20 March 2017

Infectious Little Knit Bug

The knit bug has bit me hard and all I want to do now is just knit knit knit and knit some more lol. Seriously, all I want to do is knit all the things! And I'm making a supreme attempt to do so!

My last blog post had my son's fingerless mitts halfway done, my socks halfway done and thoughts of a shawl in the mix or another pair of socks.  I've finished the mitts, my socks and have started my shawl.

The Cause he asked nicely mitts knit up super super quick.  I totally recommend this for  quick gift idea, or even as a stocking stuffer type gift.  It took me roughly 4 - 5 hours per mitt to knit them - now that's a quick knit and it really doesn't use all that much yarn either.  They are well named as 75 Yard Malabrigo Fingerless Mitts.

I used 53 yards worsted weight yarn that was from mum's stash on US8 needles.  There's nothing fancy to them; just stockinette stitch with 2 x 2 ribbing at the cuff and fingers.  They go to first knuckle on his middle finger.  I could make a pair of these for myself with the leftover yarn I bet, using smaller needles, maybe size 5 or so - my hands are way smaller than his LOL

Now my socks.  OMG  I LOVED LOVED LOVED knitting these socks up.  They went soooo quick and were so easy to knit.  The yarn is to die for!!  Nice and soft and squishy - and it's sooo pretty.  Not matchy matchy at all, but you know they are definitely meant to be together.

The yarn kept screaming  MUST cast on they said for days!  These are for the March sockbash for the Grocery Girls Podcast and I couldn't cast them on until March 1 - so I compromised - I made the project page, split up the yarn and knit my swatch up - then waited the agonizing 3 days until I could officially cast them on.

I knit these with US2 bamboo DPNs with Debbie Bliss Rialto Luxury Sock Yarn in Roskilde colourway.  I loved knitting these so much, that I made them much taller than i make most of my socks.  There was so much yarn on the skein that I even have plenty left over for a few blocks in my cozy memory blanket when I finally get enough leftovers to cast it on.  I want to say a final Thank You to Brownberry Yarns in the UK who sponsored the contest that allowed me get this yarn!

THEN - yes there's more LOL  I've been wanting a project bag pretty bad.  I saw a lot of cute ones, but not ones that said BUY ME now!!  Normally I'd just make one, but with my back issues, cutting fabric is beyond me for the most part as I can't bend comfortably to cut a straight line.  Which is why I've not quilted for over a year and a half.

My friend suggested that I try to cut after I get my nerve blocker injections.  I thought why not??  Worst case I'd have a half cut project bag - best case - I'd have a project bag that is all me.  So I did it - and I just LOVE what I came up with.

I loved it so much in fact, that I've got fabric on my cutting table for a medium sized bag for sweaters / shawls and a larger bag for heavier sweaters and blankets.

What I like about doing bags is that I can use my less loved or lower quality fabric for the lining.  The pattern I found has drawstrings made out of the fabric and I thought that was super cute!  I don't have a stash of zippers on hand, so that was a great solution for me.  These have a light interfacing to give them a bit of stiffness so they stand up nicely.  I just love them and both bags have projects in them :)

What I'm working on now is a project that poked me earlier this year and has continued to poke at me and demand to be knit.  Only issue, it's a shawl.  I'm not sure I'm a shawl person.  The only way to find out if I am is to knit one (or two) up and see what I think.  I'm making the Omorika Shawl that I've named Lace Chart Hell Omorika.  I call it that because the pattern is heavily charted.  I know how to read charts, but prefer written instructions.  It's easier for my eyes to follow and see where I am.  I've never done a lot of chart knitting - and yes I think I've actively avoided it.  This is a pretty intense pattern to be cutting my shawl teeth on for charting - I almost gave up and did another one that has a tutorial included for reading charts.  But I thought to myself.  I REALLY like this pattern and I want to knit it. I've been knitting for over 20 years, I consider myself to be an advanced knitter and I should be able to do this.

My first two attempts were horrific.  First, I had no clue where the pattern was starting.  The tags on the pattern said top down, but it certainly didn't look top down to me.  Inexperience with shawl patterns rearing it's ugly head early in the game.  I didn't use a life line and had to rip back when I got lost in the chart and knit the wrong row.  Soooo out it all came again for the second time - I went back to pattern tracking 101 and started for the 3rd time and am holding to my heart that the third time's the charm.  

It's working!  Tracking is tedious as hell, but I'm getting beyond that and am super excited about knitting the pattern now :D  I think I'm going to be okay - we'll see as the next chart looks a bit terrifying - but there's the old adage of knitting exactly what the pattern says and it'll all work out and don't overthink it.  So far so good :)  

Last night I finished the 2nd repeat of Chart B (The second attempt ended badly at the end of the main body set up which is just before chart B) - am about to put in my third lifeline and start on the third repeat - four repeats in total of Chart B, then Chart C - that thing is put landscape on the pattern page.  oi vay - Thank God for washi tape LOL

I'm knitting this on US3 circular needles with Knitpicks Alpaca fingering in Ernest colourway.  The yarn is so soft and squishy.  This is going to feel so good next to my neck.  I keep holding up the shawl after each row to check how the pattern is looking and making sure that the design is all lining up properly.  So far it's spot on!  Yea me!!

Okay - lifeline time and more shawly knitting goodness!