WIP-it Wednesday

So far, progress is being made on this sock that I posted last week. If it were for me, it would be too snug at the cuff. (And if I were to work at this gauge and in this yarn, I would use a much more stretchy cast on and possibly stick in an extra pattern repeat or two.) However, it’s for my mother and I think it’s going to just work out. I’m about 2″ from finishing it and then onto the next one. I am absolutely loving my yarn and pattern choice for this one; I keep stopping to admire my work and how it’s coming out. That’s one of the more enjoyable reasons to be slow going. 🙂

This long hibernating blanket has finally been pulled out to have a little work done on it. I’ve knit two additional skeins of yarn so far and I might just finish a third before February is done. I’m at the 1/3 way done mark finally.
It’s been good to be so productive lately, but it’s looking like I may have to slow down for a while since we now know when we’re moving and I have a quilting project I’d like to finish before the move. What about you, kittens? Are you keeping busy or has the beginning of the year been too crazy to do much?

FO Friday

Friday can always use some pictures, amirite, kittens? I had two choices for my January FOs: I could post them all in one large post or break them up. For the sake of blogging material, I’ve chosen the latter. Hey, I have to have content one way or the other, right? (And realistically, I do not see myself having an FO for at least another week–maybe even two. I have several things on needles; none will be finished soon.) Anywho, you came here to see pictures not read my silly blog-keeping musings, yes?

Yes.

Pattern: Papillotes by Rose Hiver
Needles: US size 2
Yarn: The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga: Pink Katydid
You may recall my blogging these earlier…as socks for myself. When that naggy little voice in my head told me that size 2 needles were just too small…I didn’t listen. I looked at a plethora of other projects knit in Bugga that told me size 2 needles were on the large end of what other people were using…so I didn’t trust my gut. Bugga is classified as a sport weight yarn, kittens.
Sport. Weight.
I’m a tight knitter, and I went with 2s? Seriously? My knitting seems to have loosened up a smidge lately, but not that much. (Some of this can be blamed on my sock knitting origins where I knit my socks way too loose. I now knit every pair worrying that the fabric is not firm enough, and they’ll never hold their shape. This hasn’t been a problem in ages…and still, I worry.)
I really should not have been surprised that when I went to try these on, they were very snug and difficult to get over my heel. And you know me, kittens: I hate frogging and will avoid it at all costs. Frogging usually means death to both the project and the yarn involved. It doesn’t matter how much I loved it before knitting. Once it’s been used, my enthusiasm for it is forever gone. Very rarely, there’s an exception to this. So I put my mind to work: how could I save these? Then it hit me: The Girl is now at an age where she’s interested in and actively asks for hand knits. She also tries to steal my wrist warmers every time she sees me wear them. The Girl has a rabid obsession with pink. The brighter, the more she loves it. Problem solved! All I had to do was add ribbing after the cable twists and add a thumb hole. Ta da! Pre-schooler wrist warmers. She wore them non-stop for the first week she had them. One has been misplaced and she’s constantly asking me where it is. Because, you know, as Mom, I’m supposed to Know All The Things.
From what I knit of the pattern, I have nothing bad to say about it. I liked learning a new cast on, and I definitely plan to give it another go in different yarn at a later time. The same goes for the Bugga. It was a bit tangly and gave me some issues winding, but otherwise, I have nothing negative to say. I’ll have to review it more when I’ve worked a larger project in it.
Making wrist warmers for my daughter created an issue I didn’t see coming: my usually easy-going son became insanely jealous. Until recently, my daughter has snubbed anything hand-knit, so he’s been the primary beneficiary of any child related knits. It did not sit well with him at all that she received these and some FOs I’ll blog later. So I had to make him some too….

