YOP: Wk of 8/22-28 FO, New Beginnings, and Artwork

Heldig Tank – FO!!!!

I did indeed complete Caitlyn’s tank top. Fortunately there are still plenty of hot days left in August and September for her to get to wear it this year. My oldest stepson’s wife saw the picture I posted on Facebook and has requested a tank top as well! I’m happy to knit one for her and I already have yarn that I can use. But it will be the end of the year/early next year before I work on it as I already have two projects I want to do next.

Heldig Tank

New WIPs

With socks finished last week and the top finished this week, I got to cast-on a new sock project and a new sweater project. I shared the yarn’s I planned for these projects 2 weeks ago when I wound the yarn into cakes. I just love the colors so I’m enjoying both projects. The socks are for me. I am trying the Swirl E pattern although with the pattern reversed since I knit toe up. I think the colors are just gorgeous. So far I’m just swatching the yarn to make a repeat of the Sailormoon sweater. This one is for my daughter. The yarn is so soft!! What a delight it is going to be to knit with it. I need to get it done by Thanksgiving which should be very doable.

I am thankful that I have several people that want hand knitted garments. Hubby is still waiting on his sweater.

Out and About

This week was quite the social week. I finally got to see my brother and father in person after almost 2 years (Christmas ’19). My niece was in country (from Austria – she studied abroad and decided to stay) so it was great to catch up with her. We met at a local brewery that also serves great BBQ. A friend invited me to a talk on Cincinnati cuisine which was very fun. A nasty cold kept me from being able to join a group of knitters on Friday morning but a trip to the doctor to confirm it wasn’t Covid and the antibiotics prescribed put me back right pretty quickly. Saturday morning was my usual group of weekly knitters over coffee.

New/Old Artwork

Saturday night was getting to see old friends that we haven’t seen in probably 25 years. They live in Michigan. Tat is an artist and painted all the paintings hanging in my house (besides the kid’s school pictures displayed on the bedroom hallway walls). She did a set of season’s paintings 25 years ago and it turns out 2 of my kids want them after I take up residence on the dirt side of the grass. So I commissioned a second set of paintings which I will now hang and let age. The plan is for each kid to get 2 of the original paintings and 2 of the new paintings. I think she did an amazing job of replicating them from photos I took with my phone camera. She will return in 6 months to varnish the new ones and then I can get them framed.

As you can see I like abstract art. Here are the other two paintings of hers that hang in our house.

While it was great to see everyone this past week, I am looking forward to a quiet week this coming 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.

Year of Projects ’21 – Wk of Aug 8-14

Heldig Tank

Being a fairly monogamous knitter means this is going to be a fairly boring post this week. Lots of “progress” on Caitlyn’s Heldig Tank. Unfortunately I’m not sure I did the waist and bust shaping right. I’ve never done it before and I’m not sure it’s hanging right. I’ll be able to have her try it on today, Sunday. I may be ripping it out back down to the hem to eliminate my attempt at shaping. Oh well. Fingers crossed.

Heldig Tank

Yarn Winding

I did spend Friday morning winding the yarn for my daughter’s Sailormoon sweater which is the next project on the list. I think the blue is absolutely gorgeous and the speckles will add some fun. The yarn is spun by a local young lady I know who is running a yarn business Coates & Co Fiber. I also wound the yarn for my next sock, Redbird Yarn Studio an Ohio yarn dyer. I used my friend’s very nice ball winder. The Grocery Girls have talked about it (they have the electric one) and Andrea Mowry just mentioned it in her episode 22 of “I’ll knit if I want to” video. It’s quite expensive but after wasting over an hour trying to wind a skein of yarn on my cheap ball winder, I think I’ll be buying one for myself. The Harvest themed self striping sock yarn is gorgeous so I can’t wait to start on these socks for me.

Misc

No soccer game this week but I made some progress on James’ Christmas socks while waiting on hubby’s biopsy (no cancer – yea!!) Not enough progress for a photo.

Only other news this week is that the babies are starting to pop in the family. In addition to my step-daughter’s baby arriving in late October, my niece just let everyone know she is due in March. So my 2022 knitting plan will definitely have a baby item on it. Probably another rainbow striped blanket.

