After finishing up the knitting on my Starry Night Shawl, I decided that a summer cardi would be a good next project. I purchased a couple balls of Elann Peruvian Baby Lace Merino a few years ago on a whim as part of a bigger order. I decided to use it to cast on a Whisper Cardigan so that I would end up with a lightweight sweater that I could squeeze into a corner of my purse if needed.
I did some swatching and came up with 3.75 mm needles for the Whisper Cardi. I started working on the first sleeve on dpns last week. The more I looked at the knitted product the more unhappy I was with it. I took a step back for the weekend and thought about it a bit. I decided that the yarn is very nice, but it isn’t very elastic and it seems really thin. This was my first venture into knitting with lace-weight yarn, so I wasn’t sure if it was just the nature of lace-weight or if it was this particular yarn. While I was at my parents for dinner on Sunday night, I asked if I could see some of my Mom’s lace-weight to compare. The skeins she dug out to show me also contained alpaca, and they too were not very bouncy, but they were a bit thicker than the Baby Lace Merino.
So I’ve decided that I’m not enjoying knitting this pattern with this yarn, so I’m frogging it and calling it little more than a failed swatch. I would like to attempt this sweater again, but next time I’ll use a 100% wool lace-weight yarn, maybe Knit Picks Shadow, and see how that goes. I might knit the sleeves flat and then seam them up if the dpns are still not making me happy with different yarn.
On Monday, May 16th I cast on for my first shawl, which I have dubbed my Starry Night Shawl. It is another 12 in 2011 challenge project. I bought the yarn, Dream in Colour Starry in the Plum colourway, last year at the Victoria Fibre Festival with the intent of knitting myself a shawl to wear for Christmas (obviously I didn’t meet that deadline). Shortly after bringing the yarn home I picked out Lavelette as the pattern to use. I wanted something simple that would let the yarn shine. I thought of a night sky theme the second I saw this yarn, and the lace sections of this pattern remind me of diamond-shaped stars.
This pattern and yarn combination was addictive and quick. I cast off the shawl last night, only a week after I started it. However, I’m not finished yet, I still need to block it out and then weave in the ends. It might take me a couple of weeks to get to this, as I plan on doing it at my parents house so I can use my Mom’s blocking wires. I want to have it finished by July to wear to my cousin’s wedding.
While zooming through the shawl, I pondered doing an additional repeat of the lace and stockinette sections. I made up a simple spreadsheet to help estimate if I would have enough yarn to make the shawl larger. It turns out I didn’t, but I’ve put the spreadsheet on Google documents in case anyone would like to use it to test their own yarn against what is required.
I bought the sock blank from Entwined at the Victoria Fibre Festival a few years ago with plans to knit these socks while using the sock blank as a scarf at hockey games. That scenario didn’t end up happening because I decided that these socks were the perfect green to use as a March project and I haven’t been attending as many hockey games as I used to.
I’d like to try dyeing a sock blank myself, the circle pattern of this one resulted in cool tiny variegated stripes that pooled pleasingly. However, the squiggly yarn was harder to knit with, both in that my gauge was different from what it normally is and that it made my hands a bit sore when working with it. The next time I use a sock blank I will unwind the blank into a skein, wash it, dry it, and wind it into a ball. More work but easier on the hands.
They fit a bit tightly, but did relaxed a little after their brief soak and blocking. I finished them shortly after doing laundry and I didn’t want to wait until the next time I had enough dirty clothes for a load to officially finish these socks. I think they might loosen up a bit more once they have a turn in the washing machine.
Here’s another pic with Charlie checking out the socks. I think they meet his approval, although I won’t be able to tell for sure unless he gets a hold of one and starts prancing around the house with it.
With all my socks complete, I cast on another pair. I chose Jenna Swanson’s Tadpole Socks pattern and Twist of Fate’s Panda Bears Like It yarn from my stash. I bought the yarn a few years ago at the Victoria Fibre Festival from Erin. The yarn is lovely and soft, but it doesn’t have a lot of stretch. I’m fine with knitting with unstretchy yarn but it might annoy some knitters. These socks are part of my 12 in 2011 challenge and are the fifth pair of socks I have started this year. I’m knitting these toe-up instead of top-down, so I used my regular short-row toe and plan on using a short-row heel as well.
