FO: Waiting for Rain!!!

Waiting for Rain: Wooly Mastadon

I can’t believe it…this shawl is finally done. It only took over a year to complete, but this shawl was completely worth it. The pattern is Waiting For Rain by Sylvia McFadden and it is such a fun knit. The yarn is Knit Picks Stroll Fingering in Bare that I dyed myself with food coloring knit on US size 6 (4.00 mm) needles.

Waiting for Rain: Wooly Mastadon

This shawl was truly a dream to knit. The lace rows are intuitive and the garter breaks in between were perfect for TV (podcast) knitting. Can I also mention that this shawl is big! I’m used to one skein shawl projects so using all but a few yards of each color meant I have a snuggly shawl for the fall winter and spring seasons…or chilly summer evenings.

Waiting for Rain: Wooly Mastadon

While I’m at it, as you may have noticed in my picture, life has been pretty exciting lately. Saturday evening the love of my life asked me to marry him and I said yes! Thus I may share some of the things I diy in the coming months for a…gasp…wedding. Don’t worry, this place will still first and foremost be for my fiber adventures, but a few things here and there might get slipped in the mix. First on the list (and literally first, nothing is set and I’m already planning this) is a shawl for the big day. I’ll share my plan in the coming weeks…once the yarn I ordered comes in…and yes I already ordered yarn for a shawl. Good things to come and more knits to share!

~Stay Inspired

 

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Let’s Catch Up

I thought it would be fitting to fill in some gaps since my last spree of posting in November and now. I didn’t finish a lot, and nothing earth-shattering happened, but here’s what I did get completed below.

Before we begin I have two notes. One, please note that on this post due to the fact that these are old FOs I am only including a Ravelry link to each item instead of detailing yarn, needle size, etc. For future posts on current projects I’ll give you the full specs. Second, if you are curious about my current projects you can either be patient and I’ll be putting up a post soon with my current projects and details or, if you don’t want to wait you can follow me on Instagram as that is where I post the most (@victoriaschwanke), about creativity and my life. Okay, lets get on with the FOs.

Socks, socks, socks. Its about all I had the brain-space for. My favorite saying over the past month has been ‘too much data, not enough brain waves”…that sums up my life for the past months.

Rav Links: top right, top left, bottom right, bottom left

Dog Sweaters: I got into a kick where I needed to knit the puppies in my life sweaters. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of my Grandma’s dog in his sweater but perhaps this winter…

Puppy Sweaters: Wooly Mastadon

Rav Links: left, right

Small Projects: Well, if you count each single item. The what seemed like eight million bluebirds of happiness were indeed done in time for Christmas gifts with even a few to spare. The hearts were a random endeavor for work (yes I knit a few for work…case in point in last photo).

Hearts and Birds: Wooly Mastadon

bones: Wooly Mastadon

Rav Links: left, right

Big Projects: First and foremost I finished spinning my Mom’s yarn to knit a shawl and its beautiful. Stay tuned as my next shawl project will be knit out of this. I also finished a re-knit of a hat pattern I designed several years ago. I am hoping to get my act together and release this as a free pattern soon.

Big Projects: Wooly Mastadon

Rav Links: main, right corner

Well, that’s about it except for perhaps a few small things here or there. I did keep busy but mostly I was dealing with life. You can reference my last post before dormancy to know more. Perhaps I’ll go into things in more detail in future, maybe not, but I have so many ideas for this space once again. Its so good to be back!

~Stay Inspired

 

Yarn Haul Shenanigans: A Knit Picks Order

Knit Picks Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

After breaking my unintentional yarn diet this spring I for whatever reason have been able to relatively behave. That being said, I’ve wanted to make a Knit Picks order for a few months but kept putting it off. Finally this past week I caved and ordered a few things I wanted to get plus a few extras…oops. Every time a box of yarn comes in the mail it feels like Christmas and it was no different this time. Here’s what I got.

Knit Picks Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

To start, I’ll get the boring items out of the way first. My real reason for making an order was that I needed some more circular needles for socks. I have one set of US size 1 (2.25mm) circular needles in the 32 inch cable size. This is the only size I use for socks as it fits my knitting style and gauge best. Thus I knew I wanted to get a backup and another set just in case I wanted to have two pairs of socks or another project on the needles at the same time. The other item was some Bare Stroll Fingering (462 yds, 100g). My last adventure with the dye pot was so much fun and I used this yarn. The thing is, I’ve knit up one skein into a shawl and have the other two in the works on a current shawl project. I need to dye more so four skeins came home to be dyed and knit into wonderful shawls or other projects in the near future.

Knit Picks Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

But you want to know about the cover photo to this post don’t you? Well, that’s the extra yarn that just might have hopped into my basked. It is some of Knit Picks Felici. The colors they come out with are always amazing and I have knit up some from a long time ago but never was able to snag some of the new colorways. Thus two skeins each (50g balls) of Dark Side (the black + rainbow) and Sprinkles (the pastel colorway) just had to be mine. These are destined to be socks and I can’t wait to cast them on.

Well, that’s enough rambling for now. I’ve been keeping busy with a few projects including spinning, my socks, and of course my Waiting for Rain¬†shawl (which I finally started, more to come on that soon). Here’s to hoping your weekend is amazing and not too hot.

