2022: Wks of May 15-28; FO and Wedding

Turns out I got VERY little knitting done over the past two weeks. I even got the toes started on a second pair of socks before we left for the wedding week as I really thought I’d finish the pair I already had on needles and would need the second pair to fill my time. Plus I brought the yarn and needles to start a top. Sadly I did end up doing all of the driving to and from Charleston so that was 2 days of no knitting. I did get the heels done on the socks I already had going. Hopefully I will get them finished this week. I just love Lollipop Yarns self striping yarns so I’m looking forward to wearing them.

BABY BLANKET FO!!!

The baby blanket is now finished. I will be mailing it to my neice.

I do love the bright colors of 100% acrylic but can’t imagine wearing it. I need to find a way to let my daughter-in-law know that I would prefer other types of yarn for Christmas. I already have plenty of acrylic yarn for future baby blankets.

BRIOCHE CLASS

Uh, nothing to see here. Hopefully this week I’ll get back to working on my swatches and seeing if I can fix mistakes. That is definitely a skill I’ll need before starting a brioche sweater.

WEDDING

Instead of knitting, the past two weeks were filled with picking people up and taking them back to the airport, wedding festivities and socializing. I can’t complain. Hubby did a fantastic job with the beach houses he rented for our week stay. We had an amazing view right on the ocean and our 3 bedroom unit was the meeting place for evening dinners for our “kids” and friends. The wedding was perfect. It was outdoor with the reception under a huge white tent. Afternoon thunderstorms had me in a panic. Rain on your wedding day is supposed to be good luck so apparently they are going to have fantastic luck!! But the skies cleared and everything was perfect by the time of the wedding ceremony and reception. It all went off flawlessly and most important my daughter and her husband had a wonderful time at their wedding.

HOME AGAIN

I’m happy to be back home and back to my kitty and knitting. So far I have managed to resist “sales” of yarn but I did acquire 2 more “walking” project bags. These are extremely lightweight nylon bags with a cross body strap that is perfect for carrying a sock project while taking my daily walk in Florida. I only had one bag and could not find any more with my internet searching. I wanted another in case I lost the only one I have. I contacted the yarn store where I orginally bought the bags years ago. Bless it if the owner didn’t find them!! Now I have blue, green and purple bags. They will be perfect for sock projects to take on my schooner trip in July. Lightweight and taking up very little space.

“Walking” Project Bags

Hope you have a wonderful week of crafting.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

Advertisement

2022: Wk of May 8-14; Baby Blanket, Brioche, and Beach Knitting

BABY BLANKET

I’m almost done with the baby blanket. I will definitely finish by the end of the month. This week I was able to add three more colored stripes (with it’s matching white stripe). The blanket is probably big enough already but I plan to add one or two more color strips then bind off. I’ll be glad to have this done so I can start the next big project. I’d like to start a summer tee considering that hot weather seems to be already here. Maybe the Ranunculus.

BRIOCHE

Sadly, I did not make as much progress as I had hoped on brioche classes and swatching. Happily we had friends over for dinner twice this week but it did reduce my knitting time. I’m finding that figuring out how to read a brioche pattern is taking quite a bit of concentration so I can only work on brioche when I’m not going to be interrupted by hubby. I’ve already made a mistake in my swatch so I’ll be getting to practice how to fix it. Fingers crossed. I will certainly be using lifelines when I knit my sweater. Probably every 5 rows!!!

Guess I’m showing my age. The class posted a “live” on May 13 and May 27. I thought this meant Patty Lyons would have a Zoom session on those nights. Turns out “live” simply meant the videos would be available at 8PM on those days. Snooze.

BEACH KNITTING

Time to pack my knitting for my week in Charleston for my daughter’s wedding. I’m thinking positive and hoping to get in a fair amount of knitting done. Hopefully my hubby will have a “good” day so that I don’t have to do all the driving. I hope to finish the socks I already have on needles. I plan to get another pair on needles Monday so that I have a second pair to work on. Maybe I’ll start the Ranunculus too.

