Knitting Roundup 12-31-17

Well here it is the final day of 2017.  I posted the outcome of my quilting finishes yesterday (abysmal but this year I concentrated more on knitting than on quilting – next year I hope to strike more of a balance).

Knitting projects – well I was very productive and the final stats are as follows:

(click the Tangled Strings button in the right side bar to see photos of all my finished projects for 2017)  Some of my favorites are shown below.

20170616_6I used 26,452 yards of yarn (updated after posting this because I forgot a pair of slippers in the tallies)  That is made up of mostly knitting but it also includes four woven projects I did.  That’s just over 15 miles of yarn.  Last year I used 22,597 yards and completed 40 projects.20170603_5

This year 55 projects were completed that break down as follows:

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Loopy Challenge KAL – Aeque S9-9-17 F9-17-17

12 Shawls, 18 Cowls, 5 pairs Mitts, 10 Hats, 4 sweaters (child size), 1 pair of socks, and four woven scarfs/tablerunners, 1 pair of slippers.

For those familiar with the ESK Candyland Yarnathon – most of my projects knit this year qualified for Yarnathon badges or KALs.  The ones that are colored in (not gray I earned. (And I didn’t know it until the end but I hit a level where I get actual pins (button type pins) with the graphics on each one for each badge I completed).  (I already have a new quilting project planned to make a wallhanging that all these buttons and my TLE buttons/badges will get pinned to.)

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At midnight the new ESK Yarnathon game gets announced.  New teams are assigned, new themes revealed, badges and KAL info, etc.   I do plan to participate but only if an item I want to make fits the criteria and if I plan to make it out of ESK yarn.

I have several sweaters on my list I want to make in 2018 among other things.

Any who knows that The Loopy Ewe will come up with now that the Great Loopy Knitting and Sewing Challenges are ending too.  I finished four knitting challenges and one sewing for that group of projects.

When I started the Yarnathon this year I did not have much of a stash of ESK yarn — I have remedied that and now have choices from both ESK and TLE so of course the plan, as usual, is to curtain yarn shopping.  But I think with the projects I have planned I can stick to it.  I’m not saying I won’t buy any yarn – we all know that won’t happen.  For instance I love doing Camp Loopy and there’s always special yarns for the Yarnathon each year that I might need to get some of but I shall strive to use stash.

So I’m knitting away on my sweater while waiting to see what the new Yarnathon will bring.

I also plan to join in Fogbound Knits (Laura Aylor) January shawl KAL which lasts through the end of February.  This month’s shawl pattern (by popular vote) is Touchstone.  I have already made two – both of which I love – one in worsted weight and one in DK so I think I’ll make a new one in fingering weight.  I’m just waiting for some Miss Babs I ordered during the gratitude sale to arrive to make a final decision on what yarn I want to use.  You can get all the info about the KAL at the link above and if you finish the project you get a choice of free pattern.  I love the shape of this shawl- although I wear it more as a scarf I guess I’d say (on top of the shoulder not wrapped around the sides of my shoulders) scarf.  With its elongated shape it stays in place nicely.  It’s a super easy knit  and plays so nicely with variegated yarns and I love the eyelet lace parts in it – definitely a tv watching easy project –  have I talked you into needing to cast on your own Touchstone yet? 🙂  Seriously I love everything about this pattern.

Okay – enough about yarn – I need to go start clearing a path into my sewing room – wish me luck as I try to find the table that is buried under much stuff.

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Quilty Finishes and Ideas for Quilty Starts?

Well I just added this wall hanging to the page in the sidebar that says 2017 was to be the year of quilty finishes.  Well – I didn’t say how many finishes – but I thought it would be more than I had gotten finished.  Oh well, there’s always next year.  The ESK Yarnathon consumed a lot of my free time with knitting this year and although I’m sure I’ll still do some Yarnathon projects next year, I plan to spend more time quilting.

I’m hoping to be ambitious enough tomorrow to clean the sewing room so on New Year’s Day I can hopefully finish off the quilting on one of the wedding quilts that needs to be completed.  That would be a great way to start off the new year.

