On the Needles – 12/27/13

20131227_4  We’ll I’m ending the year working on something I started at the very beginning of the year — here is my Greta so far.  A few inches have been added since pulling it out of hibernation on Christmas Day.  The blue marker is about where it was when I picked it back up and tried it on – that was about waist length.  That’s also where I decided  add an increase row.  It’s supposed to be drapey and I think this yarn will with the alpaca in it but I’m hoping it’s not too straight down the back because I am certainly not.  I added a row of spaced increases and then knit about 2 inches and added another.  Was it a good addition or bad – won’t be able to tell until I get to the end and see how it hangs and looks on but heck I can always rip it back out if I want.   I need to lay out all the remaining hands of yarn tho because I think I set aside a lighter one to use to do the little cap sleeves.  I didn’t even thing about alternating hanks as I was doing the yoke and then realized – oh some are a bit darker than others.  So I started alternating them – which is why the main portion shows darker and lighter bits and the top doesn’t but they are more obvious in the flash and in reality and I like them — it’s hand dyed yarn and those little color variations keep the long expanse of stockinette stitch from being so stagnant.  But can I finish this one before the end of the year – who knows I still have a lot of inches to add.  Of course the bigger needles and thicker yarn do make it go a bit faster but there are a lot of stitches on those needles.  But I would like to add it as my last finish of the year.

For those who have joined in the Sticks ‘n Strings challenge – I’ll do a blog post on New Year’s day to recap it and please leave a comment with how your progress turned out for the year.

If you wish to join in on the Knit from the Stash challenge – the more the merrier.    I did place my last yarn order just today 🙂 – one last one for a project I want to make as a gift.   My problem is what to start on first!  I’m going to have to spend some time in my Ravelry library  and try to organize them matching up yarn to project.

20131227_5 Here’s the project on my Loopy Mix ‘n Match Challenge.  I’m past the half way mark – just barely that pink marker in the lower left is the middle.  It’s very stretchy and will really drape nicely I think.  So 60 beads placed on that first side, another 58 to go.

The Dreambird, which I wore to work today, got rave reviews from the ladies and even a couple of the gents whose wives knit stopped me to check it out. 🙂

Time to find some dinner and then get back to that vest.  But heck – no bosses in the office the beginning of next week so I granted myself a 3 day weekend and took Monday off.  More time to play.

Dreambird off the blocking board

Here it is – ready to wear.  I need to go buy a dark blue or darker gray sweater  (or maybe dig in the closet to see what else is there because I think there is one these colors would look better against) 🙂  But this one was easy to grab.  I think I’ll be wearing it to work tomorrow to dress up my “jeans day” attire.  Ah – I just remembered a dark brown sweater that might just be perfect under it!   So in the Sticks ‘n String challenge — this is “new” as in started and finished this year — new finish #31!  And I’m now at 20,100 yards knit so far this year (knit as in finished projects — I don’t count the yardage until it’s a done project.    So 31 “new” projects finished and 15 UFO projects completed and out of my knitting boxes, baskets, bins — you get the idea (now I can store yarn in those boxes baskets and bins right?)

New #31-Dreambird

New #31-Dreambird

Dreambird Update

It’s finally done!!! I did finish at least one more UFO before the end of the year – or kept it from turning into a UFO.  I just had a few stitches to bind off on the rolled neck edging I added to part of it and it’s just been sitting waiting for me to finish it.

So I did that, gave it a dunk in some Eucalan and it’s now pinned out blocking.

20131225_8It has 24 feathers total.  I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  The only think I would change if I did it again is the gray yarn I used – it’s not a “fuzzy” enough yarn – more linen-type feeling to me and it does not hide or blend in the double stitches as well as I would like (and of course some of that I’m sure is from me goofing one up here or there).  But that was just poor yarn choice on my part.

I can’t wait to wear it.

I have several balls of the Mini Mochi left over (I knew I ordered more than I needed but it was a good sale) so I think maybe another swing cowl after I finish the one I’m working or maybe another stranded cowl.

