Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Unmaking

The last few days I've been working on some long overdue frogging.

 photo IMG_9224_zpssac13jlk.jpg

That blue blob was the entire body portion of a Cria cardigan. It was supposed to be half my entry to the Outfit Along of 2015, run by Untangling Knots. Despite attempting to pay attention to measurements and gauge, I neglected to notice that the sleeves were way too big until after I'd finished the body. Since This sweater is a top-down, seamless-set-in-sleeves type deal, once I'd finished the body there was no easy way to go back and fix the sleeve caps. If I'd been going for SUPER POOFY sleeves I would have just kept going, but that's not what I wanted for this cardigan. So I shoved it in a corner for months while I worked on other things, unable to bear the prospect of unraveling all my work.

I dug it out again in the spirit of sustainability. Though I'm not officially stashing down this year, I would like to be more mindful of my yarn purchases and more mindful of choosing and using the yarn I already have. That means frogging projects that aren't going anywhere and finding a new use for the yarn. Once repurposed, this yarn will become something else - reused, returned to circulation, not abandoned to dust / dark closet corners.

My first act of making in the Maker's Year is unmaking.

This post is part of The Maker's Year hosted by A Playful Day.

In related news, I've joined Twitter. (The last one to do so, ever?) You can find me @goodenoughmakes. It's still a bit bare bones over there, but I'll come up with something to put there soon.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Baby FOs: Gidday and Zigging

Time for an FO round-up! First, the last FO of 2015.

 photo 8aeb58c8-be5d-4da5-b233-92f5e348ad69_zpsfmxumt3z.jpg

Pattern: Gidday Baby by Georgie Hallam

Yarn: Rico Design Essentials Cotton DK

Mods: Added more button holes, attempted to close YOs in yoke with knitting through back loop, though some of them still show.

Notes: Super cute, super quick knit. I enjoyed making this. I made the 3 month size, with an awareness that babies (like bigger folk) don't necessarily comply with size standards, so I hope it fits at some point in a relevant season. Cotton yarn was my choice because this baby is due in spring... but spring in a place that doesn't get particularly warm, so cardigans are useful year-round. And, surprise surprise: it's teal. My husband teases me about my love for teal and when he saw this he joked that this baby is going to be dressed exactly like me. So I told him I'd make something green and black to match him.

This next one is green on green, though. First FO of 2016!

 photo IMG_9206_zpshjlavmub.jpg

Pattern: Zigging by Sarah Ronchetti

Yarn: Easyknits Deeply Wicked and Old Maiden Aunt Merino Superwash 4 ply

Mods: Big ol' pom-pom!

 photo IMG_9207_zpsmqu8id9g.jpg

Notes: Not much to say about this one. Pretty quick, and got me back into the rhythm of colourwork since I haven't done any in a while. I have some colourwork things for myself I want to make soon, so I had better start them before my hands forget how to hold one colour in each hand.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 Crafting Goals

I'd like to say that 2016 is the year I'll get back into blogging in a committed way, or the year I try National Sweater Knitting Month again, or something of the sort. However for a number of reasons I think this year is going to be chaotic and I don't want to over commit myself and then feel bad later. It may be I'll have loads of extra knitting time, but it's also likely I will be sleep-deprived and never have any time to myself. There is a lot of unpredictability in one small package heading my way in early May and I'm not sure how anyone in my household is going to cope with it. (This is me announcing my pregnancy, btw. Open-fronted cardigans FTW!)

 photo 22weeks_zpsti2uqcly.jpg
Me last week at 22 weeks
I’m going to set a few hopefully achievable goals nonetheless.

1. Knit one sweater for myself
I'm already finding it easy to focus entirely on baby knits - So small! So quick! So cute! I want to make sure I take time to make something for myself, even if it is only one thing.

2. Knit socks for my mom
She's due a handknitted gift this year and she requested socks, so socks it is. I think I can manage a pair of socks before the end of the year, but I guess we'll see!

3. Sew something wearable (for myself or for the baby)
I have attempted to sew a few wearables so far in my short sewing career and none have turned out to be particularly useful to me for various reasons. I like to change that this year and maybe even sew something for the baby.

So, there are my goals for 2016. Notice how I didn't say stash down...

