Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SSKAL Completed!

I finished my sweater! Yay! Woop, woop, woop! And it fits perfectly! Isn't that every knitters worry that their sweater won't fit when they finish? I definitely worried when I adjusted what size I was going to make because my gauge was larger than what the pattern called for. Had I used a smaller needle my sweater would have been bullet proof.

But my adjustments ended up being exactly perfect!

 I can't wait to be able to wear this on my trip to New York in a few weeks! I'm hoping the weather cooperates and it's actually cold enough. As a reminder the pattern is Chimney Fire and the yarn is Blarney Woollen Mills Aran Handknitting Wool.

The only adjustments I made intentionally was lengthening the body by an inch and go up a needle size when I started knitting in the round. I believe I had two extra stitches on the right arm in comparison to what the pattern called for. It didn't make any difference until I got to the cuff, then I had to decrease two extra stitches for the ribbing pattern to match up with the cables.

While blocking, the arms got a touch long so I've folded the cuffs to the correct length. I think I'll live with this for my trip to NY and if I don't like it throughout the trip I'll rip back and bind-off a little earlier. All-in-all I'm ecstatic about my sweater and very proud. I think, this sweater is the most impressive looking piece I've knit so far, but not necessarily the hardest. It really was basic sweater constructions with a few extras thrown in to keep you interested :)

My reading for this week has been the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone. So many childhood memories are coming back with this comfort read. The illustrations are just what you  would expect from a Harry Potter novel. Though I was sad there was no illustration of the letter flying through the chimney for Harry! Joining Ginny and Frontier Dreams for the Yarn and Craft Along this week!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Rosie Ley Lines

Joji Locatelli for the win again! I always love how simple yet stunning her designs are, and Ley Lines fits right in with that description. This is an interesting shawl with a unique and fun construction. I started it for the Olympic KAL but obviously didn't finish it until now!

The pattern starts at one end and then increases (and some decreases) are added to certain areas to give the ribbing shape. I didn't find this shawl difficult just something I had to pay attention too, there were a few times I had to rip back because I missed increases.

This blocked exceptionally large, just the way I wanted it to. I can wear this wrapped around my neck (as per usual) or draped over my shoulders (I find this fiddly and don't do it very often.) And the color! I am so in love with Lost City Knits yarns and their bases. This is the Foothill fingering base, 100% Merino. There yarn is light and lofty 2-ply but so soft!

I found towards the end of the knit I ended up bored, repeating the sections became somewhat tedious. Though now that it's finished I'm glad that I added this to my fall wardrobe. When I weighed out my leftover yarn I found that I used about 100 yards less than what the pattern called for even though I'm pretty sure I followed it exactly. I don't have size issue though so I'm not going to worry about it. Yay for fall accessories!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SLO Yarn Crawl

I'm very lucky as a knitter that I live within 5 hours drives of about 30 yarn stores! My knitting group and I joined a formal Yarn Crawl and drove down the coast to San Luis Obispo CA! See ya later 100 degree temp, hello 72! I was able to wear a shawl!

We stopped at a few yarn stores that weren't part of the crawl on our way down. If you ever have a chance to visit Monarch Knitting in Pacific Grove, do it, what an amazing shop! It will be one of my visit a few times a year shops; I would move to Pacific Grove just to have that as my local yarn shop.

We spent the night in an amazing hotel and had a knitting sleepover. This was a great prep-trip for Rhinebeck next month (24 DAYS!) sidenote: my sweater just needs the last sleeve and ends woven in!

The first shop was Yarns & Beads (in Grover Beach) who was having an Anzula trunk show, most of my knitting group is now ready to do a beaded shawl. We made a little beach pit stop first; in our excitement we arrived way before opening.

Then we moved on Yarns...At the Adobe. They also had a few local dyers there for a trunk show and snacks for everyone. Marilyn, in my knitting group, just found out she won their door prize!

The next shop we visited was Never Not Knitting! I'm am so excited that we got to visit this shop! They shop is tiny but stuffed full of amazing yarn and treasures! I didn't buy any yarn but ended up with fun little treasures. And Alana had an amazing gift bag for everyone who visited the shop!

We had two shops left to visit, the first was Ranch Dog Knitting and the last on our fun journey was Ball & Skein & More.

We had a total blast! I really enjoy visiting other shops, seeing their samples, trying new yarn. I came home with a couple hanks of yarn and other lovely yarn goodies. Can't wait until my local fiber fest the first weekend of October! 

I'm joining Ginny for the Yarn Along and Frontier Dreams in their Craft Along this week. I'm currently reading the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone! It's making me so happy to hop back into this world and the illustrations are lovely! Still chugging along on my Rhinebeck Sweater, I'm so close to done I can almost taste it! 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

HP all Over

With all the hype of the newest Harry Potter book release and play I'm got Potter on the brain. I just finished reading the new book and have the illustrated version prepped and ready to read. My knitting just seemed to follow along. My latest FO is Bellatrix Socks by Monkey Toes.

This sock pattern is part of my 12in16 club (mentioned here and here). This is pair #5 and I'm so in love with them!