I also pulled out my Greta which I haven’t worked on in ages.  In looking back on the blog, I started it nearly a year ago  (first week  of January was when I switched from a different yarn to the one I’m now using).  It would be nice if I could finish it up before the end of the year but I’m running out of time. LOL  I spread the body of it out across several double pointed needles so I could try it on and see where I’m at.  I think it’s going to fit fine, I’ve got it done to about my waist, but I think I’m going to increase a few stitches across to make it a bit more swingy on the bottom where I flare out. 🙂   There’s just a tiny cap line sleeve that I have to go back and add on but the body is just straight knitting until you get to the hem area and then just simple garter.  If I knit like the wind it’s possible I could make it ….maybe… we’ll see.

Yummm I smell Cornish hen – it must nearly be done….


On the Needles, Friday December 20, 2013

There are things on the needles, there are things off the needles, there are things that started out on one set of needles and then got ripped back and restarted on smaller needles,  there are things that got shoved off one set of favorite needles to be held on a set of not so favorite needles so I could cast something new onto the favorite needles, and there’s yarn waiting to be put on needles! WHEW!

hat2 finitochispas First – off the needles is the Mini Roni Hat.  The flat hat photo is the true color – sort of a dark terracotta brown — it doesn’t really look striped up close like it does in the photo but it is so very soft.  Love the way the decreases come together on top.  The link takes you to my Ravelry page for this project which lists the yarn, and has more photos, etc.

It looks rather conehead shaped in the photo which makes me laugh when I look at it, but it’s  just the way it looks flat – it actually looks great on a real live head. LOL

Last night I cast on my project Dancing Raindrops Scarf for the Loopy Challenge.  I haven’t really knit much with lace yarn and I knit loosely, so after the first attempt — only a few rows, I knew I needed to go down in needle size.  I really like the way it’s looking now.

It would be a great bus riding project EXCEPT for the beads.  It’s a really easy pattern but I could just see beads flying down the aisle of the bus so it will have to be a stay at home project.


However, check out the close up of those beads.  Don’t they look great with this yarn?  I’m loving it. This was the project that I had to steal the needles for.  I needed a smaller size and these have a more pointy tip so the Swing Cowl is sitting on some other needles for the time being until I get back to it.

Also, clearly I’m in a purple mood since this also arrived with my Loopy Challenge yarn —

tig-currentjaThe color is current jam and it’s for a sweater – tho I think I may have changed my mind about which sweater it will be used for.  Plus my Art Deco will be predominately purple so I think I’ve got that color covered. 🙂  

I need to remember to update my Sticks ‘n Strings project page and add the photos of the latest finished projects — only 11 days left to the end of the year — hmmmm can I finish any other UFOs before then ?   — I absolutely do not think so!!!)

Mad as a hatter

20131215_22That’s how things are going here.

First – here’s the too small hat.  It is super stretchy and actually fits on my head but it doesn’t come down far enough to cover the ears so it goes on the donation pile and I started again last night.   It will keep someone’s head warm  – just not the person I started it for.

So last night I found another pattern I wanted to try and pulled out some different yarn.  I’ve only knit a few rows but I can tell that the stitch pattern on that hat will not make the hat very stretchy at all.  That’s not a good thing when I’m guessing on size and the yarn was sort of obscuring the pattern.

So this morning — back to square one and what I hope is my third and final attempt to get a hat I want to gift.



So the pattern I have settled on is Mini Romi Hat .  The yarn – some Malabrigo Finito which is a super soft feeling yarn – I made a cowl of it and it is so wonderful against your skin – it will make a very comfy hat I think — I hope — it dang well better! LOL

So today – hmmm I think it’s going to be a mostly lazy day.  A bit of laundry, but it’s a cold, gray, stay in your comfy chair and get that dang hat done kind of day.  And I need to figure out yardage for the mystery quit so first to start some breakfast and then get that yarn wound.

Oh- and with the finish of the last two hats which I added to my Sticks ‘n Strings page — I have now completed a total of 15 UFOs this year and then I started AND completed an additional 29 new projects!  Not bad.


Swing Knitting

If you’ve never tried swing knitting, I highly recommend it.  Knitting, knitting techniques — they’ve come a long way since I learned to knit back in the late 60’s or early 70’s.   Swing knitting is one of those newer fangled techniques. 🙂  I love it.  Dreambird was made using that method, Art Deco uses it, and the Swing Cowl would be great first time swing knitting project.

