FO: Zauberball Socks

Technically it’s November 1st, but I think it still counts as a Socktober win. One pair of plain vanilla socks in Schoppel-Wolle’s Crazy Zauberball!  

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The yarn is so interesting by itself that I didn’t want to add a stitch pattern into the mix. The colours don’t repeat, so I have fraternal socks instead of identical twins.

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They’re soft even before blocking, so I have a feeling these ones are going to be worn a lot. The fact that they’re a combo of my favourite colours doesn’t hurt either.

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The next sock mission? Two at a time socks! Now I just need the right yarn…

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FO: Regency Blouse

It’s finished! It’s blocked! It’s been worn about town and deemed wearable! I’m still awash in shiny-new-FO love despite it being about two weeks old. It’s lasting a long time… normally I’m consider myself a process knitter and I really enjoyed the process of knitting this, but I fell in love a bit with the final product.
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I swear I love it, despite my awkward modelling…

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The neckline is a touch wider after blocking than I thought it would be, but it doesn’t slip off my shoulders so it works! I bought at least 1200 yards to make it but it took about 600 at most. Lots left over for a shawl in the future! I love the yarn – NBK l superwash merino in lavandula (great colourway name…) It’s a great summer top – warm enough for all but the warmest of days.

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I swapped out the picot bind off for a picot hem, which still lies flat and matches with the pattern but is a little more subtle. Other than that I didn’t change the pattern in any way. It’s the first project on Ravelry beyond the original one published in Jane Austen Knits, and I hope more people decide to make it. It’s a wonderfully clear pattern and the lace is surprisingly easy once you’ve done one repeat. If it’s your style, or someone in your life, I highly recommend making it!

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FO: Bloemen voor Daphne

Lots of people that see me knitting in public comment that they would LOVE to knit, but they just simply don’t have the patience. I don’t know exactly how many times I’ve given variations of my “I don’t knit because I have patience, I have patience because I knit” …but we are definitely in the double digits. Knitting is what keeps me patient in long lines, or when traveling. It’s what makes movies and TV shows not feel like a waste of time, and honestly helps me continue to pay attention if the knitting doesn’t become distractingly complicated. I recently knit an inch extra of stockinette stitch in the movie theatre that I had to rip back after (Age of Ultron, apparently the more intense the action movie, the faster I knit to cope.) I wasn’t even sad about the error – it was more time I got to spend with a very lovely yarn. More on that project later.

The point is that knitting is what soothes me. It’s what grants me patience and occasionally helps keep me looking like a semi-put-together human being in public.

It’s also something I do out of love for the people I love, so when casting around for something to accompany my next letter to Daphne I thought – oh I’ll knit a little something to tuck in with it. It’s too warm now for the hat I’ve promised her. It’s spring, maybe a little knitted flower? A couple maybe? That would be sweet. It will use up some of the scrap yarn I have (true) and it shouldn’t take very long (false. so false.)

So I set off to make a little knitted flower – or three. A nice bundle of three would do. I expected it to take about an evening, maybe two

It took a month.

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From not knitting the i-cord around the pipe cleaner, to reworking the shape of the petals out of fussiness (I wanted the middle one to be bigger?), this project was not remotely the straight forward little side event I thought it would be. Every time it frustrated me sufficiently I put it down, not wanting to knit those bad vibes into a gift. Frankly it’s a miracle they ever got finished. I cursed working half a dozen tiny stitches in the round, I cursed the i-cord, I cursed the little yellow stamen that took so many tries to tie properly. I cursed trying to hide all the little ends and I especially cursed the very very malleable pipe-cleaners for never bending quite as I wanted them too.

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Pictured above: tears. 

I cursed while trying to tie a ribbon around them so they looked pretty and had to resort to watching ribbon tying tutorials on Youtube. I can knit. I cannot craft, it seems.

But despite all this cursing, from beginning to end, the minute the last one was finished and they were finally tied up nicely I was awash in new FO glow. A good new finished object glow can erase everything I ever disliked about making the project, and this one was mighty strong. Look how cute they are! Adorable little blooms with their little stamen and stems. How could I possibly be frustrated with them? Every grumble I’ve listed seemed petty once I had the finished project sitting on my coffee table. These three flowers that rivalled a pair of socks in fiddly-ness, and a stockinette stitch sweater in patience were worth every bit.Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 10.46.26 PM

So this wasn’t a project that granted patience. In fact, it seemed to try and test it at every turn. I will try not to underestimate fiddly knitting ever again (success is unlikely, but I will try). This was the flip side to my usual knitting, but in some way it makes the final product even more worth it this time.

…and after having complained so regularly about “the pipe-cleaner thing” I know that by the time they reach their recipient, they may be a little squished in the post, but they will most certainly be appreciated.

Specifications:

PatternFlower – Bloem by Saartje de Bruijn (Dutch pattern for a Dutch friend!)

YarnKnit Picks Palette scraps in Eggplant, Celadon Heather and … probably Custard, I’m not sure…

Needles: 2.5 mm dpns.

