Somewhere I can let out my inner crafter without being labeled as even more insane.

So I guess this might have been better off as a Start-it Sunday post but I think I introduced it a while ago when I started it before and didn’t get gauge *mutter mutter*. At the weekend I started it again, this time on 2.75 mm needles I bought specifically for this project (and I get gauge on it!). So far it’s just a lot of rather boring stocking stitch, with some increases every 7th row. Which is just often enough to not let me get into the swing of things, which is wonderful!

A recap of my gauge issues for those who have joined us late: the gauge for this pattern is 7 stitches an inch, and suggests 2.75mm needles. I *never* get gauge on suggested needle sizes, I always have to go down a size or two. So I happily check gauge (knitting flat rather than in the round, but my gauge is pretty much the same in both of these things), and then leave it long enough that I can’t remember what needles I used to do my swatch *facepalm*. I need to work out a better system for that, but later. I assume that I get gauge on 2,5mm needles, and so I happily cast on for a size on 2mm needles for the ribbing(I forget which. I have later been told that the sleeves are tight and not going downa needle size for the ribbing is a good idea). These sleeves end up comically too short. This happens while I’m up in York for my viva, therefore forcing me to buy yarn for a new sweater (this was my viva jumper, and we’re not going to get into the issues I had getting home…)

Therefore, I use those cuffs for new gauge swatches, this time in a round an on a decent number of stitches (yes, my old gauge might have been a bit too small…). 2.5mm neeldes gives 8 stitches an inch (this is also the gauge I get on 2mm needles for socks…), 3mm needles gives 6 stitches an inch. Guess what I need??? I don’t own any 2.75mm needles, so I order a circular needle (150cm long), figuring that if this doesn’t get me gauge I’ll need to sacrifice to the knitting Gods, and getting a needle this long will allow me to try it on as I go. Luckily, I do get gauge on these needles (yes, it was washed and blocked as I intend to do the finished thing), so we’re good to go. Well, as good as I an be now at any rate. Gauge shall be checked again when the sleeves have been finished. I also decided to do a garter stitch cuff rather than ribbing, as I’ve found that I much prefer sleeves to not be tight. (After knitting 3 of the things…)

But anywhere, here are the sleeves so far:

(One of them has been washed and blocked to check gauge, so it had better not have been lying to me…*squints angrily at the sleeves*)

I’m knitting the third size, with longer sleeves and maybe some attempt at a longer body (and then probably some issues with dye lots as I’m not convinced I have enough brown for the body…we shall see). I also have plans of putting in afterthought pockets- I’m going to repeat the star motif around the neckline twice for the inside of each pocket, so you get a surprise whenever you look in them! I love this idea 😀 (I just need to remember when I reach a convenient point for putting in the knitting in another strand of yarn for the live stitches…

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So, firstly, the WIP Saturday potion of events- I actually did some on the wolf!!!!! Go me!!!! Not as much as I’d’ve liked for an afternoon spent solidly stitching, but I’m biased because some of that was backstitching, and some was stitching so I could do more backstitching (which I think I hate more than getting on with the backstitching), and some of it was not progress because in my mind I was further along than I actually was and so I had to catch up…

But! I have (nearly) reached the top left corner, so I’ll call that a win. Technically I haven’t stitched the top left corner, but that’s only a technicality, I’ve stitches all around it!

It is officially more than 50% done now- all the to-bestitched stitches are on the left of the centre line (and quite a bit further over on the top, but eh).

I’ve also started the sleeves (a.k.a. two gauge swatches) for cockatoo brase, but one of them is currently washing so I can’t show you that.

So, onto a recap of my January goals:

  1. Finish-finish my preparation cross stitch. Done! (Well, excpet for gluing the felt on the back, but that’s waiting until I go home- probably Easter)
  2. Finish the OLAS cardigan. Done! And Kita loves it, and is apparently living in it, which makes my heart do this weird fluttery thing
  3. Knit the headband from left over viva jumper yarn. Done! Just realised that I haven’t shown you this before, so have a pic of it now!
  4. Bonus: finish the sky up to the top left corner. Done!

