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Saturday, July 28, 2012

YOP: Post 2

Wow, I seem to have been able to post for two consecutive weeks! That doesn't happen very often, I hope to keep it up during the holidays, but I'm pretty sure it'll be impossible during term-time..

Anyway, I have some YOP progress to report: I finished my continental socks yesterday afternoon, just in time to be able to cast on a new pair in the evening (mass cast-on was at 10 PM over here) for the start of the ravellenic games.

This is the beginning of my ravellenic socks. I'm using the same concept as I used for the Autumn socks: one round stripes of black Jawoll superwash alternated with Jawoll Magic Dégradé. For these socks I'm using the yarn I had left after knitting the 'More than a triangle' shawl.

Since switching to continental knitting my gauge has become a lot looser. I started off with the usual 56 stitches, but found that although it was fine on the calf, it would be too wide if I didn't decrease for the ankle, so I went down to 48, which seems like very few stitches, but the fit seems to be OK now.
I've named these socks 'Spain in summer' socks, because the colours in the yarn remind me of a temperature map of Spain in the summer: mostly yellow and orange, with pink and red in the south, and a little blob of green in the north now and again.

I'm also entering my 'May flowers' yarnbomb in the ravellenics and that means it has to be finished by Monday if I want to be able to put it in the place I have in mind for it.

That's all for this week,

Saturday, July 21, 2012

YOP: post 1

I've been working on my first goal: learning to knit continental.

(colour is best on the first photo)

These socks are also my first non-basic socks! I must say I don't like the look of the 1x1 ribbing much because my tension seems to be all over the place, but the openwork pattern is very forgiving. I cast on 60 st. on 2mm needles as the pattern has quite a lot of give, and then reduced to 70 st. after picking up from the heel flap because I feared that they would be too small if I went back to 60 again.

I'll probably be knitting these socks again as my mother loves them and wants a pair for herself, probably also in a semisolid yarn, because I think the pattern-yarn combo works rather well. But as I won't have enough yarn left after this pair to make her one, she'll have to wait until I find some more nice yarn -which shouldn't be too difficult :) -

YOP-progress: I am now comfortable with continental knitting in the round, both on circ's and on DPN's, but my ribbing tension is still rubbish. I'm also finding it impossible to knit continental back and forth as I knit with one needle in my armpit. Knitting with both needles free is just too much of a strain on my wrists if I want to knit at an acceptable speed. It also stops me from knitting without looking at what I'm doing which is a big strain to my eyes, but I guess that's part of the learning curve...

Inspired by the earbud yarnbombing that went on  at the cwtch I decided to do the same to mine. But as I didn't fancy doing lots of i-cord I just covered it in crochet! I don't know any crochet terminology in English as I learned in Spanish, but the translation I've found for the stitch I used (punto bajo) is 'single crochet', though I have no idea whether this is UK or US terminology...

I've also finished and blocked my Ginko shawlette. I knit it at a very loose gauge, so it's slightly transparent. I used some wires to block it into shape so it would be straight and symmetrical and then used pins to pull out the points.

I didn't block out the pattern leaves, but just left them as points.
Remember the Wingspan? After knitting that I mentioned wanting a green shawlette, well, I think this might be it, though I'm not a big fan of elegant stuff, but I suppose it'll be a good item to make a casual outfit look slightly more elegant...


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blankets Galore

For the last few months I've been seaming other people's knitting. The big blanket I named 'the seaming adventure' is now finished. I don't really mind seaming, which is good because this blanket consists of nine squares that each consist of 16 squares. That makes 144 squares in total!

This image is not a real one, but a photoshop collage of three images because I was unable to take photo of the whole blanket in one go. It took 18 skeins of acrylic in various colours and in the beginning I was rather worried that the colours really wouldn't work together. In the end, it doesn't look too bad at all, I think... I did a granny crochet border in black round the edge to make it look a little more finished, but you can't really see that on the image.

The other blanket I've been working on is a sampler afghan.
 My father knitted it (yes, you read that correctly, my father was even the one who taught me how to knit ) and he asked me to do a border round it in the style of the ten-stitch blanket.
 Because I didn't want to be working with the whole blanket every time I worked on the border, so I started it in two different places and then unravelled the cast-on edges and joined with the kitchener stitch (the first time I used it to seam garter stitch!) The seams are not totally invisible, but They're just about okay...

