Wednesday, April 30, 2014

WIP: Crystalline Socks

I have a WIP to share!

These are Crystalline Socks by Cailyn Meyer. I cast on New Year's Day, according to Ravelry. They hibernated for a while since I needed the needles for a secret gift project. Now that the secret project is done (stay tuned), these are back on the needles.

 photo IMG_7079_zps3c4b87d9.jpg

I'm really excited about these socks. The stitch pattern is fun to knit - it holds my interest but isn't too complex, and I love watching it develop. It also feels like it goes very quickly. A great choice for variegated yarns, although I'm finding this yarn isn't as garishly variegated as I expected. The yarn is 75% wool / 25% nylon that I dyed using Wiltons icing colours a few years ago, so I'm glad I've finally found a project for it.

 photo IMG_7081_zps2335c822.jpg

Check out more WIPs at Tami's Blog.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Some knitting and some baking

I've started my 2nd sweater of 2014: Dragonflies, by Joji Locatelli. My goal is to knit two sweaters this year, and I'm optimistic I'll manage it given my progress so far.

 photo IMG_7032_zps8fd68e7b.jpg

It's going well so far. The lace is more complicated than anything I've done recently, but I'm getting into a rhythm with it, so all is good. I still have to focus entirely on the charts, but I think it will get easier as I go.

Other than knitting, I've been baking. The other day I made pita / pitta for the first time, and it was so awesome.

 photo IMG_7028_zpsb3e874c8.jpg

Delicious, and surprisingly easy. Will make again. I used a recipe from How to Bake by Paul Hollywood. The pockets are magical. Or maybe it's just yeast that is magical. In any case. Eating fresh, warm pitta with store-bought hummus just made the hummus seem sad, so next time maybe I'll make the hummus as well. (I used to make hummus frequently, but laziness has taken over these days.)

Monday, April 07, 2014

First FO of 2014: Wethersfield Cardigan

My Wethersfield cardigan is my first FO of 2014!

 photo IMG_7026_zps3c56ad47.jpg

Pattern: Wethersfield by Cecily Glowik MacDonald

Yarn: Cascade Eco+ in the Pacific colourway.

Mods: Knitted the body way longer than called for, used twisted rib instead of regular 1x1 rib for the hem and collar since I prefer how it looks.

 photo IMG_7024_zpscbb2cf58.jpg

Notes: Love it.

The pattern was a Ravelry-gift in a holiday pattern swap, and I wanted to start knitting straight away. Even though it is in reasonably thick yarn, the knitting still took a long time, though. My project page claims I started it January 13th and I didn't finish it until April 1st. I just need to accept that sweaters always take me a long time, even when I work on them almost exclusively. (In this case, I did have a few other projects going to distract me, so I certainly was not working on it exclusively. Never mind.)

I'm not used to open-fronted cardigans, and it's actually more open in the front than I was expecting - i.e. I can't really pull it closed at all. But I like it. I've been wearing it almost constantly since it dried. This sweater is very cozy and has been perfect for the particularly grim weather we have been having. Chilly and damp with thick fog - though it seems to be lifting now.

 photo IMG_7022_zps1b822db8.jpg

The cable on the back was lots of fun to knit. The only complaint I have about the pattern is that the cable chart is blurry. I haven't seen anyone else mentioning this on Ravelry, so maybe it's just me and my ancient computer? Some sort of resolution mismatch? In any case, it's blurry on screen and it printed out blurry, so it is difficult to read. I'm familiar enough with standard cable charts at this point that I could figure it out - plus the cables were easy to memorize, so it all worked out fine. I also think it's a bit odd that the pattern abbreviations use one style of abbreviation for the various kinds of cable twist, but the chart uses different abbreviations. I imagine this comes from whatever software was used to make the charts... but it's still a bit strange to see. Anyway, that is stupidly nitpicky and didn't affect my ability to follow the pattern, since I didn't really look at the written instructions for the cables and stuck to the charts. Still, I imagine it might be confusing to a beginner who is just learning how to follow charts. I know when I was learning charts I often referred to the written directions to make sure I understood what I was doing.

This was my first time knitting seamless set-in sleeves from the top down. The body of the sweater is done bottom-up, but then the sleeves are done top-down with short-rows. It is magical! I will do this kind of sleeve again, for sure. I'm really interested in trying some different seamless sleeve cap techniques in the future, since I'm not a huge fan of seaming (big surprise), but sleeve-cap type sleeves seem to fit me quite well.