Caryn's Knits

Sunday, November 04, 2012

New Colour Choices for Me

We all have our own colours, right?  The colours we gravitate towards, that we wear, that we decorate our homes in?  For me, it’s green and purples and reds, with a little bit of copper and golden oranges.  With greys as my neutral, usually.

The one colour I don’t use is blue.  Well, except for denim – I do wear jeans an awful lot.

That’s why looking at my knitting right now is a little surprising, I’ve two big projects on the needles - a sweater, and a large shawl.

The sweater is Gwendolyn, by Fiona Ellis.  I’m doing it in Cascade 220, and I’ve just started the armhole decreasing, so the back is well on it’s way to being done.


The second is Color Affection, by Veera Valimaki.  I’m 3/4 of the way through the second section, so I’ve made a good start on this.  I’m looking forward to the FO – they all seem so nice and smooshy.  This one’s in two skeins of Indigodragonfly MCN Ultra Fingering and one of their MCN Fingering (the final colour to be added in is a very dark grey).


Notice anything?

Sigh. One’s bright blue with grey accent, and one’s grey with bright blue accent.  When did I become a blue person?

Anyway, it’s back to the Gwendolyn for me.  I’m hoping to finish the back today, and then it’s just the pullover-or-cardigan decision to make before starting the front.  I’m leaning towards cardigan, but I reserve the right to change my mind.  The sleeves were done first, so I can’t do those to delay the decision, either.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Socks, Socks and more Socks!

It seems like all I've done recently is socks. I spent a chunk of the summer and fall knitting socks, and I have 5 pairs to show for it, with another pair on the needles. It started back in March, when I got a lovely sock pattern and some Tanis Purple Label in the Tanis Year in Colour club. It was the first time in years that I'd really done a pair of socks.

And I loved knitting them, and I loved wearing them. I'd enjoyed knitting the Pomatomus socks, years ago, but I didn't find them very comfortable to wear. I've now discovered that the foot on those is about an inch to an inch and a half too long, and that's why they're just not comfy.

Since I liked the Marching On's so much, I immediately turned around and started Viper Pilots. Those were also a lot of fun to knit - complicated, twisty cable stitches are fun for me apparently. I used Shiny sock yarn from Indigodragonfly, since I thought the theme required something sparkly. *g*

Once those were finished, I started a simpler pair of Plain Ribbed socks in 3x1 rib, in beautiful self-striping yarn from Dye Hard Fibre Arts. They were great for knitting on a plane trip, since no pattern was needed once you were started (at least until you reach the heel). The yarn was great to work with, and the stripes were fun, but O.M.G they were dull. *g*

It was a good thing for my sanity that I was working on my Staked socks, in lovely MCN Sock from Indigodragonfly at the same time. Now, these I loved. Knitting with soft, smooshy MCN, in a nicely complicated pattern - heaven!

Once those were done, I started another pattern from the Tanis Year in Colour club - Aquarium socks, in the colourway of the same name.

These were also fun to do - the pattern was just interesting enough to keep me involved.

So, that's 5! pairs! of! socks! in the last 6 months or so. Ooh, plus I did a pair of toe-up 3x1 rib socks for Mike, in Astermann Step.

He'll probably be getting more of these, especially if I can find some nice, plainish, grey and/or black colourways.

Finally, my current pair on the needles:

Revivals, in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight. Love the pattern, love the yarn, but I'm still not convinced that they're good combination. The subtlety of the pattern is getting lost in the changing colours. I may, eventually, end up frogging these. If I do, I'll re-do the pattern in something more tonal, and use the yarn for a simpler pattern. Or, I may just keep them. *shrug*

I think I may actually start a sweater next...

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Marching On…

The current package for the Tanis Year in Colour Club is lovely green of Purple Label yarn, and a Glenna C sock pattern.  And it’s lovely.


I started last Friday, and I’m almost to the point of the heel flap ( I need to knit about another 1/2 inch, first).  I’ve thought I’d give cabling without a needle a try for this pattern, since Glenna’s patterns tend to be perfect for that – the cables are all over 2 or 3 stitches, so I don’t have a whole lot of live stitches lying about.

My biggest issue with the cabling without a cable needle?  The yarn keeps splitting when I try to pick up the live stitch.  I think all I need to solve that problem is a needle with sharper tips.  I’m using some Pony Pearls, which are the only needles I have in the recommended size, but I think that will have to change.

Other than that, though, it’s pretty straightforward. Glenna’s tutorials are really, really clear.  And, it really speeds up the progress.

And, just a reminder, Sign-ups for IndigoDragonfly’s Smart-Ass Knitters Club end April 14th.  I’m really looking forward to next year’s club offerings.  Last year’s stuff was so cool;  I regret not signing up for it a year ago.

Friday, March 04, 2011


So, a couple of weeks ago I sat down to finally finish off my Serendipity stole.  It’s only been sitting there, waiting for me to kitchener the two sides together, for about a year.  And I need my cables and stitch markers back!

So I waited for a nice, sunny Saturday morning, hauled it out, and…


found that it had suffered in the great moth infestation of the summer of 2010. 

