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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My Sixth Weaving Project

Sixth weaving project 
I got the loom warped and started weaving yesterday!  This is another scarf using fingering weight yarn.  I'm using the 12 dent heddle.  Both yarns are Madelinetosh Tosh Sock which is a fat fingering weight 2 ply yarn.  I've used it for knitting before, but this is the first time I've used it for weaving.  The warp is Charcoal and the weft is Mare.  Unfortunately, because of the darkness of the colors I'm using, they aren't photographing very well.  It is going to be a dark scarf, but there is black, brown, navy and gray in the Mare colorway and the camera isn't wanting to pick it up.  I'm happy with the way it's looking as I weave it, but this will probably be a series of blog posts looking dark and gloopy.  It reminds me a bit of Hollywood's depiction of Victorian England at night - the color scheme to Penny Dreadful maybe?  On the other hand, blogging issues aside, it will be perfect for the person I'm weaving it for, and that's the most important thing.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

It's Time to Start Thinking About Blankets

Carson throw 
This August has been freakishly cool here in North Texas.  Now don't get me wrong, we still have highs in the high 80's and low 90's, but they really should be triple digit highs right now.  So while I'm not ready to wear any of the sweaters I've knit just yet, I do realize that it will happen.  The temperatures will drop and the knits will be worn.  Also, working on the Carson Throw doesn't sound like torture at the moment, so I've pulled it out and I have a plan!

According to the pattern, I have about 50 rounds left in my giant blanket.  I knit on it all day Saturday.  It was all I worked on and I made some headway.  I realized that if I devoted one day a week to it (probably Saturday, since we're starting school Thursday), I could probably get it finished fairly soon.  At this point, each round is about half an hour.  After my next increase round, that will probably be closer to 45 minutes or an hour, so I'm not talking about a super quick finish here.  On the other hand, if I can get a day's worth of knitting into it every week (and keep Max from making a nest in it while I'm knitting on it), I think I can finish it by Halloween.  And that's without neglecting Caleb's homeschooling (10th grade!) and still doing Loopy Academy.  So get ready for weekly updates again.  By the time the temps really cool off around here, I'm going to be ready with a big, round blanket!


Monday, August 29, 2016

More Cowl!

Pleasant Trip 
I've more than doubled the width of my Pleasant Trip since you last saw it.  I know it looks like a sad, rumpled, wonky thing right now, but the magic of blocking will fix that.  Unfortunately, I can't block before I finish knitting (and there's really no reason to), but that means the blog is subjected to things that look like this.  If you're curious how much better it will look later, here's a link to the pattern page.  See?  Pretty!  Isn't blocking magical?


Friday, August 26, 2016

A Blast From the Past

Heathered Ruby 
Do you remember this cardigan?  I knit it in April, but didn't have buttons so I just tucked it away, dangling ends and all, until I could find some.  It's been sitting patiently in a bag since then while I have searched up and down for the right buttons for it.  I usually use shell or metal buttons, but both of those options were really taking over the sweater.  I think that even though it's a red sweater, there are so many shades of red there, it was distracting to have a contrasting button.  Once I figured this out, I started looking for red buttons.  The problem is this is a blue red, that might have wanted to lean pink when it grew up, but then it got dark.  It didn't go to Burgundy or Wine or Maroon, it stayed red, but it's definitely not a Fire Engine, Candy Apple, Chinese Red or any of the "standard" reds that the button manufacturers make.  I looked at custom buttons, but the type I liked would have been almost as much as the yarn I used to knit the sweater.  I looked at Etsy.  I looked at vintage buttons.  Nothing was quite right.

