Sunday, January 14, 2018

Gazania Shrug - One Side Done

I was hoping to get a lot of knitting done this weekend, but woke up yesterday with a migraine.  My migraines are completely hormonal and are fortunately becoming less frequent, but I can still get bad ones.  I use Excedrin Migraine to combat them, cutting the pills in half, to take half at a time.  Yesterday was a two pill (4-halves) day, complete with visual aura and nausea - but no vomiting. Thankfully the worst did not last too long, although it always seems longer than it is.  Needless to say, the only knitting I could handle was simple knitting.  Once I was mostly recovered I tried working on my test knit, but had a mistake I couldn't diagnose, so I put it back down, not wanting to compound my error.  I was able to figure out what I had done wrong this morning - missed a yarn over, which made my stitch count off.  Easily fixed.

I did manage to finish up the first side of my Gazania Shrug.  I'm going to have a fair bit of yarn left over so I am pondering things to do with the cuff to lengthen the sleeves.  I was thinking about some crochet scallops, or maybe some feather and fan lace.  I want something that preserves the natural scallops of the edges.  When I went to weigh all of my skeins before picking up stitches for the second side, I did discover something.  Well, here, let me show you.

Dark Blue Skein - 54 g / 32.0 g - 22 g used
Red Skein - 50.6 g / 24.2 g - 25.4 g used
Orange Skein - 53.2 g / 32 g - 21.2 g used
Yellow Skein - 53.6 g / 32.1 g - 21.5 g used

See anything odd with my yarn usage?  Yeah, the red skein.  My gauge doesn't vary that much.  It appears that I did two extra stockinette rows on the red section.  Oops.  Oh, well, I'm not going to repeat that on the second side, I won't have enough yarn.  And I'm certainly not going to frog back.

Pattern:  Traveling Zebra Shrug by Carolyn Blakelock
Yarn:  Biscotte & Cie Bis-sock
Needles:  US 2.5 (3 mm) and US 4 (3.5 mm)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Xanthe - Stripes and Lace

I finished up the 47 garter ridges and have completed 13 rows of the lace section.  I did have to rip back a couple of the garter stripes when I discovered a loop hanging free at the beginning of a row a about half a dozen rows from the end.  I thought about just grabbing that loop with one of the ends of my first two colors, but that just wasn't going to look right so I ripped back.  I tend to work mostly with wool and wool blends so I can be pretty bold when it comes to ripping.  I pull the needle out and start pulling out the rows.  I move quickly until I get to the row before the row I want to restart on.  When I get to that penultimate row I pick up my needles again and put my needle through the stitch in the row below the current one and then pull the working yarn out of that stitch, picking up and frogging one stitch at a time.  I have successfully done this with lace as well, although yarn overs often get lost in the process.  In that case I work the next row very slowly and carefully, restoring the lost yarn overs as I go.

When I counted my stitches before starting the lace, just to double check things, I discovered that I must have cast on an extra stitch - I checked all of my increases and decreases and couldn't find any extra increases or missing decreases.  Rather than get rid of that stitch I'm just working an extra knit stitch at the beginning of the row between the increase and the lace pattern.

Pattern:  Xanthe by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Kiri
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Xanthe - Cast On

I cast on my Xanthe this weekend.  Ambah is running another KAL this month "It's a Wrap" and I couldn't resist.  I'm using an Autumn Trio from The Unique Sheep.
The colors are (from bottom to top) Crumble, Strudel and Granny Smith.

The pattern is simple, but there are a lot of stripes, which is a repeat of 4 rows.  For the first section I have to repeat those 4 rows 23 times.  I really wanted to use Smart Counters, but you can't use Smart Counters with Text Overlay, only with Charts.  I started out with the just the text overlay and using one of the counters to keep track of my 4 row repeats, but it still bugged me that I couldn't automate that.  So I came up with a hack.  I went back to Setup to crop the 4 rows as a chart instead of text, but before I did the cropping I rotated the page until it was upside down.  I then cropped the 4 rows as a chart.  I put in 4 for the number of rows and just made up a number (20) for the number of stitches.  I then went into Smart Counters and set the repeat to 23.  I went back to the main project view and selected the chart.  But wait - my text is upside down!  I had to do that because charts advance from bottom to top, while text advances from top to bottom.  I locked my iPad orientation and flipped it so the text was right side up.  Everything else is now upside down, but it doesn't matter, and I don't have to worry about forgetting to advance the counter manually at the end of each 4-row repeat.  Did I mention I don't like counting rows of garter stitch?

Pattern:  Xanthe by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Kiri
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Adventurous Wrap - Done!

I wrapped this around my shoulders last week when I was home (one day feeling like I was coming down with something and then the next because of snow) and decided it definitely needed more length, so I unzipped my bind off, put it back on the needles and pulled out my leftovers.  I decided to add length to one side of each triangle.  I had thought about working a third triangle, but I didn't have enough yarn to work the same sequence, and it would have meant undoing more bind offs.  This required the least rework.
I did the same sequence over again, picking up where I had left off.  I did leave out 2 rows of the C2 and C3 colors just before the join because they were the ones that I had the least of and I really didn't want to play yarn chicken.  It turns out I probably would have had just enough of C3 to do all 3 garter ridges, but I wasn't sure and didn't want to risk it.

Pattern:  Adventurous Wrap by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Superfine Fingering - Magical Dye Pot F-series
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Nature's Gem Celadon - Done!

I finished up my Nature's Gem Celadon on New Year's Eve, but it has been a real challenge getting a good picture of it between the cold and the wind.  The shot above is before blocking.
And this is the blocking shot.  I screwed up my calculation on where to start the mini-skeins.  I was using the yarn usage numbers for a different yarn that is a little finer than this one.  I do like the effect though, and it allowed me to give the speckled yarn an opportunity to shine as well.  I have frogged the other Advent Calendar projects that I started, having had second thoughts on them.  I will make another Celadon using the Compassion Ombre, but I may get a different neutral to go with it.  I did order a skein to do the knit on border for my Bright & Bold shawl.

Pattern:  Celadon by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep  Kiri
 Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Nature's Gem Celadon - Skeins 6 & 5 Done

I spent most of yesterday knitting and reading.  This shawl pattern goes pretty fast, although it isn't quite perfect reading knitting and I did make a couple of mistakes (typically working a kfb when I wasn't supposed to), but I counted my stitches on a fairly regular basis so was able to catch and correct them.  I have enough left overs of the mini-skeins that I might work a couple of rows of each color in the reverse order after I finish with skein 1, just cause.

Pattern:  Celadon by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep  Kiri
 Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Tea Party Celadon - Done!

I also finished up my Tea Party Celadon before Christmas, but never got around to posting.  Getting a good picture was a bit of a challenge - the shawl is 8 feet long.

Pattern:  Celadon by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep  Rare Breed and Sparkle
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)