The cold weather is finally here, despite weeks of teasing. ❄
In early August, Michaels ensnared me with a very good price on their Caron Baby Cakes. Based on what I paid I thought this yarn was being discontinued, but the Caron Cakes varieties seem to move in and out of discontinued status on a whim. I picked up the “Dreamy Rose” rolls because I adore pink and gray, and these have both. (As well as some cream and white tones.) I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to make with them. I’ve used the Cakes for scarves and shawls, even a sweater. (I particularly like it for crochet with interesting stitches, such as the Lost in Time shawl by Johanna Lindahl; it gives the look of having changed colours for different sections without doing the actual work or having ends to weave in!)
I’ve been finding myself down Amazon rabbit-holes, looking at sweaters and not really caring for any of them, so I finally wrapped up a few projects (some socks I started in April…), pulled this out of my stash, and set about looking for a pattern! After considering several options, I settled on Cherrystone by Katya Frankel. The heart-shaped cabling is so cute! ♥ I’m planning to do two-row stripes with two cakes, offset slightly, after the ribbing. If it doesn’t work, I’ll unravel and try again, but I usually like two-row stripes.
Hopefully I don’t delay too long on it; I could really use another sweater, particularly one more that’s cozy and made by me! I’m not knitting Christmas presents this year, so hopefully I won’t find too many distractions. It’s the perfect season for a knitting project and a cup of tea! ☃
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.
I 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! ♥
I 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 kitYarnHarlot 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.
This 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.
I’m musing on the yarn that I own and the projects I want to make, particularly with my upcoming weekend at Vogue Knitting Live! Chicago 2015.
I decided to make a list to keep myself on track and remind myself why I’m not buying yarn at the moment. I have quite enough things to keep me busy at the moment. (In fact, quite enough things to keep me busy for many weeks.)
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.
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.)
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 ColorClassy with Cashmere in a mutedrainbow 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!)
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.)
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.
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.