Tag Archives: endless project

Peppermint Princess

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Peppermint Princess

Glaubst du an den lieben Gott oder an Guevara
ich glaube an die Deutsche Bank denn die zahlt aus in bar au
Liebling lass uns tanzen hast du noch ‘nen Pfefferminz ‘nen Pfefferminz
so und nun gib mir ‘nen Kuss mit Pfefferminz bin ich dein Prinz

- “Mit Pfefferminz bin ich dein Prinz” by Marius Müller-Westernhagen

Clapotis in Wollmeise

You know how you sometimes just fall in love with a skein of yarn due to its name? Yes? No? Well, that was the case with me. When I’d just discovered Wollmeise yarn, I was looking at colors on the Wollmeise website, trying to figure out what colors I’d like. That was before I discovered how challenging it is to order Wollmeise yarn, and that you won’t easily find the color you like in stock. No, you just have to hope that the color you want will be available at that update, and you’ll have to hope no one snaps it up before you can checkout with it.

Wollmeise in blue-green

Pfefferminz Prinz above, Tiefer See below

Well, I was looking at the blue-green color family, and I immediately fell in love with two colors: “Tiefer See” which is the blue-green as ‘the blue and green of a deep mountain lake,’ and “Pfefferminz Prinz,” which must be inspired by the song above that is titled “With peppermint I’m your prince.” Well, I like that song, so I just had to like the color. The skein is lighter than the Tiefer See colorway – a very pretty turquoise and light green.

Thankfully I managed to score a skein of Pfefferminz Prinz thanks to a fellow Raveler. And when you finally get ahold of a yarn color that you’ve been hoping for, oh, forever, you of course have to find a project that will show off the colors.

One of the most frequently knit patterns using Wollmeise is the ubiquitous Clapotis scarf/shawl, second only behind the Hitchhiker pattern. I wanted more of a skinny scarf that would be light enough to wear during the summer, so I modified the pattern into a narrow scarf. It’s super easy to modify the pattern to the desired width and length. So many Ravelers have already done that, there are many many helpful project notes out there. In fact, there is an entire group dedicated to knitting your own Clapotis.

The best suggestion is to weight your yarn skein(s) before casting on, to then weight it again after the increase section, before knitting the straight part. Then you know how much yarn you can use for the straight section, and not run out of yarn. The scarf itself is knit on a bias, and stitches are dropped at regular intervals to created the lacy effects. You have to get used to dropping the stitches – normally I’m so super careful not to drop any. It’s a really fun scarf, and I understand why many people knit multiple Clapotis scarves – but that endless straight section is somewhat mindless. I’m not a huge fan of projects that are endless. I’ll be knitting a bunch of other scarves, but I can see myself knitting another Clapotis again sometime in the future.

Clapotis knit in Pfefferminz Prinz

Improving Your Skillset

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Day 6: April 28, 2012. Improving Your Skillset
How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base? Take a look at a few knitting or crochet books and have a look at some of the skills mentioned in the patterns. Can you start your amigurumi pieces with a magic circle, have you ever tried double knitting, how’s your intarsia? If you are feeling brave, make a list of some of the skills which you have not yet tried but would like to have a go at, and perhaps even set yourself a deadline of when you’d like to have tried them by.

Phew! After the amount of work that was Day 5, Day 6 should be comparatively easy. I mean, I don’t have to hunch over my photo setup, making minute adjustments – I shot at least 1400 frames, plus a few still, plus all that time music editing – so I ‘just’ have to take a few pictures, and write. I first thought that blogging really takes a lot of time, particularly blogging about a specific topic. I tend to take a lot of time taking photographs and crafting my posts… but this, this has been the most challenging part of any blog post that I’ve put up since I’ve had this blog (granted, this blog is just over a year old, but still)…

So, today talks about skills. I kind of talked about skills I’d like to acquire in last year’s post, so lets review how my goals measure up to my actual achievements. Hmmmm…..

I definitely want to want to try my hand at colorwork (I’m thinking of Spillyjane’s Swedish socks here), improve my sweater fitting skills, try beaded lace knitting, and maybe even dare to tackle my first steek (yikes!).

Well, I have certainly knit  a whole bunch of projects since last year – 39 to be exact. That includes 11 hats, 8 shawls, 4 pairs of baby booties and 5 different children’s toys. There are three items of clothing in there:

Yup, all three items of clothing are for kids. Not a one for an adult. But apart from the cardigan for a girl, they were already in the planning last year – I had already ordered the buttons and showed them off in last year Knitting and Crochet Blog Week’s embellishment’s post. I did make a few modifications to the dress and the baby cardigan – you’ll find more information on those on the individual pattern pages.

See? I did do some shaping work! I’m planning to knit a cardigan for my Mom, and for my sister (both Connie Chang Chinchio patterns), so there are two opportunities for garment shaping right there (plus I can knit a matching baby Austin hoodie for my sister’s kiddo!).

