Friday, January 27, 2012

Brambles Beret

I love things that knit up quickly and easily. It's a lot of fun to work on projects that require more thought and time but sometimes the quick is what you need. This beret for a friend was exactly that.

I swore I had enough yarn to make it. I got closer to the end and started praying I had enough. Finally though it was far too obvious that I didn't have enough to finish the beret. So off we went to the store. They still had the same dye lot of the yarn that I'd bought a year ago! I wouldn't have to start over from the beginning! And because I only needed about 20 yards of the Cascade 220 ... I still have more than enough to make something for myself. Win!

Pattern: Brambles Beret by Amanda Muscha
Ravelry Page
Yarn: Cascade 220
Modifications: None intentional

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Fireworks & Finding Magic

Magic Balance (Working Title) - Rewrites
Previous Word Count: 1,342
Current Word Count: 2,624 (Up 1,282)

I've changed the main female character's name. I realized that I'd used the same name for two separate stories and both were rather big characters. The one in this story didn't feel comfortable with the name, so it all worked out.


Just After Sunset by Stephen King I'm just barely into the first short story in this collection. Normally I get annoyed with short stories as often it feels like just as I'm invested in the characters the story is over. King has always managed to avoid that problem, as far as I'm concerned. He manages to create characters that I'm instantly interested in. Some of that is obvious King fangirling as I've been a huge fan of his since I started reading his stuff around age 8 and some of that is the reason I'm a huge fangirl.

I'm terribly impatient; really, horribly impatient. Normally knitting helps a bit with this as everything is one stitch at a time and I can watch it come together. No so when I'm waiting to hear back from a designer about a problem in the pattern. I waited as patiently as I could however and finally my twitchy fingers got the best of me and I added in the rows that made sense to me so that I could continue with the actual creating part. I make notes on the print out I have so the second one will be the same and then I get back to flying along. Other than that? I love working with this yarn, I love how the pattern is showing up, and I love how they're mostly falling right into place.

This is technically the 2nd go. The first one was ripped out as the edging was done backwards, I folded it forward rather than backwards; it might have helped for the pattern to say that you should pick up your cast on row from the wrong side. There's also a bit of a math issue in the middle of that pattern as after the pattern repeats you should be on round 41, not 40. I had Lynn check that one twice, to be sure. Normally I wouldn't say anything, I'd just go on, but this doesn't look to have been made all that often and I wonder if the problems with the pattern are causing that.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Braided Cowl

I finally finished the cowl that I used the baby alpaca for! I really like how it came out and I'm really happy with the grafting together of the two ends. The cables were a bit hard on my hands since they were so large but I made it work. While I'm not a fan of large needles and bulky yarn it is nice to have something work up so quickly.

I love that I'll be able to wear it in a couple different ways since it's reversible and I made it double the length. Now if it'll just stop being 80 in the shade here and remember that it's January after all.


Pattern: Clara Cowl by Gretchen Ronnevik 
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Grande in 2213 
Mods: None that I know of.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Brambles & Magic Balance

Magic Balance (Working Title) - Rewrites
Previous Word Count: 606
Current Word Count: 1,342 (Up 736)

Slow progress but progress. We've met the 2 of the main characters and learned a bit about where the story is going.


The Light-Years Beneath My Feet by Alan Dean Foster. I read the preceding book a couple of years ago and have been wanting to read the rest of the series. So far it's enjoyable. While I understand the need for words that aren't English words, given that it takes place on alien planets, I struggle to avoid skimming when those words are used repeatedly.

Just last night I cast on for a beret that's been commissioned so there's no much to show. I love the chart though so it should once again be a quick knit and be a lovely finished piece.

I also received this in the mail just today: a skein of Ella Rae Lace Merino in Pumpkin, blue, and maroon that's destined to become a glove and scarf set as another commission.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Plans for the Year-ish

I have a ton of yarn sitting here in stash that I need to use thanks to lovely gifts and impulse begging (I don't buy, husband does that ... after I give the eyes). I think I've narrowed down what I'm going to do with all of it.

