Finished up my “Aurora Borealis” Stole and happy with the result. I winged the gradient effect to use up two full skeins of Malabrigo Silkpaca and added slip stitch borders on the short ends. The beads are #5 Miyuki in an iridescent blue purple that picked up the tiny bit of purple in the “Azules” colourway.
This one was my project for Eat.Sleep.Knit’s “Star Stitch” KAL and I gotta say… those stars are pretty but they are about as fun as a Klingon fart in the transporter room to work for any length of time. My hands were not happy about this at all. Hopefully, some accumulated yardage points and a star for my team, the “Starsheep” will make it worthwhile in the end. The colours are typically hard to capture but links from my project page to the stash that I worked with are pretty good if you’re curious about the tones and depth of the colours; they are nice on this particular base. I found myself petting quite a bit! A sweater in the Silkpaca would be luxurious *sigh*A
My “Starburst” Hat is blocked too – love the balloon trick! It’s size Small, for a Littlie so no modelled photos.
Eep! Started this post a week ago and never finished it either ~ Startitis is strong with this one! ~ Anyway, I’m not going to waste a perfectly good draft so here’s the beginning and I’ll pick up the thread pun definitely intended, further on.
I have a low-level version of this all the time but – holy crap! – it’s out of control right now.
I’m trying to maintain my usual circuit knitting method, going back and forth so that all is eventually finished but there’s just too much shiny in my queue and items I want to finish to take with me to Retreat in a few weeks.
My Starburst hat is finished, just need to buy some balloons to block it out to its proper Rasta dimensions, a Solace cardi, and a KeiB Design crochet project (for more ESK badges) and my Dulce de Leche, also poor, sleeveless Ruisseaux – so close and yet so far.
So, I’ve pretty much psyched myself out with my own nonsense and the perfect remedy for that? Start a crochet project of course!
I’m working on Kleine Blümchen, a lovely, filet-crochet shawl in some newly acquired (Shush now!) Malabrigo Sock on “Lotus”. It’s flying off the hook and I love it – can I say that? This one I’m keeping for me🙂
So, Kleine Blümchen is finished and submitted for achievement points in the 2016 Yarnathon, the other projects are on a temporary hold while I try and sneak in one more points-worthy project: Aurora Borealis Scarf / Stole. It’ll then be time to start organizing and packing for Needler’s Retreat 2016. Woot! I can’t believe it’s that time again and am especially grateful to be participating this year as I’m going on scholarship. Feeling very fortunate indeed. Follows are the photos of KB Shawl and Frozen Lake shawl – finished for some time but just blocked. Poor Starburst hat is still not blocked but I did buy the balloons I need to block it properly and finish!🙂
Kleine Blümchen Shawl:
Frozen Lake Shawl Details:
This was going to be the day that I earned my “On A Jet Plane” badge – post a photo of you and your knitting out and about on a plane, train or automobile but… I forgot my knitting.
I know… but it was my first time on a bike since I was in my teens and I was all a-flutter! I’m happy to say that I didn’t even miss it; the highway, fresh air, autumn colour and company were entirely diverting. I probably have some progress photos kicking around here somewhere of Ruisseaux and Starburst but they’re still on my phone so instead, here is a photo of my chariot during yesterday’s adventure:
Home from Wakefield and a glorious autumn tour through the Gatineau Hills.
I do hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend. The first bit of mine was spent with family and then a lovely day touring to Wakefield for lunch and then back. Our glorious weather is holding so hopefully, lots more time for trips and badges!
One of my first original designs, the intarsia technique “Nefertiti Scarf” is among Elann.International’s featured patterns for the month of October.
Details are on Elann.com and Ravelry where you can favourite or queue it🙂 The yarn that I designed with, Elann’s Peruvian Highland Wool Worsted, was discontinued for some time but has been re-released with a higher micron count, more colours and a sportweight version as well.
I taught myself Intarsia as I was working on this and it’s a technique that I enjoy. The original design concept is still a favourite and last year I reworked it as a single colour scarf that really showcases the textural stitches I chose to convey an ancient Egypt feel. This scarf was called “Cairo Cabled Scarf” and is also available on Ravelry.