Here’s the one I finally, after about two months of procrastination, finally hand stitched the binding down on today.  Good thing since it’s for the Great Loopy Sewing Challenge and all entries are due the end of this month.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

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The pattern is That Cat Halloween Quilt from McCall’s Quick Quilts website.

As for new projects in 2017 – well I need to continue with wedding quilts for the nieces and now a nephew is going to be getting married next year so they are keeping me busy.  But I do have thoughts about doing a QAL project in the new year but right now it is only “thoughts” since I can’t decide – row by row quilt? sampler style with variable size blocks? should it have a theme?  or just a mix of blocks I like? so many decisions to make and at the moment nothing is jumping out at me and saying “do this!”

And while I’m cleaning up this tomorrow – moving fabric about etc – maybe some inspiration will strike for a new quilt design.  Or maybe I’ll just be swearing about what a mess I’ve made of that room – I’d show you a before photo but it’s simply too scarey. 🙂

Christmas Day – 2017

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Merry Christmas.    I put up the little tree yesterday.  I usually buy two or three new ornaments every year to add to my collection of European Glass type ornaments.  This year four new ones were added (well it was a good sale after all!) – the mouse is probably my favorite – holding little red berries.   The other three are just a bit too large for the little tree so they are sitting in the shelving containing my needle holder and thimble holder collection which also has a few other little decorations too.   The fat bunny rabbit (top right photo) and the scissors and Brussel sprout (bottom right.  Yes – everyone should have a Brussel sprout for their tree!

And it ended up being a white Christmas.  If it weren’t so cold, the sun would have melted this snow already but the cold wave has arrived so it’s only single digits outside.

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Yesterday I spent most of the day knitting and am up to the armholes on this sweater I started Friday nite.

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There was more to this blog post but WordPress seems to be having issues today and deleted it – so I’ll take that as a hint and get off the computer and move on to other things.

 

Knitting Notes-December 24, 2017

 

This is my second Touchstone which I finally blocked this past week and got final photos of.  The yarn is BMFA Broody Bantam.   It looks like the Fogbound Knits January Shawl KAL will be Touchstone (at least that’s what the voting on pattern looks like at the moment) and if chosen I will likely be making a third one.  This is my favorite shape of shawl/scarf to wear.  This was also the last of my Great Loopy Knitting Challenges to finish so done with my Knitting Challenges and also done with my Yarnathon projects.   I still need to add some final knitting photos to my knitting page and tally up the rest of the yarn used so at this year but I knit more yardage than last year and that was my goal.

Since I had finished the knitting I had planned to finish by the end of the year, and I’ve been diligently slogging along on my silky fingering weight sweater (which is a spring/summer sort of sweater), I decided to cast on a new winter wear sweater.  Oh how much faster a sweater moves along when in worsted weight than single ply fingering!  I’m making a CustomFit version of Burnish.  I like the simple eyelet design up the front and the twisted rib.  Progress so far

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The yarn is Cascade 220 in Irelande – even tho it does not say its one of their heathered yarns, it definitely has a heathered look to it.  And green being my favorite color – well it’s perfect.

Check out the new stitch markers I recently got from WineMakersister’s Etsy shop.  I have several other sets from her – all lovely and wonderful to use.  I got some silver snowflakes andalso got these glass peppermint candies.  They are so cute!

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Also finally snapped a photo of the simple slippers I had made for me when I put them on this morning.  Double stranded worsted yarn so I hope they will not wear through quickly.  But they are cozy warm as I sit here in my jammies.

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I pulled out all the holiday movies when I pulled out my little Christmas Tree to up yesterday so I think I shall refill my coffee cup, put one of those movies in an knit for a while.  Then I think I’ll be off into the sewing room to start clearing away the disasterous messy state I have let that room fall into.  I’d like to quilt on a quilt tomorrow if I can find the table and get things tidy in there!  Could need a Christmas Miracle!

 

 

Sunday stuff….

I have worked on several cleaning/organizing projects today and when I look around me in the living room it looks like I haven’t cleaned anything at all.  🙂   But I really did make some headway and having blocking mats on the living room floor with a project blocking doesn’t tend to make things look tidy.

