Tag Archives: knitting

Slow progress

I was home with a sick kiddo a couple of days last week. There was a lot of chicken soup and children’s TV and laundry and Tylenol…

part of a seawater draped on a chair

And a fair amount of knitting! This is my stripy cardi, which I started last August. I made good progress for a month or so, then got distracted.

part of a seawater draped on a chair

But now I’ve almost finished the body! I’m through the stockinette and the contrast stripe now. I just need to knit the hood, sleeves, and edging.

In my head I’m calling this my spring sweater. Will it be done for spring? I’m uncertain. But I also still have 12″ of snow in my backyard, so it’s not impossible!

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New FO!

I finished my Brighde mitts back in February before my brother’s wedding, took photos, then abandoned them on my camera (poor neglected electrons.)

two blue mitts with cables

But finally here they are! I really enjoyed this pattern. My only change was to removed a couple repeats of the ribbing because my gauge didn’t quite match the pattern.

close up shot of mitt thumb

I love the way the braid divides to go around the thumb gusset.

The yarn I used is Green Mountain Spinnery’s Lana which I love for it’s softness and durability. I get so little knitting time I’m becoming very picky about both my yarn and pattern and these were perfect!

Zweigelt

Here’s something I haven’t done in a loooong while! It’s a new design! These fingerless mitts are called Zweigelt after a wine variety of grape (and because I didn’t have ANY patterns with a “Z” name yet!) As always the design is available through Ravelry.

Zweigelt preview

These are fairly simple mitts. Undulating cables sprout from the ribbed cuff, decorating a cozy pair of winter weight mitts. They’re knit simply from wrist to fingers and they work up quickly in aran weight yarn to and keep the focus on the rhythmic cables.

woman drinking coffee wearing fingerless mitts

The yarn is the incomparable Merino Aran from Periwinkle Sheep. This colorway is called “Any Port in a Storm” (see the wine reference?) but you really can’t go wrong with any of Karin’s colors. They’re all simply amazing! This yarn is wonderfully soft, as you’d expect from merino. But I will add that I’ve been wearing these mitts regularly (ahem, for 2.5 years) and they aren’t pilled. No pilling at all with a 100% merino is amazing!

two fingerless mitts

So yeah, like I just said, these mitts have been finished for a looong time. Luckily I had the forethought to photograph them when they were new. Because it’s taken me quite a while to get the pattern written and laid out. I actually have a lot of designs that were photographed 2+ years ago. Hopefully I’ll get a couple more of them released this year!

woman looking thoughtfully at coffee mug wearing fingerless mitts

If you’ve been paying any attention at this blog you’ll notice a couple things about these photos. My hair isn’t that long any more, it’s also not exactly that color. And I have new glasses. If you follow the Ravelry link at the top you’ll notice another thing has changed: my name. I’m living, and designing as, Becky Wilkins now. It’s the culmination of a different long process, one which certainly had an impact on my ability to design. I’ve been a single mom for over a year already, so this divorce is just putting on paper the truth that I’ve already been living.

Finally finished!

My moonflower rug is finally finished! I love how squishy it is (as do my cats.) I love the colors and the feel of it makes me smile when I get out of bed in the morning. Which is helpful because getting out of bed is NOT my favorite part of my day.

felted wool bedside rug

It’s not perfect. The second two flowers are much more warped than the first two. I think if my first had come out that lumpy I’d have figured out something was wrong and I needed to be knitting 6 petals, not 5. But there’s no frogging a felted project, and also I won’t be trying again because this put a serious dent in my colorful fiber collection (which was part of the goal.)

felted wool bedside rug

So I have a slightly uneven bedside rug. Life goes on, but now with warmer feet! And maybe after a year of my cats sleeping on it some of the wrinkles will be smoothed out.

(And yes, I should have gotten out the good camera for this FO photo shoot. But when I can’t even get daylight photos I start to get lazy…)

Not an FO yet

I’ve been knitting away slowly on my moonflower rug, and I thought for sure I’d have a new Finished Object to share this week. I finished knitting the 4th flower, I even added a diamond to the edge of one petal to fill the gap in the center. While it was felting I admitted to myself that if I planned a 5th the rug might never be finished. I’ve also used up most of the colored fibers I chose for this project and was left with mostly brown and white.

So that just leave the seaming, right?

felted rug in progress

I got this far into seaming before I admitted the last petal overlaps badly with one of the other flowers. I can manage a great deal of denial when it comes to floppy felted sewing.

So I had to rip all that out, and detach the flower tile before it, as well. I figured I must’ve attached it in the wrong spot to have everything line up that poorly.

felted rug bits

But now I that might not be the problem either. I think that flowers with 5 petals instead of 6 just don’t tesselate properly. So if you’re planning to work this pattern please knit 6 petals per flower like the directions tell you to!

felted rug in progress

Me? I’m going to fudge things. I can’t exactly frog now that everything is felted. And I don’t want all that gorgeous fiber going to waste. The rug is pinned now, and it mostly works. Some of those petals will never lie flat. But it’s a rug, not a sweater. I’ll survive.

(also? Yes, the 4th flower is significantly smaller than the first. Felting is never consistent for me.)

Another WIP

I have big plans for fingerless mitts this winter. As in, I’m hoping to knit 4 or 5 sets… This mitt was my slow project from the GAL last month.

fingerless mitt with cable around thumb

The pattern is Brighde, by Liz Corke. I love the cable that wraps around the thumb. There’s another one that runs up the hand.

fingerless mitt with cable along back

The yarn is sock art lana from Green Mountain Spinnery.