Modification: To make the larger flower: Cable cast on: 36
(p3, k1, p5, k1, p2) 3 times. Repeat this round 3 times in total
(p2, CDD, p3, CDD, p1)
begin pattern as written.

Happy Knitting!

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FO: Jane Barathea Mitts

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted about these fingerless gloves! They spent a while waiting for me to get out of the hospital, then the blocking/drying/mailing process took considerable time, too (for no particular reason), but they’ve finally arrived at their intended destination!

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The pattern is Jane’s Barathea Mitts by Angela Hahn from the Interweave Jane Austen Knits 2014. I really love the texture on these guys. The slip-stitch pattern makes them a little denser than usual and they’re actually worked wrong-side-out, and then reversed when you reach the lace portion. Meaning you spend most of the pattern with them looking like this:

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Until, in a moment of magical knitting trickery, they get flipped inside-out! (Photo taken pre-blocking. Note: block these like your life depends on it.)

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I really love the pebbled effect on the cuff from the slipped stitch pattern. The texture is supposed to be reminiscent of barathea fabric, which is a woven fabric with a twill weave.

The yarn is Knit Picks DK Superwash in Indigo Heather, which was lovely to work with and there is more red and blue hints in the yarn than the above pictures might suggest. The best representation of the colour variation is probably shown in this picture I took on Instagram:

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I added an additional 20 or so rounds before starting the lace portion for extra length because it looked like they were going to come out too short. Seems to have been the right call! Each glove was just under 50 g even with the extra pattern repeats. They are by far my favourite fingerless gloves that I’ve ever knit, (Nicole, they’re the only fingerless gloves you’ve ever– shhhhhhhh) and I would definitely recommend the pattern to anyone looking for a little Regency era style that’s still wearable today.

Or for any Austen fans with cold hands. 🙂

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Tale of a Toddler Sweater

My parents are a great number of wonderful things. They’re kind, caring, and funny people (at least, they seem to think they’re funny…) They make excellent food, wine and company. They both have great ideas, debates, and life perspectives.

But darn it, if they don’t make dreadful delivery people. (Hi, Mom! *waves*)

I went to visit my parents recently, only to discover that the (somewhat late Christmas) sweater for Jack, the very same sweater we’d sewn buttons on over a month was still sitting in the back seat of the van. Waiting. Patiently, in it’s little plastic bag. That kid is not getting any smaller, so I decided to take it with me, and mail it to them directly.

The pattern is a slight modification of Go Buffalo! by Terri Kruse. It’s my first “baby” sweater – though at 4T it’s seemed enormous. Of course anything would seem enormous if you elected to knit it in three coloured stripe. (WHY? I thought it would be cute. I was not wrong, but it was almost not worth it…) I was also in the hospital and had a semi-busted wrist at the time…

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Picking up the button band…slowly…

It was finished while I was still in the ICU of the hospital early this year and my memory from that time is kind of fuzzy. I kind of expected it to have some ridiculous flaw I hadn’t noticed…but it’s actually turned out okay:

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Once finished, I take back everything I ever said about hating the three colour stripe decision. It looks like a little Christmas elf sweater, and that was absolutely the goal. (I maintain every cuss word I ever uttered about decided to do it in acrylic yarn however. That stands.)

Now that I’m in possession of the sweater it’s being shipped off to Jack, who will hopefully not have grown out of it yet. Stay tuned…

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FO: Kilbourne Hat

My first Ravelry Gift-A-Long project is complete! One Kilbourne Hat:

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Modeled here, begrudgingly, by Colin in its unblocked form. I really loved the pattern – it was intuitive and interesting, and not the least bit fiddly. The project was certainly one I was a little sorry to see off my needles. But look at those charmingly clever decreased along the top:

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I do love a clever pattern. Full credit to the designer Cassie Castillo. I’ll have to check out her other designs, because this one was great. Hopefully the hat’s recipient will enjoy wearing it as much as I enjoyed making it!

Final Specs:
Yarn: Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted in Umber. 200 yards.
Pattern: Kilbourne Hat by Cassie Castillo
Skills Required: working in the round, twisted stitches, ssk, k2tog.
Pattern Modifications: 22 rounds of ribbing instead of the specified 7 to ensure proper ear coverage. Done entirely on 4mm needles instead of using 3.5 mm needles for the brim (a mistake, but not a disastrous one.)

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FO: Gram’s Dawyck Purple Vest

I finally finished knitting up Gram’s vest, and let me tell you…this thing is HUGE.

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So huge, I could barely get it all in one shot. I’m a big fan of the shawl collar – the end product, not the knitting 30 rows of 4×4 rib with yarn that was giving me an allergy attack. This vest was truly a labour of love by the end, seeing as every time I picked it up it felt like it was trying to kill me. No more mohair, not even 10% ever again, let alone in gigantic vest form.