 

Score! 4 for 4 this time around! Oh, and I also swatched for cockatoo brae. Still don’t have gauge (I’ve got 8 stitches an inch on 2.5mm needles, and 6 stitches an inch on 3mm needles. The pattern calls for 7 stitches an inch…I’ve ordered 2.75mm needles at 150cm long so I should be able to try it on as I go- assuming that I’ll get gauge on this size!)

So, cookies for me! What’s the plan for next month, I hear you ask? (Well, I don’t, but I’ll assume you asked!).

  1. Finish my mothers first pair of socks. She’s coming over on the 17th, so she can try on the sock and I can then get cracking on it’s partner- well I can get cracking now, but when she’s tried it on I can do the heel and leg. I have a plan if this current sock doesn’t fit which doesn’t involve frogging the whole thing, so it shouldn’t take too long to fix if necessary
  2. Keep working on the wolf. Ideally I’d like to hit 75% this month, but I’m not sure how ambitious that is
  3. Sew the wedding card for April’s wedding…I probably shouldn’t’ve put this off but I only just realised that the wedding is in April…
  4. Get gauge on cockatoo brae (and then start the sleeves and realise that my gauge swatch has been lying to me…)
  5. Bonus! Stick all my sock yarn (not my mum’s)(including pictures) on ravelry and come up with patterns and an order for knitting them on my queue. This shouldn’t take too long, I just need to sit down and do it one weekend day. (This is probably this afternoon’s job)

This…all kinda feels adventurous. We’ll see how we go I guess. And I’m still learning how much I can do in a month. I think February’s goals felt adventurous, but I still managed to hit all of them (amazing what you can do when you actually WORK ON WHAT YOU’RE MEANT TO BE WORKING ON isn’t it?)!

 

FO Friday- cardigan edition

It’s finished!!!!!

The OLAS cardigan of blue nuppiness is finished and…I’m kinda sad. It’s nothing to worry about, the usual end of large project meh-ness.

It has pockets, which in the end was awkward. I had forgotten to put in a row of stitches for an ‘afterthought pocket’, so I had to pick up stitches and cut the yarn for it (which low-key terrified Kita, but it was all good).

It also has massive sweater paws…as in larger than planned. I had planned sweater paws of a small measure, but in the end the sleeves ended up longer than planned, so the ribbing needs to be folded up more than expected. It’s all good though

The cables on it are awesome

Thoughts and planned mods for next time (aka my version)

-shorter sleeves. I dislike sweater paws, and so will plan for my sleeves to stop at the cuff. I might actually do a provisional cast on and do the ribbing down after to ensure they stop where I want them to

-good body length. I can’t remember whether I actually kept a record of when I started shoulder/neck shaping, but if I did, I want to use that length again on mine

-reflect all the cables. The small twisty ones don’t reflect, which makes them look strange at the shoulders. So I want to reflect half of them (although I can’t remember which half…)

-I kinda want to make the shoulder seams shorter- i.e. have fewer stitches on the shoulders. I’m not yet sure how to do this, since there isn’t a good way to remove any of the other cables in it…

-I would quite like to have  different pockets on mine. I want to have…I don’t know the right language for pockets, but I want more sideways one, with a curved edge. No idea how to do this, I might need to knit a few practice attempts…

 

However, my next attempt will have to wait for a while, I really want to get on and finish the wolf cross stitch, and then move onto the wedding sampler I have to do!

So this is more of a ‘I intend to start working on the wolf cross stitch’ post than a ‘look at how much further I’ve got at the wolf cross stitch’, because my life has been taken over by work at the moment. Lucky me!

So have a cute picture of the wolf cross stitch to tide you over until Friday, when you get to see a delightful FO post!

(Yes, the astute among you will notice that it’s the same picture as the last time you saw this…I haven’t been working on this for a while.)

I reserve the right to change my mind and do one of my Christmas tree ornaments as an instant gratification thing before I actually start working on this again…

So, apparently when I get busy this blog falls a bit by the wayside…in a bid to catch everyone up with what I’ve been doing, another everything WIP Wednesday!