Currently on the Needles:

  1. Deep Bubbles for ? (Is supposed to be a surprise after all)
    • Bubble Stream Sock Pattern
    • Knit Picks Stroll Tonal Deep Waters

Up Next - Stuff I have Yarn for

  1. Grey Socks for Dragon
    • Par 5 Socks Pattern
    • Supersocke Cotton Grey Tweed
  2. Kicky Skew for Self
    • Skew Sock Pattern
    • Walk Away in Kicky
  3. Chocolate Cubes for Self
    • Cubist Sock Pattern
    • Lornas Laces Chocolate
  4. Cabled Gloves for Self
    • Cabled Glovelets Pattern
    • Cascade 220 Superwash in Spruce
  5. FallBerry Set for Self
    • FallBerry Mits, Hat, and Scarf Pattern
    • Caron Simply Soft Celestial
  6. Mint Pomatomus for Self
    • Pomatomus Sock Pattern
    • Patons Stretch Socks in Spearmint
  7. Brown Shawl for Self
    • Colannade Shawl Pattern
    • Baby Bee Sweet Delight Baby in Chocolate
  8. Circle Shawl for Self
    • Circular Tweed Pattern
    • I Love This Yarn in Toasted Almond and Coffee
  9. Denim for Self
    • Woven Diamonds Sock Pattern
    • Sugar N Cream in Denim
  10. Amusing for Self
    • Amused Pattern
    • Lion Brand Wool Ease in Chestnut Heather
  11. Sherbet for Self
    • Twisted Sock Pattern
    • Sugar N Cream in Sherbet
  12. Water Socks for Self
    • Twisted Mockery Sock Pattern
    • Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Deep Waters
  13. Caprica Circles for Self
    • Circles Socks Pattern
    • Knit Picks Felici Caprica
  14. Summer Socks for Self
    • Japanese Feather Socks Pattern
    • Patons Grace in Lavender
  15. Earth for Lynn
    • Java Socks Pattern
    • Loops and Threads Impeccable Worsted

Stuff That's Planned But Waiting on Other People
  1. Gloves and Scarf Duet for Kelli
    • Fireworks Fingerless Mitts Pattern
    • Drop Stitch Scarf 2 Pattern
    • Ella Rae Lace Merino
  2. Mr. Fox Scarf for Sorcha
    • Mr. Fox Stole my Heart Pattern
    • Knit Picks Palette (Most Likely)
  3. Something for Dusti
    • Pattern to be decided after she sends me yarn
  4. Wrist Warmers for Stephanie
    • She's looking for pattern
  5. Purple Cherie for Self
    • Cherie Amour Pattern
    • Yarn Bee Princess in Joust (Need 4 more skeins)
  6. Knit Corset for Sorcha
  7. Knit Corset for Self
  8. Bat Shawl for Dusti
  9. Brambles Beret for Susan
  10. AT-AT for Fiona
    • Waiting on yarn purchase
  11. Pineapple Delight Shawl for Sorcha
  12. Headband for Jenny
    • Waiting on yarn purchase
That should be enough to keep me busy for a bit. Any suggestions, concerns, comments?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Knitting for Dragon

Around the turn of the year Dragon said he had a project for me. Always eager to help those I love I asked for details. He needed gloves.

I couldn't resist pointing out that I'd asked if he'd want such a thing over a year ago and he'd then laughed a bit and pointed out that we're in Texas, such things weren't necessary. He hails from the much colder north you see and mostly laughs at us silly southerners and our "cold" weather.

But, joking aside, I went hunting for the perfect pattern for him. The only things he asked for was fingerless and a manly shade of black or grey. Are there unmanly shades of black or grey? Anyhow, with him being a photographer I knew he'd need something to make it easy to use his camera. I found a really awesome pattern.

Pattern: Cigar by Kerri Cadd
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Worsted in Black and Grey
Modifications: None that I know of

But that wasn't enough for me. See, he might not always need the exclusive use of just those fingers. Plus, I now had a whole skein of black that I'd only used about a yard of. So I whipped up a pair of the fingerless gloves that I keep going back to.

