Stained Glass Cowl preparations

Be sure to check out the link up and share the yarn you’ll be using for your Stained Glass Cowl – you can find the link on Judy’s blog post here , where she is still undecided as to what yarn she will use.ūüôā

***IMPORTANT*** The “Chart Key” for the color work charts is REVERSED.¬†I thought it looked wrong and checked the¬†comments on Ravelry.¬†¬†The designer¬†¬†did say a revision was going to be released but apparently that hasn’t happened yet.¬† So¬†on the chart key the “black” square symbol is your background color (black¬†or whatever solid looking color) and the “blank” square is your “pretty” color.

I will be using these.  Both are Wollmeise Pure . The dark bluey/almost black  (my background) is Admiral.20160811_5

My foreground is Sultan.¬†¬† Last night I was bored with my sweater and I thought I’d try the provisional cast on just to see if I could do it without twisting.¬† The needles I found that were the correct size were only 24″ long.¬†¬† There’s a reason the designer suggested a longer needle size. LOL¬† ¬†I did get all the stitches on a 24″needle but they would have been packed on too tightly to really want to knit the whole cowl on.¬†¬†¬† I thought I had ordered needles long ago but all the newest ones I had gotten were still in my basket and no size 3 mm.¬† So I ordered two new needles so I’ll be all ready.¬†¬†¬†¬† I also ordered….stitchmarkers.jpg

….well may times I don’t bother with stitch markers and “live dangerously” but not this time.¬† With as many stitches on the needles as there will be I will be using stitch markers to mark each pattern repeat.¬† I’d much rather realize I had run amok within one repeat rather than when I get to the end of around and my pattern is off.

I had gathered up all my stitch markers when I did my test run of the provisional cast on¬† and had about four different kinds I used in order to get enough of them.¬† However, over time I have decided that I like a particular kind of stitch marker.¬† I don’t really like the dangly down ones (although I bought many lovely glass ones before I realized that).¬† Those particular ones are on a very thin plasticy kind of thread and it’s too easy for me to knit them right in to my work without realizing I’ve just gone past a marker.¬† But TLE just got in the Knitifacts Ringlets I love so I’ve stocked up on those as well.

Oh, and this morning while I was cleaning out a drawer, I found the wrapper for a pair of 3mm¬† 32″ needles — I knew I had bought some!¬† Oh well – I need at least two sets so I’ll put the ones I ordered to good use.

As for my first provisional cast on — there are links at the end of the pattern to two different kinds and I have used both in the past and I think it’s just a matter of personal preference.¬† My general cast on for pretty much everything¬†I don’t use a tubular cast on for is a long tail cast on.¬† I hadn’t done a crocheted one in a while so that was the one I tested the shorter needles with – and it was fine.¬†¬† But I know from past experience that I can do the long-tail provisional cast on more quickly and easily and its easier for me to tell if it’s twisted or not before joining.¬† Again – just my personal preference.¬† Using a longer needle also helps when you are joining in the round – you can spread out your stitches more and see if they are twisted or not – when I had them scrunched up on that small needle it was impossible to tell.

I am looking forward to starting this project and using my favorite way to do stranded knitting without floats across the back.¬†¬† I learned watching this video on The Philosopher’s Wool website.¬† I’ve posted¬†the¬†link¬†before but it totally changed my dislike of color work to loving to do it.¬† And being able to knit it with one color in each hand keeps things from getting tangled.¬†¬† I used this method to make this cowl.

cowl_mediumI have to laugh when I rewatched the video and she’s showing right-handed knitters how their left finger might not want to cooperate at first.¬† Mine was definitely like that but just a little concentrated practice and I corrected that.

Okay – enough rambling about this project for today – I have a quilt binding I have to finish on my last Camp Loopy project before I run out of time.¬† The end of the month, and end of this year’s Camp Loopy, is fast approaching.

On the Needles – August 26, 2016

I’ve been working on several projects this week.¬† I’m knitting on my Staring at Stars but had a set back.¬† As I was sliding stitches along my needles I didn’t notice that I was sliding some yarn overs to the wrong side of a stitch marker.¬† In the end it meant the neat little double set of eyelet rows that goes down the side area of the sweater were sort of zig zaging back and forth rather than making a nice line.¬† It bugged me.

