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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Cast-on Monday (oops, Tuesday): Howl Cowl, Very Orange Hoodie, and swatches

Between camping out on two consecutive weekends for dog agility trials and an October snowstorm with concomitant power outages, I missed a whole week of posts!  I’ll do my best to catch up this week.

Since last we chatted, I have cast on for two new projects:

My “Howl Cowl” is for Halloween … which, thanks to the aforementioned power outages has not happened yet, so I have another week to finish and still be “on time.”  I’m using KP Stroll Tonal in “Foilage” and Gloss Fingering in “Black.” Absolutely LOVE the pattern and how the cowl is coming out.  I even love the bobbles!

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Eli’s Blue Hoodie has been outgrown and then some — not too surprising, considering I made it in 2007. Eli desires an orange replacement, “just the same but bigger.” His wish is my knitted command — I scored some lovely soft bulky-weight Duchess in Very Orange, for a brand-new Very Orange Hoodie.

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I also cast on for two different swatches, for items I will submit to Classic Elite for consideration for their Winter 2012 booklets.  I have high hopes for my colorwork capelet in Fresco and my lacy/reversible scarf/stole in Wool Bamboo, but I can’t tell you much more than that (or share photos) just yet.

 

 

Cast-on Monday: Baba Yaga Mittens and Typist Mitts

This week I cast on two new projects: both for hands other than mine.

The first is a pair of Baba Yaga Mittens, made of Knit Picks Imagination in “Wicked Witch.”  These are for my friend Meg, to match her Flared Lace Smoke Ring.  She really wanted the mittens to be in the exact same yarn and colorway, but did not want stranded colorwork.  I thought that single-stranded imagination would not make the warm and durable mittens she desired.  The solution turned out to be simple: hold the Imagination double-stranded to simulate worsted-weight yarn, and make classic plain-stockinette mittens.  I decided to follow the Chicken Leg Mittens pattern (FREE! on Ravelry), and I was extremely pleased with the novel thumb-shaping technique.  The mittens worked up so fast — I was done just a few days after I started working on them.

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The second is a pair of fingerless, palmless Typist Mitts, using my own pattern: Photog Mitts.  My mom asked for a pair of these some time ago, but we only just recently got around to selecting yarn.  Since the pattern uses only 150 yards, we splurged on some gorgeous Malabrigo Silky Merino. I’m done with the first mitt, and I’m nearly done with the second — I’m holding off to check fit on my mom’s hands before I do the i-cord bind-off and finger loops.

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Cast-On Monday: Princess Wander’s Cape, Hooligan Pixie Hat, and Sept 2011 Sock Club Socks

This week I cast on two projects destined to be store samples for the Hub Mills Factory Store. Hub Mills is the outlet store for Classic Elite, who published myKudzu and Drop Everything patterns via their free web-letter.   I’m lucky enough to be their newest employee — I’ll be working two Saturdays a month, starting after Thanksgiving when the store opens in it’s new Billerica, MA, location.  I’m so excited to be joining this group of talented knitters.  (A major “thank you!” to my friend C who recommended me for the position!) In addition to helping staff the store, I’ll be teaching classes some Saturdays — more info to come!

The first project is a cabled cape from Wrap Style: Wandering Aran Fields by Norah Gaughan.  I’m using CEY Princess in Peacock.  Princess is a great blended yarn — Wool, Rayon, Nylon, Cashmere, and Angora.  It’s super soft, but has great stitch definition.  I’ve cast on the 332 stitches for the larger size and I’m done with the ribbing.  I found out after ten rows that I was 1 st off. Rather than re-do the ribbing, I spent three hours dropping down every other row and changing knits to purls and vice versa.  It probably would have been faster to rip out and re-do, but I couldn’t face all that ribbing again!

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The second sample for the store is cabled hat from the Bounty pattern booklet: Hooligan by Susan Mills.  I’m using CEY Montera in a beautiful olive green.  This llama-wool blend is aran weight — perfect for a warm, cozy hat.

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I also cast on the latest “Notorious Sock Knitters” shipment — but we’re still in spoiler season for that, so I won’t post a photo just now.  If you’re curious, you can click through to a photo for my Sept 2011 Sock Club Socks.

