Sunday, August 13, 2017

Camp Loopy 2017 Project Three - Goldwing in Green

Having to completely restart my test knit I realized that I also needed to rethink my Camp Loopy Project Three plans.  I had planned on making a cardigan, but I had substituted a different yarn and new I would have to make modifications and just didn't feel like I could devote that much time and effort to the project so back I went to Ravelry to find an easier pattern to make.  I decided to look at Ambah O'Brien's shawls, knowing that they often used multiple skeins so I could more easily meet the yardage requirements, and she has been very prolific in recent years so I could find something published in 2015 or later (the requirements for the project).  I settled on her shawl Goldwing.  It has a simple construction and can be easily modified to use as much yarn as I need to in order to meet the yardage requirements.  For yarn I went with Canon Hand Dyes William Merino Gradient.  They have some lovely gradient yarn colors but I decided to go with something simple.  The color is Emeralds but for the title of my project I went with Goldwing in Green because I like the alliteration.  I'm working the first skein from light to dark and when I get to the middle and start the decreases I'll work the second skein from dark to light.  I went down a needle size from what is recommended in the pattern because my yarn is a little lighter weight than the one called for in the pattern.

Pattern:  Goldwing by Ambah O'Brien

Yarn:  Canon Hand Dyes William Merino Gradient in Emeralds
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Camp Loopy Project Two - Rainbow Vest - Finished!

I realized that I did not post finished pictures of my July Camp Loopy project.  This one I finished up on July 15, so easily done in time for the deadline.

Pattern:  Desert Arrows Vest by Jean Clement
Yarn:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Cloud Nine in Taste the Rainbow
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

Peacock Shrug - Center Panel Done

I finished up the central panel this past week and took a little break from my test knitting to start the first stripe.  I've done a few more rows since then, but am still on the first stripe.  This is my easy knitting project for when I'm too tired to work on lace, but I have to be careful.  Last night I actually nodded off while working on it and almost lost a stitch, and forgot to switch to the larger needle when I was supposed to.  I switched to the larger needle one row late but I don't really think it will make much difference.  It looks like Biscotte & Cie will be releasing the pattern soon.  They had a Facebook post of some photos from a professional photo shoot and I spotted the shrug I knit for them, but was perturbed to see the model wearing it as a scarf instead of a shrug.  I do hope they have some proper photos of it.  I sent them two photos of me modeling it when I sent the pattern.

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

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Peacock Shrug - Center Panel Half-way Done

As I neared the completion of my Strawberry Shortcake Shrug I pulled out the Peacock Paintbox set and started the central panel.  I managed to get some knitting in at work and I'm over halfway done with the center panel. I've laid out the other colors in the order I'll be working them from left to right.  I hope my order of 4 more Paintbox sets gets here okay.  I've got two orders of the Gazania Paintbox set that have gone missing.  My original order was placed in June, and a replacement order was sent by Biscotte in July.  Neither have arrived.  I don't know what is going on with the mail system.

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, August 4, 2017

Strawberry Shortcake Shrug - Finished!

I finished up my shrug this past week.  I took Wednesday off so we could go shopping in town, and I had to take a break from my test knit because we discovered a mistake that required us to start over.  I'm very happy to have a shrug again, and Biscotte has released 7 new Paintbox sets (I have already ordered 4 of them).

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

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Strawberry Shortcake Shrug - Side Two - One Stripe Done

I've finished up one stripe on the second side and am about to start the stockinette section on the second stripe.  I came home on Friday to discover that I've been paid by Biscotte for the pattern and sample of this shrug pattern.  Hopefully it will be released soon.

I thought I would share how I secure the first side while I'm working on the second.  I knit the last row onto another, longer set of needles and then put a lock on those needles to keep the stitches from coming off.
This is what my stitch lock looks like.  It has a spring inside.  When you push down the holes from the two pieces line up and you can slide your needle through the hole.  I put the both needles through the holes facing the same direction.  Makes them a little easier to manage.  I slide it down to the cable, that way the increase in diameter of the needle keeps it from being pulled off accidentally.