As for colorwork – well, I still haven’t knit the Swedish Fish socks – yet. Maybe I’ll knit them during this summer’s Ravelympics. For all of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m talking about the 2012 Ravelympics games where people knit/crochet simultaneously along to the Olympics, competing in our own categories. Really, it’s lots of fun. Anyway, I’ve seen awesome versions of the Swedish Fish socks where the fish charts are used to make awesome versions as sweaters or vests, too. So that’s on my to do list, but I have made a pair of fingerless mitts that have been well received.

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On to the next goal: Beaded lace knitting. Yeah, that hasn’t happened. It’s in the plans, but other wips have been intruding. You know, people having babies. People needing birthday gifts. People getting married. That kind of stuff that interfers with your wip list. Plus the occasional knitalong, and if there’s a pattern that catches your attention and you just HAVE to knit it right then and there yes, Color Affection, I’m looking at you!) I do have beads, and the matching yarn, plus the pattern – Haruni – or maybe Simurgh? – already planned out…

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Steeking. Eeek!!!! Yeah, I haven’t yet done that yet. I mean, who would feel good about cutting their knitting? But it’s such a great skill – makes it way easier to knit cardigans, or you can steek armholes and so on and on. It’s a skill I definitely want to acquire, and I think I have a good idea how to acquire it. I came across this awesome Missoni inspired chevron blanket pattern. Well, I’d originally bought Wollmeise Lace in a few different shades of red to create an ombre effect blanket, but now I’m thinking I’ll make the blanket with those different shades of red, plus black and white and grey thrown in too. And to make my life easier, I think I’ll knit the blanket in the round, and then just steek it in the end. That way I’ll hopefully be finished this decade. Now I just have to decide whether to hold the lace single or double….

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Given that I have enough on my plate – my queue is 43 pages long – I really don’t need to add other goals. Sooner or later I’ll come across a pattern or design that requires a new skill or a new technique, and I guess I’ll have to decide whether to sink or swim.

So that’s it for today. It’s almost tomorrow, and then I’ll have a post on my crafting balance. And then this year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week will be over. Wow, this week has flown by!

It’s Wednesday

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It’s Wednesday

so that means it’s time for another Yarn Along post! I’m once again participating in this week’s Yarn Along – there are links to other great Yarn Along posts there, with information on how to participate yourself. You can also find a link to this post through Tami’s Amis, and through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday. Oh, and then there’s Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) series too.

This week I’m working on my new WIPs, since some of my old WIPs are knit up. Yeah! The two wips that I have going are the same as last week: my Melody shawl wip, and my orange Fernfrost scarf. Both are really making progress. The Melody shawl travels in my bag whenever I’m out and about and likely to have  something around 10 quiet minutes where I can knit – at the doctor’s office, on the tram, on the Metro, in the car… I didn’t think I’d see this much progress by now. I thought that this would turn into one of these endless projects that linger for months, and only rarely makes progress. But I think this one will be finished up this month. Which is pretty good for me, given that I have a bunch of other things going on right now. Sorry, not the best picture – the lovely purple looks rather muddied.

I do have new pictures of the orange scarf. I was steam blocking my mystery KAL shawl (Yes, it’s finished!) and I decided to steam block part of the scarf to see how the lace pattern will look in the end, and I’m really happy with the project so far. The lace opens beautifully, and I can see that this will be a lovely long scarf. Personally, I like broader shawlish scarfs and I worked hard to convince my Mom otherwise, but Mom wanted the skinny one, like her Haruha scarf. Sigh.

Oh, and as to the reading material – it never hurts to take another look at all the camera functions. As you can see, my SLR is a Canon EOS 20D. Not the newest camera out there, but I’m pretty happy with it. The one major thing that I don’t like is that it requires CompactFlash cards. Grrr. I can’t just pop mine in the card reading slit in my camera. I usually end up taking a bunch of pictures and then I hook up an external card reader to upload the pictures. Which means that I’m usually behind with posting pictures. I then have to get my act together and organize my pictures after the fact – and that’s why there haven’t been any food pictures lately, even though I’ve been cooking quite a bit.

Btw, as to the mystery KAL – it’s finished! It didn’t have any lace components, so it was super easy to steam block it – no pinning and so on. Just easy peasy steam blocking. I only had to make sure that I didn’t stretch the edges too much and avoid uneven length/width sides. Tuesday’s post shows a bit of the finished object. Once I’ve figured out how the buttons work – i.e. what the different wear options are – I’ll do a mini photo shoot and will put up better pictures. Until then, here’s another picture of the finished project (too much sunshine, so the colors don’t look as saturated as they are):

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(Y)arrrrrrrrrn along!

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(Y)arrrrrrrrrn along!

Another Wednesday, another day to check in and see what I’m knitting and reading. My current read is Winnie the Pooh, which I read for my nephew over Skype. We both love Winnie the Pooh. We have a few other books in that series, but the Honey Cake mix-up is by far his favorite. It’s a really cute story – I must have read it to him a hundred times already, but he still enjoys it. I think there’s something really comforting for kids (especially the young ones) to reread a story, and to know what will happen. Oh, and for all of you Winnie the Pooh lovers, there’s a great series of YouTube videos about “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.” It’s a real treat for my nephew, even though he’s only allowed to watch a bit.  He’s kind of scared by Owl, and that funny mole, and Tigger is a bit too hyper – he’s too fast for him to understand, but he loves the songs. I have them memorized by now, too – and I keep thinking of the “Up, down” song when I’m sweating on the elliptical.