RECONNECT/DISCONNECT

I was happy to reconnect with some of my local knitting friends back at the coffee shop we used to meet at weekly. It’s sad that the group has fallen apart but it was wonderful to catch up with two of my knitting friends.

I also visited my LYS as I had a 25% off birthday coupon. Sadly I left the store empty handed!!! The owner is a sewist not a knitter. I appreciate that she is a fiber craft shop rather than a yarn shop. I only knit so I have no interest in the fabrics she sells. She has cut back on the yarns she offers as she has expanded to offer needlepoint and weaving items. Fortunately for me there is a yarn store I haven’t visited about the same distance from my house that I will now be checking out. I’m hoping to join some in-person knit nights in the hopes of meeting more knitters.

I’m off to go fishing again with my son. We did have a lovely Mother’s Day dinner of fried fish last Sunday. Hoping we have another successful fishing trip today. Wishing everyone a wonderful week of crafting.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

2022: Wk 0f May 1 – 7; Tank Repair and WIP Updates

IT’S A NEW MONTH

One of the things I love about this Ravelry blogger group is all the new things I learn. Again I’m adding tracking ideas from BackstageKatKnits. I like her idea of tracking what WIPs start the month and how the month looks at the end. I’m starting off the month of MAY with 4 WIPs. One is the repair of what I thought back in January was an FO but it turned out not to fit properly. Another WIP is my husband’s sweater which is hybernating indefinitely (does this count as a WIP since I never should have cast-on the collar??) While he wears sweaters now, he is not upset that it constantly falls to the bottom of the list as I want to make other items. I do hope to finish the other 2 WIPs this month so that I can a) maintain my goal of a pair of socks per month, and b) get that baby blanket DONE!!! Here’s a screenshot of the excel sheet I use to track what project(s) I knit on each day and how many stitches I knit.

PATTY LYONS BRIOCHE CLASS

I have watched all the intro videos. The swatch videos launched Friday night and I will start working on my swatches tomorrow. The class has 4 patterns; hat, fingerless mitts, and two scarfs, but I don’t plan to complete any of them. Hence I will not add them to my “WIPs”. The patterns are simply additional “swatches” to work on skills. The brioche swatch making will certainly slow down my ability to finish WIPS this month but I want to be ready for my next sweater, Newspaper by Joji Locatelli, which will be brioche.

WIP Update

So I’ve finished lengthening my daughter-in-laws Heldig tank. I’m hoping blocking will help blend the lengthened yoke with the rest of the body. I will be seeing her in a few weeks at my daughter’s wedding so I’ll be able to return it to her. It will be perfect to wear at the beach as we all are taking a week to enjoy Charleston, SC.

I’ve made a little progress on the baby blanket. I really don’t enjoy blankets as they simply take too long to knit. I saw my neice, and her baby, this weekend due attending the funeral of her grandfather, so it’s a shame I still don’t have it done. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to mail it to her by the end of the month.

MOTHERS DAY

It’s Mothers Day here in America. What a wonderful Mothers Weekend I’m having. Friday my son’s girlfriend gave me the potted plant (it was the craft for the preschool class she was helping in). Friday night a surprise delivery turned out to be flowers from my son and his wife in Florida with some yummy champaigne flavored gummies. Saturday brought another flower delivery from my stepdaughter. This afternoon I’m going fishing with my youngest son and his girlfriend. I haven’t been fishing in 50+ years. (My hubby has steaks thawing in case we don’t catch any/enough fish for dinner).

This week it should finally feel like spring finally or in more classic Cincinnati weather – skipping straight to summer. The cold April weather has been brutal for my husband. I’m looking forward to finally getting to start putting out deck pots of flowers and herbs. I hope all the mothers in the group had a wonderful Mothers Day. Wishing everyone a wonderful week of crafting.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

2022: Wk of Apr 17 – 23; Lessons Learned From Test Knitting and Yarn Advent Calendar

ANNE HANSSEN TEST KNIT LESSONS

I enjoyed knitting Anne Hanssen’s new tee that launched yesterday. But I certainly learned some lessons in the process.

