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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My Sixth Weaving Project

Sixth weaving project 
I got the loom warped and started weaving yesterday!  This is another scarf using fingering weight yarn.  I'm using the 12 dent heddle.  Both yarns are Madelinetosh Tosh Sock which is a fat fingering weight 2 ply yarn.  I've used it for knitting before, but this is the first time I've used it for weaving.  The warp is Charcoal and the weft is Mare.  Unfortunately, because of the darkness of the colors I'm using, they aren't photographing very well.  It is going to be a dark scarf, but there is black, brown, navy and gray in the Mare colorway and the camera isn't wanting to pick it up.  I'm happy with the way it's looking as I weave it, but this will probably be a series of blog posts looking dark and gloopy.  It reminds me a bit of Hollywood's depiction of Victorian England at night - the color scheme to Penny Dreadful maybe?  On the other hand, blogging issues aside, it will be perfect for the person I'm weaving it for, and that's the most important thing.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

It's Time to Start Thinking About Blankets

Carson throw 
This August has been freakishly cool here in North Texas.  Now don't get me wrong, we still have highs in the high 80's and low 90's, but they really should be triple digit highs right now.  So while I'm not ready to wear any of the sweaters I've knit just yet, I do realize that it will happen.  The temperatures will drop and the knits will be worn.  Also, working on the Carson Throw doesn't sound like torture at the moment, so I've pulled it out and I have a plan!

According to the pattern, I have about 50 rounds left in my giant blanket.  I knit on it all day Saturday.  It was all I worked on and I made some headway.  I realized that if I devoted one day a week to it (probably Saturday, since we're starting school Thursday), I could probably get it finished fairly soon.  At this point, each round is about half an hour.  After my next increase round, that will probably be closer to 45 minutes or an hour, so I'm not talking about a super quick finish here.  On the other hand, if I can get a day's worth of knitting into it every week (and keep Max from making a nest in it while I'm knitting on it), I think I can finish it by Halloween.  And that's without neglecting Caleb's homeschooling (10th grade!) and still doing Loopy Academy.  So get ready for weekly updates again.  By the time the temps really cool off around here, I'm going to be ready with a big, round blanket!

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Monday, August 29, 2016

More Cowl!

Pleasant Trip 
I've more than doubled the width of my Pleasant Trip since you last saw it.  I know it looks like a sad, rumpled, wonky thing right now, but the magic of blocking will fix that.  Unfortunately, I can't block before I finish knitting (and there's really no reason to), but that means the blog is subjected to things that look like this.  If you're curious how much better it will look later, here's a link to the pattern page.  See?  Pretty!  Isn't blocking magical?

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Friday, August 26, 2016

A Blast From the Past

Heathered Ruby 
Do you remember this cardigan?  I knit it in April, but didn't have buttons so I just tucked it away, dangling ends and all, until I could find some.  It's been sitting patiently in a bag since then while I have searched up and down for the right buttons for it.  I usually use shell or metal buttons, but both of those options were really taking over the sweater.  I think that even though it's a red sweater, there are so many shades of red there, it was distracting to have a contrasting button.  Once I figured this out, I started looking for red buttons.  The problem is this is a blue red, that might have wanted to lean pink when it grew up, but then it got dark.  It didn't go to Burgundy or Wine or Maroon, it stayed red, but it's definitely not a Fire Engine, Candy Apple, Chinese Red or any of the "standard" reds that the button manufacturers make.  I looked at custom buttons, but the type I liked would have been almost as much as the yarn I used to knit the sweater.  I looked at Etsy.  I looked at vintage buttons.  Nothing was quite right.

Finally, this month as I was flipping through the new Twist Collective, I saw an ad for Textile Garden.  I checked it out and found some buttons that looked perfect!  I found another set of buttons that also looked like they would work, but they were a little smaller.  I decided to order both because if the photos were off, one of them would work and worst case scenario, I would have to reknit the button hole band with smaller button holes.  This wasn't really a big problem since I hadn't woven in the ends yet!  (Laziness sometimes pays off.)  I went to pay and realized the buttons were in England.  (I would have noticed that the prices were in pounds, not dollars if I wasn't solely focused on the buttons.)  Since these were the only buttons I'd found that looked like they would work, I decided to go for it.  Shipping was super fast and I got them Wednesday afternoon.  Both sets of buttons I ordered worked with this cardigan, but one set was big enough for the button holes already there.  I started weaving in ends, sewed down the pocket linings and had it blocking Wednesday night before bedtime.  Yesterday I added the buttons and here is my sweater now:
Ruby Heathered
The pattern is Heathered.  The yarn is Fable Fibers Biography in Ruby.  The buttons are Burgundy Shell Leaves from Textile Garden.  After blocking I wasn't happy with top edges of the pockets.  (You can see in the first picture how floppy they looked.)  I decided to add a row of single crochet along that top edge to firm things up.  It would have been easier to do this before I sewed down the pocket linings, but it wasn't too hard to do it after everything else was finished.  I'm really glad I added that little edge.  You can see the difference it made.
Ruby Heathered
I suppose you'd like to see the buttons that finally allowed me to finish this cardigan, wouldn't you?  Here's what they look like.  They are a dyed shell (so I got to use shell after all) in a leaf shape.  I'm so happy to finally have this sweater finished and ready to wear once the temperatures drop around here!
Ruby Heathered
Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

My Sixth Weaving Project

Sixth Weaving Project 
Either this weekend or the first of next week, I will be warping my loom for my sixth weaving project.  It's another scarf.  (I may have promised not another scarf next but I changed my mind.  I do have yarn for Not A Scarf, but I want to get a couple more scarves woven first.)  Both of these yarns are Madelinetosh Tosh Sock.  I will be using Charcoal (on the upper right) for the warp and Mare (lower left) for the weft. 

I used the Mare colorway (different yarn base) in Caleb's crochet blanket I made years ago and really liked it then.  It's a dark, moody combination of black, navy, gray and dark chocolate brown, so it basically works with everything.  I think it will be perfect for a scarf to coordinate with every coat anyone owns.  Obviously this will be my darkest scarf yet, but I think the Mare will make it interesting.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Something Neither Pink Nor A Sweater!

Pleasant Trip 
Just for a change of pace, here's how my Pleasant Trip cowl is looking.  The stitch pattern is easy to work and easy to memorize, which means I've found new ways to mess it up, but at this stage in the knitting, I've also figured out how to fix my mistakes.  I've knit about a quarter of the width of the cowl right so far.

I'm also spending this week getting everything sorted out for school.  We are starting next Thursday, September 1.  Caleb doesn't even want to talk about it.  The end of summer is just too painful for him.  Logan is helping me get things figured out and planned, but he's always helpful with everything.  Max is ignoring things like Caleb is, but Max will continue his summer even after Caleb is back to school.  Max does not attend school except to sit on the books occasionally.  While we're using them.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A New Pink Sweater!

Toujours 
This year's weird pink obsession continues with my fifth pink sweater of the year, Toujours!  This is essentially an oversized, scoop neck henley.  It's worked from the bottom up (which is traditionally a problem for me, as I lose momentum when the back and front divide for the sleeves) and begins with short rows to shape the curved hem.  You can kind of see the shape of the hem in my photo, but the knitting really wanted to curl up around itself and take a nap like a cat, not stretch out and be photographed.  We compromised.

I'm knitting it in Malabrigo Arroyo in English Rose.  I am alternating skeins.  I am still in love with the many varieties of pink that make up this colorway.  It fascinates me.  Also, I'm still amused by knitting pink sweaters on pink needles.  I never claimed to be a very complex person.

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