October Goals a Little Late

I’ve been a poor blogger these past weeks. Having too much fun I guess. Haven’t been reading any blogs either. That’s unusual for me.

So here is what I accomplished in September against my four goals:

1. Finish the center of Lazy Sunday. (Not committing to the border) DONE

2. Finish hand sewing binding on Monster Bash. DONE

3. Cut and prep fabrics for Shipshewana. DONE and packed 

4. Quilt one more UFO that is waiting to be quilted.  Not done. I’ve been knitting instead.

In addition, I finished sewing the binding down on my Christmas Mystery that has been a UFO for a very long time. Not the oldest I have, but close.

What have I been doing instead of quilting? Knitting.

  • I finished the knitting on my Swirl jacket and blocked it. Now I have to sew the one long seam to finish it.
  • I started knitting on fingerless mitt’s for Sloane for Christmas.
  • I tried knitting a sock from patterns on the Internet. But failed in sizing. So I attended a class at Nine Rubies on 9/30 and got some great help. Eventually I’ll try socks again.

So now on to goals for October before it’s half over.

1. Finish my Swirl jacket (Knitting).

2. Make Alaska Wall Hanging at Ships.

3. Make Crossroads top at Ships.

4. Quilt my Asian Sampler top. October’s UFO.

The first three are slam dunks, but number 4 will be a challenge to get that far this month.

Finished Knitting

Friday, I bound off the last three stitches in my Swirl. Friday I also received my blocking wires which I’ll use when I block the piece. First though I need to get all my little thread ends taken care of. It’s much too hot this weekend to work with wool so that will have to wait until it cools off a bit.

I have very little yarn left from the eighth skein. I was beginning to wonder if I would have enough. As it was I had to rip out both my swatches and use most of that yarn.

This was a great project for me to try some new things and learn to read a pattern. I will definitely be making another Swirl from some lighter weight yarn.

Swirl Progress

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted progress. Frankly, I haven’t touched the Swirl since Sunday the 25th. I was in Atlanta all last week on a business trip and I took a ball of yarn, a circular needle, and a pattern to make socks. Much more portable.

So here’s a picture of the Swirl as of the 25th. I’m working on the left front yoke and collar. Although it looks like the picture shows it inside out so it looks like I’m working on the right side.

I’m getting close to finishing the seventh ball of yarn. I hope I have enough of the eighth ball left. I made two swatches from that ball to check my gauge. Worst case, I’ll have to rip out the swatches.

I have to finish the welts on this left side and then repeat this section on the right side. And then I’m done knitting.

Meanwhile, I did start knitting my first pair of socks. I’m using the toe-up magic loop method. I grabbed a pattern from KnitFreedom for Beginner Magic Loop Toe Up socks and so far so good. Although, the sock seems a bit big to me. I did measure my foot and followed the guide. I turned the heel on the flight home from Atlanta.

I figure even if the first sock doesn’t fit I’ve gained the experience. I can always rip it out and start again.

This is the yarn and needle that I purchased in the Yarn shot at Threads of Time in Danville, IN last March while on retreat.

This past weekend, I did actually sew a bit on Lazy Sunday. That post will be next along with my September goals.

Knit a Long Week 5

Not much sewing going on here. I haven’t turned either of my machines on for at least two weeks. I’m determined to make as much progress on this Swirl while the Knit a Long is still in full swing. I see complicated parts in my near future. 🙂

At the end of four weeks of knitting, I have finished Welt 25. This also finishes the inner collar and lapels. I’m about halfway through the fifth skein of yarn at this point.

You can see in the picture how the body narrows towards the top. That’s the inner collar and and will fold back to form the lapels. It’s all starting to make sense to me.

The next few welts will start adding stitches to form the sleeves. Scary stuff for me.

What I learned this week:

  • I can drop a stitch and recover from it with my crochet hook.
  • If I just do exactly what the instructions say (and trust), it will be okay.

Knit a Long Week 4

Not much quilting going on here. I’ve been down with sinusitis for the past week and laid low on the weekend. Great for knitting though. photo

I’ve finished Welt 13 and another skein of yarn. 

I’m ready to begin the decreases for the Inner Collar. But, I’m stumped by the directions so I posted on Ravelry hoping someone would be able to help. There was a Coat of Many Colors KAL thread and I read through all the posts which helped some. When I posted my concern, I was lucky enough to have Sandra herself respond and between us we figured it out.

Somehow the direction to slip the “last” 113 stitches, for me turns out to be the “next” 113 stitches. But Sandra assured me it made no difference as long as I end up with my new starting point in the middle of section F. So I’m happily moving forward now.

What I learned this week:

  • How to break and then rejoin the yarn without fear.
  • Read and reread and question the directions if they don’t make sense.

Knit a Long Week 3

At the end of week 3, I’ve just finished row 5 of Welt 8. Here’s what it looks like today.

And last night I started the third ball of yarn. So I’m averaging a ball a week so far. 8 balls; 8 weeks?? We’ll see.

I’m definitely starting to feel the decrease in stitches. I’m down to about 35 minutes per row.

What I learned this week:

  • At our group last Tuesday, I learned about safety lines or threads. I hadn’t see this before but it makes sooo much sense. It was actually shown on a different project altogether. But isn’t this what these groups are for? Sharing and learning.

Knit a Long Week 2

At the end of week 1, I’m just about to start the 2nd row of Welt 4 for my Swirl. And, I’ve just finished my first skein of yarn. This is what my Swirl looks like right now. The color is too light from the flash but it shows my progress better.

It’s taking me about 40 minutes to complete a row. And, I’m averaging 2 rows per night during the week. I did spend about 5 hours knitting on Sunday while catching up on some TV on my computer. Not much watching; mostly listening.

I’m about to join a new skein using the splice method. I’ve never done this before, so I’ll report how it went later. Off to the second meeting of our Knit a Long later today.

Lessons learned this week:

  • Hold tight to the ends of the needles when adjusting bulk. I dropped about 20 stitches but luckily I was able to get them back on the needle before they unraveled.

What Have I Done

Instead of quilting, two weeks ago I found a Knit a Long at a LYS, Nine Rubies in San Mateo. The book we are all knitting from is Knit, Swirl! By Sandra McIver. I just love this style and couldn’t resist.

The group meets every Tuesday for the next six weeks. We’ll see how this goes. I am a very sporadic knitter and I stick to scarves and maybe a hat or baby blanket. So this is very ambitious for me.

The picture on the cover is the pattern I’m making, Coat of Many Colors. Only I’m using a single color, Cascade 220 Superwash in Heather (purple) on a size 6 Addi Turbo 40″ circular needle. It’s knit as all one circular piece with only one seam to finish.

As I post this, I’m about to start row 7 which will finish the first welt. All in purl. The next welt will all be knit. I started with 569 stitches. The good news is working from the outside in, you decrease 16 stitches every welt, so it will eventually be more manageable.

Things I’ve learned so far:

  • Count, count and recount. And then count again. One of the ladies in the group who started her Swirl in May is having to rip out many, many, many rows because somewhere along the way she skipped some decreases. We were so sad for her.
  • Casting on using two skeins of yarn so I didn’t have to estimate how much tail to have for so many stitches. Very clever.
  • Joining the round after Row 3 was so much easier than trying to join right after casting on.
  • How critical the swatch is. I started with a 7 and while the welts (rows) were good, the stitch count was way off. So I moved down to a 6 because the welts will expand on their own. And I can give them a nudge when blocking if necessary.