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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Strawberry Shortcake Shrug - One Side Done

Oh well, so much for working on my test knit, but I was really enjoying the quiet of the morning and wanted to read, and this project is a perfect "knit and read" project.  When I work on lace I tend to have the television or radio on.  I'm reading the Foreigner series by C.J. Cherryh, one of my all time favorite science fiction authors.  She is an amazing world builder and I think the only author I have read that can really create convincing aliens.  The picture isn't the best as it is very overcast here - it may start raining again.  We had some wonderful thunderstorms last night.  I do love summer thunderstorms.  I just love this pattern so much, I may turn all of my Biscotte self-striping yarn into shrugs, and just figure out colors to go with them.  Biscotte seems to have expanded their line of semi-solid colors, and they've added speckled skeins, and you can get 50 gram skeins as well as 100 gram skeins, so there are lots of options opening up.  I've pulled out my Peacock Paintbox set and will start working the central panel on that one.  I'm going to stick it in my project bag that goes to work with me - it used to always have a sock project it in, now it is going to have a shrug central panel instead, for a while, at least.


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

Strawberry Shortcake Shrug - Three Stripes Done

I finished up two stripes this week, in between knitting clues on my test knit and last night I started the last stripe on this side.  But now I need to get back to my test knit.  I had a little set back on it yesterday when I realized that I had screwed up a section.  I tried to do lace surgery on it, but it was a pretty extensive area and I ended up tinking back several rows.  I will definitely suggest to folks they put a life line in before clue 3.

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

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Strawberry Shortcake Shrug - One Stripe Done

I finished up the first stripe on my Strawberry Shortcake Shrug this afternoon and have done 3 rows of the second stripe.  I also finished up my Rainbow Vest yesterday, it is still blocking, and started on my test knit.

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

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rainbow Vest - Camp Loopy 2017 Project Two - Making Progress

I decided to focus on this project this week and I'm happy to report that I'm making progress.  I've made it through the short rows.  This morning I pinned it to my dress maker dummy and spritzed it with water.  It was curling up on itself something fierce, which was just annoying my while I was knitting.  I decided to take advantage of the fact that it was pinned to snap a couple of quick pictures.
It is definitely behaving itself now.

Pattern:  Desert Arrows Vest by Jean Clement
Yarn:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Cloud Nine in Taste the Rainbow
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Rainbow Vest - Camp Loopy 2017 Project Two - A Slow Start

I will confess that I have been neglecting my Camp Loopy project.  I just have too many fun projects going on at once.  And I have a test knit that I have to get started on (I spent most of the morning prepping the charts for that one).  But I have been making progress - two repeats of the lace so far.  I'm not sure what is going on with my selection of crazy yarn and lace.  I did the same thing with the first Camp Loopy project (more out of necessity than choice).  I think this will turn out okay.  In both cases the lace pattern is simple, and I do like the colors.

Pattern:  Desert Arrows Vest by Jean Clement
Yarn:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Cloud Nine in Taste the Rainbow
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

Kimba - Making Progress

Now that I've finished up the sample knit for Biscotte I've been focusing on some of my other projects.  I haven't quite gotten to the point where I bring in the second color, but I am only 5 rows away.  I have been using the written instructions instead of the charts on this one, in part because the charts are rather garishly colored.  I understand the reason - showing when to change colors in the pattern, but the selections are just a bit too intense for my tastes.  Fortunately the stitch patterns are pretty easy to memorize.  I am going to have to do some modifications on the color switching because I probably don't have enough of color 2, and I would like to use up more of my colors 3 and 4, so I think I will add some rows.

Pattern:  Kimba by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20
Needles:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Strawberry Shortcake Shrug - Starting Over

I first started working on this shrug last December, but really struggled with the colors because I just couldn't find a self-striping yarn that went with these skeins.  Having now made 4 shrugs - the Charivari, Watermelon and Gazania shrugs, as well as the sample for Biscotte as part of the pattern write up - I no longer have one for myself.  The Charivari Shrug I made for my sister Virginia, the Watermelon Shrug I made for her business partner Carol, and the Gazania Shrug I gave to my sister Liz.  When I came back from Bead & Button shrug-less I knew that I had to get started making more for myself - it is just such a wonderful design and I love the colors.  I have 5 Paintbox kits in my stash - Watermelon, Charivari, Twinkle Twinkle, Peacock and this one, plus I have another Gazania on order.  I had decided during the trip that I would make color-block shrugs out of the ones that I couldn't find a self-striping skein for so I picked this one back up and started knitting away on the central panel with the darkest skein.  I'm making steady progress.  This is my mindless knit for watching TV I need to pay attention to, or when I want to read.
When I start with the ruffled edge strips I am going to start with the lightest skein (working the colors from left to right) to provide a better contrast with the central panel.

