wips: lassie and GD + stash addition

The Lass socks are still happening. I thiiink I might not be much of a lace person right now, as I'm a little too nonchalant to make sure the pattern's made as intended. It's just too comforting a think to know that the sock will still be perfectly wearable, even if a yarn-over is off by a couple stitches, or some diamonds don't line up perfectly.

Blanket update! GD's been growing quite a bit! They're at 30cm now (about 12in). I've run out of worsted yarn, so the smaller quantities of fingering weight have been held double for some of the more recent stripes. I've been making a lot of works for shop for the sole purpose of using the leftover yarn in the blanket, so many things are in stock and ready to ship when ordered!

If you have any yarn scraps (anywhere between 1-25m) sitting around your home that you want to get rid of, don’t hesitate to let me know! I’d be happy to repay the cost of postage to you as thanks. At the rate I’m knitting regular projects with my tiny stash, this blanket might not be done for another...decade, so I’d love to help take care of your yarn stash too! Acrylics are preferred but I won’t say no to animal fibers or wool-blends. GD’s already a healthy mix of both so I won’t mind at all. Just no cotton please!
Speaking of stash yarn, I went out and bought a pair of skeins for my first shawl pattern. I’ve been thinking a lot about which yarn to use for a shawl I intend to wear often, and while the fine wools at our LYS’s would be a joy to knit, dryer-ability would have to be the key for me. Heartland seemed like the best bet for now. I’m planning to use the Stingray pattern by Evan Plevinski. This pattern's been sitting in my queue for months now and am excited to start on this once Lassie’s finished (let’s just disregard the existence of my Regia Handpainted sock for now…I'm still trying to forgive its frustrating splitty yarn after all this time).
So this concludes my personal knitting update for now. It has really been one hell of a stashbusting month for me. I’ve been piling up some charity knits from the more obnoxious looking yarns people have been donating to me over time, expect a update about those once I’ve successfully eliminated that stash.

Foray into Crochet + Stash-busting

Yep, still stash-busting that inherited yarn. On Friday, I decided to finally learn to crochet something more than a simple slip-stitch border. I learned about single crochet by name, took to Youtube, and got right to it. After figuring out single crochet I wondered if there was such a thing as double crochet and repeated the process with another skein of my ugliest yarn. Come this afternoon, I'm well on my way to completing a big ol' crocheted circle/hexagon. Thanks Youtube! And thanks most of all to the kind crafters who took the time to make such clear instructional videos!

These massive swatches (well the rectangular ones anyway) measure something like 15" across each side, which happens to be great for a shelter cat or small dog. The lovely Rokoknits commented on my post about this on Instagram suggesting I look into a local shelter that would appreciate this donation, and I think it's just what I'll do. Thankfully cats don't really care about what color their blankies are so I'll have no qualms about donating such garish colors.

What you see here is my stash of 'free' yarn--that is, yarn that isn't attached to a project or plan of any kind.Those tinier wads of yarn on the very left are all cottons, which i'll go ahead and make into a washcloth for personal use. The bright pink cake at the top was given to me without a label so I'm unsure of what exactly it is. It might be Lion Brand sock-ease? If I don't suck it up and make some plain stockinette socks, they might just end up being crocheted held double in another little cat blanket or something.
It's really pleasing for me to have a system put together to handle the yarn stash. The once untouchable pastel acrylics are going to a good cause, the cottons will soon go to good use around the house, and any scraps left over from shop or personal projects will be food for GD.
The fantastic and creative Marie of Frogged Designs made it very easy to choose what to do with my sock-yarn scraps, so I'm just letting that small stash grow for my very own Operation: Sock Yarn.


For those who are curious: I used this tutorial by theknitwitch to learn single crochet, and this tutorial by Andrea Lemire to learn double.
This page on The Purl Bee helped me figure out circular crochet, so I recommend it.

wip: The Great Devourer

Last week, I was browsing scrap yarn blanket patterns after looking at the overfull yarn basket in my room (as you do), and found just the thing I wanted to try out for myself—Joan L. Hamer’s Mindless Knitting, TV Watching, Scrap-User Upper Afghan.
I didn’t have a needle large or long enough, and I certainly didn’t have enough scraps lying around for an entire blanket. But I casted on. It took 20 minutes to do it, but I casted on and just got started. Since then, this project has really grown!