  1. No more test knitting. I just don’t knit fast enough if the project has to be completed in one month, especially if it’s fingering weight yarn. This was my second test knit. I barely got a baby sweater finished in one month. Yes this was a somewhat cropped tee but I still barely got it done and had to abandon all other projects for the month. For me, it would be better to wait until the pattern is for sale and I can knit it on my own time schedule.
  2. Use those numbered stitch counters I bought!!! I apparently miscounted my stitches leading into separating for sleeves, etc. What an unpleasant surprise when I found out this week that I had 20 too many stitches in each row of the body. Turns out I ended up knitting a size larger than I intended. Fortunately it fits okay, just a little more ease than the pattern intended.
  3. Take the time to make a stitch count chart. I usually do this for sweaters/tee but skipped it since I was behind on getting the tee started. Making a stitch count chart has multiple benefits. It forces me to read through the pattern as I determine how many stiches each row should have. I think it would have helped me (coupled with using numbered stitch markers) to make sure I was making the raglan increases correctly. It also would have helped me know how many stitches per day I needed to knit in order to complete the tee in the required time.
  4. Either learn how to pick up stitches (!!!!) or take the time to do a provisional cast-on (as the pattern advised!!!) I’m okay with how the neckband turned out but I didn’t pick up stitches a) correctly or b) quickly. Can’t believe how long it took me to pick up stitches!! Then as I was nearly done I realized I hadn’t done it right.

All in all, I’m glad I got to knit this beautiful tee. I will definitely knit another one with less ease and a less tonal colorway to show off the textured sections better. I will use a provisional cast-on but I will also need to learn how to pick up stitches for the front neckband stitches.

Structure Tee by Anne Hanssen

I’m looking forward to someday knitting her Hope Cardigan which Anne gave me for doing the test knit. I will make it short sleeve and keep the sleeve in the lace pattern.

ADVENT CALENDARS

Just in case you might be looking for an advent calender…. based on my research the two “best prices” are Vicki Brown Designs in the UK and Wool Interrupted in Canada. Wool Interrupted is BY FAR the best price based on how much yarn you get. I am seriously considering buying a second advent calendar and saving it for December 2023. One of her choices looks to be lots of different bright colors (lower right photo) which is what I prefer over concentrated in one or two colors. She is using a bamboo/wool mix which should add sheen to the yarn. I’m concerned that she might not have the diverse set of colors as an option or the bamboo yarn if I wait till next year to order one. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it 😉).

She has really upped her game since I bought her 12 day calendar 2 years ago. She now offers multiple choices of color inspiration, better colors, and offers 8 days, 12 days, and 25 days calendars. All calendars include a full skein for the last day.

NEXT……

I am so looking forward to knitting new things. I need to fix the Heldig Tank I knit back in January for my daughter-in-law. It is too tight in the underarms so I ripped out the collar and will add length to the yoke.

Once I get that done I look forward to working on my socks and my neice’s baby blanket. Good knits for the drive to Charleston, SC in mid-May for my daughter’s wedding. I also plan to sign up for Patty Lyons online Brioche class as my next big project will be the Joji’s Newspaper sweater. I’ll be working on mini projects for the brioche class.

Hope you have a wonderful week.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

YOP: Wk of 9/5-11; Frogging and Socks

Sailormoon Redo

Thankful the light bulb finally went off before I went much further on my daughter’s Sailormoon sweater. I wasn’t sure she would like the hot pink speckles so I sent her a picture of the stripes. Indeed she admitted she probably wouldn’t wear the sweater a lot because of them. So I frogged her sweater and I’m restarting with some Madelinetosh Light in Cinnamon Dolce and Silver Lining that I had in my stash for a sweater for me. She loves the new colors.

I will use the blue and hot pink speckled yarn for a sweater for me. I’m really loving Joji Locatelli’s Newspaper brioche sweater. This will definitely be on my 2022 plan.

Swirl E Socks

I’m in the home stretch on my Swirl E socks as I’ve completed the foot and heels and just have to do the legs. While I still want them to be short, I’ve learned I need to make the leg a bit longer if I want the stripes to show above my sneakers.

