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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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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Current State of Knitting

Photo Jul 21, 9 47 05 PM (1) editWhen I finished the Aran sweater, I only had one ball of that Irish yarn left. After thinking about it for a bit, I knit it into a small cabled tea cozy for one of my 4-cup teapots.

After that, I finally got around to a baby hat that I had agreed to knit for someone back in January… (I do not do much knitting by request, because I don’t seem to actually enjoy it and therefore I procrastinate on it as much as humanly possible. That is exactly what happened here, and the hat only took me a few hours to complete. I always forget how quick some crochet projects are…)

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WIP Wednesday: Ssssssnakes

Neon Hat ContinuesMy work-in-progress Wednesday recaps are likely to be up on Thursdays instead, because I don’t have knitting time until the evening–and the last thing I want to do before falling asleep is try to write and format, haha~

I figured out what to do with the roughly 3/4s of a skein of Manos del Uruguay Maxima that remained from an earlier project! Last year in early October I purchased the pattern The Parseltongue Hat from Tiny Owl Knits and knit this hat with some inherited vaguely self-striping tweed yarn. When sorting through patterns on Ravelry, I realized that pattern used just about as much yarn as I seemed to have left over. It was an added bonus that I didn’t need to purchase anything. (I’m involved in a “Buy Nothing New” challenge for February~ Still trying to recover from Christmas spending…)

I started the hat on Monday night, and finished it up yesterday~ It was my focus for WIP Wednesday, and it’s always thrilling to not only make some progress, but to finish what I was working on!

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Brightest Scarf Ever

Safety ScarfI spent my weekend working on the Safety Scarf by Stephen West (WestKnits)~ Somehow, amazingly, it’s already done! I stayed up crazy-late to cast it off last night. When I get to a point in the project where I can so clearly see the end of the project, sometimes I can’t let go! I know that I should go to bed…but I can’t. Just one more row. Honest. Just one. Oh, maybe just another row. I’ll be done so soon. A few more minutes; that’s all it will take me. Next thing I know, it’s after midnight and I still have so many stitches left. (It wasn’t quite as dire last night as it could have been, at least! And I am really happy that it’s done!)

The pattern was generally enjoyable to knit; I’m mostly glad that it’s done because I intended it for a Christmas gift. I didn’t want to keep putting it off long enough for it to qualify for this year’s holiday giving. XD

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Finishing Mitts and Onward

Purple Cabled MittsI am thrilled to have finished Wednesday the mitts I began on Tuesday–and they turned out exactly as I had hoped they would! Both have thumb gussets–which I really prefer as opposed to thumb openings when it comes to mitts. I feel like they fit on a hand better and keep one’s hands warmer. They’re also not terribly difficult to do; I modeled the thumb gussets on these mitts from the thumb gussets on Catching Butterflies by Tiny Owl Knits, which I knit recently. They use a kfb increase for the thumb gusset, and although it is not exactly symmetrical in appearance (due to the nature of the kfb increase) I was satisfied with the resulting appearance. For the cabled mitts, the kfb increases look even better because they blend in with the waffle stitch. The “bar” created by knitting into the back of the stitch is similar enough to a purl bump that it’s not very noticeable.

My only real concern with the mitts is their size. I tried them only myself to make sure they weren’t atrociously small, but my hands are smaller than the recipient’s hands. I hope they’ll fit her well. I’m hopeful that even if they seem a bit tight at first, they’ll loosen up as she wears them.

My next step is to finish up the necklace kit I bought to make for her, and then I can send a care package to her university with all sorts of handmade goodness. ♥ I’d really like to have it done in time for ♥Valentine’s Day♥–I could theme the package for the holiday and include some cards and other trinkets, too~ ♥

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For the Knit Worthy

Dark Violet Hat One of the phrases that I’ve embraced and been amused by is “knit worthy.” I like it for several reasons. It strikes me as kind of silly, to have a phrase like that, but it’s also very true. I’m always bemused by the low value that most people place on handmade items, such as those that are knit. Many a stranger has suggested that I sell whatever I’m currently working on, as if it’s a magical way to gain extra income–totally ignoring the hours of work I’ve put into it or the cost of the materials used. Acquaintances of friends of girlfriends of cousins of coworkers say, “Could you make me one?” when they see a hat or mitten, as if it’s some kind of instant and free thing I conjure up when asked. Others consider something handmade to be lesser than its mass-produced counterpart–“Why KNIT a sweater,” they scoff, “when you can BUY a sweater?”

When I first learned to knit, I was obsessed with knitting gifts. Any occasion seemed like the perfect occasion and any recipient was just the right recipient! Every pattern I looked at was so enticing to me that obviously it must be enticing to anyone who would receive the gift! I was so sure that there was a pattern for everyone, a yarn for everyone, and a finished project for everyone! They’d be delighted to have something handmade; they’d value it as much as I did!

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30 Days of Knitting: Day 22

Day 22: Have you ever stricken someone off your to-knit-for list because they didn’t appreciate/take care of your last knitted gift to them?

Yes, I have.

I truly enjoy gift giving. I prepare for the winter holidays with intense excitement. I love the challenge and thrill of finding the right item for the right person to express the right feeling. I try to understand the recipient. Some people buy gifts because they personally believe the gift is awesome. I prefer to buy gifts because I believe the recipient will view the gift as awesome, regardless of my own opinion of the gift in question. I know that not every gift I give will be the right gift; when that happens, I try to take in that information to make better gift choices in the future.

This applies to knit gifts as well as purchased or other handmade gifts.

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30 Days of Knitting: Day 21

Day 21: Do you knit gifts for friends and family for the holidays or birthdays?

Yes and no.

I do knit gifts for friends and family.

I don’t knit gifts for the holidays or birthdays.

I have knit gifts for friends and family for the holidays or birthdays, but I find that it’s not quite sustainable. Some of my friends and family really adore hand-knit items. Some of my friends and family are less enthused. Some projects are quick. Some projects take a very long time. Some projects are delightfully cost-effective. Some projects are incredibly expensive. It’s often hard for me to strike the right balance to match every gift-giving occasion. Continue reading

Old Blog: The Sapphire Scarf Continues

I found a few blog posts from an earlier attempt to blog about my knitting, back when I picked up the hobby seriously in 2010. I’m reposting them here for the sake of archiving.

New Face of the Sapphire Scarf

I know I still have quite a bit of knitting to go, but it’s been quick so far.

The willpower to not go to the yarn store before class is something I did not have. Instead of eating a lunch (which was okay with me; I was too nervous about the exam to really want food) I rushed over to the nearest yarn shop to get a yarn to strand with the sparkly kind. I unraveled my progress, stuffed the awkwardly-rewound cake into my pocket, and hopped on a train. I thought this would be easy. I was wrong.

If asked to describe the colour I bought, I would quickly respond, “Navy.” It is exactly what I imagine as a generic navy. I expected it to match other navies.

Apparently it is not navy, but is instead some magical mystery colour. Continue reading