When I’m knitting with dpns I don’t like to purl my first stitch of a needle. I find it awkward and it usually ends up being loose. For this pattern I have solved the problem by shifting some of the stitches so that the purl stitches are at the end of the needles. So the stitches on my needles are: Needle #1 – k16 p1, Needle #2 – 14 pattern stitches p2, Needle #3 – 14 pattern stitches p1, and Needle #4 – k16. Now I just need to remember to shift the extra stitch to the front when I start the heel.
I started working on my scarf on Saturday I needed a break from my Green Sock Blank Socks. I got a few rows done. I should clarify that although the progress bar for this project says it’s at 50%, I am further than that. I plan on making the scarf however long that two skeins of Knit Picks Imagination will get me. I’ve used up one of the skeins, so the project will hit 100% when I’ve made it to the end of the second.
Mathew’s second sock went much faster than the first. On Friday, May 6th, I worked the heel and I finished up the second sock on Wednesday, May 11th. I’ve woven in the ends in the toes, but I’m keeping the tails at the cuff in place until Mathew has tried them on and given them the seal of approval. Until then I’m not setting the status to complete in Ravelry.
No new progress has been made on the Celtic Tote. I did however purchase the plastic mesh I need to continue work on the bottom/side piece. So when I’m ready to carry on I will be able to, or I will once I remember where I put the plastic mesh.
Last weekend I was a finishing machine. I finished up the second sleeve on my Hey Teach on Wednesday, May 4th and then I took a break from it until the weekend when I was at my parents house. It’s hard to do the finishing on bigger projects at home because Charlie likes to help me with my knitting. He’s getting better at leaving my knitting alone while I’m working on it, but yarn is still one of his favourite forbidden things to run around the house with. Plus, when he’s napping on my lap it’s hard to seam a sweater together or pick up stitches for button, buttonhole, and neck bands. If I wait and work on finishing when at my parent’s house, he’s busy playing with Inca and Fidget and lets me sit with knitting covering my lap.
On Saturday I picked up and knit the neck, button, and buttonhole bands. Then on Sunday I bought buttons, seamed it all together, and wove in the ends. Monday night I washed it and set it out to block.
I wore Hey Teach for the first time yesterday. It’s nice and comfy. The only thing that I think would be helpful is to back the button and buttonhole bands with grosgrain ribbon. The cardi is the right size but the button holes want to gape. Overall I’m very pleased with it, it’s a perfect addition to my work and non-work wardrobe.
I have a new blocking spot! I bought the table longer ago than I care to admit but didn’t set it up until Monday evening. This space is in my sewing room (which is the largest bedroom in my townhouse, but not by much). The table is not large enough to block anything bigger than a sweater, so when I make a shawl I’ll have to find another spot, like the bed in my old room at my parent’s house.
I also plan on using it to cut out sewing patterns. Finally a spot to do crafty stuff that isn’t hard on the knees and doesn’t encourage small brown dogs to “help”!
Right now my Hey Teach is blocking (more on that later) and once it’s dry I plan to finally block my Drops Cardi. I could potentially have two sweaters finished up in one week, all thanks to the power of procrastination.
On Monday evening I finished Mathew’s First Sock! Mathew was happy with the sock to the heel, or he was after I added a couple inches of leg so it was more comfortable to wear on the needles. So I was able to continue on without making any changes.
Here is the final recipe for Mathew’s Socks (subject to changes once the recipient is available to try on the finished product):
Provisional cast on of 34 sts.
Short row toe – wrapping 7 sts on each side.
Knit foot (68 sts) to 9.5 (including toe).
Short roe heel – wrapping 9 sts on each side.
Knit leg in stockinette to 6″ (including heel).
Knit 3.5″ of ribbing.
Cast off using stretchy bind off.
I’m now almost 6″ into the second sock. My goal is to knit at least an inch a day. If I only meet this goal and I allocate one day to the heel, I’ll need 13 days to finish the second sock. There are 19 days until Mathew is off ship, so I should be able to easily finish them in time for his return!
I received the following in an email from a coworker and it was so great that I had to share.
Given the current climate re: concerns for computer and data security, I suggest you take this message seriously. This is for your own safety and security!
If your workplace has been assessed and determined to be at a low level of risk,
the following method is recommended to ensure no one can see your passwords or what you’re typing:
For a moderate level of risk, this method ensures no one can see your passwords, what you’re typing, or which website you’re visiting:
For a high level of risk, this method ensures ultimate security:
Be safe out there people!
I googled to try to find out if it was originally posted on a website so that I could attribute it to whoever created it, but I only found other blog posts sharing the email. If anyone knows where this originated from please share with me.