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

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Rainbow Vest - Camp Loopy 2017 Project Two

Yesterday I finally got around to swatching for my second Camp Loopy 2017 project.  It took me a couple of tries to get it right.  The pattern called for a US 7 (4.5 mm) needle.  I started out working with a US 7, but quickly realized the resulting fabric was going to be way too loose, so I pulled it out and started over again with a US 6 (4 mm).  That didn't seem much better so I pulled that out and started again with a US 5 (3.75 mm).  I finished the swatch with the US 5 needles, and it seemed better, but I suspected it was still going to be too loose and when I blocked it my suspicions were confirmed, so I did another swatch on US 3 (3.25 mm) and that one was right on.  Hmm, and I am not a loose knitter.  Of course I did substitute a different yarn.

Pattern:  Desert Arrows Vest by Jean Clement
Yarn:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Cloud Nine in Taste the Rainbow
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

Kimba - Cast On

I've had this set of yarn sitting out for at lease a month.  I pulled the colors when I was re-organizing my stash by yarn weight.  All of the colors are from the Flavour of the Month Club that Zen Yarn Garden did with Woolgirl.  I loved Woolgirl's clubs.  I don't know what has happened to her.  Her website no longer appears to be active.  The colors are, from right to left, Lemon Meringue, Celery, Minty Tea and Candy Apple, and that is the order that I will be using them in.  This past Friday I finally caked up the Lemon Meringue and cast on.  I haven't gotten very far in the short row section, which at this point in the pattern is not really an apt description, as the rows are pretty long, but each row they get a little shorter.


Pattern:  Kimba by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20
Needles:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Falling Leaves Shrug - Finished!


 
I finished up my Falling Leaves Shrug this week and finally got some beauty shots this afternoon.
Now I just have to finish writing up the pattern and release it!

Pattern:  Falling Leaves Shrug by Carolyn Blakelock
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Verve in Verdandi
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Funky Skunks

I took some time off from knitting last week to do a little bead work.  It seemed appropriate as I had just returned from Bead & Button.  I have been accumulating kits of designs by my sister Virginia and decided it was about time that I started making them.  This is a design from 2012 and is called Funky Skunk.  The bottom one came in the kit, the top one is made from beads that I picked out at the same time as I acquired the kit.  They were in a little bag in the kit zip lock.  The design is pretty simple - a base of single needle right angle weave using size 11 and size 8 seed beads, topped with loops of small daggers.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Falling Leaves Shrug - Knitting Done (mostly)

I finished up the knitting and the shrug is blocking before I join the edges and then bind off the rest.  I used up all of my yarn and the remains of skein 6 from my Verdandi test knit.  I'll scale things back a little when I finish writing up the pattern, but also put in some instructions for adjusting the size.  Now I have to get back to my sample knit and pattern write up for Biscotte.

Pattern:  Falling Leaves Shrug by Carolyn Blakelock
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Verve in Verdandi
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Stegosaurus Cowl - Finished!

I finished up the cowl on Friday, and it finished drying this morning so I was able to get a beauty shot, such as it is.  The variegation of the yarn makes it a rather busy cowl, but it is done and uploaded to the Loopy Ewe and the photo has been approved.  Phew!
The cowl is long enough that I can pull it up over my head like a hood if I want to.  I received my yarn for the second project - the challenge is to knit something that was published in 2014 or earlier.  I went through my queue to find mine and came up with Desert Arrows Vest by Jean Clement.  It was published in November 2014, so it should just squeak in under the wire.  The yarn I picked is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Cloud Nine in Taste the Rainbow.
I will confess that I was drawn to the colorway first, and then made the final decision on the pattern.

