Friday, January 31, 2014

Au Revoir, Janvier

 SweetieKNITHeart [Rav] designed by Jackie Loewen

Did you feel the love every day in January?

I've been chugging along, trying to get my grand plans to align...

This elegant apparatus is what stands between me and certain respiratory distress.  :)  I'm 25% done with the Orange Slice of DOOM:

winter means nighttime lighting -- and still the beads are shiny!
This shawl is somethin else, I tell you.  It's a great pattern to knit, though, so it's keeping me going -- and I even put in four extra beading rows for the fun of it!

What else did I knit this month?  Oh yeah...

Knit in two days! 
Plain and Striped Newborn Purple Hat [Rav] by Olha; knit with a quarter skein of South West Trading Company Bamboo in colorway 138 Purplexed

Knit in one day! says the invisible watch

Donner Pass Cowl [Rav] by Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich; knit with 1.5 skeins of Cascade Yarns Pima Tencel (discontinued) in colorway 8374 Apple Green

I've been chugging through STASH TERM! with a vengeance and there's more to come next month -- stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Can't Leaf It Alone

I'm already planning so many leaf puns for post titles, what a treat for you! (snerk.)  The needles are too big for the laceweight, so the fabric is slightly -ahem- ethereal, but it's just so pretty and wispy and-- I dunno, like a fairy made it in the forest on Rumpelstiltskin's spinning wheel or summink.

I'm just a-zipping along on size US7 nickel-plated addi Turbos...
it's going so quickly...
why is it going so quickly?!


If mathings are to be believed, the final yardage will be in the high 500s AKA way way less than the suggested range of 700-900 yards given with the pattern.  I'm still totally in love with the yarn, though, so there will definitely be a beaded something made out of the leftovers.

Friday, January 24, 2014

It Starts: A Dappled Leaf

Hey hi guys -- I'm making a shawl that looks like a leaf!!

Maple Leaf Knit Shawl sample knit by Natalia
Maple Leaf Knit Shawl sample knit by Natalia @ ELFmoda [Rav]

But right now my leaf looks like not-so-much:
The curly needles make it difficult to photograph successfully -- but you can kinda see how beautiful the yarn is, right?  Right?

Here's a better photo from earlier in the process.  The yarn is my very first experience with Madelinetosh (a Christmas gift -- thank you, Kris Kringle *WINK*) and I luff it so much.  Superwash merino is the bestest in the world... and I feel a little sheepish saying that this makes me want to knit on nothing else right now, it's so wonderful to use.

Is it possible to fall in love with a knitting project?
Because I think I may be in danger.

Friday, January 17, 2014

FOs: Tidbits for a Hipster Baby

I have a hipster friend.  She is very sweet.  She will be having a baby soon.  So I've decided to help her make her baby look as much like a tiny elf as possible.

Newborn Norwegian Sweet Mitts [Rav] by Jennifer Hoel; knit with 35yds of Lion Brand Sock-Ease in colorway 202 Taffy
These are so cute I just can't stand it.  Keep warm, hipster bebe!

Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap / Djevellue [Rav] by Gro; knit with 40yds Lion Brand Sock-Ease in colorway 202 Taffy, 20yds Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in colorway Dragonberry, and 20yds Cascade Heritage Silk in colorway 5619 Christmas Red
MODS: adjusted for newborn sizing + extra pointy-headedness

Also: this baby gets a sweater some time next month... but not yet.
Also also: my January heart knitting has been very straightforward, but February's is going to be interesting and pretty, due to ahead-of-time stash scouting, yarn-weighing, and special calendar placement.
Also also also: I have another design idea percolating in my brain...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Free Pattern: Ally Square

Okay, folks.  I finally have the itch to offer something as a design.
It's a colorwork chart!  (What?! I know.)  There's lots of talk going on about the Olympics being held in Russia next month, what with their human-rights-violating legislation...  SO in support of the LGBTQ community worldwide (especially any brave LGBTQ athletes competing in Sochi this year -- some protests are about being visible):

Intermediate colorwork chart from the straight ally flag
©2014 Big Knitting Trouble. All rights reserved. For personal use only.

  • approx 65-100 yards of worsted weight plied yarn in the appropriate colors: black, white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple + additional color of choice for text
  • US #8/5mm knitting needles (straight OR 16-inch circular)
  • Tapestry needle (for weaving in all the ends!)
Gauge: 15 sts/22 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Recommended needle size and gauge suggestions are for achieving an 8” x 8” square; your mileage may vary.

Please note: the square, as knit according to the instructions below, will curl a LOT; please take this into consideration when planning its final destination (seaming it into a blanket with other squares, edged in garter stitch or single crochet border for a stand-alone thing, etc.). 