Cast-on Monday: Regal Firefly Shrug, Damask Potion, and Pinky Pink Rose Ruffled Scarf

Oh dear, cast-on-itis hit hard this week!

It all started Monday, when I drove to Andover to teach my Steek This class. I was also signed up to staff the brand-spanking-new “Knitting 911” hour right before my class. I thought to myself, Self, you should knit on a project using Unforgettable Yarns yarn, while you are being the Knitting 911 Knitter.   So, I printed out the pattern for the Ruffled and Ruched Scarf, wound up a skein of heathered-pink Cascade 220, and cast on right then and there.

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Then, I went on a weekend knitting retreat to Maine with some awesome knitting friends.  I had a terrible time choosing which WIPs and potential WIPs to take along …. so I didn’t choose.  I brought piles and piles of yarn and projects and patterns — as if it were a month-long knitting retreat with a TARDIS to give us several extra years of knitting time.  While there, I worked on about half a dozen projects, including my Flurry sweater prototype.  I also cast on for my Damask shawl (largest version) with new Stroll Glimmer in Potion.  I absolutely love it.  It’s hard to see the sparkle in these photos, but please be sure that the Stellina is shiny in just the right amount, as well as being unbelievably soft to the touch.

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When I arrived home late Sunday night, there was a Knit Picks box waiting for me!  This box had six balls of Capra DK in Regal — destined to make a Firefly Shrug for my mom.  I have to scoot on this project, because she needs it for a wedding in mid-October.  I cast on today!

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Cast-on Monday: a pansy and a wristlet

Last Monday, I didn’t have any new projects to talk about! The horror! I went a whole week without casting on anything new.  How tragic. This week I made up for this lack by casting on TWO new projects, using yarn I bought at the Hub Mills sticker sale.

Here’s my start of Panzee, in CEY Cotton Classic. I’ve never actually made a washcloth before, and I just love the Pansy Cloth pattern (by designer Theresa L. Jones).

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I also cast on for my Hellebores Wristlets, in CEY Silky Alpaca Lace. As far as I can tell, I’ll be able to make the wristlets AND the hat from a single ball of the super-soft very-purple yarn.  This project came about because the designer of Hellebores, Anne Hanson, was chosen for a designer JAL by the 52 in 52 group on ravelry.

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Cast-On Monday: Maluka, Steek This, and Kumara Two-Color Cowl

I weathered a bout of castonitis this week, starting three new projects.  Fortunately for my WIP list, they are all smallish projects. In fact, one of them is already done, and another is an i-cord bind-off away from completion.

Last week Monday I cast on for my Maluka, the August KAL in the Lace Knitters group.  This pattern falls directly into my current favorite category: one-skein fingering-weight lace shawlettes.  This one begins with a sideways-knit lace edging, with the body picked up along the full length.  The gently curve is achieved with short-rows.  I used a skein of Three Irish Girls McClellan Fingering that I had left-over from a design project.  I am in love with the pattern AND the yarn for this project, so it’s no surprise that I’m almost done.  I started binding off this morning, and plan to finish tonight.

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I also cast on for a new design project: Steek This, a colorwork coffee-cup cozy for a steeking class I’ll be teaching in the fall.  My idea is that it will be less scary to cut a teeny-tiny colorwork project like a coffee-cup cozy, instead of making a whole colorwork cardigan and then taking scissors to it.  I used Palette held double to simulate worsted-weight yarn, and a classic Fair Isle pattern from a stitch dictionary.  I finished the knitting, steeked, and put on the button bands in a single evening.  Alas, the prototype is a smidge too small, and the button band flares.  I’ll fix both those problems in the next prototype.

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My third new project this week is another design project: Kumara Two-Color Cowl. I’m upgrading my son’s Two-Color Cowl to adult size, using gorgeous soft Kumara from Classic Elite.  This pattern is destined for the CEY Web-letter — look for it in the fall.  I’ll be looking for test knitters in a week or two.  If you want to learn how to knit flat in the round with cables …. post below!

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