November goal – week 1

I’m doing well with my goal so far. There were three little bits of knitting last Friday (1st), then Saturday I got to flex my little-used face painting skills for a Hallowe’en party at my archery club.

I was pleased with it, but I think I should have made the teeth a little bit wider.

Then every day after that I’ve managed more knitting on the baby Flax Light, and it’s finally up to the body section with 4 weeks til baby’s birthday!

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Most of my crafting will be knitting this jumper I think, but I am hoping to make a start on my Christmas cards at some point soon. I’m not going nuts like some years when I made one for every slight acquaintance; instead I’m going to focus on making special cards for the people really important to me. Maybe even some bloggy friends if I can dig out that email with the addresses on.

How’s your November going?

Hannah

xXx

October Review – where did it go?

What on earth happened to October? Seriously, I must have lost a fortnight somewhere. I’d blame the new job, but I’m enjoying it too much to start laying blame on it already. It’s so nice to discover that existential dread isn’t actually a standard part of Sunday afternoon/evenings…

Anyway, I want to say “on to craft talk”, but there really isn’t much to talk about for this month. I did finish Changing Staircases and it’s kept me warm a few times.

And I made some progress with my baby Flax Light, but then stalled with re-doing the same 10 rounds over and over to fix mistakes.

And that’s it. I’ve no idea what I’ve been doing for the last 31 days, but apparently it wasn’t making things!

Things never slow down in the run up to Christmas, so I’m setting more of a process goal for November rather than a results goal: I will do some form of crafting every day for the next 30 days. Even if it’s just one stitch or sticking a peel-off on one card, I will do something.

Today’s crafting was some knitting on the way to and from work so that’s day one – done!

Hannah

xXx

Dragon no more

Current WIP count: 5

It’s a sad day for the amigurumi dragon. The poor thing hasn’t been worked on for months and months, and he’s been moved from pillar to post so often I’m not even sure where all the parts are.

He had reached UFO status and I’d rather lost interest, so I had a frogging session.

I still love dragons and amigurumi; he’s going to get made at some point, but not until I have a chunk of time to dedicate to him. Experience has finally taught me that I’m not organised enough to work on something with lots of parts over a long period of time without losing them.

Which, incidentally, is why Flax Light is perfect for me! Just one long piece on one set of circular needles that I can chuck in my bag any time. I’m actually really glad I frogged the first attempt now, as I switched to smaller needles and I’m much happier with it.

It’s funny how gauge can change so much from one project to the next.

Having lost a week somewhere in October (how are we only 8 days from Halloween already??) I very much doubt I’ll meet my goals for this month. Looking at them from this side, they seem wildly optimistic. Maybe my next goal should be to set more realistic goals…

Hannah

xXx

All befuddled

Current WIP count: 6

I have made it through the first week of a brand new job! While I’m not as exhausted as I expected after all the newness and strangers to deal with, my brain has gone a bit mushy. It’s showing in my attempt to make another Flax Light.

Firstly, I either forgot how garter stitch works or just got hyper-focussed on purl stitches: round 1 starts with some purls, and I couldn’t for the life of me work out how to do a kfb for round 2. “But it’s a purl stitch!” I kept saying to myself, more times than I care to admit.

After a few days in the naughty corner (the knitting, not me) I picked it up and suddenly my brain was working again.

Or so I thought. The next challenge was placing stitch markers and, considering they’re labelled ‘raglan markers’ in the pattern, it should be pretty obvious that they’re to mark the raglan increases. But nooo, this dingbat got it into her head that they marked the beginning and end of the garter sections.

I was a few rounds in by the time it twigged, I tried to fix it and ended up making more of a mess, so I frogged the lot.

This is now all I have to show for myself.I’m thinking I’ll aim for Christmas rather than baby’s first birthday at the beginning of December!

On the plus side, I think my new job is going to be really good, AND I can take the subway instead of driving so I can knit every day on my commute. It all balances out in the end.

Hannah

xXx

A mini make

Current WIP count: 6

I over-ordered the yarn for my Flax Light, so there was a whole skein and at least 1/3 of another left over. That wasn’t enough to make another one for myself (tempting as it may be) but I knew it would definitely be enough to make a mini version for my friend’s toddler.

So that’s happening. Her birthday is at the beginning of December so that’s my initial goal, but if I miss that then the aim is Christmas!

There’s been very little time at home over the last week so I haven’t made much progress on Morag. The loop stitch means it’s not quite mindless enough for working on at choir.

I have a train journey or two coming up at the weekend so I should be able to get a move on with her.

A question for everyone – what is your opinion on knitting or crocheting at a wedding and/or wedding reception? Yes? No? “You’re a terrible person for even thinking about it”? Asking for a friend….

Hannah

xXx

Monday make

Despite having to tink and redo the final section THREE TIMES, I finished my Changing Staircases at the weekend and it’s now looking beautiful on my blocking mat.

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Also slightly weird because I ran out of pins, but never mind.

I’m looking forward to wearing this baby soon. Although with it being scarf weather in Scotland right now, it might take a while to dry out.

This project taught me that I still have no concept of how knitting uses up yarn. I was sad because I thought it would have to end on a lacy section, which I didn’t want because I can just see it catching on everything. But then I got to the end of that section and still seemed to have a bit of yarn left.

I figured it was better to have a row or two of stockinette than nothing so I skipped the ‘cast off stitches’ step and knit across. Then purled. Then knit. Then purled. I was 6 rows in before realising that the yarn was going much further than I expected and I could get a-whole-nother plain section out of it. So I tinked back, cast off the stitches and did the section again.

And after all that I still had enough left to cast off, with this long a tail to sew in.

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I never would have called that in a million years! It seems I need to do a LOT more knitting so I can start to get a feel for these things.

