WIP Wednesday: I Swear It Looks Nicer

https://instagram.com/p/9-NbhVjqN3/Yesterday I started a new project, instead of working on something that was unfinished. There was a little bit of guilt involved, but not too much, because the project I started will be fairly quick and really ought to have been done much sooner. My little sister really liked the Dragon Watcher’s Hood I made for myself, and requested one in a different colour. I agreed to do so if she purchased the yarn. This happened in April and I’ve just been the slowest of slowpokes.

250px-079Slowpoke

This is me, the slowest of all Slowpokes. Crown Princess of keeping yarn for a while and letting other things distract her.

I knew it wouldn’t take me all that long, so I started thinking about it when the weather started to gradually cool off. We’ve had a very long warm season. Even when it was October it really wasn’t chilly enough for hats or mittens, so the demand for a hood didn’t quite pop up. Eventually it started to fluctuate and cool down–at that point a few subtle reminders about the things I promised to make started to flutter my way. I wanted to work on a few other things first, mostly because I had so many things on the needles in various stages of completion, but I knew that I needed to start working on this hood. I considered starting it a few weeks ago, but I realized that my size 15 circular needle tips were on loan to a friend. I could have started it on straights, but that didn’t seem worth it.

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WIP Wednesday: Deadline Pressure

project_3I am not the only knitter with unrealistic goals, but that doesn’t necessarily make the experience of being trapped in a yarn vortex of my own design any less stressful. I attended Vogue Knitting Live! Chicago 2015 during the first weekend of October, and had the opportunity to see the yarn kit YarnHarlot made this darling baby dress from–including the dress design on display–at the StevenBe booth. This planted an idea in my mind to knit this dress, but with different colours. I looked up the materials and pattern online, and eventually decided to place my order. Shortly after doing so, I realized that I had to have the dress finished by October 18th. The yarn arrived October 9th.

project_1This is not a reasonable goal. I’m not a slow knitter, but there’s a difference between “knitting with some aptitude regarding speed” and “knitting nonstop at a breakneck pace”. The dress is knit with fingering weight wool on 2.5mm (US size 1) needles. The skirt portion has over 300 stitches per round.

For some reason, the thought of deciding to finish on this project later and going out to buy a present of some kind is totally unacceptable to me. I’ve reached that point of “knitter’s delusion and stubbornness” that is very difficult to rationalize with.

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WIP Wednesday: Eternal Scarf

This scarf project originated at the yarn toss for last year’s Vogue Knitting LIVE event. It bounced near my feet in its little organza bag, and a woman standing near me motioned for me to pick it up. At first, I planned to use the yarn included for some other pattern, but then I started to feel a little bit bad for neglecting the free pattern in the bag. Instead, about a month later, I cast on the Robin Scarf.

Now, I’m not sure if that was such a good idea. I have been working on this scarf off-and-on for nearly a year. It is knit on size 0/2mm needles. The yarn is a light fingering. The lace pattern is fairly simple, but it starts to really make my hands hurt after a few hours of it. I’ve made very little progress, always sneaking along a bit at a time, sometimes barely completing a full repeat in one session. I don’t want to pull it out now, but I sometimes wish I had opted for socks instead of this lace scarf. It’s not something I plan to keep for myself; hopefully whoever gets it in the end will love it. They’ll get a lot of my time and effort, that’s for sure.

I finished two pattern repeats for Wednesday. That was all I could stand before I needed to move on to something else. (I also crocheted some coasters and started a hair ribbon.)

WIP Wednesday: Crochet Blanket

It’s been very warm lately–even though it’s a much milder summer than previous years. Somehow, on these incredibly warm days (they feel even warmer than they otherwise might; I don’t have air conditioning) all I can think about is making a blanket. I’ve been fixated on making a blanket since the temperature spiked. (Maybe all the weird weather stuff has broken me.) I wanted to start a blanket so much that I contemplated buying yarn for such a project, even though that goes completely against my plan to use my stash.

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WIP Wednesday: Mitten Lining

These aren’t necessarily one of my “longest” projects, but I’ve been working on these mittens off-and-on for a few months now. I’ve taken a number of breaks to work on things such as Mother’s Day gifts, etc. Now that the weather is generally warmer (although it keeps taking a few dips into chillyness, brr!❄️) I’m not as motivated to work on warm hand coverings like mittens… but I also don’t dislike this project, so it’s not torture.

The mittens themselves were finished at the end of April for the first and the end of May for the second. After seeing the Northman Mittens with their cozy alpaca lining, I knew I wanted mittens for myself with cozy alpaca lining. (And it just so happened that I had some appropriate alpaca yarn that I bought from another Ravelry user in the fall of last year!) I’ve never knit lined mittens, but it was easier than I thought–or so I think, I guess, until it’s time to turn the lining into the mitten. That will really be the “moment of truth”!

