Thursday, January 2, 2014

Rose Garden Take 3

In an effort to finish my work in progress I am back to the beautiful but pain in the neck Rose Garden Shawl.
I fell in love with the shawl when I first saw it in the Summer 2012, Jane Austen Knits magazine. I loved it so much that I even bought the same exact yarn in the same color as the one made for the magazine. But even with all that love, this pattern has brought me nothing but heartache. It is almost as if the knitting gods did not want me to complete this project.

 Think I am exaggerating? Well, lets see:
  •  First the yarn was so tangled that I tried to untangle it for a month, gave up and threw it in a box.
  • One of my knitting friends took pity on me and took on the task to untangle said yarn. Which now means I can make the project.
  • Nope, I started working on another big project and put it aside and I forgot about it.
  • Finally I started it. It was going great I finished the first repeat and I found three major mistakes early in the project. I was so frustrated I decided to put it aside. 
  • I finally decided to pick it up a second time and I did the same exact thing I did above! I mean the SAME EXACT MISTAKES ON THE SAME SPOTS!!
  • Now I am back to my third try and so far so good. No mistakes, no emotional breakdowns, no tangle yarn. Just a shawl that is knitting up nicely.

Hopefully the saying "Third times the charm" will hold true for me and I will be able to finish the shawl this time around. 

Until next time, Happy knitting!!
~Knitting Chica


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Good-bye 2013 and Hello 2014

Previously I blogged about my failings at keeping to my knitting plans so today I will blog about what I managed to accomplish in 2013. By the close of the year I was able to finish 13 projects.The damage was:
  • 3 Pairs of Socks
  • 6 Hats
  • 1 Cowl
  • 1 Scarf
  • 1 Cardigan
  • 1 Top
Seems that I was really into hats in 2013, though I must say that 2 of the 6 hats were Christmas presents, Socks came in second with 3 pairs completed.

Knitting aside, as I mentioned in my last post, I finally put my Spinning Wheel together:


I did not get much spinning accomplished in 2013 but I do plan on changing that this year.

Another thing that I got into was dyeing my own yarn. Unfortunately I did not document my yarn dyeing adventures as well as I should (another thing I need to work more on, documentation). But here are two out of the half dozen or so that I dyed this year:







For 2014 I will not make a project plan as I did before. My goal is to work on other techniques that I generally try to keep away from. Such as:
  1. Fair Isle
  2. Intarsia
  3. Bottom up Projects ( i.e: Sweaters, toe up socks)
  4. Entralac
  5. Steeking
Aside from working on new techniques, I have to work on a sweater for Mr. P and complete two projects that I have had on the needles for a while.

Over all, I guess I did not do so bad. I just need to be focused and be more organized.

What are your goals for 2014? How did you do in 2013?

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

~Knitting Chica

  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The End is Near

Another year is coming to an end and I have completely failed at sticking to my plans. Maybe I am just not meant to set goals. Maybe I need to just go where the wind takes me. Who knows, all I know is that I did not complete all the projects I set myself for this year and I sure as heck did not stick to the no buying yarn thing.

Shameful really. I have managed to only complete nine projects this year. Out of those nine finished projects only three where from my project list that I posted about here and here. I have three projects that are work in progress, one of those is a long term project as it is a patchwork blanket made from left over yarn. Here is the link for the pattern page for the blanket, it is perfect for all the left over yarn and you do not want to do the Beekeeper's Quilt

Now, I must say that even if I did not make my Knitting goals, I did complete project plan # 3. This project consisted of me finally finishing, putting together and learning how to use my Ashford Kiwi 2. While I will not call myself a master at using my wheel. I am proud to say that after getting a 2 hour crash course on how to spin on a wheel, I am well on my way to becoming a spinner.

Another goal that I accomplished was to dye yarn. I did a bit of it this year and all the yarns I dyed were a success. I failed to photograph most of the yarn that I dyed, but I am so much more confident in my dying skills and cannot wait to get better.

I do not think I am going to set myself project goals for 2014. I think I am going to work on getting better at my craft and getting better at documenting my journey. In order to do that I have armed myself with tools to help me because it is not just about needles and yarn.

Tools for a better Fiber Artist and Blogger
Shown above Simplified Planner for planning projects and posts, my personalized May Designs Notebook for notes, My Olympus to take photos and of course my trusty Mac Book.

So here is to a more productive 2014!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

~Knitting Chica

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Knitwear

The weather is getting colder and all I have rolling around in my head is wearing cozy, big fluffy knits. Unfortunately, I have not made much progress when it comes to my projects. But yesterday a girlfriend and I went to watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and I felt a new surge of inspiration and desire to bust out my knitting needles and knit myself some cozy knitwear.

As soon as I made it home I got to work to find movie stills and hunt down patterns. I almost feel like I need to watch the movie once more to catch the other knitwear that I missed. But until that time here are three piece's that Katniss Everdeen, character played by Jennifer Lawrence wore in the movie:
Cowl designed by Maria Dora
Sweater designed by Alice Lemoine
Top by unknown designer
The Costume Designer for the movie was Trish Summerville , the knitted Cowl shown above is by Maria Dora. I have not had any luck finding patterns for the second and third photo or even a better photo of the third photo. I am sure eventually patterns will show up for them so for now all I can do is dream about them.

