An FO and a big “NOPE” to magic loop

Only one month late, the baby Flax Light is finally finished and blocking!

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Thankfully, baby is on the petite side so she hasn’t already outgrown it before it even gets to her.

Now, those sleeves.

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I tried. I really tried. But magic loop (the knitting version) is just not for me. I don’t understand the argument that it’s easier/better than using DPNs, with all the to-ing and fro-ing of the cable, dealing with two massive ladders in your work, or constantly changing where the cable pops out to avoid said ladders. So. much. FAFF!

It’s good to know what my strengths and weaknesses are though, and it’s much better to not use magic loop because I don’t like it rather than because I’m scared of it, as used to be the case.  I’ll take that sort-of-win.

I should hopefully see my friend at some point this month so fingers crossed for some photos of baby wearing her new jumper. I hope she likes it!

Hannah

xXx

WIPs, WIPs everywhere

Current WIP count: 8

Ah, Christmas. That time of year when my WIP list runs out of control and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Actually that’s not true; I exerted some control this year by deciding to only make presents for a select few people. It would be lovely if I had the time and resources to make for everyone, but I somehow skipped half of October and November, and I have a full-time job that takes up far too much of my day, so that’s just not happening.

I compromised a little for my other friends, and raided Etsy for handmade-but-not-by-me gifts. This way everyone I love gets something special, I don’t end up having to pull all-nighters from now til Christmas Eve, and a few Etsy sellers get to do a happy dance. Wins all round!

As for the pressies I am making, obviously baby Flax Light is now going to be a Christmas rather than birthday present, as I only have this much of one sleeve done:

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There’s also a hat present in the works (thank you, Alissa, for bringing this gorgeous yarn to my attention months ago):

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And I decided the cupcake hat will also be a gift, as I have a couple of friends who love bright colours as much as I do. I just need to work out how to attach a pompom so it stays put.

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Considering there are only 3 weeks until the big day, I’m feeling pretty calm and in control about Christmas this year. Probably because I’m not thinking about all the Christmas cards I want to make!

Hannah

xXx

November review

I met my goal for November!  I have done something creative for the last 30 days straight, which I’m pretty proud of.

There were a few marathon knitting sessions, plus my usual crafting while singing at various choirs, but it’s mainly been 10 minutes here and there when I could fit it in. That didn’t sound like much at the beginning of the month, but I’ve made some real progress.

Baby Flax Light just needs some sleeves:

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My cupcake hat is nearly finished (it’s one of those where you knit a tube and then cinch the top row of stitches together):

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And I’ve made a solid start on my running hat:

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Plus, as you might have noticed from the Flax photo, I learned a new-to-me technique this month after Ava suggested using magic loop for the tiny little sleeves. Turns out it’s not scary at all, although it is quite fiddly and I’m not entirely convinced yet. Maybe I just need practice and it will grow on me.

So yay, that’s a win for me goals-wise! But I’m still not going to set any for December. There’s too much Christmas going on to be thinking about goals, so I’m just going to buy presents for most people and work on the few planned handmade gifts whenever I get chance.

Hannah

xXx

November goal – week 4

I’m currently dealing with a mild case of start-itis. As well as the cupcake hat I cast on last week:

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There’s also a crochet hat in the making, using some new Starlight yarn with reflective thread. I ‘need’ it for going running in the dark, you see, so I had to start it.

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With flash so you can see the shiny bits

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If I’m honest, these are both procraftination because I’m reluctant to start the sleeves on the baby Flax Light. So tiny. So fiddly. So…possibly needing a brand new-to-me technique that scares me a little bit.

I really should just jump in and get on with it. But at least I’ve done some sort of crafting every day of November so far – I’m pretty proud of that! With only 2 more days to go I’m confident that I’ll meet this month’s goal no problem.

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

WIP Wednesday 07.08.19

Current WIP count: 8

Making this Lego blanket is so much easier using just one brand of yarn. All the bricks are coming out the same size every time (ignoring my initial mistake), and I know I can get 15.5 bricks out of every ball so it’s easy to calculate how far I’ve got to go.

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I’ve tweaked the brick pattern slightly from last time, but now that’s memorised as well and I can make bricks while doing pretty much anything that doesn’t require the use of my hands. It’s got to the point that I sat down at choir on Monday and the person next to me went “Where’s your crochet?”. They know me well!

The second sleeve of my Flax Light is underway, and I’m still debating whether to try matching the missed purl rows on the first. That might be a wee bit too much like hard work. But also it might bug me too much to have non-matching sleeves. I’ll see how I feel when I get a bit further.

No progress on Changing Tides since last time, as it’s too big to transport and I haven’t once had time to sit on my sofa for a crochet session. Will I ever stop being so busy?? It is looking pretty though.

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One day soon I really hope I can cross something off my WIP list. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Hannah

xXx

Halfway there!

Okay, I do know that one sleeve is much less than half a jumper, but it feels like I’ve been stuck on sleeve island FOREVAH. Like the body was one project and the sleeves are a whole nother project on their own.

But I’m getting there at last having finished and cast off my first sleeve!

Tempting as it is to begin a trend for one-armed jumpers, my sense of symmetry just won’t let me leave it as is so I’ve picked up the stitches for the other sleeve.

No guarantee that this one will go any quicker, but barring any major emergencies I should have my first ever knitted jumper finished this year!

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 17.07.19

Current WIP count: 8

Look, look I nearly have a whole sleeve!

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I’m onto the cuff ribbing so I reckon I can get this sleeve done and dusted before next week. I even remembered to make a note of the number of stitches, so I know what I’m aiming for with the other sleeve and hopefully I’ll get them both the same size.

It’s fun having lots of WIPs to choose from, but at the moment I’m struggling to decide which to work on. I’m still really excited about Flax Light because it’s my first knitted jumper so it’s getting a lot of attention, but I do want to catch up with Changing Tides, and the Lego blanket has a fixed deadline so I should work on that as well. If only I could turn into an octopus and work on them all at once!

Maybe I should set up some sort of rota to make sure they all keep moving along. What do you think?

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 10.07.19

Current WIP count: 8

Yes, I have added another WIP to the list. I just can’t help myself.

One of my friends was particularly impressed with the Lego blanket I made for my Dad, so I decided to make another one for them. This time I’m buying yarn specifically for it rather than using up stash so it will all be the same brand, size, and weight, which should make the whole thing go a bit smoother.

I’ve also slightly tweaked the bricks so hopefully they’ll sit together better when I sew everything up.

I loved this one, but it didn’t quite have that straight Lego look

Flax Light is bimbling along, but I’ll spare everyone yet another photo of an unfinished sleeve. Even I’m getting bored of it.

And I’m on to the bobbles for Changing Tides so it feels like everything has ground to a halt. These things take forever!

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But this is the last lot of bobbles and we’re approaching the end of the CAL so my motivation is still pretty high. Yes I’m a week behind, but this is the closest I’ve ever come to keeping up with a live CAL and I’m determined to keep going to the end.

So that’s my week, what’s everyone else working on? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx