Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Progress Report

I'm back to check in with progress on the two projects in  my last two posts.
You may recognize this as a sleeve just placed on scrap yarn, wrong side out for secrecy, of course.

And so it is! I revisited the Cascade Sierra for my lace cardigan and took her down two needle sizes. While I don't recommend this, it was a must for me. I believe in this color and this yarn for this cardigan, and I refused to give up. I think it's going to work, but I won't really know until I finish and block it.

As for the boxed spring cover for Malcolm and Lucy, as of this morning I am just past halfway done!
Lucy's is on the left. 

Today promises to be sunny and mild, so I am off for a long walk before plunging into the lower body of that cardigan. I'll give the crochet a rest today--it took almost all of my yesterday. Balance.

I hope your day is nice, too. 


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Fooled!

You may think I am referring to fooling you by posting again so soon, but it's more than that. I was fooled by my current knitting design project.

The first fooling came from the swatches.
Hopefully you can see my little knots, which remind me of what size needle I used to swatch the yarn. 
This is Queensland Collection Leche, which is a worsted weight blend of merino, microfiber, milk protein and silk. It is lovely, but it's too heavy for this project, a twin set with lace cardigan. 
Here's why.

I worked up all my numbers for nine sizes of a twin set using this yarn and worked the tank from the 5 sts to the inch Stockinette Stitch gauge that the swatch gave me. That went just fine. Then I did the same for the lace cardigan and its 5.5 sts per inch gauge and it came out four sizes larger than I intended

Darn!

That's the rotten type of fooling, the kind that makes you cuss and swear. I put the whole thing aside for a week or so while I got over being mad at it. With new resolve, I thought I would try a different worsted weight yarn but on smaller needles, a size six.
I really wanted this gun metal grey Cascade Sierra to work. But no! It came out a whole stitch looser, despite going down a needle size. I took another time out from the whole thing and worked on something more encouraging to get my nerve back up to figure out this whole mess.

After enough satisfying knitting and crocheting to settle my grouchiness, I decided to finish up the pink cardigan, because really it is so pretty. I searched my stash for buttons and ribbon to back the button bands. I found the perfect buttons, pearly seashell ones. However, despite my largish ribbon stash, the perfect specimen for the cardigan did not materialize. I expanded the search out and about to three different craft/sewing shops. My husband even joined in for one shop visit. No such luck. 

Then I decided to look in my stash one more time. You probably know what I'm about to say. There it was all the time--the perfect ribbon. I was fooled by my stash!

Even though I was fooled by my swatch and by my ribbon stash, I am filled with vigor to start anew. I will swatch these two lovelies and see who gets to be the twin set for real.
On the left is a 100% alpaca that boasts a 5.5 st-to-the-inch gauge on size 7 needles, and on the right is a cotton yarn that claims around 5-6 sts to the inch on size 5 or 6. I'll try it all! I won't be defeated!

Happy April Fool's Day to you. 
I hope you had some amusing pranks pulled on you, but not by your knitting project.


Monday, March 31, 2014

NaCroMo 2014

I almost missed it!

In years past, I have spent the whole month celebrating National Crochet Month, but this year, I'm just barely skidding in at the end. For the past couple of weeks I've been working a little here and there on a birthday present for two special little folks.
Here's a hint.

You guessed it! Granny squares!

My grandtwins recently got big kid twin beds (appropriately) and my daughter mentioned that she had yet to cover the boxed springs. I immediately thought of this pin that I had on Pinterest. After confirming with Emily that she liked the idea, I got the measurements from her and got to work.

First I dug into the stash and rounded up all the flat (not heathered, not marled) colors I could find, especially the bright ones. These are all worsted weight 100% wool yarns (Cascade 220, Patons Classic Wool, Lion Wool, etc.). I made a gauge square to calculate how many rounds I would need to make a nine-inch square (the height of the boxed spring). It took eight rounds using a size H (5 mm) hook, so I started with Malcolm's batch, changing colors every round and weaving in all the ends as I went along to be nice to myself. Then I joined them as I worked. Once I had ten squares (almost half the number needed), I thought I would switch and start Lucy's, which I decided to make more like the inspiration project and work two rounds of each color, each with a white border. Malcolm's has more dark colors worked in, too.
I'm having a lot of fun "coloring outside the lines!" For instance, I wouldn't normally put these three outer colors anywhere near one another, and especially not snuggled right up against purple.
But it's a granny square, so it works!

I have ten squares done on Malcolm's and two done on Lucy's. Only 30 more to go!
I'll keep you posted, even though NaCroMo is over tonight at midnight. Anytime is right for crocheting!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Longest Break Ever!

Almost three months since I posted. What?

Let me explain....

Holidays
Need I say more? Well, perhaps I should add that Christmas 2013 was the first in years that I let myself get stressed, partly because I fell back into thinking I had to knit things for people.
Grandtwins Malcolm and Lucy
But I have to knit things for these people...they're too darned cute!

Family Events
We had one birth and one death at the beginning of 2014, two days apart. 
That's balance for you.

The new family member, Katy Eloise, went from NICU to happy and healthy, thank goodness.
I am still waiting to hold her, however. Let's just say the Atlanta ClusterBlob of January 2014 had something to do with that.

Providence
I hit the jackpot late in 2013 and got three freelance designs accepted by one of my very favorite publishers. Hopefully we will see those in print by fall of this year. (Yip!)

Catching Up
I had to work so hard on those three projects that I had no time for much else. I didn't even get online most days, so you can imagine that when it was all done and edited and shipped, I had to attend to things on an emergency basis. I couldn't even knit for a couple of days. I know! Tragic!

But now I am happily back to my Figheadh projects, which include some of this gorgeous yarn sent from Bare Naked Wools.
I am working up a couple of accessory designs and a cabled sweater with these all-natural, undyed yarns. They are just scrumptious. I hope to have those ready by fall. I am also in the midst of a lace cardigan for spring/summer and I hope to have that released in the next couple of months.

Stay tuned and I'll show you some peeks.

I hope you are all doing well and having a most healthy and prosperous 2014!
Onward!