Posted by: mamakass | February 3, 2014

Gift exchange goodies!

Every year my  knitters from Philly do a gift swap. We each get someone else assigned, and we have a few months to put together a gift for our partner. It’s always really awesome and everyone really gets into it. This year I was participating from afar because we moved.

My person is a teacher who, according to her Pinterest page, likes mermaids. So I did a mermaid theme for her gift.

So I made her a scarf that reminded me of mermaid fins.

Mermaid scarfDick made one of his awesome labels for me, this one a pirate logo.

ArghShe’s vegan, so I used Maggiknits Maggi’s Linen, which is just about 50/50 cotton/linen and has a nice texture.

I also made her some kelp forest scented bath salts with essential oils and got her a copy of  Coastal Knits and A mermaid hook for the wall and wrapped it in a mermaid bag. I hope she liked it.

This past weekend was the swap party, and since I unfortunately couldn’t make it due to having moved halfway across the country, I had to miss it, which was sad.

But today I got my gift in the mail!

Awesome gifts!My gift giver did awesome! I love it all! I got tasty coffee (which was perfect timing because I’m out), an awesome bag, awesome fair isle fingerless mitts with cute pom-poems, a felted bracelet,soak, stitch markers, and yarn and the pattern to do the kelpie cap, which is a knit along they’re doing this month. Now I can participate! What a great gift! Thanks so much, Lisa!

 

 

Posted by: mamakass | September 15, 2013

Where have I been? And WIPs

So, you may have noticed that I have not posted in a while. Then again, you may not have noticed. Either way, I promise I have a good reason. Since posting last, I completed my master’s degree and moved across the country. I know, that is a great excuse for not knitting.

I did finish two cowls in that time, but I don’t have great pictures of either of them.

The first I knit with this handspun:

Gap-tastic!

Yes, I know…the only photo I have of it is a really bad instagram photo taken in the dark at night.  It was a pretty fun pattern, though. It was the Gap-tastic cowl.

 

The second  cowl I finished was Array. I made it with Cascade Yarns Pastaza, which is a discontinued bulky llama/wool blend. That was a very beautiful yarn since instead of actually being brown like it looks, it’s actually 50% Fuchsia and 50% Bright yellow, which heather to create that beautiful brown. In the sun it’s very vibrant. The second yarn was Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock in Lipstick. I only did this pattern about halfway because I got bored of it and because the Pastaza made me sneeze. So it’s just a little narrower.

array!

So, what am I working on now?

In order of age, the first project is a crocheted blanket I’ve mentioned before. I am doing it rather slowly since I don’t love the crochet, but it is coming along.

Blanket layout

Hopefully it will be great when it’s eventually done, but between now and then there is a big of crochet, a LOT Of ends, and some seaming.

The next project is one I’m really excited about. It’s a beautiful cardigan.

Clearly lacking clarity

The pattern is Clarity Cardigan, but as you can see, I have a long way to go. The yarn is MillaMia Naturally Soft Merino in storm, and the pockets are going to be Lilac Blossom.

 

The last project is one I just started, but it’s using up the half ball of Dragonfly Fibers from Array along with a beautiful skein of Malabrigo sock I got from my new LYS. I’m calling the project “Cherries in Chocolate”

Chocolate and Cherries. Yum!

This pattern is going to be the Light in Shadows shawl, and I think it will be beautiful.

 

 

 

OK, so it was really 8 months, but still. That’s a long time.

After knitting that last shawl I really felt like a good spin, and I wanted something quick, unlike my usual yarn that ends up laceweight even after you three-ply it.

So I decided I was going to try fauxlags. I’m purposefully not linking to the link I used, because it didn’t work out so well. The website I used to explain it, said to roll the fiber around a rolling pin. Since it wasn’t rolled so small, I had quite a bit of difficulty with long drawing it. Also because I was using BFL, which is a long staple wool. Woops.

So this ended up being something of an art spin, where I was sorta trying to long draw, but having to short draw here and there. So it’s uneven, but it will make a nice something.

Hooray!

Yarn! Hooray!

Posted by: mamakass | March 9, 2013

FO: Distant Fall

So, I know I was saying while I was knitting this that I hated the colorway and was planning on over-dyeing it, but my sister suggested I block it to see how I felt about it finished before I did. So I did. And now I don’t hate it! Hooray for the power of a good blocking!!!

