Month: March 2015

MM 2015 PFATT KAL

Greetings, all!

March Madness 2015 Personal Finish-All-the-Things KAL (it gets a different, apparently longer name each time) is a success! My original goal was to finish three loitering WIPs, and indeed those things were whipped into completion. To recap:

1. Canucks socks for Jason

2. Twigs and Willows mitts

3. Strokkur sweater

What’s that you say…? Strokkur sweater is complete? Yes!! It is. This is the second pullover I have ever knit, and definitely my favourite. I humbly present these unblocked photos.

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This is a pattern by Ysolda Teague, and the yarn is Osprey from Quince and Co. Loved them both! The pattern is very clear and easy to follow with some brilliant little details that I, as an inexperienced sweater knitter, really enjoyed learning. My row gauge was quite off so I made some adjustments (i.e. taking out rows between increases/decreases and removing some rows of the colourwork section).

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After blocking, everything has evened out very nicely. However, the sleeves grew about 3 inches! My plan is to cut off the end of each sleeve and re-knit them in the other direction. Instead of doing the garter cuff, I will do 2×2 ribbing. Even if the sleeves hadn’t stretched out so much in the blocking, I would not have been very happy with the cuffs. I think ribbing will look more polished.

Overall, though: A++ to this pattern and project!

So that’s three projects cleared off the needles. Now what? I am still working on my Herbivore shawl, and I may have picked up an ancient sock WIP. I had abandoned it a long time ago because I switched to a different brand of needles half way (due to my original set breaking) but this caused crazy gauge changes. It even caused the yarn to pool instead of doing the nice striping that it had goin’ on before.

On the wheel: 5 oz of a merino/silk blend from Inglenook Fibres. This is for the IF Ravelry group’s Spring-Along. We are spinning and knitting with IF fibres until May 1st.

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Macrina has a magical eye for colour and texture. Exhibit A above, exhibit B below:

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Any suggestions for what to make with the finished project? It is working up to be a fingering weight 2-ply or (heavier weight?) 3-ply. Let me know!

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A Thing for Spring

Spring is officially here, according to the calendar. We are enjoying the balmy temps and sunny skies that Boston spring has to offer. The other night, Jason and I went for a lovely evening walk in the park.

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Yokes aside… it’s not all bad. Just look at the weather in Montreal 😉

Things have been a little hectic around here lately, so not a ton of knitting has been done. Last week was full of exams and volunteer work, hosting friends from out of town, and then I came down with a cold. Boo me! I did get a good chunk done on my Strokkur sweater by Ysolda Teague. Both sleeves are done and joined, and I’ve started working the short rows to provide neck shaping. The patterns suggests wrapless short rows, which are a new-to-me technique, but Ysolda has a great, clear video on this technique here. I have been incessantly sliding my sweater onto waste yarn to check if it fits… so far so good.

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Note that I’m wearing 2 “right” socks. First of all. Why is it necessary to have “right” and “left” socks? Unless maybe you had wildly different foot shapes? Second, I have felt no difference either way.

As expected, my 4 skeins of Osprey were not enough for this sweater (I’m about 15 rows short) so I’m currently waiting on another skein that I ordered from Quince & Co. I maybe also threw in some Tern…

In the meantime, I have picked up my Herbivore shawl again.

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It got put away for a bit after I did the set up rows and placed additional stitch markers for Section 2 of the pattern. I had got to the point with Section 1 where I had it memorized and was just working away on it fairly mindlessly. It’s super lazy, but I didn’t want to invest the brain energy to memorize a new section, so… into the basket it went. I’m happy I picked it up again, because really… Section 2 is basically just repeats of Section 1. It is fine. Already memorized after 2 rows, and I’m happily knitting away on it until my Osprey arrives from beyond.

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This yarn (Tanis Fibre Arts Red Label Cashmere/Silk Single) is insane. Insane!! So soft, and such an amazing colour. This one is “Sunset”. I’m loving the way the twisted stitches look in this yarn.

That’s all for now! Peep this photo I took outside my apartment the other night (my apartment is not the Orthodox church in the photo). I’m pretty sure the super bright first-star-like-object-in-the-sky is Venus. Can anyone confirm? City girl / non-astronomer up in here.

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A Little List

A short post from me today. Here’s what my weekend looked like:

1) 2 people, 4 hand pies at KO Pies in South Boston. Note the side of pineapple ketchup. That’s a thing.

