Currently Knitting

Waiting for Rain: Wooly Mastadon

As promised today I’m stopping by to share my current projects with you, or my WIPs. I think I’ll start in the order that they were cast on or oldest to newest. I would also like to add that some of these have been sitting, but my knitting mojo…my creative mojo…is back so these should all be completed soon to make room for more new projects. My habit of browsing Ravelry for new patterns has also returned and I want to knit all of the things. I’m also open for suggestions. Okay, on to the knits:

Waiting for Rain: Wooly Mastadon

My oldest WIP for the moment (that isn’t in hibernation) is currently my Waiting for Rain by Sylvia McFadden. For a while everyone was knitting this and I couldn’t be left behind. Then in good ol’ Tori fashion, I let the project sit because I was convinced I had to be 100% focused on the project. Not so! The garter sections are a great break from the lace panels and even those are a joy to knit and make perfect sense. Now I can’t seem to put it down and can’t wait to have the finished product in my hands.

The specs: (Rav Link)  yarn, Knit Picks Stroll Fingering hand-dyed by me ; needles US size 6 4.0mm

Scrap Ghan: Wooly Mastadon

Next up, my Granny Scrap Ghan. I gave up on my last afghan project and put it into hibernation months ago, but kept getting the itch to work on another one. Thus, I decided on one big granny square as it is currently the only type of afghan I enjoy making. I love this project although it has been getting less love during the hot summer weather.

The specs: (Rav Link) Red Heart Super Saver in various colors (using up scraps); hook US size H/8 5.0mm

Socks: Wooly Mastadon

Socks: Wooly Mastadon

On to the socks! I will bundle these two projects together to a point. I knit all my socks toe-up with an afterthought heal (with the placed waste yarn so not a true afterthought heal, I know) on US size 1, 2.25mm needles. The only difference between these two pairs is one is knit magic loop method on what I believe is a 32 inch cord (my preferred method for my travel project socks) and the other is knit on dpns. I tried Knitters Pride Karbonz for the first time and I love them! The stitches don’t slide off the needles and they are light weight. In fact those socks on dpns…they’re finished as of Friday! Yay for a new FO. I’ll share some photos later this week.

The specs: (Rav Link) DPNs: Cascade Yarns Heritage Wave in Solar; needles Knitters Pride Karbonz US size 1, 2.25mm

(Rav Link) Circs: Knit Picks Felici Fingering in Sprinkles; needles Knit Picks Fixed Circulars US size 1, 2.25mm

Dishcloth: Wooly Mastadon

Dishcloths, oh dishcloths. When my Mom asks me for something like this I can’t say no. Thus I pulled out some leftover cotton from a box of yarn from my Aunt and got to work. The pattern is from an old knitting book that I adapted to fit my needs and it is her favorite dishcloth by far. It’s a simple project and a quick knit during the summer heat.

The specs: (Rav Link) Misc Scrap Cotton; needles Hobby Lobby (no idea the exact brand) fixed circs in size US 6 4.0mm

Well, that’s it. This is what I’m currently working on. As many of these projects are close to completion I’m looking for my next project. What should I knit next?

~Stay Inspired

 

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FO: Moulin Rouge

FO Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

It’s done, it’s photographed, it’s awesome and ready to face the world. As you may have seen in my post last Friday, I had finished my Moulin Rouge shawl by Kirsten Kapur but had yet to take photos. Well, spring is starting to show up here so during the week on my day off I was able to head outside and take some photos. Granted all the photos look like I could have taken them in October of last year but that’s spring for you where I live. Things don’t green up and bloom until May and June.

FO Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

The stats, I knit my shawl out of Knit Picks Stroll Bare Fingering on a US size 7 circular needle. I had hand-dyed this skein with icing colors hoping for a gray but ended up with an almost purple. Before I started knitting I was seriously considering over dying this but now I’m thinking against it, I like how the patterning of the shawl pairs with the yarn.

FO Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

As you can see from the pictures this shawl is very long, more of a scarf. It blocked out to far past my wingspan but it is light and airy and will be perfect for the rest of spring and summer. Considering I had never worked short rows in a shawl this pattern was a great place to start and I might knit it again as a gift for someone. Final thoughts, awesome pattern, awesome design, love this shawl!

