Maybe it’s winter, maybe it’s the hectic work schedule, maybe it’s having a “boy” underfoot (kidding! I love him underfoot) but it’s so hard to blog of late and as to reading other posts… there just aren’t enough hours in a day. This why I sometimes mention to comment and link me to any of your posts that you think are not-to-be-missed 🙂
In the interest of keeping this somewhat concise, I’ll gallery photos and the green links will have more construction details if you’re interested. Almost every project or purchase I’ve made is to aid my intrepid teammates, the Peppermint Ponies and I’m happy to say that I’ve reached level 1 in the Booster Club (can I say popped my cherry? I just did!) I’m at Cherry level and achieved the maximum points for my Q1 KAL – any Melanie Berg pattern – submission, ‘Moonraker‘. Canada Customs has been holding my Birthday order (placed on 15 Jan) hostage since the 22nd of January. I have no idea why this semi-regular order has aroused suspicion but am considering a covert mission to liberate the fuzzy goodness!
I’ve finished some long time WIP’s and hopelessly tangled some cobweb lace of a WIP that I hoped to be adding here but… damn… To keep me calm whilst waiting on my Postie to rescue my Birthday yarn, I’m working on a super cute Casapinka pattern called ‘Loop‘. It’s bright and fun, a stashbuster and super easy.
It’s February already and soon March will arrive and another round of National Crochet Month. I’ve picked a pattern and have some gorgeous – Yarn Porn ahead! – Yarn Love and Shibui to use for my first project. Planning ahead – bless my little ADD heart – this one will tie in nicely with Yarnathon 2017 projects and badge collecting.
I’m off to work – they just don’t understand about priorities, lol! – have a great rest of your week!
The FO’s: Rico Socks, Smoke Rings Shawl, Moonraker Shawl
Smoke Rings Shawl – crochet
The WIP’s: Loop Shawl, Brise d’Été Shawl, Side Effect Pullover, NoFa Shawl
NoFa Shawl – progress
Loop Shawl ~ start
Brise d’Eté Shawl ~ Aarrgghh!
Side Effect Pulli ~ wishing for sleeves
Good for people and elephants! This story made me smile – enjoy 🙂
Elephants in India are sporting colourful woollen jumpers after villagers knitted the super-size garments to protect the animals from near-freezing temperatures. Women in a village near the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in the northern city of Mathura reportedly began producing the colourful, pyjama-like garments after staff at the centre warned temperatures were approaching sub-zero at night.
Source: Villagers knit jumpers for Indian elephants to protect the large mammals from near-freezing temperatures | The Independent
I am all lit up for reams more crafting this year! As if I needed any incentive, this will be my first full year participating in Eat.Sleep.Knit’s ‘Yarnathon’ 2017. The team at ESK put together an inspiring number of events, geared for a wide range of crafters. Our theme this year is ‘Candyland’. My 2016 team – the Starsheep – won 1st in the overall standings and I’m looking forward to another great year with the Peppermint Ponies this year.
My queue will be monopolized with much ESK competitive and achievement knit and crochet because… competitive 🙂 Y’all know about winning the pair of socks in less than 24 hours x2 story. The year long project is ‘Persian Dreams‘ and the Q1 project is any pattern designed by Melanie Berg, one of my favourite designers. I’m currently yarnless in Ottawa – says the woman with a +700 skein stash – but I’ve ordered my Q1 yarn for ‘Moonraker‘ and hope to start next week. I’m still planning colours for ‘Persian Dreams’. Mine will be non-traditional shades so as to coordinate with my very Zen household colour scheme.
I’m continuing to work away at ‘Side Effect‘ to kill time and stashbust until my Q1 package arrives; soon to pick up the sleeves and I’ll work at the 2016 WIP stragglers as attention span permits. I am very pleased at how many FO’s I was able to complete this past year, with several items gifted and some sold in my Etsy shop. I found that embracing some new (to me) techniques made finishing SO much faster, much more enjoyable and definitely was a factor in getting things off the needles and 100% complete. I may be adding the ‘Product’ card to my ‘Process‘ wallet after all these years!
I’ll be updating the tab at the top of the page with all of my 2016 projects a little later and I hope you’ll pop back to check them out – most are linked to Ravelry, if you’re looking for construction details – which reminds me! If you’re a Ravver, feel free to add me. I’m KeiB / Pointe Shoes Punk Rock And Purl. If you aren’t a Ravver and have trouble viewing any of those green italic links to projects, send me a message (tab above) and I’ll be happy to adjust settings for you – I sometimes forget to make them public.
Baking like a maniac today, family arrives tomorrow, love and happiness ensue!
From my home to yours, have a Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas and may all the joy of this season be yours ❤
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:
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!
Cheers all! 🙂
Off the hook and going soon to Mama, Papa and Baby.
My project notes are on Ravelry -> here <-
Jungle Superhero Pram Blanket ~ finished
I’ve been somewhat AWOL the last couple of weeks. Mostly to be sure JSPB was finished but also am participating in Yarn Love’s Castra KAL and test knitting a shawl for my friend Anja (it’s interesting and fun – you’ll want it 🙂 ).and will have an update later this week.
Firefly Shawl ~ test knit
Castra Shawl ~ KAL progress
Le Scarabée Argent ~ WIP
I’m working hard supporting the ‘Save Mooney’s Bay‘ community group and this is my priority at the moment.
A member created this wonderful Youtube video that hits the highlights and provides a link where you can add your voice. Your support would be very appreciated.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! 🙂