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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So Many WIPs…

Generally speaking, I try to avoid having too many projects in-progress. I don’t like thinking about all those things that I’ve started but haven’t finished yet. Unfortunately, right now I have quite a few WIPs–many more than I would prefer to have ongoing. It might not be very many for others knitters and crocheters who live for the thrill of a new project, but it’s too many for me. Unfortunately, I’m not at a good point to finish any of them up!

My oldest WIP is from July 2014–the tiny wild rose hand puff. It’s a Tiny Owl Knits pattern: tiny violet hand puff. I haven’t made any progress on this since April of this year… because I ran out of yarn and haven’t bought more. It’s easy for me to stall when I have a project that needs more yarn, since I’ve been trying to work down my stash of yarn. I know that it probably would be a good idea to buy more yarn and finish this, but every time I start to buy the yarn I need I can’t go through with it.

That’s the same problem I’ve had with this other muff: forest leaf muff. It dates from the same period as the other hand-cozy, although it’s been on hiatus longer. I also ran out of yarn and haven’t had the motivation to buy more.

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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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6KCBWDAY2 – It’s All About You

This post can be about your reality, your aspirations, past, present or future. Enjoy talking about you. If you really don’t want to write about yourself, though, use your creative license and invent yourself an alternative persona, whether you are a spy, deep-sea diver or astronaut (who just happens to love yarn).

Photo May 11, 7 12 10 PM (1) For about 6 months I’ve been taking adult beginning ballet classes. As a result, a lot of my time and interest is focused on learning dance. I now read blogs like Adult Beginner (of course), Advance, and never halt, Kingdom of Style, Setting the Barre, and Tutus and Tea. (I keep trying to get into If the Pointe Shoe Fits, but she posts mostly videos and I almost never turn the sound on for my computer–so I’m always going, “Oh, I’ll watch that video later,” but I never do…) I love reading the Ballet Talk for Dancers forums, although I’m a bit too intimidated to post much.

I took ballet classes as a toddler, but I quit when I was in middle school, probably about age 11. I am pretty sure that I was no longer taking ballet by the time I started cheerleading. (Something I did only in middle school.) I don’t honestly remember all that much about ballet. I liked it, but only ambivalently. (If I were more serious about it, I wouldn’t have wanted to quit.) I took classes–probably once a week–at our local park district, and some of my hazy memories involve class levels being combined due to low attendance–and wondering if I’d only ever be in class with “babies.” I asked to stop taking class and my parents agreed.

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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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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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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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Pale Green Hoodlet

I’m overjoyed to have completed my Woodland Hoodlet~ It was a very quick knit, overall, and really rewarding. I was lucky, too, that my friend returned my Addi Click needles. It made the project much more fun~

The Rowan Big Wool yarn was super soft, super thick, and super toasty warm~ ♥ The weather warmed up recently–it finally feels like ☀summertime☀…but that means I’ll have to wait to enjoy this hoodlet until 🍁fall🍁. This yarn isn’t superwash, and that was really obvious when I knit with it. It was trying to felt together when I Kitchener stitched it together unless I paid attention to fibers entangling with each other.

Pale Green Hoodlet

Overall, I’m really happy with this project! ♥ I can’t wait to wear and enjoy it~

Yarn from Love Knitting and a Hoodlet Beginning

I really love the patterns in the Woodland Knits book, both those created for the book and those that existed prior to the book being published. Several of the patterns in the book were designed with Rowan Big Wool. This yarn isn’t carried by any of my local shops, and it’s pretty easy to substitute another super bulky yarn in its place for the patterns in the book, but I found myself really wanting to knit some of the patterns with that specific yarn. I found the colours very appealing, and I’m always on board for 100% Merino.

Rowan Big WoolRecently a friend of mine ordered a different Rowan yarn from Love Knitting, a UK-based online yarn shop. The shipping–standard airmail–took a while, but on the whole she was very satisfied with her order. They offer an fantastic referral discount (15% off!). (Here’s a link for the referral discount.) Last weekend I saw that the yarn I had in mind was restocked in numerous colours and slightly discounted, so I placed an order–lots of skeins in a pale green, a few in a pale blue, and one in a darker green.

The ordering system is really smooth~ I like the overall graphic design of the website, visually, plus I find that it responds well. I had a confirmation email very soon, and shortly after I received a shipping notification. That was the tricky part, because I couldn’t track my package and I just had to hope it would arrive. I have notoriously bad luck with receiving mail without incident…but luckily everything worked out!

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Care of Magical Creatures Mini-Skeins Arrival

It’s no surprise that I really adore the patterns from Tiny Owl Knits. I spend a lot of time in the Tiny Owl Knits Group on Ravelry. One of the patterns that caught my eye when it was first released is the adorable Care of Magical Creatures Charm Bracelet (charm pack 1, charm pack 2, and charm pack 3)~ I loved it from the release of the first charm pack–but buying so many different colours of yarn just to knit teeny-tiny charms doesn’t really make sense for me. I don’t have scraps to use, and I don’t like having scraps.

Thankfully, in September 2013 another group member proposed a group order of the suggested yarn, splitting the yardage and the cost among participants. It was an immediate success, with group members signing up and providing their portion of the cost. However, the group organizer suffered from unexpected health issues in November and was unable to continue. Months passed, and I started to think that I had wasted money and would ultimately not receive the yarn for this project. I’ve participated in group orders before, never for yarn, and the risk of getting screwed over has always been pretty high. I kept that in mind when I decided to participate, but it was still not the ideal outcome and definitely not what I was hoping for.

In March, several moderators of the group stepped in–including Ms. Tiny Owl Knits herself! She soon organized a winding party for the mini-skeins, coordinated receiving the yarn from the original organizer, and hosted a night of winding, parceling, packaging, and mailing! I was incredibly surprised and grateful that she decided to step in and ensure that the group order for the yarn was resolved positively. ♥ How frequently does that sort of thing happen??

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