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

Posts tagged ‘cockatoo brae’

WIP Wednesday- 4 ply edition

I have been…rather busy, and I have a lot to tell you about in my end of the month post, which I will attach to a FO Friday post. Which means that I’m going to be talking about other things today, and in particular I will be focussing on 4 ply yarn (aka sock yarn).

But not socks. Well, there is a pair of socks but they’re at work and I’m not, so…

Instead, two things. Thing the first: an update on Kita’s pillowcase. Apparently I haven’t talked about this recently on here, so this has come along quite a lot since the last time you all saw it! In fact, it’s nearly finished!!! In fact, the little bit on the top left takes it as high as it needs to go (I think!) I will check when that’s done, but I think it’s just these last two and a bit rows and then sew it together. Very exciting!!!

And the second thing: the sleeves on cockatoo brae. Much less exciting! I have done 11 of the planned 18 increases (I reserve the right to do more if necessary!) *lesigh* The solution to these is to put something on my laptop to watch and just mindlessly knit (with the odd increase round added in!)

Right, that’s all from me for now. Bigger post to come on Friday!

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WIP Wednesday- Cockatoo brae introduction

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…

WIP Saturday- February/March goals edition

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?)!

 

WIP Wednesday edition of stress (yes, I know it’s Thursday)

Hi all, so I realised that there is less than three weeks till Christmas, which is something of a problem since I haven’t started the satsuma costumes yet. That’s this weekend plan…Work is also somewhat hectic right now (I got hit with a massive pile of ~400 scripts to mark…), so this is going to be a splurdge and go.

Firstly: wolf cross stitch! Another 4 hours added, bringing the total to 20.5 hours. This is quite a bit less than 1/4 of the whole design, so my last estimate of 80-100 hours might be slightly optmistic. But then most of the surrounding is half cross stitch, so that should be faster…I’ll leave that as my official estimate for now, I think.

Second: sleeves. Still going strong. I think I’ve pretty much got the hang of the cables now, so that’s good 🙂 I am still checking the charts, but much less than I was. So yay for that!

Third: mitred square blanket. This is so easy to pick up and put down, it now has 7 squares. Lovely garter stitch squishyness 🙂

Fourth: umm…yeah…so I saw the abandoned cockatoo brae, and decided that I had to sort that out there and then (I was procrastinating on doing the hoovering). So I re-swatched, and have decided I need to move to 2.75mm needles. Which is what the pattern calls for. Using the suggested needle size for a project feels really weird, but ok. (This is why you need to gauge swatch people. Even if you usually knit so loosely you have to go down a size, sometimes you don’t. Just go with the flow…) (Full disclaimer: I haven’t actually measured this yet. But pre-washing, I was hitting the 7 stitches an inch (I know, I really shouldn’t measured a larger part, but oh well)). Needles are 2.25 and then 2.75 (I think??? It’s either 2.5 or 2.75, whichever I have).

Fifth: the Christmas shawl. Well, I got last week’s 10 inches done, but not really this week…ok fine, I managed 6 of the required 10 inches. Which I’m trying to not stress over, because I have quite enough other things to stress over! And I should be able to easily make up the time (assuming I stop knitting on other things…)

6 inches is a lot!!!!! So now I have 10 inches and then 11 in the next two weeks…riiiiight. Completely believeable…

Update on EVERYTHING

Holy strewth batman has it really only been a week (almost) since I wrote on this blog???? So much has been happening here. Major news first: my viva went really well (I loved it, my supervisor told me that the report he saw about it was excellent). So now I’m nearly officially a Dr- I just need to complete all the changes my two examiners suggested and send it to my internal examiner. And then some paperwork. I’m also quite tired still from all the stress leading up to the viva and the late nights after the viva while I was with my friends from the Uni. So I have no idea where htis blog post will go. I just feel the need to get it all out before I can get on with everything!

Right. Onto the crafting.

Cross stitch- I finished the ‘make today amazing’ cross stitch. I appear to have gone wrong somewhere- the edge stitches are out but it’s not noticeable and I’m not fussed enough to work out where the mistake is.

I then started this next one. It will eventually say ‘Hello!’, but I’m also kinda loving the ‘Hell’ that is somewhat currently going on! Not enough to leave it on hell, but it’s amusing while I work on it. This one is definitely more time consuming, but it will be wonderful when finished. If it’s done by the next time I go back to my parents, I can finish it in its hoop then (it should be). It will be mine in the end (I just love the colours!) When this one is finished, I will start the wolf one. Very Exciting too! (Then I’ll get back to the stockings. Promise…)

Knitting- so the rainbow cardigan is still waiting for me to get around to frogging the shoulder shaping. I’m guessing that will probably happen at the weekend now, since that’s my first big window of opportnity to do things…(I really should be sleeping now since I’m so exhausted). I don’t have any socks on the needles (shock horror!!!) but there is the scrappy pillow case which is slowly being added to. Technically that’s also not on the needles as there isn’t a square on-going, but semantics. (Picture of the rainbow cardigan with a button option I talk about later on)