Finally, this month as I was flipping through the new Twist Collective, I saw an ad for Textile Garden.  I checked it out and found some buttons that looked perfect!  I found another set of buttons that also looked like they would work, but they were a little smaller.  I decided to order both because if the photos were off, one of them would work and worst case scenario, I would have to reknit the button hole band with smaller button holes.  This wasn't really a big problem since I hadn't woven in the ends yet!  (Laziness sometimes pays off.)  I went to pay and realized the buttons were in England.  (I would have noticed that the prices were in pounds, not dollars if I wasn't solely focused on the buttons.)  Since these were the only buttons I'd found that looked like they would work, I decided to go for it.  Shipping was super fast and I got them Wednesday afternoon.  Both sets of buttons I ordered worked with this cardigan, but one set was big enough for the button holes already there.  I started weaving in ends, sewed down the pocket linings and had it blocking Wednesday night before bedtime.  Yesterday I added the buttons and here is my sweater now:
Ruby Heathered
The pattern is Heathered.  The yarn is Fable Fibers Biography in Ruby.  The buttons are Burgundy Shell Leaves from Textile Garden.  After blocking I wasn't happy with top edges of the pockets.  (You can see in the first picture how floppy they looked.)  I decided to add a row of single crochet along that top edge to firm things up.  It would have been easier to do this before I sewed down the pocket linings, but it wasn't too hard to do it after everything else was finished.  I'm really glad I added that little edge.  You can see the difference it made.
Ruby Heathered
I suppose you'd like to see the buttons that finally allowed me to finish this cardigan, wouldn't you?  Here's what they look like.  They are a dyed shell (so I got to use shell after all) in a leaf shape.  I'm so happy to finally have this sweater finished and ready to wear once the temperatures drop around here!
Ruby Heathered
Have a great weekend!


Thursday, August 25, 2016

My Sixth Weaving Project

Sixth Weaving Project 
Either this weekend or the first of next week, I will be warping my loom for my sixth weaving project.  It's another scarf.  (I may have promised not another scarf next but I changed my mind.  I do have yarn for Not A Scarf, but I want to get a couple more scarves woven first.)  Both of these yarns are Madelinetosh Tosh Sock.  I will be using Charcoal (on the upper right) for the warp and Mare (lower left) for the weft. 

I used the Mare colorway (different yarn base) in Caleb's crochet blanket I made years ago and really liked it then.  It's a dark, moody combination of black, navy, gray and dark chocolate brown, so it basically works with everything.  I think it will be perfect for a scarf to coordinate with every coat anyone owns.  Obviously this will be my darkest scarf yet, but I think the Mare will make it interesting.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Something Neither Pink Nor A Sweater!

Pleasant Trip 
Just for a change of pace, here's how my Pleasant Trip cowl is looking.  The stitch pattern is easy to work and easy to memorize, which means I've found new ways to mess it up, but at this stage in the knitting, I've also figured out how to fix my mistakes.  I've knit about a quarter of the width of the cowl right so far.

I'm also spending this week getting everything sorted out for school.  We are starting next Thursday, September 1.  Caleb doesn't even want to talk about it.  The end of summer is just too painful for him.  Logan is helping me get things figured out and planned, but he's always helpful with everything.  Max is ignoring things like Caleb is, but Max will continue his summer even after Caleb is back to school.  Max does not attend school except to sit on the books occasionally.  While we're using them.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A New Pink Sweater!

This year's weird pink obsession continues with my fifth pink sweater of the year, Toujours!  This is essentially an oversized, scoop neck henley.  It's worked from the bottom up (which is traditionally a problem for me, as I lose momentum when the back and front divide for the sleeves) and begins with short rows to shape the curved hem.  You can kind of see the shape of the hem in my photo, but the knitting really wanted to curl up around itself and take a nap like a cat, not stretch out and be photographed.  We compromised.

I'm knitting it in Malabrigo Arroyo in English Rose.  I am alternating skeins.  I am still in love with the many varieties of pink that make up this colorway.  It fascinates me.  Also, I'm still amused by knitting pink sweaters on pink needles.  I never claimed to be a very complex person.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Beeline: Finished!

Finished Beeline 
I've just finished my fourth pink sweater of this year!  Beeline was a fast knit in worsted weight yarn.  It's a simple sweatshirt shape with a scooped neckline, but it will look great with jeans, which is what I live in when it gets cool enough to wear sweaters.  The pattern was simple and straight forward, and once I got past the neckline shaping area, it was brainless knitting.

