WIP Wednesday: Spring colorslide

Remember when I got a lovely delivery of yarn for Knit Picks and said I wouldn’t start on the projects until I finished off one of my other WIPs? Yeaah… about that. I gave in. I succumbed. I couldn’t resist the lure of the new yarn. It. was. too. powerful.

And so here we are – knitting a new sweater. The pattern is Colorslide by Nichole Nehrig, and it’s actually written more like a formula for the sweater. You basically do your swatch to figure out your gauge and then use that to figure out the number of stitches and rows you need to complete the sweater to your very own personal measurements. It’s great for someone who has a basic idea of what goes into knitting a sweater, but wanted to have a bit more freedom in the sweater measurements. I love it because it is really teaching me a lot about how to customize a sweater as you go. 

And although this is worked on relatively small needles (2.75mm), it is actually working up really quickly. The stockinette body makes for great tv knitting, but the charted color change keeps my interest and gives me something to look forward to. 
With its light weight and spring colors, I think this will be a perfect pull-over for cool spring mornings and evenings. 
Are you working on a fun project this week? Join the fun and share it with everyone over at Tami’s Amis

Rainbows and sunshine

Spring has to be coming soon, right? Right?! Since the skies over Toronto are still a bit on the grey side, I’ve tried to bring some colors to my knitting. 
My rainbow broken seed stitch socks are coming along. The heel is now finished and I’m decreasing for the gusset. With any luck, they will be finished by the end of the week. 

I also picked up some new yarn this past week. I couldn’t pass up this Malabrigo worsted in this lovely yellow-orange (colorway Sunset). I have never worked with Malabrigo worsted before as it’s a little out of my usual price range for any decent sized project, but I found it on discount at my local yarn store (which is sadly being forced out of its lease), so I decided it was the time to give it a go. It is just so soft and fluffy. I can’t wait to work with it and I have just the pattern in mind – Abalone will make a perfect cardigan for spring and fall.

Here’s to sunnier days ahead and some fun knitting.

Weekly catch-up

Reading: I’m about halfway through Cinder by Marissa Meyer. It’s a futuristic take on the Cinderella story, and, so far, I think it’s decently entertaining. The writing isn’t the best out there, but the story and characters are interesting. Although you know the general gist of the story, the author has worked in enough of her own unique story that it doesn’t become too predictable.

Watching: A and I went and saw the new Muppets movie this weekend, Muppets: Most Wanted. Who doesn’t love the Muppets, no matter your age? As always, the movie was goofy and pretty adorable. And it has some pretty funny parts. Sometimes what you need in a movie is just an escape where no higher thinking is required – this movie definitely satisfies that itch.

Also, Walter had some of the most adorable tiny knitted sweaters. I told A that I wanted to make him one of each. He was thrilled, obviously. Who wouldn’t want a Muppet’s wardrobe?

Knitting: This week I found myself working on the start of a new sweater (come back Wednesday for a peek), as well as my broken seed stitch socks. More updates on both projects later this week.

Misc: And I can’t help bragging a little, because what is a blog for if you can’t brag on yourself? On a work related note, I found out on Friday that my latest scientific manuscript (the first for my Ph.D. work) has been accepted into the American Journal of Physiology. It’s still really exciting for me to have my work published and I can’t wait to see the article in press. A year of work summed up in just a few pages…

Brandy’s Everyday Socks

Pattern: Hermione’s Everyday Socks
Yarn: Merino and Nylon Sock by Toil and Trouble (Charybdis in Sea Green and Brown)
Ravelry Project Page

I meant to get this project posted on Friday, but as you can see that didn’t happen. The latter half of last week was a little busy, to say the least. Better late than never, right?

These socks are the first pair I completed using the two-at-at-time (TAAT) magic loop method. As I said before, I really love this method because it ensures both socks come out exactly the same and at exactly the same time. This means instant sock gratification – you have a pair ready to wear without having to knit a whole other sock. Yippee!

I have had the pattern on my favorites list for awhile now, and I thought it was finally time to give it a go. It’s an interesting enough pattern worked in a variation (sort of) of the seed stitch. It was was interesting enough to keep my attention (boo for boring stockinette socks) and also worked up quickly. I think it’s a great pattern for someone just starting out with socks who wants something besides the regular, vanilla sock pattern. I think this may become one of my go-to patterns for any gift socks I make in the future.

