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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Progress

Do you remember back in the spring when my shoulder flared up and I had to stop knitting and crocheting?  It's good now, and I'm back to my normal knitting levels, but every time I would try to crochet, I could feel it (the shoulder) again.  With the exception of the little narwhal I made for ESK Team Spirit Week and the leaves I made for a flash challenge, I've been staying away from crochet.  Although I will never know for sure, I'm pretty confident that the whole issue was caused by the crazy marathon crochet I did during the Olympics when I finished my Meditative Blanket.
Granny goes large
Anyway, I pulled my Granny Goes Large blanket out and decided to see what my shoulder thought about it.  I decided I'd only work 20 minutes unless I felt it sooner and then I'd quit early, because I think I need to build up my crochet muscles gradually so I don't end up in the pain situation again.  (At least the way I work, I use different muscles when I knit and when I crochet.)  Apparently it takes just under 20 minutes to work one side of the blanket.  And (even more importantly), I'm not feeling anything in my shoulder!  I've been working one side of the blanket each day and since the sides get a little bit longer each round, I'll just work up to longer crochet time gradually and hopefully avoid a repeat of The Shoulder Incident.  Also, I'll finish the blanket sooner.

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Completion, Sort Of

Sipila pullover 
I finally finished the stranded yoke section of my Sipila pullover - last night.  I didn't quite make my goal of finishing last week, but it's done now and I'm back to knitting only one color per round.  Things should move along much quicker now.

I'm really happy with how this first section looks although it needs blocking and it's not quite exactly like the pattern charts.  I have this problem with cross stitch too - I don't count right/pay attention.  At least with this as long as all of the repeats have the same mistake it becomes a design element.  In cross stitch my unicorns end up missing legs.  It's the stuff of nightmares.

Now that I'm through this colorwork section, I'll rotate other projects into the blog again, so we should now return to our regular programming!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Road So Far

Sipila pullover 
Here's where I'm at this morning on the Sipila pullover.  As I mentioned yesterday, this is all I'm going to be working on this week, so you'll be seeing it again.  I'm enjoying knitting it, it just doesn't progress very quickly.  That means blog photos with very little visible progress.

Maybe I can get Max to cooperate for some photos...

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Another Pair of Socks

Footie socks 
I've knit another pair of Footie Socks.  This time in Aniversario and Hush (Malabrigo Sock and Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock, respectively).  I finished knitting them right before bedtime last night so I still need to weave in the ends, but I'm calling them finished.  I think I might be able to get one more pair of footie socks out of this skein of Aniversario, but I'm not sure.  I'll have to see what I've got that will work for heels and toes.

I'm still working on the yoke of my colorwork pullover.  I underestimated the amount of time colorwork takes.  My new goal is to have the colorwork section finished sometime this week.  We'll have to see how that goes!

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Tension

Sipila 
I've gotten quite a bit more work done on my Sipila pullover.  I'm more than halfway through the charted yoke at this point.  When I knit in the round, I usually keep my needle length much smaller than the circumference of the knitting.  It means bunching the stitches up on the needles, but it also means that the piece sort of naturally rotates around the needles without me having to rearrange it very much myself.  On this project, I'm trying to keep my needle length very close to the actual knitting size because I think it helps with tensioning the floats in the color work.  It does mean I have to manually move the project around on the needles, but if I don't get my tension right, I'll have to re-knit this section, which would take longer.

I'm staying focused on this until I finish the color work yoke because I don't want my tension to change.  If you have a lot of down time in the middle of a project, your tension can be very different when you pick it up again.  In stranded color work that can be a huge problem.  So no stars for a bit and the front of Relax Two is on hold.  Footie socks are working like little palate cleansers for now, but I still hope to finish the yoke part of this sweater over the weekend.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Another Pair of Footies

Aniversario Sea Spray footie socks 
I finished a second pair of Aniversario Footies, this time I used Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock in Sea Spray for the toes and heels.  I'd tell you that soon the sock knitting will be something different, but that would be a lie.  I've started a third pair of these.  Eventually I will run out of Aniversario, but this is not that day!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Stranded

Sipila 
The ESK Fourth Quarter KAL - Charted Waters (make something charted) began October 1.  I just cast on this past weekend.  I'm making Sipila in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Flycatcher Blue and Natural.  I'm into the stranded portion of the yoke now, but I haven't gotten very far.  It kind of reminds me of Charlie Brown's shirt at this point - in completely the wrong colors. 

I've been wanting to make a colorwork yoke pullover for a while now, so when I realized this pattern would also work for the KAL, I decided to go ahead and do it.  This has an oversized shape which looks cute with skinny jeans and is comfortable to wear.  There are some projects on Ravelry that were knit to be more fitted, but I'll be making mine oversized as the pattern is written.  I'm doing the long sleeved version.

Also, can I just say that I absolutely adore the polka dots on the sleeves!  The yoke pattern is pretty and I like it too, but the polka dotted sleeves are what really reeled me in with this pattern!

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Finished Footie Socks!