I decided to knit the thumb of the lining before finishing the rest. I thought it would be easier to weave the ends in. (And I’m glad I did, because it was!) I fiddled some weird increases and decreases for the thumb–they’re not pretty, but it impacts the fit in a good way. I’m not really a fan of thumbs without gussets, so even though the outer mitten lacks a gusset, I tried to insert a small gusset to the lining to avoid too much stretch and wear around the thumb area. I’m really curious to see how it works out~! ♥

WIP Wednesday: Leftovers Hat

I actually thought that I’d be posting about another project that I’m working on right now, but those mittens reached a point on Tuesday where they were finished with one step and ready for blocking. They were still wet on Wednesday, so I couldn’t do any other work on them. Instead, I wound up working on a hat with the goal of using up some leftover yarn. I don’t like having leftover yarn, but I do like making hats. ★

I decided to crochet instead of knitting, so I picked a hat pattern accordingly. I searched in Ravelry, and the image of this hat caught my eye (and met my criteria for yardage, etc.), and when I saw it was a pattern from moogly that seemed an even better reason to pick it! ♥ (Lately I’ve really been enjoying some of the patterns and tutorials from moogly.) I actually started it on Tuesday, but I didn’t get any farther than the increases for the crown–I was left with a big potholder-looking item at the end of the evening.

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WIP Wednesday: Beekeeper’s Quilt Hexipuffs

Having finished my most recent pair of socks, that meant it was time to put in a bit more effort on my long-term project, the Beekeeper’s Quilt~! I loved this pattern from the moment I saw the pictures for it–and I know I am not alone. It has a pretty devoted following and seems to enchant additional knitters every day!

There are a lot of different ways to make this quilt. Some people stuff their hexipuffs. Some use fiberfill, others wool, and others yarn scraps… Some people leave them flat. Some make them single-sided. Some decorate them with embroidery or intarsia or stranded colourwork. Some buy mini-skeins dedicated for hexipuffs. Others use only scrap yarn. Some people trade mini-skeins to increase variety. Some follow the puff directions as written; others modify cast on, cast off, increases, or decreases. Some use sock yarn. Others use heavier- or lighter-weight yarn. There is no one “right” way to make this blanket.

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WIP Wednesday: Dancing Socks

Afternoon KnittingI really love knitting socks. They’re one of the first things I reach for when I’m looking for “relaxing” knitting. These socks are no exception. I’m recommitted to knitting through my stash. It increased a bit earlier in the year because I was lucky enough to be treated by my mother at a yarn store~ ♥ Definitely no regrets there, but I don’t want to make a habit of acquiring more yarn at this point in my life.

I love the Jane Austen Knits magazines, but I haven’t made as many projects from them as I’d like. To help fix that, I picked this sock pattern from the 2013 edition: Jane’s Dancing Stockings by Anne Podlesak.

What better yarn to use than the Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn I had leftover from my Afternoon Cream Tea shawl~!

Dancing Socks

So far I’ve been enjoying this pattern. It’s a really lovely bit of lace, but not so open that I feel like they wouldn’t be warm enough as actual socks. The little bit of lace trim at the top of the socks is one of my favourite parts. I think I’m going to tea-dye some narrow ribbon to thread through the eyelets, per the pattern suggestion. They’ll look so dainty! Maybe I’ll wear them while I wear my shawl, and be matching~

WIP Wednesday - Cream Socks

I’m one sock down so far, and my goal for the evening is to finish the heel flap on sock #2.

I hope everyone is enjoying a bit of knitting or crochet for WIP Wednesday~! ♥

WIP Wednesday: Striped Cranberry Socks

On my last yarn-purchasing excursion, I requested that my husband select a Zauberball or Crazy Zauberball from the shop’s selection. He’s always game for more socks, and I was really interested in working with a yarn that had the gentle colour changes that the aforementioned yarn is known for.

Zauberball SocksInitially I planned to knit a fingering-weight adaptation of the pattern Rye by Tin Can Knits. That’s what I had in mind when I cast on these socks and started with the ribbing. As the yarn started to transition into a darker colour, however, I didn’t feel at ease with my pattern choice. Even with the garter stitch section of the pattern (and I do adore garter stitch), I worried about being bored with the look of the socks. I browsed through a few patterns, specifically searching for those designed for or completed by people using Zauberball, and found the Magic Zauberball Stripe Socks by Tofutrulla. This pattern is not complicated or exacting, and the sock is stockinette, but the colour-changing stripes really appeal to me. I was just about finished with the ribbing on the sock I had begun, so there was no need to rip anything out, only to do something different going forward.

Magic Zauberball StripesI dragged out the scale, separated the yarn into two balls of equivalent size, and started striping…and I love it! I’m sure there will be an area where both stripes are almost the exact same colour, but hopefully that won’t really bother me. I feel like the stripes knit much faster than a plain sock; there’s something about being able to track the progress in terms of visual queues that helps avoid that sinking “endless project abyss” feeling that I dread. I’m curious to see how the pair looks when both socks are finished, since they won’t match in much more than spirit.

WIP Wednesday: The First of a Few Green Hats

Dark Green Hat

The hat that I started the other day is now complete~! It was my project for WIP Wednesday, but it also became a FO on Wednesday.

It’s hard to show the fit and style of this hat from a flat picture of my completed project. It’s a cloche hat, from Boutique Knits. I bought that book a few years ago, but I still really like making the projects from it. I hadn’t made one in a while, so when I saw that there were a few options that matched well enough with the weight of yarn I was aiming to use, it seemed like a good opportunity~

However, I still have more of this same green yarn… so I’ll be continuing with other hats. (I contemplated making the same hat multiple times, but I think that would be too boring!)