One of those weird tasks I did today – gleening the socks.   It was the day to wash a load of hand knit socks (which I only do when I have nearly run out – I can go nearly a month) and I’ve gotten lazy.  I used to hang them over a wooden rack to dry – more often than not I toss them in the dryer now on lower heat.

ain.JPG I have had a pair or two that have felted a bit or shrunk a little but so far I think it’s been a good trade off.  I’m allergic to so many things and have discovered the smell of wet wool is one of those things that makes me sneeze.  (Let’s hope I never get lost in a flock of sheep during a rainstorm!)  But some of the socks got fuzzy or had pills and I remembered the gleener I had gotten a while back.

Worked perfect – my socks are fuzz free.  And did a couple sweaters too.

I was going to get out the little Christmas Tree and put it up but I haven’t gotten to clean that area where it will go and I need to drag out the big Christmas tub to find what I need – I ran out of steam today with all the other chores I did get done.

When I finished the fingerless mitts, I finished the last ESK Yarnathon project I plan to finish before the end of the year.  And with my shawl currently on the blocking matts right now, that’s the last TLE Challenge project I needed to get photos of before the end of the year.    So the question is – now what to knit on???  Okay I know there’s lots of projects in the works to pick back up and that’s what I’ve been doing the last couple of days but a couple of them are too large or too involved to use for my bus knitting so I need to figure out what my bus knitting project will be.     One of the things cluttering the living room is the big basket of knitting projects that have gotten all jumbled up so  guess I’ll go untangle projects and decide which one to work on tonight.

But I’ll leave you with some lovely yarn images – I’m still debating which set to use for the Gardens of Giverny stole.  It will all depend on how long I want to make it in the end but I will likely be using one of these

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And a cute little bag I won from That Clever Clementine thru the last test knit I did for Fogbound Knits.   It’s one of her Snapdragon bags (which snap shut without closures) and  will be perfect for my sunglasses that do not fit into a normal glass case.20171217_5

 

 

More Knitting Finishes

Just a quick post to show the knitted items I’ve finished off since the last knitting update.

Several pairs of fingerless mitts were finished – this pair is for me (so I can knit on the bus but still keep my hands a bit warm on those cold winter days that are sure to come). The following three pairs after that are gifts for friends.

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Cozy Fingerless Gloves4 S12-9-17 F 12-14-17

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Cozyfingerlessgloves2 S12-03-17 F12-04-17

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Cozy Fingerless Gloves3 S12-6-17 12-7-17

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Cozyfingerlessgloves1 S12-03-17 F12-04-17

And I finished my TLE Showstopper Challenge – the pooled project I steeked into a scarf and then added crocheted edging to — I absolutely love how this pooled and the colors of this yarn – these photos are all true to color today – must have taken them at the right time of day.

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Pooled Steeked scarf for TLE Showstopper Challenge

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I’ve added all these to the finished knits page in the sidebar and so far I have finished over 50 yarny projects this year and knit over 25,000 yards.  Aha and I spy, siting on the couch, one more project that hasn’t been added to that list that I hope to get on the blocking mats tomorrow.  I have several smaller works in progress that I’m hoping to get finished up before the end of the year.  We shall see!

Steeking! and Snow Birds Revisited

For those of you who don’t know – steeking a knitting project is knitting something and then cutting it apart.  A scarey thing!  If it doesn’t work right you can ruin the whole project.  For one of my Loopy Great Knitting Challenge projects – my Showstopper Challenge – I decided I wanted to knit a pooling scarf.  Using what I learned from the DaVinci Cowl pattern, I made a huge loop of a cowl knit in the round.   This was it in progress.

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Here it is when off the needles – it immediately curled into a tube.  It’s all stockinette stitch with no edging on it.  After steeking I planned to add some edging stitches.

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So after setting it aside for a while I finally decided last night was the night to figure out the steek and get it done.   Isn’t this gorgeous Wollmeise yarn – I just love the colors in it.

So I basically followed the steeking instructions from this Tin Can Knits blog post.  Very clear instructions and great photo tutorial.

Got the two columns crocheted, grabbed my scissors and snip….snip…. snip…. and it wasn’t so scary after all.