I started on it last night and didn’t want to put it down but I finally had to force myself off to bed in the wee hours of the morning.

20131201_2It’s that time of year again — Hoffman Fabrics is working on Christmas fabrics for the 2014 holiday season  so I’ve got a couple quilt designs to  come up with for them.  So a good part of today may be spent playing in EQ (although that cowl is really  wanting me to go knit on it some more!)

I also updated the Sticks ‘n Strings page with the latest completed/blocked projects.   I’m now up to 26 new items started and finished this year and 15 projects out of the UFO bin this year too.   Two of those UFOs got frogged because they were never going to get finished but that means 39 knitty projects so far this year to completion — and I was looking at total yards K-T-D – I’m at 17,100.  Last year with the sock challenge I knit 9,900 yards — can I double that number by the end of the year??  Maybe. 😉

Sticks ‘n Strings – Month and a half and counting

Only about a month and a half left to go before the end of the year – can you believe that?  The last two or three months seem to have flown by.

Have you met your challenge goals? will you come close? do you care?  LOL

I just added New project 22 to my Sticks ‘n Strings page.   The mitten package will be ready to ship out to Mom this week and she’ll have three pairs to keep her warm.  I may need to make a pair like this one for me – I have another hank of the Baltic yarn.         So far  a total of  13 UFOs and 22 new projects started and finished this year.  Plus several started this year but still not finished — lots of stitches to be sure.  I’ve knit 15,400 yards of yarn (I only count it when the project is finished so there’s been more than that knit) which is about 8.75 miles of yarn. 🙂    I may need to go in search of the remaining unfinished kitty projects and see what else I might be able to finish off before the end of the year.

New #22 - Mom's mittens 3

New #22 – Mom’s mittens 3

Leftie is done

20131114 20131116 Yep, my Leftie is done!   I finished it Monday night and wore it to work on Tuesday to rave review.  I just love it.  I may need to make another one.  It is just a fun and easy  to knit project  and fun to wear scarf.

This finish has been  added to my Sticks ‘n Strings Challenge for 2013 page.  Remember I challenged myself to finish 13 UFOs in 2013 (among other things — some of which we won’t discuss like not buying yarn).  So, I’ve already hit the mark with 13 UFOs pulled out and finished.  But another part of the challenge was every “new” project I started in 2013, I would have finished by the end of the year.  Hmmm.. I’m going to have to go gathering half done projects and see if there’s any chance of that. LOL  I know there are socks half done (as always) but I need to see if there is anything else I started in 2013 and haven’t completed.

Leftie brings my total of NEW projects started and finished in 2013 to a whopping total of 21 projects.  There’s a whole lot of knittin’ goin’ on here!


More Mittens and finished cowl

20131028Here’s a close up of the yarn I’m using for the mitten.  You can see that for each of the various color changes in it, that specific color strand has four plies — one darker brown, one lighter brown, and then a darker and lighter shade of the other color.

I took some photos of the finished mitten outside so the colors show a bit more.  It’s funny that there’s clearly sections of blues and brown in addition to the green and purple but those colors don’t seem predominate and you don’t really notice unless looking for them up close on the mitten.

The photos are of the same mitten – just the two different sides of it.  They are sort of a mirror image of each other with one side predominantly green and the other predominantly purple.  It will be interesting to see how the other mitten turns out.  I’m just at the point where the thumb gets finished off before continuing on the hand.20131031

reverse side side one

♦To answer some of the questions I got about the mittens —

  • ♦ there is no pattern name to give you.  This pair was made up from notes from various mittens I have made over the years and the features of them I liked, stitch counts that worked for me, for my hand size, etc. so no there is no pattern I can point you to for them.

♦Regarding the K1 S1 stitch I used on the hand – if you look at the mitten photos you can see the ridges that stitch makes.  Why use that particular stitch? Just because I wanted to try it.  It’s used in sock heels to make a denser fabric that will wear longer.  Mittens don’t get the same wear as socks of course but if you live in a very wintry climate you would appreciate a mitten that the wind couldn’t blow through. As I suspected, that stitch makes a  great dense fabric and these mittens will definitely be warm

♦Did I use the K1 S1 stitch on the whole mitten?  No, in looking at the mittens you will see that the ridges from that stitch stop before the top of the mitten. It’s not real obvious they stop when you’re looking at the mitten – whether because of the yarn I used or the way I do my decreases, it all blends together nicely in this mitten.  The ribbing on the cuff, the thumb are and top of the mitten where I’m doing the decreases don’t use that stitch.

