Monday, March 26, 2012

Festive Fall Vest for DS

Here is a Ravelry link to the project.

As per usual, I can't get pictures to do the yarn justice.  Though Little Guy's adorable face should make up for that.  *smirk*  Yes, I am a biased mommy...  Why do you ask?  *laugh*

Little Guy in Chris Woven Yoke Sweater

There are a bunch more pics on Flickr.  I just posted the one I liked best of LG.  *laugh*

Pattern:#407 Chris Woven Yoke Vest by Schaefer Design
From the 2012 Knitting Calendar

Made for:DS Will

Size:12-18 Months

Needles:US 6 - 4.0 mm
US 7 - 4.5 mm

Fresh From the Cauldron MCN Worsted in Ares Colorway
About 1 skeins = 185.0 yards (169.2m)
Purchased at:
Fresh From The Cauldron
Purchase date:
May 2, 2011

I love the Ares colorway by Fresh from the Cauldron and wanted to make something for the Little Guy with it.  The colors scream fall though I don't know if it will be big enough for him to wear come fall. 

I have been watching to the Round the Twist videocast.  Carin, the host, has deemed 2012 the year of the sweater and has invited others to KAL with her.  I decided I wanted to push myself.  So one of my 2012 goals is to knit four sweaters.  One for DH, DS, DD and DD's 18" doll.  This is the first sweater done.  And certainly not too soon!  I fear it probably won't fit him next year.  But it fits him perfectly.  And luckily the temperatures have dropped so he might get a few wearings out of it.  *crosses fingers*

I tried to use this for another vest that just kept going horribly wrong.  So I frogged it. 

I kept praying that there is enough yarn to finish the vest.  Problem was that is says 1 skein of Chris which is 220 yards.  FFtC is 185 yards.  *gulp*  Luckily some amazing folks offered to share their Ares, so I could have finished it.  Hooray for knitters.

It came out wonderfully.  It looks adorable.  And just in time too.  The vest will probably only fit for the rest of the spring.  *sigh*  But I might have to take up an offer to buy some Ares and make another one in a bigger size as I have a bit left from the 12-18 size.

I love the Chris yarn too.  So I might have to get a couple skeins and make a larger one at a later date!

I also really need to take pics of my socks.  They were another 2012 goal I have met.  They look wonderful, but I haven't photographed them or worn them yet.  I really should since the lovely FftC folks are having a 2012 KAL that ends in April.  I keep debating if I could actually finish another object for that one.  I don't know...but it is tempting to try!  I have long been debating making a Clapotis with some FftC yarn.  Thoughts?  Crazy to think I can complete that in a month with everything else on the table...  But I think it is a quick knit by most accounts.

On the 2012 goals, I also have done some spinning!  Woohoo!  I have the Bullseye Bump I got on my wheel.  I have only done about a half ounce to an ounce tops.  But it is lovely.  Again, I should take some pics.  I had high hopes of getting some spinning in last night.  But Little Guy is sick and was fussy most of the evening.  So there wasn't a chance to pull out the wheel.  *pout*

Also, because Little Guy was sick, I didn't get to do a bunch of car knitting.  That was my hope.  I wish he wasn't a drippy mess.  He was miserable on Saturday night/Sunday morning.  But luckily, he is doing better today.  I am hopeful that tomorrow will mean he is back to 100% okay.  *crosses fingers*  I am sure the sweater helped him feel better.  How can you not when you look so dapper?  *grin*

Friday, March 23, 2012

Knitting While Away

Given I was traveling to Arizona, I took lots of knitting.  I wanted plane knitting and conference knitting.  Conference knitting has to be something super simple that I can knit under the table.  Plane knitting can require more attention and focus.

Of course, I was winding yarn at 12:30 am Friday night into Saturday morning I was leaving. I had to be up at 3:30 am to get to my 6:30 flight.  Whee...  I know...not my brightest move...  *laugh*

I decided to go with the Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes (rav link) for the Unique Sheep Luxe in the Tudor gradient colorway.  I was leaning towards the Aeolian Shawl by Elizabeth Freeman but I think the yarn will be too busy and you will end up loosing the details which seems silly for the pattern & yarn.  The beauty of the Holden is that I can repeat the edging as many times as I have yarn for.  So that helps.

It calls for a size 6 needle. So I brought a size 6 with me.  Not a 5 or 7.  Just a 6.  I started it on the plane.  And it looked too loose for my liking.  I kept trying.  I knit some more.  I stopped.  I decided that I would try to get a size 5 while I was out with a friend that day.  But I didn't.  So I tried to knit a bit more, seeing if I could convince myself that it would block out well and look good.