FO Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

As for my next shawl I think it will have to be Waiting for Rain by Sylvia Bo Bilvia. I love the lace detailing and have some yarn I dyed last year (at the same time I dyed the yarn for Moulin Rouge) that would be perfect. Here’s to spring, sunshine, adventures, and of course, new projects and lace knitting.

FO Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

~Stay Inspired

Moulin Rouge Progress: Thoughts on Short Rows

Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

I have been knitting, I promise. The past few weeks, especially the week of Easter were crazy with highs and lows. I got a bit of spinning done, but that isn’t what I wanted to share with you today. Today it’s all about the Moulin Rouge shawl by Kirsten Kapur (my project page here). I cast this shawl on at the end of February, got it started and per usual, let it sit. Well, once the storm that was the past few weeks was past I was able to finally sit down and knit. I sped right through the lace edge and moved into the body of the shawl…that contained short rows.

Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

Now, I have a confession to make, I haven’t knit short rows since I first started knitting and decided I needed to knit socks. I got myself a book (fyi it was Easy Knitted Socks by Jeanette Trotman), some baby yarn (yes, I had no idea what I was doing and that was the only fingering weight yarn I could get my fingers on at a big box store), needles, and knit some slippers. Delving boldly into the pattern, I worked through short rows sitting on the floor in my parents living room on a Saturday…a weekend free from high school drama. It was wonderful, the socks I knit, not so much…and I haven’t tried short rows since.

Fast forward to this week. Interweave Knits Spring 2016 had a wonderful article on short rows that I was ready to reference. I got out my shawl and started knitting. Truth be told the written instructions with Kirsten Kapur’s Shawl Book One on short rows was all I needed. I got to knitting and am about half way through the short row repeats and loving it. Why have I not worked with these more, they are so easy and manipulate the fabric in such nice ways.

Well, that is it for this week. Hopefully with the coming weeks I can knit, spin, and crochet some awesome stuff. Happy Weekend.

~Stay Inspired

When the Time Change Kicks Your Butt…

WIP House Cleaning: Wooly Mastadon

It’s true, the time change, especially when it comes to “springing forward”, gets me every time. We had a lovely day Saturday, sunny, warm, just beautiful. I took my dog for a walk, cleaned a bunch of stuff, and started feeling the need to work on or clean out old WIPs. I was motivated. That evening I sat down and ripped out what I had completed on my sock loom for a baby hat. It just wasn’t working, the acrylic didn’t have any give, and I had hid it in a bag for a few months…a good indicator that it was time to go. Perhaps I’ll just knit some hats out of that yarn, but we shall see.

The second project, and yet again a project I had hiding away in a bag was a final pair of mini mitten ornaments. I had cast this on in a frenzy a few days before Christmas and realized I wouldn’t have time to finish it to give it to it’s intended recipient so I gave up, stashed the project and happily forgot about it. Saturday came and it was staring at me taunting me. I finally decided to bite the bullet and finish the stupid thing. The plan is to give the pair to mom this week, she’ll have a brand new ornament for the tree or a decoration for the house come fall, bonus points if I don’t have to see it much during the year.

I wanted to keep going, I wanted to cast on a new project, work on my scrap afghan that seems it will never be finished, and knit on my socks, but alas, when you have to be in at work for 7 am, you get to bed early. Although that did happen, so did the time change and now my knitting mojo is dwindling. Hopefully we have another sunny day to bring it back, but at least I frogged/finished a few things so I can move on with new projects guilt free.

Happy Monday! HAPPY PI DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~Stay Inspired

FO: Lionberry Shawl

Lionberry Shawl: Wooly Mastadon

It’s done! I finished the Lionberry shawl. I absolutely love the result and this is the best blocking success I have had while blocking shawls…but this is enough gushing for now. Last week I was able to take some time to just sit, knit, and watch podcasts. I decided I was going to finish Lionberry not matter what, so this is what I worked on. That determination paid off. Now I have a shawl that is ready to wear and more importantly, that I want to wear.