There was a minor problem involving the rows of squares that had the beginning of the border on them getting seamed to the wrong side of the blanket, but I think I actually looks better this way, the pattern block diagonals aren't so strong any more, which makes it looks more random and home-made...

I've also made some progress on the green granny squares blanket, but nothing worthy of a photo...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Year of projects

Inspired by various knitters whose blogs I read, I've decided to participate in the 'Year of Projects' Blog-a-long. I don't think I'll be able to post every week, but if I can get one post in every month I'll be happy... I'm planning to make my own YOP grafic in the next few days and use that in all the posts.
Update: the banner is now complete.

So, here goes. I've divided my list into a few categories:

1. Learn to knit continental properly, so I'll be able to do two-handed stranded knitting;
pattern: Musica mitts (deadline Jan 2013)
2. Learn to knit entrelac. I've always found entrelac extremely beautiful and I think this year is the right time to learn how it works.
pattern: Entre deux saisons

1. The 'I Heart You' chart
2. The 'Papyrus' chart

1. a top
pattern: either 'Bella Paquita', 'Pioneer', or 'Arbor'
2. a cardigan: depending on yarn gauge: 'March Basic', 'Elbow Patch Cardigan', 'Cardigan in Alpaca and Glitter' or another 'Stanton'
3. Special socks
pattern: either the 'Double heelix' or the 'Skew' socks
4. a pair of fingerless gloves
pattern: 'Knucks'

1. something geeky
pattern: various possibilities: 'Atomic Blocks', 'Irrationally Constant Mittens', 'Pi socks' (or any other constant socks, for that matter), 'Doppler Effect Socks', 'Space Invaders Socks', ...
2. something stripey
pattern: 'Color Affection Shawl' , another 'More Than a Triangle Shawl' or a a 'Dream Stripes' shawl

That makes a grand total of 10 things I hope to complete before June 30th 2013!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Two months on

Wow, I haven't blogged for more than two whole months. The explanation for that is that not much has happened.
 I've completed my Miró blanket, which I presented at my Aesthetics exam on in June. Even though it's only loosely in Miró's style, I think it looks okay and I think my teacher liked it. He'd probably never seen anything of the kind...
In the end, I got 80%, definitely not bad huh?

I've gone on knitting my mother's socks and they sort of ground to a halt for a while, but a whole afternoon of chatting and knitting at Zuiddag last week gave me the chance to finish them off.
The problem with these was that they progressed very slowly as other projects seemed to creep in front of them in the WIP-queue. Something that did just that is my new shawl, a 'more than a triangle' shawl, which I started after being inspired by Stiched-together's Blog week shawl with it's beautiful stripes. I have a disproportionate love for stripes, especially for black and multicoloured ones.

It's a simple garter stitch shawl that lends itself very well to striping. The only problem I had was that it got quite asymmetrical colour-wise as it grew. Because the yarn's colour repeats are a set length, the colour that I began knitting a garter ridge with was usually very different to the colour the yarn was when I got to the same place at the end of the row. Obviously this didn't happen on the other side. This problem manifested itself after about 15 colour ridges = 30 ridges = 60 rows. To solve it I then changed direction and purled for 10 colour ridges = 20 ridges = 40 rows. After that I was rather fed up of purling and changed back to knitting. It blocked out slightly asymmetrical in shape because even though the colour change tightens the edge, it's not as tight as the slip stitch edge I did on the other side. I'll have to do something about that when I knit another one, as I think that is very probable...

Another blanket that I have been working on is my green stashbursting granny square blanket. Because I sewed the center panel and didn't join as I went, I have to sew the next row of squares and then add a few rows round the center panel and then join it to the row of squares. I'll still have some yarn left after that and the blanket is hardly a reasonable size, so I'll have to decide whether to do more squares or to just do more rounds round the whole thing. We'll see.

Another stashburster I'm trying is a double ten stitch twist. I'm using the yarn I reclaimed from my frogged Printemps cardigan, together with all sorts of blues and greys. The colour rule is: If the sky can be that colour, then it's allowed. The first swatch I did with these yarns was a log cabin shape, but I decided against it because the striping in the yarn stops you from seeing the construction. I didn't really follow the pattern as I had already made a single ten stitch blanket for my Miró project. the biggest mod is that my center is a bit different to the original version. I also chose to knit one spiral at a time a keep the other side on a stitchholder. I think my yarn would get very tangled if if knitted both spirals at the same time... It still looks a little weird and I have no idea how big it will be in the end, but I think there's enough blue yarn in my stash to keep me going for a while yet.