Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Magrathea Shawl

The hardest thing I have noticed about doing posts on Wednesdays is that I'm at work most of the day. If I don't take the picture before I leave, chances are a post won't happen that day. But I did remember today! I have several projects that are a focus right now so I'm hoping that posting about one a week will keep me focused.

I've been working on this shawl for awhile now but it is getting close to being done. I'm excited. It is also the first thing I have made with Alina Shea yarn and I want to wear it.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Weaving Experiment: Part II

It's been awhile but I have finished my Gryffindor scarf. Once I finished it and got it off the loom, it looked a lot better than it did on the loom because the warp threads were all stretched out. Something I realized as I was weaving this scarf was the yarn I was using was Cascade 220 Superwash and I didn't think about what that would mean. It won't full like a non-superwash wool will. I still don't have the blue or silver superwash 220. I asked Jackie about it and she said WEBs isn't sure when it will come back in stock. Instead of canceling the order, I'm going to let it come when it does get back in stock. But I'm not sure I'm going to use superwash for the scarves again (the 220 Fingering isn't so I still wouldn't want to wash it in the machine.)

In the mean time I got some of the colors I need for the scarves in regular Cascade 220 (Ravenclaw blue, silver, Slytherin green, Hufflepuff yellow and Gryffindor red.) The only color missing is the black and the bronze for the second color set of Ravenclaw. I got more of the red fingering so I can make another Gryffindor when I want to. The next one I make will be Ravenclaw. My plan is to make one of each of the two styles (large stripes or the uneven stripes you see on Gryffindor) of each of the houses. And then list them on Etsy. If you have a request for me to make you one, please let me know. 

I feel like the scarf came out really well. It measures 74" long before the fringe and used about 430 yards. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Weaving Experiment: Part I

Friday I finished my purple houndstooth scarf which meant it was time to start my experiment. I haven't actually measured an area out for a specific length of scarf in the new house yet. Instead I've been warping the scarves the length of my room. Now that the purple is done, I need to see just what that length comes out to be. I picked Gryffindor to start with. I'm still waiting on the yarn for Ravenclaw (including the silver for Slytherin). The first thing I learned was that a 50g ball of Cascade 220 Fingering will get me an 8" warp the length of my room. 

I'm really glad that it gave me what it did. When the skein started getting low, I was worried about just how wide it would come out. My goal had been 9" but I'm perfectly happy with 8". Typically House Scarves are wider, closer to 10-12" but unless someone specifically wants that width, I think I'm going to stick to the 8". This was the first time I did a fingering weight warp. It took awhile but I'm glad it came out as well as it did.

The beginning of the weft. Its interesting to weave the weft through a fingering weight warp. The colors are a little off. The warp is more of a burgundy and the weft is more of that classic Gryffindor red. I only see the warp when I'm looking close enough and should see even less after I block the scarf at the end.

As of yesterday, I have completed 2 full sections and gotten to the gold stripe section for a third. Each repeat is 40 rows of weft and then 4 each of gold, red, gold. The trick to all of this is how well the gold shows with the red weft. So far so good.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Castle of Dreams III

I've made this blanket twice before now. The more I make it, the farther in the design process I get. I got almost all of the design written up last time but forgot to take measurements as I worked or to check what gauge I got. This time I'm measuring as I go.

I don't have anyone in mind to receive the blanket. I have so much acrylic at this point that I can make blankets to sit around. They'll take up less space than a bin of acrylic will. I might even sell them on etsy, I'm not sure yet.

I hope everyone is having a good Wednesday!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall Knitting!

It's finally feeling like autumn and I love it!! This is my favorite time of the year, when I get to bring out all the hand knits. I wear some of them all year, even when it is really too hot for them. But its this time of year where I've always got a shawl and hat on. Most of my gloves are fingerless to allow for typing and knitting. I've been known to, when its too cold for fingerless, put on a small pair of cheap gloves and put the hand knit mitts over them. I still get warmth for my fingers but get to wear the comfy hand knit.