So since the rainbow cardigan was in time out, I started cockatoo brae’s sleeves to take on the train- I couldn’t take nothing after all, and I *thought* I could remember the needles I used on the gauge swatch about a year ago (mistake #1). I also didn’t take any socks, just in case (mistake #2).My gauge is wayyyyyy off (well, according to the delights of working 4ply. I have 24 stitches at 3 inches. Gauge should be 28 stitches at 4 inches…) I haven’t quite given up on cockatoo brae with these needles- I will try washing the sleeves I have done so far, to see whether I just need to wash it to get gauge (slim chance but just in case…) If I still don’t get gauge, then I’ll try larger needles on one sleeve and turn that into the gauge swatch. (Pictured with buttons which I talk about later)

Naturally I learnt/figured this gauge issue while in York, with the prospect of a 5 hour trian ride back to Bristol (longer than normal due to track works between Parkway and Temple Meads. Great…). Answer: go yarn (and needle!) shopping. My first plan was to get some sock yarn since I had my 2mm needles from when I started cockatoo brae. Of course, first plans don’t survive contact with the enemy, and I ended up getting 6 hanks of aran weight yarn and a sweater pattern… I’m knitting with in a mostly mottled brown with flecks of orange and blue in yarn. Not my first choice, but they only had two of that yarn and I needed more than that!(Yarn picture later on)

My original plan was to come back to Bristol on Saturday, so that I had Sunday to catch up on sleep, go shopping etc…unfortunately I missed my train and my friend I was staying with suggested I stay another night and go back on the Sunday. A quick check of the train times said that if I caught the 9:33 I’d be back in Bristol by half 2, leaving plenty of time to go shopping before the shops shut at 5 (Sunday remember). So I happily cast on for my sleeves (two at a time, remember!) and set about starting the Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, (there’s always an unfortunately, isn’t there?), there was a problem with my 5 hour train ride on the Sunday, and we got stuck for 3 hours outside this piddly little village because some idiot had stolen the copper cables of the line, so the signals were down. So, long story short, I finished my sleeves, didn’t have any scissors to cut the yarn (nor did anyone nearby)(note to self: acquire that nifty cutter thing that looks like a pendant), and missed the opportunity to go shopping that day. *lesigh*. On the other hand: finished matching sleeves! (I’ll discuss the weird sizing things with this pattern later, otherwise we’ll be here all night!)

Stash: the stash I mentioned in passing two blog posts ago finally arrived. But before the pics, I need to share the backstory to these two sweaters with you all. One of my friends got me into this fanfiction where one of the main characters(Remus Lupin) is a knitter, and knits a cardigan for his partner. It’s oversized, cabled and is grey with flecks of colour throughout. Ever since I read about that cardigan, I wanted one (maybe not oversized, but the rest of it sounds amazing). I figured that finding the right yarn would be the hard part, and then I’d find a pattern (I cannot possibly imagine a world where there are not millions of patterns for cabled cardigans in every conceiveable yarn weight). I didn’t tell anyone about my desire to find this yarn, it felt too personal. It was between me and the yarn. And it was hardly a pressing urge, I have plenty of other things to knit! Then I came to Bristol and walked into the first crafty store to explore how good it is, and there, right in front of me was a ball of Wendy’s aran in ‘dollymix’. Cream with flecks of colour throughout. Perfect (Ok it’s not grey but it still works perfectly). Now to find a pattern. I scour ravelry, and find one possibility. *facepalm*. Ok, one is fine, it’s all I need. I mention this to my friend, along with a link to the yarn, and she sees a similar colourway- this one blue with flecks throughout. It’s called Lupin. Talk about fate! How could I not knit them a matching cardigan in that colourway??? So I order 3 balls in each of the colourways, and they have arrived. Now just to find the time to knit them… (No pic of these in the end as I can’t get my camera to take a pic remotely true to colour. I imagine that ravelry has plenty :D)

 

Other stash- buttons! So the other thing I love about York is the button shop. I needed a button for the jumper I had just bought the yarn for and buttons for cockatoo brae. I wasn’t sure about sizes for the jumper button, so I got two and figured that I’ll find a use for the one I didn’t use. Then at another shop I found different contenders for buttons for the rainbow cardigan. So now I have two sets of tacky buttons to try on the tacky cardigan (friends words but completely true!) Again, I’m sure I’ll find a use for the buttons not used! I also nearly bought another set of buttons with the express point of finding a cardigan to go with the buttons, but I managed to resist the temptation of being ordered not to. Does anyone else find that as soon as someone tells them not to do something, you immediately want to do the thing??? Picture of the two potential buttons on a sleeve of the jumper.

Right, that is me now all caught up! Phew! What a ridiculously busy week! And the new students arrive soon, so now rest then!

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