1) I did, in fact, sew the sleeves into the OLAS cardigan. It’s now blocking by the radiator. Then I’ll cut the yarn ends and sew in the buttons and pockets. Still on track to finish for next weekend when my friend comes to visit to collect it!

Kita4

2) The headband is nearly finished. I have a decision in front of me- do I use a couple of buttons to hold it closed, or just sew it??? I only have one button, so I would need to order another one online, which I think shouldn’t be a problem… (Edit to add: I can’t find the original button, so sewing it together it is)

headband2

3) I did a short row heel! My mother’s first sock is coming along swimmingly now! I also decided to go with a pattern, rather than make up my own which would need more attention. This is Hermione’s pattern, so it’s easy to get into the rhythm.

mother

4) I (nearly) finish-finished my cross stitch (I guess this is a FO Friday but it can hide in here!). I gathered the fabric at the back, but I can’t stick the felt to the back because I appear to have misplaced my superglue…*facepalm*. Ahh well.

preparation2

5) More spinning! On Saturday the spinning group met again and I finished off all the blue. Now to decide- do I start knitting the scarf now or wait until I’ve finished spinning all the yarn??? (Side note: could you please tell me what the spinning and knitting widgets on the side say? They’re coming up as innacurate for me, but I’m not sure if it’s because wordpress isn’t updaing the widgets or my laptop isn’t updating the widgets). (No picture because it’s just more cute skeins which I haven’t yet washed. Anyone want to give me some tips about washing handspun skeins???)

6) I ordered some things…the kingfisher sock yarn, more knitting needles and some sock yarn to get free shipping. And then some project bags for socks. Gotta keep knitting socks 😀 (No picture on this beause it hasn’t arrived yet 😦 )

7) I updated all the pictures on my ravely at the weekend, and in the process found a circular knitting needle I had forgotten I owned, in a scrap project. Naturally, this meant I had to knit some more squares on both my scrappy projects. They’re coming along nicely (but I still need to knit socks to feed the small squares one) (No pic because scrappy projects start looking the same after a while!)

8) No progress has been made on the wolf cross stitch. After the OLAS cardigan, this will become the main priority until it’s finished (or I get bored of it) I think. (No picture because no progress!)

9) I (badly) darned a sock! I think it was a knot in the yarn which had come free, but I darned a row above it as well as the row the yarn ends were on, and after a while it should start felting together nicely. And that will hold the ends in, so I decided to be lazy and not darn them in that well 🙂

darning

What I’ve been up to…

…since it apparently wasn’t my to-craft list.

Well, there was a lot of work stuff we’ll just gloss over. I graduated (and consequently bought a lot of yarn). I knitted the best part of two (different) socks. Hmm. Maybe the afterthought heel isn’t the best bet for me. I started knitting new socks rather than finish those ones.

I went on long bikes rides. (I still need to clean my bike after the last one). Turns out it’s rather hard to knit whilst cycling fast. Shame really. Maybe when I start doing longer rides by myself I should bring knitting for breaks. Maybe that would mean the longer rides take a lot longer. Hmm, maybe not then.

I started spinning! This probably should be at the top of this list, but I forgot until now. There’s a spinning group just the other side of the park from where I’m living (hi to all the spinners who mentioned stalking my blog.). So I dug out my drop spindle and fibre, and firmly remembering why I wanted handspun yarn, I headed over. And had a wonderfully delightful time 🙂

I finished spinning some form of white yarn, and plied it, for a grand total of (wait for it)…85 yards

Isn’t it such a cute little skein???? I may have cooed over it for quite a while before getting around to the next bit of fibre, the bright blue from this pile:

So far I’ve got this much done

I started one of my mother’s new socks (the bluetit ones). No pic because I pretty much just got past the toe. I’m making up a clever slipped stitch pattern as I go, so it’s not completely mindless. (Second point about these- they’re actually the second attempt at starting socks. I started the owl (I think???) colourway, saw a pair done in a particular pattern I have, decided I simply had to do them in that pattern…and the pattern is in Salisbury. *facepalm*. I’ll do those later, if I remember to!)

