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Saturday, May 31, 2014

And Then There Was One

Last week I wrote that I should have four completed projects and I do. Although the unfinished project is not the one that I was expecting but I'm not complaining because four is what I wanted and four is what I got. And when I say finished, I mean finished, blocked and ends sewn in, all that's missing are the final pictures.

I did finish the shawl. As Monday was a holiday, I decided it would be a good time to not do the normal Monday chores and spend time blocking the shawl. I am so glad I did because I love it. (This was the project I didn't expect to finish.)

I'm glad I wrote a list because I actually embroidered the face on a toy. I didn't enjoy it but I did it. The item I didn't finish was the skirt. I picked up stitches along the waistband and I just need to insert elastic and cast off. I could finish it this week except there are two gifts that have to take priority. I am not going to promise myself that it will be finished in a week's time but it will be worked on as soon as the gifts are finished.

Look out for a post with photos. Actually I'll make that a priority after the gift projects.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I Have A Little List

I listen to ABC radio. The A stands for Australian. I like listening to it during the day as it is night time in Australia so there is not too much chatter. It can get a bit confusing though when they give the day/date as one time I panicked a little as I thought I had forgotten my sister's birthday. But, of course, the radio station was already on the next day.

The other day they played The Daleks performing Gilbert and Sullivan. It was funny for, let's say, 30 seconds. Would a Whovian play it for longer?

Anyway, I thought of that when I was writing my list of projects I have to work on this week. It really wasn't practical to keep referring to Saturday's post for what I should be working on so I wrote a list. Nothing fancy, just in the order they appeared in the post and just what the item is. I wrote the list last night and I could immediately check off 1 1/2 projects. :) The list is not in the order I have to work, just an aide-mémoire, but seeing it in writing has me convinced to work on the project that I was most likely to put off. Especially as I like to see things completed that were on my to do list.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Finish Something Why Don't You

I need a plan.

A couple of things happened this week that made me realise that I need to finish some things.

Firstly, I had book group this week. Not only did I have to finish the book but I had to cast on a new project to take with me. Secondly, a friend and I were going to have a fun knitalong for May Gray but I couldn't start it yesterday because both sets of needles in the size I wanted to use were on other projects and one of those projects just needs to be cast off.

The problem is that I like to do something else while I'm knitting, read, watch a movie, chat with friends, but the finishing stages of a project require more concentration. Action is required to actually finish some projects otherwise I will keep adding to them.

So here we go, the projects that are almost finished but not quite.

I have three projects that are actually off the needles but need finishing touches. There's the tea cosy which needs seaming and a drawstring tie. This isn't an abandoned project because I have worked on it each week this month. The tie would be perfect for working on at knit group. I finally finished the cast off for the close-to-being-finished shawl. Now it needs to be blocked. This is something that takes time and cannot be hurried so I will have to block (ha pun?) off some time on my calendar. The third item not on needles but not finished is a toy that needs a face. I find with these things that the embroidery does not take any time, its making sure each feature is in the right place that takes time and care.

Then I have two items that are two rows away from being finished. Firstly the previously mentioned project with the needles I want. It is a sewn bind off in dark wool which won't take very long but I need to do it in daylight. And the other item is the skirt I have been working on for a long time - it's stocking stitch in the round so saved for things like book club - I need to pick up stitches around the waist band, insert elastic and cast off.

So really, apart from the shawl, these projects won't take too long to finish, I just need some daylight hours.

Plan, simple really, pick one project a day and finish it, starting with the easiest. Then I should have four completed projects to report on next week.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tea Cosy Tuesday umm Thursday?

Last week I said that I had joined in the fun for the May cosy and that I had even made all the parts. I thought I had posted photos of the parts - but no. So here are photos of the front and back of the cosy, which were knitted, and the crocheted flowers. These were the parts completed by last week. And then there is a picture of the flowers sewn on. I do have some buttons that I could sew into the middle of the flowers but they would completely cover the yellow centre and then what is the point of the centre being a different colour.

I still have to embroider the stems and leaves and then sew up the sides. A completed project to show next week?

I do have a completed project to show off this week. It is an oddball blanket which I signed up for as the requirement was for variegated yarns - any pattern - and I had some in my stash. I decided to use a purpley colour left over from a previous blanket. I wanted a pattern a bit more interesting than straight stocking stitch so I found the knot pattern in one of my stitch dictionaries. It is a simple pattern; the knot is worked by purling three together, then knitting the same three stitches together and then purling them together again.

