The End of Q1, 2015

There was a lot of knitting going on in the first quarter. It’s probably my most productive knitting quarter of the year . . it’s cold and often icy outside. There’s not much I can do except stay inside. There were new gimmicks fun ideas at both my favorite knitting shops. At The Loopy Ewe, there’s Loopy Academy’s second semester. I finished a hat and felted mittens and will hopefully finish my cowl in the next week or so.

Eat, Sleep, Knit started 2015 off with a really long fun year long program. At first, it seemed overwhelming but after I got it all sorted out in my head, it’s quite motivating. One of the best parts is that we can use yarn we already have, so long as it was purchased from ESK.

Pixelated Pullover

Pixelated Pullover

I didn’t know they were doing this but they chose three of the KAL projects, which happened to be #1 – 3, for the main ESK projects, and which purely by accident happened to be three I did this quarter, and they’re allowing voting on them. The winner gets a $20 ESK gift certificate. I’m not saying vote for me but check out the colorwork projects. Right now, my  Pixelated Pullover sweater is in first place at the moment and you can see all the colorwork projects that are in the running here. You click on “agree” to cast your vote. I also submitted my Sandpiper Shawl but it isn’t near the top of the vote getters. There are some beautiful shawls in there. By the way, I did send my shawl off as gift and it should be arriving tomorrow so now I need to make another one for me!

Of the 12 Knit Alongs, I finished and submitted 5:

  • KAL #1 – Colorwork
  • KAL #2 – Headgear
  • KAL #3 – Shawls
  • KAL #7 – Socks
  • KAL #12 – Chunky Knits

I’m so close to being finished with KAL #11 – Felting. The knitting on that one should be finished today or tomorrow and then it will have to be felted.

Tomorrow we should find out if ESK is going to go in order and choose #4 – 6 as their featured second quarter projects. If they go in order, the next ones are:

  • KAL #4 – Hitofude Cardigan – I have the yarn for that and am anxious to get started. Maybe today I’ll swatch for that. It’s going to take a bit of pattern adjustment so I have to do some math and think about it before I get started.
  • KAL #5 – No Sleeves! – This one doesn’t excite me but I’m going to do it just so I can say I did them all. Maybe I’ll make it for Nicole or maybe I’ll make it so I can wear it under something. There are three (I think there were three) patterns that we can choose from.
  • KAL #6 – Mitered Squares – This one also doesn’t thrill me but I’m going to make a small blanket for Addie to keep in their car. Or, it may be a doll blanket. We’ll see how far I get with it.

ESK also has 12 badges per quarter that you can earn. Whatever you don’t earn carries on and it can be earned later in the year. I got 9 of those done. One is Special Delivery Badge where you order yarn on your birthday and since I haven’t had that yet this year, I couldn’t do it. Another is the Longhaul Badge and that’s to finish something that’s been started for at least 9 months. I’ll finish my Kynance Cove sweater . . some day. The third is Accidental Moebius which I also haven’t done and actually, hope I don’t do but I probably will. 

I’m also hoping to do a test knit for Laura Aylor which will count as KAL #9, which is Sweater Free-For-All. The second quarter will be a busy one, especially considering the garden work .. and a few other things going on around here. No idle hands at my house!  :)

 

Puzzle Knitting

Down another rabbit hole I go! I’m not even sure what I was looking for when I came across Puzzle Pieces. Apparently Nicole has always loved puzzles, almost to the point of an obsession.  Trust me . . I am an expert when it comes to obsessions!  :)

When I was there last, I brought a puzzle for Addie and it was amazing to watch. It was like a little magnet. She could not walk away from it. Every waking moment, she wanted to be “playing the puzzle game”. I had not known that Nicole loved puzzles but it’s pretty obvious that Addie inherited her mom’s puzzle addiction. She now has a Rubbermaid tote full of puzzles and almost every time I talk to her, she shows me the puzzle she’s working on. I have never been much of a puzzle enthusiast so it’s all kind strange to me . . sit and stare at weirdly shaped pieces and try to fit them together . . only to break it all apart and stick it back in a box when you’re done but I suppose there are folks who don’t understand knitting and quilting . . bless their hearts!

I found the Puzzle Pieces pattern and I really wanted to use Tosh Merino Light because I could buy this big variety – 30 skeins of 52 yards each. That would give me a lot of variety plus I have quite a few single skeins of Tosh Merino Light so I could supplement the “Unicorn Tails” sampler with what I already have. 

I was a bit concerned because Tosh Merino Light is a single ply fingering weight yarn and I didn’t want the pieces to be too small or I’d have to make a million of them, but I didn’t want them to be loose and floppy seeming. The pattern recommends 2.75 mm needles for fingering weight yarn so that’s what I used.

Puzzle Piece

Puzzle Piece

In my opinion, it’s too loose and if I went down a couple of needle sizes, the pieces would be too small and I’d be making puzzle pieces til I’m an old woman . . don’t say a word! 

I knew I should use Cascade 220 because it’s inexpensive, I have quite a bit of it here already, it’s machine washable and goes into the dryer and I want this to be a blanket that Addie uses and loves. The pattern suggests 4.50 mm needles but I didn’t want it to be loose and floppy and I didn’t want the pieces to be giant so I used a 3.25 mm needle and I think that’s a great needle size for the Cascade 220.

Puzzle Pieces

Puzzle Pieces

There are some short rows so you see some tiny holes but they’ll block out. I like the density of the fabric using the smaller needles and the pieces aren’t huge. In fact, the light worsted weight yarn on the smaller than recommended needles isn’t much larger than the fingering weight yarn with the suggested size needles.

Puzzle Pieces

Puzzle Pieces

I need to calculate how many pieces I need to make and get a box of some kind to keep them all in. I’m not going to sew them together as I go but will get more done and then start sewing them together.

It isn’t going to be a quick project but I think it will be fun. And, if I get tired of it before I’m done, I can sew the pieces together and make a baby doll blanket!

 

On the Needles – March 27, 2015

On my needles at the moment – a Booga Bag. There are several size Booga Bags. I think my pattern has a small and medium. I had planned to make the medium but my buddy, Denise, told me that they come out really small after they’re felted so I’m basically going by the pattern but . . not going by the pattern. I’m making mine bigger and now I see that there’s a “Biggest Booga Bag” pattern but I think I’m on the right track.

Booga Bag

Booga Bag

It’s hard to tell much about it now but I think it will be wonderful to keep in my car for when our Aldi finally opens and I can go shopping in there.

I think it was Tuesday night that I stayed up really late knitting and I thought . . tomorrow I’ll knit all day and I might finish it. Wednesday I didn’t knit. Thursday I didn’t knit. Maybe today I will knit but probably not . . I can plant my tomatoes today!