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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In the Nick of Time

https://instagram.com/p/8_XUAijqBO/I continued working on the over-ambitious baby dress… and I finished it at the last possible moment that I could do so. I was that person at the birthday party with an unfinished project in her tote bag, sitting at the table and sewing nonstop.

There was a significant amount of “knitting black hole” for the skirt portion of the dress. I could see that I was knitting a round and then another, but the progress didn’t actually appear to exist when I measured it. I finished the body of the dress the day before the party and crocheted on the trim. Then I washed it and laid it out to dry while crocheting the flowers it is embellished with. My original plan was to have the darker colour at the center of the flowers and the lighter colour at the outer edge. I reversed the order when assembling the flowers and didn’t have time to go back. I stayed up extremely late working on the flowers.

Rose and Lace Toddler DressI thought I could sew them on in the morning before the party, but I didn’t have time to weave in the ends. My flowers are spaced with a greater density on the front than on the back. I only made 24, as the pattern mentioned, because I just didn’t have time to make any more. I wanted them to be very close on the front portion. I opted for buttons with little ducks on them because the birthday girl likes duckies. It took me basically the whole party to weave the ends in. But at last, it was done! ♥

Muted Rainbow Seaforth Hat

I first spotted the Seaforth hat pattern on the LoveKnitting Twitter, back in November of 2014. I downloaded the free pattern right away, knowing I’d save it for some future hat. I love making hats, and this hat had the kind of simple repeat that I often opt for. I didn’t have a yarn in mind, but considering what it was originally knit with, I didn’t think there would be a problem substituting something in.

In spring 2015 I bought a single skein of Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere in a muted rainbow colorway called “Milky Spite.” I intended it as a spring hat for myself, although I didn’t start on it during the spring of this year. I had my eye on the Tiny Owl Knits pattern Orchids & Fairylights, but I didn’t acquire the pattern until later in the year. (A very, very kind Ravelry user gave it to me as a gift!)

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A Beautiful Shells Blanket

I took a brief hiatus on my projects for a few reasons. The weather over here spiked to fairly high temperatures and some unpleasant humidity. This absolutely kills my desire to knit or have yarn touching me, especially because I don’t have air conditioning in my home. My schedule involved a number of events and activities that made getting some knitting or crocheting time more difficult–including an amazing overseas vacation that I did not want to bring yarn with for. I like packing light, and a blanket like this is not light. I had also never traveled internationally before, and I was very worried about getting things confiscated at the airport. To have peace of mind, I left all the yarn at home.

Before I left I did some intermittent work on the blanket. (It reached the “yarn black hole” stage where I could physically see that I was doing things, but it didn’t appear to actually use up any yarn. This of course meant that when the stage ended I was suddenly very low on yarn and realized it would be wrapping up soon.)

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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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Dancing Stockings

Finished StockingsI’ve finished my socks~! ♥ I’m really satisfied with this project. The colour of this yarn is exactly what I like. The pinkish-brown really appeals to me. Overall the yarn dying style is somewhat subdued, but still has a visible level of variation.

I enjoyed knitting these socks–I didn’t feel like they were taking forever. The lace pattern was easy for me to memorize. It was also easy to count and measure repeats; I prefer that when possible, because it makes it easier for me to have both socks be the same length in legs and feet without using a row counter. If I wind up measuring with a tape measure, sometimes I’m off by a smidgen and it bothers me later.

Finished StockingsI’m not sure when I’m going to get a chance to wear these, but I am looking forward to it! I plan to buy some ribbon and tea-dye it to thread through the eyelets below the peaks of the lace edge. (I’m generally in favour of adding ribbons to things…) I think that will be an excellent finishing touch~ ♥

I’m always trying to have some variety in the projects I work on, but I’m tempted to knit this sock pattern again. 🌟

Time for Christmas Knitting

I don’t knit for the holidays every year, but I’ve decided to do so this year! I already got a head start with a hat and cowl set, and I’ve mapped out that I needed to create the following:

  1. 5 ladies’ hats
  2. 3 men’s hats
  3. 2 men’s cowls
  4. 1 ladies’ cowl
  5. 1 blanket
  6. 3 unknown ladies’ items