I haven't signed up for any more blankets but I have not ruled out not working on any more.

I completely used up the yarn on my part of the blanket so that counts as a ball out plus I sold two skeins of yarn in my stash so I have reduced yarn in by two balls and associated meterage. Talking about stash, following some brain storming with knitterly friends I am now looking at some yarns in my stash in a different light, also there are some yarns I might sell. This is making my stash seem less of a burden and actually something I can reduce.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Finished Friday

I was all excited about this post as I thought I had a few projects to show off but it turns out that I only have two. Even so two is better than none.

Firstly socks. This is another pattern - Lindsay - from Sock Innovation by Cookie A and is the third pattern from the book that I have made the others being Rick that I made way back in 2009/10 and Wanida that I finished recently.

I want to show some close ups of the yarn. I purchased it at the end of 2011 because I liked the way it was dyed although I had no idea what to make with it as I thought that plain stocking stitch would show it off best but I did not want to knit plain socks.

The colourway is named Christmas Lights and the yarn 80% merino, 20% nylon feels soft. Unfortunately the dyer is no longer dying yarn.

I followed the pattern as written although I was a bit wary about the garter stitch heels and toes but as this is knit at fine gauge they did not come out bulky.

If you're thinking that one looks bigger then the other - you're right. I blocked only one so I could see if there was any difference.

The other item finished was a hat for Operation Gratitude. It is a crochet pattern that can be found here. I used two colours of Vanna Choice yarn that I had purchased recently. I used the size hook stated in the pattern rather than the hook size on the yarn label which I would usually do. So my hat isn't very slouchy but is a good hat nonetheless. This was a quick crochet.

At the beginning of the week when I said I had won some yarn, I forgot to post a photo. So here is the yarn I won from the Operation Gratitude group on Ravelry.

Monday, May 12, 2014

May Madness

I was bored with WIPping Wednesdays so I have gone for a new alliteration. Like many potential posts, this one was written in my head at the beginning of the month but is only now making it into print.

We are almost halfway through the month and I am now writing about beginning of the month challenges. Place in context if possible.

The start of each month brings a new set of challenges. For me it is sock knitters, Operation Gratitude and tea cosies. Away from Ravelry it is the books of the month suggested by Amazon. But I'm just talking knitting/crochet challenges today. Firstly, I know that I do not have to take part in any of the challenges but I have pledged to myself that I will make something for Operation Gratitude each month, also as I want to use up all my sock yarn starting a challenge from the sock knitters group is a good way to go, and why not throw a tea cosy into the mix. Although I will only follow that challenge if I have yarn in my stash hence not making the last two.

The Operation Gratitude project I start straight away regardless of what else I have on the go. Once again the administrator came up with hats and I chose the crochet option using two colours that I bought last month specifically for this purpose. I can't count either of them as balls of yarn out but they are on their way. This hat is finished and will appear in a finished project round up soon.

Having finished a pair of socks at the beginning of the month I decided to dig into my sock yarn stash and start a pair to fit the current month's challenge:- Featured Techniques: Flora/fauna or Science/technology/geek: Featured Designers: Rachel Coopey and Nicki Miller. Looking through my queue and favourites on Ravelry I decided on this pattern, using yarn that I had purchased in Calgary to make gloves. Although the original purpose for the yarn does not matter as long as I use it. I have not got very far with these but the socks I did finish will appear soon.

Finally I decided to take part in the monthly tea cosy pattern. The pattern was for a small size and I do not have any cosies specifically for my small tea pot plus I had yarn in my stash. All the knitting and crochet is complete I just need to sew all the parts together.

And then we come to the projects that were already on the needle at the start of the month. Despite starting the other projects listed above, I have been working on the mittens, one is completed except the bind off at the cuff and the other needs a thumb and cuff but I haven't touched the cast off of the shawl.

And there is another project to throw into the mix. Last week I received an oddball blanket. I put my name down for this one at the beginning of January as it was to be worked in variegated yarn and I had some I could use up. I chose a simple pattern and started on my section last night and I should finish by the end of the week.

I do not record meters out until I have shown photos of finished items so meters knitted/crocheted has not gone up but yarn in has gone up because I was given some yarn. I won Operation Gratitude's group drawing at the end of April and chose yarn. I am hoping I will be able to turn it into projects for Operation Gratitude.