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

2015 knitting recap

Here's what I made in 2015 - a paltry 9 finished objects! I think I finish fewer things every year. Ah well, it's not about quantity, right? I had a lot going on this year that curtailed my knitting output. Knittingwise, I attempted several sweaters that I abandoned in various states of non-completion... I have some frogging to do, but maybe this year that yarn will become something! Still, I'm pleased with the things I made this year.

 photo 2015projects_zpsbwsya9qx.jpg

Top row: Gidday Baby by Georgie Hallam, Arya Mitts by Patti Waters, Cinnamon Stone Shawl by Verybusymonkey

Second Row:
Itaca by Stephen West, Varia by Alex Tinsley, Raiun by Kirsten Johnstone

Third row: Fleegle heel socks, Tauriel socks by Josiah Bain, Luna Viridis by Hilary Smith Callis.

Apparently this was the year I focused on accessories, even though as I said above I attempted a few sweaters. The cardigan I did manage to finish, Raiun, is my favourite FO of the year. I wear it all the time - it is an excellent transitional weather piece in this land of unpredictable temperatures. Plus, I'm really getting into open-fronted cardigans (more on this later.)

I had made myself some goals for 2015, so let's see how I managed.

2015 goals
1. Stash down, with a few exceptions.

Exception 1: I will buy yarn to make a Pomegranate sweater. Bought yarn, decided to make Even Flow instead due to newfound love of open-fronted cardigans, abandoned because I think the pattern needs a smooth semi-solid yarn instead.

Exception 2: I will buy yarn at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and/or the yarn crawl, should anything unmissable jump out at me. But I will show restraint! Restraint at EYF? Debatable. haha. I came home with 4 more skeins of hand-dyed sock yarn which I needed like a hole in the head. But they are so pretty and I love them.

Exception 3: I will buy yarn to make gifts if I don't have anything appropriate in my stash. Bought yarn for Itaca, Varia, and Gidday - over third of my projects were apparently gifts this year, since the Fleegle Heel socks were also a gift though made from stash.

In the end stashing down didn't really happen because my exceptions were not very restrictive. I didn't keep a good tally of yardage in/out, but here it is roughly.

Projects knit from stash: 6 (5 one-skein sock yarn projects and one sweater quantity)
Projects cast-on immediately with 2015 yarn purchases: 3 multi-skein projects
Skeins bought with no project in mind: 4 sock yarn, 1 SQ for Pomegranate that turned out not to be for that and is languishing in the frog pond, 4 extra skeins of yarn I intended for Gidday but didn't like the colour combinations so put on hold for something else.

So I didn't quite break even this year. I did knit from stash more than I realised, and I stuck to my non-restrictive rules, so not a total failure. But not really a resounding success either. Ah well!

2. Finish allocating yarn to patterns in my Stash Match project, including my sweater-quantities. Haha FAIL. I did two Stash Match posts this year: Sock Yarn and Laceweight. This leaves me three more to do. I valiantly tried to decide on my alapca stash projects in December but could not come to a final decision, so expect a post on this some time in 2016. I am also debating destashing some of the other two categories to make space in my house because I can't see myself ever using some of this yarn.

So that was 2015! I'm due a real FO post on the Gidday cardigan, plus I have the first FO of 2016 to share, and some news on WIPs. Plus some goals for 2016. Yikes. Hope your 2015 was delightful and productive in crafty and non-crafty ways!

Sunday, December 06, 2015

FO: Arya Mitts

Oh hello! I didn't realize it had been several months since I showed any knitting progress. I have been doing some knitting behind the scenes, but it has been slow going - didn't feel like taking progress photos of another few centimetres of twisted stitch cable every week. And I abandoned a cardigan I was working on in a fit of annoyance. That probably deserves a post of its own if I can be bothered to take it out of the corner I've shoved it in. Anyway, I did finally finish something!

 photo IMG_9182_zpsaefrfaeb.jpg

Pattern: Arya Mitts by Patti Waters

Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock

 photo IMG_9183_zpseioociuf.jpg

Mods: Changed the stitch count because as written with my gauge the circumference was massive. I didn't do any wrist shaping out of laziness, so these are just a long tube - but the stitch pattern is very stretchy, so I don't miss the shaping. I made the thumbs longer than written.