Footie socks 
I finished my first pair (for the year) of Aniversario footie socks just in time for cold weather!  I like these to sleep in when the weather is cold because they keep my feet warm, but I can still feel Max under the covers with the tops of my feet and my ankles.  He sleeps under the covers and sometimes all the way down by my feet.  Fortunately, he doesn't seem to mind being kicked occasionally (actually I think he likes it), but I try to keep up with him.

This skein of Aniversario is not consistently the same color from one end to the other, so a pair of regular socks would have been two different colors.  I paired the Anversario (Malabrigo Sock) with Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock in Lollipop for the heels and toes.  Aniversario has so many colors in it, you can pair it with just about any other color and it will work.  I've already started a second pair with a different contrast color!

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Relax Back

Relax Two 
 I've finished the back of my second Relax pullover.  I kind of pinned it out for the photo since all it wanted to do was roll up and look weird.  I'll weave in most of the ends before I block it (with the as yet unknitted front), but some of the ends are for sewing seams later.

Now I'm off to knit the front!  I hope you all have a safe and fun weekend!

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

New Footie Socks

Footie socks 
After finishing up my Green Dragon socks, I immediately wound yarn for a new pair of socks.  The yarn was Malabrigo Sock in Aniversario.  Once the skein was wound, I noticed that while the outside of the skein was mostly raspberry, fuschia, and plum tones with little bits of all the other colors (as Aniversario usually is), the center of the skein had more blues, greens, and purples.  I knew if I knit a regular pair of socks, the socks would be different colors, despite being knit from the same skein.  So I changed gears and decided to knit footie socks instead.  I will be able to get two pairs of footie socks from the skein.  Just for fun, I decided to use my leftovers of Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Lollipop leftover from my Smaug socks earlier this year for toes and heels.  I started with the end of the Aniversario skein that's more blues and greens than reds. 

I'm ready to start the heel on the second sock at this point, so as usual, these little socks are practically falling off the needles.  I haven't decided yet, but I might use the leftovers of Racing Green for heels and toes with the more red end of the skein.  Just to mix things up a bit!

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Green Dragon Socks

Green Dragon socks 
I finished my Green Dragon Socks (for the To Dragons With Love MKAL) while I was sick.  These are knit in Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock in Racing Green which is definitely photographing more blue green than it is.  These were a fun pair of socks to knit, and while I wasn't really sure about them in a couple of places as I was knitting them, I really like the finished socks.

I think this is my fifth pair of socks this year and I definitely need to sort through my sock drawer.  There are a few pairs of socks that have felted over the years and several pairs that I just don't like the yarn I used.  Some of my early hand spun socks are just really itchy to wear.  I need to clear out the ones I'm not wearing so I have room for the ones I do.  I'm not sure why I keep putting it off, but I'm pretty sure Max will help me when I do sort it out.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

I'm Back!

Unfortunately I wasn't vacationing in some exotic locale, I came down with the weird Starts-Like-Allergies-But-Then-Settles-Into-Your-Chest-And-Head-Virus that's going around.  Medical scientists have no interest in curing it because by the time they type the name of the virus, their test subjects are over it.  Anyway, much sleeping, coughing and sneezing has been taking place.  Now things are better though and we're getting back to normal.

I did a little bit of knitting in between naps and hot tea and stars are perfect for short little bursts of creativity!  I found that if I have pre-measured the yarn lengths, I can get a Small star knit to the point of blocking in just under an hour.  Medium and Large stars take just a little bit more time.  Fortunately, I had done some pre-measuring before I got sick so all I had to do was knit and block stars.  Yesterday, when I was feeling better, I stuffed and finished them, so now I have seven more stars!  There's one more Hydroponic star and the others are Hedgehog Fibres Sock in Dragonfly using leftovers from my first Relax.
Scintillation stars
Just a note about the pre-measuring:  in the pattern (Scintillation) you measure your yarn (she gives lengths) and start in the middle.  That way you only have two ends to weave in, which is a very nice thing.  I found that for me, and in fingering weight, the suggested lengths are longer than necessary.  As a pattern writer, I totally understand why - you can knit these in any yarn and heavier yarns will use more yardage than finer yarns; and everyone's tension is a little bit different, so even if two people knit the same size star from the same yarn using the same needles, they might use different lengths of yarn.  If you underestimate yarn necessary in pattern writing you will get complaints - think torches and pitchforks here, maybe a crazed mob or two.  If you vastly overestimate yarn, the most you will hear will be mild grumbling but even that will be minimal.  When I knit my first star (the Large size), I measured out the length for the Large in the pattern and I kept up with my yarn ends when I finished knitting it.  Then I measured the yarn ends - what I didn't use - and subtracted that from the original length.  I added back a little bit for wiggle room, safety, and variation between yarns and that's my new length for Large.  Then I worked backwards, knitting the Medium and Small stars the same way, figuring out how much fingering weight yarn each size of star takes for me.  I'm not going to share my lengths for the reason that you might need more or less, but I will tell you that the pattern estimation for the largest size has less waste than the medium and small, so start there.  If this sounds ridiculously complicated and you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry about it.  Just use the recommended amounts in the pattern and use the leftovers for stuffing your stars!

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