20160826_4

Nearly that whole ball of yarn – okay maybe only¬†more than half that ball of yarn – ¬†in the photo was already knit so a few inches backwards but I’ve fixed my problem and am moving along again.¬† This was getting a bit large to tote with me for bus knitting so I’ve also been adding a few more sections to my second Summer Camp.

20160826_3

There will definitely be an influx of yarn in the next few days.¬† The sale yarn I order from Craftsy should be arriving and I ordered yarn for Counter Current, Laura Aylor’s Summer’s End Mystery KAL shawl.¬† It’s another shawl designed for a gradient set, and I so enjoyed making last year’s gradient MKAL.¬† Don’t know that I’ll get started on it September 1 — I ended up ordering more yarn than the pattern called for to get the¬†correct yardage for each color¬†since I was ordering gradient sets from a place other than where specific sets were on sale for the pattern, so I may wait until after it is revealed to decide if it’s something I can make a bit larger and use more of my yarn.

marinatedyarns_smooth_sailing_gradient_mediumThese are from Marinated Yarns – someone I haven’t purchased from before but that has lovely colors I’ve admired, so decided to give this set a try – it’s called Smooth Sailing.

Speaking of September 1 – don’t forget Judy and I are starting the Stained Glass Cowl KAL that day.¬† Click the image of the cowl in the sidebar and it will take you to a page where I have links to the past blog posts on Judy’s blog and mine where we talk about this KAL.

Judy will be posting a link up button on her blog tomorrow so all those participating can share photos of the yarn they will be using.¬† That way we’ll also know who is going to be knitting along with us on this project.¬† You can check out her post about the KAL from today here.

Hmmm… who picked a September 1 start date anyway??¬† That’s a Thursday … I’ll be at work and Judy can tell her hubby to eat out for lunch while she happily knits away — no fair!¬† :-)¬† Okay – I can’t blame her for picking the date and really I’m just kidding — this is a low key, no rush, knit at your own pace KAL.¬† It’s just always fun when people KAL on the same project and you see all the different results with all the different yarns and colors people use so I hope you’ll join us.

 

 

My Nemesis – Windows 10

Windows 10 is messing with me again.¬† When I got the initial update a year or so ago, it didn’t go as smoothly as for others.¬† It refused to recognize my original login as being an administrator and totally messed up my EQ program.¬† The good people at Electric Quilt got me back in business.

Sooo….. when the most recent major update downloaded over the weekend¬†– yep once it finished which took ages (or much longer than I was wanting at least) – once again my EQ wouldn’t open but at least this time I knew what to do to fix it – deactivate and totally uninstall and reinstall.¬† That actually goes very quickly and I was keeping my fingers cross.

It worked – so just to celebrate that I was back in business I pulled up an old design to play with.¬† It’s not finished, but I really like the secondary design that the corners of the block makes – the gold and light blue diamond shapes.

QM - 1

So just a little eye candy for you today.

 

Craftsy Sale

Craftsy is having sale  Рwhich is only good today and tomorrow Рfor your choice of one class at 50% off.

I opted for another free motion quilting class because there are  always fun tips to pick up.  I really like the format on Craftsy since I can actually seeing someone as they stitch various designs Рhow they move the fabric, where they are aligning things, etc Рthe visuals that I can replay really helps me to be able to accomplish them myself.

So this is just a heads up on the sale – you need to go to Craftsy.com,¬†¬† click the tab at the top for the Craftsy “BLOG”, and then scroll down to the fourth blog post (or at least as of my writing this it was the 4th blog post – it may be farther down if they add more) and on the blog post announce the sale you will find a link to click which will bring up¬† the classes and show you the sales price.¬† The only way to get the sale is for each person to go to the blog and click that link.

No affiliation – I just like the Craftsy classes.ūüôā

Stained Glass Cowl KAL – 9-1-16

20160502_6Remember this KAL starts 0n 9/1/16 if you want to join Judy and I in making this cowl.

I’ve gotten several emails asking about what kind of yarn to use, long color change versus short color change, where to buy it, etc.¬†¬†I can tell you what yarn I’m using and why, and why a couple of the yarns I was considering in my stash I put aside because I didn’t think they would work well, but I can only comment on yarns that I’ve had personal experience making.¬† I hate making specific suggestions to anyone else for what they should use because my yarn choices are based on my specific likes — which might not be the same as anyone else’s.

