Sunday, 20 March 2016

Last FO of the winter!

Today is the first day of Spring.  This winter has been long, although not too arduous.  No ice storms, only a handful of really snowy days, but still a lot of gray skies.  I do love the warmth of winter garments - thick wool sweaters, cozy scarves and wraps.  I finished my Paloma yesterday after going to Soper Creek Yarn to get buttons.  The buttons are old-fashioned, remind me of 'dad' or 'grandpa' sweaters, and I love the way they look on this thick, textured cardigan.  The pockets are lovely too, with a bit of extra detail on them.  They're deep so they might actually be useful!
ETA - modeled photos:

A few more WIPs to finish and then I can cast on a new project.  I have many queued, with the yarn to go with many of them but I'm resisting the temptation to start something new until the lingering things are done:  "Finish what you start" is my current mantra.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

an equation that works

School break + occupied kids (technology, board games, tv) = FINISHED KNITTING!

I should feel badly about the amount of screen time my kids have had this week during our March Break... but I don't.  I realize all the other 'parent of the year contenders' limit screen time, take their kids on outings to busy places like the zoo or the science centre, and plan for activities throughout the break to keep kids active.  I am not that parent.  We are watching movies and sports, playing on our tablets, playing on the X-box, and I am knitting.

As a result, I've finally finished my Bastille Cowl (Babycocktails pattern) that I started in January 2014.  It took a long time because I kept putting it aside, not because the pattern was difficult.  I love the finished scarf - it's soft and pretty and in my favourite colour.

I also finished the Mystery KAL shawl with Never Not Knitting - Four Seasons shawl.  It's heavy and warm, but very pretty.

I also knit a quick gift in an evening - a Cambrian Cowl  for a friend's birthday.

I still have four other WIPs in progress, but think I can finish my Paloma cardigan by the end of the week (just need more yarn to knit the button band, and some buttons).  Feels great to get things done!

Sunday, 13 March 2016

yarn challenge - FO

I finished my project and can now post pictures as the contest is closed.  Tina at Soper Creek Yarn set up the entries in the window for voting and there are lots of unique projects.  I always knit something practical, something I can put in the gift bin when I get it back (or keep for myself).  Others knit (or crochet) all kinds of things:
My hat is at the front of the photo, with the intarsia chevrons.  Others knit toys, blankets, cowls, a shawl, and baby clothing. (photo from Soper Creek Yarn blog).

My hat was my first foray into intarsia, with sections of colour that use 'bobbins' or small amounts of yarn in each spot.  I've done lots of stranded colourwork - carrying the yarn behind when not in use - but never this method.

The hat is a pattern from Knitscene by Teresa Gregorio  called Northern Hat.  I love the back, with its textured pattern:
  I had difficulty with the chevrons.  Specifically, the colour changes happen mid-cable in some spots, which was a bit awkward.  My yarn has a high acrylic content (about 50%) so it was a bit slippery.  I think if I used a pure wool the stitches would have stuck together more and have been easier to change from colour to colour.
I do like the final product.  It's a really slouchy hat, lots of room up top.  I knew that from the photo in the magazine and like the look.  I think it will be a good spring hat, when it's cool enough for a hat but not quite cold enough for wool.

I'm not sure I'm ready for another intarsia project, but I'm glad I tried.  I did this also as part of a KAL with Tin Can Knits  - "New Tricks" - to learn a new skill.  May try another project with less fiddly sections for colour change.  Perhaps the Tin Can Knits Sweetness Cowl with a change mid-row.  Until then, onward with the rest of the WIPs.  Need to "get 'er done!".

Friday, 11 March 2016

In like a lion...

It's early March, a month that started with a snowstorm.  "In like a lion" also means "out like a lamb", I hope.  I'm planning ahead for spring time accessories and found the perfect book for patterns and inspiration:  Botanical Knits by Alana Dakos.  I'm just finishing her "Four Seasons" shawl (the MKAL project) and love the aesthetic of her designs.  I own Coastal Knits and love the designs from both Hannah Fetig and Alana in that book.

Botanical Knits has 4 sweaters and several accessory patterns.  I hope to knit almost all of them (except the socks - I don't knit socks).  I have yarn in my stash that I plan to use for the projects.  Think ahead a couple of months to May, when leaves are on the trees and the snow is gone!
First, sweaters:

Autumn Leaves - knit in a sport-weight alpaca blend, no yarn in my stash yet but I think this might be a good project for early fall next year

Buds and Bloom - a bulky weight sweater jacket, with unique pocket construction, no stashed yarn yet but I'll work on it!

Entangled - a raglan cardigan with pattern in the sleeve, may have yarn but I'll have to swatch with my Heaven's Hand Wool
It may be more appropriate for Twig and Willow, a close-fitting cardigan - the swatch will tell!

More on the accessories (there are 6) in another post!