These took ages because I didn't focus on them, but ultimately I enjoyed knitting them. The cable pattern was intuitive once I got into it, and it certainly kept my interest. The yarn is so pretty - and a surprisingly good fit for these cables. (Photos don't show the pops of purple and green running through very well, but they are awesome.)

 photo IMG_9184_zps17a1evgk.jpg

I'm very pleased with these. Unfortunately I seem to have lost my slouchy green fingerless mitts from last year, so these ones are now going to fill a gap in my collection. (The gap being "long fingerless mitts that aren't bright pink." I still wear the pink ones with love, but since I wear almost exclusively green/turquoise/blue when it comes to outerwear, they don't really fit my accidental colourscheme.) Plus, another tick off my stash match list! Woohoo. Speaking of which, I'm due another post on that once I can figure out what to do with all my miscellaneous light weight alpaca yarn. It's on the list.

Monday, September 21, 2015

New WIP: Arya mitts

I've made a start on the Arya Mitts by Patti Waters. This is another project towards my Stash Match.

 photo IMG_9001b_zpsqxtwwenh.jpg

I'm glad that I'm finally using this yarn because it is beautiful. This yarn was a gift in a swap from several years ago. It's Cherry Tree Hill Supersock. Very pretty in the skein, but as I was winding it I fell in love with the colours even more. It's subtly variegated in blues, greens, and purples - I thought it might be too busy for this cable pattern at first, but I think it will work okay. The twisted-stitch cables are surprisingly intuitive!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

FO: Cinnamon Stone Shawl

The greenest shawl ever is finished.

 photo IMG_8610_zpsqhqpa1km.jpg

Pattern: Cinnamon Stone Shawl by Verybusymonkey

 photo IMG_8608_zpsiso0pldz.jpg

Yarn: Old Maiden Aunt Merino Superwash 4-Ply in Emerald City colourway

Notes:

Before I start criticizing the pattern, I want to say that it is beautiful and I love the result with some reservations. I think it is very worth knitting if you like the look of it, but be prepared to deal with some issues. The first half of the shawl went smoothly and was very enjoyable, but my troubles began once I hit chart 3.

First, the pattern along the bottom edge follows three charts - my first thought was to tape the charts together to form one seamless huge chart. But alas! The charts are different sizes, so the rows do not line up. If I had been more committed, I would have done some print sizing experimentation, but I just lived with it. It slowed me down and caused me to grumble a bit, but oh well.

 photo IMG_8606_zps7kp4gi9o.jpg

Second, there are some errors in the pattern(or maybe the pattern is totally fine and I'm just losing my mind - always possible). Other ravelers also ran into trouble where I did, which makes me think the pattern is to blame rather than my pattern-reading skills. Frustrating, but these things happen. Thank goodness for Ravelry. Anyway, I followed some very helpful notes to fix the problems - I've linked to them in my Rav notes here.

I'm not entirely happy with the lace at the bottom edge - I feel like the fact that it is reverse stockinette makes the YOs look messy and undefined. I much prefer the way the middle section looks with extra knit stitches thrown in for contrast and to define the lace a bit more. Does that make sense? It's still pretty, but not as crisp as the rest of it.

 photo IMG_8614_zpscalkuo3l.jpg

My final small disappointment is that the way I prefer to wear shawlettes doesn't show off the gloriousness of this lace pattern. Sigh. (This is my own issue, not a fault of the pattern, though the pattern schematic is a bit misleading when it comes to shawl shape. Or maybe I just blocked it wrong?) I think this would look fabulous worn over the shoulders with the lace flowing down the back... like my picture on the chair above. I tend to wear things bandit-style, however; this particular arrangement crumples up the lace in this case. (I have made plenty of triangle and crescent-shaped shawls that do not do this, so it's not a function of shape so much as lace placement, I think.) It's fine, though - even if the lace gets crumpled when I wear it, it's still totally the greenest thing I own. GREEN FTW.

The only mod I made was to forgo the picot bind-off in favour of a standard stretchy bind-off.

Altogether mixed results, but I'll wear it with love this autumn/winter. And the yarn is still my favourite.