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.
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.)
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…)
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?
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.
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!
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.)
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.
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.
The yarn is sock art lana from Green Mountain Spinnery.
Now the question is: can I bring myself to knit a second one?
During the gift-along I absolutely fell in love with the moonflower mosaic by Valérie Miller:
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:
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!
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.
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?
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.)
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:
I’ve only drawn blood with those needle felting needles once so far! I think that’s a pretty good track record…
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.
Life doesn’t always go according to plans. And while my wishes didn’t work out, these mitts sure did. They’re gorgeous.
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.
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.
I might need to knit some Mayfield mitts in 2019, just so I have a gorgeous pair of mitts I can actually keep.
Pssst, wanna see something cool?
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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…
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?
I need to tell you all about the 2018 gift-along! I’m tardy, and I apologize! Once again I’m participating in this fabulous event. We kicked off with a 25% sale on a selection of indie designs. If you go to my portfolio you’ll see that bundle right at the top.
The sale includes some of my best sellers and a selection of the patterns just released individually from my book as well! The sale only goes until the 29th of November. But the gift-along fun will continue through the end of December!
If you’re on Ravelry please swing by and check out the group. We have threads for knit-alongs and crochet-alongs. We have discussions about traditions, favorite recipes, a finished object thread, and chatter! Any design from any participating designer (not just the sale designs) can be used for the -alongs. And there are prizes throughout the event!
When I finally finished my g’night cap I took those photos with my big fancy camera. As I uploaded them I made a promise to myself that I’d do all my FO photos with that camera, because they’re just so good.
But then I finished a winter bonnet for Willow. And she barely holds still long enough for cell phone snaps.
After that I whipped out a quickie hat in super soft leftovers for a friend. My friend is going through chemo and has no winter hat. That couldn’t be allowed:
I was in a rush to get it into the mail, so I only got cell phone snaps of this one too.
Some promises are too hard to keep.
Over the weekend I re-released my book! Cast Iron, Cast On was originally published through Cooperative Press. But in 2017 the rights reverted back to Calley and myself, and the book went out of print.
My plan was to make it available again ASAP. But of course life has other ideas. My computer died. And while CP had sent us all the layout files I had no way to edit them without a full computer. And getting the replacement took a back seat to having a baby and dealing with a whole lot of life changes. I finally got my new computer last spring (with the help of a good friend and a pattern sale) and then I needed to find the time to update the layout.
I needed to change the body font, and that meant I needed to put my eyes on every page, check the text box cutoffs, the white space, the overlaps. Everything. It was a much bigger project than I expected. Since I was in there checking the pattern page by page I also updated all errata and other known mistakes. But finally it is done!
You can purchase the whole book as a PDF on Ravelry (link and button above).
An equally exciting second announcement is that the individual knitting patterns are now available as well! If you just want one design you can purchase that through its Ravelry page.
Please be aware that these PDFs are created straight from the book. The most noticeable result will be the page numbers (each single PDF still has the footer information from the full book). Each single PDF stands alone and will contain all directions, photos, charts, keys, and abbreviations you’ll need. It will not include any of the corresponding recipes.
I hope you enjoy these, there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes to get them released!