Finished : Susie’s Mittens

Picking ThymeI am in love with these mittens!  This is the first pair of mitts that I’ve ever knit and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  Maine’s weather turned seasonably cold just as I finished these beauties.  In fact, I got the chance to test them for the first time on December 1 at the town’s annual light parade.  Although, no mitten can withstand 15 degree temps for over an hour while watching pretty, twinkling parade floats.  But, in their defense, they did hold up for almost the complete hour before I lost feeling in a few of my fingers.  🙂

Pattern:  Bella’s Mittens by Marielle Henault (subliminalrabbit)

Yarn:  Reynolds Lopi (used only 1 skein, which I had in stash!!)

Modifications:  I followed another Raveler’s mods and started the mitten at round 16, which shortened the length quite a bit.  The length is actually quite perfect (for me anyway) and the mitts fit neatly inside the sleeves of my winter jacket.

DSC00409These mitts are so wooly and warm… I’m in love!  I’m even considering knitting this pattern again, except modifying the original mitten into a fingerless one for work.  These would be lovely as fingerless mitts!

Ravelry Project Page Here!

The Yarn Stash

I’ve decided to start knitting through my yarn stash, which I have been collecting for the past 3 or 4 years. I didn’t realize how much yarn I had been accumulating until I started organizing my stash over the summer. This means that I’m officially putting myself on a yarn shopping hiatus until I can at least knit through half of what I have stored in my bookcases, plastic bins, closet, etc. (yes, I stash yarn in as many open places as I can find) My first destashing project is going to be a new winter scarf for me, me, me. That’s right, I realize the Christmas season is approaching and I should be knitting for others, but every year that I attempt this feat, I always end up stressed, frustrated and desperately wanting to throw my yarn/project outside in the snow. Basically, knitting becomes a chore instead of a creative outlet and I don’t want that happening again this year, especially with how stressful the holiday season can be. The only folks receiving a handknit gift this year are my parents and their gifts are super simple garter stitch scarves, one of which I have already completed. I also plan on knitting my friend a pair of fingerless mittens and possibly a pair of regular mittens, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. And, as I’m knitting through the stash, folks I know might be surprised with a handknit gift throughout 2013, which is always a nice surprise. 🙂

The first few skeins of yarn to be used up is my Cascade Eco Duo (approx. 4 skeins).  I purchased the natural colorway, which is a light cream/beige color.  This yarn is super soft and I can’t wait to start working with it.  I had originally purchased this yarn to make a cabled cardigan, but since I don’t want to start anymore large projects in the next few weeks, now this yarn will be knit into a beautiful winter scarf.  I need a new scarf, especially one that is soft and warm.  Emphasis on soft.  The last thing any knitter wants is an itchy scarf wrapped tightly around their necks when it’s cold outside and the snow is blowing.

So, here’s to destashing over the next 6 months or so and hopefully I can keep to my resolution.  Also, my Cable/Lace Kimono Cardigan should be finished this week and I’m hoping to have FO pictures taken this weekend.  I’m so excited to finally have a finished sweater that I can wear… can’t wait to show it off!!

FO: The Long Scarf

I’ve recently completed one Christmas present:  Dad’s Long Scarf.  I had a couple of skeins of hand-dyed Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande in stash and decided that it would be perfect as a nice, cozy scarf.  A basic garter stitch design was put to use since dad’s request had been for a super long scarf that he could “wrap around and around and around” his neck.  Plus, I was craving some relaxing tv knitting.  (Which was perfect for Wednesday evenings while I watched Nashville!)

I knit this scarf width-wise instead of using the traditional method.  For some reason, in my mind, I thought that this would cut my knitting time in half, but it didn’t.  It took me about the same amount of time that it would have taken me if I had knit the scarf length-wise.  But, in my defense, I did create a pretty cool looking scarf with the garter-stitches going in a different direction.  🙂

The scarf’s length is about 50-60″ long.  I’m 5’5″ and if I place the scarf around my neck without wrapping it, then the scarf will fall to about mid-thigh, almost to my knees.  Here’s the pattern, in case anyone out there would like to knit a long scarf for him or herself:

Gauge: 3 stitches to 1” on size 10.5 needles

CO: 180 stitches.

Knit for 36 rows or however wide you would like your scarf.