Now that being said, the first thing I do when trying to decide on yarn for a project is read what the pattern designer says on the Rav pattern page and in the pattern.¬† In this the pattern calls for¬†two colors of a ¬†smooth fingering weight yarn that contrasts well with each other.¬† Smooth — well that’s pretty self explanatory — if¬† were a yarn with mohair or other fuzzy texture to it, or a yarn that’s thick and thin, it would distort the colorwork.¬†The designer used Wollmeise.¬†¬† Then I check the project pages on Rav and see what others have used.¬† In this case all the projects listed have used/are using Wollmeise.

20160811_5These are what I plan to use.¬† Good contrast between multicolored and background.¬† I’ve knit with Wollmeise before – it’s definitely a nice smooth yarn.¬† It also has longer yardage put ups so two hanks of each color gets me my required yardage.

 

As I was looking at my Wollmeise, I took this photo below.  While the colors look pretty together, there would be places where I would loose the look of the color work because the multicolor stitches would blend right into the background if I chose any of the solid color yarns shown.

DSCN5105

As I was looking through the stash, I was checking out the other color change type yarns I have because I decided I wanted to use a color change yarn to give me a similar effect as on the pattern photo (although there is a very stunning two solid color version on Ravelry that  had me thinking about solids also).

DSCN5112

The red ball middle left, the blue/green behind it and the rainbow to the right of the blue green — those I decided I wouldn’t used (they are¬† Zauberball¬†Sock¬†or made similar to that) and this is only my person opinion but I don’t like that yarn for socks (it seems too thin to me) and I also thought it was too thin for this project.¬† The “Lang” labeled one is also similar to Zauberball and a bit thinner strand than I want for this project.

Rounder/plumper/smoother yarn will make the color work fill in and look more even I think.¬† The other yarns had possibilities but I’m either using them in other projects or didn’t have enough.¬† I will say in general that¬†Mini Mochi (the one where you can see the “mochi label and the rainbow one to its right) is one of my favorite color change yarns¬† that I’ve used in several projects.¬†¬†The Poem Socks – ball at right with black band – is a longer color change yarn that I can get locally but again, it’s thinner so I would probably not use it for this project.

Of course it doesn’t have to be a long color change yarn – I was looking through my Rav stash to see what else I thought might work — these are possibilities – I really have no idea how they would end up looking in the cowl but I think¬† (1) the top row – those are are really short color changes so my gut instinct is that it might make the design look too busy but then again – I wouldn’t really know unless I swatched them.¬† Maybe it would make it look blendy but if the background is a good contrast that could look nice.¬†¬†¬† I think the bottom row would play along nicely in this design but again – that’s only a guess.

Then there are also gradient yarns¬† – I think those would look nice in this pattern with the color slowly changing it’s shading.¬†¬† As to where to buy – that’s up to you.¬† I generally buy on line because although there are yarn stores in the City or nearby outside the City – they are most definitely not on my bus route so I shop on line.¬† The yarn photos from my stash are probably all from The Loopy Ewe (and they are the only source for Wollmeise in the US) and where most of my yarn comes from.¬† I also order from Eat.Sleep.Knit and the Mini Mochi I normally get from Simply Socks Yarn Company.¬† Fiber Wild, Webs and Jimmy Bean Wool are other shops that I have good luck finding what I want.

All this is a very long way of saying – find something you love to make it in, you may need to swatch or just jump in and take the chance that it will look the way you want – I have no magic way of telling you what will work and what won’t, but in my past experience, if its a project that doesn’t turn out exactly as I envisioned, there’s always someone in the family who falls in love with it and wants it, so it’s a winner¬†in the end.

Yarn and Yarn and Yarn… on the needles

Less than a week ago (okay a week ago tomorrow – so not a whole lot less)¬†in my last blog post I¬†posted my “giant swatch” (a/k/a the sweater front that is going to be too big so it needs to be ripped back) and that I was going to use that yarn for.¬† Well I haven’t ripped that part out but instead grabbed a different ball of that yarn to start on my Staring at Stars sweater.¬† I made great progress through the week and am now an inch or two below the sleeve split. 20160820_1I must say that since I’m used to knitting my sweaters in pieces and seaming that it really seems a long slog across those rows of the entire body as one but it certainly makes for very simple knitting so far.