I think fall might be distantly off that direction

Pattern: Distant Hours by Boo Knits

Yarn: My Handspun–it’s laceweight n-plied superwash merino.

Beads: Size 11 clear seed beads left over from my sister’s wedding shawl

My favorite part is how it velcros to the tree

Knitting this was fun, except that the picot bind-off took an entire week, and that I thought it was ugly the entire time. But now that it’s done, I think it’s beautiful, and I love how the bind-off being a different color shows off the interesting edge shape.

The required detail shot

And I liked it so much! I wore it out today. It was a beautiful 60-degree day, so Dick and I went out to Gravelly Point, and watched the airplanes and enjoyed the weather. Hooray!

WASHINGTON

Posted by: mamakass | February 25, 2013

In which I ask for color advice

As I mentioned previously, I am working on a beautiful shawl using some handspun yarn. Just so everyone knows what we’re talking about, here’s a picture of it as a WIP from about two weeks ago, with the photo of the pattern:

color changey

And here’s a picture of the yarn skein:

November Foliage

 

Now, it’s time to admit. I hate the color scheme. I would have never picked it out in the first place, but it was this fiber from my Knit it Up Spinning the Seasons fiber club I did a couple years ago. Here’s a picture of it as fiber:

Not so much like fall at all

That colorway is called “November Foliage” but I just can’t get myself to love it or think it’s like fall. I don’t like the combination of the definitely fall gold with the definitely not fall green and purple. It just looks horribly muddied and thrown together in my opinion. Since I’ve gotten many compliments on it as I have been knitting it in public, I’m sure that other people disagree with me.

I was hoping to improve the yarn with the gorgeous shawl pattern, but the more I knit it, the more I think I’m ruining a beautiful pattern with ugly yarn.

So I’ve decided to overdye it after I get finished with knitting it.

And I want your advice. What color? I have red, blue, yellow and black dyes, so I can pretty much make any color I want. My trouble, though, is that I will get grin-through from these colors after it’s dyed, so the new color has to look good after it’s mixed with all of these.

Help! What color should I use?

 

Posted by: mamakass | February 10, 2013

WIPs

I’ve been spending a weekend at home working on some wips. What with the long-distance boyfriend, I usually don’t have my weekends free. But, he’s off in the west on business for three weeks, and this is the second weekend in a row I’ve had without him. Last weekend I knit the whole Zuzu’s petals, and now I’m working on a few different projects.

First up: The afghan I’m making for my boyfriend’s parents. I didn’t mention on my giftee afghan, but I brought home about 20 pounds of yarn from work because we didn’t need it and I couldn’t bear seeing it go in the trash, so now I’m basically making blankets to get rid of it. For this one, I’m crocheting  for my first project ever! Dick’s parents have a bar in their garage, and this blanket is the same colors, so I think it will look great in there. The crocheting definitely goes quickly, so I guess I like it.

So afghany!

This next one is a pair of fingerless mitts for Dick. He asked for them, but I’m a little worried they won’t fit since his hands are gigantic, so they are on hold until he comes back east.

They're too big for me

The next one is the one I like the best. It’s this gorgeous shawl knit in some of my handspun. I am very excited and am hoping it looks like decay since the colors of the yarn are more or less fall-y.

color changey

 

I hope you’re all having a good weekend and getting lots of knitting done. Or other things, if you don’t prefer knitting.

Posted by: mamakass | February 9, 2013

FO: Zuzu’s Petals

Today is a lucky day for you all. You get to see a really awkward photo of me in a knit that fits me awkwardly. I give you: Zuzu’s Petals.

Just does not have the right drape

This is supposed to be a cowl that looks like a scarf. Instead, it looks like a lacey bib. I think it’s just too wide for me, and that there isn’t enough drape in the neck area. I might give it away to a friend if it looks better on her. I happen to have a particular friend who has been trying to get me to knit her a cowl.

This pattern was really fun and easy to knit. From cast on to blocking was only a weekend. I knit it for the Hidden River Yarns February knit-along.

Pattern: Zuzu’s Petals by Carina Spencer

Yarn: The Fibre Company Terra in Sorrel, 1.5 skeins

Needles: Size 8

Modifications: None

 

Posted by: mamakass | February 2, 2013

FO: Giftee Knitting Blanket

So many colors!