~Stay Inspired

A Mini Project…Perhaps

Bluebird of Happiness: Wooly Mastadon

So, a few weeks ago I was sitting in my parent’s living room talking to my Mom about…gulp…what I was going to knit/crochet as Christmas gifts this year. Most years I start a lot earlier than I did this last year, or at least start and make some decent progress if not finish the items before September. After last years nightmare of Christmas knitting I knew what I made had to be easier, smaller, and something I wouldn’t lose interest on after the second piece. Thus, I decided to hop on the bandwagon and knit the Bluebird of Happiness by Sara Elizabeth Kellner. So many people have knit it out of varying weights of yarn and loved it so I thought why not. Can I just say I’m hooked. My first bird didn’t turn out quite as amazing as I’d hoped (I think I overstuffed it) but I have finally started a second and have stash yarn picked out to knit the 15 more I will need to complete my little gifts.

Bluebird of Happiness: Wooly Mastadon

Have you knit this pattern before? I’m using worsted weight yarn and I like the results but am thinking of knitting some out of sock yarn too. Any suggestions would be amazing. Am I the only one planning ahead for Christmas knitting? Who knows. Anyway, it’s Wednesday, we’re half way there!

~Stay Inspired

A Spring Yarn Haul

Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

It happened, I broke my six month span of not purchasing any yarn. I did receive some yarn as gifts, but none of it was something I purchased. Until this past week. Once again I found myself in Wausau, Wisconsin at the Black Purl, a lovely LYS that carries some amazing yarn. Of course I had to pick something up. Here’s what I got.

Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

You can see a theme in my acquisitions of yarn this time, blues, turquoises, cool colors. I have no idea why since normally summer means extra brights but these colors are amazing. Of course I had to pick up a skein of Cascade 220 Heathers in color number 2448. Its a lovely shade of blue with a tiny bit of turquoise mixed in. It is screaming to become a wonderful squishy hat for this next winter.

Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

When Madelinetosh is in sight, I have to buy it. Thus I picked up a skein of Tosh Merino Light in the Glass Bottom Boat colorway. I might be changing what colors I knit my Madelinetosh shawl in to use this with another skein I have. We shall see.

Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

Finally I got a skein of Cascade Yarn Heritage Prints in color 33. Its not my color comfort zone with the browns but it is a lovely color combination and I can’t wait to knit socks out of it.

That’s it, three skeins of yarn. I behaved but I am so happy to have this yarn in my stash soon to be used. Anyway, it’s Friday…the 13th (my favorite type of Friday…so much fun I love it). Hope your weekend is full of yarn and fun.

~Stay Inspired

Sock Progress

WIP Socks: Wooly Mastadon

I missed this last Friday, it flew by. But that means good things are ahead. I was out of town last week, and of course that means possibly breaking my several month span of not buying yarn (for 6 months I might add). I behaved….but it was hard. Anyway, with that I have been knitting. I’m pretty close to casting on Waiting for Rain, but I can’t knit lace in a car so I brought along my toe up vanilla socks. They are coming along very well, I am past placing the waste yarn for the heel on the second sock. The sock bug is coming back slowly but surely. Hopefully they will be done soon.

Watch for more fun later this week but for now, happy Wednesday…we’re halfway there.

~Stay Inspired

When You Get Mad at Your WIPs

Scrap 'Ghan Fail: Wooly MastadonIt happened, and no one is surprised. In the past two weeks, I pushed to attempt to finish the bane of my existence, my scrap afghan. Honestly, its been a project for almost two years and although the initial idea was cool one mistake at the very beginning made this project a time sink and trouble all the way through. For some people, they would have seen the warning signs and ripped out the first few motifs at the start, but I was stubborn and decided to plow through.

Scrap 'Ghan Fail: Wooly Mastadon

I was so excited when I finished the borders around each motif for the afghan. So excited I didn’t plan and simply tried to crochet all of the motifs together…without testing for strength. Yeah, that was a fail. I shoved the connected circles, loose ends and all, back into the bag and I haven’t looked at it since. The kicker to all of this, it has stalled my knitting/crochet/spinning mojo. I want to cast on my Waiting for Rain shawl (yes that is going to be my next project), knit away at my socks, and start other projects. However, this afghan is preventing me from starting anything.

Do you ever have those projects, the ones that seem great at the beginning, but slowly but surely fall down the slippery slope of constant error and troubleshooting. This is one. The only way to get this cloud off of my knitting mojo and out of the back of my brain is to finish this afghan. I have an idea for a fix. Here’s to hoping it works and that I can report back with better success very soon. Happy Friday.

~Stay Inspired

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

A Friday Update

Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

Once again it is Friday…how on earth did that even happen? Well, although I don’t have the final project pictures taken, I just had to share a sneak peek of my current FO. Yes, my Moulin Rouge shawl by Kirsten Kapur is finished and blocked to all it’s glory. It’s super long, way past my wingspan but it’s light and airy and I absolutely love it. More details and final project photos to come.

As for the rest of my week, I finished that shawl and started searching for a new shawl pattern to cast on. Any ideas? There are so many beautiful options and I just can’t seem to pick. I also got out my crochet scrap ‘ghan and started working on the borders on each circle. I’m over half way and since this will be a two year old WIP in June, I hope to finish it soon before it ages that much.

Sketching: Wooly Mastadon

Other than that, it’s been warming up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The sun has given me reason to do things again so I’ve been cleaning and organizing up a storm. I rediscovered some artists materials I forgot I even had and unearthed my desk from a winter’s worth of stuff. It’s been a productive week. Here’s to an awesome weekend.

~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