I do think the second sweater shown above is a  Le Moine Tricote piece. Here is a photo of the sweater:
Alice Lemoine for Le Moine Tricote
I am a huge fan of Alice Lemoine's knitwear. I have been a fan of hers since her days with Rick Owens so is no wonder that I fell head over heels for this sweater. But at the same time it makes me sad because there is no chance that I can afford it. I mean seriously, check out Barney's and get ready for sticker shock.

Now on a happier note I did find a few patterns on Ravelry for the Cowl that Katniss wears in the movie which was designed by Maria Dora.
Katniss Cowl by Katharina Schnorr
Katniss Cowl by Anaid Designs
The Katniss Cowl by Lollyknits
My favorite of the three patterns shown above is the one by Katharina Schnorr*. While I am not a fan of the color choice for it, I think this one is the most wearable piece. It covers more of the body and the neck is smaller so you are getting real protection from the cold. Another added bonus is the it is a free Ravelry download.

If you do not like any of the Cowls shown above, you will be happy to know that Maria Dora the designer of the Cowl is planning on releasing a pattern for the Cowl. I do not know if it will be exactly the same Cowl or one inspired by the original, but either way I am sure it will be amazing.

It is amazing how I view movies now compared to how I viewed movies before I became a knitter. While I have always been interested in the costuming in movies, now whenever I see knitwear that I like in the movies I start to envision how I can make it and work it into my wardrobe. Now all I am hoping for is to see more patterns inspired by the movie to pop up.

Have you seen the movie? What do you think of the Knitwear? Which is your favorite piece?

Until next time, Happy Knitting!!

~Knitting Chica

*You can click on any of the pattern photos and it will take you to the designer page on Ravelry.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

You Cannot Call Me Al

My first project for 2013 was supposed to be You can Call Me Al sock pattern from Knitty Fall 2012. But while working on the pattern I found some issues that I did not like. So I decided that I would scratch that pattern and just make it up as I went along and thus the "You Cannot Call Me Al" socks were born. I did not know what else to call them since I made up the socks on the fly. I thought that I would write out the pattern and upload it to Ravelry, but after searching on Ravelry I found similar sock patterns so I decided to not do it. If I ever design my own pattern I want it to be as different as possible to other patterns.

I really love the yarns from Cephalopod. They are always so bright and the yarn always feels amazing! So far this year I have made two projects with their yarn and there are more in my future.




Until next time, Happy Knitting!

~Knitting Chica



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pink Monkey

Pattern: Monkey
Designer: Cookie A.
Pattern Book/Site: Knitty Winter 2006
Yarn: Cascade Yarns, Cascade 220 Fingering
Needle: US 2 - 2.75 mm
Pattern Rating: 5 out of 5

You can kiss my 2013 Project Plans good-bye. I started out with good intentions but I have totally failed at keeping them. I have made some of the projects on my list but for the most part I have cheated and worked on other things.

Today I bring you one of the patterns I cheated with and it is the all famous Monkey Socks by Cookie A.

My Monkey Sock Mascot. Found somewhere online

 I can totally see why this pattern is so popular. It had me addicted from the start. It was easy enough that I could work on them while watching TV but interesting enough to keep me going. The first sock took me a little while to make because real life kept getting in the way, but the second sock I was able to finish in 3 days. If you have not made these socks I highly recommend them. I am already plotting my next pair.

As for the yarn that I used, I loved the color, bright and totally girlie but I do not know if I will work with it again for socks. It was always splitting, it is very annoying when you are working on small needles. If you do not mind the splitting then I recommend it, the price value is very good, colors are fun and it does not feel bad in your hands.

Photos of my Pink Monkey Socks:



You can read more on the project and view more photos on my Ravelry project page here.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

~Knitting Chica


Monday, May 13, 2013

Things I have learned while Dyeing Yarn

I have gotten pretty addicted to this yarn dyeing thing. I do not know yet if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I mean, do I really need one more thing to be obsessed with?

In this very short time of me working with Acid Dyes, I have compiled a list of things I have learned. Some of the things I have learned are common sense things, but we all know that common sense escapes me sometimes, other things are things that are in almost all literature that you find on dyeing yarn, but still failed to follow and some things I never knew and I learned on the job.

Here are the things that I have learned so far in my yarn dyeing adventures:
  1. Do not dye yarn in a dark pot. You will not be able to tell when the color has been exhausted.
  2. There is a reason why they tell you to make sure you are in a ventilated area when dyeing yarn. Please follow that rule.
  3. Write down the color recipe so you can recreate it. Yes I know, this is a "DUH" kind of thing but I just created this very pretty color and I forgot to write it down how much of each color I used to make it.
  4. No plastic spoons!
  5. Before you start, make sure you have all your tools on hand.
  6. Please wear shoes. *ahem*
I am sure this list will grow as I dye more yarn and experiment with different dyeing techniques. I will be sure to document them so you wont have to make the same mistakes as me.

Right now this is what I have brewing in my very dark pot:

See what I mean? Dark pot and Dark Dye do not mix.

I think I will take a trip to the store while the yarn is cooling off to correct some of the wrongs on my list above. In the meantime, why don't you tell me some of the things you have learned while dyeing yarn?

Until next time, Happy Knitting Dyeing!

~Knitting Chica


PS: I have much to blog about, like I have finally finished my spinning wheel and the Blue Peony is almost done and I do have some projects that are completed but just failed to post finished photos. I promise to post all about these things VERY SOON.