Vale

I’ve shown you this sweater before

But that was over a year ago…

At that point, I thought I had cast on the sweater in the fall of 2015…

This sweater represents two years of my life, by the numbers if not by the proper months.

My first big sweater, and first real thing made of wool, was this gorgeous aran sweater I bought for my birthday when studying abroad in Ireland. It’s green and gorgeous, and heavy, but has a very open weave, so it’s not much good in even a small gust in wind.

I’ve been wanting one that would hold up a bit more in winter weather, and that would have a lot of cables, yet still be a loose cardigan. See, I was on a hunt while abroad for a penannular brooch, which I only found at the end of my trip in a medieval craft fair in Germany. I’ve been hoping to have a sweater that I could use it with for many many years, and this one fits that bill!

Here are the details:

Pattern: Vale sweater from Knitty.com. I had to rework the fronts a little to accommodate the yarn I had left and the fronts I wanted to have.

Yarn: Mystery wool. I got a big bag of mystery yarn from my grandmother’s belongings when she moved to a nursing home, and found a number of skeins of this worsted weight wool. Other than wool, I’m not sure what is in it, but it was pretty nice to work up!

Time: Two years off and on, but an awful lot in the past three weeks?

Finishing: Since it’s knit in pieces, I had to “sew” it up. I ended up crocheting the pieces together, since the  back’s pattern had a similar look. It’s worked out nicely!

The sleeves are a bit tight around my arms, but otherwise this sweater is fantastic and warm and wonderful! I’ve been wearing it about daily for the past week or so!

Snow Day!

And when I say snow day, I actually mean ice day, but it doesn’t have the same sort of ring, does it?

This weekend I learned a few things.

  1. I own no items of red clothing. I mean, my Kaylee dress has a little red in it, but its not a winter dress by any means. I own and elastic red belt. So much for getting a raffle ticket for wearing red (at a dance on Saturday)!
  2. Trying to carve wood will bring on instant flashbacks to Brave.
  3. Even when I own a plethora of food, I don’t like seeing an empty fridge, and I’ll set out to fill it. Which will inevitably lead to buying other stuff too. I’m dubbing it the Valentine’s food run of 2016.

Because its rather cold outside, and therefore inside too, I’m holding off on taking garment photos, because I’m unwilling to take off my knee socks to change into tights. Or to put on jeans. My pajamas are just too comfy. Plus then I’d have to comb my hair.

So once it warms up later this week I’ll be able to photoshoot.

But to catch you up on my wintry day activities, beyond the research I’m also supposed to be doing, I’ve been working on the following projects:

sweater

I cast on the back of the Vale Cardigan last year, sometime in the fall I believe. I’ve now progressed past the armscye shaping, and I might be able to bind off tonight. I’m then going to make the sleeves, and then the fronts, to see how much yarn I’ll have left.

My fingers have been twitching on the interwebs some more, and I spent a few nights lost on the RPF looking at builds of Claudia’s mini Tesla pistol. So I immediately (and slightly regrettably because it was unplanned and hasty) went to work on it.

tubes
and there’s more tubes…

I got some vacuum tubes, bought a dial which is way too big for the build, but may work for the TARDIS, and bought wood carving tools from a craft store.

tools

At first, I only bought a set of chisels and some wood blocks. I got the one I’m currently working with for 25 cents, on clearance. It’s pine, which is not recommended for absolute beginners, but it was cheap. I’ve got some other pieces of wood, of the more beginner variety, so maybe I’ll return those, or I’ll use them for another project.

After some trouble with using just the chisels, I went back to the craft store (on the Valentine’s Day food run of 2016)  and bought an x-acto knife with some extra blades. Things have gone much more smoothly since then. Although I’m even more scared of cutting myself.

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After all, my hands are angry at me enough after working with the chisels and my hand saw. They don’t need any more reason to hate me. For instance, blood. Blood would be bad

In other news, I’m mulling over drafting and making a sweater out of some lovely navy blue sweater knit…

Plenty to keep me busy on this wintry day!

Warmth, in this incredibly Warm Winter

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So after the large winter storm passed by here, it got warm.

Like really warm. There were some people wearing shorts. Winter, even around here, should not be that warm.

So its a fitting time to be knitting with wool, right?

In reality, both of these projects were conceived earlier in the month/last year.

Knowing that its supposed to be winter, I had decided that I needed a warm hat. I’m not a hat person, really, but I walked home (about 2 miles) one night when it was near freezing, and I only had a thin scarf and my “fall” coat (because its lighter than my winter coat, but still normally warm enough), and I’m pretty sure that I nearly died. It took me about 45 minutes to warm up enough to function like a human being, and then another hour past that to eat and drink enough hot stuff to warm up enough to fall asleep.

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The next day I started this hat. I had this orphan skein that I got on sale when I was looking for sock yarn. I couldn’t find any on-sale sock yarn, but even with my full-price sock yarn, this still fit into my hobby budget. It may have been 4 dollars, and I’ve got a couple of yards left.

