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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

WIPping Wednesday (Last for April)

Another week without a finished item. I was expecting this but I have a couple of projects that are very close to completion; I just need to set some time aside.

Firstly there's the so-close-but-never-finished shawl. I pulled out two rows. I didn't put in a lifeline just proceeded carefully as one row was beads and YOs and decreases and the other row, although plain followed such a row so I had to make sure that I did not undo more than that row. I then added a lifeline so if I still do not have enough yarn to complete the cast off I can pull it out.

The other item close to completion are the socks I started a couple of weeks ago. All the knitting is completed and I just need to graft/kitchener the toes. Usually not a problem, except the socks were worked cuff down with short row toes which means the seam is across the width of the sock. So I have 32 stitches to kitchener in dark yarn - twice.

Having finished the socks I cast on a mitten. Yes I know it is not going to be cold enough for mittens even in Canada but I have had the pattern for a while and I bought the yarn on the yarn crawl last year especially for this pattern so I just decided to go for it. It is two colour knitting so something I can do during all the hockey play off games.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WIPping Wednesday

After two weeks with finished items there's nothing to report this week. Nothing finished and nothing cast on. (Although I did restart the sock I cast on last week.)

I started the cast off of the always close-to-being-finished shawl and reached the half-way mark of the yarn before I reached the half-way point of the shawl. I undid what I had cast off (so glad I put in a life line) and now I have to work up the courage to frog the last worked row which has beads and YOs as well as K2togs and SSKs. A life line will calm the heart.

I am close to finishing one sock but I am not expecting a Finished Friday this week.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Finished Friday

As I said on Wednesday I have two projects to show today. And looking at my current projects it will be at least a couple of weeks before I have any more finished items.

These two projects were finished on the same day.

Firstly socks. I started these on our recent trip to Spain. Start to finish was just over a month but I did not knit on them every day so actual knitting time was less.

The yarn is that shown at the end of this blog post and the pattern is Wanida by Cookie A from her book Sock Innovation. I have now knitted two patterns from this book and am just starting a third. Does that make up for the books where I have not knit one pattern?

The yarn feels soft knitted up even though this is a tight pattern. The socks fit but are a little tight so it will be interesting to see how much they stretch when worn. The yarn was a gift from my friend Clair - check out her store at Purple Gecko Studio. I did not think to check for errata before we went away. (When I first started knitting there were never mistakes in patterns and even now with mistakes all over the place it never occurs to me to check.) When I got to the heel there was obviously a mistake, which I could work out for myself how to remedy, but as we had free WiFi at that point I was able to check the publisher's errata.

The other finished project is a hat for Operation Gratitude. My aim is to make one project a month from the suggestions put forward by the group and I have managed that so far. I have been crocheting the hats but I chose the knit pattern this month as I needed a project for knit group. (Not that you have to knit at knit group, just that this month the knit hat pattern was easier than the crochet pattern.) Start to finish was five days. The pattern is Weather the Weather Hat available on Ravelry and I used Red Heart Soft and a size 5 mm circular needle. It is 40 cm in length and just the right size for adult hats until the end. I used half the ball of yarn. I was going to use the Paprika colour left over from the scarf but wasn't sure if I had enough. It would have been close so I'm glad I didn't try. I had bought the purple yarn earlier this year as I did not think I would have enough to finish this tea cosy. As it turned out I did not need it for the tea cosy which was a good thing as I am only knitting cosies from stash but the yarn could go to charity projects. (I had contemplated returning it to keep my yarn in down.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WIPping Wednesday (Third in April)

Another successful week of finished items.

Although one item was cast on and finished during the week so it wasn't a WIP for long. This was a hat for charity that I mentioned that I would cast on. I used yarn that I bought a couple of months ago that I thought I would need for the tea cosy but didn't end up using. This was my last unused ball of yarn suitable for charity knitting, so I had to buy some more.

Actually, it seemed from Michaels's flyer that they had a few kinds on sale but the branch I went to had just one type of washable worsted on sale. I bought three balls to keep me going for a few months. So yarn in has gone up but as I don't record a ball of yarn as "out" until it is mostly used I am not showing a reduction in balls of yarn used which is why I have metres knitted and crocheted to aim for that number to be higher than the number in. In is still higher than out but finishing a couple of my older WIPs will change that. Hmm, finishing the older WIPs? I really should set some time aside to cast off the shawl. I think one of the problems is that in the back of my mind I am concerned that I do not have enough yarn to complete the cast off. But I've already ripped out rows because I had more yarn than I thought so what will it matter if I have to undo part of a row?