We've been moved into the house about a month now. We're still settling in. My bed has been set up for a few weeks now. This past weekend with help from a friend we were able to move my dresser and desk up to my room. Solid wood furniture is heavy and we've already decided that we're hiring movers when we move out of this house, whenever that may be. The living room is pretty close to being set up too. The one thing left that I need in my room is a bookcase. The boxes left in my closet are boxes of books and yarn. I know where the important books are so I can get to them easily enough: the knitting books and what I have of Brandon Sanderson's work. I've been listening to the Hobbit on audiobook lately. Once I finish, I'm going to pick up listening to Way of Kings again.

My crafting lately seems to be focused on purple and orange. It suits, considering that Halloween is this month. I've finished my shawl from my last post. It's about the only thing I finished in September. I absolutely love it and have worn it a bunch lately. But it is a smaller shawl (perfect for wearing in the office) and I'm used to larger shawls like my Seraphim.

After the shawl was finished, I picked up knitting on a pair of socks I started last month but haven't finished yet. I'm using an orange variegated yarn for them. I have enough of it so that when the socks are done, I can cast on a Hitchhiker and use the rest of the yarn up for that shawl. I've decided that my hand knits need to come in sets: shawl/scarf, hat, mitts/gloves and socks. I need that item bonus for wearing the full set, you know. :P

For the purple set I now have the shawl and a pair of fingerless mitts that I made last year. I have the hat in mind already. It's the socks that make me pause. The yarn I used for the shawl is Knit Pick's Stroll Tonal in their discontinued colorway called Royalty. When I use it all up, I can't get more. I have 3 skeins left. There is a shawl I plan to use a skein to make for a friend. That leaves me with two. The question then becomes do I want to use it for just shawls or use a skein for a pair of socks too? If yes on socks, I have a pair of knee high socks in mind. For my orange set, I'm still working on the shawl and socks. I know the pattern for the fingerless mitts I'm going to use. I actually have a very limited amount of orange fingering in my stash and it makes me sad. I love orange. I'm not sure about the hat yet. The one in the purple set is a beret but it doesn't have to be. I'll have to do some thinking on other hat patterns I want.

I'm still weaving, of course. I'm always weaving. My focus right now has been to get scarves done so I can get them listed on etsy. Especially with winter coming and everyone thinking about new things to wear to stay warm. I have four done already. 2 houndstooth, 1 checkerboard and 1 plaid. I've warped my loom for a second checkerboard. this time in a light and dark purple. I really love how they look together. Speaking of weaving, I have an experiment I'm going to try when the yarn and the reed for my loom get here. The experiment is to see how well I can weave horizontal stripes. The trick is to use a fingering weight yarn for the warp and a worsted weight yarn for the weft. I've ordered the yarns for all of the houses. Once they get here, I'll get started. I'm really excited about trying it. Because if it works, then I can weave Doctor Who scarves as well.

I hope you have a wonderful crafty week!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Knitting, Weaving and Moving! Oh My!

I don't remember being this busy in quite some time. We will be getting the keys to our new house this weekend. On Tuesday I will need to go over there and get as much painting as I can done. I want to help my brother paint our new house for more than just one day by my work week of 10+ hours a day doesn't allow for it. On the days I work, I barely manage to knit for an hour or two after I get home from work. But I'll help him the best I can. In the meantime, we need to keep packing. My room is still only about half packed. Thankfully the yarn is mostly pre-packed because it lives in bins and such. There is some yarn that is sitting our but that can be put into a box as long as I don't need it. Then on next Friday, we will drive to mom's, pack the uhaul we're renting there, drive back the next day and put the rest of our stuff in the uhaul and unload it. I'm really glad I took a few days off from work with my PTO because I'm going to need it.

As far as crafting goes, I've been weaving a lot lately. The next scarf that is going on the loom today will be my first plaid scarf. I want to expand past scarves but I know right now they are good practice. I already know that I'm going to want a new loom when I look to expand past scarves. I'm dying to make myself a plaid shawl in fall colors but I don't think it will end up happening this year. There is just so much else to do and I don't have the money right now to afford the yarn I want to use.