So I knit some more.  And stared at it.  Pulled it a bit.  Tried to justify it on the size 6 needles.  Thinking maybe the yarn will plump up when I block it...  *laugh*  Yeah, I know...

I knit on the vest for the Little Guy (rav link) for a while, hoping letting it sit would convince me it was the right thing to knit it on the 6s.  But the more I thought about it, the more I knew, I wouldn't be happy with it.  It just needed to be ripped out and knit on a smaller gauge needle if I would be happy with it.  *sigh*

Of course after finally committing to the Holden, I was looking for something else and found the Bitterroot pattern.  Now I am wondering if that wouldn't be a better fit. *laugh*  Decisions, decisions...

I did a lot of the vest under the table at conference.  It was going well.  And then...  I realized that I copied the same side of one sheet twice!  So I didn't have the last quarter of the pattern!!  *laugh*  Okay...  Thank goodness I brought more to knit right?!

So I cast on the Phoebe Sweater for my Eldest Munchkin.  It is a bottom-up seamless cardigan.  I *love* seamless sweaters.  *smile*  It is a super simple knit and ideal for conference knitting.  So I put a pretty good dent in that.

I decided I wanted to cast on my socks that I brought as well.  I decided to go with the Midnight Sky pattern - non-rav link with really large pic if you click on it  (Ravelry Link).  I got the pattern from the Decadently Dark club I was in a while back.  I couldn't lay my hands on the pattern and the designer was sweet enough to send me a new copy which is very cool of her as it is a pay pattern.  It is a beautiful pattern and I always think that it is good to support patterns that haven't been done to death.  It says three projects on Ravelry.  One the test knit.  The other says in progress with the yarn from the club (which I got in Aug. 2009). The last the one I started.

Posting mine is probably a bit of a joke.  Why you ask?  Because I have cast on the stitches for 1 1/2 socks.  Yes.  Not even all the stitches yet.  *laugh*  Mind you, when I am doing the two socks on two circs I always seem to have trouble getting the cast-on right!  *laugh*  I generally end up sliding one set of stitches on to something else because I have cast on the second one incorrectly.  Which I hate to admit is what is holding up the progress.  And since I wasn't at home I didn't have other needles to put it onto. Though I did have some stitch holders, so honestly, I could have done it...  Though I think what added to my procrastination is that I don't think two socks on two circs are great plane knitting.  Too many needles to make the person sitting next to you nervous.

Though if I had realized the seat between me and the other person would be open, I would have finished casting them on so I could knit them on the plane.  But with my luck, if I had them in my carry on, I would bet someone would have been in that middle seat.  *laugh*  So better left in my checked baggage!  *grin*

So as things stand, I have about 75% of the vest done for LG.  About 40-50% of the Phoebe sweater done for EM (it is the project I have been knitting on since getting home).  0.005% of the socks for me done.  0% of the shawl done.  Whee.

Much to my joy, I got a little spinning done last weekend...  A very little.  But I am so thrilled I got any done at all!  I pulled out a sample I got from an order I placed to test out my skills.  I am happy to report that muscle memory is a wonderful thing.  After only a bit of trial, it was looking about as good as my spinning ever looks.  I am not an expert spinner by any means.  But it was fairly decent.

So I pulled out the Bullseye Bump I got.  It is so wonderful to spin.  I am still debating if I will just knit this as a single or if I am going to Navajo ply it.  I *never* knit with singles I have spun.  I am not that strong a spinner so my singles are uneven in tension.  Plying helps balance that out.  But since I am planning to make a simple scarf for Elanor with this, it might be okay.  Some odd bias to it could be fun & funky.  We will see when I get the single spun how thick it is.  Because the bump has various fibers mixed in like recycled sari silk and such, it is unpredictable.  But I think Elanor will love the colors and the sparkle in it.

