Sunday, February 7, 2016

Chugging Along . . . .

Finished socks
So the socks are finished.  Yay for me!  Still pondering which version I prefer (the highly modified or the less modified) . . . . 
Left versus right:  who wins?

Seriously, which toes do you prefer?  The left (not modified much) or the right (highly modified)?  Both have their merits. I suppose with wear and time, I will find one more comfy than the other.
Finished "lady" slippers

Meanwhile I started these "man slippers" that turned out to be just the right "lady slippers".  Hee hee! I've made these slippers before for my husband--just less than a year ago in fact (wrote about it here in this post and here ).  Just as before I combined three yarns: Phentex Slipper & Craft yarn (for strength), Bernat Roving (for softness) and Briggs & Little Heritage (for durability).
Sloppy assembly but very squishy

Admittedly my seaming and overall assembly is a little sloppy, but these slippers are the most comfortable.  Ever!  I swear!  They feel so awesome 'cuz they're so squishy.  Love 'em!

Modifications: Using 9 mm straights, I cast on 20 stitches as written; however, I changed the pattern.
Row 1: Knit all stitches
Row 2: Purl 5, Knit 10, Purl 5 
This change creates a garter stitch sole which creates the "squish factor".  

What's on your needles?
 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Knitting Along . . .

Yup, picked up those socks again.  You know the ones--which were started back in 2013!  Seriously?!  Three years?  Okay, I started them in December 2013, so technically it was 2 years for a pair of socks. Still, isn't 2 years too long?  Craziness!
Two socks, side by each

Over the summer, I had picked them up again and even finished the first sock, but gift knitting got in the way.  So after the holidays, I went gangbusters on that second sock.
First sock.  Wonky toe?
I must confess that I wasn't too happy with how the toe looked on the first one.  And honestly I can't fault the pattern 'cuz I'm not sure if I followed it or made some minor modifications (yeah, I've made bad, bad notes during the construction of this project--as in not enough notes.  Ugh!).
Two different toes for the same socks
Once I got to the heels, I followed the basics as per Vogue's Basic Ribbed socks (my go-to pattern for basic socks). Naturally the second sock looks a wee bit different than the first one.  I prefer the look of the second toe area (sock on the right if you're looking at the photo above), but I prefer the fit of the first sock's heel.
Current sock stash
Regardless of my sock woes, I have to say that overall Aquaphobia Socks is a great pattern for yarn that pools.  I think, though, that next time I attempt this pattern, I will be brave enough to attempt the cables.  And yes, there's still quite a bit of sock yarn in the stash.  This means more socks in my future. Yay! :)


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Winter? Bah!

Seriously Mother Nature?  We just had a storm on Wednesday and now you hammer us with an even bigger storm?  Why?  Weekends were meant for relaxing or catching up with loved one and knitting--not for shoveling.
Buried world
Mother Nature, did you have to dump so much?  See that photo above.  There's a car buried under there in the background.  It took three hours to get it all cleaned up . . . whew!!
Car freed from the snow
Thankfully I had help from my boys.  So much muscle power!  Yay for muscles!
Helper No 1
And in case you thought I was exaggerating, check out the huge snow piles.  By the end, we were struggling to find places to put the white stuff.
Helper No 2
Here's hoping there's a break from shovelling for a little while . . . Now maybe I can get back to my knitting. ;)
 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Looking Back . . .

I wish I had been more productive in 2015, but with two courses on my plate coupled with full time work and family life, my time was limited. Still I managed to finish off a few small projects. The year began with a collection of baby gifts, some of which were made at the end of 2014 and some at the start of 2015.
Baby Collection
As it turns out, my selection of yarn colour was less than ideal.  The baby born was a boy and maybe there weren't enough traditional "masculine" colours.  Nevertheless, I did like the individual items (although I wish I had made more than one bib).

