Friday, July 22, 2016

FO Friday: Thanks for the Memories

One year and five months after starting my worsted weight Cozy Memories Blanket, it is officially in the "done" category! It's such a huge relief to have this project done, and I love the results. Of course, it could have been done much sooner if I had worked on it more consistently, but that's neither here nor there. The point is: it's done, I love it, and it looks great on our new couch!
The finished blanket is 9x13 squares for a grand total of 117. I used this free pattern from Ravelry to knit modular mitered squares with all of my scrap yarn. I made a point to spend some time weaving in ends every so often so that I didn't cross the knitting finish line, only to have a nightmare of ends to weave in all at once. Clearly, Tilly appreciates the effort, and I was pretty happy to realize that I only had two rows with ends to weave in when I reached the finish line.
Now I'm fighting the mad urge not to start a new scrap yarn blanket project, if you can believe it. I still have LOT of yarn in my cozy memories bin, but I don't think I'd do another blanket like this one. I'm actually considering a few options to eat up these yarn leftovers, such as Garter Squish, a scrap yarn version of either Izzy or Bounce, or this pretty crocheted blanket I spotted on Instagram.
If I can, I'm going to try to enjoy not having a long-term project on the needles for a while before I cast on again!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Hat Tricks

I started two new hats in the last week! I needed another worsted weight project on the needles, so I started the  Thistle hat, a free pattern by Liz Abinante using this uncharacteristically bright (for me) skein of Preciosa from Knit Picks.
I also decided to test the waters of fingering weight yarn knitting with a wee chevron hat on some funky US 2.5 bent DPNs. I'm using up both stash yarn and scrap yarn with this one, which always feels good!
Also made some huge progress on the baby sweater, and I'm so glad that my crazy idea for modifying this pattern for contrasting button bands and cuffs appears to be working. I'm just two sleeve cuffs and many yarn ends away (not to mention buttons) from calling this first one done!
The only thing I haven't gotten much done on is my travel knitting project, the bright green socks I've been knitting since mid-April. But, I am still spinning for the Tour de Fleece, slowly but surely - I am maybe a third of the way through the first single of this Louet Merino:
Thanks for stopping by, see you back here for FO Friday!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tour de Fleece Update: Halfway-ish Point

I've only added two finished skeins to my Tour de Fleece basket since last week. First, I finished a two-ply spun from some rolags I made on my Louet Blending Board that are a blend of shetland, merino, cashmere, alpaca, and other random bits.
My second project was finished over the weekend, I spun a thick-and-thin 2-ply from 4oz of mixed merino roving from Yarn Hollow.
I kind of like the way they look together - perhaps they will end up in a future project together?
For now, they join the skeins I spun in the first week of the Tour de Fleece:
Thank goodness the point of this event isn't to spin as much yardage as possible, because I'd really be failing miserably - there just aren't enough hours in the day! But I have managed to spin every day, even on the rest day, which is totally fine by me.

Hope you are enjoying the TDF, if you're spinning - see you back here for WIPs & SIPs on Wednesday!

Friday, July 15, 2016

FO Friday: Yet Another Cowl

This is the third Friday in a row that I've had a finished cowl project to share, though I definitely didn't plan it this way. I just finished the Chibi Maruko cowl by Mari Chiba using the only (full) skein of yarn that I brought back from TNNA last month.
I've had my eye on Baa Ram Ewe for a few years now, though this is the first I've gotten to knit a project with one of their yarns. What attracted me to them is that they are all spun with 100% British wool.
I chose to use their newest yarn, Dovestone DK, which is a blend of 50% BFL, 25% Wensleydale longwool, and 25% dark brown Masham. I really like the hand of this yarn - it's rustic but not TOO rustic, if that makes sense. The dark brown fiber mixed in with the other natural colors gives a nice depth to the dyed colors; I couldn't resist this pretty green color.
I knit mine a little longer so that I could stretch it out a bit horizontally when blocking, and it fits nice and snug! This was a nice, quick project that was a great travel project, especially since the stitch pattern was so easy to memorize.

Thanks for stopping by, have a crafty weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

WIP Wednesday: New Schtuff!

Now that the Cozy Memories Blanket is officially off the needles, I've allowed myself to start some fun new projects.

I couldn't resist starting the Wildflowers Cap from the first issue of Making magazine. I'm using two skeins of Naturally Nazareth from Kraemer Yarns, and even though I haven't dedicated much time to working on it, it's coming along fairly quickly - I'm halfway through the colorwork chart!
Since more babies are on their way this year, I figured I should get cracking on a little gift knitting. I picked up two skeins of Rowan pure wool worsted to knit the Easy Baby Sweater from More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, but I'm making some mods so that I can have contrasting cuffs and button bands. Basically, I'm making it less easy, but I think it's going to be worth it!
I also got started on the second BFL sock, which will be my travel project, provided my arms continue to improve so that I can knit on them pain-free of course.
And my first spinning project for Week 2 of the Tour de Fleece is under way, I'm spinning some rolags I made on my Louet Blending Board that are a blend of shetland, merino, cashmere, alpaca, and other random bits and bobs of fiber.
That's it for this week, see you back here for FO Friday!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Tour de Fleece Progress

Eight days into this year's Tour de Fleece and I have some finished skeins!
1. Yesterday I plied together three singles spun from some incredibly light & lofty pencil roving that is 49% bison down, 43% merino, and 14% alpaca.

2. Both of these skeins are from the same two Targhee singles from Yarn Geek fibers.

3. These two mini skeins are spun from leftover singles to make random 3-ply yarns.

I've surprised myself with how much spinning I've been able to accomplish so far during this year's event. Here's hoping I can keep it up!

Friday, July 8, 2016

FO Friday: 3 Color Cashmere Cowl

I finished another cowl! This one was my predominant travel knitting project for June, when I went to the TNNA show in DC and also flew to Kansas City for a Royals game.
I think this yarn has been in my stash for something like 4 years now; it's Pure Cashmere DK from Lotus Yarns, and I have to say that while it is very nice to work with, I am not totally convinced that it's really cashmere. I suppose it could be a low grade cashmere, but the mink-less mink yarn flap of last year doesn't inspire confidence in the accuracy for their labeling.
At any rate, I suppose it doesn't matter - I don't even remember what I paid for the yarn, which was probably something close to wholesale because I purchased it cash and carry at TNNA. It was still nice to work with, and it's soft and warm. And really, as long as you enjoy it, isn't that all that matters?
I used my favorite tool, the Knitter's Pride Knit Blockers along with some blocking wires for a nice, efficient blocking.
I really enjoyed knitting the pattern, and it's super easy to wear - this will be a warm addition to my winter wear!

Yarn: Pure Cashmere DK from Lotus yarn
Pattern: 3-Color Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli
See my Ravelry project page here.

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