April 1, 2017 – Denise’s Snowy Day

No, Denise’s Snowy Day is not a horrible April Fool’s joke being played on me by Mother Nature snowing on me (tho April is not always without snow here). The sun is shining

here, it’s in the 50s outside – much better than the rain we’ve been having.  I’m being a bit lazy tho and having a bit of a movie marathon this afternoon and maybe knitting.

Denise’s Snowy Day is the  name of my Loopy Legend reward yarn for 2016 which recently came in at The Loopy Ewe (and you could get your own Denise’s Snow Day yarn here) 🙂  There are some really stunning Legend colors this time around.

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Some of you may remember my past yarns – this is the third time I’ve achieved Loopy Legend status (not sure that’s a good thing) but it’s part of the reward program at The Loopy Ewe.  Once achieved you send an inspiration photo and then yarn is dyed based on the colors in your inspiration photo.   This time the Loopy Legends are being dyed by Dream in Color and it’s a nice large 600 yard hank.

This was the inspiration photo I sent in.  The bright blue sky – the blue gray shadows on the show and the gray/green tree trunks – love it all. It’s always a surprise when you see how the dyers interpreted the colors into yarn.  I was hoping it wasn’t too much white and there’s virtually no white at all in the yarn – it turned out so pretty!  Shades of blue, with a hint of very light green and gray.

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I got my free hank, ordered a few more, and although I should have enough for a sweater, I ordered one more to make absolute sure since I don’t know what kind of sweater I plan to make yet.  Or I may need some matching socks.

In my prior blog post I showed you the yarn, in hank form, opened up and caked, for the next DaVinci Cowl I planned to make.  The KAL started today in Mary-Ann Lammers Designs on Ravelry and runs all month.  I started my first one early (which is actually the 5th DaVinci Cowl I have made) earlier in the week and cast it off last night.  I used DK yarn so it’s not as wide as some others I ‘ve made.  Half way through the middle I intentionally caused the colors to shift a bit – I like how that turned out.

So in the wee hours of the morning as I was watching movies, I cast on another on in bright springy /easter egg colors.  The color is Canary Island and it’s SweetGeorgia bulletproof sock yarn.  I didn’t notice until right now looking at the label that it is a mix of 50% merino 20% nylon and also contains 15% kid mohair and 15% silk.  It feels nice but without looking I wouldn’t have realized there was mohair or silk in it.

I’m just a bit farther along than in the photo – and the bright colors are fun to see start to pool.  In addition to the KAL – this will also be my March TLE Monthly Mixer project – where the theme is  Spring Break.

I also had put aside the crochet project I was working on – didn’t want to make my wrists 20170312_4

sore.  But I think I’m about half done with the strips for the second braid so want to get that finished (and claim my ESK badge for that).

The 1st Quarter ended for ESK Yarnathon, so new badges have been released and the 2nd Quaterly KAL has started.  For that project I’m making a feather and fan stitch warp in these lovely silky yarns.    Many projects on my needles to say the least — but keeps me out of trouble!

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

I spent a large part of the day  in yarn — finishing up the straightening up, organizing, moving from one storage container to another, putting storage containers back where they belong, ripping out some projects I know I will never want to finish, ripping out some projects I don’t know why I started in the first place, rewinding yarn, and putting projects into bags so everything is all together and not getting wound around each other in my knitting baskets for WIP.

Of course the coffee breaks got longer as the day went on, and I was distracted by other chores like laundry and cleaning a kitchen cabinet or two.  Even made a good dinner.

In the mean time, as you know I am prone to do, I changed my mind about the yarn for my DaVinci Cowl KAL project.  As I was sorting yarn, I found back the BMFASTA DK weight yarn in one of TLE exclusive colorways – One Color Steeped Step at a Time.  I bought that specifically to make a heavier weight pooling cowl so  pulled that out.

Yes there really is pink in that hank – it’s just sitting in the top photo not showing any of it.  I don’t know why I have so much yarn with pink in it since to I don’t care for pink but I do like the way it looks with the teals, grays and darker colors in this one.   I’ve cracked my “DaVinci Code” and figured out how any stitches I want to cast on.   I think this one I’ll do the edges a bit different than the garter edges of the past ones I’ve made.  I’m going to use a controlled curl (that’s what I call it) where you knit a couple rows stockinette stitch and then a row or rib.  The stockinette edge curls up and sort of looks like I-cord, but it stops curling at the ribbed row.

I have one more basket of yarn projects to sort through but think I’ve done enough tidying for today and will just go knit for the rest of the night instead.

March 25, 2017

This have been really busy and I can’t believe March is winding it’s way to a close.  Stayed up very late knitting (and then ripping back what I had been knitting on because I screwed it up) and have been rather lazy all morning puttering with a few things.  Plus it’s a rainy dreary gray cold day so one of those days that just seem perfect for getting comfy and knitting and watching movies all day or sewing and watching movies all day (notice I didn’t mention cleaning, laundry, etc.).  But some cleaning is in order (while I try to decide whether I want to knit or sew and what project I want to work on).

