Thursday, April 26, 2012

Finished ... Almost!

I finished the knitting on Drily Amused last night. I wove in all the ends and popped it over my head. I made a good choice in making the sweater a size smaller than normal. I modified the sweater by making the waist shorter and the ribbing not as long. However, the sleeves were supposed to be 3/4 length and ended up at my wrists because I forgot to allow for the armhole. The armhole is a little longer than I normally make it. My gauge had less stitches in the height than the gauge called for in the pattern and so I ended the raglan shaping early and just cast on the needed stitches at the underarm. Still it is longer than I usually calculate for and so my sleeves by extension are longer than I normally make them. I am going to rip back the cuffs and reknit them at a shorter length. I will also use a smaller needle to make the ribbing at the cuffs tighter. I am going to try to have this done so I can wear it this weekend. 

As far as my other projects, I am half way through my second gift so I should be able to finish it on time. If I can get some dedicated knitting time. The first half went a lot faster than I was anticipating. When I have given the gifts away, I will post pictures of them here on the blog. Until then you will have to make do with the hints I have given you.

My shoulder is doing better and this allows me a longer knitting time. I am still taking frequent breaks, however. I don’t want to be in a position like that again. I missed the knitting. 

Next month’s project is the Mithril Vest by Susan Pandorf. She is running a KAL (Knit a Long for you newbies) that runs through the 10th of June. I am hoping to get this one done before the end of May. As this will be my only project, I have a good chance at getting it done but it is also a complicated piece of knitting. The charts alone are complicated enough. However, I am looking forward to the challenge as the last few months have been mostly in stockinette.  I have named this one Blackened Mithril because I am using black yarn. I was thinking of the black armor that was used in medieval times. 

I have learned this month to take things slowly. Sometimes the race is not worth the pain. I have also learned (again) that the height of stitches on a gauge does make a difference. For now, I am signing off and looking forward to learning more in the months to come. Keep on knitting and learning.

Monday, April 16, 2012

One Down and Two to Go

Remember my challenge for this month? Well I am one third of the way done. The first of the birthday gifts is done. I have started on the second of the birthday gifts and hope to have it done in time. I have three weeks to complete it.

The Green
Meanwhile the Amused sweater is coming along. I have reached the ribbing at the waist. After that I just have to finish the sleeves and the collar. I think I have made pretty good progress considering that I took on three projects this month and I have done something to my right shoulder. With my shoulder acting up I cannot sit and knit for very long. I have to take a break and then come back to it. Guess I will be taking Jasmin from the Knitmore Girls Podcast's advice, knit for about 50 minutes, then take a short break. With the regular rest periods, the shoulder is doing better.

Guess what I have learned so far this month is to take it one day at a time, don't stress your body just to complete a ridiculous time frame set by you and take regular knitting breaks to rest.

The Red
Now to leave you with a hint of what I am making for the second birthday gift. Remember I said that this month's colors were Green and Red? Well, you have seen the Green and here is the Red. Until next blog post, keep on knitting and learning.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Hint

The following picture is just a hint of what I am working on. It is for someone's birthday so I can only give you a hint. The good news is that you only have a month to wait to see the finished project. 

Birthday Surprise

I am also working on the sweater Amused. It is going well in spite of the fact that I only get to knit on it after having worked on the birthday project. Such rules we impose onourselves! No one is demanding that I finish a project a month for myself and two projects for birthday's in May, however, what do I find myself doing? Just that and on a schedule no less! Ah well, the life of the project knitter. 

Drily Amused
To correct a misunderstanding, I put forth the following. My sister and I were talking the other day and she corrected my spelling of Blood Oranje. It is spelled this way on purpose. The original sweater pattern is named Oranje from Dutch. Because of this I chose Blood Oranje as my project name because the yarn reminded me of the color of a blood orange. However, I kept the original name of the pattern to provide a sort of continuity. Just in case I did not make myself plain, here is the explanation. 

Speaking of Blood Oranje, I have been able to wear it a few times. I have to say that it is a warm sweater, good for spring nights that are a bit nippier than they should be. I am enjoying the little details that went into the sweater.

The last couple of sweaters have taught me a couple of things. First, I prefer a princess style decrease in the front (stitches are decreased under the bust instead of from the sides). In the back, I prefer the decreases to be in one central location up the back (or down the back depending on what way you knit it ;). Secondly, I need a bit of a bust dart to accommodate a larger bust line but if I knit a yoke sweater it is NOT necessary (learned that one the hard way!). 

I am enjoying this year of selfish knitting. It is pushing my knitting into new areas and stretching my technical skills. I think that it will make me a better and more confident knitter and thus will increase the quality of what I knit for others when I go back to knitting unselfishly. That is all for now but stay tuned and keep on knitting and learning!

Monday, April 2, 2012

What's Next?

In April, I set myself a big challenge. I am working on two birthday gifts and a sweater. The birthday gifts will be revealed in time but the sweater I can talk about right now. 

The sweater is made of Miltons in an olive color. Luckily for me, it is a worsted weight yarn. This means it will knit up faster. YEAH! The pattern is Amused from Knitty. It is a pullover style and is knit from the neck down and the collar is added later. The directions are straightforward and I am enjoying the knit. 

This month the colors are green and red. Last month they were brick, white and black. Next month they will probably go back to black. I plan to work on the Mithril vest from Sunflower Designs. She has started a KAL for the vest and since it was already on my list of things to do this year, I rearranged my schedule a little so I could join. 

It took me four months but I just realized that I am spelling Challenge wrong. My dad always told a joke about missionary kids speaking two languages and not being able to spell either one. That is a little too close to home. If I did not have spell checker my Prayer letters home would look like the floor of an editor’s office. Please accept my apologies and I will try to do better in the future.

In the mean time, I have some gifts to complete and a sweater to knit. Keep on knitting and learning.