I also have added a few rows to my Surf and Sand Tesserino Cowl.20160820_2

I’m probably about half way completed.

And, since I couldn’t work on my sweater yesterday riding the bus (since I was at the sleeve splitting portion and putting stitches on waste yarn while bumping along on the bus is not a great plan), I pulled out my second Summer Camp and now have another section or two completed.

20160820_5

And then there was an influx of yarn – yep I really needed this.¬† I fell in love with the colorful Love is Love mini skeins at TLE.¬† They actually had a scarf kit that included them with some additional “background yarn for the scarf but those sold out quick as¬†a wink.¬† But I was mostly interested in the mini group so could still get those.¬† I also got some Mad Tosh and as you can see the speckles in it will go quite well with the bright colored yarns so am working on my plan as to what they want to be.

20160820_7

 

and….I just happened to be looking at Craftsy last night to see what was new and they are having a “Black Friday Sale.”¬† All kinds of kits and supplies on sale.¬† Well I had to look because sometimes the bargains are too good to pass up.¬† If there’s fabric used in a kit and I really like the fabric¬†but I don’t like the pattern, I sometimes still get it to use the fabric for what I want, not the pattern that comes in the kit.¬† Many times they will have backing fabric in 7 or 8 yard pieces and the sale price works out to $5.00/yd — that’s a bargain.¬† I also look for the discounted Aurifil thread sets.¬†¬† And yarn – well you know I have to see if there is a bargain there.

So….yes I have an order coming from Craftsy.¬† On my list of “want to make” CF patterns is Oak Knoll vest – I like the relaxed look of it and the rolled front treatment and I want it in a very neutral color similar to that pattern.¬† Well I found on sale at Craftsy

doeskin heather cascade 220 sport

Cascade 220 Sport (not superwash) in this lovely Doeskin Heather color which I think will be perfect and at 45% off that makes for a really inexpensive project.

Although I love my wooly yarns and wooly blends, there are a couple acrylic yarns and acrylic blends that are very nice to knit with (not the acrylic I used to knit slippers and mittens out of when I was young that squeeked). :-)¬† I haven’t tried Cascade Cherub DK but I bought a bunch of that in this lovely geranium color.

cascade cherub dkDepending on what and who I’m knitting for – sometimes I¬†need something that can just be tossed in the washer and dryer rather than hand washing and air drying — especially with baby/kids stuff.¬† And at $1.65 a ball, it’s definitely worth trying.

I did also get a fabric kit because I specifically wanted the fabric (not the quilt pattern) to go with a project I’m working on but I’ll save that for the next quilty update.

Now to go check out some recipies and see what to do for dinner – I have some Three Cheese Asparagus ravioli – the pasta is spinach and then stuffed with the asparagus/cheese.¬† So I need to decide if I’m going to put some sort of sauce on it or maybe just¬† tossed in olive oil and parmesan cheese.¬† I may need to go start some homemade French bread to go with it! Yum.

Huge swatch?

Is it a swatch? Or is it part of an A-line sweater I’ve been working on?¬† Well, it might as well be a swatch because as I’ve been knitting the last 2 or three inches I’ve been thinking – hmmm this looks awfully long and a bit too wide. A-line is one thing but swimming in stockinette is another…

rip

well I wouldn’t exactly be swimming but I’ve decided it definitely has more ease at the bottom than I need.¬†¬† But, more importantly, the day I did the measurements for this one I must have¬† got a bit carried away with how long I wanted it too.¬† I’m not to the armholes yet – have a couple more inches to go – and it’s already longer than I think I will like.¬† So, I’ll be doing some tweaking to my Customfit measurement set for A-lines since I want A-line, but not swingy extra fabric around the bottom.¬†¬† So you know what that means – all that lovely knitting will get ripped back.

It all works out okay tho (at least that’s what I’ll be telling myself as I rip all that back) because I decided I wanted the A-line sweater in a lighter weight yarn (fingering – so even more stitches to be knitting in stockinette) and this yarn – Classic Elite Soft Linen (DK) will be used to make Staring at the Stars.