I am hoping to have some knitting time in the car this Sunday.  *crosses fingers*  As always, that will all depend on the kids...  But with any luck, maybe I can take a second try at the shawl.  Let's hope.  *smile*  Though I will also see if I can finish casting on my socks as they might also be nice car knitting.  But who knows...  I do wonder if trying to get two pairs of socks done in a year isn't a rather grand idea.  *laugh*  I recall knitting a pair of socks every month to two.  What a laughable idea these days... *chuckle*

I was just looking at my WIPs and realized I really should pick up the Flora Dress (rav link).  Because if I don't finish that quickly, it isn't going to fit Eldest Munchkin and I will just have to frog the whole thing.  I should check that it even fits her anymore.  I checked a couple months back but she has this nasty habit of continuing to grow.  *laugh*

In a Ravelry thread I read about updates for a yarn dyer I love, someone mentioned not having knitting time with kids which definitely seems true.  But she also said that she built her stash to save for retirement.  It seems like a fine idea to me.  Though to contrast that, I also caught up on the Yarn Harlot's blog.  And her post about how she only keeps things if she really loves them seems like a good policy.  But then again, I don't get given yarn or fiber as she does.  *laugh*  So 95% of the stuff I bought.  And the gifts I got I love.  There are some things I bought because they were cheap.  Like some acrylic I got for trying up yarn when I was dyeing my own what seems like ages ago...  Some is about it being cheap.  Which with the kids...  So I don't think I need to love all my yarn.  But I do need to think it is useful.  Mind you, there are more things I find useful these days with the kids.  So I suspect I won't be doing much culling should it ever actually get the time to do it.

I have a ton of work to do.  It has been a crazed week.  I have been up til 1 or 2 twice this week with work.  *sigh*  Best I get some done though I really just want a nap.  Ah well.  No rest for the wicked...or at least want to be wicked.  *chuckle*

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

More Yarn Vs. Pattern Stall

In my knitting stall part two, we have the Unique Sheep Luxe in Gradient Tudor Colorway in the Bigfoot Size (6 oz/600 Yards).  The beads are the Beadsmith/Jabonex Czech 6/0 beads in the Heavy Metal mix.  They look like metal in their finish.  Kinda cool.

Unique Sheep Luxe in Gradient Tudor Colorway - Bigfoot Size (6 oz/600 Yards)

Now, the Tudor name of course has me wanting to do something Tudor with it.  But they didn't actually have shawls from what I understand.  Elizabeth loved her knit stockings, but not the same. 

I started wondering if I could chart a Tudor Rose into the pattern somehow.  *shakes head*  Yes, I know I am insane.  It is true.

The beauty is that in theory I could do something that takes some more attention.  I have the flight to and from Arizona for conference.  I would say I had time in the evenings, but I know that never works out.

Holden Shawlette
What I am leaning towards most currently.  That could change easily.  People have already done variations with beads.  And it is pretty simple.  With the yarn, beads and my brain, simple repeats might be a better idea!

Reading Shawl aka the 'stay put' shawl
I confess I am still toying with using this one.  I thought about adding a Tudor rose pattern to the panels.  But I haven't gotten further than toying with that idea.  I could chart it out.  But given I am hoping to start the shawl on the plane out to conference, I would need to get on that soon.  I leave crack of dawn Saturday.  *gulp*

Aeolian Shawl
This had been the clear favorite.  Until I started looking at the yarn.  And the pattern.  The yarn has two colors in each skein.  I don't know why, but I was thinking it was going from one color to the next.  It isn't.  So there might be too much contrast which means you would loose the pattern all together which seems a waste.  Also, soooo not wanting to deal with nubbs.  Think that one deserves a solid or at least a yarn with a straight color progression.

Semi-Precious Shawl -
I have looked at this one a few times.  Not sure if it is simply that the pics look so lovely or what.  But I like that it is customizable so I can tweak it for the yarn.  Though that one keeps making me want to spin it as that is what the pattern is written for.  But again, would need to figure out how and where to add beads.

Easy Triangular Shawl
Still thinking about this one...  There are beads in the edging.  And I could add more if I wanted to the triangles.  Would need to scale it down as the pattern says 820 yards.  Though two of the projects used 700.  I only have 600 or so.

Eliina Shawl
This was a serious contender for a while.  Then I realized it involved crochet.  And while it is *possible* I will try crochet, I really don't want to have spent hours and hours knitting a shawl to mess up the crochet edging!

Honorable Mentions -

Shipwreck Shawl
I actually toyed with the idea of trying to convert this to a semi-circle.  Am I on crack?!

For another yarn, I think I need to try this one.  But I don't think it would work and certainly no way to add beads.

Actually got this pattern from the vamp club.  But seems like too much pattern and I have this bead fixation currently.

EZ 100th Anniversary Gull Wings Half-Circle
Again, not this yarn or beads.  But this is tempting me.  Yes, I know that is crazy talk...  I am aware. *grin*

So many choices, so little time!