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.

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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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Cast-On Monday: Minotaur Obsession

I have been “good” this week, working hard on my “neglected project KAL” target (a lap-size Yggdrasil, now about 95% done!) and a sample for one of my designs (to-be-published in the Fall/Winter 2012 collection from Classic Elite).  I also finished up a pair of socks, and rewarded myself by knitting on my Flyllerd only when I had completed at least one repeat of both the blanket and the sample.   Both of those projects are definitely “penance knitting” right now.

So, last night, I was feeling cast-on-itis coming on, and I headed it off by starting a project (stay with me here!) that would be quick to knit and use yarn I already had.  I have a few odd balls of discontinued or otherwise unwanted cashmere (YUM!) that I bought on deep discount at Classic Elite.  I assigned projects to most of the skeins a while back, so all I had to do was browse my queue and select one that I felt like working on.  I chose Obsession, which is a bulky-weight yarn comprised of many (six?) skinny two-ply yarns held together.  It’s pretty!  I’m making a Minotaur Cowl with it.  I love mobius cowls, and this pattern will allow me to keep knitting until the yarn is all gone, then bind-off sort of as an afterthought with the loops on the needles.  (I think that will work, anyway.)

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Can I just say, knitting with cashmere is DIVINE.

CO Monday: Sea Drift Toque, Happy Green Fyllyrd, Jan 2012 Mystery Lace KAL

There is nothing like a big UFO purge and Ravelry Queue clean-up to make me really want to cast on something new! 🙂

First up: a Drift Toque from my Christmas copy of Weekend Hats. I’m using some stashed Happy Feet DK — the color is gorgeous, and a little hard to capture with my camera.  I love the up-down cables and the sideways short-row construction.  I opted to use the called-for needle size (instead of going down a size, which I usually do, thanks to my loose knitting habits).  I have a huge head, and thought this might be enough to make the hat the right size for me.  Alas, it looks like it might be coming out a touch small … but, I think I can add an extra “wedge” of hat + short rows and make it fit.

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Next, I’m doing a Fyllyrd as part of the January KAL  in the Beginning Lace Knitters group.  I’m using my newly liberated Dream-in-Color Smooshy in the “Happy Forest” colorway.  I have already used as much yarn as I frogged … SO the right decision.  I just finished the first nupps repeat, and I am really enjoying it. If it looks like a neat pattern, join in the fun!  This is an open KAL that will be running all month (and, usually, afterwards as people finish up).

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I am using my other skein of DIC Smooshy (“Dusky Aurora”) for a different KAL (this one closed yesterday, so it’s too late to join in).  SusannaIC’s January Mystery KAL features nupps, beads, and a cast-on of 300+ stitches.  Fun times!

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Cast-On Monday: Sheep Head Hat, Yoga Socks, and two design projects

What with all the ornament-making in December, I didn’t cast on for much else.  Two things I can’t really talk about yet — both are design projects, and both use heavily-modified stitch patterns from Reversible Knitting, but other than that I can’t really tell you much right now.

The projects I can tell you about are fun though!  One is a hat for me, using the super-soft Vail I’ve been eyeing since it first landed in the Hub Mills Store.  It seemed just perfect for the Sheep Heid Hat (by Kate Davies).  Never mind that Vail comes in only six hues, and the hat calls for nine.  Or that the fiber is totally different.  We shall see how this turns out … there will be much adjusting of the color chart to make it all work, but with a little luck and perseverance, I hope to have a Sheep Head Hat of my very own. Isn’t Vail pretty??
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I also started a pair of socks for my Mother-in-Law.  She asked my husband if it was too late to use the “knit4Uxme” gift card I gave her for Christmas 2010, and he assured her I would be delighted to knit for her! Of course, he was right.  I had been a little worried that it was too weird of a gift, but now I can just be happy to give her the socks she wants.  I showed her some of my sock yarn stash, and she chose a purple self-striping bamboo/wool/nylon blend.  I settled on making Monkey Socks (by Cookie A.), but I’m calling them Yoga Socks because that is the setting they will be worn in.  My MIL told me how the other ladies in her yoga class all have fun, colorful socks to keep warm … I’m hoping that hers will really set them talking!  I actually finished these late last night, grafting the toes at an impromptu craft party at a friend’s house. I’ll show off the FO photos on Friday, but for now here’s the pretty-pretty yarn.

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