I did actually do some knitting! I finished knitting the main stuff for Kita’s cardigan. I just didn’t get enough time to finish it for all the reasons listed above. That’t tomorrow’s job (I say that now…)

I did some other knitting (disclaimer, this actually happened yesterday so isn’t the reason why I didn’t hit my January goals, but hey, I knitted a thing. You should see it!). Whilst cycling, wearing a hat is rather problematic, so clearly I need an alternative. A headband can actually be removed (I think) without removing the helmet, so I started knitted one. Yes, the cables are going backwards- I prefer cabling forward without a cable needle, so why not?

Ok, I think I’ve caught you up to everything I’ve been up to. Now…I think it’s time to put those little nifty things down the side of my blog to keep track of how much I’ve knitted (and spun, since I’m now doing that!)

So…my January goals. I had three:

Finish Kita’s OLAS cardigan

Completely finish my word of the year

Continue working on my wolf cross stitch.

 

I achieved one of them (and even then, I didn’t get as much done on the wolf cross stitch as I wanted to…) Oops. I sort of hoped that my OLAS cardigan might have just been ‘finish knitting it’, since I achieved that (in February, but before this post so I’d pass that one on a technicality, but still)…

So, my February goals:

-Finish-finish my preparation cross stitch

-Finish the OLAS cardigan (this is (in no particular order): buttons, sewing it all together, knitting pockets into it, weaving in all ends). If I can get this done by Feb 17, that would be great since the giftee will be visiting then.

-Knit myself a headband from the leftover viva jumper

-Bonus: finish the sky in the wolf cross stitch up to the top left corner.

Let’s see how well this all goes!

Extreme Stash Enhancement

So, I graduated on Friday. And then on Saturday I went on a yarn crawl with my old friends from Uni. I bought rather a large amount of yarn…2.1kg to be precise. Totally worth it, even if it technically wasn’t everything I wanted to get…*whistles innocently*

So I’m knitting 9 pairs of socks for my mum, specifically out of the WYS bird range. Which involved buying 17 balls of yarn for contrasting toes and heels (they didn’t have kingfisher so I’ll get that online later). The contrasting colours are a bit dull, but they match perfectly which is amazing (the WYS website lists which yarns work as contrasting colours, which is reall nice). My original plan was to use the leftovers to knit hexagon flowers (centre hexagon in the bird yarn, surrounded by plain colour hexagons) into a blanket using the Beryll pattern, but now I’m also thinking that I could knit another 9 socks the other way around, so bird yarn for toes and heels and the main part in plain yarn and pattern. And then do a smaller scrap blanket with just random placement. We shall see…

I *think* these are matched correctly…I will check before I start knitting them!

I also (as promised) bought the yarn and buttons for buttonbox. Plus an emergency skein in case. So that’s the other 400g.

I also got a cross stitch kit as a present from my mum as a ‘congratulations’. It’s going to be amazing, but I really can’t justify starting it anytime soon 😦 I just have so much other stuff to do first! It’s pretty much just in shades of blue and grey, with some red for berries on the bushes, and (apparently) beads and sparklies. I just can’t see them without opening the kit which I’m not going to do yet. Still very exciting 😀

And finally- this doesn’t really count as new stash, as I got it over Christmas- when I went to stay with a friend and we went to visit someone, and they decided to give both me and my friend a crochet Christmas tree decoration (I am hilariously amused that this both describes what it is and what it’s for…)

The thing about sleeves is that they’re expected to be identical (or symetrical, depending on the pattern, but that’s not the important part of this lesson). They should be the same length, width, and (if they are patterned) finish at the same point on the pattern. I have, in three of the five jumpers/cardigans I have knitted, flubbed all three of those expectations.

Exhibit 1.

The first cardigan I made was Vermillion Cliffs (ravelry link).

Now, this cardigan…it took me over a year to make it, so I guess it isn’t that surprising that my gauge changed quite significantly, and luckily in the end it did block out. (I still need to make a second one- slightly longer in body and sleeves). So noharm donw in the long run. Still a bit strange, bit there we go.