Now the question is: can I bring myself to knit a second one?

WIP – moonflower rug

During the gift-along I absolutely fell in love with the moonflower mosaic by Valérie Miller:

knitted table cover with candles

I just want to move into that photo and sit down with a cup of tea. But I do not live the kind of live that includes knitted table covers (unless I really WANT to encourage my cats to sleep on the table.)

Instead I hatched a plan. My plan involves my very large stash of spinning fiber:

several trashbags full of unspun fiber

And some very large needles. I’m knitting this pattern out of roving, and felting down each tile as I finish it to make a bedside rug!

one felted mosaic tile plus slippers

The first tile shows that the different types of fiber are felting at different rates. I could probably have predicted that. It’s the equivalent of knitting with different types of yarn and expecting the same result.

two felted mosaic tiles

However I’ve been able to pair up some of the smaller petals with the larger ones upon seaming to balance everything out. This is about when I realized that the original pattern uses SIX petals per tile. And for reasons of gauge My mosaic tiles are working best with only 5 petals. So far that seems to be going ok, right?

two felted tiles and one unfelted, much larger

I’m showing here, with the third tile, how much these things shrink down with felting! They’re somewhere between 50-60% of the pre-felted size. They’re super thick and cozy too, which makes sewing them together tricky but the resulting rug is going to be very cushy and soft! (it will make an excellent cat bed.)

three felted tiles

Here are the three tiles sewn together. See that gap between the blue and red petals in the center where all three tiles meet? I’m pretty sure this is because I’m knitting 5 petal flowers instead of 6. Oops. I’m going to have to come up with a plan for filling in that gap. Right now I’m considering knitting a diamond and sewing it in. Or just needle felting a filler.

Oh right, because this project is letting me mix my crafts further! Along with using spinning fiber, knitting, and wet felting the fabric. I’m also needle felting extra fiber onto the joins to reinforce the sewing:
underside of rug showing needle-felted joins

I’ve only drawn blood with those needle felting needles once so far! I think that’s a pretty good track record…

FO Monday

This was supposed to be FO Friday (because I like alliteration.) Better late than never!

I think that’s actually the motto of these mitts. I started them during the 2017 Gift-along. So they’ve been a whole year in the making. The pattern is Wishmaker mitts. And I had some very personal wishes I was knitting into these mitts.

knitted mitt with dandelion pattern on blurred background

Life doesn’t always go according to plans. And while my wishes didn’t work out, these mitts sure did. They’re gorgeous.

dandelion mitts with hands folded

I finished knitting them in July but then they just sat, ends not woven in, for months and months. I was in an emotional rough spot and I think these poor mitts got caught in the crossfire.

dandelion mitts one palm up

I’m finally starting to feel like I’m really back on my feet now. And this year with the GAL happening again I decided to weave in these ends and move on from these mitts.

one dandelion mitt

I might need to knit some Mayfield mitts in 2019, just so I have a gorgeous pair of mitts I can actually keep.

Finished Finlaggan

Pssst, wanna see something cool?

back view of a woman in an olive sweater with cable details

I finished a sweater! I really can’t believe it. I used to be the knitter who could whip out a sweater in a month. This one took a year and I feel like that was speedy!* This is Finlaggan by Kate Davies. (my project is on Ravelry) It’s impeccably written and fits just like it should.

woman in olive sweater with plant balanced on her head

Don’t mind the uneaven hems, I was paying attention to something else and didn’t straighten them before the shutter snapped. It’s been ages since the last WIP post for this beauty. But that’s because it got so unwieldy as it grew. It’s hard to take pictures of 3/4’s of a sweater on the needles without them all just looking like a lump of fabric posed in different locations.

view of pocket with contrasting color inside

But I whittled away at it all spring. Took a break for most of the summer. And worked on the yoke on and off during the fall. Then in November I started planning my gift-along knitting, finished Willow’s hat, and couldn’t start any of the things I was excited about (because gift-along projects all had to start after 8pm on the first day.)

side view of a woman in an olive sweater with cable details

So I picked up this sweater and realized I was 6 yoke rows and a shawl collar away from done. I got it all wrapped up before thanksgiving, and then wove in the ends and did the blocking last weekend. Now I have a cozy new sweater! Which is great because winter arrived early and shows no signs of leaving us before spring.

back view of a woman in an olive sweater with cable details

Bring on the sweater weather.

*of course I was knitting other things too. I’m just not able to stick with one big project for that long.

Gift-along-ing!

Can I show you my recent knitting? (of course I can!)

When the gift-along started at 8pm on the 23rd I cast on for a pair of the Mine slippers.

two feet in slippers

These softies are FAST since they’re knit with a super bulky yarn. Except me being me I decided to use a bulky yarn from my deep stash (it’s a skein of Lopi from someone’s grandmother’s stash. I literally have no idea how old this yarn is)

two skeins of plum purple yarn

And I think my row gauge was way off, because the toes looked far too short. So I added short rows and increases to make them more toe-shaped. Then I added decreases on the soles.

two feet in slippers one showing the sole

I added thrums on the soles too. A thrum is the technical term for wrapping a little bit of unspun fiber around the needle along with the yarn. It makes the insides of these slippers very very soft. I’m hoping to put leather soles on the bottoms too. But I’m already wearing them non-stop so we’ll see if I get around to that…

half a baby sweater on the needles

When the slippers were done I moved on immediately to The New Kid¬†sweater. This cutie will be going to a baby shower on Saturday. That’s assuming I finish it today. Don’t worry. I’m already done with the body. I just have the sleeves and the cable left. Easy-peasey. Right?