Monday, February 13, 2017

A Little Honey...For a NOT-So-Little Kid!

So....some firsts!  My first time using Hedgehog Fibers (FB page), first time knitting a fingering weight sweater for Camden and possibly my first time knitting an Amy Miller pattern!

Basically, I'm saying this sweater is awesome!

Seriously, I WISH y'all could see this sweater in person!  It's not my first time using either Voolenvine Yarn (FB page) or Gnome Acres (FB page), but those are naturally also still glorious.  The Little Honey is glorious and soft - and I would love to steal it for my very own :O  The Voolenvine was in the Nevermore colorway, and I actually used some of the Violet from my Bon Bon Bunny Gnome Acres Doppelganger set.

This sweater was NOT a planned knitting project for the new year...yet here we all are.  I decided I wanted to take some chances - and throw a wrench into my planning for the winter - by joining the Honey KAL in the This Old Knit and Yarngasm Ravelry groups.  I figured I HAD to have two skeins of fingering weight yarn that would go well together...and I did!  Yay for me!  I was doubly excited because I hadn't yet knit with one of my several skeins of Hedgehog Fibres, so, it all worked out well.

I naturally encountered some problems when starting out...why wouldn't I???  I thought I totally had gauge on one needle size, but it turned out, a few good inches in that it was all a LIE and that I was knitting too tightly...which was fine, so, I bumped up what I THOUGHT was a needle size or two - but what was REALLY a size 4.  I have no idea how that happened, but I kept questioning why my fabric was so loose, LOL.  It turned out there was a reason.  Ugh.  So, I moved back down a needle size, but then I also remembered that I'd planned on casting on for the size 4/5, rather than the 6/7, because of the positive ease...and apparently, I forgot.  So, I knit along on the size 6/7, thinking it'd be way too large...and it actually fits super well - yay once again!  She definitely has some room to grow, length-wise, so, I hope it continues to fit well in the shoulders when it fits better in length.  My project page is here.

I was worried, too, that I'd run out of yarn, which is why I used the Gnome Acres in the collar and cuffs.  I partly did the cuffs, too, when I realized it'd look cooler if I knit them in it turned out I had enough yarn, after all, between the other two skeins.
Awww, she came in at the camera, and I liked the result, LOL
The pattern is well-written and simple, though I do wish it had short row shaping at the neck.  I clearly could have tried to work that in, but eh....effort.  You can see I totally skipped out on knitting the pockets, because I knew they wouldn't be used, per se, and I didn't want any heavy things inside the pockets, weighing the sweater down.  And, well...yarn worries, aha!
A pose she needed to do, apparently ;)
Anyway, snafus aside, it's lovely, and I'm glad I'm DONE.  I put pressure on myself to knit this semi-quickly, and my hands are broken souls.  Camden loves, it, though, which is awesome!

And....days in the life.....
As a homeschooling mom, I have NO idea what I'm doing
Their little role-playing people
I spend $6 at Joann Fabrics for quickie activities!
Aww, a Berenice and Camden's old Owlet, passed on!
Mad skillzzz with Valentines!

This kid NEEDED a cut!
Adding embroidery to his sword jacket

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Scarf, a KitKat Hat AND Deep Stash: Things Which Never Happen

It's incredibly exciting when a knitter digs deep into her stash and pulls out yarn which needs to be knit up.  I can officially say I've experienced that.  I truly think this pattern and yarn were both purchased within the first few months of learning to knit, and I'm happy to report the final product is something Camden loves!

Honestly, I told myself a couple-few weeks ago that I just need to get this yarn OUT of my stash and git 'er done/used it. I have a few other skeins of yarn that I just wish were NOT there, so, I need to think how I can best use them, also....maybe a baby sweater for the future niece!  I bought the yarn seven or so years ago during a Friday night market event.  The vendor was positioned outside of the LYS (which no longer exists), and for some reason, I thought it was something I would like for myself.  I totally can't imagine that at ALL right now.  I'd never make this sort of purchase nowadays, but thankfully, I figured Camden would be into it, if I knit it for HER.  The vendor at the time was called Material Whirled but is now called Peculiar Ambitions and now seems to sell knit items on Etsy.  I think I bought the supplies all as a kit, of sorts.