Exhibit 2.

My incredibly tacky rainbow cardigan (ravelry link).

Now, having half learnt my lesson from last time, I did wait months between sleeves on this thing. I did, however, knit them one at a time. *cough mistake #2 cough*. I’m not sure what went wrong (at the time I blamed gauge, but I guess I could have spaced my increases differently, but I really do think I followed the pattern the same for both sleeves). What happened was that on the first sleeve, the increases were spaced far enough apart that they finished right before I had to start decreasing for the shoulder. So when the second sleeve came around I happily finished the increases and then started decreasing immediately. Leading to one sleeve being quite a bit shorter than the other. *facepalm*. So I frogged back to the start of the shoulder shaping (this yarn is NOT designed to be frogged), and knitted straight until it looked the same length as the first sleeve and then I did the shoulder shaping. Much better (but guess what I found when I sewed it all together after blocking? Yep, the second sleeve was then slgihtly longer than the first. It showed a bit until I sewed the buttons on, and that really does a good jop of straightening it all out and hiding the fact).

Exhibit 3.

I have no idea at all how this mistake came into being. The cardigan I am currently working on for my friend (ravelry link).

(You can’t really see it in the pic, and I figure it won’t be really noticeable, but one sleeve has two more rows of the pattern than the other)

So, I learnt my lesson (and mentioned it to you guys on here when I started) and knitted most of the sleeves TAAT on a circular needle. Then , when it came to split for the shoulder shaping, I did them one at a time, figuring that there weren’t that many rows, and I wasn’t measuring, so they should end up the same, right? #no.

Somehow, I added an extra 2 rows to one of the sleeves. ?????? How, I have no idea, but clearly I can’t be trusted to do sleeves at all. The only reason I didn’t do both sleeves shoulder shaping at the same time was because I didn’t have them set up nicely on the needles to do it. Lesson learnt, next time move stitches around so you don’t have to do anything one at a time!

So, when knitting sleeves: always do them TAAT. Even when shoulder shaping. Move stitches around, and don’t trust yourself to pattern match about 20 rows.

 

Honestly, it’s a wonder how I can get matching socks!

 

Phew! Christmas really went on for far too long this year (last year?), partially due to visiting friends, which generally I had previously avoided. However, it is finally over (or at least will be when I manage to shift this cough), and we can all get back to normal.

So, let’s get back to business! Kita’s cardigan is coming along a storm, I have 37 of the 50 cm before armhole shaping done now (and 4/5 of the buttonholes), although I still haven’t memorised the pesky back central cable.

The sleeves have been completely finished, but that’s a whole separate blog post (remember my issues with getting matching sleeves? Still got that somehow)

And two pairs of socks have been started. One pair you saw last Wednesday, and they haven’t had any more doing to them since then (just a toe and some of the pattern), but there is also a sock which is much further on, so I’ll show you that one instead.

I’ve finally had enough of vanilla socks, but strong stripes like this generally don’t go with intricate patterns very well, so I’m trying variations. This is a waffle stitch (wich you probably can’t see…I’ll try and get a better pic later on)- 3 rows stocking stitch, 3 rows 3×3 rib (3 because I do 66 stitch socks). Repeat ad infinitum…I’m also trying an afterthought heel, put in when the sock foot length is from the tip of my middle finger to the wrist joint. I’ll keep you all informed how it goes 🙂 This is actually my second attempt at a pair of socks from this yarn- I got through the foot and heel of a pattern which involved slipped stitches, but I hated it so I decided to start again. I am much prefering this pattern, and think that (provided I learn how to count to 3 reliably…) this may become my go-to ‘vanilla’ pattern. We shall see.

 

And also, bonus update on the Wolf, even though I haven’t been working on it over Christmas. I stopped timing how long it was taking me, because it was starting to stress me out, but I have done quite a lot more than the last time you all saw it!I’m hoping to finish off the top by the end of January (including all the backstitching I haven’t yet done), but we shall see.

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