Lionberry Shawl: Wooly Mastadon

The shawl is knit using the pattern Lionberry by Narniel of Endor (free on Ravelry) in Knit Picks Chroma Fingering in the Galapagos colorway. I did make a few mistakes in that instead of a top seed stitch section there is a top ribbing and I had to improvise increases here and there. In the end, I ended up weighing my ball of yarn every row and opted to cut out two rows at the end to make sure I had enough yarn for the picot bind-off. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have had to cut out those rows, I would have had just enough, but I absolutely hate playing yarn chicken and prefered to be safe than have to rip out a bind off and go from there. At first I wasn’t sure if I’d like my yarn choice, I was worried the yarn wouldn’t show off the patterning on the shawl. I shouldn’t have worried, I think it works perfectly. You can see the patterning while still enjoying the color changes in the yarn. It enhances some of the sections too, which I love. I have quite a few skeins of this yarn in different colorways in my stash: they may have to all become fingering weight shawlettes, I love this so much. The only bit of warning I need to give for this pattern, there is some errata, so you have to watch. I was able to catch most of it, and some of it is already corrected in the pattern, but newb knitters might want to wait before they knit this. Even so, I love the resulting shawl.

Well, that is all. I will be back to report on how my other projects are going. We’re half way through the week already, it can only get better from here.

~Stay Inspired

Another Week…And I’m Still Exhausted

WIPs Forever: Wooly MastadonThat title doesn’t bode well on this post, but in reality, I actually got some knitting done this week. It was one of those weeks where I worked a few late shifts at work and just really couldn’t recoup my energy…let’s face it, I’m a morning person through and through, whether I want to admit it or not. Next week will be worse, as I have double the amount of late shifts I did this week, but I digress. Knitting, your’re here for knitting. Well, it just so happens that on my days off this week (today included, yay) as part of my reset I knit. I knit and knit and knit. I worked on my shawl and on my  socks. I worked on my mitten project. I figured out a way to get my afghan finished. I even brainstormed some graphic design projects (although that didn’t last long as a surprise last minute rush project came up). I kept busy.

My only problem with this equation, I have been knitting on the same projects for ages. You are all probably sick of seeing the same things lingering on the needles for weeks or months. I am too. So the plan? I want to finish knitting my Lionberry. I am so close (on row 85 of around 95ish). Then I want to work on my Splitstone a bit and feel free to cast on a new project. The issue? I don’t know what to cast on next. Any suggestions? Let’s get this blog back to being a place you can go for fresh content. I want to get these projects done!

~Stay Inpsired

Just Some Knitting

WIPs: Wooly Mastadon

As you probably already have guessed, most of my time lately has been spent spinning for #TDF2015. However, this week I had a few days off in a row and was able to fit in some time to knit as well. Since I couldn’t decide on one thing, I picked up a few old projects and cast on something new (I’ll save that for later but here’s a peek). To start, I have made some progress on my Lionberry shawl. Technically if you go by the row count, I am half way through, but because each row is increased a bit, I am probably around 1/3 of the way through. I am loving the progress but I occasionally hit a row where I have to concentrate which means this can be no-podcast knitting thus slowing my progress. I really am enjoying how it is working up: the yarn and pattern seem to work well together. Stay tuned for this one.

WIPs: Wooly Mastadon

I have also been working on my toe-up socks that I keep on the needles at all time. I am already on the second sock and will probably have these off the needles in the next month. We shall see.

I still have other WIPs on the needles right now, but since the heat has officially set in, I am drawn to lace shawls and socks that don’t sit in my lap and make me too warm. I’ll be back this weekend to share my final results for TDF, but for now, enjoy your Friday!

~Stay Inspired

Eskimimi Makes Blog Week

Knitting-And-crochet-Blog-Week-6-Eskimimi-Makes

I decided to take the leap and participate in the 6th Annual Eskimimi Makes Blog Week. Why not join an awesome community of bloggers and take the challenge to step up my blogging game? If you’re interested in participating, it starts tomorrow and more information can be found at eskimimimakes.com. It’s going to be a lot of fun (and let’s hope I can keep it up the whole week…that will be my personal challenge). Hope you join in on the ride.

~Stay Inspired

Why I Like Knitting Podcasts (in my defense)

The Scoop on Podcasts: Wooly Mastadon

Now for many of you who are knitters/crocheters/crafters perhaps don’t need to read this, but many of the people I know think that watching/listening to podcasts is a waste of time. Well, let’s reframe that: they think that watching knitting podcasts is a wast of time. They think it’s stupid, something you should be ashamed of. I would simply like to speak my peace (rant alert.).

