Friday, August 26, 2016

Fridays are for.....

Fridays are for....?????

Well, Finished Objects works, even if you have sort of seen this one, I managed to take a better shot of her on the fence. (The model having shocking purple - perfectly purple- hair put a bit of a damper on the modeling!)

I think I actually need to re-block this one.  I pinned her out in a bit of a hurry and then stood the mats up, braced with chairs, so that the "wet wool" patrol* couldn't mess with it too much during the day, and I am not really sure it is straight.  Good thing that I think blocking, like turning the heel on a sock, is magic!

But, Friday's are also for.....

Frogging.

I decided that it was time to knit a design that wasn't something that I came up with, or something that I was testing for someone else.  It was time to just mindlessly follow someone else's instructions.

That, and I am a sucker for a knit along and Knotions is having two this month! (Luckily for me I didn't have enough yardage of anything appropriate to knit the Inis Oirr, so Nana's Cottage it is!)  And hey, you can enter for free yarn here for Inis Oirr if you want!

After going shopping in the yarn store in the basement (I mean in my stash!) I came up with three colors that I thought would look rather nice together (along with purple hair) and cast on.

Before I had hit the bottom of the second page of instructions TDQ let me know that the colors I picked were not right.









Her exact words were....."Does that not look like the one yarn crashed a party that she knew she wasn't invited to, and that she didn't fit in?"








Back to the yarn store, I mean stash room, I went.





While I was picking another yarn, I moved around which was going to be the first contrast color and which was going to be the second. 




Now they are all much closer in hue, almost dare I say, too close?  But, this one has the TDQ seal of approval. So I guess it stays, even though I got a comment on either a Ravelry post or an Instagram that they thought it was the paler color in there that was the problem.


The editor of Knotions, Jody, is also knitting one, hers is in a bright yellow, green and blue combination which I think will be stunning.  But, as she is hoping to wear Inis Oirr to Rhinebeck I suspect her knitting time on it will be limited.  Inis is a BIG project.**

~M
I think in real life my Nana's Cottage looks more "ashes of roses" than purple, more like the yarn picture than the project photo, but TDQ assures me they are purple and "everything purple is hers, everything else can be painted or dyed...purple"

*the cats, we have a socially unacceptable number of cats and they make it their business to check out the wet knitting while it is blocking!

**The only reason I am not knitting along with that one was the yarn store, I mean stash, failed me, I don't have enough of any one yarn to make it. With user fees, tuition, books and the garage door deciding to hold me captive in my house there is no yarn money this week..sigh.










Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WIP Wednesday - A Different Style


As you may have noticed I was really quiet this past Sunday.  The Silent Sunday post that wasn't!  Please excuse the lack of post, I was busy racing with the clock and the closing ceremonies for the 2016 Olympic Games!

In the real world, the Olympics are (supposed to be) about testing your best against every one else's best athletes.  Just being there is a huge honor for each of the participants.

In the Ravelry world, the dates that those games run, give knitters, crocheters, weavers...any crafter that uses yarn really...the opportunity to compete against themselves and the clock!  The Ravellenics run from opening ceremony to closing ceremony and crafters around the world can compete in events from Afghan Marathons to WIPS Wrestling and all kinds of others in between.

I cast on for a Shawl Sailing medal and by the skin of my teeth I made it.

It was not without a few trials along the way though.

The past few Ravellenics Colourmart has offered special sets of yarn for the competition.  Last time around there was even a competition just for the people using those sets, you had to use all of the colors in the pack to qualify.  I knit a very plain shawl that year, palest blue through midnight blue.


(I love that I can re-capture my pictures from Ravelry when I can't find them on my hard drive!.)

This year when I saw one of the lace weight packs I knew what it was meant to be.  I had been strolling through the internet looking at other peoples pictures of things and came across one of a very large thunderstorm over the ocean.  This storm was positioned just right, you could see all the different layers of clouds, from fluffy white ones on top with a hint of yellow sunshine to the deep dark ones at the bottom that were pounding the waves with rain.  I really wish I had book marked the picture so I could link you to it, but I didn't.

