Some Stones Unturned

Knitting, Biking and Some Sober Second Thoughts

Archive for the category “knitting”

FO Friday: Coastal Hoodie

Coastal hoodie side view pockets

Two sweaters in one week. Now I probably won’t finish another one for years. Just the way the timing goes sometimes I guess. I really love it, although I do regret not waiting it out to knit it all in the same yarn, but it seems to be okay.

Pattern: Coastal hoodie by Tori Gurbisz

Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo – 636 yards Prussia Blue, 319 yard Borraja (that gorgeous purple colour); Araucania Ranco Solid – 541 yard colourway 141 (blue), 114 yards colourway 146 (yellow green). I had a ton of yarn left over based on what I had calculated I would need.  I had about one skein left of both blues and the purple and there’s another entire skein of the lighter blue I didn’t even wind.

As I noted previously, I somehow bought the Araucania without realizing it was 75% non-superwash wool and 25% nylon so the sweater is not machine washable as I intended, which is a big part of why I wish I had waited to find all Malabrigo (=100% superwash) in colours and yardages I could use. The Araucania is a bit duller and fuzzier than the Malabrigo too. But overall they did knit up to the same gauge and you can’t tell from any reasonable distance, so mostly it’s the washing thing that annoys me.

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FO Friday: Aidez

This post is brought to you by the miracle of blocking and the letter A.

I know it’s not Friday, but I have paper corrections to work on and a couple of job interviews coming up and my apartment is a disaster, so I’m just going to write this up while I have a chance.

Aidez front view

You can see where I blocked a teensy bit hard on the front and it doesn’t quite fall straight down. Hoping it will even out over time.

I finished Aidez (or on Rav)! It knit up pretty fast. So fast that I actually ended up finishing it before Coastal Hoodie, which I started long before (I had to sew on buttons for that and lost my sewing needles, but I bought new ones and got them on and it just finished blocking, so once I have pics, that’ll be up too).  It was everything that was promised: fast, pretty, nice cabling but not overly complicated.

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Tidings of Joy!

I feel fantastic. At the risk of seeming like a terrible jerk to those of you who aren’t quite there yet, I’ve finished my Christmas shopping. I got a couple of things at the end of November, but most of it I got last weekend. I had a list, made a plan about where to go and went out for about five hours last Saturday determined to get it all, no matter how busy it was or how long I had to stand in line. And actually, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I didn’t make the rookie mistake of going to any Toronto malls. And I set out as early as I dared based on opening hours to try to get the downtown stuff in the morning. My plan was a walking route that took me down to Bloor and back, which is about 7.5 miles, so it was like my (very low-intensity) exercise and Christmas shopping all in one.  Multi-tasking!

The longest wait was actually in line for lunch at Tim Horton’s where, amongst many other problems in the comedy of errors I seemed to have entered, a bagel caught fire in the toaster. I don’t mean the bagel was a little burnt. I mean there were flames inside the thing for a good minute and the whole cash area filled with smoke. So they turned down the speed, but not enough and burned the next bagel they put in. Twice.

Fortunately I don’t have too many people to buy for. I’ve gradually convinced old high school friends we probably don’t know each other well enough to do gifts (at least not meaningful gifts that aren’t junky or conspicuous-consumption-type things) and work people are fortunately not that into Secret Santa, so it’s just immediate family and while they’re getting tougher to buy for, they also seem happy with anything I’ve come up with. But I did find the perfect birthday card (that is to say an incredibly inappropriate and curse-filled card) for a good undergrad friend, so I picked that up intending to send it by regular mail. Remember like in ancient times when you put stamps on stuff and had to leave your house and physically drop it in a box? Ugh. Two extra minutes worth of effort there. But anyway, I messaged her for her address (remember when you didn’t have Facebook and had to keep addresses and phone numbers all carefully up-to-date in a little book?), but felt compelled to warn her that it wasn’t anything big and not to get too excited. And then I started thinking that maybe there was something small I could make that would fit in an envelope.

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FO Friday: Orion’s Belt Shawl

Orion's belt shawl

Maybe a shawl or maybe another scarf for winter. Anyway, I’m pleased with it.

shawl pre-blocking

So I finished the knitting…

shawl being blocked

…then tried to pin it out into a crescent shape as best I could, even though I didn’t have enough boards and tried to just keep part of it in place with reference books. And it was all sticking out where it was pinned and I thought “Don’t those blocking wires curve?”

shawl during blocking

Yes. Yes they do. So I unpinned it, inserted the blocking wires and repinned it all back out. Bit easier to get a crescent shape, although I still don’t think it’s quite even.

Pattern: Orion’s Belt by Paulina Popiolek

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering in Cobalt and Shadow

Needles: 3.5 mm

Size: 11.5″ x 62″ (or maybe not that wide. I measured that stretched straight, but if you let it droop in a crescent it would be smaller) before blocking; 13″ x 59″ after. Probably didn’t really need to be blocked as it came out nice and even, near the right size. Also note that I skipped some stitches/rows (see Modifications below) so the full shawl would come out slightly larger for me on these needles.