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2) Casting on a new pi shawl on 3/14, specifically Girasole by Jared Flood. I’m using Meadow by the Fiber Company in the Prairie colourway. Currently on Chart B. Let’s just say that I would be a lot further along right now if I actually read the chart instead of just assuming I know what the symbols mean :p Meadow is a sticky yarn and doesn’t appreciate ripping back… I’ve forced it into frogging 3 times already. Sorry!

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3) Finishing Jason’s Canuck Socks, knit out of Tumbleweed Yarns self-striping sock kit in the Lariat colourway. They are currently drying on sock blockers so here is an unblocked photo. Ready with plenty of time to spare before the playoffs. Ehh?

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Now to get crackin on finishing my Strokkur sweater! As the weather warms up… hmm.

Have a great week!

Pi Appreciation

Hi there!

Happy Friday to you and I hope you’ve had a great week. It’s the end of spring break on my end, and I’m desperately trying to hold onto the last couple days I have before Monday. But let’s not dwell on that. Onto the knitting!

I finished my Twigs and Willows Mitts. This is a pattern by the ever-clever Alana Dakos, knit out of Malabrigo Sock in Ivy.

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They turned out so cute and I’ve been getting lots of wear out of them already, thanks to warmer (above freezing) temps lately. I did have to go up 0.5 mm on my needles for the mitts to fit, but I see that many people have knit them in the original needle size and they turned out just fine.

These mitts are my hopefully lucky entry into 2 KALs: Mr. Yarn Malabrigo March 2015 Giveaway and the 2 Knit Lit Chicks Alana-Along. Lots of great prizes to be had, and plenty of time to whip out a quick project before the end of March. So if you are interested, hop on over to Ravelry! Or don’t, and increase my chances of winning yarn 😉

Speaking of fibre community goings-on, I’m not sure if I have already mentioned that I am participating in the NH Knits Soulful Stash Swap. My partner lives in England so I’ve been busily hunting for some beautiful “farm yarn” to send her in time for the deadline. (Deb, if you’re reading this, hello! I found something good!) This led to lots and lots of hunting about Etsy, and I ended up making a purchase for myself too… oops. But it’s totally awesome, and totally Soulful. photo 3 (31)

Hannah of Ewefluffyewe on Etsy is a shepherdess in Kentucky, and she makes the most beautiful hand-dyed yarn from her flock’s fleece (that’s a little tongue-twisty). I love that she included this awesome fibre quote from Proverbs on her business card. She has a nice selection of lace weight yarns in her shop as well as some skeins of worsted weight. I fell in love with a 2-ply wool/silk blend made from the wool of her sheep Annabelle and Barnaby. I love that she names the sheep that contributed to each skein.

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Such gorgeous colours. And it SMELLS amazing. She must use some magical wool wash on her yarns. I really can’t recommend Hannah’s shop enough, even though I haven’t even knit with this yarn yet. She has incredible customer service and super speedy shipping. My yarn went to the post office the day I placed my order! And she even included a little mini skein of undyed yarn to knit a swatch. It’s all about the details, yo.

I have 750 yards of Annabelle + Barnaby, which I think could work for a Trail Jacket.

Finally: tomorrow is a special day, people. It’s PI DAY: 3/14/15 !! How will you celebrate? I admit I’m not really much of a math enthusiast, but Pi Day is kind of a fun idea. Tomorrow, Jason and I plan to check out an Australian pie place for lunch called KO Pies. Then, I will cast on for a new pi shawl – I enjoyed my first one so much that I’ve been itching to start a new one. This time, instead of the classic Pi unvented by Elizabeth Zimmermann, I’m going to try Girasole by Jared Flood, using some Fiber Company Meadow in Prairie. I’m looking forward to a big wearable sunflower in this warm shade of yellow.  meadow_prairie_large

In case you’re wondering, finish-all-the-things March is still going on despite my plans for a new cast on. Jason’s socks are a heel away from finished, and Strokkur has the beginnings of a little sleeve…

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Happy weekend, everyone, and happy Pi Day!

March Things

Greetings!

It’s strange to suddenly be on holiday for a week. I imagined myself spending my days knitting, Netflix marathoning, perhaps visiting a new-to-me LYS, and just relaxing. For some reason it’s tough to actually put this into practice, but somehow I manage. Over the weekend, I got a good bit of work done on my Twigs and Willow Mitts by Alana Dakos.

