Wednesday = Yarn Along

Pink Grapefruit Cowl knit in MadTosh merino light in Oxblood
my “p[u]rrrple” grapefruit cowl

And I’m yarning along again after a break. Not that I’d planned a break but life got busy, as it tends to. I’m figuring out that I a) need to plan out time for blogging in my day b) schedule posts ahead of time and c) set up some kind of posting schedule so you guys know when new content will go up.

MadMay 2013 badgeBut back to knitting. As I’d mentioned during this year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, I’m multiple wip kind of person. I cast-on to keep my knitting mojo going – plus there are always requests, and gifts, and so on. Plus, this is my MadMay – Madeline Tosh May – project.

This is really a fun project. It’s Julie’s Pink Grapefruit cowl and fingerless gloves pattern (her website is Knitted Bliss). Right now I’m only planning to knit the cowl, albeit in a larger size. I love how the star cluster sections look – and the way you create them really isn’t too complicated so it’s easy to memorize the pattern. I’m curious and nervous how the final project will look – you drop the stockingette sections between the star clusters, creating this dropped stitch – pattern effect. I hope it’ll be long enough.

Btw, my nephew asked me why his Mom and Dad can’t knit and that I should teach them so they could teach him so everybody would be able to knit. Lol. Toddler logic.

Now for the blog hop part: I’m linking up with this week’s Yarn Along, this week’s Tami’s Amis WIP Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) blog-a-long. Check out some of the other awesome wip posts.

Where’s my Wednesday at?

Smitten Kitchen cookbook plus scarf

Hello fellow Yarn Along-ers! Yes, I’m still around, and yes, it is high time for another Yarn Along post. Especially since I have a new wip to share with you. I managed to finish my Paraphenalia socks – yay! – and decided to cast on for something new instead of finishing up one of my old wips.

But first things first. Were you able to figure out what I’m reading? Yes? Or are you distracted by the image of the luscious lemon square? I can tell you that I have a serious hankering to bake some right now. I may just head out to the store later to buy some lemons… I guess that’s the mark of a good cookbook, that it serves to inspire you.

So – in case you didn’t guess, this is the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. I’d actually planned to attend one of the book signings, but life interfered. In the end, I guess I was better off not going, given how overcrowded and incredibly long the book signing was. And so I ended up borrowing the book from the library… I have to say, I do enjoy it, but it after all they hype, it wasn’t the best thing since sliced bread. A good cookbook but not the best one ever. It didn’t knock me off my socks. I know, heresy. Especially by me, an avowed Smitten Kitchen lover.  I do like it, but I think I’ll be just fine with the website. Unless of course someone wants to gift me with a copy of the book – I won’t say no (hint hint, family).

I guess that’s the problem with hype – it raises your expectations to a level that will almost always cause a let-down when you encounter the real thing. I’ve felt the same way about Argo or Forrest Gump. Really good movies, but the hype was just way too crazy. I was kind of disappointed after watching them – although I actually enjoyed Forrest Gump more the second time around. I’m guessing that’ll be the same case with Argo.

yellow and grey yarn

Back to the knitting. I’ve been on a yellow kick lately – the color just makes me happy. Plus it’s perfect to put you in a spring kind of mood. And even though the original prototype of the pattern sports a shawl knit in red and grey – MadTosh tart! – I decided on yellow. A mellow yellow, matched with a mellow grey so the scarf would be easy to combine with all kinds of clothing. I’m really happy with the final color selection. The yarn is MadelineTosh fingering merino light, in the colorways Whiskers and Winter Wheat. Pretty!

The pattern is Elinya – it’s a scarf/narrow shawl with  alternating stripes, knit in garter stitch. This is definitely a good design for beginners. As to me, I’m already bored out of my mind, and I’m only 30 stripes in. Oy. And this brings me to another point. This is a pattern you have to pay for. $4. I thought there’d be some short rows or some kind of shaping, something worth paying that much for. And yet all it consists of are garter stitch stripes, with increases at the beginning and end of each row. That’s it. I feel ripped off. I could have come up with that on my own, thank you very much. Sigh. But more on the topic of patterns, and pattern pricing another day.

And now for the blog hop part: I’m linking up with this week’s Yarn Along, this week’s Tami’s Amis WIP Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) blog-a-long. Check out some of the other awesome wip posts.

Yarn Along

 

Another Wednesday, another Yarn Along post

overloaded truck

Hello there!

I hope you haven’t given up on me! I know, it’s been a month of almost no posts, apart from the Weekly Photography Challenge. But I have a good reason: I’ve been dealing with a ginormous move, all the way across an ocean and a continent, and I’m only now starting to settle in. My stuff is partly here, partly in storage, partly on its way, which has made things difficult, knitting-wise. Almost all of my yarn is in storage, plus various knitting paraphernalia like knitting needles, my swift and ball winder, and other knitting do-dads. Is that a real word, do-dads?

paraphenalia sock pattern
twisty and pretty cables

Given all that’s been going on, I haven’t been reading much of anything. But, I’ve managed to get one project started. Currently on my needles is a sock. Yes, only one sock, the other one hasn’t even been started. The pattern is Paraphenalia, and includes ribbing and a few cable twists. Nothing too complicated, but a fun little project that I can pick up anytime. I’ve just turned the heel, so I’m actually a bit further along that the photograph. Let’s see how much progress I’ll make by next week – I’m hoping to have this sock finished and the second one at least halfway done. It’s always good to have goals, even if you don’t reach them on rightaway.

