Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Color Play Update

I've been knitting away at the Color Play Mohair Scarf this week.  The previous post (and this one) was a scheduled post, so I had actually typed it up on the weekend.  The photo in the previous post was what I had knit up to that point.  The photo in this post is what I have done as of yesterday (Tuesday) morning.

As I said, this is a fairly quick knit.  The only thing I have to pay attention to is the seed stitch boarder.  The rest of the scarf is just knit and purl.  And, since I'm knitting with two yarns at the same time, I have to make sure when I knit that I get both strands and not just one (which has happened a few times, but I was able to catch it and fix it).

So far I like the colour choices I have made.  The purple and the white both  have sequins in the yarn, but the teal and the lighter purple (which will be added when the teal runs out) don't.  The next colour pattern will be white and the lighter purple, and end with the lighter and darker purple together.

I'm not used to having a scarf be this wide (and will likely be wider once I block it).  I don't know if I had used just a mohair yarn if it would be so wide or not, but I've decided it doesn't matter. Scares are all different lengths and widths.  To me, though, this seems more like a small/short wrap than a scarf.  If I had cast on for the wrap, I would have to add another 30 stitches to what I have, so it definitely would be a lot wider than the scarf (obviously).

I am anticipating adding this scarf to the items I'll be donating to charity, unless someone I know falls in love with the it. Then I might be tempted to give it as a gift.  I may even just keep it for myself (I have few to no items I've knitted, other than a few pairs of socks), but I haven't really decided where this lovely scarf will end up.

Well, I'm off in search of some new knitting blogs to read, and work more on my scarf.  Happy knitting!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Current WIP - Color Play Mohair Scarf & Wrap

The beginning of my Color Play Mohair Scarf
As I've mentioned previously, last week I spent four days in Edmonton and visited a lovely yarn shop (River City Yarns).  One of the items I purchased (besides yarn) was a pattern by Churchmouse Classics for the Color Play Mohair Scarf & Wrap (pattern can be found on the link on my Ravelry page).

I started working on this Saturday evening, and what is shown in the photo is what I had completed by Sunday morning.  I've been working along since then, so it's bigger than what is in the photo (obviously) now.  I am enjoying the pattern.  It's an easy, mindless knit (seed stitch and stocking stitch), and should knit up fairly quickly.  I'm doing the scarf (I'll do the wrap at another time), though it's looking wider than scarves I've made in the past, and with blocking, it might become wider.

I wanted to buy the Kidsilk Haze mohair yarn used in the pattern photos (and the example I saw at the yarn store), but it was more than I was willing and able to pay at the time.  I went with a cheaper yarn for now.  I'm using Patons Lace (two with sequins and two without), and it's an acrylic/mohair/wool blend (two strands at a time) and is probably a little thicker than just a mohair yarn.  I think this will be a warm scarf when it's finished.  The colour choices I went with are: Mystic Teal, Amethyst (the two shown in the photo), Crystal, and Arctic Plum.  I can't wait to see how it looks as I change colours along the way!

I'll take photos along the way and, of course, once it's completed.  I've got another week of Spring Break this week, so I should be able to get this completed before going back to work next Monday.  As I said, it's an easy pattern and is knitting up quickly.

Well, I'm off to do more knitting on this scarf.  Enjoy your day, and happy knitting!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Irish Mesh Cowl Completed

My Irish Mesh Cowl
This past week I went to Edmonton with a few friends.  I decided to take some knitting with me to help pass the time in the car (it's about a six hour drive, maybe more, depending on how many stops are made, and how long those stops last).  I also worked on it at the hotel in the evenings when I was relaxing after long, busy days.

I didn't quite finish it on the trip, but had 99.9% of it done. I had to finish the binding (had some of it done in the car) at home Friday evening when I got back.  I blocked the cowl on Saturday, and it was dry this morning.  I'll be adding this item to the things I'm going to donate to charity.

The pattern I worked on for the trip is the Irish Mesh Cowl pattern.  It is an easy knit, and looks so pretty!  It called for 4.5 mm needles, but I didn't have any (bought some while in Edmonton though).  I had hoped blocking would have made it a little wider and longer, but it didn't increase much.

I will definitely be knitting this pattern again.  I have more yarn (Marion Foale 3 ply, 100% wool and gifted to my by my Alphabet Scarf Swap partner a month or so ago) like I used, which is actually darker than in the photo, and with the bigger needles, hopefully I'll get a different effect (wider, longer) with the lace part "popping" more.  I am pretty satisfied with how this cowl turned out. It's the first one I've made and I'd say I had a good experience knitting a cowl for the first time.