I want to have them done by Saturday so I can wear them to the Wool Festival and show them off to the vender that I bought the yarn from 2 years ago (Redbird Yarn Studio). She has been “missing in action” the past year due to “life stuff” so I’m thrilled that she did not give up on yarn making.

New Row Counters

I love the row counters from Twice Sheared Sheep and I already have several (uhh 4 to be exact). I have wanted both a shorter counter for things like 4 row sock patterns and a counter set for flat work (one counter is only odd numbers – usually the pattern rows – and the other is only even numbers – usually the purl row). Dawn offered a sale last weekend so I finally bought them. I was so close to free shipping that adding the cute (honeycomb, carbon ring if you are a chemist like me) markers in essence only cost me $3. I love using those cheap 7 day pill holders for my knitting notions. This one only holds row counters. I have others to hold my multiple sizes and colors of 0-ring stitch markers.

Looking Forward

The coming week is exciting. I will have yarn to share next week as I will attend the Wool Gathering festival next Saturday. I already have three venders that I’m committed to buying some skeins of yarn. I have too many sweater projects waiting for me to knit them so I’ll be buying fun sock yarns. I have plenty of people that will be happy with a sock gift as well as socks for me. I will also likely be buying a high end ball winder as I wasted an evening winding a ball on my cheap plastic one. I usually visit my friend that owns the expensive one but I thought “I only need to wind one ball to restart the Sailormoon sweater”. A whole evening spent just getting one ball wound!! Grrr. But it’s a lot of money to spend when my friend is only too happy to let me come over to wind yarn.

I hope you have an exciting week coming up as well.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

#43 Knitting Challenge Update

IMG_20191206_231928_hdrThis the first year that I created a knitting “plan” .  Previously I just bounced from one project to the next based an a class that sounded good. But now I have sufficient confidence in my ability to make socks, sweaters, shawls, etc.  I can think more along the lines of what do I want to make and for whom.

Turns out my plan for 2019 was a little aggressive but pretty good.  I’m a pretty slow sweater knitter.  I planned a lot of socks and indeed I made a lot (7 pairs).  Argyle socks turned out to be quite difficult so they got delayed into 2020.  They will be a Florida project.  I did make my first pair of fingerless mitts.  They are even easier than a pair of socks.

I did knit two shawls as planned but did change which shawl and yarn once I found yarn I wanted in Miami last February.  The other was difficult for a first project brioche shawl.  It took a lot more time than I had planned.

I did really like the experience of creating and following a year plan.  This way I could make sure I wasn’t trying to do too may projects at the same time.  I did update and substitute during the year – like the shawl.

As I’m preparing my 2020 calendar I created a point system to better estimate how many projects I could realistically do in a year.  Socks are quicker than sweaters.  This helped me realize I was planning way too many sweaters for 2020 unless I suddenly become a much faster sweater knitter.   I already have a sweater that I started this month that will carryover into 2020.  Plus those difficult argyle socks.  I have at least 6 sweaters I really wanted to make but will be lucky if I can get 4 of them done.  Thus I already have sweaters for 2021!!!  I know that I want to have “braindead” socks for social knitting.  Plus I  have some beautiful sock yarn that I really want to knit up.  I know that I’ll have a sweater and a sock project going at all times.

The net is that a yearly knitting plan is helpful for me.  It helps me feel in control of my knitting rather than my knitting is controlling me.  I don’t feel overwhelmed by all the projects I want to make because I have them on the schedule.  I know when they are planned.  They can move forward or back based on how fast a current project is going.  This will also help me to decide what projects to pack for snowbirding in Florida.  I certainly won’t need to buy yarn as I already have at least two years of projects in project bags in my knitting nook.

#42. Brioche #@$!&

IMG_20191108_130433_728I love this shawl now but I sure cursed it while knitting it!!!  The Haiku shaw is NOT a good first brioche project.  Brioche is really not that hard but it really took a long time for me to “get it”.  Now I can recognize knits and purls.  Increases and decreases were killer for me to tink.  I would have to have the teacher tink when I found a mistake.  I will knit brioche again as I do love the way it looks but it took me 7 months to get this shawl finished!!  Brioche does require concentration … at least this pattern does on the border!!