♦Do you need to add more stitches to the width of your mitten if using the K1 S1 stitch?  It’s not a stretchy stitch like a regular rib would be but it does have some give.  I guess it depends on how much “roominess” the mitten pattern you use has.  I kept thinking as I was making them they were going to turn out too small since the fabric is less stretchy, but the smaller photo shows it on my hand and, well, they fit me “like a glove” so to speak.  These are the best fitting mitten I’ve made — I don’t like roomy mittens with too much loose fabric around your hand.  My Mom’s hands are smaller than mine but these should fit her very nicely.

♦Why if I make socks in the round am I not doing mittens that way?  I just choose not to.  I don’t remember how old I was when I started knitting but I’ve been making mittens on straight needles (actually I use circular needles but just use them as a straight needle) for over 35 years.  They are much quicker to make on straight needles for me without all that constantly moving from one needle to the next. And knitting a thumb in the round — having like only 4 stitches on each needle — way too putzy!  And tho I don’t like seaming other knits, I don’t mind seaming mittens – they are quick and easy to do.

♦Why is the top of this mitten more rounded and the last pair I made more pointy?  Just a different in how the decreases are done at the top of the mitten – I prefer the more rounded top.

♦Where did I get the yarn?   The Loopy Ewe and I just looked back to see when and it’s been in my stash since the summer of 2011 when I ordered it.  About time it came out to play and see the light of day.  It’s a aran/worsted  weight type yarn.

Okay I think I answered all the emailed questions and comments I got on the mittens.

I found a pattern for a cute cowl the other day on Ravelry called Shawl Collared Cowl that I think I will use the left over yarn to make.

Finally – before I go find some breakfast or brunch – I finished the other fair isle cowl Escherzade I was working on and I love it.


I love the way the colors change across it. I can’t say enough how I loved the video on The Philosopher’s Wool website that showed the various ways to do two handed knitting — it solved all the problems I didn’t like about stranded knitting and it’s so easy to do.

insideThe second photo of the cowl is the inside — no long floats and everything stays so neat and tidy. I just need to bury my ends and this one is done.

I was updating my “Sticks ‘n Strings” challenge page last night.  I added in the first pair of mittens, this cowl, and my sock pooling challenge socks which I forgot to previously add.  This brings my totals up to 13 items pulled out of the unfinished knit baskets that are now finished (13 was the number I was shooting for in the Sticks ‘n Strings challenge so I succeeded there).  The other part of the challenge was to finish all new projects started this year before the end of this year.  Hmmm I have many new projects started that have been placed on the back burner but with the latest updates, I have started and completed so far 18 different projects.   That’s a whole lot of knitting!  No wonder I haven’t gotten much sewing done!


So off to find something to eat, throw in another load of laundry and then get the final border on the “music” quilt and perhaps work on that leaf wallhanging I had pulled out.


Loopy Ewe 4th Quarter Challenge complete

I started on the 4th Quarter Challenge with the plan to make Juneberry Triangle Shawl — then there were issues with that so I ripped out all I had done.

Then I made the Gray Haven Cowl — which is in a prior blog post and just needs to be blocked.  But, I didn’t make it as tall as the pattern called for so used less yarn and used less than the 4th quarter challenge rules called for.  But I knew I had plenty of yarn left for a second project that would meet the requirements.

So here it is – the Boxy Cowl.  The prior cowl photo  show this color much differently.  This photo is the true color of the yarn – dark and gorgeous.  It’s Three Irish Girls Glenhaven Cashmerino Wosted in Cognac.

If you need a quick and super easy project — this one is it.

I just updated the Sticks ‘n Strings page and this is the 16th new project started this year that is completed (many more than 16 new projects have been started this year — they just aren’t done yet!).

I also finally wove the toe and wove in ends of finish #15 – the last pair of socks I finished.