This photo looked okay when I took it but I now realize that the colour is waaaay off:

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The photo below is closer to their true green. I love these mitts! I will admit that I spent a lot of time today (time measured in Downton Abbey episodes) ripping back the second mitt to fix a messed-up cable cross ~16 rows back. I wish I could have just dropped down to the 4 stitches in question, but I didn’t know how I could recreate the leaf sitting above it. Have you ever done anything like that before or have any tips? I ended up just ripping out those 16 rows and starting from scratch. Here’s mitt #1:

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So although there were some mitten setback today, I should be able to get these done by tomorrow, and enter them in the Mr. Yarn Malabrigo March 2015 Giveaway and the 2 Knit Lit Chicks Alana-Along 🙂

March Things

1) Last year, I created a very informal “March Madness” KAL with some of my Montreal knit crew. My personal goal was to finish 1 lingering UFO per week, although it’s more about the act of finishing things than the actual number of items. The basic idea is to pick some languishing projects and give them a good ol’ spring cleaning – clear off the needles!

This month, my goals are to finish 1) Twigs and Willows Mitts, 2) Canucks Socks for Jason, and 3) Strokkur Sweater. I’d like to also add in 4) Herbivore Shawl, but that might be pushing it. SO: March Madness 2015 KAL – want to join me? Give a shout!

2) Pi Day is coming up, Saturday March 14th. I’m thinking it might be fun to cast on another pi shawl for the occasion (yes I realize this counteracts my goal of finishing projects this month) as my first pi shawl was a lot of fun. This time I’m thinking a sunny shade of yellow – not neon yellow but like a marigold / honey colour in a fingering weight. Something smooth and silky but not too pricy, considering I need ~1400 yards. Preferably an indie dyer and/or locally sourced wool. I have a lot of requirements. Any recommendations?

I hope you all have a great week! In Boston, it looks like springtime is coming around the bend. 8˚C today!

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Exit Your Comfort Zone

Woooo spring break! While it still does not look anything like spring here in the gland (that’s New En-gland, to you), I am deeply appreciative of the upcoming week off. Time to catch up on knitting and Downton Abbey season 5 (don’t tell me anything!!) and oh yeah, schoolwork. Or something.

How has your week been? I hope it has been lovely.

I must say I had a great time last night at – get this – knit night! The struggle has been real (so real) out here, separated from my knit group in Montreal. It’s awesome to follow knitting friends virtually and listen to podcasts and (of course) nurse my sweet baby blog, but I have been wanting some real needle-to-needle knit connection. Ravelry had the answer. Doesn’t Ravelry always have the answer? I found a lively and fun knitting group in my part of town, and they hang out once a week.

It was a little nerve-wracking walking to the meeting, knowing I would have to approach a group of strangers and just be like, “Hello! I am new! Accept me!” And I may have invented many excuses to not go, and just remain safely at home. But in my heart of hearts I knew that knitter get each other, and it would be awesome and worth it. I met up with them for the first time last night and immediately knew things were off to a good start. Why: as soon as I said hi, I was bombarded with compliments on my hat and cowl, and questioned on what the yarns and patterns were. Amazing! And this group was working on some pretty impressive projects of their own. I will definitely be meeting up with them again 🙂

Now, if you have been following my riveting sock knitting needle saga, there is finally closure.

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YES those are 40″ Addi Sock Rockets in the apparently elusive 2.25 mm size. I don’t even know how many pairs I have ordered to try and get these to knit Jason’s socks. It’s really quite shameful. In my defense, the list of needle sizes on Amazon is not intuitive and it didn’t match up with my resource for US-metric needle size conversions.

The website Yarn Forward lists 2.25 mm as US size 1, so I went looking for size 1s. Here’s what shows up on Amazon:

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There is Size 1 and Size US 01 (2.5 mm) but no mention of 2.25 mm – so I thought. Not until a few days ago when I finally solved this drama did I see at the bottom of the list Size US 2.25 mm. That doesn’t even really make sense to me – is there no US equivalent for 2.25 mm? Anyway, very odd to have such disorganization in this list!

I am happy to report that the socks can now carry on happily, with a comfortable length of cord for magic loop. Here is sock 2 this afternoon, right before switching needles:

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Another thing happened needle-wise. My Twigs and Willows Mitts were coming out way too small, which is really not surprising since I have found that my gauge is way tighter than what the pattern calls for in Alana’s patterns. My fault for not swatching on these mitts, but there you go. I went ahead and restarted the mitts with 2.5 mm and 3.25 mm needles.

This required purchasing 3.25 mm needles. Ahem. Motivated by price after my Addi saga, I went with the more economical ChiaoGoo Red Lace 40″ circulars, which I have heard great things about. I will say I’m a die-hard Addi fan, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. My pet peeve with magic loop is the rigidness and auto-coil tendency of the cord that seems to attack my hands and knitting.