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 8/1-7 Knitting Updates and Mimosa Tree

This year I have been using my digital knitting plan as my blog’s featured image. This is to keep my plan front and center in my mind. I will also makes it easy to compare what I planned versus what I’m doing. I update my plan as I change it over the year. So this week I decided my featured image would be where I’m at versus what my plan was back in Jan. Plus it’s more colorful due to noting changes. 🙂

Heldig Tank

Caitlyn’s tank top is coming along. It’s a pretty boring knit since it’s a stockinette body with very basic K1P1 ribbing as the side “seam” detail. But that makes it great for TV or social knitting. I’m happy with the waist shaping but now it’s time to put the stitches back on for bust shaping. Couple more inches and I start the “yoke”. Almost to 3rd ball of yarn.

Heldig Tank

James’ Christmas Socks

James’ Christmas socks got a little love this week. I realized that 72 stitches was probably too many even with a size 0 needle so I reduced the stitches to 68 over the foot. Since I want the socks to match I decided to start the second sock and knit the foot to the same decreases as the first sock. I know myself that leaving a note in the project bag would get lost. Hence, again my preference for 2 at a time socks but the 9″ circular single sock is indeed nice for grocery shopping/soccer matches (hometown team tied Saturday night).

Gingerbread House Socks

Resistance is Futile

Arg. I know better. Knowing that I hope to buy Christmas sock yarn at the Wool Festival in September but being afraid there wouldn’t be any (that happened in 2019), I made the mistake of looking on Etsy for Christmas Sock yarn. While not really what I was looking for, I found this cute “holiday lights” yarn that is really just a rainbow speckle on white yarn from AlwaysBeKindYarn. This is a fun yarn that I could wear all year, not just at Christmas. So I bought it. My yarn “diet” only lasted 3 months!! Plus I know I’ll be buying yarn at the festival!!

Holiday Lights Sock Yarn

Speaking of Etsy, this week arrived some cute reusable project bag tags that I ordered from Katrinkles. This way I don’t have to remember what project is inside the bag. The marker can be removed with rubbing alcohol and then the tag reused. We will see if I’m sorry that I only ordered 3.

Project Bag Tags

Mimosa Tree

On a final note. I am so tickled with myself for planting a mimosa tree near our deck. After 3 failed attempts at getting a tree to grow so close to our woods but along our decking, I finally went with a “weed” tree. Personally I love the mimosa tree but I’ve seen it sprout up along the highway exits in the Carolinas. Hence I figured it had a better chance of surviving in my desired location. It has turned out even better than I expected. I adore the fuzzy pink blooms. And seeing the blooming tree through our deck door and windows is stunning. We have already enjoyed blooms for the past month and they seem to still be going strong!

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 Update – 7/18-7/24

SOCK UPDATE

Well, despite my saying I wouldn’t knit anymore socks on 9″, I did transfer my son-in-law’s Christmas socks to 9″ so that I could have a tiny project to take with me to the grocery store and then to the soccer game. I got to the game about an hour early so got in a few rounds. Then I sat in the parking garage for 20+ minutes waiting for traffic to clear out and got in some more rounds. It’s so nice to be retired and not have to get to work the next morning. Knitting makes waiting fun instead of frustrating. Maybe if I had knit while still working, I’d have gotten to meetings on time. Would have made those god-awful safety and department meetings much more bearable.

TANK TOP UPDATE

Ugh. Ripped out my son’s GF’s tank last night. It was way too big despite knitting the size S and she is at least a M. I don’t really mind since it’s bottom up so I had only knit the front and back hems and then about 15 rows of body. I hated the hem because the stitches were too large. I dropped the hem needle size by 2 and the body by 1. I’m now knitting the body with same size needle as I did my daughter’s top last summer so I know I like the gauge/fabric. I will again have her try on the hem/body to make sure it’s not still too large or now too small. I’d like to get it done by mid August which is only 3 weeks away!! I think it’s a pretty easy pattern and the stitches decrease as you get the yoke/neck. Still that means focusing on my knitting instead of spending too much time on the internet.

Restart – Back on Hems

That’s it. Two WIPs. I really don’t like to have a lot of WIPs. I prefer to be a more monogamous knitter. I want to get the tank done so that I can cast-on my Advent 2019 colorwork socks. Once I get a few stripes finished I’ll cast on my daughter’s Sailormoon as I want to get that done by Thanksgiving. So focus is the key!!

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.

#72 In Person Knitting!!

Well my knitting group finally bit the bullet and met in person after not seeing each other physically for the past 6 months! A LYS offered reserving their very large table area that normally seats 16+ knitters to be reserved for no more than 6 people. So the 5 of us were able to reserve it for our group. While we didn’t hug or even squish each others projects, it was nice to be able to see how beautiful everyone’s project is. The colors and details just don’t come through accurately on the computer.

