Sunday, 8 September 2013

Ta Da!!!!!

This week I've mostly been a really good girl.

I set myself the task of working exclusively on Wisteria to get the body finished and I did just that.

Swimming has started back this week and I'm easing the kids back into it gently. It's encouraged me to get back in the water, so I'm off to try and get 2km in this morning.

The Knit to Stay Sane group on Ravelry now has an amazing 82 members! I'm so excited!

We have a couple of threads going at the moment. There's prize thread called Paying it Forward. I'm giving a batt away. It's lovely and I encourage everyone to go over and comment. This time next week I'll draw a winner. Originally I'd said that I'll use a random number generator to draw the winner, but we've got chatter on the thread now. I don't want to delete anyone's comments so I'll put everyone's name into a hat and draw a winner that way.
It seems that there are more than a few folk who don't spin in the group, so if a non-spinner wins the batt I'll give them the option of receiving it to do with what they will, or I'll spin it up for them. Now there is a caveat to that! I'm no expert spinner and at the moment I'm not the best at spinning with intention! Most of my yarn comes out thin - ranging from a heavy laceweight to a fingering depending on the fibre. So if you want me to spin it for you, I'm happy  to do it, but the yarn you receive will be a surprise .... to both of us!!

Please feel free to start any threads you like over there.

I've been concentrating on my goals from last week and I have progress that you can see! While I was working on these projects though, I couldn't see any growth for ages! How does that work? Despite patterning, you slog away at something and seem to get no further to the finish line? Hey ho! I got things done in the end!

Feeling the Love -

I promoted Wisteria to the "Take Everywhere" project and put Makai on the back burner. Considering when I last wrote I was so close to finishing the body, it took ages to get it finished. I passed the finish line on Thursday and started the sleeve. I put it down when I finished the first ball. I'm using Hayfield Bonus Aran. It's an acrylic wool blend (don't judge! When you're my size, pure wool jumpers get expensive!) which comes in 400g balls. I've used one ball on the body and got a sleeve started. I think I'll have a good half ball left over, I can feel Christmas cowls coming up soon!

When I felt I'd made some progress on the sleeve I picked Makai back up.  This shawl is lovely. I think the way it's designed to sit over the shoulders is great. The pattern says to work a certain amount before starting on the edging. Of course Mel is over in America, so the length is given in inches. While I was at work on Thursday I wanted to check my progress. We only have metric tape measures and lets just say I got it wrong, very wrong! So wrong that I ended up doing an extra pattern repeat! The stitch pattern has become a lovely rhythmn like the waves crashing on the shore and I was content knitting away until I glanced at my yarn and realised that disaster could well be facing me! I was running out of yarn and quickly.

I'd already decided I was going to knit the gentle ruffle version of the edging which involves increasing your stitch count by two thirds. My mind was in a spin trying to figure out how I could solve this problem. I really didn't want to rip out the extra pattern repeat. I actually liked that extra length. So what to do? Stash dive! Obviously! Wandering through my stash I rooted out another ball I'd forgotten I had! Problem solved. But the more I thought about it the less happy I was, I really didn't want to break into another ball for 8 rows of garter stitch. So after a wobble on twitter I was encouraged to think outside the box.

I had a good look inside my scraps box! I came up with a couple of options

 From the top - Option 1: use the new ball and finish the project as directed. Option 2: Use assorted scraps to finish these include a random sock yarn, my first ever handspun (really thick and thin in places) and some rainbow coloured merino I've spun into a rather nice fingering weight (if I do say so myself!). Option 3: Use only the merino to finish.

I debated for ages. In the end I decided to blend the sock yarn, what Roam I had left and the merino together to finish the ruffled edge. I started the sock yarn and knitted 3 rows, I added in the merino and knitted one, then I used the original yarn to knit a row, used the sock yarn for 2, the merino for 2 and continued to blend the three yarns together until I was happy with the edging. I had just enough sock yarn and nearly enough merino in the mini skein to work the edging. I kept enough original yarn in reserve to cast off.

Ta Da!!

I'm really happy with it. It's not blocked yet as I finished it just before midnight last night. I love how the colours blended in the ruffle. Every now and then you can see a shot of blue from the merino.

The flash has bleached the colours slightly but you get the idea
So back to Wisteria for me.  Neil's socks (remember them!?) have been promoted back up to mobile knitting as the sweater really isn't that portable anymore.

On the horizon - 

This week I hope to progress with Wisteria. I'm not feeling so much pressure now. I'm happy to keep plodding on, now I'm onto sleeves the progress is visible and so far it's keeping me motivated.

I'll be working on the second of Neil's socks. I have the toe done, so the rest of the sock calls. Can I get to the heel turn in a week? We'll see.

I'm desperate to spin this week too. I haven't touched my wheel or spindles all week. My gorgeous Dragon fly needs to see some action.

Oh, and because I've nothing better to do with my evenings I'd like to get 10km swam this week too! 

Hope to see you guys over in the Ravelry group.

Have a great week

Ellen x