The yarn I received as a graduation gift and I didn't have much of a plan for it. The yarn is Done Roving Yarns, Frolicking Feet in the Razzberry Brambles colorway. Frolicking Feet is a 100% Merino base and so springy! This yarn was so nice to knit with! I love the way the colors work in the dropped stitch sections, this was a perfect yarn for the pattern!

I did find that the drop stitches made the leg a bit loose. Because of this I decided not to use the drop stitches on the top of the foot. I used my regular US 1.5 needles and Eye of Partridge heel flat and turn, this combo couldn't be better for my foot shape! Toasty feet for fall for me!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

SSKAL Update #2

My sweater is cruising right along! I've finished the body then picked up and knit a few inches on the arm! For a recap, the pattern is Chimney Fire using Blarney Woollen Mills Aran Handknitting Wool. I worked on this project for the Summer Sweater KAL along with This Knitted Life Olympic KAL.

Now back to your regularly scheduled knitting talk. I fell a bit behind in the original finish date for the SSKAL, so a lost some of my motivation to work on my sweater. Everyone in the KAL so kindly voted to extend the finish date! Yay! So I started working on the arm of my sweater. I decided I won't decrease in the arm as fast as the pattern calls for, I don't want the arms to end up too tight! I'm going to wear my sweater more as a jacket so I would like a layer or two underneath.

To adjust for the fact that I knit tighter in the round than flat I went up a needle size. I used an US 8 for the body and I switched to a US 9 for the arm. I need to get to work! I'm a just a tad further along in the arms that my pictures show; I'm just to the elbow now.

In other news, the Olympic KAL I mentioned above wrapped up at the Olympic closing ceremonies. When everything was added up and counted I won a prize! Yay! Competition you are such a great motivator!

Andrea from This Knitting Life sent me this beautiful skein of Swan Island fingering weight yarn. This is a beetroot base dye that is just gorgeous, such a tonal purple. I can't wait to find the perfect project for this! Thanks Andrea!

I'm joining Ginny for the Yarn along and Frontier Dreams. I just finished Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, 3 out of 5 vote for me. I went in thinking that it wasn't an original HP book so I wasn't too disappointed. I'm glad that I read it but I won't need to again.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Lacey May

Social events, for me, aren't always fun. I'm great with yarney people, we speak the same language. I'm not always the best with non-yarney people who are new to me. Knowing this, I always bring what I call 'social knitting'. A non-thinking, easy to knit, don't look at my hands project. Plain. Vanilla. Socks.

Mid August we had a family friends baby's first birthday! Ms. Lacey May turned one! 


I cast on plain vanilla socks, 64 stitches, US 1.5 needles, 9 inch circulars; my really basic formula. Brought these to the birthday party and made a significant amount of the cuff and leg. I worked on them furiously the whole week, mainly because I hand-dyed the yarn! Yay me! I'm so happy with how the dye job turned out!

I have a yarnie friend, Andrea, who owns an etsy yarn dyeing business, Luna Purl Yarns. She invited me over to come dye experiment, yarn science as she calls it. I was inspired by yarn I was coveting from etsy and took a stab at dyeing a similar colorway. I'm so in love with how the yarn turned out!

I finished them a week to the day. I went on a yarn crawl with some of my knitting group to a few of the local yarn stores. Lucky me, I wasn't the driver. Which means I had plenty of knitting time! I finished up the last toe and kitchenered in the car! 

Happy feet for me! 

I put these into Grocery Girls second sock summer, pair number 7 or 8 I think. The original base of the yarn is Sweet Georgia that I over dyed. Think this works for the Canada KAL? Let me know!

I'm joining Ginny this week with the yarn along, I just finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir. I really enjoyed a more in-depth view of the story than was in the film, but I also enjoyed the fact that I could pictured the actors in the film as the characters. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is next on my bed-side table.  

Monday, September 5, 2016

Yarn A Long Summer

Summer, for me, was action packed and full of new adventures. Europe, new knitting skills, and a brand new yarn subscription! I signed up in April for Stephen West's Yarn A Long! For June, July, and August was I sent a brand-new exclusive pattern, the corresponding yarn and some goodies!

I'm fairly picky about my yarn, I know what I love and really know what I don't. I mostly signed up for this because I'm a total groupie. I've found that WestKnits is a bit more tame with colors and knits when approaching patterns for a large group of people, I relied on this and hopped right on the band wagon.

What I didn't realize was that two of my shipments would arrive when I was in Europe. One the day after I left, and the next one a day or two before I arrived home. They weren't a much of a shock when I new they had already arrived, but man-o-man I'm really happy that I signed up. Two out of the three brands of yarn I had never tried before.

The first shipment was Walk Collection Delicate Merino, the second Hedgehog Fiber Sock, and the third Wollmeise Lace. (Insert big goofy grin!) I can't wait to start knitting! I don't plan to use any of the yarns for the designated pattern but I'm already bursting with ideas on what patterns I do want to use.

The new patterns Stephen put out are Sedimentary, Speckled Fade, and AmsterBam. Each a very WestKnits pattern but not over the top, I can't wait to knit these over winter! I will be signing up for this again next summer if it's offered again. So much fun and using new yarns I've never had a chance too! Yay!