I knit it in Madelinetosh DK Twist which is currently only available at the online store.  I purchased it at MadTosh crafts in Fort Worth before it closed.  The colorway is Carnation, which is unfortunately discontinued and I have now knit the last of the Carnation in my stash.  Fortunately, this is not the last pink yarn in my stash, so I've cast on for another pink sweater!

At the end of this year, when I've knit all the pink yarn in my stash, I'm either going to be sick of pink (not likely) or have to get more pink yarn for the stash.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Fifth Weaving Project Finished

Fifth weaving project 
I finished my Fifth Weaving Project!  By finished, I mean the weaving is finished and it's off the loom.  I still have to wash it, press it, and trim the fringe, but I'm calling it finished.
Fifth weaving project
I wove another section of fabric after finishing the scarf length.  The directions I use for figuring the warp length include a percentage for shrinkage, but I'm not sure it's necessary for superwash yarns.  I can see that a feltable wool or a shrinkable cotton might need it, but I'm not seeing this kind of take up on the superwash wool.  I could start making my warps a bit shorter, but if I leave them the way they are, I get to weave this extra little piece of fabric.  I'm thinking of using them for little zipper pouches, because everyone can use a zipper pouch.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Got It!

Pleasant Trip 
Before I put that project away in time out yesterday, I decided to give it one more chance.  I changed cables on my needles (I switched to some with no memory), sorted my stitch markers by color (this probably had no effect whatsoever, but it looked pretty), and switched to a long tail cast on using two skeins (so I wouldn't have to guesstimate the length of tail needed for 300+ stitches).  I tucked Max in for a nap and found a quiet place in the house.
Pleasant Trip
It worked!  I got the cast on finished and started knitting without twisting the stitches!  Honestly, the not twisting the stitches is the hardest part of this project. 

Oh, I haven't told you what this is?  It's the Pleasant Trip Cowl and I can see how this would be great vacation knitting (once you cast on and join without twisting your stitches).  The stitch pattern is quickly memorized and easy to work.  The yarn I'm using is Madelinetosh Pashmina in Scarlet.  I had used this yarn for another project a couple of years ago, but I wasn't wearing it.  I'm trying to just have things in my closet that I wear, so I frogged the previous project and now it will be a cowl.  (Of course, being reclaimed yarn, it has kinks left from the previous project, so the stitches won't lie perfectly until I finish knitting it and block them.)


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Sleeve Is Born!

I've begun my first sleeve on my Beeline pullover.  There are no "beelines" on the sleeves, so it's just stockinette, around and around and around.  I tried it on yesterday to double check the length and I'm almost to the ribbing.  I always feel like the second sleeve goes faster than the first because I know exactly which rounds have the decreases, I know exactly how many rounds to work before the ribbing, and I know which round is my bind off.  Yes, I work with a counter and keep obsessive notes, why do you ask?

I did start a new project the other day (since finishing the last pair of footies and the Ruby-Whatever-It-Was, I have two gaps in my knitting lineup if I want to start new things), got about five rounds into it and realized I'd twisted the cast on.  I started over and dropped stitches on the first round.  It's been frogged again now and will be sitting in time out until I'm ready to deal with it.  The cast on is over 300 stitches long, which is the main problem.  If I can get past the cast on, it should be smooth sailing.  I will not name the project right now because I will be knitting it, I'm just going to give it some time to think about what it's done.

In the meantime, I might just cast on something else today!


Monday, August 15, 2016

Magical Unicorn Footie Socks!

Magical Unicorn footies 
These practically fell off my needles this weekend!  These are from the exact same footie pattern I used for the all Pop Rocks footie socks I showed you Friday.  I used a bit of Pop Rocks (16 grams) for the toes and heels. (That's 16 g total: each sock used 8 g for the two sections.)  I used Cosmic Wonder Dust for the rest of the socks.  I started with 34 g of that, which I divided into two balls so I wouldn't use more than half on the first sock.  I had a little bit of leftovers on the CWD, but I used every bit of the Pop Rocks.  I've added these weights to my Ravelry page for future reference because I'm sure I'll make more of these two color footie socks.  Just FYI, a regular, single color pair of these footie socks uses about 44 g of fingering weight yarn.  I usually make sure I have at least 48 g before I start. 