Now for the blog hop part: I’m linking up with this week’s Yarn Along, this week’s Tami’s Amis WIP Wednesday,  and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) blog-a-long. Check out some of the other awesome wip posts.

Did you miss me?

Hello fellow Yarn Alongers and Wednesday crafters! Did you miss me? Yes, it’s been quite some time since I’ve put up a new Yarn Along post, but I’m still around. While I may not have been blogging as much about my craft projects, I have been knitting. In fact, I already have three finished projects for 2013, and we’re only halfway through January. But this current project is a doozy. This is going to be the most challenging thing I’ve knit in a long time.

I’m currently knitting an Alberta vest for my father. He asked for a vest – really, that’s the only thing he wants me to knit for him. Despite all my offers to knit him handknit socks, he really wants that vest. So, that’s what he’s going to get.

Hurricane vest in progress
Hurricane vest in progress

Isn’t that colorway gorgeous? The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres’ Merino Cashmere in Hurricane. Unfortunately that yarn has been discontinued – it is so soft, it’s a pleasure to knit with it. The base is a fingering weight yarn, but fortunately I got gauge holding the yarn double. Phew! Otherwise I would have had to modify the pattern heavily – and the armholes and neckhole are steeked, so that would have been quite an adventure. I’ve never steeked before so I’m pretty nervous about taking scissors to the vest. Do you guys have a preferred steeking method, or any other steeking advice?

Close-up - aren't those colors gorgeous?
Close-up – aren’t those colors gorgeous?

Oh, and guess what happened in the middle of all this circular knitting? I have a pair of Holz & Stein needles which I love. They’re so smooth, it’s a joy to knit with them. The yarn moves so smoothly along, circular knitting is a breeze. And then, then this happened:

Knitting needle fail
Aaargh! The nylon cable came out!

As to what I’m reading – I’m rereading one of my favorite Young Adult books series by Tamora Pierce.  I’d photograph it with my knitting, except that I’m reading the ebook version, and well, I was taking the photo with my cell phone – which is also where the ebook file is… You’ll just have to make do with the Amazon image:

Tamora Pierce Tris's Book
Circle of Magic – Tris’s Book by Tamora Pierce

Now for the blog hop part: I’m linking up with this week’s Yarn Along, this week’s Tami’s Amis WIP Wednesday, through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) blog-a-long. Check out some of the other awesome wip posts.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

family handprints
family tree

I could’ve put up a photograph on any kind of crafting projects – if you poke around this blog, you’ll find tons of posts on creativity and creations. But I thought you guys would really enjoy this recent family tree that we made. Very quick and easy to make, and it’s a kind of snapshot of your family at that moment in time. Plus, people love guessing who made which handprint. It’s a great dinner conversation topic.

What’s up, Wednesday?

Yup, it’s Wednesday! Even though I’m traveling, I thought I’d let you know what’s going on with this week’s knitting.

I’m sad to say that I haven’t made much progress in my knitting. I guess that’s just what happens when you spend a lot of time with young kids – there’s just no way I want to have pointy needles around that might just poke someone – or worse. Plus, I’m sure I’ll get “help” with my knitting, which’ll probably result in a tangled skein. In fact, my nephew tried to “help” me once by pulling on my yarn – the green Quince & Co Puffin that I’m using for the pea soup blanket – and my working yarn broke under the skein. Fortunately it was far away enough from the actual knitting that I didn’t have any problems like my stitches unraveling, and I did a quick felted join so that wasn’t a problem, but now I’m waaay more wary with my knitting around little kids. But they already associate knitting with me. In fact, I stopped by a yarn store with the toddler the other day, and he carried a skein of Malabrigo sock in a lovely shade of green around while I was in the store. He was quite disappointed that I didn’t buy it. I didn’t look to closely at the skein or I might have been tempted to buy it. At least he didn’t ask me to knit socks or something else for him, otherwise I totally would have caved. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he figures that out soon.

Back to my actual knitting. I’ve knit a few more rows on my Indian Red scarf, but apart from that I’m working on the Germany baby socks that I was working on last week. I just haven’t made that much progress. I’m about to transition into the black section – the next stripe – but the socks are definitely not long enough, so I’ll be knitting up at least two stripe set repeats. I’m knitting the socks in a spiral for extra stretchability so he can actually wear them for a longer time, so I might make the socks even longer so he can wear them as a toddler. The knitting two socks at a time method is nice in that you don’t worry about making the socks equally long and so on. And you avoid second sock syndrome. But really, I’ve never had problems knitting the second sock. I guess I just buckle down cause I want to actually wear the socks. Knitting one sock at a time on two circular needles is still my favorite sock knitting method – it’s just so much faster.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what I’m reading – I’m not. I’m still reading Curious George stories at nighttime. I’m looking for summer reads recommendations – anything you guys would suggest? I’m not the horror story (or horror movie) kind of girl, but I’ll read just about anything. I was thinking about reading the Game of Thrones books. I’ve heard great things about the series, and I generally like reading books before watching their film versions. That can of course be disappointing if the movie doesn’t live up to the books expectations, but apparently the series does a good job translating the books to the screen. Plus, Sean Bean‘s in it. Love Sean Bean. He’s such a great actor. If you think about it, he’s been in so many different good movies, including great series, portraying all kinds of different characters.

Anyway, that’s me for this week. Now for the blog hop part: I’m linking up with this week’s Yarn Along, this week’s Tami’s Amis WIP Wednesday, through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) blog-a-long. Check out some of the other awesome wip posts.