I really liked this pattern. It’s reasonably quick in terms of number of rows (though the rows are long) and has some short rows, some slipping of stitches in the colourwork (I think I mentioned I found this surprising and a cool way to do this, but then I looked at the pattern description and it says right in there. Good memory, just short apparently). And since it’s a space-inspired pattern, I took some time to contemplate the big mysteries of the universe. Things like “Where the heck did I put those blocking pins?” The answer was, of course, “At the bottom of the bag with all the half-skeins and bits of yarn so that I would have to make a huge mess on the floor emptying it out to find them.” The answer would obviously never be “Right in the top of the craft bin with all the other pins and needles and small things you often need easy access to, where they would be easy to grab when you’ve got a damp shawl sitting in the middle of your living room.”

Modifications: As expected, I ran out of Cobalt yarn, so I stopped doing the edge increases on row 39 and on the last garter section, I only did eight rows (and even one of those I had to finish the last bit with a different blue yarn, though I don’t think you can really tell the difference). Then I switched to the Shadow and did those seven rows garter plus cast off.

See more FOs at Tami’s.

FO Friday: Skew Socks

Ugly Skew Socks

Completed Skew socks. Funky Christmas yarn was one thing, but apparently it’s possible to go too far.

Skew socks

For the person who found my blog by Googling “ugly socks Toronto,” I’m sorry you had to wait so long, but I hope these are satisfactory.

Pattern: Skew by Lana Holden

Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks Jacquards, Rouge

Size: 8 shoe size

I had to finish these and just get them off the needles so I could start a new sock pattern. I said when I started that I was addicted to this pattern, but I think I kind of cured myself of that. Or maybe I just got distracted by other projects (shawl is almost done). When I did sit down to knit them, I got huge chunks of them done. Somehow these ended up being knit on the subway, at an ultimate game and on the train to my parents. I am not a big knitter-in-public, so I’m not sure why this ended up being the project I subjected everyone to.

Modifications: The ankle size on past knits has come out a bit too big and this yarn is even thicker than usual, so I modified the gusset decrease to try to compensate. Round 1 is supposed to start with k1, k3tog and round 3 with k1, k2tog. And you repeat 4.25 more times. Instead I did k3tog on rounds 1 and 3, k2tog round 5, k3tog round 7 and 9, k2tog round 11, then went back to alternating k3tog and k2tog until I had the specified number of stitches (36), finishing with a k2tog row before starting the short rows. The ankles still feel a bit big, but I haven’t worn them around much since it’s sandal weather. With the right combination of yarn, the more frequent decreases would probably be a good fit for me.

For the ribbing, I don’t have a smaller size needles so I compensate by skipping every fourth LLinc or RLinc on the first set-up row, leaving me with 68 stitches, down to 66 after the second setup row. This seems to work pretty well.

See more FOs at Tami’s.

Peace, Harmony and Ralph Lauren

So there was a bit of a knitting dustup about knitting social network Ravelry using the term Ravelympics for knitting toward specific, self-imposed goals while watching the Olympics and making use of the online forums to post results, and the US Olympic Committee, who felt that the name might constitute trademark infringement (there is also an issue with the rings logo, which I actually understand and agree with the USOC on). I’ve never participated in the Ravelympics (though this whole incident is the first time I’ve really looked into it and I’m thinking about joining in, although maybe on Team Apathy. But then again maybe not.), but I’m not aware that anyone ever thought the hat dash was an official Olympic Committee-sanctioned activity and so I was going to write some snark stating pretty much that and maybe make a pun about knitting needles near the dressage making it difficult to stay on their high horses and then try to get a dig in at the US for being so litigious. But then the USOC apologized and the Yarn Harlot showed up to be all reasonable and I decided maybe I should just let it go.

But as it turned out, I couldn’t exactly do that. Because apparently I have a lot of feelings about the Olympics and actually maybe some of my anger about this letter was not about knitting or Ravel-whatever-it-ends-up-being-called specifically, but more frustration about the general commercialization trend.

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WIP Wednesday: Orion’s Belt Shawl

I started Paulina Popiolek’s Orion’s Belt Shawl and am really liking it so far. As with most things in life at the moment, it’s not quite what I originally planned, but Lilia Bella is only in Knitting Magazine. I’m really not good at paying attention to things like that when I queue stuff. In spite of having grown up before the internet really came of age, I still find myself surprised when things are not immediately available electronically. Why no instant gratification? 😦

Fortunately I love a large number of her designs (I wasn’t even aware of her before my last queuing binge. I’m not sure how that’s possible), so I just picked a different shawl and started out. I biked back down to The Purple Purl to pick up a ball of Tanis Fiber Arts in Shadow to go with the Cobalt I already had. I swatched, although more to check colours than size.

swatch

Checking colours. Going with the blue and grey.

I’m a bit short on the main colour yardage, so I’m doing it on 3.5 mm needles and may still have to adjust the final few centimetres with an extra contrasting colour stripe. Or add in some of the purple yarn. Or make another trip down to the yarn store for another hank of Cobalt. But I’ll burn that bridge if I come to it.

It’s going pretty well so far. The short rows kept the first bit interesting and I seem to have done the wraps okay for once so there were no big holes after the pickup. I’m just getting to the coloured pattern now, which I just assumed was going to be a stranded thing, but is actually slipped stitches and stuff, so that’s kind of cool. I never thought of doing a colour pattern like that. The rows are obviously long so I’m only doing them one or two at a time, but the whole pattern isn’t that many rows, so I’m already halfway through it.

Orion's belt shawl

I thought about going to buy a longer needle, but I think it will just barely fit on this one.

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