Pattern: Autumn Haze by Brenda York

Yarn: Yarn I brought home from work. It’s a worsted weight cotton/acrylic blend.

Needles: Size 8 and 9

Modifications: Instead of repeating the same three times as the pattern suggests, I rotated the colors on each of the three pattern repeats. So the second time through, I made color A into color B and color B into color C, etc. So that there isn’t a perfect repeat. This mixes the colors in different ways throughout, and especially makes the multi-colored slip stitch section different each time.

I also went up a needle size for the slip-stitch sections because they’re narrower. I wish I had gone up 2 sizes.

Closeup of the slip stitch section

 

Every year my knitting group does a present swap, and each person is assigned someone else to spoil. This year I was extremely happy the the person I was assigned since I like her very much. When we were assigned people, I had recently come home from work with about 20 pounds of yarn, so I saw this as a great opportunity to use some of the yarn to make an awesome gift.

Thankfully, since she’s so awesome, she loved the blanket! Hooray!

My spoilee and her present!

Posted by: mamakass | January 6, 2013

2012 year in review

Here is a rough overview of my year in knitting. 2012 was a big year for me, not so much in quantity as in project monogamy. My primary project this year, my sister’s wedding shawl, was worked on as the primary project for 6 months. In 2012 I completed 12 knitting, 1 crochet and 1 spinning project. Compared with 14 knitting projects and no spinning projects in 2011. In 2010 I completed 17 knitting projects and 5 spinning projects, but that was before I was in grad school when I had time. I didn’t keep track well enough before 2010 to be able to compare.

January

supersecret spoil project

Ten Stitch Rug

February

Fall Socks Before Fall

March was when I started on the shawl.

April

Watery wingspan

Billie Directional Pullover

May

Red and Brown Marl Sweater

July

Grey Hat

November Foliage

Dick's Birthday Octopus

Triangle Loop

September

Salena's Wedding Shawl

Lazy Girl Stripey Shawlette

November

Mystic Orange Pullover

November

Recycling is patriotic

And that’s it. I didn’t complete anything in December.

Also, I know it’s already January 6, so why am I just now getting to my 2012 in review? Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away on January 3, so it has not been a good time for such distractions.

I did knit her a yellow rose on the flight out to where she lives. Yellow roses were always her favorite because my grandfather used to give them to her back when they were dating in the late 1930s.

Goodbye, Grandma

My grandmother was quite a woman. She was born in 1919, was married to a soldier during WWII, lost her husband when my father was only 15, and could still walk without a cane by herself at 93. She was incredibly strong and resilient, and I can only hope that I can be close to the woman she was. Goodbye, Grandma. I know you are right where you wanted to be.

 

Posted by: mamakass | December 20, 2012

FO: Orange Cowled Sweater

The Parliament of Reality in a sweater

 

My traveling knitting while I was working on the shawl was this sweater. I’ve loved the pattern ever since I first saw it. The first time I tried to make it, I tried to use some Manos that someone had given me, but it was unfortunately full of bug eggs, so it had to go in the garbage. It took a while for me to feel up to trying again, but I finally did. Then, conveniently, I finished the sweater just in time for a trip back up to my college in the fall. It was an excellent opportunity for a photo shoot at the Parliament of Reality, an art installation there.

So casual...

 

Pattern: Mystic Pullover by Melissa LaBarre

Yarn: Knit Picks City Tweed HW in Habanero and Plum Wine

Modifications: None

The pockets are awesome

 

I love this sweater. It’s so casual and comfortable. And I love the pockets! They really make it seem extra cozy. Definitely a great sweater to pull over when you’re wearing jeans and a little cold. The pattern was easy to follow and well written. The sweater is gorgeous.

What's happening over there?

 

Now for the downsides. I wish I would have made both the body and the sleeves a little bit longer. I don’t love the tweed. It looks pilly instead of classy. While the yarn is soft, I don’t think I’ll use it again. The pockets give quite a bit of extra bulk in the tummy area, making even skinny little  me look like I’ve got a little pudge. So, definitely not the most flattering of fits. But that’s easy enough to solve. All you have to do is put your hands in your pockets!

But definitely a winner over all.

Did I mention how much I like the pockets?

Purple pockets!

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