Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Beginning, Middle, and End

As teased on Monday, I've started a half-pi shawl with the yarn I purchased at Maryland Sheep & Wool:

i love this yarn so much i dont even want to capitalize or punctuate

It's a little out of my comfort zone to mix color changes with lacework like this, but I've been assured by several trusted advisors that I'm on the right track.

The Evenstar has reached the halfway mark...
actually 53.52%, Row 33 of Chart 3, with 616 stitches per row and 44,828 total stitches completed:

At this stage, I'm thankful for:
  • two full months left in which to do all the beading (3000!)
  • all five seasons of The Wire on DVD, on loan from a friend

I made a felted fedora-esque fascinator -- fantastic!
International Cat Hat: Turkey [Rav] by Stacy Mar; knit with 60 yds of Knit Picks Gloss Fingering, held double, in colorway Winter Night and approx 20yds of Noro Silk Garden in colorway 08 Royal

This is my first felting since 2009 (when all my experiments went horribly, horribly wrong) and I really like the way it turned out.

Knit Bow Ring [Rav] by Meredith Crawford;
knit with 2yds of Cascade Pacific in colorway 509

It's slightly Doctor Who-inspired and I’m in love with the TARDIS blue and the timey-wimey stripes; the stitch definition hand-felted out perfectly, but it was not entirely smooth sailing. My original intention was to make a fez (because fezzes are cool), but rather than cry in my fishsticks-and-custard about my inability to shrink it enough, I changed course with reshaping and stuck a bowtie on the front (because bowties are cool).

Up next... steek?!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

FOs: Bright Bebe Bonnets

More stash-busting preemie hats for the local neonatal unit!  These free! patterns were all done with 40-60 total yards of Debbie Bliss Eco Cotton in colorways 32605 Beige and 32602 Celery:

MODS: CO 56 sts (down from 64) and continued in pattern for 5in (down from 6in) before crown decreases

Leafy Newborn Beanie [Rav] by Justyna Lorkowska
MODS: CO 54 sts (down from 60); all the reverse-stockinette purling with cotton was really hurting my hands, so I knit the entire thing from the wrong side!

Berry Baby Hat [Rav] by Michele Sabatier

MODS: CO 48 sts (down from 64) and did not switch to a larger needle, and started leaf stranding after 3in (down from 4in); I also totally ran out of the green yarn, so I fudged the decreases for a more severely sloped crown.

And here's the five all together (first two blogged here):

Now to knit and steek a coffee cozy
and knit and felt a TARDIS fascinator!

...wait what?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Small Breather for Small Hats

I'm pretty project-monogamous, but sometimes a break from the usual is most welcome.  A Quidditch deadline is looming (which is hilarious to me) and I've switched gears from fancy fussiness to some free! preemie hats:
on the left: Basic Baby Hat [Rav] by Heather Tucker; 
on the right: Preemie beanie [Rav] by Lyn Rowley.  
Both knit with a quarter-skein each of (discontinued) Debbie Bliss Cathay in colorways 12025 Beige and 12014 Green

These are two of an eventual five, for a cool 15 points apiece: quick, stashbusting, and ready to donate to my local neonatal unit.

AND for the curious: sitting on pause, at 49.11%:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Embodiment of Eruption

Well that was quick, wasn't it!

I've been hard at work, moving from 7.87% (in my last progress report) through the entirety of Chart 2 to 26.32% -- still around 280 stitches per row, but 22046 stitches completed total!

This is the last row of 280 stitches before I double it to move into Chart 3; I've just bought 40" circs in the correct size, so I'll be on my way soon...

At this stage, I'm thankful for:
  • several sizes and colors of non-snagging stitch markers
  • Michael Palin's myriad travel series for the BBC and Netflix instant streaming technology

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Project Needles: Research & Reconnaissance, Phase 1

During Knitting & Crochet Blog Week, I determined that by April 2014 I would have a system for organizing my knitting needles (ha!), and thus Project Needles was begun!

Let's go back...   way back...   to my very first course in library school:
Organization of Information!

From what I can remember (and it's been years now, so please cut me some slack), the first thing to think about when organizing a collection of something is to think about the purpose for the end user(s).
For example, alphabetizing is great, but it makes no sense to put, say, spices in alphabetical order by name if a competent cook relies on knowledge of flavors that go well together.
(My spices are alphabetized, because I only use spices if specifically called for by diligently-followed recipes, and what of it!  You're here for knitting, not cooking!  I make perfectly edible food sometimes!  ...okay, more to the point, it totally makes sense for me to alphabetize spices.)

SO!  As the only end user of my knitting needles (hereafter referred to as "the collection" because it's fancy), I have some decisions to make:
  • Do I care about size of needle?  Do I care about "type" of needle (straight vs double pointed vs circular)?  Do I care about color, material, other aesthetic value? What physical traits of the collection matter most to me on a priority scale?
  • How much sorting, repackaging, labeling, &c. do I want to do upfront? How long will it take to access the collection each instance?
  • What amount of space do I have to work with?  Should the operation be centralized, cataloged, searchable, &c.?
  • Should alphabetical order factor into any of this?  Because I love me some alphabetizing, not gonna lie.

The current state of the collection:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ever Expanding

The Evenstar is growing, slowly but surely...

The light was good when this photo was taken, just after Chart 1, increasing, and the Chart 2 setup rows -- 280 stitches per row, 6590 stitches completed total -- 7.87% finished, according to the fancy spreadsheet I'm using.

This sucker is gonna be huge.

At this stage, I'm thankful for:
  • all-knit rest rows (circular shawl = no purl-back rows!)
  • the blessed choice between written-out and charted lace (since my reading comprehension depends on my previous night's sleep)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

FO: Shawls #4 and #5

April and May -- check!

Melon Sorbet [Rav] by Halbe Prinzessin; knit with various amounts of Knit Picks Comfy Worsted (colorways Carrot, Peapod, Fairy Tale, Marlin, Rosehip, Marina, and Lilac)

This pattern was easy in the best possible way -- very necessary!  It was perfect for the "break month" I took and I almost wish it had taken longer, because it was thoroughly enjoyable.  The pattern as written is for three specific colors, but it's great for using up extras (this one was knit with leftovers) (obvious'd), and the wrong sides of the garter ridges work well for weaving in color-change ends.

Fall of Leaves [Rav] by Stephanie Hogendoorn; knit with less than one skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in colorway 1207 Salt and Pepper

I wish I could remember how it was to knit this... it's all a blur, really.  What you see before you was almost entirely knit on May 4th, from 9am to 2:30am May 5.  From what I can glean, I liked it a lot and was fairly intrigued with the asymmetricality of the repeats...
however, it is alpaca AND I had to bind off early (66%!) because I didn't have as much yarn as I thought I did AND I lost the shawl duel.  So I'm not dancing in the streets with joy or anything.

Upshot is: it will be so much fun to knit this again with a different yarn at a leisurely pace!

AND NOW just for funsies: I took photos during the duel itself...
lunch break: 1 row of progress, so many life rows of progress!

six separate tries on this row -- took for.ev.ah
it's all looking the same now...
in the car!
no more natural light! no more pics!