F.O: Dot the Monster

We interrupt this blanket broadcast to bring you: A Finished Object!

I swear that I’m still working diligently on the Fireside Afghan. I’m plugging away at it, churning out roughly a block a day. Six more blocks and I’ll be ready to begin sewing up! But, in the meantime, I also managed to slip in a little monster. He’s to be sent away to a new home in a swap.

DSC_0048I’m pretty enamored with this little guy. He’s knit from RedHeart Impeccable, which I bought on a whim but have decided that I like. It was a little scratchy to work with at this gauge, though soft enough as a finished project. I think if it were worked at on 8’s as, say, a lovely little entrelac scarf, it would be perfectly acceptable for against the skin wear.

DSC_0043A lot of gradient yarns fall pray to the murky, less attractive patches as the colors shift. I found this one to be lovely through and through. This pattern is a perennial swap favorite of mine, too. It’s small enough to squish in an envelope or tight box, but big enough that I don’t feel as though I’m sending along a mini. It combines all of my favorite of the designer’s techniques, too.

DSC_0054And, for proof, a quick shot of my stack of blocks hanging out in the Hexipuff bowl. I’ve given myself the deadline of my birthday, a month and a half away, to finish the two projects. I know that I’m getting close on the blanket and that I’m not far off on the puff pillow, but I think we can all agree that seaming and finishing a project can sometimes feel more daunting than the actual knitting does.

Does anyone else get squeamish about finishing techniques?

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F.O: Little Cotton Rabbit

My second Little Cotton Rabbit has flown off my needles and into my finished projects basket!

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Her name is Agatha Rabbit, and she loves tea cups, good books, and solving murder mysteries. But really, who doesn’t? I used Tosh DK for her body in Hickory, and Tosh Light in Laurel for her dress. I really don’t know what it is about this pattern, but I find these bunnies to be enchanting. They have such personality! The dresses have been a lot of fun to work, as well, which is evidenced by the fact that Agatha now has a wardrobe of two.

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The third is on the way. I’m justifying my obsession by telling myself that these adorable little dresses are a crash course in color work. I can’t wait to finish some more to show off!

Splash of Pink

Well, I left my camera charger in my apartment, so I’ll have to do without real pictures for a month. Instead, I took my pink mittens on a backyard photo shoot with my cell phone! They’re devilishly bright, even in the dull weather. I’m lamenting the fact that I gave away the matching headband before I could get pictures of them as a set, but such is the life of a knitter.

 

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I’m very proud of my bright pink mittens. I may even start another pair!

Holiday Daze

This time last year, I said that I was going to try to work on a 12 in 12 list. Although I acknowledged that I change my mind pretty frequently, the list looked like this:

 

  • A Blanket
  • Complicated cable or lace project
  • A nice pair of socks
  • A sweater
  • Triangle shawl
  • Mary Jane’s tea room project
  • A project from one of my magazines
  • A technique I’ve never successfully pulled off
  • Finish a crochet project.
  • Make mom some dishtowels
  • Go to a stitch night at one of the knitting shops
  •  a hat

The sweater will be on my needles when I’m done with Christmas knitting, so it will have been started within the year, if not finished. I did go to a stitch night at Stash LLC in Corvallis, which was a blast. I won a raffle! The project from a magazine didn’t happen, although I replaced it with knitting mittens, another long time goal of mine. The Mary Jane’s Tea Room project has everything done except for the head and the clothes. My never successfully pulled off technique was the fair isle on Tuppy the Vampire’s belly. The crochet project will have pictures taken this week. Other than those exceptions, here are my project pictures!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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I haven’t been blogging much because so many of my projects are presents, but starting soon I’ll be able to be more regular again! Happy Holidays!

Spree

I’ve been on a bit of a knitting spree lately. I have a million projects lined up, and I want to do them all at once! Taking things one at a time makes me more apt to actually finish things though, so I’m trying to go slow. My latest accomplishment was the two-toned scarf that I finally finished.