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I started adding the edging last night.  I decided to crochet the edging so in the photo above – the lower edge has a row of single crochets worked in each edge stitch and then a row of double crochet.  I’m in the process of adding the same two rows along the top edge and then will decide if want to make it wider or not.   I may also add some fringe along the short ends.    The upper left edge of the scarf shows the wrong side and you can see a bit of a hem along the short edge where the steek is whip stitched to the back of the scarf.   It takes a long time to add the edging – there’s a whole lot of stitches along the length but it’s easy crocheting.

I also finished another pair of fingerless mitts.  I really like Malabrigo Chunky yarn and this Milonga colorway is probably my most favorite.  I made a prior hat for my great niece out of this yarn previously and now these mitts — both projects gifts so I may need to get more so I can make myself something from it.

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These are the same as the other pairs I’ve been working on – from the free pattern Cozy Fingerless Gloves.   I also have a red pair that I just need to seam and cast on another pair last night – I think having a few of these in the “gift closet” for last minute giving is a great idea so pulled out this yarn – another gorgeous colorway.

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And did you notice there is the slightest dusting of snow in the last two photos — while the southern part of the country got freaky snowfalls,  this is all the snow we got yesterday.  It’s pretty much all gone today but I’m not complaining.  Hmmm.. just noticed my birdhouse appears to have been the victim of an earthquake (okay the very high winds or squirrel messing with it) so I need to go out and tighten that up in the fence.

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The year is winding to a close so I need to finish off all those projects for the various Loopy Challenges and ESK Yarnathon to get them submitted.

I also was busy working on a quilt design for Hoffman Fabrics.  One of my favorite “retired” designs – Snow Birds  (shown below) – is going to make a new appearance next year updated with some brand new fabrics (the image below is from 2013) so I spent some time this weekend playing with the fabric images to update this design.

winterwishes - snow bird

I have a version of this design on my living room wall (non holiday fabrics) and have been wanting to make a holiday fabric version so perhaps this might make a good QAL project for next year.

 

 

 

 

More finished projects – count down to end of year

More projects off the needles this week.   Between the ESK Yarnathon, Great Loopy Knitting and Sewing Challenges, and Indie GAL that all end the end of this month, I’m trying to figure out what projects I truly want (and have time to finish) and what needs to have the finishing details done (block and photographing, binding one, etc.)

The two finishes this weekend were both projects for the Indie GAL.  I got two project finished which was one more than I originally thought I’d do.

My DaVinci cowl is finished.  This is the 8th one I’ve made and I love all of them.  If you like color pooling, I highly recommend the pattern.  It’s so fun to see how a specific yarn looks when forced to pool.

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and rearranged to move the blue at the edges to the center it looks like

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It goes well with my dark gray coat it is photographed on top of.  Then I also made a pair of matching mitts from the left over yarn.  The yarn was held doubled.  I like the contrast between pooled in the cowl and nonpooled in the mitts.

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Robin Pattern Mitts S12-1-17 F 12-2-17

The Robin-23 mitts pattern is a really easy one – bulky yarn (or worsted doubled in this case), mock cables, seamed and just a slit-type opening for the thumbs.  I made the cuffs a bit longer.

Then I realized I haven’t gotten the ESK “Give Yourself A Hand” badge which is for mitts or mittens. These don’t use enough yardage on their own but I can make another pair (I actually want to make two pairs for gifts so it works out well) in some bulky yarn I got and all together they will qualify for the badge.  The next mitts I want to make are Cozy Fingerless Mitts – these would be great for a beginner knitter since it’s just a garter rectangle that is seamed and really quick to make.  I plan to cast on a few more stitches to make them a bit longer.

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Also finished off the toe last night on this helical striped sock with mock cable cuff.  This pair is for an ESK badge too but I don’t know that I’ll get the second one done before the end of the month.

I finished a total of six hats for the ESK FKAL Mad Hatter Dash.  (The color work one I started didn’t get finished yet) and this Toph hat was the last one I finished.  It fits perfectly and I love how this turned out.  I’m actually keeping it for myself I think even though I hate wearing hats.  Such a fun knit – I can see making more of these in my future.

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Toph S11-15-17 – F11-28-17

And my ESK and TLE Black Friday purchases have arrived