I have to give a special note to the yarn as well, which was hand-dyed by Toil and Trouble. I just couldn’t stop ogling this yarn online. There was something about the gray-blue with just hints of purple that lured me in. This was my first time working with yarn purchased from Etsy, but I was really happy with the quality. The colors are very rich in real life, plus it’s soft, has lovely subtle variegation, and held up perfectly through a machine washing and drying. (I will fully admit that every time I wash a hand knit object, I get nervous, even though I know it’s meant to be machine washed/dried.)

I have another skein from Toil and Trouble (this colorway) that I am envisioning as a shawl for this summer. I can’t wait to work with her yarn again. (There’s already new listings on Etsy I’m drooling over…)

WIP Wednesday: Rainbow Broken Seed Stitch Socks

These socks could be subtitled “The mildly controlled chaos of two-at-a-time socks.” I am, in no way, putting down two-at-a-time (TAAT) socks because this method is my sock savior. I was a long sufferer of the dreaded SSS (second sock syndrome, of course) before I bought some lovely Addi Turbo needles and taught myself the TAAT magic loop method. These are my second pair of socks made using TAAT magic loop, but my first using two different yarns. Wow… can you say tangled mess? I basically have four different balls of yarn all intertwining together. It’s chaos. And mildly controlled is putting it nicely. One thing I can say for sure from this experience – I will never do socks with any stranded knitting TAAT.

But just look at these socks! Isn’t this pattern just so fun? Totally worth unravelling yarn many, many a few times. The rainbow shifts of the yarn are working out perfectly with this pattern. I just couldn’t resist taking home a skein of this Misti Alpaca fingering yarn when I spotted it at my local yarn store (colorway is Reaggeton). I am a sucker for color. Plus, it is just so amazingly soft. Alpaca melts even the strongest among us, doesn’t it?

The cream breaks up the sock nicely, so it doesn’t look like a manic unicorn came by and barfed up a neon rainbow. I also love the texture of the broken seed stitch, along with the illusion that each color stitch sits within a little hexagon. Every time I look at how these socks are turning out, it gives me the strength to power through the tangles. I can’t wait to get these on my feet!

Weekly catch-up

Inspired by these posts at Like Purls Off a String, I love the idea of having a weekly post dedicated to what’s going on in my life. A place where I can specifically chat about non-knitting related things. So here goes.


Reading: I just finished up Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I was underwhelmed by this book (see my GoodReads review). In a nutshell, I couldn’t forgive the flawed writing and the arrogant, unappealing protagonist. It seems like many of the fantasy books I’ve picked up lately feel like these type of leading men are enduring, but I find them completely off-putting and I just can’t connect to them emotionally. Superficially, however, the story was decent enough to lead me to finish the book. Don’t know if I’ll keep up with this series, though.

My next read is Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I love all things that involve re-worked/re-imagined fairy tales, so I am looking forward to this book greatly.

Movies: This weekend we saw one movie I was looking forward and one A, my husband, was eager to see. For me, it was Veronica Mars, and boy was I glad to visit my old pals from Neptune High again. I thought the movie did a great job of getting right back into the world of Veronica Mars & Co. It definitely made me want to go back and watch all of the TV series again.

For A, the movie of choice was The Grand Budapest Hotel. It was fantastically Wes Anderson. I’m liking his movies more and more lately. Full of charm and hilarity, with just the right bit of the absurd. I truly wish my life looked like a Wes Anderson movie.

© Knitscene

TV: This week I couldn’t find anything on Netflix that held my interest, so I decided to just re-watch Luther now that the third season is available. Still as good as the first time around. I just love Idris Elba in this role. And the criminals… give me the creeps. Not a show to watch right before bed unless your want some funky dreams.

On the needle: I’m still working on my pink striped cardigan – about half way done with the body. Also on the needles are a pair of broken seed stitch socks… but more about those on Wednesday.

Inspiration: My knitting inspiration this week is entirely inspired by the thought of spring. This top is just begging me to make it. I’m just waiting for the temperature to warm just a bit more before starting up. Soon. Soon.

Flashin’ the stash

Any day there is a box of yarn waiting at the door when you get home is a good day.

Inside was a lovely assortment of yarn from KnitPicks for a few projects I have in mind. The teal, mustard, and heather gray is going to become a short-sleeved caramel cardigan inspired by this version by bluedogwoolies.

