New Lanark Aran in Autumn Has Arrived!

Another shipment of yarn came in —  oh, I have never had so much yarn in my possession at one time! I love this yarn and so does my niece.

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There are so much hidden hues in this: blue, red, yellow, maybe some orange.  This is going to knit up so beautifully in Aranmor.

I really cannot wait to get started on all three projects.  I wish I had six arms and three brains so I could cast on right now.

 

 

Sweet Georgia Has Arrived

Not much  knitting has been done lately, I have been staying late at work in order to both go on vacation and then to make up for going on vacation.  My sister flew me out to Las Vegas to celebrate her 30th birthday with the girls — it was a very last minute sort of thing.  We only stayed three days, but I must have packed more like it was a week.  I tried and tried, and tried again to stuff the Kodama shawl and the book into the suitcase, but it just did not work.  It was probably for the best, since the shawl is not the easiest project for me and I likely would have been too distracted on the plane and the airport to have given it the attention it deserves.

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(The High Roller in Las Vegas)

While I have no knitting updates, I do have a yarn one: my Sweet Georgia package has finally arrived! I bought a winder and swift just for this shipment.

The green (English Ivy) is the Merino Silk Aran.  It is an 8-ply yarn.  The other two are the Superwash-DK in Black Plum and Slate.  These two will be for Alice Starmore’s Ruska: Man’s Vest.

Chicken Sweater

I have started a small project. . . Jumpers for Battery Hens.  Do yourself a favor and look at the photos in the link (scroll down), you will be laughing for awhile.

I started this project, because one of the girl’s at work has a flock of hens.  Sometime during this past spring, one of the chickens broke her leg.  My friend didn’t want to put her down, so she separated her and let her heal.  The chicken is fine now, except she limps.  However, the other hens see this as a sign of weakness and pick on her, so she remains separated from most of the flock.  She still wants to be part of the flock, so at night, she leaves her box and sleeps outside the door to the henhouse.  Now that it is getting cold out, she needs something to stay warm.  Someone sent the link above to her as a joke, but it’s actually a really good idea.

I am about half-way through, nothing picture worthy.  I’ll save that for when the hen has it on.

Body of St. Edna

I hope everyone had a great New Year.  I had plans to go to the Ashram and bring in 2016 with prayer and meditation like I’ve been doing for the past few years, but. . . I had to go into work during the day and it turned into a stressful disaster; after I finally finished I just wanted to go home and chug some whiskey. (whiskey did not happen, just a few cups of coffee)  Screw peace and meditation.  I was just not in the mood.

Anyways, I did work on some knitting over the weekend. I have finally finished the body of St. Edna, and I am now ready for the sleeves.  It looks great, I am so happy with the way it has come together.  I have made this sweater before, but in brown so the cables did not show up as visibly as they do in the cream.

I did a little more work on Kodama.  This project is anything but relaxing.  For St. Edna, I have the pattern memorized, so it is a breeze to work through.  For Kodama I have to constantly look at the chart, and back at my work to get it right.  I have done lace before, but this project seems like a completely different beast from the other lace I have done.  The chart is definitely more complex and less repetitive than my previous projects.

After screwing up again on Kodama (entirely my fault), I have decided to put markers in between each row’s repeat (in Chart A, one section needs to repeat five (5) times). Some of my mistakes is miscounting, so I am hoping the markers will let me know when I miscount before I get to the end of the row.

I am still getting either one (1) extra or one (1) less stitch at the end of some rows. I have been going back and checking my work to make sure it is not from an error made in the row; I have no idea where the error is coming from.

Kodama

I started a new project yesterday, Kodama by Andrea Jurgrau from her book New Vintage Lace: Knits Inspired By The Past.  I am using 100% silk from Sweet Georgia in English Ivy which I purchased quite some time ago.