This project has been really difficult to put down, so at one point I’ve had to lock it in a different room so I can get other projects finished on time. But we are quickly becoming very good friends though! He is—or more accurately, they are, since this project contains MULTITUDES—always here for me during reading time, and is always happy to eat up whatever worsted weight bits and scraps I dig up while doing my cleaning. Which is why I’m going to name my new pet GD, short for Great Devourer.
As of today, GD is about 8” tall and easily at least 85” around (He’s a big ol’ tube shape for now). I’m looking forward to how much GD will grow when I next post about them.

How about you? Do you have a scrap busting project on standby for what’s left of your primary projects? Any plans for one soon? Do tell in the comment section!

fo: bapsi's first pullover

This has been such an indecisive project for me toward the end. Picking the pattern and yarn was a breeze. getting the knitting done? that hardly took a month to (mostly-will explain later) complete. But photographing it? Declaring it truly done? That’s been a completely different story.

pattern : Ladies Classic Raglan Pullover
yarn : Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in Nature’s Brown
needle : US 7, 8 [4.5 mm, 5.0 mm]
size : 44"
I finished this sweater in late 2013. Yep. Twenty. THIRTEEN. In November. I hadn’t taken any FO photos, so Jason and I decided to just have a small forest hike/photoshoot while I was over in England. We did hike, yes. We saw miles of forest. We were just a 20 minute walk (if that) away from the woods on any given day. I stayed there for 6 whole months. Still no photoshoot, still no post about this being finished.
The reason for that is tiny, but a nagging one—

I couldn’t decide how long I really wanted these sleeves, so I left that bit of yarn hanging..just in case. Over a year and about 12,000 miles of travel later, I decided to just relax and finally make the decision. The sleeves are absolutely fine, and I’ll just let them be.
World, Bapsi’s first pullover. Bapsi’s first pullover, world.

BFP was a joy to knit if I remember it well. I felt very proud to have such a large WIP in my lap for those three or so weeks. I did have to redo the very beginning bit several times before getting it just right, but it was to be expected since I’d never made a sweater before. The rest was absolutely simple—just one big stockinette tube after another, with very gentle shaping around the waist and sleeves.

It lead me to learn about just how not-a-big-deal sweaters and larger garments really are at their core. It’s the same concept we do with hats and socks and the like. You increase sometimes, you decrease sometimes, you pick up stitches every now and then. The only difference between this and a hat is that you’re working with a much larger stitch count. And maybe you’re seaming a lot more than you might be used to (this particular pullover was seamless—thanks Jane Richmond!), but the core of it's really simple.
If you’ve never knit anything like this before, I highly recommend Jane Richmond’s pullover pattern. The way she’s handled sizing is super approachable and easy to read. I even printed copies of the worksheet well in advance because I’m confident I will knit from this pattern again and again in the future.

As for the Lassie sock, it's practically knitting itself! There are some parts that I completely ruin the pretty lace pattern but I'm just gonna accept those little mess-ups and move on. It's amazing enough for me to see a sock happening in my hands. I can't wait to see these done and in action. Already thinking about which yarn to knit with next.

feature: simple seed stitch coasters projects

It's been a real pleasure to see what people can do with my little Seed Stitch Coaster pattern! It's about as simple as a knitting pattern can possibly get, but the excitement is enough to hopefully offset any anxiety about publishing more complex ones in the future.
Here are some projects recently finished using my Simple Seed Stitch Coaster design from last year.
This photo belongs to Freshwind on Ravelry.
Freshwind's idea for making a coaster for both her mug and her Chemex was a great one. The orange yarn color complements the brewer's wooden feature really well! Here's her project page here.
This photo belongs to Rumbleforth on Ravelry.
I love that Rumbleforth made a set with colors that coordinate really well together. This looks like the pattern served its purpose well as a stash-busting opportunity here. You can find more information on her project here in her project page.
This photo belongs to Amyupnorth on Ravelry.
These coasters here were made with two strands of Brooklyn Tweed held together, and with a needle size down for a slightly smaller gaauge. I think this made for a really pretty effect! You can see more photos for yourself on her project page here.

I look forward to seeing more little projects popping up on my design's page in the future! If you have some worsted (or even fingering) weight scraps lying around, why don't you bust them with this quick knit?
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