Monogamous Knitting…Mostly

Until now, I have been hesitant to post about my decision to be a finisher when it comes to my knitting projects, but after successfully finishing a pair of mittens and two sweaters while only starting one new project (a hat), which has also been finished, I think it is safe to say that I can do this. Currently on my Ravelry project page, I’ve got 19 “hibernating” projects and two “WIP” projects. My goal is to get these 19 projects all finished up or frogged. Granted, three of these are sweaters that I’ve not even wound the yarn for, but I have the yarn for them and will be making them. Eight of these are over halfway finished, and two just need pictures. So far, this plan has been fairly successful in curbing my desire to buy all the yarns, so it’ can’t be a bad thing!

Gimli Socks in Dream in Color Smooshy Emerald Darkness

Gimli Socks in Dream in Color Smooshy Emerald Darkness

To start with: I am working on Gimli Socks by Claire Ellen as my carry-around project. I started these in August of 2013, and they are intended as a Christmas gift for 2014. I am notoriously slow when it comes to socks, although I am pleased to find that I am enjoying this pattern very much and that they are going more quickly than I expected. Not to mention my new Karbonz DPNs are making these not hurt my hands, which is awesome. This is one of my few non-Madelinetosh projects, and it’s my first time using Dream in Color. I am very excited about Smooshy, a lovely sock-weight yarn. It feels very sturdy, and the slight variations in the color, called Emerald Darkness, enhance the pattern wonderfully.

Grey Havens in Madelinetosh Sport Baltic

Grey Havens in Madelinetosh Sport Baltic

For my at-home project, I am finishing up my Grey Havens by Maria Olson. My row gauge is significantly off on this project, but based on some math-fu, I think it’s going to come out perfectly. The pattern is super easy to follow so far, and I am enjoying seeing it shape up. In retrospect, I maybe should have blocked the sleeves before attaching them, but I just couldn’t wait to get them on there! The way the weather has been going recently, it is quite possible that this project, which I originally began one year ago yesterday, will be finished before the end of winter!

Lime Ease in Madelinetosh 80/10/10 Worsted Neon Lime and Baltic

Lime Ease in Madelinetosh 80/10/10 Worsted Neon Lime and Baltic

Recently finished projects include my Lime Ease. The pattern is Ease by Alicia Plummer, and I knit it up using Madelinetosh 80/10/10 Worsted, a blend of merino, cashmere, and nylon, in the Neon Lime colorway with Baltic trim. I started this project in May of 2013 and finished it near the end of January 2014. It stayed on Sleeve Island for a while, but it’s finally finished! I am in love with the neckline, and I think the Neon Lime and Baltic complement one another very well, with the Baltic toning down the intensity of the sweater just a bit.

Lizzie in Madelinetosh Pashmina Smokestack

Lizzie in Madelinetosh Pashmina Smokestack

I also managed to finish up my Lizzie cardi in Madelinetosh Pashmina Smokestack using Georgie Hallam’s Lizzie pattern. I quite like the construction of this cardi, and I will definitely be using it in the future. I knit the piece with almost no modification, only opting for a shorter sleeve with no lace on the sleeve elbows. I started this project in August 2013 and just finished it in February 2014. I’ve already worn it several times and paired it with a variety of t-shirt colors, including neon pink (of course!) and some of my concert tees. I highly recommend the pattern, and I may even make it in another color in the future.

Owlet Cable Hat in Madelinetosh TML Norway Spruce

Owlet Cable Hat in Madelinetosh TML Norway Spruce

And last but not least, for Eat.Sleep.Knit‘s Q1 New-to-You KAL, I knit up this lovely Owlet Cable Hat, which is a not-yet-released pattern from Sara Burch. The hat features little owls with beaded eyes. I opted for a neon yellow/lime bead to be paired with some Madelinetosh TML in Norway Spruce that I won from ESK’s Black Friday sale a couple of years ago. My BF approves of the owls, despite my dropping the tube of beads all over his living room floor while beading the second round of owl eyes. Let’s hope my trend of being a finisher continues!

Yay for Knitting!

The roadtrip turned out to be highly conducive to knitting. We had about 16 hours in the car during daylight, and with the help of some anti-dizzy medicine, I got a lot of knitting done! Knitting also served to keep me awake while MrJ drove. It turned out that I was not a very good roadtrip partner when it was dark outside, as I couldn’t knit, and I kept falling asleep. Oops!

I managed to finish my StarLite Mittens, and then I got a good bit done on my Lime Ease, which I started almost a year ago. I knitted until I ran out of the yarn that I brought with me. Last night I wound another skein of the Neon Lime yarn and ripped back about 13 rnds so that I could alternate it in. The new skein was looking a bit more yellow compared to the rest of the sweater in the first few rounds, and I don’t want the color difference to be obvious!

Once I ran out of my green yarn, I switched over to my Lizzie, which I started last summer, I think. I got quite a bit done before the setting sun required me to put away my needles, and I managed to finish up the body and get a start on the edging. I have since finished the edging and wound my third skein of yarn, so now it’s just waiting to have some sleeves! I think I will modify the pattern a bit and make the sleeves 1/2 length with a cabled cuff. Woot!

