Knit 365 – Day 1

I’ve been casting around for a 365 project. What to do? What to do? Turns out, I didn’t really need to try so hard.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been challenging myself to peel an orange in one piece. I think I’m up to something like 15 or 16 days at this point. (bear with me for a minute here, I do have a point). So we’re all sitting at lunch today and my friend Sarah was sitting next to me, doing what she does … peel the label off her Sobe Lifewater. Usually, she pulls it off in giant chunks. Today, she peeled it off in a thin ribbon. I looked at it and immediately “I could knit that” sprang into my brain. I think she was surprised to hear the wheels in my brain spinning so loudly.
365:1 – Sobe Lifewater yarn on plastic knives

I picked up a couple of knives that were sitting on the table and cast on. It took maybe 5 minutes and it was a blast. The result –>


The three of them (June, Lucy, and Sarah) were all excited. We started talking about all the cool things waiting to be knit. June snapped a picture of day 1 with her phone and started a list of possible material to use. It was one of those spontaneous brainstorming moments where we were talking too fast to capture everything.

Therefore, my 365 project will be something knitted every day. I can hear Erica saying, “But, but, but, you already knit something every day.” And she’s right. What makes this different is that I’ll be using something unusual for either the “yarn” or the “needle” part of the equation.


If you have suggestions, I’ll gladly take them. I’ve previously written that I didn’t want to take on a project because I was afraid I’d run out of ideas. This is going to be a challenge – but I already love to knit, what could be better?

12 Shawls in 2012 – 22.5 Degrees Shawlette

I finished this bad girl back in January and just haven’t had a chance to post it. The pictures are dark, but the yarn is very dark and it’s hard to get a good picture of the actual shawl. I had a co-worker take pictures and he got this good one of me wearing it.

It’s a simple garter stitch shawl but look at those little scallops on the edges! They’re a little fiddly and I cursed them while I was making them, but they’re adorable once they’re finished.

This is a gentle sloping shawlette that is incredibly warm. I’ve discovered that if I keep something wrapped around my neck, I stay a lot warmer. It probably hasn’t hurt that we’ve had the mildest winter ever (not that I’m complaining).

22.5 Degrees Shawlette, designed by Martina Behm
The designer, Martina Behm, has a lot of great designs that are in my queue over on Ravelry. They’re simple, but lovely (Hitchhiker is the highest on my list right now.) You’re going to need to sign into Ravelry to get to those links (if you don’t have an account – get one now).

The Schaefer Anne is lovely to work with. I used my Addie Turbos and the yarn slid like a breeze. (The bamboo needles I started with were quickly traded out.) The mohair makes me itch a little bit. If I the shawl on outside of my fleece or jacket, the itching lessens.

A quick knit and I get tons of compliments when I wear it.

Pattern: 22.5 Degrees (free pattern!)
Designer: Martina Behm

Yarn: Schaefer Yarn Company, Anne (60% merino wool, 25% mohair, 15% nylon)

Colorway: burgundy/green/black

Yardage: ~500 yards

Time to knit: 8 days

12 Shawls in 2012 – Pie Wedge Shawl

On Ravelry there’s a group called, yes, 12 Shawls in 2012. My friend Katherine pinned a couple of shawls and I got pulled in. I had started a shawl on New Year’s and I figured, “what the heck”? So here’s my first shawl of 2012.

This is the Easy Pie Wedge Shawl. When you bought the Helen’s Lace (multi) from Lorna’s Laces, the pattern was on the ball band. It took about 1200 yards (there’s still some left in the ball).


I started it on 1 January 2012 and finished it on 12 January 2012. It was a fairly easy knit, just garter stitch and yarn overs. I will admit that I had to fudge a couple of times because I ended up with more stitches than I should have had. No one will know and I can’t actually remember where they are. That’s just my caveat that you have to pay attention a little – not a totally mindless knit.

This picture shows the colors a little better than the above shot. The colorway is called Black Watch, and there are some rather dark bits, but it’s mostly green and blue – really lovely.


