Tuesday, May 7, 2019

FO: Carol's Mittens

Pattern: Nagu Selbu
Yarn: Adriafil Sierra Andina in Light Gray and White
Needles: US Size 1 (magic loop method)

These mitten are just so perfect. Sitting down and knitting a pair of fair isle mittens has always been something I've wanted to do but set aside for other projects. When my dissertation advisor told me she would be retiring this year, I knew this was the perfect project to give to her. These mitten took some time to knit (especially as I tend to be a little slow when it comes to colorwork), but the end result is just what a I wanted: something unique, long-lasting, and beautiful. My advisor has given so much of her time to helping me through my program, it felt like the least I could do.

The (free!) pattern is extra special given the story behind it. The pattern comes from the designer's Norwegian mother-in-law's paternal grandmother's hand knit mittens. It's always such a treat when two things I really love: history and knitting, come together. 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

WIP: Finding My 3-Color Fade

Pattern: Find Your Fade
Fog,  Freyja, and Cotton Candy
Needle: US Size 3

I was recently in Oxford, UK for a conference and luckily stayed in an AirBnB right next to the Oxford Yarn Store. It was my first time presenting my work at a conference, so as a reward to myself I purchased some locally-dyed, super gorgeous yarn to attempt a 3-color Find Your Fade Shawl. 
(And when I wasn't at the yarn store or at the conference, I was exploring the sites around Oxford, including the scene of a Harry Potter movie :) . )

So many people have knit beautiful versions of the shawl, but a lot have expressed just how HUGE it is. There's a lot to be said for having a scarf that basically functions as a blanket, but for this time, I'm hoping to get a more easily-wearable shawl. 

My current plan is to just omit sections 5 and 6 of the pattern and do the first color melt at section 7. However I've also seen that some people have also reduced the number of lace repeats. I figured I'd get to the end of section 4 and actually sit down and do the math to make sure it comes out right. 

I've also decided the gif-ing my knitting progress is absolutely something I should always do. 

FO: First (Complete) Pair of Socks

Yarn: Schoppel Wolle Zauerball Crazy in "Mars Experiment"
Needle: US Size 2 (Circular)

I've only knit socks once (more correctly, I've only knit *one* sock once and gave up knitting the second). I tend to make them too big and unfortunately that happened again with this pair. I made this pair for my boyfriend for his birthday and while I succeeded in making them in his favorite colors, they grew sooooo much during blocking. While they may not be an everyday sock, he will hopefully get some use out of them when it's super cold out. 

I used to have a problem where every hat I knit also somehow came out too large. Hopefully with a bit more practice I can also get my knit socks down to size. 

The pattern itself is great. I knit the medium size, though I should have knit the small. The Zauerball Crazy line of self striping yarn can give either very symmetrical or very non-symmetrical results with socks -- I got pretty lucky this time! 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

FO: Marte Vest

Pattern: Marte
Size knit: 40"
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Loft in 'Faded Quilt' (4.25 skeins)
Needles: US Size 3, 4, 5, 6
Ravelry Project Page

I had always wanted to try out Brooklyn Tweed's patterns and yarn, and when I saw a call for test knitters for their Winter '19 collection, I jumped at the chance. This test knit was a bit of a challenge, but I'm glad for it as I tend to knit very simple patterns. The cables took me a while to get used to and unfortunately, Loft kept breaking on me at very stressful moments (i.e., mid-bind off). This yarn is quite expensive so I was a little surprised. 

I was hoping with blocking the yarn would toughen up, and it feels like it did. The fabric got much softer but also actually felt sturdier. 

I wish I had knit one size down -- it's a bit wide on me. Lesson learned (for the 500th time): block your swatch. 

I made a couple of modifications to the sweater. I only seamed the sides down to the start of the ribbing. I also chose not to sew the turtleneck down, though I may end up doing that. I bound off the turtleneck using Jeny's stretchy bind off and it's not quite as neat-looking as I would like. 

Another milestone reached this week is that I successfully defended my dissertation prospectus :) I am now officially a PhD candidate, not just a student.