Cast-On Monday: It’s Been Too Long!

The 5th challenge of The Fiber Factor was all-consuming for me … lots of new techniques to conquer, and leagues of hand-sewing and hand-embroidery to do before I could rest.  My fingers bled, my eyes crossed: my piece was a harsh mistress :). One thing that kept me at my task was knowing that I had not one, not two, but THREE mystery KALs lined up to start right when the project was due. Yippee!  Naturally I started them all as quickly as I could. We shall not mention that I already have the specs (and a bit of bling) for Challenge #6.

First up: the RHK Mystery KAL by Sara Elizabeth Kellner.  RHK stands for Rabbit Hole Knits — Sara designs adorable stuffed toys to knit, and this seemed like a great opportunity to make one.  This MKAL is free — all you have to do is join her forum.  I’m using some left-over Tosh Vintage in Rosewood:

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Next up: the Autumn Mystery KAL by Susanna IC.  Right now the pattern is still $3, but the price will go up as clues are released.  Buy now to get the best price! 🙂  I’m using two skeins of Tosh Sock in Mare and the browner beads:

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Last but not least, the Morticia Halloween KAL 2013 by Boo Knits.  I’ve been dying to do a Boo Knits pattern, and I had this skein of Alfar just begging for a good use.  I’m doing the “two kids of beads” option, making the larger shawl:

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Cast-on Monday: Foxglove Cloche and Poodle for Hire

My Monday knitting group took a field trip to Another Yarn in Winchester, MA.  They had some of the new Madelinetosh colors, and I found that Foxglove (in Tosh DK) just had to come home with me.

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I’ve already turned it into this adorable hat — which still needs a ribbon and a button to be finished:

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I also (finally) cast on for the poodle I owe to the winner of the Jasper raffle — I made a leg, then frogged it, because it was HUGE. I ended up un-plying the Pipsqueak I’m using into three individual plies, and using just one ply to made the leg again. It worked, I’m happy with the results: “just” three more legs, two sides of the body, the head, and the tail to go. 🙂

Pipsqueak:

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Cast-On Monday: What are YOU working on?

Guess how many new projects I cast on in the last few weeks?  Other than my little pink pig, zero.

I have a good excuse though! I’ve been working hard the last week or so on getting proposals ready for two different calls for submission.  For Classic Elite’s Spring 2013 call, I’m submitting a cute little cardigan in Provence, and a classic triangular shawl in Soft Linen.  Meanwhile, Knit Picks put out a call for their very first IDP collection for Late Winter/Spring 2013.  For that call, I’m submitting a lacy short-sleeved top in Cotlin, and a short-row crescent lace shawl in Alpaca Cloud.  Of course I would be Super Excited if my submissions are picked up, but I’m also aware that the  deadlines will be all on top of each other.  In the unlikely event that all four proposals are accepted, I will need my needles clear and ready to go.

So, here’s my question to you, dear reader:

What have YOU cast on in the  last two weeks or so? What new and fabulous projects are rocking your needles?

Cast-on Monday: AMS KAL 2012

I have swatched my Malabrigo Lace in “Olive,” with Amber TR beads (size 8):

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I was at an agility trial all weekend, but my friend Chris and I cast on for the “Anniversary Mystery Shawl 2012” by GoddessKnits in a tent, using Chris’s i-phone to display the pattern. I did about a dozen rows by lantern-light before turning in for the night :).

I believe there are still a few days to sign up for this KAL, if you are interested … hint hint! 🙂

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Cast-on Monday: Knit Your Own Dog

I started a special project over the weekend … something I’ve been stalling on, because it is so important to get it right. I’m making a custom knit-dog for a friend who lost her dog recently, without warning.  My “agility family” held a raffle to help cover the vet bills, and I donated a custom-knit dog.  Someone commented to me that they hoped the winner would give it back to the person who lost her dog — and I said, well heck, I can just knit her one regardless. I didn’t want the winner of the raffle to feel like they had to give up their prize.

But, the dog in question is a mixed-breed dog — none of the patterns in the NYOD book are perfect.  Faced with the daunting task of memorialized a beloved companion, with his own unique look, I have waited and pondered and waited some more.  Last night I settled on the right “base” pattern, that I will modify (mostly in color) to achieve a look close to the much-missed original.  Wish me luck!

Cast-On Monday: Rodekool de Kool

I was really, really good this week, and only cast on one new project! 🙂

For a while I’ve had Rodekool in my queue — it’s so interesting-looking, plus I’ve always wanted to try a pattern using brioche stitch.  I visited a new-to-me LYS last week on a field trip with my knitting group, and I picked up the ball of Mini Mochi I needed to make this pattern.

