Tag Archives: KAL

WIP Wednesday: Shades of Gray

It’s been a while since I have shared my knitting projects with you, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been knitting!  I have an unprecedented (for me, anyway) three projects going right now. Each of the projects is very different, except for one similarity:  they all use yarn in some shade of gray.

Project 1 – Socks

CoBaSi - Gun Metal Gray

First up is a project I actually started over a year ago.  It’s my first pair of socks, Focus Pocus by Michelle Hunter.  As I said, I started this one a year ago, but I didn’t like how tight the cast-on edge was.  It was hard to get over my heel, and it felt a little tight on my calf.  So I ripped it out.  I put off starting over for several months.  The cast-on and knitting of the first few rows is quite fiddly and stressful and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I finally braced myself and cast on in November.  To address the too-tight edge I used a larger needle for the cast on, then switched back to the smaller needle when I began knitting.  This not only helped with the tight edge, but it seemed to make the whole process go a little easier.  Now that I am well into the knitting, I am enjoying this project!

Focus Pocus Socks

I am about halfway through the cuffs of these socks.  This project is temporarily on hold while I work on some other projects, but I am looking forward to getting back to it.

Project 2 – A Mystery!

I can’t really tell you much about this next project, because it is super secret!  I can show you a picture of the yarn I am using:

Kenzie Yarn

And here is a little detail photo:

Mystery Detail

I will tell you more about this project when I finish it in a few weeks!

Project 3 – Downton Abbey

Lastly, I couldn’t resist participating in the Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-a-long hosted by Jimmy Beans Wool again this year. I have had so much fun with it the last two years, and so far this year is no exception.  As always, Jimmy Beans created a specially-dyed yarn just for this project.  While I liked the pink and brown colors of the special yarn, I couldn’t see myself getting much use out of a shawl in those colors, so I went rogue and chose these pretty colors:

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock

The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. The color on the left is called “Fifty Skeins of Gray – Anastasia” and the color on the right is “Kerfuffle”.  I love these two colors together!

I am running a few weeks behind the knit-a-long (the group is on clue #4 and I am on clue #2).  Here is a picture of my shawl at the end of the first clue:

DA Mystery Shawl Part 1

I can’t wait to see how this one turns out!

What projects are you working on?

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FO: Corkscrew Hat

Corkscrew Hat

I mentioned a while back that I would be participating in another Progressive Needles Knit-a-Long, hosted by Michelle Hunter.  This is the hat we made!

I had been wanting to make myself an interesting hat (I only had one boring, plain one) and this one fits the bill perfectly.

Corkscrew Hat

I always learn a lot from Michelle’s knit-a-longs.  This was my first time doing stranded colorwork, but her instructions made it much easier than it looks.  She encouraged us to learn to knit with one color in each hand.  It felt very awkward at first knitting with my left hand, but I got the hang of it by the end of the hat.  Learning a new technique like that opens up so many possibilities for new patterns to try!

Corkscrew Hat with Button

The yarn we used for the KAL was HiKoo Simplicity.  This is a great, all-purpose yarn!  It is made from merino wool, acrylic, and nylon.  You get the warmth from the wool, but rather than being itchy, it is super-soft.  I liked this yarn so much, I chose it for the yellow hat I am making for my daughter.

The next Progressive Needles Knit-a-Long starts October 2!  I will be participating again, and we will be making a cowl.  We have 3 lengths to choose from.  I will make the shortest length because I have discovered that I prefer short cowls rather than longer cowls or scarves.  The yarn we’re using is HiKoo Simplinatural.  I chose the color “First Press Olive” to coordinate with my new hat.  Will you be joining in the KAL?

Hat with SimpliNatural

Details:

Pattern:  Corkscrew Hat, by Michelle Hunter.  It is available as a free download on Ravelry.

Yarn:  HiKoo Simplicity.  My colors were “First Press Olive” and “Framboise”.

If you are on Ravelry, you can check out my project here.

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WIP Wednesday: Too Busy To Write Edition

When I started my WIP Wednesday feature last month, my intention was to write an update at least every other week (as long as I had updates to share!).  Well, it’s nearly a month and a half later.  Whoops!  My excuse is not that I haven’t accomplished anything, but rather that I have been so busy with my projects that I haven’t had time to write about them.

Knitting

Larch is coming along nicely!  This has been a very enjoyable project and I love how the pattern shows off the beautiful yarn so well.  I can’t wait to finish this one!

Larch in Progress

Next month I will be starting another mystery knit-a-long!  This one will be a two color hat.  I chose the following colors of Simplicity.  I used the Pantone Fall 2014 Fashion Color Report for inspiration.

Simplicity Yarn

This is another KAL hosted by Skacel and Michelle Hunter.  For more information about the KAL see:  http://knitpurlhunter.com/kal/uncategorized/july-kal-3/.  If you are interested in participating in a mystery KAL, I highly recommend Michelle’s.  They are very well run and I always learn something new!

Home Improvement

My bedroom project is coming along slowly, but surely.  It is slow-going because this is the first time I have done any of this, and I am learning as I go.  The project also got stopped in it’s tracks due to have my mother visit to help me with a garage sale (she stayed in the room, so I had to make it liveable for her) and the school year ending.