I wore it to work today, because I could and with our unseasonable warmness, had to take it off about 30 minutes after I walked in the door. 


It’s lightweight, quite soft, and exceedingly warm. I couldn’t be happier with my first shawl of 2012.


Details:


Pattern: Free and Easy Pie Wedge Shawl
Designer: Lorna Misner
Yarn: Helen’s Lace Multi (50% silk/50% wool)
Colorway: 304 Black Watch
Yardage: ~1200 yards
Time to knit: about 2 weeks


Up next: Milkweed Shawl

Day 13: Knitty

Do you read the Knitty blog? Do you know what Knitty is? Let’s start there. It’s the longest running ezine for knitters. Free patterns, wonderful columns, and a great review of all things fiber. My friend Amy is the founding editor and my friend Jillian is the editor of KnittySpin (Knitty’s sister publication) and the glue that keeps it all together.
There’s also a Knitty blog where Amy, Jillian, and Kate (editorial assistant) take turns posting about their fiber adventures and today, Jillian wrote about me. Go read the post here. It’s true, every word. 
Frequently I get a text or a phone call that starts with “Do you want to…”. I’ve said for years that there are 2 people I would willingly go anywhere they asked and pretty much do anything they asked me to do – Jillian is one of them. So it’s no surprise that I would have the missing pieces of her stash. 
When I got the text from her, I knew exactly where the bag of fiber was – I could picture it on my shelf in the fiber room. It was pretty gratifying to walk into that room on Saturday, see the bag, and actually lay my hands on it within a minute of walking into the room. Also, there’s the superhero aspect of it…

One more story about how we are fiber symbiosis at its best. We were at The Spinning Loft on Saturday and were piling up bunches of fiber for consideration. She threw a gorgeous hank at me, but I decided it didn’t work with what I had going and set it aside. She picked it up and put it in her own pile. Anyone want to take bets that at some future point I will be looking for “something” to finish off a project I have going and she’s going to say, “Wait a minute…” and come up with that hank?

Day 3: Etsy Shop

I have an Etsy shop. I opened it a couple of years ago because I was dyeing so much fiber and I couldn’t spin it as fast as I could knit it. Then I decided to start dyeing sock yarn. That was a lot of fun too, but again, how much sock yarn can you stash? (Okay, a lot, I know, but it was getting ridiculous).

I spent some time today taking pictures of some of my yarn to upload. It’s kind of a challenge to come up with creative ways to take pictures of yarn, but I try. Here are some of my results. Thoughts? Do they show the yarn to its full advantage? What else would you like to see in a yarn photo?

Kat:

Lula:

 Sarah:

Sassy:

Sharon:

Day 2: Friday Roundup

Friday is going to be the roundup day for creativity. I’ll revisit anything I’ve done during the week and provide any updates as well as look forward to what I’ll be doing next week. I managed to snag the work camera and wow! I had forgotten what a great camera can do. The ease of taking these fabulous pictures made my head swim. I think my search for a new camera is at an end – I want one of these! (Nikon D5000)

Re-pourposed stocking

As it turns out, I could not rip out the beginnings of the stocking. I looked at it and looked at it and couldn’t bring myself to pull out the needles and waste all of that effort. I channeled my knit friend Erica and said – “Hey, it’s big enough for a hat!” So I bound off, wove in the ends, and pulled it on. It’s a bit snug for me, but I’m a pumpkin head. I think I’ll throw a couple of tassels on the points and shop it around. If it fits and someone likes it, it’s theirs.



Stocking 2.0

I cast on again (with about 30 fewer stitches) and came up with this. It’s a lovely start and I’m sure I’ll be able to finish this in plenty of time for Christmas. I thought the stripes were a little small for the scale of the piece, so I increased those as well. In the hat, the stripes are 5 of the dark green, and 3 of the other 2 colors. In the new version, I went with 7 of the dark green and 5 of the others. There isn’t much to see here, yet, but I already like them better.