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Lately when I go yarn shopping, I troll through my queue ahead of time, and choose a project in each weight of yarn that I’m likely to buy. That way if I see some yarn I love while at the LYS, I know how much to get.  It prevents some “oh pretty” purchases, and means I do eventually get yarn for at least some of the patterns I’ve queued. On this trip, I also picked up Mirasol Nuna for a Greenery Beret — yum!  I did not find the right lace-weight for My Heaven, alas.

I cast on for my very own Rodekool on Wednesday, and the first few rows took every single ounce of my concentration.  I have not be so challenged by a pattern in a long time!  I think perhaps my first go at brioche need not have been combined with lace … but I did master the pattern, and by the third or fourth time through the lace brioche pattern repeat, I understood the underlying logic of the stitches and was motoring right along.  I’m enjoying the knit, and the developing scarflet is gorgeous.

Cast-On Monday: Parseval in the Clover, Ashton Sweet Pea, RSC Jan 2012 Not-Sock

Here I go, casting on new projects like a crazy person.  I had a good reason though! I’m sure I did. I think.

First up: Parseval in the Clover

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I finished the knitting on a sweater-for-me project, and although it was blocking and lacked three buttons, I gave myself permission to swatch for my long-planned Parseval.  Except, I wanted to swatch in the round, because the garment is worked mostly in the round … and when I decided how much to cast on, I realized that it was almost enough for a sleeve … so in a way, I’m not swatching.  I cast on for a sleeve willy-nilly with just a guess at the correct needle and garment size. I will wash & block the sleeve when it reaches 6 inches or so, but this is unsteady ground for me.  I have learned, however, that flat swatches aren’t necessarily accurate when planning in-the-round garments, so there it is.  I love the yarn (Gloss DK), and the pattern isn’t too terrible (4×1 rib, mostly).  I really want the finished sweater, and all the knitting becomes interesting towards the end, so I should be good to go.

Next up: Ashton Shawlette

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I love this KAL choice — it’s the Feb project in the Beginning Lace Knitters group. There’s nothing super-special about the pattern, but it is well balanced and extremely well written.  The designer has written a lovely tutorial that new lace knitters should find exceptionally helpful, and she’s providing it for free.  I’ve already used it to help a new-to-lace knitter get started.  For my own Ashton, I’m pleased to say it seems like my unloved ball of Sweet Pea (from the 2010 Socks that Rock sock club) has finally found its true calling as a simple lace shawlette.

Third, I also cast on the “not a sock” pattern from the first shipment of the 2012 Socks that Rock sock club.  This year, the good folks at Blue Moon Fiber Arts are providing two patterns (as they have for the last two years), but one of the two patterns is not a sock!  Due to spoilage issues, I can’t say any more about the pattern or color, except that I am IN LOVE with both. Of course I had to cast on.

Cast-On Monday: C-ATCH William

On Friday night, I realized I really, really wanted to make my friend Julie an itty bitty knitted Scottie dog from “Knit Your Own Dog.”  Her (real) Scottie, William, was up for a big agility title this weekend.  I cast on late Friday, and after a busy day at agility on Saturday I knit for about 8 hours to finish.  William earned his C-ATCH on Sunday — hooray! — and I was able to give Julie a mini-Scottie to celebrate the accomplishment.  I’ll give more details in another post, but here’s a little preview:

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Cast-On Monday: Wicked Abstract, Deep Water Echo, Mystery Archangel

Because sometimes I simply cannot help myself, this week I cast on for some shawls.  Not one, not two, but THREE new projects.  Ack.

First up: CEY’s popular Abstract with some gorgeous cashmere yarn I picked up at such a discount that I am ashamed to admit it in public.  I have 136 grams of Wicked, and I am making the softest most beautiful-est shawl/scarf ever. It is completely spoiling me for all other yarns forever, because knitting with cashmere is like … well, like nothing else I’ve ever knit with. Yum.  The work is humming right along — should be a quick project to finish.

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Later in the week, I got really impatient waiting for the next clue on a mystery lace KAL to come out, so (logically) I cast on for a Echo Flower shawl using some Shadow Tonal in Deep Waters.  I’d originally meant the yarn to be something else, but then changed my mind.  So this doesn’t really count as a new project, right?

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This did not cure my KAL waiting blues however, and after seeing so many gorgeous lace-weight projects go up on the KAL thread, I caved in and bought some Malabrigo Lace at the shop, and cast on last night, and finished the first clue.  You can see where this is headed … I finished Clue 3 on the original mystery today, and I’m halfway through clue 2 on the lace-weight one.  Help?  Also: we will not discuss the four skeins of Tosh Light that are already destined for three different lace projects.  Will not!

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