I started this project, the Stop, Drop and Weave Scarf, on Thursday last week, I believe, and I finished it up last night, which was a relief, as I already wanted it off the needles, aha!  It was supposed to be six feet long (well, I swear the paper pattern says this, but Ravelry says four feet), but I'm sure my row gauge was tighter than what the designer, Angela Place, envisioned, so, it came out to less than four feet.  It was lovely to work on while driving out to the coast with friends and hanging out for the weekend.

This was clearly a super simple project - probably not worth multiple paragraphs of writing.  I was surprised by how much I liked the finished object, and Camden thinks it's great, which is always appreciated.

And....I had a lovely, quick weekend at the beach.  We became hilarious weather forecasters and played a lovely game of Cards Against Humanity...all while stuck inside, due to the neverending rain.
Deep sea divers....obviously

I made the KitKat Hat by Andi!

Our traditional running photo
I maybe put ONE in the hole....and almost had to throw down with someone :O
Everyone made it!
Awww, years past!  I didn't attend Beach Weekend 2015, though!  

Saturday, January 28, 2017

It Seems I have Officially SEAMED! The Berenice Sweater

A child down on her luck???
I tell you what, folks:  this sweater was some sort of test...a test in patience?  Maybe a test in whether or not I actually know how to knit?  I have no idea.


I have wanted to knit the Berenice sweater since it first came out in the first Kids Collection by Brooklyn Tweed....along with several other BT KC patterns, LOL.  I also totally purchased the Rosy Green Wool (I buy from Yarn Culture or Warm 'n Fuzzy) with the pattern in mind...envious all the while of Camden, because I secretly wanted that colorway for myself!

I also used this yarn when knitting my Windswept shawl!

I knit the sweater on the Cheeky Merino Joy base in the Wild Mallow colorway.  This base is perfect for this style of sweater, as I think it lends a certain classiness, LOL, if there is such a thing.  But I'm in love with all things Rosy Green Wool, so, a bit of a bias exists here.  The base is perfect, though, for a loose knitter like ME.  When I move down needle sizes to reach gauge on fingering weight yarn, my row gauge tightens up too much, so, knitting on sport weight yarn is awesome, as it fills out my row gauge, while still giving me a nice fabric.

Now, if you check my project page, the knitting of the sweater doesn't appear too dramatic.  I did have to rip out once, due to forgetting about length of the sweater.  I wanted to knit a size 4/5, because I didn't want the excessive positive ease, but I had wanted to make sure it was long enough - though I clearly forgot.  Thankfully, I realized this while still knitting the first side.  The pattern itself is written by Julie Hoover (her FB page) and is totally easy to understand.  There is a lot of flipping from page to page to keep track of what I needed to be doing, but the chart is great, and while not memorizable, as the repeat is too long, it is easy to knit while catching knitting podcasts and such.

Once the sleeve increases started, though, I had to be more careful about where I was at.  I used two sets of stitch markers in order to keep track of chart repeats and sleeve increases.  I have to say that next time, I wouldn't worry about working between two sizes.  I wish I had just knit a size 6/7, though it fits Camden okay now - and hopefully through this fall.  I did forget, I am pretty sure (you should have SEEN me counting rows and stitch markers like a WACKO), one of my sleeve increase repeats...which is incredibly depressing, as I lost six rows of knitting, so, it surely won't fit that great if she grows another inch or so.  Sad days.

Honestly, this yarn is SO SOFT
The sweater is knit in reverse stockinette, so, that feature is new to me....though clearly, the other side is stockinette, which, when knit flat, just means a bunch of purling.  I wonder if that is partly why my hand is broken???  LOL.  (no, seriously.)