Small Army of HatsI took advantage of a yarn sale to pick up super bulky yarn (Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick) for 4 of the 5 ladies’ hats. It’s one of the acrylic blends I dislike the least, and ease of washing matters for a few of these recipients. I used the pattern Free Rapunzel! because I had so much fun making one for me. Whipping up these hats wound up being just about as entertaining as the first one was. It’s so quick and easy, and I love the look of the all the braids. It’s really only cutting through the pompoms that I don’t enjoy; the scissors hurt my fingers. x_x

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Vogue Knitting Live! Chicago 2014

Vogue Knitting Live! Chicago I was very excited to attend Vogue Knitting Live! Chicago this year~! ♥ I was able to attend in 2012, but it was not in my budget last year. That’s particularly a shame because the location of the event is very easy for me to commute to–not too far from my office, and thus super simple for me to travel to from my home. It’s nice to not have to make actual travel arrangements or book overnight accommodations. In 2012 I was lucky enough to win entrance and one lecture, but I really wanted to be able to take a class. Thankfully, this year my mother arranged for me to attend and take 4 classes as a birthday present! (Registration opened up juuuust around my birthday.)

A coworker and friend of mine also registered to go, so we were able to enjoy the event together! (She totally outdid me as far as number of classes, though. XD)

My first day was Friday. Registration was a *SNAP*; I showed up bright and early and my badge had already been mailed. All I needed was a lanyard and a brochure from the express registration table. My friend had a morning class, although I only had an afternoon class, and as the marketplace was not yet open I sat around in a lounge area in the gooooorgeous hotel and chatted with other knitters! Both years that I’ve attended, it’s been really fun to be a part of such a welcoming atmosphere. I’ve been talked to and joined by all sorts of people I don’t know, and everyone has been very pleasant and cheery!

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I Love Many Forms of Afternoon Tea

I first saw the Afternoon Tea shawl pattern when I first realized that Knitty existed. At the time, shawls seemed like crazy, complicated projects that only the most extreme of knitters could successfully complete. My skills barely encompassed knitting and purling, and any time I caught a glimpse of a chart I was sure it was something I could never learn to decode. The stitch pattern and design of the shawl didn’t capture my attention as much as the name did–I love tea in general and especially formal afternoon tea at hotels or tea houses. I imagined myself wearing such a shawl, graceful as the heroines of the novels I’d grown up reading, sipping my tea and chatting blithely with other frilly maidens. Then I returned to my slow study of simpler projects.

In late July I thought often of shawls, having seen some particularly lovely patterns come up in the “Most Popular” selections on Ravelry. When I stopped into a yarn shop and ambled through the yarn (as my patient friend and husband lounged in the seating area clicking away on their phones), I was thinking of some of those shawl patterns. I spotted a pretty pale pinkish brown flecked with paler creamish tones and knew it would come home with me. I wasn’t sure which shawl pattern it would work out for, but I knew that shawls made of fingering yarn were common enough that I must have at least a few in mind ready for this yarn.

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Hats and Hats and Hats

The green yarn that made the first green hat was ultimately enough for three green hats. I was really glad to use up all of that green yarn–for a little while it started to feel endless, as though I had miles upon miles of green yarn and would be knitting green yarn until I was old and gray. Not having that be the truth filled me with relief.

Another Green Hat Completed Yet Another Green Hat

After the hats I focused on a star-shaped blanket made of the yellow acrylic and the blue possibly-acrylic. I toyed with the thought of buying more yellow to make the center yellow star larger, but there was no real need to do so. It was more important to finish it before attending the party at which it would be a gift, so I hopped onto it with the navy blue and crocheted until the yarn was gone. I didn’t manage to get any pictures of it, because it wasn’t even 100% finished drying when we attended the party. Hopefully it will be dragged all over the place by the child who now owns it; that’s the best thing I could hope for a star-shaped blanket.

Slouchy Red Beehive HatAnd then, another hat. Hats forever, apparently. At least with this hat, the yarn that was given to me was officially used up~ It’s really lovely and soft, but the yarn was very weak and had been balled with numerous breaks in the yarn. I was constantly stopping and there were so many ends to weave in that I’m glad I did it while I was knitting, instead of waiting until the end. This hat and the green ones are going off to various causes where hats are wanted, but I’ve been delaying on dropping them off at the yarn shop to avoid the temptation of yarn. XD