20160814_1.JPG

I got the pattern back in June when it was original released and keep going back and forth as to just use the design at the bottom of the sweater on a CF version or make it as is.¬† Top down raglan sweaters usually don’t work for me but in looking at the various measurements/sizing on this one, it may work out okay and there are some little design elements in the raglan that I like which I wouldn’t be able to¬†duplicate in CF.

I usually have a hard time matching someone else’s gauge (which is why I prefer CustomFit) but I did get gauge on the needle size in the pattern so I’m taking that as a good omen.¬† It knits up¬†more open than the “giant swatch” (f/k/a a sweater front) above¬†which was¬†done¬†with needles two sizes smaller – but I like the feel of the swatch and it should have a nice drape so time¬†will tell if it will work out.¬† But, nothing ventured nothing gained and it’s just yarn.

 

 

Where did Saturday go?

It’s just after 6 p.m. and I can’t believe it’s that late in the day already.¬† I think I may need to call the pizza people to bring me dinner since I clearly didn’t plan ahead.

I did finish today the quilting on my Camp Loopy project 3 quilt.¬† The binding is attached and clipped in place so I can hand sew that down tonight.¬† I actually pulled out a second quilt top to layer so I would have it ready to quilt (I’m in a machine quilting mood) but found the perfect fabric for the backing and simply had to order it.

I also figured out what my TLE August Mixer projects will be.¬† For August, both knitting and sewing projects are to be “Olympic-related” or “use the colors of the Rio countryside.”

When I ordered my backing fabric (mentioned above – which by the way is Crayola printed fabric – white background with crayons all over – for my Coloring Outside the Lines crayon quilt), I also ordered three fabrics that will represent my Rio countryside colors.

I cannot find back the photo which originally made me pick my Rio inspiration colors – it was of the city and a shot with lovely blue sky and water and a whole cluster of buildings with terra cotta colored roofs.¬†¬† umbrellas - fabricThis photo sort of shows those same colors – tho the umbrellas a more red but it’s just “color inspiration” after all.¬†Here’s the fabrics I ordered.augustmixerfab

 

 

I haven’t decided exactly what I’ll make with them – and I want to see the print in person and decide what other colors I want to bring into the project – but this will be my starting place.

For the knitting project – there was a cowl pattern I had started that was perfect and since I started the cowl putting the colors in the reverse order I really wanted them, I ripped it back (okay I cut the yarn since I wasn’t very far into it and just restarted since I didn’t want to untangle it as I ripped back the two colors).¬† Anyway, when I saw the Tesserino Cowl¬†it reminded me of a photo of¬† Copa Cabana Beach where Olympic volleyball was taking place. Here’s the photo of the beach – does the rock area this side of the sand remind you of anything – like maybe the cowl design….

cowl -rio inspiration photo

and here’s my restart on this cowl last night.

20160813_2

 

 

 

Today’s progress

A bit of knitting, a bit of sewing, a bit of laundry¬† – but I don’t plan to overdo the cleaning today since it is my last day of vacation.ūüôā

First the knitting – hot off the needles is my Camp Loopy 3 project – Endless Road.¬† I’ve got somewhere between 1,100 and 1,200 yards in it.¬† Those last rows and bind off did seem endless let me tell you.¬† My photos don’t do it justice.¬† It’s overcast outside by weirdly bright and glarey so I need to try to get some better photos on another day.¬† But here it is

20160812_8It’s a nice big wrap.

20160812_10So all my camp knitting projects are finished.

In the meantime, last night I cast on my second Summer Camp shawl¬† – for me these are more “scarfs” than shawl size but will be so cozy wrapped around the neck come weather that is not like a sauna outside – not that I’m wishing away the summer weather – just the humidity.

Anyway, here’s how the start of Summer Camp is looking.

 

20160812_4

 

The green in the solid is a really good match for one of the greens in the multicolored and I’m really liking how these two yarns are playing together — but then since I love green, how could I not love it.¬† I had originally intended to put this one away as a gift but I may be rethinking that idea because this one may need to stay with me.

 

I’ve also been busy this afternoon working on my final Camp Loopy sewing project.

Got the quilt layered and now have all the sashing quilted and a couple of the blocks.

