Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 in Review

I don't know that I'll finish my only(!) current WIP before Friday, so I'll do the list today.

Projects completed:
4 Afghans/blankets (two last year)
2 Cat things
3 Cozies
5 Hats (two last year)
4 Mitten pairs (five last year)
2 Pillows (one last year)
1 Scarf (two last year)
5 Shawls  (four last year)
1 pair Slippers
27 pair Socks (twenty-three last year)
17 Toys/amigurumi (three last year)

I was surprised to discover that I knit more socks this year.

I knit 14.3 miles of yarn in 2016.  That's two miles more than last year.
I crocheted 1122 yards (less than last year).
I spun 915 yards, which was more than last year.

My favorite new yarn was Regia's Arne & Carlos self-striping.

My favorite project was the 64 Colors afghan, knit from Noro yarn:

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Stash Enhancement Saturday

I gave in to nearly every yarn-buying impulse over the past month so I'd have some Christmas surprises.  I didn't remember most of what I bought, so there were surprises.

The flower print thing in the front is a sock blank from Gale's Art.  I've never worked with a sock blank before.  I know the pattern won't be there when I knit the yarn, but I still liked the colors.

Behind it is Yorkshire Skies from Lorna's Laces.  The final season of Downton Abbey is about to begin, so I had to have a(nother) Downton-themed yarn.

The dark yarn at the left edge is Noro Shiraito, a total indulgence.  It's 45% cashmere, 45% angora, 10% wool.  I'm about to make a hat out of it.

The bright colors after it are both from Mad Color Fiber Arts.  There's a Monty Python club starting next month and yes, I signed up for it.

The next two colors are from gnarledpaw.  All of the light colors in the picture are darker in real life.  The darker blue looks like it came from an impressionist painting and is called Painted Sky

The last two are Wizard of Oz-themed yarns from A Hundred Ravens.  The washed-out one is actually a lovely almost dusty pink called Glinda.  The one next to it is The Wizard.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

WIP Wednesday

I was working on Broken Jack, a pattern by General Hogbuffer.  It looks like a British flag was dipped in liquid nitrogen, poked with a pointed stick, and then reassembled into socks.  I'm a fan of unusual construction, so I jumped right on this pattern (free at Biscotte Yarns).  The yarn I used was a bit on the thin side of fingering.  I ignored the instructions to use two circulars and used DPNs instead.  The results ended up in the frog pond.  I'll restart them with a different self-striping yarn, probably the watermelon stuff I got from Biscotte a while back.

After the frogging, I wasn't in the mood for the counting that those socks require of me.  I poked around and found last year's Advent Calendar Socks pattern and cast right on.  The colors look like random choices.  I love it that each stripe actually means something.

I'm off to see what other people have been up to.  Then it's back to the advent socks and the Doctor Who takeover (Donna the bride just found herself on the TARDIS and is reading Ten the riot act).

Friday, December 18, 2015

FO Friday

Here's the coffee sleeve I made last week.  It's more coffee-colored in real life:

The Knock Knock socks are done:

I decided to do the Advent Calendar socks as two short pair instead of  one pair with long legs.  The first pair is done:

There's a version where you do different colors of stripes instead of the colorwork.  They probably would've looked better if I did that version, but these are more fun.

Friday, December 11, 2015

FO Friday

It's the usual story:  I have been finishing things but camera and I are not getting along.  It's in the kitchen, sulking and being recharged.

I'm a fan of YarnYenta's (Heatherly Walker) designs.  When I saw that she's doing a knit from stash sock thing in 2016, I signed up.  I pulled out a dozen skeins of sock yarn and placed each in a project bag.  See, there actually can be reasons to have an otherwise insane number of project bags.  Once a month we'll get a pattern.  'llI pull out that month's project bag and then we'll see what happens.

For complicated Ravelry reasons, the YarnYenta had to offer a pattern in the series right away.  I knit it using leftover bits of sock yarn:
The pattern's called Tourbillion.  My yarn choices didn't work together quite the way I had hoped, but I did learn by my mistakes.  The pattern itself is pretty cool.

Here comes Krampus:

He's a creature with on human foot and one cloven foot.  He helps Santa by putting naughty children in a sack and taking them off to his lair.  The sock apparently is for filling with coal. 

I'd never heard of Krampus until seeing a YouTube video about him several years ago.  I guess that is what made me think I wanted to knit this.

Baa-ble hat:
I saw this hat on someone's page recently and decide I must drop everything and knit it.  And so I did.  More than 2000 people on Ravelry have done it.  Despite the cruddy picture, it is really cute.  The only thing I would do differently next time is make a bigger and denser pom-pom.  It is quicker than it might look:  I did it in one evening.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WIP Wednesday

I finished one of the Knock Knock Knock socks.  Cables are fun.

Speaking of fun, the Advent calendar socks continue to be entertaining.  We've been picking colors based on things as diverse as the temperature, our favorite charity, and gowns at the Finnish Independence Day ball.  The person doing the pattern is Finnish.  Many thanks to her and her translator so we can see it in English.
I haven't been putting any space between the patterns and I really think I should.

The second set of toes (in colorway Sassy Santa) are going to be for a second pair of socks.  I've seen some samples of socks from previous years and they will be far too long for me.  When the originals are done, I'll switch over to them.

Go see what Tammy and her visitors have been up to this week.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

WIP Wednesday

I've been mostly working on a cross-stitch sampler.  After several days of intense work, I burned out and started looking for something new to knit.

I found an advent calendar sock yarn pattern that is really fun.  We have a basic toe-up pattern and supply a bunch of sock yarn leftovers.  Every day from December 1-24 we get instructions on what colors to choose.  On day 1, you knit one round.  On day 2, you knit two rounds.  On Christmas Eve, you have a new pair of socks to wear.  I'm trying to stick with a group of colors that I think will play well together.  I'll select the colors based more on that than the exact color that the instructions tell you to use.

The day 1 instruction was to pick a color based on what time it was when you started knitting.  You look at a color wheel and see where the little hand would be pointing if you put a clock on top of it.  My color was orange so I picked a yarn that had a peachy-orange in it.  There are two ways of doing the sock.  Some will be doing plain stripes.  I'm doing it the colorwork way where we do patterns.  Day 1 was knit 3 of the main (toe) color, knit 1 of the color of the day.

Day 2 was unexpected.  You pick a date, such as your birthday.  You convert that number into binary (there's a link to a converter).  That give you the pattern.  It is a zeros and ones so the zeros are the main color and the ones are the contrast color.  You use your birthday again with another converter to get the color.  Two rounds with purple.

The main color is actually cranberry.

My other active project is the new Club Mac (as in Macbeth) sock.  It is called Knock, Knock, Knock.  I don't know enough about Shakespeare to understand the reference.  I do like the pattern.  It's very cable-y.  Cableish?  Whatever.  I've only got the cuff done on one sock so far:
Sigh.  Even with multiple attempts, I have a choice of a picture with accurate color or a picture in focus.  I'm going to have to work hard to get these done.  I think the leftover yarn will work great with my advent socks.

Now go see what Tammy has been up to.