As for my knitting, well, I have finished one of my wips, the pleated scarf, I just don’t have a picture of the finished object. And the mystery KAL shawl is almost done – I’m waiting on clue#6, the last clue, and then I’ll have another FO for March. It looks really pretty so far, so I’m curious to see what the finished project will be like. And we’ll apparently need buttons – I guess for optional sleeves?

Now, why did I cast on for another project even though I already have two other wips on the needles, including last week’s project? Well, last week’s melody shawl is going to be my mindless project, the one that I work on while I’m in the car (not while I’m driving!), or waiting anywhere where I’ll likely only be able to knit just a bit at a time, and where I don’t want to worry about keeping track of where I am in the pattern. I’ve made a bit of progress, so this will probably turn into another endless project (and it easily fits into my handbag, as you can see).

The other project is for my cousin and his fiancee – the better than better than pea soup blanket. I really do need to get cracking on that one since I’m probably headed to San Francisco in May or early June, and I’d love to take it with me at the time. It would be rather inconvenient to bring it to the wedding. Plus, I really want to finish this up before it gets too warm.

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Ok, so back to the topic at hand. The German Wollmeise group (on Ravelry) is hosting a knit along called 12 Wollmeise in 12 months, with the goal to knit some of your treasured skeins instead of letting them linger in your stash, unknit. You pick out the skeins beforehand, give them a number and each month one number is drawn, and that skein is to be knit up. I’ve knit up January and February’s skeins, but I was late in working on my March project since my time was sucked up by my other Wips. So I’m a bit late to the party, knitting up this beautiful skein of Campari Orange light. It matches my mother’s hat really well, and she’s pretty excited to get this scarf.

The pattern is Anne Hanson’s Fernfrost, a really pretty pattern that shows of the colors beautifully. I thought that this would be a labor of love (well, more or less) since I was all scarfed out after that darn pleated scarf. But this one is flying of the needles, it’s so much fun to knit. I have till Saturday, so I’m hoping I’ll make it. And this time I’ll cast on for my April project right after that so I won’t be under such time pressure at the end of the month. Btw, I’m making this scarf narrower with only two rather than three pattern repeats, as per request, even though I tried to convince her otherwise. And now I’m wishing I had another skein in the color, to knit up a spring-inspired Windward for myself.

Phew, this was a long post. I’m participating in this week’s Yarn Along – there are links to other great Yarn Along posts there, with information on how to participate yourself. You can also find a link to this post through Tami’s Amis, and through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday. Oh, and then there’s Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) series too!


Endless project

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Tada! I’ve finally taken pictures of my endless project (Ravelry project page). The pattern is Stephen West’s Flamboyan, knit up in Malabrigo sock in Botticelli Red and Alcaucil. I really do love the finished projects, and it was worth the endless stockingette, garter stitch and edging. But still, this really was an endless project. I’m soooooo glad it’s finally done!

Last quarter

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So, we’re into the second quarter of the year – eek! – and it’s time to look back on January through March. My monthly totals are:

  • January: 1185.6 yards – 3 new projects knit, 2 WIPs completed
  • February: 1718.4 yards – 4 new projects knit, 1 WIP completed
  • March: 775 yards – a new project on the nedles, working on a old WIP

Hmmmmm… Clearly March has been a slacker month for me. I have been working on my endless project, a Flamboyan (when is this ever going to be finished???), and a cowl which has been my lunch break project. And it’s not just my knitting, it’s my reading too. The only thing I’ve managed to get around to more is my photography. But it’s not that I’m in a slump – it’s just that I’ve been so incredibly busy. Everyday life is just getting in the way. My lunchtime knitting is suffering because of my working out over the lunch break, or sometimes I go on a mini-photography expedition and then I work out at the end of the afternoon. And then there’s the all the stuff that needs to get taken care of after getting home. Plus I’m trying to make sure that I get new content up on the blog. Somehow I’m spending more time blogging than knitting! I need to reverse that.

I don’t want to make this a whining post. It’s just that I’m so intimidated by all that I need to knit in a the next few months. I need to get started on a stole that I’m knitting as a wedding gift, which I’m only allowed to start after I finish my Flamboyan. And Easter presents need to get knit too. Let’s not forget all the new baby project, and a big ole blanket for my nephew. And all the old WIPs that I’m planning to get done. And I want to blog about this year’s projects.

So I guess that means that I should get off the computer and back to my knitting. I’m going to go now and sit on the balcony, enjoy the sunshine and the warm weather, get something cold to drink and settle down with my knitting. And hey, maybe I’ll take a break and head down to the ice cream stand since this is perfect ice cream weather.

Let’s hope that next quarter my knitting totals will be better and I’ll have more projects to show for it.