We showed our appreciation by buying yarn and I bought the Cocoknits Sweater Workshop book and worksheets. I’m a visual learner so creating stitch charts is best for me. The LYS offered 20% off on books so is it my fault I couldn’t resist?? I’m looking forward to reading about the method and then applying it to the various sweater projects in my queue. Of course this week I’ve added 2 more sweaters to my queue for 2021. One will use yarn from my stash but after not finding summer weight yarn I wanted at the LYS, I ordered closeout yarn from WEBS when I came home. I mean really, no one is expected to resist a sweater quantity of yarn for $60 right!?

We capped off the afternoon with a two block walk down the town’s main street to visit a coffee shop for a latte treat. While not sunny, it was warm enough to sit outside so we could maintain safe socializing. Here in Cincinnati it is just about peak autumn leaves color. So a beautiful day both visually and emotionally.

PROJECT UPDATE

Finally!!! I finished the third pair of socks and mailed them off to Boston Friday. I included a note encouraging the recipients to let me know how then fit if they hope to receive a second pair. 🙂

I got a little knitting done on my daughter’s Christmas socks and I finished the sleeves on my Amrum sleeves. I even modified the sleeve a little by adding some of the front pattern to the end of the sleeve. I’m much happier with the sleeves since I tried it on repeatedly to confirm the fit. The sleeves on my sweater I made last winter are WAY too baggy as well as too long. I really should rip them out and reknit them. Being SHORT, I need to accept that patterns are going to have sleeves that are too long and I must plan on fewer rows and quicker decreases than the pattern calls for. I’m confident I can get both the Christmas socks and the sweater done by Thanksgiving. I only need a few more inches on the body of the sweater!! I’m already looking forward to casting on the next sweater!

#65 YoP Aug 17

Didn’t get as much done as I thought I would which sadly is not a big surprise. I always envision I’m going to get LOTS of knitting done on trips and it rarely works out that way. On the other hand I’m SO thankful for the day long conversations at the beach I had with my daughter and stepson while visiting my daughter for her “virtual” graduation. I’m feeling a little melancholy as our relationship changes from my daughter being a student to my daughter being employed fulltime with it’s new restrictions on her time.

Here’s a picture of my daughter in the top I made her. As previous blogs note, I had to rip it out twice due to not reading a very simple pattern correctly. But I’m happy with how it turned out and so is she. I’m really glad I modified the pattern to have a garter edging instead of the all stockinette the pattern is designed with.

My knitting for the week focused on completing some pairs of socks I’ve promised. The foot is too long on the blue socks and I was thinking I had to rip out the entire leg and heel. Duhh!! I just need to turn it inside out and unravel the toe. That will take much less time!! Boy, when I get focused on the toe up process I was almost blinded to alternatives. Thankfully I figured it out before ripping out the leg. So hopefully at least the blue socks will be a FO by next week’s update.

I also worked on my Amrum sweater. I’m making slow but sure progress. I can see mistakes but since it’s for me, I’ll live with them. (Yes the red and gold pins means there is a mistake that I will have to “fix” with a sewing needle). I do love this yarn so I’m enjoying knitting the sweater.

#61. Tink and Repeat

Love the process, love the process, love the process I had to repeat to myself as a mantra.  I’m knitting a summer top for my daughter.  The pattern seems fairly simple.  Mistake #1.  I’ve done wrap and turn short rows before so after a quick review of a video off I go.  After several inches, the edges seem to have some puckers.  Double check the wrap and turn video, yep been doing some backwards and probably not being consistent this creating the puckers.  Rip out #1. Not too bad only several inches.

Start again.  Yep, no puckers.  Going great.  Get to the end of the section.  Uhh, I don’t think I’m supposed to have these “tails”.  Double check the “easy” pattern.  Oops.  Was supposed to K1 or P1 after each wrap and turn so that the wraps were 2 stitches apart not 1.  Great if I wanted the top to hang down to her knees.  😠  Rip all the way back to the beginning. 

I think third time is a charm.  I’ve completed the back and almost done with the front.  Should complete this weekend.

Lessons learned; a) really read and absorb each part of the instructions.  Highlight, especially stiches following a complex stitch such as wrap and turn.  b) try to visualize each section so can see if on track (much easier said than done) c) be careful with “easy” patterns so don’t miss “easy” instructions.

