Sunday, July 14, 2013

Cobweb Removal Time- New Projects, WIPs And A Little Bit Of Enabling

Oh man looks like I need to dust a few cobwebs away here. It has been way to long since I posted anything! I have been a terrible blogger, it has been a long time since I have been so inspired to knit. Somewhere along the line I lost my mojo and fell into a huge crafting funk and just couldn't seem to bring myself out of it and had no idea what to blog about. I am happy to report that after a couple years it seems the funk may have past finally! Yes I know I have said this before and I am sure you all are rolling your eyes at me saying yeah right... but seriously I am on a roll right now and boy do I have a lot to share with you! Within the past couple months I've been knitting pretty much non-stop when I have the time. I have several finished projects, projects in the queue pile, as well as some enabling to share with you! Exciting right?! It feels so good to be back knitting!

If you remember from the last time I posted I had just finished a pair of socks for my boyfriend which I kindly nicknamed 'socks from hell', it took me several attempts to get my gauge right and in the end they still didn't fit right, they were a little snug on his toe and a bit wide for his feet. I was hoping once I gave then a nice washing they would loosen up around the toes, I was right and the socks did loosen up but my boyfriend still was not a fan of them. It has been a year since then and he has yet to even wear them once. I on the other hand LOVE them! They are large on my feet but if I roll the cuff down they are great house slippers. They kept my feet nice and toasty this winter. After the frustration I went through and all that frogging it was a long time since I cast any thing on especially socks. Ok thats only semi- true, there were several times I did cast on a hat or toy for an expecting friend as a baby gift but I never made it past the first couple rows.

Finally around Christmas I managed to cast on a couple scarves and actually finished them. One of them I finished within a week, it was a dark brown, knit from a ball of Knitpick's Swish in bulky
weight. It was more of a scarflette but came out beautifully! It was nice and cozy with a thick drapey fabric and the dark brown showed off the pattern nicely. It was knit from one of the many feather and fans scarf patterns on Ravelry. For my second scarf I decided on the same pattern just making it longer. This scarf took me much longer to knit and I didn't finish it until the end of January.  This was mainly due to the yarn choice and my lack of love for it. This time around  I was looking for a squishy fabric that was light and airy, so I decided I would knit it using Lion Brand's Homespun. I have used it in the past for a garter stitch scarf and a blanket and absolutely loved how warm and squishy the finished product was.  I chose a yarn that's faded in and out of different shades of pink. It turned out to be one of those cases where the fading looked much pretty in the skein  than it did in the project. The yarn was a terrible choice in showing off the pattern and I just hated the color fading. It made for a very slow and unmotivated knit. I just couldn't get into it. The end result was exactly how I wanted the fabric to be, airy and drapey, very squishy and cozy, I just didn't find it aesthetically  pleasing. My co-worker loved it though and that's all that counts. It just goes to show
how important yarn choice is to a pattern.

Following the scarves I had another dry spell where my knitting needles sadly sat abandoned in their case or a project got started just to end up hibernating. It wasn't until May when my fingers started moving and projects started popping off the needles and I owe it all to one little guy who came along just in time for Mother's Day! A friend/old co-worker of mine became a first time mother this Mother's Day and I couldn't be more thrilled for her. She is one of the most caring and kindest people I have met,she is always smiling and laughing and sees the good in everyone and every situation. I just had to share in her joy and knit her little guy something.  Ironically enough it was a pair of socks that started off my new knitting frenzy. Within a two week time frame I finished a pair of  baby socks, a toy zebra, and a pair of Cozy Cuff/Starting Point Baby Booties by Boye which I bought off of Knitpicks. All I  had to do for them was knit  a cuff then sew it onto the bootie foot provided, I used Caron Simply for my cuff and it worked out nicely. I bought a few more booties while they were on sale future baby gifts as hey were really quick to make. Knitpicks also has a tutorial on how to sew the cuff on if you get stuck.

For the socks I  used some hand dyed yarn I bought at GnomeAcres in the Superwash Merino worsted base in the Knitabull's Franklin colorway. For all of you out there that are not familiar with GnomeAcres yarns I suggest you visit her website, shop, and her ravelry group, as well as watch her video blog for store updates and events.  She is absolutely amazing! Her yarn is fantastic quality, in spunky fun colorways with quirky names. She sells hand dyed yarn, spinning fiber, buttons and accessories/tools, as well some t-shirts and tote bags. Her customer service is the best I've come across and she usually ships out your order within the same day of the purchase. My packages come in the mail in about 3 days total. I am absolutely addicted to her yarn and can't give GnomeAcres enough compliments! I was really pleased with how nice the socks knitted up in it. The socks themselves are a very basic sock pattern meant to fit a 3-6 month old. They are similar to the 'socks from hell'. I have the pattern all typed out I just need to test knit it and figure out the gauge. I forgot to record that information while I was knitting them up. Once I do that though I will post it here as well as on ravelry as a free download.

Next up is my little zebra friend. He was knit using Barbara Prime's Savanah Chaps pattern and KnitPicks worsted weight Chroma in the Natural and Lollipop colorways. This has got to be one of my most favorite patterns of all time and the yarn was perfect for it! The finished project came out so soft and floppy, great for cuddling! In fact I liked the pattern so much I went ahead and created this little unicorn gal! She was also made with the worsted weight Chroma in the Natural and Buttermint colorways. I used left over Lollipop from the Zebra for her hair and horn. The only modification (other than the unicorn horn)  I made for both the zebra and unicorn pertained to the ears. I wanted an ear that was sturdy, less  rounded and floppy like the pattern called for so I used the bunny ears from her Pookies pattern and they were exactly what I was looking for. I plan to use this pattern in the future to knit up a Pegasus and a giraffe.

I had to take a break while knitting the unicorn when I got sick. I was gifting the unicorn as  a baby gift as By the Seine River socks by Dona Knits for myself, these are still a work in progress, but are gorgeous! I am using GnomeAcres yarn again, this time I chose her housegnome fingering weight base which is a blend of merino and nylon in the Bernie Bott's colorway. One of my favorites! this yarn is amazingly rich in color and looks superb with the pattern. I just finished the foot of the first sock and will be starting the toes decreases later tonight.
well and didn't want to risk my germs getting on it. So I did what any knitter would do in the mean time and cast-on  a pair of

This brings me up to my latest project which came off the needles mid last week and is now on her way to defend a little princess born several weeks ago. I would like to introduce you all to Azalea the wee dragon girl.She was also knit from KnitPick's worsted weight Chroma using the Azalea colorway (thus her name) and  Barbara Prime's Dragon and Friends pattern. Her wings are left over from the ball of Lollipop. She came out alot cuter than I was expecting her too. At first I wasn't so sure the yarn was a good choice and had trouble getting into the pattern. I do really like the finished project and the pattern but I'm not so sure if I loved it enough to knit again. There are alot of smaller pieces to assemble and knit including spikes/horns and a tail with I opted out of so I could embroider the recipients initials on. I did however learn a couple new techniques which is always a pleasure for me.This will be my go to dragon pattern though if anyone else wants one in the future.

Now that Azalea is complete I will be working on finishing my Bernie Bott socks and then moving on to a much anticipated bunny pattern. I was so excited to see that Julie from Little Cotton Rabbits has published a pattern for her girl and boy bunnies!! I have been waiting for this day to come ever since I started following her blog when I started to knit! I can't wait until she publishes some more of her animal pals! I am such a huge fan! I have my yarn all picked out and I spent last night winding it into a center pull ball. I will be using Malabrigo yarn in Apple cider and Simple Taupe. This will be my first time using this particular brand of yarn and am excited to see how it knits up!

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