I had so much fun watching the speckles of CWD appear as I knit.  It makes me want to buy another skein and pair it with other colors just to make more footies!  I was just bouncing around from happiness watching these socks take shape.  Caleb tells me that they are neither magical, nor unicorn socks, but I think he might be jealous that I haven't knit him a pair or he just got tired of having to look at them.  Silly teenager!


Friday, August 12, 2016

Pop Rocks Footie Socks - Finished!

Pop Rocks socks 
I finished both of my footie socks.  This put a nice dent in my Pop Rocks leftovers.  I still have a little bit left, but I'm thinking of pairing it with my Cosmic Wonder Dust leftovers and making another pair of footie socks.  I will have to get out the scale and weigh some things.  I've found that the footie socks I've made all weigh just below 45 grams.  I usually like to have 50 grams of yarn before starting a pair.  If I were combining yarns, I might nudge that number up just a bit because of weaving in ends.  There will be weighing and maths happening soon!

In the meantime though, I have a new pair of socks!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Fifth Weaving Project

Fifth weaving project 
I finally got my loom warped and got started on my Fifth Weaving Project.  This was actually the second warping attempt (since the warping peg came out of the clamp as I was almost finished the first time).  I had to un-warp and re-wind my yarn.  Un-warping takes longer than warping.  I waited for a couple of days, then started over and this second time went quickly and without any issues.
Next weaving project
These are the yarns I'm using again and I am loving these two yarns together!  The way the colors are playing together is so interesting to watch.  That's one of the most fascinating things about weaving for me:  watching what happens when you combine the yarns.  I think that's also why I love plain weave (over, under, over, under) so much.  You can do all sorts of complex weaving patterns, even on a rigid heddle loom, but I love the simplicity of plain weave because it lets the colors be the focus.  Hand dyed yarns have so much going on colorwise, it just makes it more interesting.  I find it interesting at least.  It might not be that interesting to you guys.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Ruby Hybrid, Finished!

Ruby hybrid 
I finished knitting on whatever this red thing is!  After blocking, it does seem to be holding the blocking.  It had been very long and narrow in the knitting, but I blocked it wider and opened up the lace and it is staying there.
Ruby hybrid
I used the entire skein of Mini Maiden and it is a long, long shawl/scarf/thing, but wraps nicely around the neck.  I can't really give details about the pattern since it's a combination of two patterns that aren't my own, but if you take the lace stitch pattern from Brickless and plug it into the shaping of Hitchhiker, this is what you get.  I feel like it's got a very summer-y look with all the lace mesh.


Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Pop Rocks Footie Socks!

Footie sock in Pop Rocks 
I had some Pop Rocks left from my Featherweight Cardigan so I've decided to make a pair of Footie Socks.  This is that same pattern I used a couple of years back.  I love these for sleep socks.  They take just under 50 grams for a pair and I've knit them enough that they're super fast and fit perfectly.

The pattern is written for any gauge, and while I've only ever knit them at 8 stitches per inch, I really should try a pair in worsted weight for slipper socks.  Maybe with my leftovers from my Pink Beeline...


Monday, August 08, 2016

Making a Beeline!

Pink Beeline 
I've finished the body of my Beeline pullover.  As you can see, it's essentially a sweatshirt shape with the scoop neck (which will need a ribbed edging at some point) and decorative yarn over lines (the "beelines") dressing it up a bit.

The sleeves are simple stockinette - no "beelines" there, and at worsted weight, should work up pretty quickly.  It will be months before I'm able to wear this, but it will be ready when it finally does get cold!


Thursday, August 04, 2016

The Next Weaving Project

Next weaving project 
I still have to do the finishing work on my Fourth Weaving Project that I showed you yesterday, fresh off the loom, but I've got the Fifth Weaving Project all planned!  I hope to get the loom warped this weekend.  This will be another scarf, but this one might not have fringe.  I've got to see how it weaves up, but it might be a man scarf, so I'll probably do something different on the ends.