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Well, these needles are clearly something else. I could tell they were fabulous as soon as I took them out of the package. You know how Addis coil up on their own? (And I thought this was common to all circulars) – check this out.

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I laid the ChiaoGoos out on the table in this shape, and they didn’t budge. They just chilled there. The cord is very pliable and totally relaxed! Miracles upon miracles. Things are going fabulously with my mitts now! Why did I never try this brand before? That just goes to show me – try new things now and then! Even if it’s just needles. They’ll change your life, bruh.

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If you’re wondering about the actual needle parts, the Addis and ChiaoGoos are comparable but not the same. I have only knit with the ChiaoGoos for an hour so I don’t totally know them yet, but at this point I still prefer the finish on the Addis. The Addi needles feel smoother and more frictionless. That said, I prefer the ChiaoGoos overall for magic loop due to the amazing Red Lace cord. In terms of needle pointiness, here is a comparison of the 3.25 mm ChiaoGoos (left) and 2.25 mm Addi Sock Rocks (right):

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Considering the size difference, the pointiness seems comparable. I am doing some cabling and M1R/M1L in the Twigs and Willows mitts and not having any issues with those finicky maneuvers. In the future, I would like to try ChiaoGoos in a smaller needle size for socks, but I am done with sock needle shopping for quite a while.

Have a fabulous weekend, fibre friends!

Waiting for Spring

Mondays, amirite?

Hi guys, I’ve got some knitting to show you today! (Shocking, I know)!

Remember the abandoned Rikke hat that I found the other day? Well, I actually was able to finish it just a day later. For some reason, I remember setting it aside because the miles of garter stitch in the round was poisoning my mind Théoden, King of Rohan style. K not really, that’s a super extreme comparison, but you know what I mean if you’re not a fan of purling. My motivators were 1) clearing some ancient UFOs off the needles (a current goal), 2) loving the look of the finished product, and 3) actually needing a spring hat, preferably slouchy.

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No mods to the pattern except knitting only 8″ plain before the crown decreases, instead of 9″. It is still plenty slouchy (here’s my project page with more photos).

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Photo courtesy of Mom, who was in town this weekend. Side note: I realized, while traipsing about Boston, that my mom, Jason, and I were all wearing hats that I had knit. ❤

Jason’s Canucks socks are coming along. These are some plain vanilla (not to knock vanilla) toe-up afterthought heel socks knit from Tumbleweed Yarn. I got the yarn as a kit which includes a mini skein of matching blue for the heels and toes. He was a little wary of his heel-less sock after I took out the waste yarn (excuse the pile of Mom-stuff).photo 1 (34)

The saga with incorrect needle size continues, in which I lied last time that I finally had the right needles. I don’t!!! They’re actually 40″ 2.0 mm instead of 2.25 mm. GARRRH. I no longer even know if it’s possible to order 40″ 2.25 mm Addis on Amazon. Part of it is possibly me messing up with US needle sizes. I shall forge on with my current 32″ needles. There’s no way this project is going to cost me another set of Addis! (But if you do know which size to order… help a knitter out. So far I have tried US 1 and US 0).

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I was worried that this sock construction wouldn’t allow enough room in the gusset, since I have knit a pair of afterthought heel socks for myself and they were way too tight in that area. However, I recommend the pattern that I’m using, which cleverly adds a few stitches before and after the heel, to make the gusset roomier. Can I still say gusset if there’s no heel flap? Hmm. Anyway, the pattern is Vanilla Socks by Carle’ Dehning.

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Lastly, I cast on a new project today! This is for 2 KALs that are happening on Ravelry. The first is the Alana Along with the 2 Knit Lit Chicks, in which we have until March 31st to knit any one of Alana Dakos’s beautiful patterns. The second KAL is the Malabrigo March 2015 Giveaway with my secret lover, Mr. Yarn. We have until March 31st to knit any project out of Malabrigo yarn.

I am knitting Twigs and Willow Mitts by Alana Dakos out of Malabrigo Sock in the Ivy colourway. 2 birds, yo!

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So far it is going swimmingly. I can’t wait to have a pair of fingerless mitts for spring! I’m about 30% into the left hand mitt, and enjoying seeing the little leaves emerge. Lots of new-to-me techniques in this one, so it does require a good amount of attention, but not so much that I can’t watch this week’s episode of The Knit Girllls at the same time 🙂

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That’s it for knits at the moment. We took on Monday head-first today with homemade pizza for dinner. I hope you have a fabulous week, spend lots of time with your fave fibres, and I will see you Friday!

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