BO: use 1 size larger needle for a smoother BO. (I used a size 11 dpn)

Click Here Ravelry Project Page

Slow Progress

I have finally completed the back and both fronts to this beautiful cardigan.  (Sweaterbabe Cable/Lace Kimono)  It has taken me months (since March!) to get this far, but I can see the end is near and I’m getting excited to wear this piece.

I spent the better part of last night picking up 97 stitches for one sleeve only to realize that I had been picking up & knitting the stitches on the wrong side.  Grrr!!  So, I ripped everything apart and started over (at 11 PM, yes, my determination got the better of me) and am now satisfied with my progress.  My goal is to knit this sleeve in a week.  Fingers crossed that I can accomplish this!  🙂

Look how gorgeous those front pieces are!  Now all they need is the ribbed trim & ties for wrapping.  Happy Wednesday everyone!

Busy Bee

Where has the summer gone?!?  I’ve been so super busy at my job and at outdoor chores (gardening, repairs, etc.) that I haven’t had as much time for my knitting.  However, next week is a vacation week for me and I plan on finishing my Ombre Cardigan (which is almost done… about 85% of it anyway) as well as to knit my dad a super chunky ribbed scarf.  (why not get started on all those Christmas presents now..?!)  Plus, I’ll be staining the deck, repainting parts of the house and I’m going to try to sneak in a mini day trip to Schoodic Point/Bar Harbor.  Whoo… I have a feeling my vacation is going to be a blur.  lol

I’ll be posting progress pictures of my cardigan in a week or so, along with a few pictures of the yarn I just ordered from Tanis Fiber Arts.  I already have a few Fall projects in mind that I’m just itching to knit, but more on that next week.  🙂

What happens when I’m bored….

A while back, I purchased 2 skeins of Knitpicks Bare yarn in the Merino/Silk blend (fingering weight) along with a small jar of the Jacquard acid dye in silver gray.  I already have the primary colors in the Jacquard dye, but really felt like experiementing with the color gray.

On Wednesday, I spent the majority of my day handpainting a skein of this yarn in shades of the silver gray.  I found a really good tutorial online which helped a lot.  I also snapped a few pictures of the dyeing process:

The actual handpainting process took a lot longer than I thought it would, but it was so much fun.   I’m definitely going to continue handpainting/dyeing yarn because I’m finding that I enjoy this process almost as much as knitting.  Scary thought, huh?!?  I’ve got a new color in mind, which I’m going to experiment with this weekend, and will blog about next week.

This color reminds me of foggy summer mornings and so I have rightly named it “Fog”.  I’ll be using this color again, I’m sure, for other projects.  Maybe a simple lace cardigan or as a color for the Color Affection Shawl.  For now, this one skein is going to be used to knit the Dream Swatch Duo (head wrap only) and the leftovers might be used in a future colorwork project.  Have a great weekend everyone!!

Where have I been?!?

Disinfecting my yarn stash from moths and very slowly working away at my Ombre cardigan.  Yes, you heard me right, moths!!!  I purchased my first skein of JoJoland 100% cashmere yarn a few weeks ago and couldn’t keep my hands off of it.  This turned out to be a good thing because a couple of weeks ago, as I was picking it up to feel how soft it is again, a moth flew right out of it.  I guess I shouldn’t be completely shocked by this since I hadn’t kept my yarn stash as moth-proof as I should have been.  For some reason, I thought plastic containers would keep all my precious yarns safe.  So, I started the long process of freezing a few skeins of yarn a week and then sealing said yarn in Freezer bags.  I still have quite a bit of stash to go through, but this  has given me the opportunity to examine all of the yarn I’ve hoarded throughout the years and make plans on how I will use it all up.

 

My Ombre cardigan is coming along beautifully and I am so in love with this pattern.  I’ve already made plans to knit more Ombre cardigans (at least 2 more) in the coming year.  I’m finally knitting the bottom band (almost to the ribbed portion) and can’t wait to have this complete.  However, not all members of my family feel the same way.  My mom noticed me knitting on this cardigan the other night and exclaimed, “It looks like you spilled orange juice all over the bottom of your sweater.”  I tried explaining that it’s suppose to look like that… gradual color shifts and all that, but she doesn’t agree.  Once the cardigan is complete, I think she’ll be singing a different tune.  🙂  Progress pictures will be coming very soon!!