First Post 2017

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.

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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.

Provisional Parlance

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 🙂

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! 🙂

Friday, You’re My Favourite

Three FO’s this week, yay! “Le Scarabée Argent“, “Firefly
and “Harmonia’s Rings“.

All the details are on my Ravelry, at the links above. Hope all is well in your world with lots of time for family, friends, chillin’ and crafting 🙂

Harmonia’s portfolio:

Firefly’s portfolio:

Le Scarabée Bleu’s portfolio:

Yarn Porn! Tool Porn! 🙂

Crossed The Finish Line 2016

Cast off on 14 July and blocked on the 15th. Happy with this one – used up more ancient stash and thoroughly enjoyed the pattern. I don’t think I’m in the running for a winning jersey but pleased to have another unique garment to offer in my shop 🙂

Details: “Gavrinis Shawl“and I’m working the large size in Elann’s Alpaca Fina, a sportweight on the skinny side in the colourway ‘Alpine Violet”.

Améthyste Cave de Gavrinis portfolio & details :

WIP Wednesday

Finally digging out from under the WIP pile. Not that I mind, I am a process knitter – if someone kept changing the skein for me, I’d probably be happy working on that scarf I started when I was four! 🙂

I have still not got round to say hello to all of you and I am sorry. I simply haven’t checked my WordPress email or reader in like, a month and now I’m afraid to – it’s linked to my poetry blog and… email overload! I’m not ignoring anyone, just utterly overwhelmed with social media. Please feel free to message or comment if you have something I shouldn’t miss and of course, I haven’t given up my Ravelry, Instagram or FB; you can always find me there 🙂

In progress are : Rheinlust Shawl – still need to rescue those dropped, twisted stitches and so it’s in “Time Out”, Trilo Cardi – backburnered for test knitting and baby knitting, Ariel Pulli – just needs sleeves, Summer Breeze Shawl – also backburnered for baby knitting and my Scarabée Argent – anxious to finish but the test knit and Castra KAL that ended yesterday were getting all of the knitting love. I’m still waiting on that extra set of arms to grow in!

The Firefly test knit is almost complete and I’ve enjoyed working on it. Using up more stash was just a bonus. This is a new pattern from my friend Anja of Buntart on Ravelry and I think it’ll be well liked. The colour options are endless – tonal, contrast, harmonized, gradient – and the knitting is easy peasy. Details are on my Ravelry > here <.

Sneak peek:

Firefly test knit

Firefly test knit

Happy halfway there day!

Friday FO Y’all!

What? It’s a (mostly) natural fibre 😉

Look what I made! :)

Look what I made! 🙂

I have to go slowly with these projects – M.E. means I get wiped out way too easily! – but I really love putting together furniture. These are my first hinged doors and I’m feeling very ‘proudy pants’. They are the self closing kind and working without need for adjustment. I got to use my new level for the anti-tippers installation and can now hide a few ‘junk’ piles 🙂

FO Friday ~ Tuscan Medallion Afghan

Not only am I hooked on crochet just lately; I seem to also be a little “star struck” 🙂 ‘Tuscan Medallion’ is another star-shaped afghan, this one with twelve points and big! TMA was started specifically to liberate some old Zen String Bliss Aran from yarn incarceration and to use some odd ball colours of Cascade 220. I was a little leery about the combo at the start – the ZS variegated isn’t “my” colours but as it grew, it did seem a little like some of the pretty tile work that I’m drawn to ie: kitchen backsplash renos on Pinterest! My project notes for this one are on Ravelry -> here <-

TMA’s portfolio:

The additional Cherub DK that I need to finish up ‘Gothic Starfish‘ has finally arrived and I’m back at it to try to wrap it up and get it out the door to the owner of the purple sofa.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! 🙂