New year, new knits

Oh hello. I nearly wrote last year, one more time, but then family time took priority. How great it was to be home and spending quality time with the ones I love!

The end of 2014 was one big yarn-buying adventure. I also finished up my Christmas knitting, and I have some of the photos here to share today. The rest are on my camera, which I hardly ever use anymore, so I will have to get those on the old computer at another time. Care to see a couple? Good, I thought so!

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Here’s a calorimetry I made out of Boston Mix. It’s 100% synthetic, but the skein was a crazy mix of purple and hot coral. This one didn’t turn out like the skein, so I gifted it to a slightly less wild recipient. Great stretch, quick knit!

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Here’s the completed handspun Vijante cowl. Sara loved it, and I’m pleased too. If I repeat the endeavor, I will slow down the increase.

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These are P’s school spirit stitch surfers from Lisa at Fibernymph. They’re her sparkly base (bedazzled) in the inversibles line. They ended up long. Seriously, folks, make your stitch surfers top-down and don’t worry about the cuffs and toes being perfectly centered, and you can make this nutty pattern fit!

Following Christmas knits, I dove back into my Hiro sweater. Remember that? It’s been a long time! I was feeling motivated to wear it, quite frankly, so I put some major effort into knitting it. When I arrived home, I had most of one sleeve done (I had knit the prescribed length, but suspected it wasn’t long enough to work on my long arms). Thanks to some not-yet-raveled Fiddlehead mitts, my colorwork was fresh, so I did a much nicer job on the second cuff. I put some crazy long pattern notes on Ravelry, but needless to say, it’s finished! (I even finished it twice I was having so much fun, er, I didn’t like how the yoke was written, so I ad-libbed, ripped it out, and executed it more thoughtfully the second time). Enjoy!

Hiro! Can you see it?

Hiro! Can you see it?

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There you can see when I was still working on bottom band colorwork, among other things.

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Two sleeves a few inches from joining

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This is the point at which I realized I wouldn’t have enough red to finish the job. I made plans to work back into the MC to finish off, not knowing how poorly that would work out.

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Thinking I’d need to wrap up immediately, I did this funky 1 row colorwork with an extra short row on the back, and then some short rows on the shoulders before going into the collar on a 16″ cable. That was a mistake, as there were too few stitches to complete the ring, and my gauge was sloppy and pulled really bad.

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I ran to the mirror to see the completed sweater…and hated the yoke. The second to last green colorwork row got completely obscured by an ill-placed decrease round, and the collar was horrendous. I’m smiling because it doesn’t sack like my Tea Leaves cardigan fail of 2014.

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Back to the drawing board, I cut out the sewn bind off, ripped back to just before second to last green row (which I then made my last green row), and worked out a much better looking transition to charcoal that mimicked the cuffs/bottom band while also thoughtfully decreased the stitch count. Too much decrease too soon means puckering, which I didn’t want!

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Here’s the finished result. I worked the collar on a flexible 40″ cable (old Knit Picks), using magic loop, and my gauge issues were resolved. I was also careful to avoid colorwork too close to the collar, and was a little more thoughtful with decreases.

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From the back. I am in love with short row shaping. There, I said it. (My Tea Leaves falls off my shoulders, so naturally I love a good short row shaped back and shoulders!)

Shortly after finishing the second attempt at the yoke end/collar, I also completed the finishing. I did happen to snag a stitch on the right side when I grafted the last armpit closed (dang!), but I was able to work the snag to the back without much trouble. I didn’t block yet, because I had too many intentions of showing it off right away, and I didn’t want to wait for it to dry to do so. I will plan on blocking it Friday, so that maybe I can wear it on Sunday. Anyway. I am stoked.

In other news, I have purchased too much yarn. More lush from Voolenvine, a Yowza from Miss Babs, tosh sock from a cute little store, Ben & Flo’s in Mt. Vernon, IA, and some ultra alpaca, which I intend to make colorwork mitts with (and convinced P to try colorwork mitts on!). I’m knitting Molly’s “Whispering Pines” shawl and trying to get 5 sock projects in progress whittled down to outta Area 51 (UFO land). I need more photos. I’ll update again soon, but wanted to burn off a little excitement steam (research win) before I got back to busy. Knit the good yarn!