Since I last updated you, I have ripped out the closet doors, washed the walls (a painful process because of leftover wallpaper glue), painted the ceiling, and patched the walls.  I had hoped to have a fun before/after photo of the ceiling and new light fixture for you, but we ran into a snag with the light fixture that requires some research and perhaps a consultation with an electrician.  Trust me, the picture will be more fun when the light fixture is installed!

I made a decision about the closet doors!  They have been removed and will not be replaced.  My sister-in-law, who has young children of her own, convinced me to go doorless.  Thinking about ease-of-use and accessibility for my daughter, this made the most sense.  Here is a photo of the closet right now:

Empty Closet

The white bits are where the original shelf and rod were installed.  I removed those and patched the walls.

Right now I am working on masking the rooms so I can get the walls painted.  I hope to get that done when summer school starts in a couple of weeks.  Then the project will be put on hiatus until the new school year starts in August.

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FO: Downton Abbey Mystery Gauntlets

Lady Violet's Gauntlets

FYI:  The “FO” in the title stands for “finished object”…

I finally finished my Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-a-long project last week, officially known as “Lady Violet’s Gauntlets”.   This is the most complex project I have made to date and I am very happy with how they turned out!

Blocking the gauntlets

Blocking the gauntlets

There are eyelets along the outside edge of each glove.  The cords in the photo above are now laced through the eyelets, and the fit of the gloves can be customized a bit.  Here is one “fully extended”:

"Un-rouched" glove

“Un-ruched” glove

And here is the same glove ruched a bit:

Ruched glove

Ruched glove

You can see how the lacing works a little better in this photo:

UndersideI have worn the gloves out a few times and I really like them being fingerless when I am driving.  It is so much easier to get my daughter buckled in, get the music playing, steer, etc. with my fingers available.  They are also nice for keeping my hands and wrists warm in the evening while I’m watching TV.

I really, really enjoyed this project.  The pace was perfect and I was able to keep up with the group each week.  The discussion on Ravelry was friendly and helpful.  I learned a ton, both from working the project and from the other participants.

IMG_4986_edited-1

Here is a list of all the things I did for the first time while knitting these gloves:

  • Crochet provisional cast-on
  • Magic Loop – I love it!
  • Lace
  • I-cords
  • Thumb gusset
  • Using multi-colored yarn – it was fun seeing how the colors changed and worked together
  • Elastic bind-off

This project was a real confidence booster.  Now I feel like I can knit anything!  Well, maybe now the “intermediate” patterns…

High Tea

Thanks to Jimmy Beans Wool and Kristin (the designer) for hosting such a fun KAL!  If you are interested in this pattern you can find out more here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/downton-abbey-mystery-kal-with-jimmy-beans-wool.  All my pattern notes can be viewed on my Ravelry project page.

JBW is hosting another mystery KAL inspired by the show Game of Thrones that I am seriously considering doing because this one was so much fun!

I just want to say, taking pictures of one’s self wearing gloves is not easy!  Enjoy a few of the “failures”:

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Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-A-Long

I am kicking off the new year with an exciting new knitting project!  It’s a mystery knit-a-long (KAL) hosted by Jimmy Beans Wool.  The project is inspired by the show Downton Abbey and JBW’s limited-edition yarn, “Christmas at Downton“.

I have only recently climbed aboard the Downton Abbey bandwagon.  I started watching the DVDs from Netflix a few months ago and quickly got hooked.  I am looking forward to the new season starting on Sunday!

My yarn wound into a ball and ready to go!

My yarn wound into a ball and ready to go!

The mystery part of the knit-a-long is that we don’t know what we are knitting.  Pieces of the pattern will be revealed every Sunday for the duration of Downton Abbey Season 3.  We know it’s not a hat or socks, and that it is inspired by the character played by Maggie Smith, Violet the Dowager Countess.  Theories have ranged from fingerless gloves to a shawl to a scarf.  I think it will be something worn around the neck, but I’m not sure what.

While the project was designed to use the “Christmas at Downton” yarn, it is not a requirement for participating in the KAL.  I love the colors, so I decided to go ahead and use the suggested yarn.  The colors are much more vibrant in person than they are coming across in my photos.  And lucky me got to pick up my yarn in person since Jimmy Beans Wool is local to Reno!

Christmas at Downton.  I love the colors of this hand-dyed yarn!

Christmas at Downton. I love the colors of this hand-dyed yarn!

One thing that attracted me to this project is that it only uses one skein of yarn, so I know I can keep up with the group and actually finish the project.  I also like that I will be learning some new techniques.  In particular, magic loop and crochet provisional cast-on.  There will be an optional lace panel in the project.  I have never done lace before, so I plan on waiting until we get the lace instructions and practicing a bit before I decide if I will include the lace or not.

Here is my swatch. I love how it looks knitted up, and the yarn is so nice to work with.

My excitement over this project has reignited my excitement about knitting in general, and I have even been working on my sweater.  I really hope I can ride the wave of enthusiasm until the sweater is finished!

If you are interested in participating in the KAL, you can find more information on the Jimmy Beans Wool Blog or on the pattern’s Ravelry page.  The first bit of instructions will be posted on January 6, 2013!

Who else out there is watching Downton Abbey?  What knitting projects are you working on?

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