Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wrap up

Between traveling and holiday craziness I've put off blogging too long. Now that the year is at an end I thought I should post my last couple of projects.

I almost finished Vinnie while in Regina. I managed to get everything but his cape knit before leaving. I had to knit his cape and stick it in the mail. Sadly it arrived just after Christmas; but I'm sure my nephew will forgive the tardy wardrobe.

I'm so pleased with how this turned out. It is such a great pattern with lots of nice little details. I think if I knit it again I will knit the clothes on a slightly bigger needle. A bit more positive ease would make it easier to get his pant legs and sleeves on.

I did go up several needle sizes for his cape which required that I adjust the number of stitches so that it would be the correct size. I wanted the cape to have more drape and I also wanted it finished as soon as possible. I also added some elastic suspenders to his pants since they weren't staying up the way I wanted. A heart tattoo on his upper arm was my final modification.

Vinnie was my second to last Christmas knit. At the last minute I cast on for an improvised pair of mittens to 'match' Ken's hat. I ran out of the blue background yarn and had to knit the thumbs in different colours. While not finished when I gave them to Ken, these were done by the end of Christmas day.

On the unfinished knitting front I've run out of yarn for Cliete. I'm trying to decide whether I should rip out two rows of knitting and bind off or sit down and spin enough yarn to give me another repeat of the pattern. I've completed 8 repeats and I'm tempted to try for the suggested 9 repeats before binding off. If it were only one row to be ripped the shawl would be finished by now I'm sure.

Finally, I washed the green shawl/lap blanket and it decided to stretch into something resembling a scarf. Since I'm having doubts as to the softness of the mill spun yarn I'm using I think this project will be frogged. I'm already thinking about using the green hand spun for a hat and mitten set.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A lot of knitting

While I haven't been blogging since I began my trip home I have been knitting. On the plane I cast on for a simple ribbed hat for my brother. I finished more than half of it between knitting on the plane and knitting while waiting for the connecting flight (Winnipeg airport is not a very exciting place to spend a few hours).

I used most of a ball of Cascade 220 Heathers, 3.75 mm needles for the crown and the rolled up knitting, and 3.25 mm needles for the under ribbing. I think it is a bit tighter than I want but I'll wait and see what my brother thinks. If it is too tight I'll knit him another one and find this one a home with someone who likes tight hats or has a small head.

Once the hat was done I concentrated my efforts on knitting the Pirate Mittens for my other brother. I just finished tucking in the ends early this afternoon which is good since I will probably be giving them to him at dinner tonight.

These are also knit with Cascade 220 on 3.75 mm needles. I was trying to get a looser gauge so that the mittens would come out larger and fit a man's hand. Unfortunately I got the exact gauge the pattern called for (I can't believe I just wrote that!). I could have tried again on larger needles but I liked the fabric I was getting so I ripped back to the end of the cuffs and added 12 stitches (2 inches circumference). I knit a white stripe between two black stripes on either side of the patterning on the back of the mitten to use up those 6 stitches and I just knit the extra palm stitches in the palm pattern. Since I also wanted the mitten to be longer I moved the thumb 6 stitches (1 inch) down. Since the mitts have lots of cuff this worked out really well.

Despite all of the ripping back and adjusting these mittens were a quick project. I still have lots of both colours of yarn, too. The black yarn remainders are being pressed into service for Vinnie's cape and shirt. Vinnie is actually the only Christmas knitting that I still have to finish so I'll be working on him exclusively for the next few days.

With all of this knitting I also managed to finish a simple sock (which completed the pair) and embellish the Urchin I knit using my wine coloured hand spun.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Very little knitting

Despite my plans to start a mitten or a hat, the only knitting I did today was to finish the second leg of Vinnie's pants. Most of the day was spent getting ready for a last minute early trip home to Regina. Since I decided to make the trip home the deadline for my much of my Christmas knitting has been moved up. With any luck I will be able to finish (and start) a hat or mitten on the planes tomorrow. It may be a day or two between blog posts for the next few days.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Complete Rooster Monkey

I got distracted last night and didn't post, but tonight I'll make up for it with a finished object. The rooster monkey socks are off the needles and just waiting to be blocked. As you can see they really do need to be blocked to show off the design properly.

I'm so happy with how these came out. The yarn and the pattern work so well together. I'll miss typing "rooster monkey," though.

Now I need to get back to the rest of my Christmas knitting. It is time to cast on some mittens or a hat. I'll see what calls to me tomorrow.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Last night was post-less because I spent my evening at the Plateau knit night. Knitting and pie go so well together. Why can't every night be Plateau knitting night.

All of my current in progress knitting continues. I've finished half of the leg of the second monkey sock. I knit a few rows on my shawl. Vinnie now has two legs and half a pair of pants. The green shawl center is finished and I'm just washing it to see if I can get it to soften up a bit before I knit the border.

As soon as one of these projects is done I'll cast on another. It is actually kind of nice to have such a variety to work on. If I get bored or tired of a needle size I just switch.

I'll post pictures of something tomorrow. The safe money is probably on socks or Vinnie.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Half a rooster monkey

One sock down and one more to go. Then I need to cast on for a couple of pairs of mitts and a hat, and finish the vampire and green shawl. Actually that list doesn't sound so bad.

My Christmas knitting might even be done early enough that it will reach its recipients early. Since most of it is being put in the mail, finishing a bit early is a definite plus.

Maybe I should do some of Meridith's knitting. Wait, she'd probably want the finished pieces back... sigh. There goes another perfectly good stash acquisition plan.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas socks

My Christmas knitting has begun in earnest. Today I cast on for a pair of socks using one of the skeins of Blue Moon Fibers that I got in the mail last month. I started by casting on for the Herringbone socks from the Winter Interweave Knits which arrived in the mail today.

I cast on for the smaller size but soon realized that it was going to be too small to fit over the heel. I could have cast on for the larger size but since I was finding some of the slip stitches fiddly and time consuming I decided to use a different pattern.

Since I have yet to knit a proper pair of Monkey socks I cast on this quick and charming pattern. Second time was the charm. I'm really happy with how the yarn is striping in this pattern and how quickly it is knitting up.

Poor Vinnie didn't get any attention today, though I did add a few more rows to the green shawl. This should be a month of many projects, though the abandoned sweaters will likely not be worked on.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Green Thing

I said that I would post a picture of my green shawl when I was half way through the center section. This evening I finished the third ball and attached the fourth so I guess I have to share a picture:

Despite being a flash picture this pretty accurately captures the colours of the yarn. It still looks like a long strip of knitting but that probably won't change until it is off the needles. At least I think my 6 balls of yarn should be enough for the center section. I'm not sure how far my hand spun border yarn will go though...

In other news I've been offered some black worsted yarn for Vinnie. I've knit one of his legs down to where the black attaches and I'll probably knit the other one tomorrow. Then I can knit the red part of the cape and the white bits of his clothes. By that point I should have the black and be able to finish him off (perhaps with a bamboo DPN through the heart).