Other than the lovely lace and cables in the pattern, a main feature of the sweater is in the exposed seams - picking up the stitches on the wrong side.  I LIKE that idea, but in execution, I am not sure my work looks so pretty.  The cuffs and hem are okay, but the neck is a bit crazy.  I've decided, though, that I can be over's the shoulder seaming that kills me.  I think I did the right thing with the side seams, in using the mattress stitch.  This is the first time I've ever fully seamed a sweater.  So, when I needed to seam the shoulders, I was thrown for a loop, as I clearly was presented with stitches in the wrong direction, so to speak.  I tried looking up information on this, but I finally just said EFF IT and tried my best...which looks WONKY.  Like...not cool.  I can pretend it's a design element, like Melinda over at the Yarnder Woman Podcast likes to say, but I'm not sure I can even pull that off.  Live and learn.  I was just over knitting the sweater at that point.  I want to point out again that the pattern is quite lovely, but I already felt like it was on the needles for far too long, having cast on over Thanksgiving weekend, and I just wanted the end product.
That seaming!!!  Sorry if you have hurt your eyes in the looking!
It IS cute, and I wish I was awesome like so many other knitters and could figure out how to knit it for myself!  Julie Hoover should just be cool and design it for women ;)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Yes, Socks Receive Their Own Blog Post

Though socks for a child are but wee, I felt that since I knit two pairs for Camden this year (well, over the past 8 months), they get their own blog post.

I used quite lovely yarn on both pairs, which makes it totally worth it ;)

I finished the pink pair way back in June (project page)...and they were slightly long, which I planned for...and they still are - oops!  The yarn is Cyborg's Craftroom in the Assockilate base, and the color is Unicorn Rainbow Fight.  They knit up beautifully, and I kept wanting to stare at them - and the other pair - while taking photos, aha!

Here is my thing with socks:  they are tricky in that, to get gauge, I originally had to go down to a size 000 needle, and I either use metal DPNs or my Karbonz DPNs (I buy the Karbonz from Handome Fibers - you NEED to order from them!!!  They are always so fast!).  BUT...I started tensioning my yarn a bit, because of my loose gauge, and I now wonder if it's just too much.  For example, you can see that ON, the socks fit super well, but they ARE snug to get up over the gusset (and I always knit a gusset and heel flap)...even though I knit my heel flap several rows longer, to accommodate for my crazy tight row gauge.  I don't necessarily want to move back up to a size 00 needle, but I am wondering if I should give that a try on the next pair of socks for one of the kids.  I love the final product in a 000, so, I'm not sure what to do.  I wonder if maybe picking up even more gusset stitches would help.  Hmmm....

For both pairs, I used the same pattern I always use for stockinette socks (paper copy, by the way!) - the Easy Lightweight Sock Pattern by Knitting Pure and Simple.  It is pattern #245.  I use the adult version for my socks, clearly, which is a different number.  One detail to note is that I used to kitchener toes closed, but I honestly have been finding I like the fit of the gathered toe better.  I also DO like to try out different toes on socks for myself, but for the kids, I keep it simple.

The other pair is knit in Hue Loco on the Spun Sock base in the Lucky Charm color way (my project page).  The colorway is gorgeous, and the socks are really quite bright and fun!  Nicole is getting back to dyeing more yarn, after having given birth to a gorgeous baby girl, so, go snag some yarn!  She has some lovely colorways in stock, like this one!

Of course, Tiberius feels HE needs a new pair, and I'd love to cast on some on, BUT.  I really need to finish a few projects I have going - including a pair of socks for myself.

Other shenanigans we've been getting up to....or NOT.  Honestly, we truly need to escape this house.  We hit up the bouncy house a week or so ago, and Camden and her dad went ice skating a few days ago, but we've just been so cooped up.  I need to get out and simple walk.  My knitting body is dying a bit.

Squeezing in a game of Outfoxed
I try to relax in baths...but when I've read a bit, I just want to escape, aha!
When Tiberius takes charge...
Matt is working on a quilt!
He may finish his first quilt before I do!
Camden says real artists wear berets
Contemplating life over Snickers Pie