It wasn’t hugely damaged, so I must’ve gotten it into the freezer before the moths could do too much damage.  Spreading it out on the table really showed the weak spot, though.  There doesn’t seem to be any other damage, at least.

The eaten section as just at the top end of section 5, on the side where I knit section 6 (the middle portion).  So, it’s fixable – I have lots of leftover yarn, so I just have to frog out back to the lifeline at the end of clue five, take out another couple of rows, and re-knit the section.  The main issue is going to be not losing all the beads used in section 6. 

It’s really pretty; I wish I’d done the kitchenering a year ago – it would have been protected, then, and in with my shawls (and the moth balls) and not sitting in my crafts room.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Catch-up Time

The last little while, I’ve been working on little, one-skein items instead of big projects.  I did a lot of Christmas knitting this year:


A set of Ringwood Gloves for a friend at work, a Noro scarf for my Mother-in-law, Wine & Roses fingerless gloves for another friend at work,  a hooded cowl for my sister, and a beanie for Mike.

When the new year started, and I could start knitting for myself again, I found myself still working on smaller projects.  I did a Saxony Scarf, which was quite possibly the neatest set of cables I’ve ever done.  The fact that there are two different cable patterns on the two different sides of the fabric is kinda freaky, until you actually do it and see how it works.


I did a set of Gothic Gloves (ravelry link) for myself as well. Gloves are a nice, easy thing to do, I’m finding.P2120084


I’ve also joined two different Yarn clubs this year - Tanis Fibre Arts Year in Colour and Indigodragonfly's SmartAss Knitters/World Domination.  I’ve received the first Year in Colour package already – SMA/WD won’t start until June.

I just, this morning, blocked that first project from the Year in Colour club.  The pattern was kinda cool – it a decorative scarf-y thing – but I think my gauge was off, since there was no way I was blocking it as long as the original pattern specified.  This was my first time using blocking wires, and I’ve gotta say, they do make the stretching part of blocking a lot easier.


The colour’s a icy blue, and not really not a me-ish colour, but the result is lovely.  I just hope that when I un-pin it, it’ll be usable, and not too short.

And now, and I’m about to cast on a larger project for the first time in quite a while.  A Featherweight Cardigan in Silky Viola’s Fancy Lace is up next.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spring Mystery 2010 (Flora) – Complete

I finished the Spring Mystery Shawl this week, and even managed to block it in a timely manner. Pre-Blocking, it looked like this:


After blocking, it looked like this:


I’ve said it before, but I love, love, love what blocking does for lacework. The beads really, really add a nice touch to the shawl. This is the first beaded project I’ve managed to finish, and I do wonder what it’ll be like to wear.


The only other beaded project I’ve ever done is currently in this stage:


That’s Pink Lemon Twist’s Mystery Stole 4, and it’s been waiting for me to get around to grafting it for about 6 weeks now. *g* I was gonna do it yesterday, but I had a crap night’s sleep, and I somehow think that much Kitchener is going to require that I be well rested and … patient. Maybe that’ll be next weekend’s project.

Which mean right now, I pretty much have nothing I really want to do on the needles. It feels…weird. I signed up for the GoddessKnits 2010 Anniversary Shawl, but I haven’t enough laceweight in my stash, so that’s on hold until I get some. I think I may hit the Knitter’s Frolic in a couple of weeks to get some.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I’ve really enjoyed, over the last few years, doing Mystery projects. Shawls and/or stoles, they’ve been fun.

I’m starting to think, though, that they’re a little too stressful for me. I’m looking at the new Goddessknits Anniversary Shawl, which I’d really love to do – the Mandela (2008’s anniversary mystery) turned out soo cool, and I’m actually wearing last year’s Anniversary Shawl as I type this – but I just find them too stressful.

With mysteries, I have this almost compulsive need to “keep up”. This meant, with the last one (Goddessknits Spring Mystery), I managed to finish each clue before the next came out – each week, that’s more work, since there are more stitches in each clue. The first week, I had to knit clue 1 twice, since I screwed up the way the nupps were formed. The second week, I was out of town for the weekend, and so had to get the clue done on weeknights. And weeks three and four, it seemed like I never set the knitting down – I didn’t do housework, I put off some website stuff I’d promised to do – I did nothing with my free time but knit. Clue 5, since it’s the last clue, doesn’t come with a built-in deadline, so it’s a week and half after release, and I’m about halfway through the clue. It’s much more relaxing this way.

This is supposed to be a hobby, not a chore!

Spring Mystery, Clue 3

This is what my Spring Mystery looked like after end of Clue 3, by the way. It gets harder to take good pictures of shawls like this, as they get bigger and bigger. I do like the beading on this one, though, and the colour is a really great true purple. The beads are gilt-lined opal, and shimmer nicely. After clue 4, you can see the pattern and beads a little better, though.

Spring Mystery, Clue 4

So I guess what I need to figure out is how to do one of these mysteries without feeling a need to keep up. I like doing them, I like the result, but I don’t like the self-imposed deadlines. Maybe I need to deliberately not pick up the first clue for the next one until the second clue is out? That might keep me from going crazy. *g*

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