I ordered the pack of 2/30 merino laceweight and plotted and planned until it came. (Between other things of course, you might have noticed that patterns were published, one in Knotions and the Hugs and Stardust Loops and Hats on Ravelry so I am sure that in there somewhere were the tech edits, photo shoots etc.)

The day before the games began I cleared my needles, well mostly, you know there is always some other knitting going on, so that I would be ready for the games to begin. Without many things on the needles to keep my hands occupied I charted out a whole different interpretation of the design, and a third, and there might even be the starts of another one on my computer. (I use excel for charting, in case you were wondering, so it is very easy to keep opening more and more tabs on the same document and then save them all under "Shawl" so they are ready to go.)

When the time was right, I cast on and knit a bit.

And hated it.

So I did what any knitter on a deadline would do.

I cut the thread, picked out new needles and cast on again.

Nope, still didn't like it.

By the third time I was doing this I decided to go back to my original interpretation and promptly cast on, and knit the wrong number of rows between increases.

All in all an entire free day of knitting was lost, but I did finally get it cast on, and if you follow me on Instagram you got to see in process pictures

as they were happening.

She is blocked and ready to model now, but......


You know I said something about A Different Style in the heading...this would be the style I was talking about!

It is a very shocking shade of purple ( I say seriously purple, she says perfectly purple!)

I am not sure that purple hair goes with a thunderstorm shawl!

In other knitting news, did you see that Knotions has not one but two knit alongs going on right now?  I am a sucker for a knit along and just might cast on for one.  Nana's Cottage I think, not because I don't like Inis, I really do, but that would just be far to hot to knit on right now! But once the weather changes, don't you think it would make a great blanket for watching movies under on the sofa?

For Nana's Cottage I am going to have to find some yarn that goes with very purple hair!

~M








Monday, August 22, 2016

Things I hate having to say...

Dinner will be delayed because...

I turned the wrong ring on the stove on....again.*

Cue children laughing!

~M

*Luckily this time there was a full kettle of water on the ring I did turn on.  TDQ was confused as to why I was making her more tea rather than dinner!  Please file this under "It just wasn't my day!"

Saturday, August 20, 2016

I've got a Knotion

Or rather, I have a pattern in Knotions!

Presenting :

Sufficient.




Enough, and Adequate.

 These are the words that my dictionary uses to define Sufficient and that I use to describe this shawlette.  One skein of Unplanned Peacock Sudio’s TwistySock is enough to knit a shawlette that is adequate to wrap around your shoulders on those short sleeve days where you need a little “something” but not a full size shawl or sweater.  
 
It starts with just a few stitches, provisionally cast on, to form a garter tab to become the top edge, and grows quickly with a few more increases worked each row than in your typical top down triangle.

I just love the shape!
 


A very simple lace border that is both written and charted, gives it a gentle ruffle when blocked. 

Or left unblocked a "rufflier" ruffle.


I was still playing with spines when I created this pattern.  No yarn over, knit one, yarn over in this baby. 





I knew, when I first saw the yarn that Natasha at Unplanned Peacock sent me, that I wanted to use every last scrap of it!







 And use it I did. 




 I  made use of what should be a kitchen tool to make sure I did not run out half way through the bind off and have to rip back! Apart from when I am making jam, bread of shrub, I think that these scales get more use at my knitting desk than in my kitchen.

Using a stretchy bind off takes twice as much yarn as a single row (knit or purled) so I weighed my yarn, knit a row, weighed my yarn again and once I knew how much yarn a single row would take I could just double that number to know how much I needed to bind off without running out. 



As, in this shawl, all the increases are worked before you start the border, it was very easy to keep track.  You can end the border any time in the process, less rows will give you a more ruffled appearance in the finished shawl, which is an alternate look that I will be playing with another day.