My proudest moment was finishing my Bernat Crochet-Along Afghan.  That one had been in the WIP pile for years.  And I was very happy to make my first real grown-up shawl with lace edging.  There's some lovely yarn in my stash that's waiting for a more complicated lace pattern.  Here's hoping I can work on that during the year.
Some 2015 projects
The year marked my return to hand-crafted Christmas gifts.  I had decided to make gifts for all my nieces and nephews.  I started off gang-busters and then lost some of my steam along the way.  The result: some manic last-to-the-minute knitting, but I did manage to finish on time.  Sadly I wasn't able to photograph one little gift (I should really get my SIL to snap a photo for me).
Gifts for Christmas 2015
All in all, I had a decent year.  Bonus: only a few items in my WIP pile.  Hopefully these will get done in the not-too-distant future (I'm looking at you, lonely sock and almost-done scarf).
WIP pile left over form 2015
How was your year?  Did you get lots done?  Here's hoping there's lots of crafty goodness for all of us. :)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Photo credit: don2g via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Here's hoping the New Year brings happiness, joy and lots of laughter!  And of course lots of fibre and crafty goodness. :)

Cheers!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

And Last--But Not Least . . .

And for my final gift wrap up: part of this gift was completed early one, while the rest was a last minute add-on 'cuz I had enough yarn left over.
Almost finished hat

First off, the kitty-kat hat. I started this one early on in September (remember my complaints posted here? ). It took a little longer than the bulky and worsted hats because it was DK.  Then I waited to weave in all those ends (ugh, hate that necessary part of "finishing").
In-progress "pom-pom"

I also dragged my feet on making pom-poms 'cuz my experience with the process has not been positive.  However, I did find a couple of interesting links to modified pom-poms--or acceptable alternatives (check out this link from Repeat Crafter Me on how secure your traditional pom-pom).  I chose the alternative option which was a small crochet ball using this pattern (crocheted pom-pom, a free pattern on Ravelry.com).  Well actually, my first one was a HUGE ball that was much too heavy.  I re-worked the pattern to make it smaller.  These are my mods (somewhat following the pattern, except with different stitch counts):

Round 1: chain 4, slip stitch & then work only 4 sc.  
Round 2: 2 sc in each sc (8 st)
Round 3: sc in each sc (8 st)
Round 4: sc in first stitch and then 2 sc in next stitch (12 st)
Rounds 5-7: sc in each stitch
Round 8: sc in 1st stitch, then draw loop through 2 sc to decrease (8 st)
Round 9: sc in each sc
Round 10: stuff ball with filling & then decrease by drawing loop through 2 sc (4 st)
Cut long piece & then draw yarn through last 4 sc. Pull tight & secure.
Finished hat complete with faux pom-poms

What do you think of the finished hat?  The balls actually look like pom-poms 'cuz the yarn is so fuzzy.  Bonus: my niece loves it so much, she's been wearing it non-stop (she loves hats anyways, so this gift was a no-brainer).
My niece in her hat
I wasn't sure she would like the wrist-warmers, but she loved them too.  Sadly I have NO photos of these--not even in-progress shots. 
Poor substitute for finished photo of wrist-warmers
So I'll share a lovely photo of the yarn used.  I really liked the pattern, Cleckheaton Country Silk Fingerless Gloves (which is a free download at Ravelry.com).  It's an easy-to-follow pattern and the gloves fit well (I think it's the ribbing).  For the striping, I worked a plain knit row when adding a new colour.  No real mods, but I'd recommend changing thumb placement:  I wish I had knit the first 2 stitches BEFORE binding off the 6 stitches for the thumb opening. For the second mitt, I worked the round till the last 8 stitches, bound off 6 stitches and then continued in ribbing for last 2 stitches.

Now I can get back to knitting for l'il ol' me. ;)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

More Knitting Stuff . . .

Yup, there's more.  I don't think I shared any of the finished Batman hats (although I did write about the pattern and intarsia here back in October) .  Essentially I followed the instructions as written with no mods.
Two Batman hats for two brothers
I was initially leery of the pointy ears on the hat (and truthfully I was a little unsure about how to proceed), but I carefully followed the instructions.  And they look fine (although  I thought that maybe next time I would use the intarsia design on a regular stocking hat).
Batman pixie hat with earflaps
In fact, I did just that for the baby hat.  This baby Batman hat uses a cute pixie earflap pattern from Yarnspirations (written by Vicky Howell).  Since intarsia needs to be worked flat, I started the hat in the round, but worked it flat when doing the colourwork. Once completed, I returned to working in the round and added a couple of extra rounds in plain gray before starting the decreases (approx 4” total from edge of garter brim).

And my nephews were pleased with their gifts.  Guess how I can tell?  Somebody didn't wanna take off his hat . . .  ;)
My nephew being goofy for the camera
More to share later . . .



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