Cast on 31 stitches using a long-tail cast on.  Follow 44-row colorwork chart. Bind off.
  • The “ALLY ” text is loosely stranded using any contrasting color (aqua in the sample)
  • The rainbow sections alternate with striped black and white, achieved through intarsia
click to embiggen
Approximate yardage for each color:
Red: 1-2 yards; Orange: 3-5 yards; Yellow: 5-8 yards; Green: 8-12 yards; Blue: 8-13 yards; Purple: 8-13 yards; White: 8-13 yards; Black: 21-30 yards; Text:  4-7 yards

Block gently.  Weave in all ends.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Year's Resolution: Love Every Day

I'd like to apologize again for up and disappearing at the end of 2013; it wasn't what I wanted BUT it was what I needed. I'm not one for resolving for the new year (because I basically have no willpower, HA!), but I feel the need for a fresh start and some jazz hands... so in this vein, I'm nebulously resolving to BE MORE POSITIVE and specifically resolving to find joy in small ways daily.

I've started something similar to the Memory Jar that's going around Pinterest, spinning it more into jotting myself a note -- "here's the silly thing I've found to enjoy today!" -- and plunking it into a jar to be reviewed and re-enjoyed at the end of the year.

There is also a daily knitting project associated with this brain shift...
Five minutes every morning, dedicated to knitting three short rows and finishing it into a teensy heart:
SweetieKNITHeart [Rav] by Jackie Loewen

There are a couple innerestin stitches here and there to solidify the shaping, but the pattern itself is really easy to execute and memorize.  The trick, of course, is blocking violently vigorously to turn a vaguely organ-shaped blob into a recognizable heart.

Looks better in the daylight, trust me.  I hope it'll be a good way to use up all the tiny scraps I can't bear to throw out as well as a good reminder to take a mental break every day, even for five minutes.

Feel free to leave any of your resolutions and/or wishes for the year in the comments -- we can do this! Bring it, 2014!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

FO Catchup: Post-Evenstar Shawls

Disappearing at the end of 2013 was not my intention; shawls n stuff kept happening, I just didn't document it.  There was a bit of December where I didn't knit for six days straight... but let us not speak of that horrible time!  These shawls have one thing in common: I'm keeping all of them SO THERE.

Fatal Refraction!
I got to do a test knit eeeeeee!!  Sorry, I'm still really excited this happened; I follow the Stitched Together blog and podcast, and you should to if you like to read about knitting (which all awesome people do).

Point of the story being: I got to test-knit a shawl design and I luff it:
 Refraction Shawlette [Rav] by Stitched Together Designs; knit with less than a skein of Cascade Heritage Silk in colorway 5619 Christmas Red

It's not free, but it's worth it.  Bonus: my shawl is on the pattern page, because I'm a boss.

Milk and Mulled Wine!
Okay, I talked about this one in my month-of-September recap, but I wanted to call it out again because I can:

Eyelets on the Prize!
Back during the aggravating government shutdown, I had a false start with a shawl pattern.  I still want to knit it eventually, but the pattern I ultimately chose works much better with the lovely yarn:
Eyelet Lace Shawlette [Rav] by TemptingEwe Designs; knit with a whole skein of Lost City Twin Canyon Merino/Silk Fingering in colorway Rock Bottom
MODS: 26 full repeats of rows 6-11, plus 1 row 6 and plain bindoff (picots drive me crazy) with US8 needle

The yarn is definitely busy, but it's so so soft and the eyelets in the pattern kept me from falling asleep.
Thank you again to Laurie for the yarn -- it's so beautiful and I hope to enjoy the finished product for a long, long time!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013: The Year in Shawls

Buongiorno, principessa, and thank you for always forgiving my tendency to disappear for months at a time.  Have I mentioned that you look stunning in that color?  It's true!

It's 2014 now -- a most Happy New Year to you -- which stirs the recapper in all of us.  So without further ado...

TWELVE SHAWLS IN 2013?  YES, it happened!

Most were gifts for the deserving and a few are mine mine mine -- success on the shawl front!

Shawl Project Pattern [Ravelry links]
1 Arrowed Arroyo [Rav]
2 Next Stop Everything Bigger on the Inside [Rav]
3 Grito Bandito Springtime Bandit [Rav]
4 Techni-Cover Melon Sorbet [Rav]
5 Shawl Showdown is GO Fall of Leaves [Rav]
6 Dru Flies My version of Summer flies [Rav]
7 Gryffindors Always Pay
Their Debts
EZ 100th Anniversary
Gull Wings Half-Circle [Rav]
8 Urban Druid Lavalette [Rav]
9 Estelio han, estelio veleth Evenstar Shawl [Rav]
10 Fatal Refraction Refraction Shawlette [Rav]
11 Milk and Mulled Wine Lagune [Rav]
12 Eyelets on the Prize Eyelet Lace Shawlette [Rav]

There will be more content on this blog more frequently in the coming year, and that's an almost-promise you can take to the bank!  For now, besos and hugs and holiday cheer from my household to yours!