A Little Inspiration

I have been eye-balling Cowichan sweaters for a few months now, so being in the design process is a little exciting.

I’ve got a few pictures saved for color, design or shape inspiration…

And thanks to a little free time and some Excel magic, I think I have my main motif figured out.  Can’t wait to swatch this out and see if it works!

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As for cardigan construction, I’m a little torn about knitting in pieces vs  top down.  I think once this is knit up, it may benefit from the structure of seaming things up, but I really need things to line up, so I’m worried.

I also need to figure out my yarn choice.  My eagle design is 50 sitches wide by 23 tall, so I’m thinking a worsted weight wool is the way to go here.

If anyone has ideas, I’m all ears!

 

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Big Plans

Maybe I’m getting a little cocky knowing my Christmas knitting is mostly in the bag.  I have Mom’s qiviut cowl done, my MIL’s shawl just needs to be blocked (FO post coming soon) and 1 1/2 of 5 color-stranded hats finished.  At this rate, I should be done and Christmas-ready by mid-November.

With any luck, this all means I might have time to finish a little something for you-know-who!

Enter the Cowichan Sweater.

I think I need one.  I need one bad.  Time to get planning.

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Photo from the Canadian TV series Heartland – my latest guilty pleasure.

 

Cruising right along….

With Christmas Gift #1 ready for gift wrap and Christmas Gift #2 well under way, I’m feeling more organized than I have in my entire Christmas Knitting career.  I’m not sure, but I just may finish gift #2 in just a couple of weeks.

That is super good news, because I have so much more to knit…….

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When it is finished, this will be a Light and Up shawl.  You can get the pattern and yarn from Craftsy.  This would be in Malabrigo.  Colorway: playa.

The colors are soothing, and remind me of river rock.  I wish my camera would have picked up on that…

Feeling Productive

It has only been a few short weeks since I wound my amazingly soft qiviut yarn into a ball so the Christmas knitting could commence and the stuff has already been magically transformed.

Gift #1 is already off the needles.

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The pattern is Heavenly Cowl by Leah Michelle Designs.

The scrumptious Arctic Treasure qiviut can be purchased from http://www.northernthreads.net just in case you need to be ridiculously self-indulgent.  Northern Threads was super quick to ship and by far had the best price.  This is the Alaskan Raspberry colorway.  One skein got me 6 pattern repeats with a bit left over to pet and play with at whim.

Aaaaaand done!

Way back in January, I thought it might be fun to make a crochet mermaid-tail blanket for a friend’s 8-year-old daughter’s August birthday. I searched out patterns on Ravelry and landed on an adorable version with crocodile-stitch scales and actually got a little taken in by the newness of it.

Thinking a pink and purple variegated yarn was a good choice (ha!), I bought the local Joanne’s out of their Red Heart Plum Pudding and ran home to get started, naively thinking the project would progress quickly.

I was over it by the 10th row.

So it languished.

And it collected dust.

And it stared at me from the kitchen table where I laid it thinking foolishly I’d get in a row here and there in between cutting and stirring and frying.

But it did not grow.

No little elves came to finish this project.

And I thought to myself – I have time.

And I distracted myself with other things.  Other projects.  ANYTHING but the boring mermaid-tail blanket in the hideously unicorn-vomit colored, scratchy, cheap acrylic yarn.  I would do anything not to handle the stuff.  (When did I become such a yarn snob?)

And then it was August.

Oh August I hate you.

And the stupid mermaid-tail blanket from hell still hadn’t finished itself. Damn.

So back to the couch it moved.  I worked on this damned dreadful thing every waking minute. And I ran out of yarn.  So did Joanne’s.  Shit.

I improvised with a dark purple stripe and surprisingly, it knocked the edge off of the overwhelmingly bright pink and purple acid trip of acrylic hideousness.

Just to be clear though, I would have totally subbed bailing string just to get this monstrosity DONE!

And done it is my friends.  The ends are woven.  The tail, made separately, was hastily stitched on.  Thank you baby Jesus, the damned thing is finally done.

But did I get a picture of this thing that has plagued me for so many months?  No.  I did not.  In my haste to be rid of it, I completely neglected snapping so much as one picture of it in its brightly colored glory.

If you think you want to make one for yourself, be warned, the damned thing dredges on and on and on and progress is slow.  Then, when you near the end, its sheer volume threatens to suffocate you.  Don’t try this as a summer time project.  Also, buy A LOT more yarn than you think you will need.  This thing ate yarn just slightly faster than it ate at my soul – steadily, relentlessly and without fail.  I used 5 skeins of the Red Heart Super Saver and the better part of a Caron One Pound skein.

Thank God its over.

 

 

Actual Progress

I’ve mentioned before how therapeutic I find knitting to be.  It’s that calm in the storm sometimes. The known when I am surrounded by the unknown and feel out of control.  It is a distraction during the times I need one most.

My Ready for Summer 2016 MKAL sweater proved to be just what the doctor ordered over the last few weeks when Dad had to have a very risky surgery.  Being the daddy’s girl I am, I took time away from work to be there and see him safely settled home.

Being a responsible knitter, I knew it was best to pack a larger project that was *just* challenging enough to keep my attention, but not so challenging as to bring about a migraine.  (Sorry Echo Flower Shawl, you are gonna have to wait!)

Two weeks later, I am happy to report that dad is doing as well as we could hope for.  He had the best of care and I am eternally grateful for the staff at his hospital.  Of lesser importance, is the progress I was able to make on my sweater.  Between checking vitals, adjusting pillows, filling ice packs, giving meds, changing bandages, helping with PT, and keeping the old guy entertained, I didn’t have as much time to knit as I thought I might, but I did manage to finish with the first skein.

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The alpaca blend is like knitting with kitten fur and I’m feeling pretty spoiled.

 

False starts and new yarn

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My stash is almost as out of control as my project pile.  I have balls of yarn stuffed into every single crevice and drawer and shelf and box in my closet.  It wasn’t always like this though.  I used to only buy yarn when I needed it for a specific project.  But as my project list grew, so did my stash.  Eventually, I started to forget why I bought this yarn or that one.  Now, it’s like having my own little yarn store.  Sort of. Except the store never has what you REALLY want.

 

When I caved in and started a new sweater project, I was pretty proud of myself.   The yarn I needed was in my stash!  I hastily grabbed a skein, a needle, and my lawn chair and sat outside with the new horse and dutifully knit my gauge swatch.  I felt like I had this whole sweater thing in the bag.

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Sadly, it’s just not that easy.

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Gauge just didn’t turn out right.  My stitches were spot on, but my damn row gauge was off by about one row per inch.  And the fabric was scratchy.  And I just didnt love the way it was starting to turn out.

So I did just what any self-respecting knitter would do.  I grabbed a beer and my debt card.  I ripped and I shopped.

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Then, not to be one to be stuck with a regretful decision in yarn, I went shopping again the following day.

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Poor Knit Picks hasn’t even had the time to pack my order and here I am busting in through my front door like I saved the day with ever newer new yarn.

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Let’s try this again, shall we?