 

ETA: this is Changing Staircases, a free pattern by Dragon Hoard Designs on Ravelry.

Hannah

xXx

Changing Staircases

Current WIP count: 6

This thing is addictive.

I actually taught myself to knit continental just so I could keep going when my wrists got sore. There’s only this much of the skein left so it’s going to be finished pretty darn soon.

Thanks to my addiction, the only other thing I have to show is some miniscule progress on Morag.

That’s a body and one foot. Getting there, slowly. In my defence she would go quite slow even without another project distracting me; loop stitch is not a quick stitch and it’s on almost every single part. I might make the horns next just to get a wee break from it.

But for now, back to those staircases!

Hannah

xXx

September Review

My plan for September was to finally get some WIPs off my list so I could knock it down from eight WIPs to four.

I managed one of those things.

After what felt like forever with nothing, I managed four fairly big finishes:

There was my boyfriend’s Lego blanket.

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A baby blanket made with the leftover bricks.

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My Changing Tides blanket (nope, I still haven’t sewn the ends in).

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And FINALLY my beautiful Flax Light

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The baby blanket was a new addition so that got my WIP list down to five, but…then I got a bit of start-itis after being inspired by BonnyKnits, and cast on something new.

20190930_170825-1.jpgThis is Changing Staircases by Dragon Hoard Designs, it’s free on Ravelry, and the yarn is Leaf Green Rainbow by Mothy and the Squid. I regret nothing.

So now my WIP list is sitting at six, which is an improvement so I’ll take it.

I think for October I’ll aim for getting it down to four again. A few of the projects are close to finished and should be easy to cross off, but I’m also going to start making for Christmas so I know there will be more added on.  I just have to resist all the Halloween crafts that are popping up everywhere!

Hannah

xXx

Drumrolls and fanfares

It’s FINIIIIIIISHED!!

Almost 9 months after casting on I finally have a complete Flax Light!

It’s kind of hard to tell with my rubbish camera, but this thing is gorgeous! And, more importantly, IT FITS!

This is my ill-but-still-super-happy face

Maybe one day soon I’ll make a friend so I can get a full-length photo of me wearing it…

The pattern is Flax Light, which is a free pattern by Tin Can Knits. I made the Large size, which used up less than 2 skeins of West Yorkshire Spinners Exquisite yarn. I chose the Emerald colourway because…well, look at it!

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This is my first ever knitted garment for myself so I’m pleased (and more than a little surprised) that it actually fits me really well.  I learned so many new skills making this; how to put the sleeve stitches onto waste yarn, the backwards loop cast on, how to pick up stitches, how to sew up the massive underarm holes left after picking up stitches, how to recognise whether the previous round was knit or purled, how to undo a cast off, and finally how to cast off loosely.

Undoing the cast off isn’t part of the pattern, I just discovered that my usual cast off is no match for my hips and had to redo it. You live and learn.

I would definitely recommend this as a first jumper for anyone (although maybe go for regular Flax rather than Light if you want it to go a bit faster) – I am not a confident knitter but I managed this with very few problems, it’s easy, it’s comfy, and it looks really good.

I can see this becoming my favourite jumper, and I’m already itching to cast on another one!

Hannah

xXx

Nearly off Sleeve Island

Does anyone else suddenly develop an interest in numbers and maths once the end of a project approaches?

This is my Flax Light sleeve.

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If there are currently 82 stitches per round, and the ribbing will start when I get to 70, that’s 12 stitches to decrease.

Each decrease round removes 2 stitches, so only 6 more decreases to go.

There are 6 straight rounds between the decrease rounds, which makes each section 7 rounds long. 7 x 6 = 42 rounds to go.

Now if I time myself I can see how long each round will take me…

And so on and on and on.

This didn’t happen with the first sleeve; it’s definitely an end-of-project effect for me. The silly thing is I could probably knit faster if half my brain wasn’t so distracted trying to do all these calculations, but I just can’t switch it off.

Now my two biggest projects are done, I’m confident I can get this beauty finished and wearable before the end of September. I can’t wait!

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 11.09.19

Current WIP count: 7

I think I might be able to cross another WIP off the list this week, as there’s now only a week and a half left to add to my Changing Tides blanket.So much lovely texture on these rounds.

Flax light is now my portable project again. It’s nice to get back to knitting, especially when that knitting is just stockinette for the next 7 inches. I only need to engage my brain to count the stitches for the garter panel every other round, so it’s been a perfect TV/choir/subway project.I’ve also got as far as taking the needle felt unicorn back out of the box, although I haven’t actually done anything with it yet. My thinking is that if it’s right in front of me and ready to go then I’m more likely to pick it up and make some progress when I have a spare 5 minutes. We’ll see how that works out!

Hannah

xXx

August Review

White rabbits!

This should be a pretty quick one, as I only worked on 3 projects last month. That’s about as close to a monogamous crafter as I want to get!

The main one was the Lego blanket. I have a week left and it now looks like this:

In between working on that my Changing Tides blanket got a look in now and then.

With Flax Light falling way behind at just a few row’s progress.

My goal for September is to finally cross some projects off my WIP list.

1. Lego blanket – as the only one with a deadline, this one is priority.

2. Changing Tides – this will be my next focus, simply because I’m now almost a month “late” for finishing it if you go by the end of the CAL.

3. Flax Light – Did you know I started this in February? I know I’m a fairly new knitter, but that’s still far too long so I want it done and wearable this month.

4. Needle felted unicorn – It’s small and cute, and will give my hands a rest from knitting/crochet so I’d like to focus on this one as well.

That would exactly halve my WIP list, which feels much more manageable. If I manage to work on any of the other 4 projects then I’ll just count that as a bonus.

Hannah

xXx