Nefertiti Scarf ~ Elann Exclusive
Cairo Unisex Scarf 2015
This is another of those “where did the time go?” posts. It’s true, this year has flown by and tomorrow is the last day of September. Autumn has been glorious so far, warm and sunshiny but they don’t last long in this neck of the woods. I’ve been knitting like a fiend as usual and trying to get a few things done around the house and garden. This girl is already in the slide to full hibernation. To bed early, harder to get up when the alarm goes and there’s only a hint of the dawn.
On the fibre front, I finished up my Rheinlust Shawl and glad to have it off the needles. It kept getting set aside for other projects but the end result is pretty.
For more stashbusting and a few stars for my Eat.Sleep.Knit team, the Starsheep, I knit up this nifty crescent shawl, Olilia. Short rows shape it and it’s worked in two coordinating Sweet Georgia yarns.
A couple mini projects followed, Black Locust fingerless gloves and my Relativity cowl:
Black Locust Mitts for ESK Flash KAL
Relativity Cowl in Mrs. Crosby
I did finish my nameless (Frozen Lake) shawl but it’s not blocked just yet🙂 My favourite WIP of the moment is my Warren Cardigan. I should be joining to begin working the body at some point tonight.
Here is the proof – I have swatched. Tension square worked for the Eat.Sleep.Knit flash KAL that starts this coming 26 September 2016🙂
My two most current WIP’s use a provisional cast on and I thought I’d share a little pictorial of how I do it. My favourite of the many provisional cast on methods is the crochet method and it’s one of many reasons that I think every knitter should have some basic crochet skills – there’s lots of time to entice you to the dark side!
There are two crochet-type methods, the most common is where you create a chain length and then pick up your stitches in the back bump of each chain stitch. This is a perfectly serviceable method but even as an experienced Hookster, I find dealing with a long, floppy bit of string to be a pain. I think it would give a novice the vapours!
For control, neatness and ease – once you’ve practised just a little – the “crochet on” method works best for me and I think would be easier to manage for beginners or entrenched knitters. It does require two “sticks” and works stitches in a knitting-type way, so is a more familiar feel. When done the way I do, there is lots of room to correct stitch count before beginning to work with your project yarn without having to rip out and start over. If you’re as OCD as I am, this method really fits the bill.
Below is a photo infographic with notes of how I work this cast on. I can’t be sure if anyone else does it like this, I haven’t seen it in any tutorials or pictorials, so I’ll call this tweaked version “Kei’s Crochet Provisional Cast On”. You’ll need to click the individual photo in order to read the full text of the instructions🙂
Step 1: Your project needle, same size crochet hook, smooth waste yarn – same weight as project yarn.
Step 2: Make slipknot and place on hook as normal. Now the different part, chain 3-5 stitches. This creates a little tab for the next step.
Step 3: Hold hook on top of needle at a right angle. Bring yarn underneath and to back of needle, wrap around the hook and pull through the loop on the hook. Hold the tab as shown to stabilize the hook and needle as you make your stitches. Bring the yarn back under the needle to make the next stitch.
Step 4: Your work will look like the regular crochet provisional cast on after a few stitches, it’ll just have the nifty little tab at the end. Continue casting on until you have the number of stitches called for.
Step 5: After making the last stitch, bring the yarn to the front of work, wrap around the hook and pull through to create a chain stitch. Make a few more, at least two more than the beginning tab. This will help you find the correct end for “unzipping” more quickly. You can draw out the last loop, nice and long in order to count your stitches and correct by carefully taking out the extras of the end chain, putting the loop back on the hook and adding the stitches you need. Extras are fine as long as to knit up the correct number with your project yarn in the next row. Leaving the ending chain tab will also give you something to work from when you pick up the provisional stitches to a 2nd needle and that pesky but unavoidable “Missing Man Stitch” happens. It was years before I realized that this MIA stitch happens with all provisional cast ons and that I didn’t have some sort of dark power to make it evaporate every single time I used any provi technique!
I hope this is as clear as I think it is and if you are trying this out, feel free to message me if you have a question – there’s a “message me” email button up top there ↑
You will find that you very quickly gain a rhythm with this, using your forefinger to move the yarn from the front of the last stitch made and around to the back for the next one. I like giving myself the insurance of a couple extra chains even if I wind up not needing it and the added control that the beginning tab gives me for those first few stitches.
I’m using a ChiaoGoo circular needle, a Prym hook and a smooth cotton fingering weight (a scrap, don’t remember the brand). Smooth cottons are ideal for any provisional cast on.
Hope this will help someone out!