I'm working on another scarf now - the pattern I bought in Edmonton - and will post about that next time.  Until then, happy knitting!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The End of The Striped Poppy Lace Scarf

My sad-looking Poppy Lace Scarf
After taking a few days off from knitting my Poppy Lace Scarf this week while travelling to and from Edmonton, I came back to it and knit a few more repeats of the pattern. I decided this scarf needed an early demise.

Not because of the pattern, because it's a great one.

It's early demise came from the fact that I really wasn't liking this yarn choice for it.  The self-striping sock yarn would be better used in socks, or a scarf that doesn't have a lace pattern to see.

I blocked the scarf last night, and it was dry this morning, so I photographed it and added it to my charity knitting.  The blocking didn't lengthen or widen it much, so I think this would be a better size for a child/youth, or just a short scarf to wrap around your neck underneath your coat.

I enjoyed this pattern. I didn't enjoy my yarn choice.  In the photos I've seen of this scar done in solid colours, I really loved how it looked.  I'll knit this again in the future, however, I'll be using a solid colour next time so that the pattern actually shows up.

Chalk this experience up to trial and error, lessons learned, etc.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I Enabled My Knitting Habit This Week

This past week I spent four days in Edmonton, Alberta.  I went with K, Little K, and J and we drove the 6 - 8 hours (depending on how many stops you make and how long those stops are) both ways.

Before we left, I did a little research to see if there would be any yarn shops in the area we would be visiting.  So, on Wednesday afternoon (after spending about five hours at the West Edmonton Mall), we took a little trip to River City Yarns, where I enabled my knitting habit.  This was a great shop, the ladies working there were very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.  If I lived closer, I'd definitely go back (though if I ever get to Edmonton again, I will most likely take a side trip and visit the store again)!

There was so much yummy, yarny, goodness in that shop that I felt a little overwhelmed.  There was so much to choose from it made my visit difficult.  This store has higher end, quality yarns that are a little more pricey than what I normally go for (though if I had the money, I would have bought some of it), but there are brands that weren't as pricey. There was very little (if any) acrylic in that store.

I bought two skeins of  Mirasol Nuna (shade 1038) which will likely be a scarf or cowl, two balls of Rowan felted tweed in the Duck Egg colourway (no. 173).  That will likely be a scarf or cowl as well.

I also got 4.5mm circular needles (Addi Turbo Rockets) and a pattern.  The pattern is from Churchmouse Classics (I don't think I've heard of them before), and is for the Color Play Mohair Scarf & Wrap.  One of the ladies at River City Yarns had made a sample of this pattern using the Rowan Kidsilk Haze yarn which the pattern calls for.  It was GORGEOUS!  I had debated getting some Kidsilk Haze, but when she told me the price the yarn alone would cost, I felt saddened to have to turn it down.  The price was more than I was willing to pay, unfortunately.  However, I did get an acrylic/polyester/mohair/wool blend of Patons when we stopped at Michael's on our way back to the hotel so that I can try the pattern.

Patons Lace yarn I'll use in the Colour
Play Mohair Scarf pattern
Also during our trip, I brought some knitting along to help pass the time in the car.  I knit the Irish Mesh Cowl pattern (a free Ravelry download), and managed to complete it on this trip. I knit in the car both ways, and at the hotel in the evenings when we were unwinding from our long, busy afternoons.  I don't have a picture of it just yet as it is soaking in preparation for blocking.  Once that is done, I'll take a picture of it and post.  I really liked the Irish Mesh Cowl and will definitely be knitting it again.  I had used smaller needles as I didn't have the size required (4.5mm) in a circular. I hope the blocking will help, because although it turned out great, it's a little narrow to what I'd like it to be.  I plan on doing this pattern again soon on the larger needles (maybe even the same yarn) for comparison - and also because I want to.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Poppy Lace Scarf - In The Beginning

As I mentioned in the previous post, I have begun working on the Poppy Lace Scarf .  It is a 12-row repeat, and you knit these rows until you get to the desired length you want.

Unfortunately, I made the wrong choice of yarn for this pattern.  Unless blocking will help considerably, the pattern will be lost in the stripes.