Fortunately since it was an “easy” pattern, ripping out wasn’t hard and rebutting went fairly quickly.

#50. First Sweater of 2020

IMG_20200220_140706_350I have deemed 2020 to be the year of the sweater for me. I’ve only made three sweaters so far in my knitting career.  The first one was a simple tunic of worsted weight for me.  Then I made two more sweaters but made them for my daughter Sara.  Even though she lives in Charleston, SC, it gets cool enough in the winter months that she can wear a sweater.  I decided I needed to make some for me.  It would help me understand fit better if I actually wore some sweaters I knitted.

I kicked off the year with an “advent calendar” kit.  While technically I started it back in Dec 2019, I only knit about 20 rows so that I could start it with my knitting friend Kim.  I put mine aside as I had a pair of Christmas socks I was hoping to finish by Christmas.  That didn’t happen but I did get them done in time to be put away with the Christmas clothes for next year.

So once we got to Florida I focused on the advent sweater, a simple tunic of fingering weight yarns.  I’m happy to say it’s done and I am tickled with it.  The sleeves are a bit too blousy but not bad.  I had to rip out the I-cord bind-off of the body.  Blocking might have fixed the curling but I wasn’t sure.  I’m happy with the ribbed edging and simple bind-off which blocked well.  While we were told to knit one ball after another, I learned that I should have used half balls for the yoke as the yoke is too much of the same color instead of the thinner stripes of the body.  I’ve used leftover scraps of body yarn and double knitted rows to bring some of the body colors up to the yoke.  Plus I’m making a cowl out of the 3+balls that I didn’t use for the sweater to bring some color to the neck.I

So 2020 is off to a good start.  I was afraid a sweater would take me three months so I only planned 4 for the year.  This one took me 2 months.  So I’m hopeful that I will complete all 4 I have planned.  Now to put the next one, Shellseeker, on needles.

#47. Knitting an “Advent Calendar” Project

While at VogueLive back in early November, a knitting friend and I discovered an “advent calendar” sweater project at the Mass Ave booth.  The 24 15g balls of fingering weight yarn were so colorful that we couldn’t resist.  I bought the project knowing that I wouldn’t really knit it for advent but instead would knit it in January.  I had some really cute Christmas self striping socks yarn that I really wanted to knit up instead.

So come January I embarked on knitting the advent sweater.  It’s an extremely simple stockinette tunic with raglan sleeves so no seaming!!  I am very pleasantly surprised at just how much fun I’m having knitting it up.  Since I didn’t pick the yarns, the colors are often a surprise.  It is surprisingly to see how the colors display as they are knitted.  I bought the sweater to be a fun splash of color worn over black leggings and it will definitely be that.

My friend has completed hers already.  She started in December and decided to make it a shorter hip length.  It is just as cute and fun as we had hoped.  It looks great on her but I think I still want mine to be longer, upper thigh.  So I’ll keep an eye out in the future for a fun knit like an Advent Calendar project.😁

#46. Prym Needles

While at Vogue Live in Columbus back in November, I bought a pair of circular Prym needles.  These are relatively new needles from a German company.  They are supposed to be better ergonomically.  They are extremely light weight thus easier on the hands and have a nodule at the top to reduce splitting the yarn while knitting.  I bought them specifically to go with a sweater kit I also bought at Vogue Live.  (Yes, I know you are supposed to swatch to find the needle and size to match the sweater gauge.  I have probably too much confidence but am adjusting the pattern to fit the gauge that I’m making with these size 6 prym needles.)

I do like how light weight they are.  The nodule tips though probably does make it harder to do M1Ls.  On the other hand I’m probably splitting the yarn less which made it easier to rip out 40 rows when the colors pooled poorly.

I haven’t done a gauge comparison.  One reviewer found her gauge larger with the prym needle versus knitters pride needles for the same size needle.  This actually could be a good thing as it’s an extra tool when trying to match the pattern gauge.

Unfortunately prym doesn’t sell 40cm circular needles which is the size I need for the sleeves.  Also the tips would need to be shorter in order to knit a smaller circumference.  Since this sweater involves stripes, I want to knit the arms at the same time I knit the body.  I don’t want to do my usual of knitting the body and then going back to do each arm.  So I plan to use my knitters pride dreamz size 6 needle for the arms.  The gauge may not be identical to the body but at least both arms will be the same.