When I first discovered podcasts a few years ago, it was exciting. I live in a college town (home to both an engineering university and a private uniersity). With that amount of young people you might think that there was a major yarn shop around the corner, at least for hipsters. Well alas, that is not the case. As of last year we had one small yarn and fabric shop downtown and a small shop that focused on spinning and weaving. This year we have that same small yarn and fabric shop minus the spinning shop. If you drive 20 minutes north, there is a small yarn shop home to an indie dyer. She has branched out her products and has more of a social approach to her business (both online and in person) but this hadn’t existed until late last year. To be fair, all of the shops up here are lovely and the people are helpful. It’s just that the local community caters more to artsy fiber arts rather than knitting/crochet fiber arts. The indie dyer definitely fills a void, but it’s new to the area. Thus, most of my fiber life I have been going it on my own. As I got more into fiber, I realized how a lot of people thought I was crazy. As I continue to grow in my work I am still reminded of that. I don’t know many people close to me who carve out chunks of time to knit lace shawls, cabled swaeters, and sock, socks, socks. These are things that take too much time for a small hobby that includes knitting stockinette scarfs for everyone they know (which is great, it’s just not the experience level I am at…I guess I’m taking it farther than a hobby, it’s a side project). Thus, I am a loner. I went searching for a community.

Cue Ravelry. It is amazing; check it out and make an account. I’d pay a subscription fee if I had to. Ravelry began to open my eyes to people like me, who love the craft enough to get into it, to learn the difficult techniques and knit that sweater or shawl. It was exciting. Yet, through Ravelry and a random search on Youtube, I found podcasts. It was a world I didn’t know exsisted in the fiber community. Sure, I had listened to design podcasts for over a year. I just didn’t think that fiber breached that category. Well, it did and it was amazing.

What is so special about podcasts to me (especially video podcasts, those are my favorite)? Well, in a place where just about every major yarn out there would have to be ordered, where every book you want has to be ordered, where needles have to be ordered…well, you get the picture. Where I live, I live off of reviews on Amazon. I get orders from KnitPicks. I subscribe to magazines and have a book list because I don’t have a major source for books. I don’t have instant access to the tools of the fiber community. With podcasts, especially video, they can show you a book, discuss in detail a yarn’s qualities, and highlight a new pattern or Ravelry that I hadn’t seen. They open up doors to friendly knitters and crocheters who want to share as much as I do, and have kindly recorded it so that I can enjoy it from my living room. I love it.

So, what am I listening/watching you ask? Here’s a breif list of the podcasts I keep up with at this point (there are so many  more I want to get into, but I have this nasty habit of wanting to watch all of the episodes before I watch the latest one, so I get woefully behind, haha).

  • The Knit Girllls: Seriously, these gals are amazing. I love how they clearly know what they are about in the fiber world and are willing to share it complete with the silliness and sadness. (Now, this is one podcast I started at episode one and am only on episode 167. 223 came out this week…eek!)
  • Suburban Stitcher: I found out about her through Penguin Soup (more on that in a moment) and love her projects and style of sharing. She is open, funny, and I always feel like I am sitting in her craft room chatting.
  • Penguin Soup: This podcast was one of the first that I found out about. I loved her style and within a week had binge watched all of the episodes. Her podcast isn’t regular, but I don’t mind. I enjoy it so it’s worth the wait.
  • JennLikesYarn: She has done various versions of podcasts over some time, but I always try to watch them as she puts videos up. Right now she has started the Beer Knits podcast. Although I hate beer, I still enjoy watching what she is up to.

Podcasts on the Docket:

Podcasts bring a group of friends. Allbeit that these people have no idea who I am, and they probably never will (unless one of my dreams of going to a major fiber festival comes true, more on that later), but that doesn’t matter. They bring community to me. They share what they love, something that I love too. Podcasts create a connection, a connection that reaches people all over the world, in metropolises and in small college towns like mine, where little old me just wants to find a knitting buddy. Thanks podcasters, keep it up. It makes a lot of people’s lives brighter.

~Stay Inspired