Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dusting Off the Loom

It's been a couple of months since I've had anything on my loom.  I had good intentions of doing some sewing this summer, so I cleared the loom off my table to make room, but you know what they say about good intentions...  I ended up just spending my summer knitting and never got around to the sewing.

This week I had some inspiration for a new weaving project with some leftover yarn I had laying around.  Yesterday I did the requisite weaving math and wound the warp.  Today I sleyed it and wound it on and wove a header.  Only one small mistake which was an easy fix, and now this cool new scarf is officially a work in progress.

I am so excited!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thrace Cardigan

I finished my third Camp Loopy project about a week ago, and have worn it several times already.  It's the perfect lightweight summer cardigan, to throw on for just a bit of coverage with lots of lacy holes to let the breezes through.

When last we spoke of this, I mentioned that I was going to make the cropped version of the cardigan.  I bought the yardage for the 47" size, intending to make it a smidge smaller, since that is an inch over my size.  I knitted happily away on it and realized early on that I really wouldn't need the full 6 skeins to knit it.  I double- and triple-checked the pattern for the yardage and reassured myself that she did tell me to get a yardage that equates to 6 skeins of the Ultra Pima, to make the cropped version of the cardi.  It became quickly apparent that if I were to knit the cropped version (with my smidgen of adjustment) it would only take 3 skeins!!  Since I had so much yarn and lots of time left to complete this project before the end of August, I decided I might as well knit the longer version and use up the rest of the yarn.  Having done so, I still only used 4 of the 6 skeins, so I really don't know what the designer was thinking in recommending so much yardage.

This cardi was really quick and fun and easy (a wonderful combination.)  You begin on the back, by knitting a rectangular lace panel.  After a couple of repeats, I had the pattern memorized, which meant that I basically didn't need to refer to the pattern at all for the rest of the cardigan, save for points where I pick up stitches or bind off a certain number, etc.  You pick up stitches for the back from that panel, and cast on a bunch for the front, then knit the lace until you get to the side seam, where you do a three-needle bind off and then proceed to knit the sleeve in the round.  After doing both sides, you pick up stitches to knit the bottom half of the body down toward the hem.  I didn't actually worry about the measurement there, but just knit it to the length I thought was right for me.  Then you pick up stitches again for the ribbed button band.  But no buttons, so no buttonholes!  So easy.

It took me just over two weeks to knit the whole thing, and I enjoyed it a lot.  I am actually considering ordering another 3 skeins in a different colour, to make the cropped one that I wanted in the first place.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Juju Socks

Nothing expends some nervous energy better than the repetitive motion of stockingette knitting.  A couple of months ago, I had a sudden trip to the emergency room with my HLM.  On the way out the door, I had the presence of mind to grab a ball of sock yarn and a needle, for the waiting room.  While time ticked by in the hospital, I cast on the toe for a sock and knitted my nerves away.

The night at Emergency turned into nearly a week's stay in the hospital, and every day I took the sock and knitted away on it while I visited.  The blue and green colours began to remind me of scrubs and it seemed right that these were the socks I was knitting, in that moment.

By the end of the first sock, he was home and getting healthy again.  The bad juju of the first sock was going to be countered by some good healthy juju with the second sock.  Yesterday we were back at the hospital for another follow-up procedure (and all is well) and everything came full circle, as I sat in the waiting room, finishing the afterthought heel of the second sock.

Only after taking the photo did I notice that the charcoal colour is slightly darker on the bad juju sock than on the good juju sock.  Coincidence?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Something Girly

I finished seaming my flowery sweater yesterday, and none too soon, since the third Camp Loopy project was due to begin.

The challenge for the final project is to make something that uses at least 800 yards of yarn.  For many petite knitters, a sweater would be an obvious choice for that sort of yardage.  As a more Rubenesque knitter, 800 yards isn't a whole heck of a lot for a full-sized sweater.  Of course, I could have chosen to knit something else, like a large laceweight shawl or a baby blankie or something, but I had a hankering to make a sweater.

Once again, I made a search of my Ravelry favourites list and came up with a few contenders.  The one I ultimately chose to use for my final Camp Loopy project is a cropped lace cardigan from Chic Knits in DK weight cotton.  I've been admiring this one for a while, and think it's pretty cute but also practical for the summer months.  It has an unusual construction (been going for that a lot, lately) where you knit a narrow lace back panel and then pick up stitches from there for the rest of the back and sleeves.  It's finished off with some nice ribbing and that's it - no buttons or anything complicated.  Just what I need for some (relatively) mindless summer knitting.