This project is only going okay.  I made a stupid mistake at the beginning and had to rip out and start again, after two hours of work.  It is going much better now, but I swear that there is some error in Chart A.  I printed up the corrections from knittingdaily, but still. . . something is not right.  I keep getting either one extra stitch or having one less stitch than the chart calls for.

I must say, I am kind of disappointed.  The errata download shows corrections on a lot of the patterns in the book. I looked at the pattern closer upon seeing the chart corrections, and then noticed a small error in the written instructions that was not in the errata downloads.  This is a publication from Interweave, I expected it to be better edited.  I understand things slip by, but the quantity of errors in a published book should be minimal.

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I feel comfortable enough to continue on with the pattern and make adjustments as they come up, but I would not recommend this book to those who are new to lace knitting.

2016 Knitting Bucket List

Andrea at This Knitted Life recently made a post about her 2016 knitting bucket list.

What’s on my list?

I never really do much for yearly resolutions, but I do have some craft goals for this year.

  1. Learn how to make a top-down sweater.  I have come to realize that I am a “sweater knitter.” I love big projects — things like socks and hats are fine to do and there’s a lot of patterns I like and would make, but my real love is for projects that require a long-term commitment. When I think of my mental queue, all the planned projects are big ones. Given this, I want to expand my sweater knowledge and try knitting one from the top down as I hear that can give you a better fit.  I recently bought Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Hand Book of Top-Down Sweaters and am going to give something from it a try.
  2. Dye again.  Back in college I took a course on fabric dyeing.  It was so much fun and I loved the class.  Later on, I did some at home, hoping to potentially sell some of the fabric on Etsy. Turned out it wasn’t the time in my life to start a fabric business, but I still have some of the dyes. I would like to get dyeing again, and use the yarn and/or fabric in my personal projects and for some of the stuff I sell online in my Etsy shop.
  3. Get better at spinning, and make a decent project with the hand spun yarn.  I have owned a spinning wheel for about eight years or so, but have never had the chance to spin too much.  It has really only been about one year that I have been regularly spinning.  My home spun yarns are not the best, and cannot really be used in anything that I would expect to be truly wearable. I have signed up for a few of the Craftsy spinning classes, and have been getting better.  I would like to spin a yarn that isn’t chunky, has more than two plies, and is consistent enough in its size to not be a “novelty” yarn.
  4. Make more of my own patterns.  Looking through my Ravelry projects and things I have stored away, I see that a few years ago, I was making more of my own patterns for projects.  I think part of this is because I had less money to spend on patterns and on yarn.  I was forced to make my own patterns in order to use the yarn that I had stashed away, because I could not afford to buy more yarn. Most of my patterns I made were not written down, but done fairly well on-the-fly from my knowledge of knitwear construction.  I have recently had more time to knit again (I didn’t knit much at all during law school) and can finally afford to spend some money on this hobby of mine, and make the patterns I have been drooling over for years in the Alice Starmore books.  While I really enjoy just sitting back and knitting a pattern someone else made, I think making my own patterns is a good test to see just how well I know how to knit. I also have a few ideas that have been bouncing around in my head, instead of looking online for a pattern that is similar or could be modified, I should just make my own.

I think this list is do-able, and hell, I could make one project that uses all four goals! (Oh, that’s a lot of spinning for a sweater. . . Maybe I’ll try to just spin enough for a good cowl?)

FO: Trøndelag Man’s Sweater

The Trøndelag is finished, all but sewing in the zipper which finally arrived today.  It looks great, but I am horrified at how long this is.  While knitting it, I would periodically have my father try it on for size, every time he said he wanted it longer, even though I thought it was perfect the first time he tried it on. So, longer and longer I made it until he gave the go-ahead.20151223_231238.

(Photo is of the back.)

Well, he certainly got what he wanted.  It’s almost like a mini-robe instead of a cardigan. It comes down past his butt.  I think the next time I make someone a project, I need to explain better that many sweaters will grow longer due to the weight of the wool.  I know the “growing” certainly has happened with this project.

At least he’s happy with it.