So the pattern is Helios, free on Ravelry. It’s a pretty good pattern, though I stuck with the size 7 needles throughout, since I don’t have a slightly bigger needle. It makes it more of a globbular slouchy hat, instead of a beret/tam kind of slouchy hat. The one thing I’m afraid of is blocking it, since it’s a tad big, and I don’t want to stretch it out any. My other green knit hat was too small, so I gave it away to my cousin, so I guess I overcompensated with this one, and made it too big.

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Oops! Its still wearable, which is perfect. Because I was not going to admit defeat and try again.

And the second knit project is this pair of socks! This project can be described in three words:

Second Sock Syndrome.

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Yes, this time I fell prey to SSS hard. Really hard. There was a thought in the back of my head that I should somehow work both socks together, and my circular needle collection does not include a skinny enough needle with a long enough connection. So I planned it that once I got to the ankle of the first sock, I’d put it on stitch holders, and start the second. Which worked perfectly.

Yarn-wise this is an alpaca merino blend that I intended to use for socks for my dad… last year. Meaning 2014. Sorry dad. It’s also not machine washable, so perhaps its best that I made them for me, since I’ll be more likely to remember that…

The pattern is ish-designed by me. Meaning, I used this book I got, Socks a La Carte 2 Toes Up to plan it out, with a rotating rib leg, technically a double picot cuff that I’m too lazy to fold over and seam. But once I made the toes of the first sock, I realized that I would get super bored doing a simple stockinette for the foot, so I found this.

lace-diamond-knitting-motif-chartTo be honest, I’m not sure where I found it, but I think it was on a Russian stitch pattern website, and since this was before I started the sock, so I never anticipated needing to cite the source. If you know who’s this is, please let me know! Because its a beautiful lace pattern, and I’d definitely suggest it!

So after finishing both feet of the socks, I started in on the rotating rib of one of the socks, and I got a long way through when I realized that I should weigh out the yarn so I could maximize the height of the sock. Once I double checked that, I ribbed until I got to the cuff, made the double picot cuff, bound off, and then the socks sat there. For months. And months.

What I haven’t  told you yet, is that these socks were started over the summer. July or August.

Oh yes.

These took me about 6 months.

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When I went home for the holidays I brought these with me, and didn’t even make it a row. So once I got back I vowed that I would finish before the semester started. Which also didn’t happen. I made progress, but didn’t finish it.

It was during the first week of the semester, and I told myself that I couldn’t start any new projects until I finished these. Trust me. These got finished really quick after that. I even took them with me to the movie theater when I saw Star Wars the second time. I had the whole row to myself, so I didn’t even feel (too) self conscious about KIPing. There are some advantages to itsy bitsy theaters.

And then I started on the hat! So a happy ending finally. Plus, the hat got done in less than a week. All that pent up knitting energy I guess!

Got any SSS, or longtime knitting projects?

Green Gable Hat

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My main reason for naming this was because it was green… and cables rhyme with gable.

Do you remember this hat? Fluffy looking and blue where you couldn’t see the design or shape?

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I almost don’t since I can’t actually find it.

I made that pattern again, the Aran Tam from 101 One Skein Wonders, but this time in wool so I could block it. And it came out so much better!

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Unfortunately it is a bit small, and I couldn’t make it grow bigger at the end, since you start with the brim and work inwards, so it’s a little small on me. But I like it, and if I’m going to wear a hat, I’ve got to like it!

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Now if only the weather hadn’t suddenly realized it was spring, and not the time for warm hats!

Next year, this hat and I will get along well!

Cornflower Shawl

Guess what’s off my needles! (Hint: It’s in the title.)

I finished the shawl!

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So the full details:

This is the Wavedeck Shawl by Kate Atherly in Knitty Winter 2014.

I did get a little impatient, and I skipped a few rows of edging and zig zags, but it’s the first non-sock pattern that I didn’t end up making big changes to! Normally I don’t like the way that its bound, or I’m too impatient for long sleeves, etc. But not this time… partially because I would have no idea what to do in order to change things, but mostly because I love it just the way it is.

This was Christmas yarn from over 3 years ago… I picked it out when we moved my brother into college as a freshman, and my parents kept it for me until Christmas. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Prima, which is now discontinued I’m afraid, but its a nice thick DK or thin worsted, as it almost worked out for me. Part bamboo and part merino, so its just warm enough, but not overly warm.

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It felt like it took forever, but I think it was a February and February alone project, which is nifty. I like finishing projects within a month of starting them, and bonus points for actually getting pictures and posting about it.

I was going to take a picture with my coat on, ready to go to school, but when I went outside to take these and a few other sets of pictures, I realized that it was too warm to do that. Despite all the melting snow that I cropped out of these pictures, it was quite warm.

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But the way that I’ve already fallen in love with wearing it is with my shawl pin. So woot! A use for my shawl pin!