I'm not too upset by the poor choice of yarn for this pattern.  To me knitting involves taking chances with your yarn selection or colour pallet.  You'll never know how a pattern will turn out unless you try it.  I've knit socks or scarves or hats thinking that they wouldn't look good in the colour or type of yarn selected, only to have it turn out looking quite beautiful.

As in life, you learn from your mistakes.  You can frog what you've started (if you aren't satisfied with it), or you can continue to go on and use it as a learning tool.  And what I have learned from this pattern and yarn choice is that if you use a lace pattern that has a specific pattern you want to show up, don't use a self-striping yarn.  This yarn would have been better in a plain stocking stitch pattern, or maybe an eyelet pattern that would show up on each (or every other) row.  Live and learn.

That being said, this pattern is pretty easy to follow, nothing too difficult, but it's one you need to pay attention to, otherwise you'll end up with a mistake (but then isn't that true of most lace patterns?).  I will likely knit this pattern again, though I'd use a solid colour yarn instead of self-striping.  I should have taken a cue from the pictures of the scarves on the Ravelry page (where this pattern is found) and used a solid colour for this scarf.

I'll post a picture of the completed scarf once it's blocked and see if it looks any better than it does now.  I don't know when that will be as this coming week I will be heading to Edmonton for four days and won't be taking this to knit in the car (since I need to focus on it). I'm looking for more of a "mindless" pattern to knit that is easily memorized. I haven't made the choice yet as for the type of item I'll knit, though it will probably be a scarf, hat, or socks.

Happy knitting!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Completed Argyle Cap

The completed Argyle Cap
A week or two ago I finished the Argyle Cap I had been working on prior to doing the two scarf swaps I was in.  I forgot to post a picture of it when I finished it, so I thought I'd add it now. 

Sorry that it's not a good photo. I was holding it up on my left hand and taking the photo with my right (which is why the hat looks a little bent forward in the picture).  I don't have any of those head forms I see many knitters use to display their completed hats, and I didn't have anyone around to model it.  So, I made do. 

The size I made was the adult small, and it fits me just fine.  I will likely be adding this to items I will donate to charity next fall/winter.

I enjoyed this pattern (see a couple of posts ago for the link from Knit Picks) and didn't find it difficult at all.  About the only problem I had was in my own knitting. A few times when I was working on the argyle section, I didn't knit the right amount of stitches in the main colour (or contrasting colour) and was off. That would result in tinking back to where I had gone wrong and fixing the mistake.  It all turned out well, though. But now that I look at the photo, I can see what looks like a possible mistake. 

This pattern has a few variations included with it, and I will likely be making those, and this one again, in the future.  I also purchased the corresponding mitten pattern (which also has the variations included in it as well), but haven't started any of the mittens yet.  I'll be sure to post photos when I do start and finish the matching mittens.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Parcel Received Today

I like coming home to mail. Not bills and junk mail, but real mail. Packages and parcels type of mail.  I've been expecting my scarf from my partner in the Stashbuster scarf swap, and it came in today!

The scarf from my Stashbuster Swap partner
It is so soft and pretty.  I really like the colour of this yarn.  I don't know what brand or colourway this is, but it's nice and spring-like, and it came at the perfect time - next Monday is St. Patrick's Day, so this is the perfect colour for that!

I'm not sure if my partner visits, or has visited, my blog, but if she does, I would like to say thank you so much. I love the scarf. You did such a fantastic job on it - I love it!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Finished Scarf - Not Revealed Yet

I have finished my scarf for the latest scarf exchange (Stashbusters on Ravelry) that I'm in.  I woke up early this morning and decided to work on the scarf.  I now have it soaking in the sink, and will be blocking it shortly.

I think the scarf turned out nice. I enjoyed working with the yarn (Fleece Artist - a Canadian company), and the pattern was pretty easy.  I couldn't memorize it, though by the end I didn't have to look as much at the pattern as I did at the beginning.  I will probably knit this particular pattern again.  I'm going to refrain from mentioning all the other details until my swap partner received the scarf - just in case she checks out my blog.  I do hope she will like the scarf!

I haven't been knitting on anything else while working on this scarf.  I think I'll sit out the next exchange and just work on my own projects for the next little while.  I really want to finish the hat I was working on before starting in these two scarf exchanges.  I've also got a few patterns (including one sent to me by my swap partner from the previous scarf exchange) I'd like to try out as well.

I'm going to keep this post short as I have a lot to do. I hope to have a picture of the scarf and hat to share soon.