4th Quarter Hue Shift Afghan Done!

Hue Shift Afghan Q1-4 wide

Mitered squares are done!  I finished this last quarter of the hue shift afghan faster than any others.  I’m really eager to finish this off but of course there’s the seaming and that border.  Since I don’t hate myself I have been weaving in the ends along the way.  I can’t recommend this highly enough!  Can you image having 200-ish ends to weave in just when you thought you were finished?!?

Each quarter took between 30-35 hours each.  This includes weaving in all the ends and of course making mistakes.  I’m guesstimating the seaming & border will take about as much time as one of these quarters did.  That leaves me at 80% done but that’s still exciting.  I need to pick a new travel project since the blanket will be too big & heavy to carry with me!

Hence Sweater – WIP #1

Hence WIP Closeup

I’m very excited about my next garment project the Hence  sweater pattern! Show Stopper by Leading Men Fiber Arts is nice to work with and once of the least twisty or splitty yarns I’ve used.  Both things I love! Since this yarn is a “light” fingering my swatches showed that I needed to go down two needle sizes, to a size US 3 needle.  I greatly dislike when gauge is given “after blocking” but it does make sure I’m not lazy.  I blocked my swatch and I’m glad I did.   I had perfect gauge for both stitches and rows which is unheard of!

Like with my Elle Cardigan I did a lot planning. I again used  Knit to Flatter by Amy Herzog to make my alterations.  This book is quickly becoming a required stable for any sweater pattern I’ll try!  I did make quite a few changes for a better fit including:

  • Shorter total length (taken from the bottom)
  • Shorter arms
  • Extra bust shaping
  • Wider shoulder strap

The math is all worked out so hopefully the hard work is done!

Raven Wing Socks – Done!

Raven Wing FO side

  • Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight – Winter Jewel (Nov 2013)
  • Yarn Weight: Fingering
  • Needles: US Size 1 circulars (two at a time)
  • Pattern:  Raven Wing Socks
  • Size: Women’s Small
  • Time Spent: 33 hours
  • Dates: 3/5/2016 – 4/5/2016

First 2013 Rockin’ Sock Club pattern done!  I started backwards; this is the last pattern for that year.  I know the first pattern was my least favorite so I’ll probably end at the beginning.  Everything in between is up for grabs!

I liked a lot of things about this pattern.  The twisted cable and ribbing works well for me and looks much neater than the standard rib & cable.  It might be “cheating” because I know this is a tension problem but the results are so much nicer that I’ll stick with it.   I’m also quite happy with the colors and over all look.

Unfortunately I doubt I’ll wear these much.   Once the sock is on it’s comfortable but there is a non-stretchy point that makes it hard to get on & off over the heel/ankle.  The foot fits perfectly.  The heel is a bit too long and the ankle/leg is too small.  The heel flap is purposefully longer to accommodate the twisted stitches but I didn’t need that extra length. I did need more room at the ankle and leg and that wasn’t accommodated enough for me.  I know I have fat calves so maybe that was it.  I’ll watch that in the rest of the patterns!

Woobie Monkey – Baby Gift #1

Woobie Monkey FO

  • Yarn: Hikoo by skacel Simplicity (3.5 skeins Turkish Coffee, 0.33 skeins Sahara Sand)
  • Yarn Weight: DK
  • Needles: US Size 3 circular & DPN
  • Pattern:  Woobie Monkey
  • Time Spent: 21.5 hours
  • Dates: 3/8/2016 – 4/9/2016

Nephew #3 is on the way and of course some knitted baby gifts are a must!  My sister lives in Florida so I couldn’t quite convince myself to try for the  Reversible Celtic Baby Blanket.  I found this pattern at a local yarn shop while down in Florida and figured it was the perfect compromise.  It’s not a blanket but still something to snuggle against and who can resist a monkey head?

I did run into a couple of issues. I ran out of brown yarn and couldn’t find an exact match which I’m sad about.  Plus my face making skills are seriously lacking.  I figure it’s endearing and the baby won’t judge too much if the eyes don’t match.  It adds character right?  I just need to make sure it will survive the washing machine.  Otherwise baby toy will become cat toy!

Chicago 2016 YarnCon

YarnCon 2016

A couple weeks ago I went to Chicago YarnCon with some knitting friends.  This was my first year going; I never knew it existed before!  YarnCon is like a miniature Stitches if you’ve ever attended that.  It’s basically a yarn convention/fair geared toward the indie shops instead of the more well known places. I was surprised not to see those big name yarns but that was silliness on my part more than anything!

I’m happy to report that I stayed on budget and didn’t go crazy as you can see above.  I am firmly entrenched in the no pattern = no yarn buying rule.  That doesn’t stop me from buying more cute stitch markers though!  I bought some self striping sock yarn for my friend Laura’s birthday from KnitCircus Yarns.  KnitCircus was one of the busiest booths with a lot of fun stuff.  I lean towards boring colors so it was fun to shop for someone else!

The brown yarn is Show Stopper by Leading Men Fiber Arts for my Hence Sweater project.  I love this color. I’ve have a really hard time finding a brown I like.  Most of them are too red for me, but this one was perfect.  Hopefully I feel the same way when I’m wearing it!

After this, I’m thinking this is my list of  preferred yarn shopping experiences:

  1. Chicago Yarn Crawl (July 30 – August 7th this year!)
  2. Chicago YarnCon
  3. Stitches Midwest (August 4-7th this year)
  4. Online Stores

I do still prefer Stitches for classes.  I’ve never went to VOGUEKnitting Live but it doesn’t look like it’s in Chicago this year.  Any other yarn events I’ve been missing out on that I should try in the Chicago area?