looking for a nice cowl pattern to knit for a gift (or yourself), this one is definitely worth looking at - quick and interesting.
Biscuit cowl
I knit the pattern exactly as written in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Cloud Nine in Help Us Rhonda.  This was my first time using the yarn base and I really liked it.  I love BMFA Socks That Rock base, but it's a little more crisp than I like for shawls and those types of projects.  Cloud Nine might be the base I was looking for.

I now only have the toy project (my seahorse) left for this semester's Loopy Academy.  I have officially decided not to do the sewing Loopy Academy this semester.  I can always catch up later or maybe after I've completed the knitting version.  Doing both just meant I couldn't get anything else done and that was frustrating.  I'll see how things look in the spring.

Have a great weekend!  We're supposed to get cooler temperatures and some rain later this weekend.  I'm going to make soup!

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Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The Seahorse

image 
I didn't have much time to knit yesterday, but I did finally get a little bit of time to work on my seahorse a bit.  I'm still on his tail, but it's moving along.  Whoever suggested using a bobby pin for a marker is a genius!  It's so nice not to worry about the end of round marker falling out.  Thank you!

Someone else suggested a contrast yarn woven back and forth and while I'd like to try that at some point, I don't believe it will work with Max.  He's very particular about what he will and won't allow around here.  (Max is the cat that once grabbed a paper knitting chart and ran off down the hall with it streaming behind him.  He's interesting.)  He will occasionally "help" with yarn management for either my knitting or crochet and contrast colors of scrap yarn are just asking for kitten intervention.

I'm almost finished with the bobble cowl I showed you yesterday, so this will be my last project for Loopy Academy.  I've just about decided not to do the sewing version of Loopy Academy this fall.  I feel like there are other things I need to do and I don't need the added stress.  I haven't quite ruled it out, but I'm leaning that way.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2016

The New Project

Biscuit 
When I changed gears on my bobbles/nupps/popcorn project for Loopy Academy, I not only got a different yarn, I changed patterns.  I bought a skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Cloud Nine (their version of an MCN base) in Help Us Rhonda, which is a gorgeous, rich red violet color.  It has an almost velvety look.  The pattern I'm using is Biscuit, which is a cowl with bobbles in the border.

It's working up very quickly and the bobbles didn't permanently scar me.  I actually think they work well in this pattern.  There's a row of bobbles separating the lace border from the main cowl stitch pattern, and there's another row of bobbles just at the edge of the border, but those bobbles are hiding in the roll of the knitting and they're hard to see.  They should be more visible once I finish it and get it blocked.

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