20160812_14I had this great backing fabric in the stash.¬† It is actually a wider than normal fabric –one of those that appears at the holidays for making table cloths hence the 60″ width.¬† It is also a much better quality than many of those table cloth width fabrics are so I bought a bunch of it several years ago at the end of the season sale when it was really inexpensive.¬† It was perfect for backing of this project since it was about 4″ wider than my quilt top so no seaming involved.¬† Gotta love that when it happens.

Had to stop and wind another bobbin but I was checking out the back and was admiring the stitches — not that they are perfect – I was doing free motion straight lines and they have a bit of a wobble here and here but I’m okay with that.¬† I didn’t want to turn all those corners using the walking foot – so opted for free motion.¬† But the actual stitches – my old machine that I quilted on always had tension issues so I was constantly battling either the top thread popping through to the bottom or vice versa.¬† I’m using a cream colored thread on the backing to match the fabric but most of the stitching in the photo above is done with a dark green thread for the top.¬† Not a hint of that thread popping thru to the bottom and not a hint of the cream coming thru to the top.¬† I’ve never had to adjust the tension of this machine since I¬†ordered it¬†in February 2014.¬† Best purchase I ever made and definitely time to stop starting new projects and concentrate on getting the huge pile of tops waiting to be quilted done.¬† (okay – maybe not start as many new projects since you know starting none will never happen)

Okay – coffee break over and time to get back to bobbin winding.

 

 

A basket full of yarn

20160811_1On the agenda for today was cleaning up the sewing room so once my batting arrived from Amazon today, I would have space to layer my Camp Loopy quilt.

Well I did do that but among the mess in that room were some tubs of yarn I had pulled out.¬† Since I was going to look for some yarn for a project, I decided to gather all the yarn I have stuffed in baskets and bags and places in the living room where it got stowed, and put it in the actual storage tubs and tidy the works in progress since I had knocked over that basket.¬† Well it’s after 6 p.m. and all yarn carefully stowed where it should be, WIPs are in bags in a basket and things are much more orderly.¬† The batting has also just arrived so don’t know that I’ll start layering the quilt tonight.

But – I have planned out my next couple of knitting projects (I’m nearly finished with my over 800 yard final Camp Loopy knitting project) and since I was digging through yarn, pulled what I needed and spent a good amount of time getting most of it wound.

First things first – for those joining Judy and I as we do a KAL for Stained Glass Cowl starting September 1, check out Judy’s latest post which shows some of the yarn/colors she’s considering here.¬† At the bottom of that basket in the photo above are my choices for the yarn I will be using.¬† Both colors are Wollmeise Pure and the multicolored is called Sultan and the navy is Admiral.¬† Here’s what it looks like caked versus in the hank.

20160811_5The interesting thing is the Admiral Рespecially in the hank Рshows two distinct shades of navy Рone darker than the other.  The flash enhances that because to the naked eye, it looks pretty much one color.  I had to look very closely to see there was more than one shade of blue so it will be interesting to see how that looks knit up.

Now I just need to find where I put the new needle I bought for this and see how many stitch markers I have free to gather for this project.

In the front of the basket photo are these two cakes of yarn.

20160811_11I’m going to make another Summer Camp shawl – it’s such a fun and so easy pattern and I may need to have an extra on hand for last might gift giving – tho green is one of my favorite colors so this one may be mine as well! :-)¬† I went¬† stash diving for these.¬† The multicolor is Mountain Colors Bearfoot yarn and the color is Blooming Gale.¬† That one came from TLE¬† 4 or 5 years ago – they don’t carry that line anymore.¬† The green is “sprout” and is¬† Shalimar Zoe Sock – that’s been around a while too but not sure where it came from.

 

Also in the top of the basket are several smaller cakes of yarn – which might remind you of watermelon colors. :-)¬† The ones in the plastic bags are additional shades to go with the ones I have wound.¬†¬† I’m going to make Night Market by Laura Aylor and stripe it so it looks like watermelon slices with seeds.

I also have a couple sweaters in the works I keep picking up and putting down in between the other projects.  These projects should all help keep me out of trouble after Camp Loopy ends and I have more waiting in the wings since I bagged up groups of yarn for specific projects once these are finished.