The yarn is Jellybeans Yarns from Etsy.  Both are fingering weight sock yarns.  The warp will be Spice Market (the browns on the lower left) and the weft will be Tulip (the blue multicolor on the upper right).

Just in case you were wondering if scarves are all I'll ever weave, my next, next project (the one after this one, AKA The Sixth Weaving Project) will be not a scarf, but a wrap!  Of course a wrap is really just a wider and longer scarf, but still, it's different!


Wednesday, August 03, 2016


I finished up my latest weaving project yesterday.  According to my notes, I warped the loom on March 20 of this past spring.  Obviously, it just sat there for most of that time since I've done more than half of the project in the last two days.

The main purpose for this project was to weave a scarf with fringe.  When I got to 62 inches of weaving, I measured my remaining warp and realized that even after I skipped enough for the fringe at the other end, I still had over a foot of warp that could be woven.  So that's what I did.  I hemstitched the second end of the scarf, skipped a section of warp for fringe, and started weaving again until I ran out of warp.  Once it was off the loom, I serged the edges of the second little piece to keep it from unravelling (I did not hem stitch its edges), and now I'm ready to twist and knot the fringe on the scarf.  Then I'll toss both pieces into the washer to fluff them up and after pressing them I'll trim the tails of the fringe and have a finished scarf and a small piece of handwoven fabric.

Before washing, the scarf measures 9 inches by 62 inches (without fringe) and the piece of fabric measures 9 inches by 13 inches.  I have a little bit of weft yarn left, but weaving the second piece of fabric really cut down on the amount of waste from my warp, didn't take long at all, and now I have a piece of fabric to play with.

*Warp is the yarn that goes into the loom first.  It runs longways with the weaving piece and must be strong enough to tolerate the weaving process.  The extra warp yarn will be used as fringe for my scarf.  Weft is the yarn that goes back and forth, over and under.  It can be a more delicate yarn because there is less wear and tear on weft during weaving.  In this project, I used two superwash, fingering weight yarns.


Tuesday, August 02, 2016

That Weird Red Hybrid Thing

Whatever it is, it's bigger now!  I'm 26 repeats in at this point.  You can see how long and narrow it is.  I'm going to block it wider when I'm finished knitting it, to open the lace, but it's possible that it might pull itself back to a narrow shape by its own weight when I'm wearing it.  I'm OK with that.  I plan on looping it multiple times around my neck so I don't trip over it.

On an unrelated note, I'm trying to decide if I'll do the Ravellenic Games this year.  I've knit along with the Olympics every year since the Yarn Harlot came up with the idea.  I don't always do the "official" KAL (and if I do a project or two for the games I probably won't participate officially this year either, primarily because I don't feel like jumping through a lot of hoops right now, I just want to knit).  I think my indecision is based partly on these games themselves:  I really feel like the IOC and Brazil have dropped the ball this time around, at the athlete's expense.  The advertisers, the IOC, and the other commercial interests will walk away with a paycheck, but the athletes are being housed in unsafe dormitories and asked to compete in unsafe and downright disgusting conditions.  Survival Skills isn't an Olympic event.  There are a few events I will watch, but at this point I'm not planning on my All-Olympics-All-The-Time viewing schedule.  On the other hand, I will be knitting anyway during the time the games are going, even if I'm watching Netflix instead of the games.  I'm obviously still waffling about what I want to do.

Anyone else going to knit with the games or still deciding?

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Monday, August 01, 2016

Just Knitting and Knitting

I've made some headway on the body of my Beeline.  It's now long enough that you can see the line of yarn overs (holes) clearly.  In a couple of inches, I'll try it on and start checking the length.  The neckline looks a little too open at the moment, but once I add the ribbing to it, it will become narrower.  The design does have an open, scoop neck, not a crew neck, but it won't be as open as it looks right now.

On a completely unrelated note, can someone please tell me how it is August 1?  How did this happen?  Weren't we just finishing up May about five minutes ago?