Sunday, April 13, 2014

Knitting Progress

Birch Leaf Shawl progress to date
I have made knitting progress this week. That's always a good thing for a knitter.

I completed the Color Play Scarf Tuesday or Wednesday, but I still don't have it blocked.  I'm not in a great rush to get that done, but it will happen.

I've been mostly trying to concentrate on working on my Birch Leaf Shawl.  You see, I'm on the committee for the art show we're having at the school where I teach.  We have decided to have a "night of the arts" and kids (and adults as well) will audition to sing, dance, or play a musical instrument (no lip syncing allowed, and if they sing it has to be to music, not a CD that has singing on it already - we want to hear the kids, not the singers on the CD).  We're also having a silent auction on art work done by the students, or anyone really (it's open to teachers, parents, grandparents, etc.), we'll hang other pieces of the students' art work for display only, there will be a craft table where items will be displayed for the silent auction (things like knitting, crocheting, cards, etc.). We're also going to have some students working on a mural during this time and people can go watch them.  The school is raising money to build a couple of wells in Haiti, and all that is raised during our "night of the arts" will go for that.
Close up of the pattern
Anyway, I decided that I wanted to knit something nice to donate to our art show to be bid on.  Since the show is the beginning of May, I thought maybe people might not be interested in bidding on wintery type items like hats and mittens, so I wanted something lighter that can be used in Spring, cool Summer evenings, and Fall.  My choice was the Birch Leaf Shawl.  I am using a lace weight yarn (100% merino), so I thought it would be perfect.

To be honest, I'm not sure how far I am on this shawl.  The directions just say to knit until you use up all your yarn or it's the size you want.  Since I've not knit a shawl like this before (I've done a couple but they were more like wraps, and they were in bulkier yarn without any lace in the pattern), I don't know how to judge the size or how much more I need to knit.  I'm not anywhere near being close to finished on this, and I'll probably knit until I finish this skein of yarn and then make a decision then as to whether or not I'll use some, or all, of the second skein of this yarn that I have.  Time will also be a factor as to how long it will be since I've only got a couple of weeks to get this done for the auction.

I am enjoying this pattern and how it looks.  You probably can't tell by these pictures, but there are three or four shades of pink in this colourway.  I was afraid that it was going to end up being a self-striping yarn (it looked that way at the point of the shawl after one or two repeats of the pattern), but it isn't.  I am liking this yarn (Knit Picks Shadow) and haven't had any issues with it.  I don't typically knit lace weight, so I am going a little slow with the knitting process, and as I mentioned before, I can only knit it during the daylight since it's difficult to see it well after dark.

Well, I have a lot to do and I'm sick with a cold yet again (seems I've been sick a lot since January).  Need to get some chili made so I can have lunches pre-made, there's housework, and of course knitting.  What gets done will all depend on my energy level, and the fact that I've felt tired all weekend from taking night time cold meds (which, even though knock me out, doesn't give me a good night's rest).

Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing what you are currently knitting, or your thoughts on the Birch Leaf Shawl if you've knit this already (or would like to). I love getting comments, but that hasn't been happening (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).  Happy knitting!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Cheating On My Scarf

I've got about three repeats done here, I think.
I knew it couldn't last - the monogamy of only knitting one thing at a time!

I'm cheating on the Color Play Scarf!  I am almost finished with it - just a couple more inches left, I think, and then I'll block it.

I was getting a little antsy to start a new knitting project.  We have an art show at school coming up in less than a month, and I'm on the committee to organize it.  One thing we talked about was having a sort of craft table with items people could bid on (we're raising money to build a well in Haiti).  Since it will be in Spring, with warmer weather, I figured that not too many people would be interested in buying hats, mittens, winter scarves, etc.   Since I had some lace weight yarn that I had ordered from Knit Picks back in January, I thought I'd try my hand at a lace shawl that would hopefully be light enough to wear on a Spring or Summer chilly evening.  I don't know if anyone will bid on it or not (if not, then I'll just bring it back home for either myself, or donate), but I thought I'd at least attempt to make one.

Since I've never really knit a lace shawl before, I wanted to find an easy pattern.  The one I chose is called The Birch Leaf Shawl, and it is very easy to knit.  I started it last evening and got the first 15 rows completed (the rest of the shawl is a repeat of the last four rows, not counting the purled wrong side rows) and decided that this will be something for me to knit in daylight hours.  I don't have a lot of good light in my apartment, so when it gets dark I can only work on knitting that has larger than lace sized yarn involved.

For the time being, I can finish my Color Play Scarf when it gets dark. Then I'll have to find another pattern to work on for that time of day.  At least the days are getting longer no, so when I get home from work I will have a few hours (except when I have Bible study) in the evening before it's dark.  Hopefully I'll get the scarf completed tonight or tomorrow night and be able to block it and photograph it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Finished Exchange Scarf #2

 Remember a few weeks ago when I was talking about the second scarf exchange I was taking part in on Ravelry?  Well, my exchange partner received the scarf (finally) last Thursday.  I was waiting until she received it before posting a photo.

I can't seem to find where I placed my pattern. I've even tried looking it up online (Ravelry, Knit Picks, Google...) and don't seem to see it.  I was pretty sure it was called Tide Pool, but searching under that name doesn't seem to be bringing anything up.  I'll keep searching for it though.

The yarn I used was Fleece Artist in the Seafoam colourway.  I remember thinking that this yarn fit very well with the name of the pattern. Oh well, as I said, I'll keep searching for it.  I'd like to provide a link to it

I've been knitting away at the Color Play scarf.  I am on the last section of it, probably about 80% of the way through.  I'll have to block it after I'm finished, and I'll be sure to post a photo of it.

I've also been looking for the next pattern I'll knit, though I'm thinking I might do another of the Irish Mesh Cowl I made when I went to Edmonton.  I need to use the needles I'm using on the Colour Play scarf, so I can't start until I've finished the scarf.

I decided to gift the cowl to my friend Janice.  She's always doing a lot for me and another friend of ours - driving us around to get groceries, going out of town shopping, to/from work, going for coffee.  She doesn't ask for gas money, so when I showed her the cowl and she said she like it and thought it turned out great, I decided to give it to her.  She said she's worn it a couple of times already this past weekend, and I'm sure she'll wear it to work some day as well.

Aside from the scarf knitting, I've been looking into trying my hand a drop spindle spinning again.  The drop spindle I have is back home in New Brunswick.  I've been looking on Etsy, and have seen some fairly cheap priced spindles, and they include some fleece to practice with.  I have been going back and forth on whether or not to get another one. I haven't made a final decision yet, but I'm leaning toward a 'yes'.  It's been several years since I first tried spinning (haven't tried a spinning wheel yet), so I would need to relearn how to do it.  I'll keep you updated on whether or not I decide to try spinning again.

Off to go work on the Color Play scarf again. Happy knitting!