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I’m really impressed with how the yarn never pooled or striped awkwardly. I thought I might have to work from two balls to avoid too much dark or light in one area but it did really well. I don’t think I’d recommend the yarn to anyone for anything (speaking of which, would anyone like two left over skeins of Patons Misty in Purple Fog…?? Anyone?), but for this project it was pretty stellar.

The pictures make it seem more blue than it really is – there’s more purple to it, but we’ve had nothing except fog and cloud cover here for days, so this is all the light I really have to work with in my apartment. More pictures to come after Christmas when she receives it. In the mean-*achoo*-time, I’m going to go spend some time with some nice 100% merino wool.

Final Specs: 

Yarn: Patons North America Misty, in Purple Fog.  715 yards. 

Pattern: Sequoia by Alegria DaSilva

Needles: 6 mm circulars with 32″ and 60″ cable, worked flat.

Skills Required: 3 needle-bind-off, picking up stitches, cables. Low difficulty and a very well written pattern.

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FO: Fetching Gloves

The aggressive blocking seems to have worked!

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Pictured above: The result after twenty-four hours of aggressive squishing.

The gloves seem be relatively well behaved, curling at the bottom only very slightly. They’ve been taken out and about (by which I mean to the coffee shop. They went to the coffee shop.) and still hold their shape quite nicely.

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Modelled by Pia – thanks Pia!

The bottom still curls up a bit, which is likely a result of my cast-on/knitting a round before joining. Next time I’ll be sure to do a cast on that naturally lies flatter.

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Time to update the project page…

In the end the pattern won me over. They are fetching, and I probably will knit them again as these ones are to be raffled off. Notes for next time: flatter cast on and add a thumb gusset for better fit.

Final Specs:

Pattern: Fetching by Cheryl Niamath (Knitty Summer 2007)

Yarn: Approximately 100 meters of King Cole Fashion Aran in 368 Purple.

Needles: 4mm dpns

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Burberry Inspired Cowl in Mineral Heather

Oh hello, blog I have neglected for four years (whose password I’d long forgotten…).

University kind of took it’s toll on my knitting time/life in general. But now I’m graduated and I’m back! And what better way to be back that with a brand new finished project. My Burberry Inspired Cowl in Mineral Heather:

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YarnKnit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash Bulky, in Mineral Heather. Approximately 1.2 skeins, so now I have a fair bit left over. The yarn was much more blue/purple than the grey I expected, but I liked it all the same. Very soft and the finished product has a nice feel to it.

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PatternBurberry Inspired Cowl Neck Scarf by Julianne Smith. Brilliant pattern. I skipped the kitchener stitch at the end and substituted for a three needle bind off, because I didn’t mind the seam. Took me about two weeks, but I have hand tremors and spontaneous myoclonic jerking in my shoulders, which necessitated a lot of slow knitting, and a lot of re-knitting. For an experienced knitter, I think it could be done in a day or two.

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While I was knitting it, I totally didn’t see the potential of the finished project. An eight stitch cable ever 14 rows? It just looked like a mess! And then when it was seamed together it dawned on me that it’s actually gorgeous.

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And just in time, because it’s dropped below freezing here and scarves/cowls are certainly needed. I’m already getting lots of use out of it. It even covers my nose! (And remarkably, doesn’t fall down…)

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All the benefits of a cozy scarf, none of the self strangulation. It’s especially good because when I take it off and tuck it beside me, it doesn’t have the potential to get caught in the wheels of my wheelchair. It’s warm, squishy and a pretty easy knit. I highly recommend.

And before I forget: Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

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FO: The Auction Hat!

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Thanks to Nicole C. for modeling

This hat has been a long time in the making. It started back in the summer at the campership auction when I auctioned off 1 pair of hand knit arm warmers. For those of you unfamiliar with a campership auction the staff put up various items and services up for auction and the staff bid on them. All of the money raised goes to the campership fund that helps send kids to camp. This year it went for $56 and because it sold for so much I decided that Jess (the winner of said lot) could pick whatever knitting item she wanted. A hat is was to be!

I started knitting selbu modern on circular needles with a funny blue acrylic and some white sock yarn held double. I only had one ball of the white sock yarn so I worked the outside and in the inside string at the same time. You see where this is going.

It was TERRIBLE. I hated it. But I had to make it so I kept at it long after I should have quit. The pattern itself is fantastic and with the right yarn and needles I hope to make it one day. Might be a little while- it’s going to take some time for me to be able to look at the chart without feeling the need to curse and/or throw something.

Eventually I had the sense to rip it out and start again fresh. I picked another one of Kate Gagnon Osborn’s patterns- Opus Spicatum. I found 100% wool in white and light blue and started again.

You may have noticed that my finished object is a hat and not the beret in Kate’s pattern. I decided against going up a needle sizes after the ribbing thinking that I would just knit at a little bit looser gauge. I overlooked the fact that “looser gauge” and “starting fair isle” really don’t belong in the same sentence for me and it resulted in a hat. I like it anyways so I left it.

It’s off to it’s intended recipient- several months late mind- but at least done properly with my sanity still intact.

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