The other item finished this week was a pair of socks. I measured them against a pair that fit well and decided that although they looked short they were the right size.

As the hat was my charity project for the month, it was not replaced with a new project but as I have sock yarn that should be turned into socks another one was cast on last night.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Finished Friday

As mentioned in the last post, I have two finished items to show.

Firstly a baby hat. I found the pattern through a blog. It is Knit Baby Hat by Bernat. The pattern is worked flat and seamed but I changed to working on the round. I used Red Heart Soft left over from this hat so I worked the smallest size to allow for the thicker yarn. I also worked more increases as 20 stitches is too many to draw up especially with a worsted weight yarn.

The other finished item is a scarf knitted for charity. The suggestions for March were scarves - not my favourite thing to make. Mostly I have been crocheting the charity items as it is usually quicker but I didn't feel like crocheting a scarf so I chose the knitting pattern. It is the windward waves pattern (not capitalized) and is available on Ravelry. The pattern calls for three colours so ideal for using leftovers. The yarn had been used in the hats I made in January and February. With this pattern it was definitely advantageous to be able to knit backwards - ie moving stitches from the right needle to the left needle. I hadn't done this for a while and I was surprised at how easy it was to work the technique. To keep ends to a minimum I did not cut each colour when I had finished with it but carried it up the side for the next time. I did cut each colour once in the middle. I was surprised at how quickly the knitting went. My dates on Ravelry are not accurate as I cast on before we went away but did not work on it until we returned.

This photo was taken as soon as the scarf was finished but I have since blocked it and it looks better.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WIPping Wednesday (Second One For April)

I just noticed that last week's post sat in the drafts folder. It has just been published but if you are a regular reader of the blog (hi husband) now you know why you think you are a week behind.

Exciting news to report. I have finished two items since last week. The hat that I mentioned casting on is not only finished but also mailed off to Canada. Also finished is the scarf I was knitting for charity. Photos of these will appear soon.

I haven't picked up the shawl to work the cast off but I have reached the toe on the second sock. I now have to decide if I want the socks to be longer. The first sock doesn't look very long but it fits fine, I will measure against other socks that I know fit well to see if I should/could add further rows. I also pulled out 47 rows of another project that was very close to being finished but when I tried it on I didn't like one of the patterns so out the extra rows went. The good thing about this is that it is stocking stitch knit in the round so now I have a project that I can take to book club next week.

And I didn't cast on anything new. Although that will change as I will start a new charity project. I haven't cast on the tea cosy for March and as much as I would like to make the pattern for April, I don't think I have enough yarn in different colours. It needs two shades of green and three shades of another colour.

So for once I can report that projects finished exceed projects started.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WIPping Wednesday

I am not so sure reporting on WIPs is a good idea when I don't seem to have as many corresponding Finished Fridays. But there are two projects at cast off stage. The always being close to finished shawl just needs to be cast off. Before I started the last row I put a slip knot in the yarn so that I knew that if I got to the slip knot before the end of the row there would not be enough yarn for the row and the cast off row. Well I kept on knitting and the yarn ball was getting smaller but no slip knot. I had convinced myself that I had pulled out the knot without noticing but it appeared just after I finished the row. So, in theory, I have enough yarn to finish but I can't remember if I placed the knot half way along the yarn or made more allowance. Oh well, I'll either be happy or unpicking.

The other item at cast off stage is the scarf I am knitting for charity. I have been working on this frequently as it is really for March. It will still not be finished even when it is cast off as the pattern calls for two rows of single crochet around the edge. This project will appear as a finished item shortly as my aim is one charity item a month and I will still have to make something for April. Because of this project I haven't worked on my socks much.

Yesterday was Tea Cozy Tuesday. Here's the link to the post showing this month's choice. Week 1 is for gathering supplies. There's just one problem with this - I am pretty sure I do not have enough yarn. And I was only going to participate each month if I had yarn in my stash that I could use. But, it would make a really nice gift. I have yarn for March's cosy; so if I make that in April I can just be a month behind or miss April's altogether. (Or buy yarn.)

So without any completed items, what did I do? Cast on something of course. There is a two-fold reason for this. Firstly, yesterday was guild meeting day and I needed a project to take. (What do you mean I could have taken the sock?) Secondly, when we were Skyping with my son and his girlfriend over the weekend she said the weather was still cold and she was desperately making the knits fit the baby until I sent more. Umm, but I'm not knitting anything for you people up there. So I started a hat that I could work on at the meeting. And it would be really good if it made an appearance on Friday.