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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Flash your stash

As the month draws to a close, it was time to share a new 'Flash your stash' update. This photo shows all the yarn that wasn't physically attached to one of my WIP's about one week ago.

If you compare it to my previous post, I think it has stayed more or less the same size, due to the recent acquisition of the big balls of aran yarn that are destined to turn into jumpers, replacing the cotton yarn the went into my MirĂ³ blanket. The green yarn has mostly disappeared into my green granny blanket, but there is new blue yarn for my sky spirals blanket to replace it. There also seems to be more sockweight yarn now than there was in March.

YOP: post 6

The last week of the holidays has finally caught up with me :( so I thought I'd get on with my knitting! I can't believe I'm actually working on TWO YOP-projects at the same time!

When I was browsing on Pintrest the other day I saw this:
Pinned Image
It's Andrea's Shawl by Yarnmadness. And I think it's absolutely stunning. As in REALLY flabbergastingly stunning.
So I thought I'd have a go at making something like it, but without the pattern on the white part. This project also fits in in with the 'something stripey' on the 'themes' part of my list.

 This is how my shawl looks at the moment. It's aran weight, so it will be something to wear in the winter when it get really cold, which it tends to do here. Especially if you get put in a single-glazed classroom and/or one where the heating has stopped working. I've been there.
The original shawl is knit bottom-up, but I chose to knit top-down to make the most of my yardage. It's a simple garter tab cast-on, followed by a traditional triangular construction in stockinette stitch, knitting all the YO's through the back loop to avoid holes. The borders are two stitch garter stitch borders making and the dropping a YO on the side you carry the yarn on to avoid the typically problematic asymmetric degree of tightness. That's the body. So far so good.
But now the challenge. I would like to knit the border sideways, like in the inspiration photo, but I couldn't find one that I liked enough, so I decided I'd design something myself. It's my first time, so I have absolutely no idea how that process will go. Fingers crossed it turns out nice in the end.

The other project I'm still working on is my cardigan. Thanks to the people who left such positive comments on it last week! I cast on the first of the fronts and I think I'm about halfway through. Although the pattern said I'd need most of my two skeins of yarn, I think I'll finish the first front with the first one, So there's something wrong there. I'm not convinced by how the back piece turned out, but the front looks promising. I found the short-row shaping on the corner a bit bizarre , and the pattern is written in the typical jumbled DROPS style, but you get used to reading everything five times to make sure you don't forget to do anything...

That's all for this week.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

YOP: Post 5

I'm really enjoying this group. Although I only seem to be posting YOP updates, at least I'm posting something! 
In the last few weeks I've started my next listed project: the cardigan for myself.
In the end it isn't one of the patterns I had listed, but who cares.
The pattern I've chosen is 'Chocolate Passion', a jacket-cardigan kind of thing with cables.

I made the first sleeve while watching the last two days of the Olympics and made the second one while travelling back from the UK ten days ago. On that same trip I started the back, but I had to leave that aside for a while because it has been too hot to knit that kind of thing for the last week or so. But the weather has taken a turn for the cooler end of the spectrum and made some more progress on it yesterday. The colour of the yarn is just gorgeous, but sadly it doesn't show very well on photos...

Although I didn't work on my cable cardigan, the heat didn't stop me knitting. I cast on a shawl(ette) to take me through the hot spell and it is blocking as I'm typing. This one really needed to be blocked! The pattern is 'Lunatis Folium'. It's my second bottom-up construction and I still haven't decided whether I like the idea or not. I think that it's main advantage is that it's a better idea is your yardage is just slightly under what is required: you can just play around a little with the short rows, whereas in an top-down shawl you can't just not knit the last row of lace, you have to rip it all back. I don't really mind monster cast-ons either. The thing that keeps me from loving this construction is that I like to see the shawl's basic shape grow, something that just doesn't happen in bottom up.
Anyway, this particular one is not your traditional shawl shape. It's very long, but also very shallow, so I can't really decide whether it's a shawl or a shawlette...

As you can see, blocking really does miracles for this thing. Without it, it's just a sausage with points on one side. When I blocked the Ginko Shawlette, I used some improvised blocking wires for the first time and when I did some more research into them, I read that some people use cotton thread as a blocking wire, so I thought I'd give that a go.
The verdict: not as good as real wire, but miles better than pins on their own. I didn't really look for any techniques, I just gave it a try, so I think that I might just do some surfing around later to see whether I can find anything...

The other project I've make a little bit of progress on is my green granny blanket.
I'm now working on the final part, the long rounds. My lime green is practically finished and I've got one more skein of the other green left, so I'm looking for one last skein of dark green to do the final stripes and bring the whole thing together. After that, there'll be a few ends to weave in (but not too many) and that should be it!


Friday, August 17, 2012

YOP: post 4

I didn't post last week because I was on holiday in the Peak District and the Internet there didn't approve of Blogger. So that means that I have quite a lot of catching up to do! But before I left, I had to install my yarnbomb. I didn't reach my goal of completely covering in crochet flowers, but I figured that it was 'now or never' to get it out there, otherwise I'd just keep postponing it...
So, since no medals were awarded in the yarnbombing exhibition parade, I entered the WIP's event.


As you can see by the shine of the street stones , it was raining when I put it out. The Great Belgian Weather proved totally uncooperative. Again. You'd think it would learn from its previous errors, wouldn't you?

My next project was one I only entered in the Ravellenics half way through because I was totally convinced that I would never ever finish it in time. I finished my Pioneer top! I have absolutely no idea how I managed to do that. Knitting anything vaguely resembling a sweater usually takes me between one and three months...

Cable medal

Sweater medal

stash medal

So, in the end I got three medals for this project: the sweater triathlon for obvious reasons, the cable steeplechase for the twisted stitch columns (those line you can see on the back) and the synchronized stash busting because my yarn was more than one year old. Plus my first real point I can tick off my YOP list! Only nine to go :)

The last project I entered for the Ravellenics were my Spain in Summer socks. If you compare the FO with the map, you can see where these socks got their name.


But things didn't go as smoothly as expected with these. You see, for once I had decided that I would try to make two more or less identical socks. And as you can see, I've failed. I'm not sure if it's my fault, because I started the socks at the same point in the colour repeat scheme and they have the same gauge. Is it me or does the yellow bit on the top sock look quite a lot longer than the yellow part in the bottom sock? I did have to frog that part back completely because I had gone down to 42 stitched instead of 48 and therefore they didn't fit any more, but still, that seems quite a bit longer, doesn't it? Anyway, they got finished before the end of the games, and that's the important part.

I've done quite a lot of knitting since the end of the games, but that'll be for the next post, otherwise I won't have anything to write about!