Meet the epitome of slow. It very nearly killed me to work this endless stockinette in lace weight, but the results are lovely and soft and worth the torture. I cast on 200 stitches, worked for 45 rows in the yellow, switched to the lavender, worked for 45 more rows, and cast off loosely. I blocked it scalloped on a whim, but I like the look. I’ve also finished two danger craft critters for my sister to give as Christmas presents, and now have a little cowl on my needles. Progress on my queue is being made!

 

Holden

Done with the Holden! I’m a little bit in love. I did, in the end, run out of yarn, but I made it through the last lace repeat before then (after cutting out 2 rows of stockinette, just to be safe). I did the last garter rows and the picot bind off in some handspun black left over from the monochoromatic waves cowl.

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I wasn’t entirely sure that I would survive the bindoff. I bound off for hours, until my hands were numb and the sight of the little shark toothed picots made my blood pressure rise. But I got through it, and I love the results. I’m a fan. The pattern was easy and interesting, and it blocked out very well. The whole project was a joy. I’ve already started my next shawl!

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Whirlwind

Well, now.

That summer went by quickly. I couldn’t even tell you what all happened, exactly. I know I was knitting, but all of the projects were small, or gifts, or are still relegated to my closet, waiting to be picked up again.

But fall has returned, and I’m back. As proof:

My current project, the Holden Shawl. I’m just about to start the lace portion. I’ve spent the weekend home sick, so I’ve had time to catch up and make some progress on it. It’s Autumn now, though, so every time I see knitwear my hands itch for needles. Maybe that will make me more productive.

 

The Blanket Lives!

While Dad was visiting this weekend I found a place selling my blanket yarn, and quickly snapped up two more skeins of it. They’re even in colorways I haven’t used yet! I only needed the one, but after miscounting before, I didn’t want to take any chances. I haven’t resolved the question of how I’m going to sew everything together, but at least I can finish the squares!

 

Thinking It Through

Remember when I was three squares short on my blanket, and couldn’t figure out what had gone wrong since I had used all of my yarn and gotten an even number of squares out of each ball? The third square was sitting right across from me the whole time I wrote that post. It was waiting happily on the couch for me to notice it, in exactly the same position that it was when I cast it off and set it aside. Trying to get this blanket finished is making me all kinds of stupid.

Now that I only have two squares left to knit (meaning that I have to go buy a ball of the yarn… somewhere), the problem of how to sew it all up isn’t really avoidable anymore. I avoided it when I bought (what I thought was) all of the yarn to finish the damn thing, and I avoided it when I let the squares sit in their tub and sulk for 2 months. This is my first blanket. What the heck am I supposed to do with all of these blocks?! I’ve been researching, and this is what I’ve come up with:

1. Crochet. I’m ignoring this option out at the moment. This is the most traditional choice, it seems, but an option of last resort. I hate single crochet. I’m not even sure that I do it right, despite the dozens of tutorials I’ve read and watched. Despite learning to crochet years before learning to knit, and learning from a real person instead of a grainy YouTube video, I’ve never managed to make it look right.

2. Sew. I could, theoretically, bind it and back it like a regular quilt, which I’ve done plenty of times before. The yarn is thick, though, and my machine is old. I don’t know if it could handle it, and don’t want to push the poor old fella. This means I could hand sew it, but that might not look as nice.

3. Knit. This is the option I really want to work, but the one I’ve found the least tutorials for. Maybe I’m ignoring an obvious solution here, but I don’t have any needles large enough to hold all of the stitches for one edge. Could I knit my boarders separately and seam them on, or only pick up so many stitches at a time, and seam the sections together? Both of these options re-enter the problem of not knowing a good seaming technique, which I’m probably going to have to remedy.

I’ve spent hours now, staring at the blanket on the floor, like Pooh Bear, going, “think, think, think…”, but not coming up with a solution. The next step is to do mock ups, and knit a mini test blanket. All I can figure is that I need yarn. I’m pretty sure a trip to the yarn store would fix all of my problems, or, at least, make me feel better about them. While I deliberate, here’s Harold the Houseplant Monster, wearing a snazzy sweater:

He’s looking pretty darn happy about it, too.