Lizzie in Steamer Trunk

Lizzie in Smokestack

I keep being tempted by new projects to start, but I am attempting to be good and finish up some of these. Next up in the queue to finish is my Grey Havens sweater in Baltic, which I started aaaaages ago!

When I think about it, all four of the projects I’ve mentioned in this post are made with Madelinetosh yarn, some purchased from Eat.Sleep.Knit, and some non-retail purchased directly from Madelinetosh. I’m like a walking advertisement! Combine gorgeous hand-dyed yarn + machine washable + small business + gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous + good prices + generous amounts = AWESOMENESS. My knitting group gets a kick out of my slight obsession since every time someone pulls out some Madelinetosh yarn, I have a guess at the colorway and base. I’m pretty good at it!

Roadtrip!!

MrJ and I are embarking on a roadtrip tomorrow morning! To prepare, I have gathered several of my in-progress and snoozing projects to work on in the car. First up is to finish my StarLite mittens — though I suspect working with six skeins of yarn in the car may be a little challenging. Once those are finished, I will move on to finishing my Ease, which I started last May for MadMay. I’ve been working on it a little bit at lunch (two skeins of yarn is a little easier to handle than six!), so I’ve completed three of seven sleeve decreases on the last sleeve. It shouldn’t take too long to get these two finished up, and then I will switch to working on my Lizzie until the current skein I am on runs out. Finally, I’ve got my Gimli socks, which I know there is no way to actually finish before the end of the roadtrip. With any luck, I will be able to make some progress and get some of these projects finished up! Woot!

StarLite, StarBrite

Six Yarns at Once!

Six Yarns at Once!

Continuing my obsession with neon colors, last weekend saw me on the sofa knitting with six neon colors at once!

How did I come to this? Well, the so-called “Polar Vortex” has made my town feel like the North Pole, and I realized how shameful it is (and just a bit ironic) that a knitter such as myself is so seriously lacking in cold weather hand accessories. I have lots of fingerless mitts, but when the Weather Channel says that it feels like -12 F outside, those just aren’t going to cut it. So, my new design, StarLite Mittens, was born. What an awesome way to bring some color to the bleakness of winter and use up all of that leftover sock yarn in the process! Not that I used my neons for socks…they were all leftover from my Neon Rainbow Elfe.

StarLite Mittens

StarLite Mittens

The pattern is currently in testing over on Ravelry, so if you have some leftover bits of fingering weight yarn and want to make something to warm those fingers, come on over!

Neon Rainbow

I am lately obsessed with neon colors, in case you can’t tell. I’ve got a neon pink purse, a neon yellow handbag that has turned into my carryall/knitting bag. Because, of course, knitting projects must travel everywhere with me!
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Anyway, it took me a while and a lot of website stalking to amass my collection, but I finally was able to get my hands on all of the neon colors on Madelinetosh’s Feather base (merino & alpaca blend…yum!). My collection is ostensibly for a neon benzo-puff quilt, but we shall see.

I decided I needed a neon sweater, so I went with a heavily modified-version of Elfe to end up with my Neon Rainbow Elfe. I love how it fits and looks. The neon colors really show up well on the Feather base, and paired with the dark gray (called Dirty Panther), they really pop.
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In fact, this sweater is so awesome that it actually inspired my 13-yo sister, who typically prefers store-bought gifts, to request a knitted sweater for Christmas. WHEEEEE! I am only too happy to oblige and am plotting my Christmas knitting already. So many things to make, so little time!

 

 

I <3 Test Knits!

image_medium2-3I have used the Free Pattern Testers group over on Ravelry (shout out to the awesome mods who keep the group running smoothly!) to have my original patterns tested so I know they are free of errors before publication.

I also like to pay it back/forward by participating in test knits that other designers offer. Lucy Hague recently requested knitters for her new shawl pattern Taliesin. Even though I was in the middle of a couple of sweaters, I haaaaaad to jump on this test. Such a gem!

Up CloseThe Celtic-style motifs are incredible, and I kept stopping every few rows to admire the gorgeousness, cleverness, and ingenuity of the pattern.

I knit my Taliesin using Madelinetosh (of course!) 80/10/10 fingering in a color called Medieval. MedievalIt’s just too gorgeous for words. This shawl is meant to be a birthday present for one of my sisters, but since her birthday isn’t til January and there’s no way I could possibly wait that long, I am giving it to her as soon as she gets back from Italy in August.

The pattern is great – easy to follow and laid out very well. I’m a chart girl, so I followed the charted pattern. I highly, highly recommend it!

After blocking, my large shawl is 57″ x 28″. My sister is going to love it!image_medium2-4

Lucy is publishing the pattern next week, so be on the lookout for it! In the meantime, her blog is here.

 

 

Now Available: I <3 NEON

Good news!

My new pattern, I <3 NEON, has completed testing and has been published on Ravelry. You can view the pattern page and purchase it here.

The sweater was designed using Madelinetosh 80/10/10 Worsted, but thanks to my wonderful testers, it has also been knit up in Madelinetosh Tosh DK and Madelinetosh DK Twist. At a gauge of 20sts/4 inches, you can choose just about any DK or Worsted weight yarn that gives you a fabric you like.

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