Monday, March 31, 2014

Auf Wiedersehen, März

SweetieKNITHeart [Rav] designed by Jackie Loewen

Sometimes I have a lot to say and sometimes I barely have enough to say to the people who share a house with me.
It's been a high-stress, low-words couple of weeks --
time to rock out and get in a different groove for April.

Quelle reprise!

Friday, March 21, 2014

FO Friday: Mossy Annis

Quick, under the wire, it's still Friday!

A Mossy Glen by John Atkinson Grimshaw, 1864, public domain
Annis [Rav] by Susanna IC; knit with less than half a skein of madelinetosh tosh lace in colorway Filigree
MODS: I used size 8/0 “rainbow green” seed beads instead of nupps + above every row 5 S2KP, plus some short row mods

This is my second Annis (first blogged here), knit because I needed an emergency herbology-themed shawl for a medium-term project for imaginary points.  If you didn't get it the first time, don't bother re-reading, it's perfectly fine to think that sentence is insane.

Also it's really pretty.  And it makes my apartment smell mossay (points to anyone who can get that movie reference!).

Monday, March 17, 2014

Just a Quarter Green

It's hard to tell from the name Cyprienne, but I'm one-quarter Irish and have an extremely proud Irish-American grandmother...

bad lighting -- it's late tonight I'm knitting on a mostly-kelly green shawl and watching Waking Ned Devine.  No beer, though.  It's Monday.  Red wine, obvi.

I must also take this opportunity to admit defeat -- finally and without regret -- with regard to the Big Orange Beaded Beast.  Because life's too short, y'all:

Giant Alpaca Monster at 41.13%

It is out of my house! It has moved to a better home! It will no longer lurk at me! My friend is doing me such a favor!  If I use exclamation points, I'll seem happy about it.

No but seriously, I'm going to knit this pattern again.  But with superwash.  Because it's the bomb.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

FO: There Wulf. There Castle.

There are more shawls off the needles!  Do you want more shawls? TOO BAD here's a sweater:

Barnegenseren Ikke helt ribba [Rav] by Pinneguri; knit with 1.5 skeins of Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Deep Waters and Canopy

I want to wear it, but I'm not four years old.

This is my first foray into bottom-up raglan sweaters and it was a learning experience to understand the basics of construction, so of course I decided to use a pattern written completely in Norwegian.  Here are some in-process shots:


I think my favorite part is the short-row purposely-long back section.  Kids move, you guys, and there's just no time to fiddle with a riding-up sweater.  NO TIME.

Also, the sleeves have thumb holes, because fun.  It's pretty great.

Friday, March 7, 2014

FO Friday: Mapocalypse

The sun-dappled leaf has grown into my second shawl for 2014!

Maple Leaf Knit Shawl [Rav] by Natalia @ Elfmoda; knit with half a skein of madelinetosh tosh lace in colorway Filigree

This is a new (paid) (non-charted) pattern with some kinks to work out, but I love love love the final result.  It's a leaf!  Made of yarn!

Forewarning: the pattern page lists the required yardage as 700-900 yards -- but my final shawl uses just under 500 yards and is blocked within an inch of its life.  So do with that what you will.

Thank you so much to my parents for my Christmas present yarn!!  There's enough left to make a-whole-nother shawl, so that's what I'm a-doin because it's gorgeous and I luff it.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Beads > Nupps

Nupps are not fun.  Nupps are like crazy elongated bobble stitches that require a lot of paying attention and having manual dexterity:
detail of Mariquita
And they are, as previously stated, not fun for me.  They are so not fun, I have basically stated "No New Nupps" as a rule for myself in all future knitting.  So what happens when Estonian lace comes a-knockin at your door?

Enter beads!  Beads are shiny!  Shiny = fun!

The act of beading is not as fun as having beads magically appear in your shawl, but it's a necessary evil.  The beads-instead-of-nupps for the Big Orange Beaded Beast are itsy-bitsy and I've been using a cut-up dental floss threader to add beads.  My newest WIP (pictured above) has slightly larger beads-instead-of-nupps, so I'm able to use the beading gadget method devised by my very clever friend.

