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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Bleh!

For the last week and a half, I feel like I have spent most of my time cleaning doggy toes and the floors around the doors.  Also, I’ve been cold AND it’s been too cold/too snowy/too icy/too wet to run.  I realize that we’ve gotten off comparatively easy this winter, but I’m sick of this!

This morning it was finally warm enough and dry enough to run (dry being a relative term as it was sprinkling and I had to put my iPhone in a ziploc baggie).  It felt great to get out there again and move!

This afternoon we’re supposed to get ice followed by three inches of snow.  I’m so OVER this whole Winter thing!

Okay, thanks, I just needed to vent a bit.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Before and After

Before felting, the bowls looked like hats for the Three Little Bears.  They were loose and floppy and not very bowl like.
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After felting (three times through the “towels” load on my washer), they look much more like bowls. They stand up nicely on their flat, little bottoms while they finish drying.  Once they’re dry, I’ll get some measurements and start knitting the white lace sections.
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I’ve got to trim some yarn ends now that they’re felted too.  I don’t like to trim the ends pre-felting because I figure they’re more secure afterwards.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish this first project for Loopy Academy, Semester Two this week!

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Random Answers to Random Questions

Yesterday as I posted to the blog, I remembered that last Friday there was a question about Artesian and I had never answered it!  Sorry about that, I’ll take care of it today, as well as answer yesterday’s comment question.

In knitting Artesian, on the first row of each repeat you place a lot of markers.  Then, as you work through the short rows of the repeat, you use the markers as turning points.  The first time through it feels kind of strange, but after I got a feel for what was happening, I realized that this was probably the easiest way to write and knit the pattern.  (As a side note, I’m not really using the chart at all for this because in this pattern, I think it’s easier to use the written directions.)  In order to make this easier to knit, there are numbered stitch markers available just for this pattern.  Right now though, they aren’t available, so the commenter was curious if I had some or how I was handling the marker situation.  I do not have the numbered stitch markers because I’m not a fan of stitch markers with dangly bits.  I like the way they look, I’ve just found that I don’t like knitting with them.  I prefer a simple ring type marker with no dangly bits.  I realized though that I needed some way to keep track of which markers were which in this project though, so I color coded them.  Markers 5 and 15 are red, markers 10 and 20 are white and all the rest are black.  This way, when the directions say to work to marker 7, it’s easy to find without counting everything, every time.  The other thing I did, that is not in the directions, is to put two markers at the marker 20 position.  Then, when I get to the point where I’m stopping to turn before marker 20, I move the second marker (it’s silver) to where my next turn will be.  I have to look ahead because I place the marker on the RS row right before the WS where the short row actually happens, but it makes it easier to just work to the marker on the WS row than counting “X stitches before Marker 20.”  This might not make sense to everyone, but it works for the way my brain works, and it’s been very helpful.  Actually, this whole paragraph probably doesn’t make sense unless you’re knitting Artesian.  Sorry about that.  (I’m really hoping this makes sense if you are knitting Artesian.)

Yesterday there was a question about checking to see if my light color for my project would felt.  I’ve heard before that there are some cream/white wools that won’t felt when the rest of the yarn line felts beautifully.  Apparently some of the bleaching techniques will strip the scales from the wool and it won’t felt because of this.  For my project, the white color is only used for the lace on the bowls and it doesn’t have to felt.  Only the gray used for the bowls needs to felt.  And no, I haven’t actually tried to felt it yet, I’m crossing my fingers that it will.  Also, I’m trusting in the Cascade 220 because it does felt well, in general.  I’ve never tried to felt it in white.  As a side note, Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride will felt in the natural/white colors, in case you’re looking for a felting yarn in a natural or white color.

I hope you have a great weekend!  We’re supposed to get more snow today and more freezing rain and stuff tonight and tomorrow.  It’s like we’re having our entire winter this week.  I’m ready for it to warm up a bit now.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Loopy Academy, Year One, Semester Two

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I finally started one of my Loopy Academy projects for this second semester!  This is the beginning of the felted project.  I know it looks like a hat, but it is actually the large bowl from Soft Porcelain Bowls (which are actually wool, not porcelain at all).  I’ll be making all of my bowls gray and the lace will be white.  The pattern calls for bulky weight yarn but I’m using two strands of Cascade 220 (worsted weight) instead.  I’ve actually cast on and started the medium bowl now, but didn’t see any reason to show you a slightly smaller hat looking thing in progress, since I’ve already got this to show you.

I chose this project because the bowls don’t have to be felted carefully to a specific size, like slippers would.  I have a HE top loader and it isn’t easy to stop mid-cycle to check and see how things are felting.  With bowls, I can just toss them in and let them go through a whole cycle (or two) and then reshape them.  That’s the plan anyway.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Sleeve is Born

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I got started on my first sleeve!  It’s very pink, just like the sweater.

In other news, it’s snowing here this morning.  We started out with more freezing rain earlier and now it’s switched to snow.  Maximus does not approve.  He keeps giving the weather dirty looks through the window.  Even Logan is moving pretty quickly to get his business finished outside.  Nobody likes cold and wet!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Getting There

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I’ve finished the body section of Alys and now I’m ready to start the sleeves!  This photo shows why blocking is so important on a finished piece of knitwear.  You can’t just weave in the ends and call it a day and expect it to look good.  I’ve found that blocking is especially helpful when I have to sew pieces together to complete a sweater.  Once it’s blocked, the edges stop curling (or at least curl less, depending on the fiber content) and they lie flat and smooth for me to seam them up.

In the case of this sweater, there won’t be any seams to sew up, but blocking will make the neckline and hem lie flat, and the front openings will stop rolling inwards.  It will also make the whole thing look more finished.  I’m looking forward to blocking this, but first, I need to do the sleeves.  Also, I can’t wear it until it warms up a bit here - the roads are solid ice this morning!

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Plans

After the success of my first Wiksten Tank (I’ve worn it several times already), I decided I needed a few more.  Not only does this work really well with the Featherweight Cardigan but it’s cute by itself too and will work that way when it’s warmer.  In anticipating warmer days (we’re having freezing rain right now and already have accumulation on the roads), I decided to do a few tanks in Liberty of London’s Tana Lawn.
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I did some figuring with the pattern pieces and realized that if I used a solid white cotton batiste for the bias edgings at the neck and arms, I could get a tank from a single yard of the Liberty.  Since the underside of the prints are lighter, and that’s where the bias edging is, white would work with most of the prints.
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I ordered three different prints, and while the first two (above) are pretty traditional Liberty of London, the third (below) doesn’t seem quite as traditional, but I just loved it!  My Alys sweater in the Pop Rocks color way will go with the top print really well.  It actually matches the dark pink in this third print, but I think that with everything going on in the print, pairing it with a hot pink sweater might not be the best idea.  I’m not trying to injure anyone’s retinas with this!
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Just in case anyone is looking for some Tana Lawn, Fabric.com is where I got mine and it’s slightly cheaper than full retail.

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