Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mitten Progress!

I've been working on the sample pair of my Archer socks to send into Knit Picks with the pattern, and I even managed to set up my first test knitter thread a few days ago. It's a small accomplishment, but it's kind of blowing my mind that other people have voluntarily chosen to knit something that came out of my brain. Trippy. I'm trying to be monogamous and get through these socks, but I keep getting distracted by the LINDEN Mittens KAL!

I started the project after work n the 10th, so I didn't get a ton of work done. The mittens have a short ribbing section and a nice long stockinette cuff, which I got about 2/3 of the way through.

I love these daily progress pictures, but mittens and socks are about the only things they would be interesting for. I can't imagine taking daily shots of a sweater! On the second day of the KAL I finished up the cuff and started on the hand shaping. Jane's pattern has shaping on both the thumb gusset as well as the opposite side of the hand, which I hadn't seen before (you know, in my long and storied career of mitten knitting).

On Day 3 I buckled down and did some Serious Knitting. I finished the thumb gusset and the hand knitting, and once I started the mitten top shaping I thought, "Hmm, trying these on might be a good idea." Why do I always wait to try things on?? The mitten seemed a little big, which might just be a personal preference thing, but I don't think things through too much when it comes to knitting so I ripped it out. The entire mitten.

And then I restarted it! It's amazing to see how much more I knit on this day than on either of the other days. I decided to add a few more rows of ribbing so that the switch from ribbing to stockinette would line up with the first color change. I also started the thumb shaping a few rows earlier to line up with the green/white color change, and I eliminated the hand shaping on the opposite side. 

I did some Serious Knitting again on Day 4, when I finished up most of the 1st mitten. I want to piece together the leftovers to make the stripes on the thumb match the rest of the mitten, so I'm going to hold off on making the thumbs until I've knit the 2nd one.

The ball of leftover yarn was looking small to me before I cast on for the 2nd mitten, so I decided to be smart and weigh it before I got started. The first mitten came in at 19 grams without a thumb, and the ball of leftover yarn came in at 30 grams. I have NO CLUE how my mind manages to incorrectly estimate things to that level, but I'm glad it worked out favorably this time! There should be plenty of leftover yarn to make my thumb stripes match.

I'm loving these mittens so much. The self-striping yarn keeps the project interesting, and each color change feels like a mini accomplishment. I keep looking at the rest of my Felici stash and at other mitten patterns to pick out a new project to make, and then I remember that I live in San Diego. I'm not even sure why I'm making these mittens, other than the fact that I like them. Oh well. Gift basket?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

So. Many. Mittens.

Yesterday was the cast on for the LINDEN Mitten KAL. Though it was so, so difficult for me to cast on another project (as I am usually such a monogamous knitter), I managed to suck it up and cast on so that I could squish some Felici for a little bit. I'm making some very Christmasy mittens in the Jingle colorway, which is a little darker than I would prefer for Christmas knits. Oh well. I imagine I'll probably survive this trauma.

I managed to finish up my Smitten Garland over the weekend as expected, so I only have one mitten project going at a time. I really don't like the color orange, so when my last 2 skein leftovers ended up being the 2 orange colors I decided to skip making a 4th striped mitten. I ended up with 11 mittens, which I plan to use as ornaments instead of a garland (because I love my boyfriend and he does not love knitted items hanging all over the apartment).

There was also a very exciting moment on Saturday when I opened my door and found a package including my first yarn support from Knit Picks! I requested 2 skeins of Knit Picks Stroll Sock Yarn in Sapphire Heather to make a sample version of my Archer socks, and it's the most beautiful deep blue color. This picture doesn't do it justice, but hopefully my final pictures will. The pattern is moving through tech editing (shockingly, there's a LOT of work to do on my first attempt at writing a pattern!), but hopefully it will be ready for test knitting soon.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

WIPW: My First Pattern and Too Many WIPs

It's been quiet on the blog front since the Ravellenic Games, but for good reason!

Remember how I said that I totally had time to fit in a pair of socks before the Closing Ceremonies? I lied.

I DID, however, manage to knit a 2nd sock and draft my first pattern! I submitted a sock proposal to Knit Picks IDP and it was accepted, so I'm currently waiting on yarn support. The draft is with a technical editor, and once it's been test knitted (for which I already have volunteers, which BLOWS MY MIND) I will send the finished pattern back to Knit Picks for them to review and hopefully approve. I've set up a Ravelry shop, so the pattern will be available whether Knit Picks accepts it or not. I'm excited to finally get a pattern out, and expect that there will be many more to come.

I've also not been too great at the "not casting on 80 projects at once" thing. I don't count my Beekeeper's Quilt as a real WIP, but it's always looming there in the back of my head. I counted the other day and found out I'm almost halfway to my goal, so at least that's something.

I also started a Smitten Garland to use up DK scraps, except that then I found a little bag of Lion Brand Bonbons at Michael's and so I bought that specifically to make this garland. Whatever. Look how pretty!

Each bonbon was enough for about a mitten and a half, so I have 3 more striped mittens to go before I can sign off on this project. I've also made a few mittens out of leftover Wollmeise DK to use as gift tags (look at me being all proactive on the gift-giving!), but I don't count those as part of this project.

I have 3 skeins of Knit Picks Shimmer Lace in Silver that was originally purchased for a Featherweight Cardigan before I realized that laceweight garments are Serious Business. It's been languishing in my stash for about a year and half so I've decided to turn it into a Whisper Wrap. This is also Semi-Serious Business and involves miles and miles of stockinette. It might not be the most exciting thing to knit, but I know I'll love the finished wrap and use it all the time.

My final WIP is a pair of Kalajoki using the Wollmeise Twin left over from the gloves I knit during the Ravellenics. I've loved this pattern since I made a pair for B's mom and figured that the blue color was perfect for river-inspired socks. I thought that the 82 oz of yarn I had left would be plenty, but after finishing the first sock I (because I'm an idiot and didn't weight the yarn as I went along) found out that I used 42 oz for one sock. Hmm...unless I can somehow bend the physics of knitting to my will, I may have to shorten the foot of these socks and gift them, too. 

I have also been fighting the urge to knit with some of my beloved Felici stash, but then Jane Richmond went ahead and started a KAL for her new LINDEN Mittens pattern. Sooooo looks like I'll be starting that as well. I have a few days to finish up the smitten garland, though, so at least I'll only have 1 mitten WIP at a time.

Make sure to check out this week's WIP Wednesday posts over at Tami's AmisFrontier Dreams, Made by ME, and Yarn Along to get some moral support that having 18 unfinished projects is totally normal!