Lynne Vogel Ltd top (2 different colorways)

I also wanted to share a skein of yarn that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. It’s really gorgeous and while it doesn’t technically fit into creativity this week, I’m still in love with it. If you’re a spinner and don’t know who Lynne Vogel is – go find out! Her etsy shop (here) is lovely and filled with wonderful patterns. She doesn’t dye much anymore, but when you can catch whatever she’s dyed, consider yourself lucky! She also consults with Three Waters Farms to work on colors and occasionally, you can find some of her colors there. (Again, no affiliation with either of these shops, except that Lynne is my friend and there’s that fabulous indie artist thing that I live by.)


Anyway, this picture is a better representation of the colors of this wonderful skein of yarn. I love it!




Up next week: ATC 

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these fish cards, but they will be used next week in conjunction with the artist trading cards I have. There will be mod podge, watercolor crayons and pencils, and funky paper. Stay tuned.

Day 1: Knitting a Stocking

We have an exchange student from Germany living with us this year. She has really integrated into our family and is a joy to have here with us. Many years ago I knit my own babies Christmas stockings and 2 years ago, knit some for my sister’s kids. It would be weird for everyone to have a hand knitted stocking except for Hens. During my Thanksgiving break, I started.

She loves greens. When she got here, she and Sassy painted Little Big Man’s room for her and it’s a lovely green between Kiwi and pear – bright and airy. Every sweater she owns is green and she’s bought 2 scarves since she’s been here (both green). When I was dyeing in September I did a special colorway just for her and she’s since learned to spin and is currently knitting another scarf of her very own handspun. It’s lovely. (I’ll post pictures when I can get the needles out of her hands.)

H stocking, version the first

It wasn’t a stretch choosing a color. The problem was which greens to choose (green is one of my favorites as well). I got the yarn out, balled it up, and started knitting. One of my continual issues is the denial of how big knitted goods get away from the needle. I look at my cast on stitches and think, “Oh that needs to be a couple of inches bigger.” It almost never does and I end up with this  –>.

Perhaps the ruler is obscured there, but the thing is ginormous – 9.5 inches (almost 24 cm). It’s the scale that’s the problem. If I keep knitting on this many stitches the stocking would be large enough for Jack’s giant. Perhaps I should add sleeves and call it a toddler sweater! I know I must rip it out and start again, but I do hate losing all the work already done. {sad trombone}

Giving props to Kristen Nicholas here. The stocking is based on her No 3 – Yikes Stripes Stocking from her ebook Kristin’s Creative Christmas Stockings. It’s a fabulous collection of 6 stocking patterns that you can knit as is. But she’s Kristen Nicholas, so there are tons of variations for you to experiment with. She has extra fair isle charts, a tutorial on duplicate stitch, embroidery stitches, and gorgeous full color pictures of the stockings – all for $10. You don’t even need to leave your home – buy the ebook and it will download right to your computer or tablet. (I’m not affiliated with Kristen in any way except to say that she’s a fabulous indie designer and I believe in supporting fabulous indie designers every chance I get.)

Next Month

I am crazy. I signed up for the December blog every day thingie on BlogHer. I’ve signed up as a crafty blogger, so I’m thinking about things I can do on a daily basis and post them on my blog.

  1. I haven’t gone back to my Artist Trading Cards since that Sunday that I worked with Lisa. I think I may have enough cards to be able to do one/day or at least a couple of weeks worth.
  2. I have a couple of spinning projects that I’m tackling right now. Those might be good interspersed with the ATC days.
  3. I have a billion knitting projects that are stalled in one phase or another. Some of them need to be ripped (at least 2 lace shawls that I’ve made mistakes in and it would be better just to start over), some of them just need a couple of things to call them finished (a sweater that only needs one cuff to be done, buttons put on another sweater, second sock, trim on a hat for Little Big Man), some need major work (Christmas stocking, socks for my mother).

I think I just made myself of list of things that need to be done, are crafty, and can be blog posts. Yay me!