The DaVinci Cowl KAL starts April 1  and I’m trying to decide which of these two yarns I want to use.

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The yarn is Into The Whirled and the color is called Martini & Rossi and when it’s caked it looks like this

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The other yarn I’m considering is the same kind but the color is Fierce & Flawless. 20170323_3 I forgot to take a photo of it spread out before I wound it.

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The yellow is a bit bright in this one but the various shades of purples and rosey reds are very pretty.  I’m leaning towards this one — dreary day means knitting with bright springy colors is more fun.

I also made some progress on the baby sweater I was working on.

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And then there’s the KISS Shawl Joyful   I’m working on – the original is done in one accent color and an ombre yarn but I wasn’t finding an ombre I liked so decided to just do the various sections in different colored yarns.   With all my other projects on smallish size needles, this one moves along fairly quickly since it’s aran yarn and larger needles.

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With all these projects on the needles, along with a couple more, it’s easy to find one to work on depending on what I’m doing  (wanting to have to follow pattern instructions line for line or no-mind easy knitting to take along on the bus ride etc).

 

 

The Rest of the Rectangles

Last weekend I cut these  (34 sets of 4 like rectangles = 136 rectangles)

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and today I cut these – 135 sets of 4 like rectangles =540 rectangles)

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Actually I cut a few more than I needed but I actually kept things fairly neat and tidy.   Normally I would have just tossed the leftovers, pieces to go back in the stash, scraps, etc. all in a pile on the floor.

 

However, check out the tidy area next to where I’m working.  The nicely folded stack of larger pieces to go back in the stash – the clear plastic zipper pouch holding the scraps to keep and the leftover schnibbles (well except for one or two) all in the wastebasket.20170319_1

 

Much nicer than have to clean it all up at the end.

Next up I have tons of background squares to cut – two for every rectangle cut – but I’m going to alternate cutting those with piecing a group after I cut them so as to break up the monotony.

Sunny Sunday

Sleet and freezing rain when I walked out of the house yesterday and today, our last round of snow is nearly melted and it’s close to 50 degrees.  Crazy weather but I love seeing the sun and having it warmer than it has been.

Today I’ve been puttering around with various cleaning projects and laundry.  Need to finish cleaning out the fridge before my grocery order arrives later this after noon but took a break to get some more batik fabrics ready to cut rectangles from.

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I quickly cut a piece roughly larger than the size I will need and then ironed them all.  Now that they are ironed I’m ready to start cutting.  No idea how many different fabrics are in there but it’s about a 8-10″ high stack.  And there’s still more batiks to choose from in the stash but I will see how many more sets of rectangles I need after all these are cut.

I worked for a while yesterday on my Long-Haul Badge project for the ESK Yarnathon – once I unburied it.  I started this back in 2014 or a different ESK KAL but it got pushed aside by other projects.

 

 

 

The Long -Haul badge is for a project you’ve been working on for at least 9 months so started in 2014 definitely qualifies.   This is my Autumn Leaves Stole and it doesn’t look like a lot on the needles but it will be so lovely once it is blocked and the lacy portions are opened up.  And I love this yarn – Madtosh Firewood – with all its many shades of browns and golds and oranges.   Now the bad thing was when I was trying to figure out where I left off on it, I realized I had made an error leaving out several rows so ended up ripping it back to this point — it was about twice as long but the mistake would have bothered me once it was blocked open.

 

I also cast on a cute baby sweater.  The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres and the color is Budgie — pretty easter egg blue with specks of other colors.

I think I’m going to like the way this sweater is made. I dislike knitting sleeves in the round and prefer to seam them and this pattern has you make the sleeve to the underarm separately and knit flat, and then when you get to a certain point I the bottom up sweater, you join them in.  So they are seamed but you don’t have to set in the top.  The sleeve on the left is done – waiting on a stitch holder till it gets joined to the sweater – and the other one is closed to being done.

I love the way this yarn is knitting up and was thinking it would be great to make a light weight cardigan out of — and then thought do I really want to make a sweater for me on size 2.5 needles – likely not. 🙂

 

Cutting the Batiks – Design Wall Monday 3/13/17

I don’t have anything new on the design wall to show but I spent part of yesterday cutting batik rectangles for a new quilt.   I’m cutting four rectangles from each fabric.  I’ve barely gotten started

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In the photo are 33 different sets of pieces –   133 rectangles total.  I think I figured out that if I made every set a different fabric I need to cut 125 more sets of rectangles.  Are there 125 different batiks in the stash? — only time will tell.  If I could cut a set out of 10″ squares – then I’d be golden thanks to all the ones I’ve been given by Hoffman Fabrics but they aren’t big enough to get a full set out of.  I will see how many I can get before I need to start cutting duplicates- which will be just fine since this quilt is just going to be a riot of colors.  I’m not even thinking ahead to the number of squares of background fabric I need to cut to go with all these– Yikes.

What I’m not looking forward to is pulling all the rest of the batiks out of the stash to cut a section out of — you know how messy I can be and I just cleaned up the sewing room!  But I’m hoping to be diligent in cutting a stack and then putting them back where they belong right away and not just dump them on the floor and move on….. STOP LAUGHING!…it could happen.