September is the start of a new HPKCHC term. It took a couple days but my OWL has been approved and I've started working on that. It is a multi-project OWL and two of them have been started. For classes I have started a shawl that I'm absolutely in love with and was nearly sitting on my hands to keep from casting on. I don't think it is quite half done but I'm into the repeats of chart 3 of 4. I have also cast on a pair of simple socks. They have a little more pattern than plain vanilla socks so it will keep me interested but not keep me from knitting while I watch Netflix. 

Most of the time I start a term off with casting on my OWL and at least 2-3 classes. I always end up focusing on the classes and failing my OWL. I'm determined to do a healthy mix of both this time. The shawl is my main focus for September but I have other projects that are easier to grab on the go. Several hours of my weekly knitting time is spent knitting during my break at work. It takes away from my knitting to be looking at a chart. So the projects I can memorize are the ones I take with me. Right now I have my Ravenclaw scarf from my OWL in my bag I take to work. I will switch the projects around as I can so I don't get too bored. My days off are nice. I try to spend them knitting as much as I can because I know I don't get a lot done during the rest of the week.

I have put my etsy on vacation until I am done moving. This will help my knitting some too. I used to be smart about it and have a stock of the Harry Potter hats that sell the most. And then I kept selling them without making the stock inbetween orders. So now when I get an order for a hat, I have to stop what I'm doing and make it. And it is just hard on me to do that, especially when I am working on a project I really like. So the vacation is not only for the move but to also catch up on some stock again. I'll have new listings to post when I bring it back and that will be exciting.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Birthday Post

The last time I posted anything, it was my birthday. (June 24th) I wanted to wait until after my birthday party that was the weekend after before I posted anything. Leading up to my birthday I had been very meh about it because I felt like the only things I would get for my birthday that I hadn't already gotten were what I was going to buy myself. It turned out to be mostly true, unfortunately. Its not that I think everyone has to give me something. But the friends I have I met through my brother. And most of them do give him something for his birthday and/or Christmas but almost never me. Maybe I shouldn't think that way but living in this house has me depressed more then I'd realized.

None of my best friends live here. They're all friends I made through Ravelry. And one of them made my birthday so much better by sending me this:

The only thing I knew of was West Book 3. And I didn't know she had gotten it signed. The yarn is all Valley Yarn that I haven't tried yet. It's a Valley Yarn Sampler that she built herself. :)

And then there's the box of yarn and tools that I ordered myself from WEBs. Most important of them is the brand new loom. I got it because Jackie is an enabler and has given me a new craft to play with. I waited until we went to visit Mom for her birthday and July 4th this past weekend to open it. I didn't know where to even start with weaving and my stepdad would be able to show me.

This scarf is the end result of just one day's amount of work. Its still crazy to think that I can have a scarf that is 7 feet long in under a day. It would have taken me days to knit the scarf, a week minimum.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Current WIPs: 17

It makes me sad how many WIPs I really have. I keep telling myself one day I'll only have 5 or so but it still hasn't happened. I think because I have an "oooh shiny" problem. Like when I get super excited about a project, I just can't not cast it on.
Tardis Socks (over 70%)
Dalek Mitts 
Ravenclaw Shawl
Ashfield Cardigan (over 50%)
Vivid Blanket
Year-long Blanket KAL - a new square is released every two weeks for what will be a total of 25 squares. I plan on using up all my cheap acrylic in this blanket and am so behind in making squares.
Loki amis (over 75%) - very very late Christmas presents and one for me. 4 Lokis total.
Kam Chu Socks - stage 2 of Tour de Sock
Roll the Bones - stage 3 of Tour de Sock
Diagonal Lace Socks
Glaceon Plushie
Foxxy Shawl
Celestarium Shawl
Percy Shawl
Company of Dwarves amis
Fellowship of the Ring amis
Cabled Scarf