 

I immediately fell in love with the idea of the colorslide sweater when I first saw it, but I think I want to make it a cardigan rather than a pullover. I selected some spring-inspired colors to work out this pattern for myself.

 

And I want to make one for my sister, too. Hopefully she’ll like the color combination. If not, I can always keep it for myself.

I’m looking forward to casting on soon (new yarn always gives me the itch to start a new project), but I need to finish up at least one of the products I currently have going before I take on something else. All these lovely colors give me more inspiration to finish up my current sweater so I can start on one of these.

Friday Favorites: Geek Chic

Happy Pi Day! In honor of this gloriously nerdy holiday, I’m dedicated my very first Friday Favorites to geeky knitting. Here are some of my favorite geek-chic knitting projects from Ravelry.

© elaysee

Elaysee’s Amber Mutation
Pattern: Denature

© wattsolak
© NoTailKit

Wattsolak’s Octopus Fingers
Pattern: Kraken Knuckles

NoTailKit’s Trilobite Cloche
Pattern: Trilobite

© wooling

    wooling’s Robot’s need love, too
    Pattern: Love Bytes

© snoedrago

    snoedragon’s 9 3/4 owls
    Pattern: Hogwart’s Express

If you’d like to join in on the Friday Favorites fun, let me know, and I will gladly share a link to your blog featuring some of your favorite crafty projects.

WIP Wednesday: Pink Striped Cardigan

Seemingly never-ending snowfall with drifts to my mid calf: days like today are ones that entice you with just filling the day with crappy movies, snuggles with the puppy, and knitting. If only life were that simple.

I did have work that needed to be finished up today, but fortunately I could escape the snow-pocalypse brewing outside and work from home in my pajamas. I also was able to “sneak” in some lunch time knitting on my current work-in-progress: a wool pink striped cardigan.

I had purchased the wool about a month ago with a completely different project in mind, but once it arrived, I knew it was all wrong for what I had planned. I also had just ordered some new yarn (My name is Brandy, and I’m a yarnaholic), so I was feeling a little guilty about this yarn sitting around, waiting to get buried in the stash.

With the idea of a spring/autumn cardigan in mind, I set out to find a pattern that would provide me with the basic construction ideas. With just some minor modifications, Isabell Kraemer’s driftwood was perfect (and it’s free!).

This project is also the first I’ve made with the continuous style of sleeves, rather than raglan sleeves. I have to say, I think I am in love! I wish I had discovered this sleeve style before, as I really like the polished look they produce, almost as if the sleeves were sewn in, rather than done continuously with the yolk of the sweater.

I’m looking forward to seeing this project finished, and with the way the weather is looking, I know I’ll get some good use out of it before summer (finally) arrives.

Endpaper Fingerless Mittens

Pattern: Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Crystal Palace Mini Mochi (colorway 106) & Paton’s Kroy Socks (white)
Ravelry Project Page

A cold winter gives one a lot of motivation hot cups of tea, Netflix marathons, and cozy knits. Like many parts of the world, the winter here in Toronto has been brutal this year. After endless days of gray skies and white snow, I was eager for some colorful winter accessories.

These fingerless mittens immediately drew my attention. I had never made a pair of mittens before, but this free pattern, with its simplistic, but eye catching pattern, had been on my “to-do” list for a while now. No better time to give mittens a go than when they would come in handy (pun intended). I was especially inspired by the gorgeous transitioning colors of starshaped’s Rainbow Mitts and katiebunny’s Autumn Rainbows. When I found an old skein of pink and green gradient Mini Mochi hidden in my yarn stash, I knew it would be perfect for this project.

I had purchased the yarn years ago as a splurge when I had first moved to North Carolina on a student’s budget. Every time I started a project with it, I just wasn’t satisfied, so it sat around, moving with me and always begging me to finally put it to use it every time I cleaned up my stash. I’m so delighted I’ve finally found the perfect project for it with this mitts, complimenting the lovely color shifts without being overwhelmed by the vibrancy. Plus, it’s soft and wonderfully warm. I wear these mittens almost every day and love how they easily provide access to my phone/knitting projects/etc. while I commute to and from school.

This pair of mitts only used up about half of the total Mini Mochi, so I have fantastical dreams of a matching cowl drifting around my mind. With spring on the horizon (I hope), perhaps it will be a nice project for next winter.