Monday, May 28, 2012

And the Craziness Continues

Well, since the last time I wrote, I have finished the Mithril vest. I have worn it several times and I love the way it looks and fits. The only thing I might have done differently was to put the beading on it. Maybe next time! I do not usually reknit a project but I can see myself knitting another Mithril. This was a fast knit. I just could not put it down. I have yet to get pictures of the completed vest on me, but have pictures of it on the blocking boards.
Blackened Mithril blocking!

I have also completed my Crazy project. The shawl turned out beautifully. I used a variegated yarn I have had for about 6 years. It was some of the oldest yarn in my stash. Even though it was variegated, I went ahead and used a lace pattern. The lace pattern does not show up as well as if it was made of a solid yarn, but I just wanted a shawl with this yarn. Since I did not have very much, I decided to use a lace pattern to get the most out of the yarn. As it was I had to leave off a few rows, but it still turned out the way I wanted. An over the shoulder lace shawl I could wear this summer with tank tops and on cool evenings. Here it is on the blocking boards.

The crazy shawl!
A few days before my birthday, I went to the yarn shop looking for some beads for the Evenstar Shawl, when some yarn jumped off the shelf and wanted to go home with me. It made me feel like Gollum asking his friend for the ring, ‘We wants it cuz its our birthday.’ Only I do not see myself killing someone for the yarn. So,for my birthday, I bought enough yarn to make the Argonath stole by Susan Pandorf. Ever since this project came out, I have been looking at my stash trying to find a way to make it (my mom even asked me ‘When are you going to make this for me?’). I just did not have enough of any one color in the right weight to make it. This yarn made me immediately think of that pattern. So, to continue the craziness, I have cast it on in addition to my other planned projects. I hope that I can get it done in time to wear on the airplane when I go back to the States for furlough.
My stash of birthday yarn with part of the Argonath.

I have also cast on for the Isengard stole. I have called it Orthanc in Ravelry. I have about an inch made and about 71 more to go, but I have a feeling that both this stole and the Argonath are going to be like the Mithril vest… hard to put down. I am making it in black merino wool from Ros├írios 4. I like the fact that this yarn was made here in Portugal. I have made socks out of this yarn before but I really like the way it is working up as a stole. There is a subtle sheen to theyarn so the twists and turns of the pattern should show up somewhat. It reminded me of the description of the Orthanc.

First inch of the Orthanc
I have learned that some craziness goes a long way and that it is ok to be crazy occasionally. I have also learned to read the Ravelry notes on patterns. If not for them, I might still be stuck at row 57 on the Mithril vest. It helps a lot to go and see what someone else who has made a particular pattern says about it. Sometimes it saves you a lot of time, hassle and of course your hair. Until next time, keep on knitting and learning.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mithril almost complete

Just a quick update today. I will write more when I have more time.

The Mithril vest is almost complete. As I write, it is on the blocking wires. All that needs to be done for it to be complete is the back neckband. It was a relatively fast knit, but it was also hard to put down. This allows some time for me to complete my craziness.

Until next time, keep on knitting and learning.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Progress and some craziness

Prana Socks
Now that the birthday’s I was knitting for have come and gone, I can share what I made for the girls. The first birthday gift was a pair of Flutterby socks by Cat Bordhi. They used her new sweet tomato heel. I like how the heel was made and will probably use it again in the future. Sorry I did not get a picture before I gifted them, but they were made of a lime green yarn that you can see here. The second birthday gift was a pair of Prana socks from the Knitter’s Book of Socks. I enjoyed knitting these and since they had no heels or toes the knitting went faster than normal. 

The lovely silk and merino Blackened Mithril vest.
 I have made some progress on the Blackened Mithril vest. The pattern calls for beading but I could not find any beads that I liked so I am just knitting it plain. The yarn is Knit Picks Gloss fingering weight in Black. Knitting with the silk and merino mix is lovely. I have to stop occasionally to pet the vest. I am nearing the part of the pattern where it makes its first deviation from straightforward. However, the vest itself is lovely to knit. It is a challenge and because of the complexity of the charts, it is a home project. I learned this the hard way. I unexpectedly was able to go to a football game and thankfully had brought my knitting bag along. However, the only thing I had with me was the Mithril vest and it is not conductive to sitting in the bleachers with a big binder holding the pattern. I had to settle for knitting on the sock I keep in my purse. Live and learn.

Today ,I am borrowing a segment from the Knitmore Girls. My knitting attacked me. Actually I did not pay attention to the chart and therefore made several mistakes. I was able to use a couple of double point needles (DPNs) to drop down and fix the problems in just the affected areas. The fix is unnoticeable and is much easier than ripping out a couple rows and then trying to pick up the stitches hoping and praying that you will not lose any. 

My bit of craziness.
And now for some craziness. As if I did not have enough going on this year with planning my furlough, ministry here and the year of knitting selfishly, I decided to cast on something extra. Here it is, the EZ 100th Anniversary CampingHalf-circle shawl. Yes, this is my bit of craziness in the midst of all the normality. I have named it Crazy for casting this on. It is made from Lorna’sLaces Shepherd sock multi in the Devon colorway. I have had these two skeins of yarn for almost 6 years. I just could not find a sock that it wanted to be. Therefore, I finally pulled them out and said this year I will make something with these. Voila, the half-circle shawl idea was born. I wanted to wear these next to my face and since I am planning my furlough wardrobe to revolve around peach and teal, this would satisfy both. I have no set schedule for when this will be done so you may see it for a while or I just may surprise myself and whip through it. 

This last week has taught me that a bit of craziness now and then is a good thing. To be thankful for double points that can fix mistakes in the middle of knitting without ripping back. To have two projects on hand, one of them simple. I also learned that masking tape makes a good chart marker when you use it in combination with plastic sheet protectors. So having learned a lot in the last week, I admonish you to keep knitting and learning.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dreaming and Planning

I have started the Mithril vest. In honor of knitting this pattern, I watched thefirst Lord of the Rings movie. I thought it was apropos. The vest is about an inch and a half long but so far I am enjoying the pattern. At this stage, I am finding that it is less complicated than the In Dreams shawl that Susan designed at the beginning of last year. However, I think that it will complicate itself soon. 

The first inch of the Mithril vest
In addition to the Mithril vest, I am still working on the last part of the second gift. I must finish it this week as it is for a birthday in the early part of May. I think that I will be able to finish in time, but who knows the future … only God and I am not Him.

Corrie Vest pattern
I have also been plotting and planning a sweater that I will be knitting in September. I will be using Palette yarn from Knit Picks and the Corrie vest pattern from the same company. Because the vest pattern is a strong horizontal, I will only be using part of the pattern as an accent to emphasize the waist. I am planning for it to be a long sleeve, deep v neck cardigan with the pattern only at the waist and a bit at the cuffs. My sister, the artist, helped me pick out the colors. I would not normally pick the peach color, but the blues are my favorite colors.She said the contrast would be good and peach looks good on almost everyone. The photo above is the portion of the pattern I am using along with the color choices. Also pictured is a small sketch of the sweater shape. What do you think? Leave me a comment about the design. 
The sketch

I think that I have a lot of learning in my future. I will try to share the lessons here on the blog as I learn them. ‘Till then keep knitting and learning.