Shawl #3 is on its way...  Shawl #2 will be on the blog tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Spinning My Wheels

So the Big Orange Beaded Beast: let's talk about it.

Here it sits, in excellent lighting, fibbing about its potential.  It's looked like this for a couple of weeks now, as I cannot bring myself to pick it back up.  There are so many other things to knit!  Things that don't have several beading rows looming large in my future!

This sort of project ennui doesn't usually hit me, especially with shawls.  Even with fake imaginary awesome points-based deadline-knitting goals set in stone, I just can't stay engaged with it.  The actual knitting on the object is fine (thanks to modern technology dust masks), it's what comes before that: the decision that, yes, I will pick this up and knit for at least three hours.  Because that's what it takes to make a dent in this thing.  It's not you, Orange Beast, it's me.  Confession: all last month, I actively mehhed in its general direction while gallivanting off with younger, sexier knits.

If you have had a similar experience with a project, please talk about it in the comments so I don't feel so much like an insensitive crafting philanderer.  There's rationalization in numbers.  :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

FO: The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway

First shawl for 2014!

Light and Up [Rav] by Caroline Wiens; knit with a skein of Alina Shea Creations Frost Moon in colorway Glacier's Dreams

I won the yarn as a prize for my Dru Flies shawl!  It was hand dyed by a fellow member of the HPKCHC (so cool!); the yarn is also highly variegated and sparkly, so it took a good 6 months to figure out what to do with it.  A mainly-stockinette shawl with eyelets seems to be my go-to for a yarn with high-contrast variegation.

The design is supposed to have three tassels, BUT I'm not sure if I'll keep this shawl or make it a present AND I doubt my tassel-making ability right at this second, so I still have a bit of yarn for just-in-case... you know, if the universe demands tassels.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Dyeing to Show You More

More yarn dyeing happened and there was much rejoicing.  I was so intrigued by the results of the faux-gradient transitioning experiment that I decided to expand and do more SCIENCE!, creating a rainbow using overdyeing techniques with Red Heart Heart & Sole.

Fun SCIENCE! thing that happened: I was so anxious about making sure the yellow adhered to the yarn, I turned it gold... you know, for the Olympics.  Or something.

  • four 5g miniskeins (fingering weight, 70% Wool, 30% Nylon); each miniskein is wound into a loose ball and soaked in hot water 20 min before dyeing
  • each dye prep is 3 cups dye solution (3 parts water/1 part white vinegar) brought to boiling in a saucepan
  • each dyed yarn is simmered until dye bath is exhausted, removed from heat and allowed sit 5 minutes, rinsed in hot water, draped into skein loops without burning hands or tangling (!), and allowed to dry overnight before skeining OR rewinding loosely in the opposite direction for overdyeing

step 1: yellow (2 plain): 2g lemonade Kool-Aid + an eensy pinch of orange + 1 bag of peach-flavored black tea steeped for 10 min; simmered for 30 minutes (gold!)
step 2: orange (1 plain, 1 half yellow): 1.5g orange Kool-Aid; simmered for 14 minutes (results are patchy... maybe do it for longer next time)
step 3: red (1 half orange): 1g tropical punch Kool-Aid + apple cider vinegar substituted in dye solution; simmered for 23 min (dye bath exhausted at 15 minutes, left longer for better adherence)
step 4: green (1 plain, 1 half yellow): rest of lemonade Kool-Aid + .5g ice blue raspberry lemonade + 1 bag of lemon & ginger herbal tea steeped for 6 min (this is obviously less than scientific - I would have used lemon-lime Kool-Aid if it had been stocked in any of the 4 stores I checked); simmered for 25 min (dye bath exhausted at 10 minutes, left longer for better adherence)
step 5: blue (1 half green): 1g ice blue raspberry lemonade Kool-Aid; simmered for 25 min (dye bath exhausted at 17 minutes, left longer for better adherence)

Now I just have to figure out something to knit with it.  Another beer bottle cozy, mayhaps?