What I’m Working On

My feet have been cold recently, so I rummaged through my stash and started a pair of simple socks. The yarn is fingering weight so they shouldn’t be too hot to wear in California.
Yarn: Knitting Fever Painted Desert in Medium Orchid (100% Superwash Wool)
Needles: Size US 2
Pattern: Simply 200 yds or less socks
Difficulty: Easy
Skills to know: Judy’s magic cast on, heel shaping

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Finished Object (FO)Friday

Hello all!

Here is the latest  off my needles. A friend (hope she doesn’t see this post!) is turning 30 so I sent her a cute knit to celebrate this momentous occasion. Picking a project was a little tough as she lives in Southern California and currently it is 70 degrees there. I ultimately picked a cowl as it isn’t too huge and/or bulky. And besides it does get “chilly” at night in California.

Project Profile:

Pattern: Broken Rib Stitch taken from the pattern  Graham by Jennifer Adams.

Yarn:Cascade 128 Superwash Merino Wool in Sapphire Heather (100 grams)

Cast On: 126 stitches

Needles: US Size 10 circular; Cowl was made using the magic loop method

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One thing I discovered was the great pattern that forms on the back side of the broken rib. You can really see it with the lighter color yarn and larger gauge. So this cowl has the extra benefit of being reversible! IMG_5290[1]

 

In other great news, I got engaged this week! The boyfriend (now future husband) popped the question on a lovely hike on the Costal Trail in Marin County, CA. It was amazing! I am super excited about our future nuptials and spending my life time with him. I am so excited that I have taken to making cheesy Instaframes documenting our engagement 🙂 (haha) Wishing you all a Happy Friday!

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Fun at the Zoo

My friend is about to move to Los Angeles, CA. 😦 I told her to pick one activity here in San Francisco that she would like to do before she leaves. She chose the San Francisco Zoo. So we hopped on the train for a little adventure. The weather was great and I had spectacular company.

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Zoos are interesting places. On one hand, animals are intentionally held in captivity and caged. Is it right for Polar Bears  to live in San Francisco?  Yet, zoos provide assistance and rehab to many animals in trouble. Check out this rhino with no horn! Could it defend itself in the wild?

Despite my mixed feelings about the zoo, I really enjoyed my experience. I learned about new animals and got to rediscover classic ones. My top animal of the day…the Anteater. Who knew they were so creepy looking!

Notice my scarf? I finally had a chance to wear my Rainbow Bandana Scarf that I made last year. I almost forgot how much I love the yarn. I think I need some more rainbow variegated yarn in my future.

Heading Down a Forgotten Road

Happy Monday all!

I have finally gotten around to taking pictures of my newest beret! The pattern is Selbu Modern by Kate Gagnon Osborn (free pattern on Ravelry!).  It has been a loooooooong time since I have done any strand color work. Lately, I have been seeing tons of color work patterns on blogs and in magazines. Inspired by others, I chose to head down a road that had been a little forgotten.

With any skill, if you don’t practice it frequently it gets rusty. My brain was feeling a little foggy, so I hit the internet to refresh myself on strand color work. I found this great tutorial  on By Gum, By Golly by Tasha. She has done a great job really fleshing out this technique. Tasha highlights two of the main things that cause wonky looking color strand work: carrying the yarn and tension between floats.

For carrying the yarn,  I used Option #2 for holding my yarn (one strand Continental style and one English version). After a little practice, I noticed the two hand method got me across rows a little faster. Yay! However, realized about half way through my work that I was not holding the main color and contrast colors in the correct hands. Therefore, only me and those of you with expert knitting eyes will note my color dominance variation. Not that big of an issue in the long run. I can live with it as the other option would have been to restart the entire pattern.

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Tasha also had some great tips on keeping the tension in balance. The tip that resonated with me was no to scrunch up your stitches (something I do all the time) on the working needle. This made a really big difference. My floats were the right amount of loose, which kept the piece from puckering.

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from By Gum, By Golly

Well two weeks, several tips, and many glasses of wine later, I finished my Selbu! As you can see I had some tension issues with the contrast color toward the top of the hat. But overall not too shabby.

What were you working on this weekend?

Work In Progress (WIP) Wednesday

I am glad my “stash monster” found a good home. Another positive is that I uncovered a lot of scrap yarn that I had forgotten about. I am embarking on a challenge to create a star-shaped afghan for our spare bedroom. So far the blanket it about 28 1/2 inches across. I am using a Size H hook as some of my scraps are sport  and DK weight.

IMG_5136[1]Keep checking back for progress!
 What are you working on today?

Finished Object Friday: Chunky Plum Cowl

I am changing it up in 2015. From now on I will try to alternate between Friday Funnies and Finished Object (FO) Fridays. It has been tricky for me to keep up with pictures of my knitting. I frequently leave home for work in the dark and then come home to the dark :(. No natural light = crummy pictures.

On a trip to Michael’s, I stumbled upon a new yarn called Paton’s Cobbles Yarn. As per the website,  Patons Cobbles is a  refined “linked” roving yarn that creates a thick-and-thin textured fabric.  When I saw it my thoughts were, ” OOOOOOO that looks fun!” Finding out it was on sale ($6.99 woot woot!), I tossed a couple skeins in my basket.

I had no particular project in mind therefore, I played with a couple of different textures. Due to the yarn already being textures, a simple stitches made it shine the best. Cobbles is a wool/acrylic blend so it is warm, washable, and soft to the touch. The yarn withstood a couple of froggings, which is good if you are a beginner. I ended up using about a skien and a half to knit the cowl on US size 15 needles (circular). The pattern is a simple horizontal ribbing (4 rows knit and 4 rows purl). The whole project took about 2 nights on the couch to complete. Yay bulky yarn!

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Patons Cobbles in Frosted Plum

My cowl came out great! I made it really tall to keep me extra warm. I finished this  before Christmas as I thought I would need it for my trip to the East Coast. That darn news had be thinking I was going to be walking into a blizzard.
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Guess my geography was a little off as it probably got no lower than 45 or 50 degrees. Oh well… into the bin on knitted items it goes. Maybe this winter I will suck it up and voluntarily venture to a really cold place like Lake Tahoe.

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Is going on vacation just so you can wear your knitwear strange?