Pattern:  Fine Art Cowl by Kelene Kinnersly
Yarn:  Into the Whirled Pakokku Sock in Stanley Stegosaurus
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm), US 3 (3.25 mm)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Stegosaurus Cowl - Camp Loopy 2017 Project One

I'm late getting started on my first Camp Loopy project.  Last year I took my project to Bead and Button with me, but not this year.  I also had to change my project plans.  The challenge was to make something that was reminiscent of scales or feathers, the texture of the dinosaur.  I was originally going to make Azure Dragon, and I purchased the called for yarn during Camp Week - Malabrigo Rios in Aniversario, but during Bead and Button I took a bad fall that could have been much worse (nothing broken, but bruises and strains) and my hands and wrists are just not up to knitting Worsted weight yarn at a tighter gauge, so I scaled back my ambitions and pulled out the Camp Club yarn, pictured above, and found a simple cowl to knit up - the Fine Art Cowl.

Pattern:  Fine Art Cowl by Kelene Kinnersly
Yarn:  Into the Whirled Pakokku Sock in Stanley Stegosaurus
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm), US 3 (3.25 mm)


The Unique Sheep Mystery Knit Alongs

It has been a long time since I've posted about The Unique Sheep Mystery Knit Alongs.  I started test knitting for the MKALs back in the fall of 2014, and it just seemed kind of strange to blog about the project so long after it was done.  After The Once and Future King, in the summer of 2015, we did Wrinkle in Time in the Fall of 2015.  The colorway is Silverlode on Luxe, with a little bit of gold for the bind off because I ran short of yarn.
And then Heidi in the Spring of 2016.  This shawl ended up going home with my sister Virginia.  She put it on with this elegant black dress and it just looked so great on her with her white hair.  The colorway is Wild Blue Lupine on Selene.

Next we did The Velveteen Rabbit in the Fall of 2016.  This was the first time I used a 12 skein set.  These are pretty cool because the colors wrap - they are a circle and you can start anywhere in the circle and go in either direction.  The colorway is Enchanted Garden on Luxe.

Here is the yarn in skeins.
Our most recent MKAL was The House at Pooh Corner.  I used another 12 skein set - Realm of the Faeries on Nimbus.
Our next MKAL is Beauty and the Beast.  It begins on August 25.  I have my yarn and will soon begin the test knit.  I'm using Tulip Festival on Eos.  I think the bold colorway will work well with the pattern construction.


Bambara Wrap - Beauty Shots

I finally was able to get some beauty shots of my Bambara Wrap - it came out pretty large, but then there are almost 1600 yards of yarn in it.

Pattern:  Bambara Wrap by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Superfine Fingering
Needles:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Bambara Wrap - Finished!

I finished up this shawl on Monday - while I was home from work with a migraine - the pattern was simple enough to work even with my brain on the fritz, although blocking was a challenge.  I tried to make sure that the diagonal lines of central double decreases were straight, and that the edges were parallel.  Bruce helped me with the fine tuning.  Taking a picture of a shawl this size is a bit challenging.  I'll try to get some beauty shots at Bead & Button.

I've spent most of the past week re-arranging my yarn stash by fiber weight.  I started with the lace and light fingering, and then did the super bulky, bulky, Aran and worsted and then I tackled the fingering, which makes up the largest portion of my stash.  I've been working on the fingering all weekend and finished up this evening.  I still need to do the DK and Sport weight, but I did some sorting while I was doing the fingering weight, so they should go a little quicker.

Pattern:  Bambara Wrap by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Superfine Fingering
Needles:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Bambara Shawl - Two Sections Done

I have been focusing exclusively on this project lately because I really want to get it done.  I love the colors and the shape and I want to finish it so I can take it to Bead & Button with me.  I always take a trunk show of the things that I have knit over the past year.  I usually end up giving a few things away to friends and family, but this shawl will not be one of them.  I've been laying it over my legs as I work, just so I can admire the colors.
The design makes me want to make something similar as a one-shouldered dress or tunic.  I've always liked bias sewing, and now I'm really liking the bias knit patterns.  I'm actually almost done with the shawl at this point - having knit on it most of the weekend.  I am on the last lace section before I start the garter stripes with the pink.

I also did some stash diving to come up with colors for another Ambah shawl - her latest release - Kimba, and in the process decided that I really need to reorganize my stash to make it easier to find things.  So I'm reorganizing it by yarn weight, and then within each weight, by yarn manufacturer and then the specific yarn.  I am almost done with the lace weight.

Pattern:  Bambara Wrap by Ambah O'Brien
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Superfine Fingering
Needles:  US 5 (3.75 mm)