 

A bit of crocheting

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I know how to crochet – nothing fancy but can do many of the basic stitches.  However, I seldom do because the twisting movements can bother my wrist.  But, since there’s a “Happy Hooker” badge in the ESK Yarnathon, I was looking for a simple pattern that would qualify for the yardage requirement, etc.   I remembered this pattern which I thought was rather unique – the Double Layered Braided Cowl.    What a fun looking item that would make a great accessory.   20170311_2

So I grabbed some Aran weight yarn and found my crochet hooks.  The yarn is Hedgehog Fibers and the colorway is Salty Tales. Since it’s mostly gray I wasn’t sure how those few specks of colors where and here would knit up but I like it (which is good since I have this same yarn in a different colorway).  So started on it last night.  I decided to make my braids longer than the pattern called for since I wanted it to hang a bit lower but you could make it any length.  Got the first section crocheted, braided, and then finished the end.

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Just need to make the second section.

Spring Forward?

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Although the clocks may get moved ahead an hour before I got to bed – Spring it is not!   There’s a  winter weather advisory for the next couple days with 4-9″ of snow depending on location.  That is sooo not Spring!   (okay well it’s not abnormal for here by we’ve had a fairly snow-less winter and I was rather liking that).

On the Needles 3-11-17

 

One sock done!  The second sock ribbing is nearly done.  I haven’t made socks in quite a while and I seemed to have overcompensated – I added a ew stitches to the pattern but probably wouldn’t have needed to as its a bit wider than it needs to be  – but it’s all good since I do hate tight socks.

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As usual my worries about not having enough yarn for the second sock were unnecessary.  I weighed the sock and compared it to the yarn left and have plenty.  I usually do, but that yarn that’s left after making one sock never looks like it could be enough.   I do love the way the yarn has knit up – it just looks like someone took  paint brush and flicked colors all over it.  Once the socks are done they will earn me the “Fill Your Boots” badge for the Yarathon.

I’ve also been planning my second quarterly KAL project for the ESK Yarnathon.  Remember you can join in the Yarnathon fun at any point so it’s not too late – all the info is on the ESK website.

The Q2 project requirement is:

Q2 – Summer Yarns – Complete a project using a yarn that contains silk, cotton, linen, bamboo, seacell or Outlast. Earn a bonus star by using a yarn with 60% or more of that fiber.

I’m going to make a rectangular wrap using the Feather and Fan stitch – I love knitting this stitch because it’s so simple but keeps things interesting.  I’ve got some Hand Maiden Sea Silk (70% Silk and 30%Seacell).   So – bonus star for me since the yarn I’m using is 100% of the required fibers. I have it in these gorgeous colors.

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The colors are Charcoal (you can probably figure out which ones that is) and the other is Corsica.   I bought them with the plan to use them in a project holding one strand of each together since the multicolor has the gray in it.  I also plan to use a bit larger needle than normal so that it opens the design up a big more.  In my mind this looks brilliant – but will have to wait until I get started next month to see if it really works.  This yarn is so silky and soft and has a lovely sheen to it.

Now if you want to join in the Yarnathon fun (you can find all the info by going to Eatsleepknit.com.  Once there, click on the Yarnathon button and it will take you to a page with this at the top

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You can see the map of Candyland and prizes along the way, the KAL info, and all the various links to info and badges/points/ and rewards/prizes along the way.  There’s other fun games and triva, etc along the way too.

So far, I’ve earned the following badges (the colored in ones of course)

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Many of the badges/points I won’t do because they are just for items I don’t want to knit.  But new badges come out each quarter so it will be interesting to see what they come up with – and some projects can earn you multiple badges.

gb  And this blog post – other than sharing the fun and what I’m knitting for the Yarnathon, it serves another purpose — there’s a badge for that (Phone-A-Friend)  :-).

But instead of knitting, I’m off to go play with fabric this afternoon. There’s a pile of batiks calling my name.

 

 

 

 

 

Nearly a Sock

I showed you the ball of yarn I had wound for these socks last Sunday and I have been plugging along on the first sock (and another project) since then.

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I’m just about ready to start on the toe.  It’s always at this point I look at the remaining cake of yarn and think — is there really enough left for another whole sock?  There usually is but of course I never bother to weigh the cake of yarn when I start so I know for sure.  Time will tell.

And darn I just remembered I was going to think about layering a quilt this weekend – which is fast approaching and I haven’t gotten any batting yet?  Amazon to the rescue — I will have to see what they’ve got.

I also worked a bit on this herringbone stitch cowl – which I also showed you the cake of yarn in in my previous post (see I really have been knitting the past couple days).  This photo is right after I ripped it off the needles.

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The stitch shows the various shades in this bright pink yarn off so well but I need to try a larger needle size (for herringbone stitch you use several needle sizes above the suggested needle size for the yarn) and I need to find less pointy needles.  This is single ply yarn so my pointy needles keep catching the threads of other stitches as I’m working a row which is slowing things down.