Thursday, June 18, 2009

Project storage is no picnic

I've got about a half dozen project on the needles right now. I have a variety of bags that I keep them in. I've got your basic canvas bag, a nice reversible blue bag, a variety of Halloween bags from the lovely cyclingkate, a cute drawstring bag with a bird on it, and my newest addition from Corrina of Picnic Knits.

You see, Corrina has this Etsy shop where she sells various lovelies. And one day I was so in love with some fiber that I had to buy it. So I got this:
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It's very pretty, but I haven't spun a bit of it yet. I go through fits and spurts with the spinning thing, unfortunately.

As a little bonus, she sent along this bag:
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You see, it's great because it has exactly enough room for a pair of socks and a nice flat bottom. As a bonus, it's reversible! I actually keep the yellow star side out because it's so happy. 2009.6.13 010
That bit of blue is actually the scarf I've been working on for the contest. (I've got maybe 10" knit so far!) This is my favorite bag for small projects right now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Designing is hard!

So I mentioned that my local yarn store is having this contest - make a scarf, in any of four categories, out of sock yarn. I've been interested in trying my hand at lace design. I've designed a pair of socks (On the Fly Socks), but the novel thing there was making up a stitch pattern. So this contest opportunity - with its prizes and celebrity judges - seems just the right nudge to get me going.

But I come to find out.... this is hard! And scarves don't even need shaping. I figured that, given my not insignificant experience knitting lace, this should be a breeze. But, uh, it's not. The rules of the contest specify that the pattern must not be published prior to the contest, so you don't get to see photos of the design I finally settled on, but I am going to show you the rejects.

(Washed out with flash - makes it easier to see the pattern.) The bottom design is the first try. But in addition to being fiddly to knit, it's pretty complicated and hard to see in a scarf. I like it a lot, though, and think it's got potential. Just not for this project. The design on top... eh.. not so much. It's simpler than the bottom, but still not hitting any notes.
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Attempt number three: Something still not hitting right about this one. Subtle, but to the point where it gets kind of hard to see.
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So what did I end up going with? Well... that remains to be seen. I'll post photos, and the pattern, after the contest is over. Early August.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

FO: Kiila Socks

My socks are done! These socks have been the bane of my existence. There's a reason I don't like to do cables - it's because they're fiddly. Then compound that with needing to tweak the pattern to accommodate my gauge and my increased stitch count (heaven forbid I actually change needle sizes to accommodate the pattern!) and it's one of the more challenging patterns I've knit. That doesn't mean I don't like them, because I do. And the pattern is lovely; simple but elegant. I just went and made things more difficult than they needed to be.

Pattern: Kiila by Yarnissima. (If you like it and are on Ravelry, grab it quick! It's only a free download until June 8th.)
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy in a green color
Needles: KP circs size one
Methods: Magic looped, two at a time.
Notes: I made lots of little tweaks to make it work. I knit at 72 stitches, did the small size on the gusset, and mussed about with the ribbing on the leg to accommodate the 72 stitches. Oh, and I did fewer rounds of ribbing at the cuff for a shorter sock. All in all, the changes made it very challenging, but a lovely sock. If I had to do it again, I’d just suck it up and go to a size 2 needle so I wouldn’t have to deal with the tweaking.
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So these are very pretty, but I am so relieved to have them done. My June sock challenge socks will be very simple, I think.

In other news, I've charted out my design for the scarf contest at the LYS. Now to cast on and knit! I hope it looks good and not a mess!

Friday, June 5, 2009

5th of the month project status post: June edition

Old business first!

- Diamonds and Triangles Stole from Victorian Lace Today: Active-ish. It's around, but not top priority.
- Kiila, the mystery sock for May: Active - near the end! Just have about 27 rows of the cuff left to do.
- Amelia cardigan: Sleeping. It's too warm to think about an alpaca/wool sweater.
- Lilac Leaf Shawl: Active-ish. It's around. I'm pretty worried that I'll need to cut out several repeats in the middle and try to block it out longer. We'll see.

New Business!
- Laminaria Shawl: So happy to have this one on the needles. It's still in the first motif, so there's a long way to go.
- Pink granite socks: Plain stockinette socks for easy knitting in pink and grey yarn.

- Nancy Bush socks: The June sock challenge is to design your own or knit a Nancy Bush pattern. I'm thinking Nancy Bush, though I haven't decided what pattern or yarn, precisely. I'll cast on when I finish the Kiila's.
- Sock Yarn Scarf: The local LYS is running a contest for scarf design out of sock yarn and I think I'm going to take the opportunity to try my hand at designing a scarf. I have the yarn and I have some ideas....

- Finish Kiila's
- Turn the next corner on the diamonds and triangles shawl
- Cast on for the Nancy Bush socks
- Get the scarf design swatched, written, and started