Pattern: Snuggles Fingerless Gloves by Anna Peck
Yarn: Lion Bran Wool-Ease Worsted in Grey and Black
Modifications: Just my usual of switching the cables.

I decided to do these in both colors because the grey makes the cables show up a bit better plus they'll match his scarf a bit closer and look more like an intentional thing rather than the mismatch that knitters occasionally end up with. He can tell at a glance which pair of gloves makes a set and can choose based on what he needs. And I get to wrap my Dragon in a little bit more love.

(Those are Lynn hands in the shots, he's kind enough to model for me when I need manly hands.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Clara's Cowl & Finding Magic

Magic Balance (Working Title) - Rewrites
Previous Word Count: 606
Current Word Count: 606 (Up 0)

Yeah ... with everything going on and then Lynn now being home I'm working on finding that time again. 

If the yarn looks familiar that's because it was originally shown as my capelet. I'll still go back and make that because I do love it but I wasn't loving it in this yarn, plus I'd need more yarn and not knowing when I'd be able to buy more, I'd rather it not sit for an unknown time. But this looks gorgeous and I think it's going to be wonderful to wrap around my neck when it's cold out.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Morphing Shawl

I started this shawl with the full intent of following the pattern and having a gorgeous piece of lace knitting done in plenty of time for gift giving. It's funny how our brains work.

The pattern? Lovely! The yarn? So scrumptious! The following of the pattern? Not a chance.

Perhaps I would have had fewer problems had I used the suggested weight for this but you know how it goes. Instead I used a lace yarn, something much thinner than suggested. I quickly realized that I'd have to change the needle size too because that solid portion was looking mighty lacy already and I was only about 5 rows in. Then I realized that I'd be better off if I could make the solid portion much larger but I still needed to hit the required number of stitches before getting to the lace sections. So I changed my increases.

After getting through the charted out lace, all 3 charts of it I realized it still was going to be way too small. Time to poke at the charts again. I figured I'd be okay if I kept doing the lace (and extrapolating what the edges should be like since it didn't quite line up as before) until I'd doubled the lace section before doing the edging.

Still not large enough but by then time was growing short and I was sick of the lace portion. I poked at the charts a bit more. There was a solid portion between the last lace section and the edging. I could simply make that quite a bit larger to match the stitches needed for the edging and it'd look intentional. So back to the calculator (I normally call him Husband) and I had my next goal. I flew through that and began the edging. Once more I had to somewhat make up what happened at the edges as it didn't line up exactly perfectly but I kept the pattern extending outward.

Then it was time to take a really deep breath and block it. If it all fell apart now I had only 2 days to find a replacement gift. I strongly considered pictures of the attempted shawl and a promise to remake it if it did disintegrate in the blocking process. It wouldn't have been a great solution but I had nothing left in the brain reserves at this point.

Luckily it blocked out beautifully and the recipient loved it. Good thing Miss Kid is always glad to help out on showing off the pretties that her step mother makes  so it can be photographed, I couldn't ask for a better model. And look! The little points stayed pointy and OMG it's awesome! *squee*

Pattern: Lingonberry Shawlette by Andrea Arbour
Yarn: Knit Picks Shimmer in Bayou
Project Page: Ravelry

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Dragon Gloves & Magic Balance

Magic Balance (Working Title) - Rewrites
Current Word Count: 606

I'm picking up a story I've worked on for 2 separate NaNo wins, one was titled Finding Magic, the other Correcting the Balance. Some of the first portion was rewritten for the second attempt but either way it's a lot of story that needs work. So far I have only the writings of historical madmen on the new document, I know where a large portion of this story is going though so I'm not too worried.

It looks a little sad in pictures here but lest you think I've only done 4 rows all year these were not my first project of the year. Dragon asked for gloves and I've already finished the first set and I'll share those later. This is the second set that I'm making for him and I figure at least this way he'll have choices based on what he'll be doing while out and about, be it photography or errands.