Pattern: Voo Doo Wristwarmers by Bonnie Marie
Needles: US size 8
Yarn: Knit Picks City Tweed HW
I’ve made this pattern before. In fact, it was one of the first knits I ever made back in August 2007. (Remember that this year is my 5 year blog-iversary? My 5 year knit-iversary is in May.) To make these for my son, I created an XXS size by decreasing the stitch count. Really, the pattern is just a 2×2 rib tube with a thumb hole in it…nothing really special or fancy.
Overall, The Boy is pretty happy with them, but he does complain the the yarn is itchy. City Tweed has a 25% alpaca content and he seems to be sensitive to that. He’ll wear them for 10 or 15 minutes, but then takes them off. He’s happy for now though, and that’s what matters.
Happy Friday, kittens! ♥

FO Catch-Up: once more with feeling.

Kittens, the part last blog post where I said I had finally finished up 2011’s FOs…? Well, I unintentionally lied. There is one more that I had forgotten to photograph.

This is another 2-for-1: I knit it twice, only took photos of one of the FOs.

Pattern: French Press Felted Slippers by Melynda Bernardi
Needles: US size 17
Yarn: Lion’s Brand Fishermen’s Wool–Oatmeal
I knit two pairs of these for Giftmas: one for my mother (pictured) and one for my grandmother.
These were pretty quick, being that they’re double and triple stranded worsted weight yarn knits. The seaming is rather tedious though, and that’s what kept me from finishing these earlier. I really like the shape they give, but there has to be an easier way to do it than knitting so many pieces. The pattern is really well written and pretty clear, but for both of my pairs of slippers, they used much less yarn than called for. I’m not sure if this was just me or if it’s a more universal experience. I would definitely use the pattern again, but I’d likely look for a way to streamline the process and save myself some of the seaming. And all of the tails to weave in. Oh my word. The number of tails I had to weave in for these.
The Fishermen’s Wool was not bad for what it is: a big box inexpensive yarn. It linted and left a lot of fluff during the felting process which surprised me quite a bit, and it yielded a very soft fabric when all was said and done. I would definitely not be opposed to purchasing it again in the future. (And really, if you have a 40% off coupon for Michael’s, you can not beat the yardage for the price.) It’s not merino soft, but it’s not really scratchy either. All-in-all, it seems to be a fairly decent yarn. The buttons came from Michael’s and are machine washable, even though they look like wood.
And that leads me to what was meant to be my final FO for 2011, but ended up being my first of 2012 because of illness taking me out for several weeks.

Pattern: Lacy Baktus by Terhi Montonen
Needles: US size 2.5
Yarn: TOFUtsies
In retrospect, even though this yarn is a light fingering weight, I really should have gone up a needle size, maybe even 2 for this knit. It took for-ev-er. The scarf isn’t quite as drapey as I’d like. It’s just a tad stiff. It also would have sped up the knitting and yielded a larger scarf had I done that.

I’m so glad I used this yarn finally! For my birthday in 2009, my MIL sent me some yarn as a gift. Neither was really my thing, but it’s the thought that counts. The gesture was sweet and I appreciated that she remembered my short lived love affair with TOFUtsies. The first yarn was some rather ugly sock weight appropriately named “Clown.” Well, when working with it I learned that I react to really dark blue/navy colored dye. Every time I tried to knit the socks, the parts of my hands that touched the yarn would go numb, then tingle, itch, and swell. Around the same time I was working with some beautiful dark blue Malabrigo for The Boy and found the same thing happened with that knit. I shall knit with navy blue no more forever, kittens. It is not meant to be. But back on track. I was also given this sort of “harvest colored” TOFUtsies, which I didn’t think was ugly. It just wasn’t my colors. So it sat in stash and marinated for two and a half years before it occurred to me: I could try it out as another Lacy Baktus! I know it’s an instagram photo with a color filter on it so it’s hard to see, but I think it turned out pretty well. The yarn made lovely stripes and didn’t end up pooling and looking like clown barf. So I’d call it a win. And over the last two years, similar color combinations have started to grow on me.

So there you have it, kittens. We’re now dipping our toes into the 2012 FOs! I have quite a few already from the last month, and I’m hoping to blog them shortly. One of my unofficial goals of the year is to keep up with taking project photos and blogging them in a timely manner. I’m hoping to make FO catch-ups a thing of the past.