Working with Knotions and Unplanned Peacock Studios to bring you this pattern, was again a pleasure. 

This is my third time in the online magazine and Jody makes the process so easy, from submission through to final edits and the "We're Live" email.  I can't imagine how hard her job must actually be, especially for an issue this size......26 designs, the tutorials, the picture editing, schematic creation, give the lady a round of applause for getting it all done!!!

I have now worked with Unplanned Peacock yarn for several designs.  It is wonderful yarn, in some very pretty vibrant colors.  Natasha keeps posting new colorways on Facebook and Instagram, which have me plotting and planning.  Her fund raiser runs for a few more days, so if you are in the market for that beautiful rainbow yarn that showed up for Hugs and Stardust and Hugs and Stardust Hats, you need to order soon.  The color will be discontinued at the end of the month.

Now I am off to wait for the garage door repair man, and try to knit 7000 stitches before the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. 

Happy Weekend!

~M




Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Thirty Four Thousand

That is approximately how many stitches I have to knit before the end of the Olympics to finish the challenge on Ravelry.

You'll forgive me if I knit instead of blog today?

~M

Sunday, August 14, 2016

To Swatch or not to Swatch, that is the question....

I double checked and the knitting police are not sitting in their knitting police squad cars at the end of the driveway, or anywhere on my street.  (I had one of the Pokemon players check the next street over too while they were out and there is no sign of them anywhere.)  Which is a good thing, because today we are going to talk about swatching.

I will be a good little knitter/designer and tell you that you should swatch!  We all know that many swatches lie, and many knitters will push and shove stitches around to make the swatch come out "right" so that they can start in on their project.  Only to suffer the disappointments of a badly fitting finished item.  But, making a swatch at least increases your chances of having a finished item that matches your expectations.

The knitting police (if they were to exist) would tell you to swatch each and every time you start a project.  And I will tell you that sometimes YES you need to swatch, or at least keep a very close eye on your gauge when you are knitting.  Not only for fit issues, but to make sure you do not run out of yarn half way through the bind off of that shawl.*

But do I swatch every time I knit something?

Honestly, no.

A shawl is a shawl, be it bigger or smaller than the designer intended.

A scarf is a scarf, or at worst can either be an entry into the Dr Who Hall of Fame or seamed to make a cowl.

But...that said, I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time swatching. 

Swatching stitch patterns.

Swatching endings or beginnings.

Swatching increases and decreases.

But.....

Sometimes the swatch becomes a project in it's own right, when TDQ grabs a button and says...make this be a necklace thing.

Yep, that was the swatch for an upcoming design.

Of course, sometimes the swatches take on a life of their own and BECOME the finished design because I just don't know when to stop.

Did you check out the Preview Page for Knotions?  Can you spot which pattern might be mine? (Or, if you follow Knotions on Instagram or Facebook it was already shared which one.)  That was a swatch that got just a little bit out of hand.  :)  And a good reason to swatch, this is how much yarn I had left at the end.

~M

*Truth here, I very nearly had to rip out the cast off and one more row from a shawl because of that.  If you cannot or will not swatch, at least double check you have enough yarn for the bind off, I know people who didn't and had to scrabble for a "close enough" match to do the bind off.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Did you subscribe to Knotions?

If not you should....

Just saying!

You should check out the Fall Preview.

You never know, someone you know might have a pattern in there.

But even if she didn't, 26 Free to User patterns is nothing to sneeze at!

Check it out and give Jody, the editor a round of applause, it takes talent to tech edit that many patterns and get that many designers all lined up in a neat little row for publication.*

~M

*If she has any hair left or any that isn't grey already it is not my fault....I think I tried her patience pretty well this time around.  Of course, I jinxed myself, said that I wanted to send her a pattern that she couldn't find anything to tech edit in...man oh man was I wrong!

You know what I say about calculated risks and not being good at math, in this case there was no risk and I still wasn't good with the math!