Where Have all the February’s Gone?

Great Googly-Moogly! I feel like everything and nothing has been happening around here.  I actually did have a plan to update in February, but that went completely out the window due to a impromptu trip to Kansas to help out family for a couple weeks.

I did mention I was going to knit up a test knit shawl.  Its a rather different design as its a center out triangle of 2 color brioche.  The pattern has been released as Arrakis.

Apparently it was a multi-color time frame as I’d just finished a two color shawl on my holiday trip, and then took up a two color brioche sample knit for my nearest local yarn store, The Nifty Knitter. 

file_medium2Which means I did not get either the Havar sweater dress done or the Sweater club sweater done…. and now its Sock Madness season.  Which I did finish my qualifier socks (and in fact are wearing them today!)

Which brings my finished knit yardage up to 1.7 miles thus far this year, even without any new sweaters. Which kind of negates the whole not knitting 11 miles again this year thing if I keep going at this pace.

One of the things I like about the Sock Madness group is that they give prizes for things other than the major end goal of fastest knitter of socks this year. Things like the ability to overcome some hurdles along the way or taking a great or amusing photos which is basically a general participation enjoyment.  The majority of the prizes are donated from fellow participants. The first year I didn’t know what to expect and joined because it was free, and you’d end up with all the patterns, so why not give it a shot.  It was the year of my wedding and I was knitting up all my flying piggies, and my post about knitting up flying piggies won me a prize of a couple skeins of yarn.  So I try to donate prizes now when I can.

One of the things I like to make for prizes and gifts for knitters are project bags.  And I’ve recently finished off a small batch. (And now I need a few more supplies to make another batch)  This style is a good size for a take your sock project with you.

 

At any rate… I am guessing the next post update will be socks.  And I may have to decide on which sweater for my between rounds project.  And just to make it more interesting, the email to pick my next sweater yarn shipment color showed up this morning!

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Keep Busy and Keep Going

Sometimes the best you can do is to just keep moving in the general direction of where you want to end up.  Then the next thing you notice you are already well on your way to a pile of stuff that somehow managed to get done.

I attempted to start my latest finished shawl on our holiday road trip.  And while its well written its spread across a few charts and as someone that sometimes has eyes wander in a chart, it was put on hold.  But I’m happy to say my first project with Stellina (aka sparkles) is complete.

The pattern is called Weirwood Tree. I suppose a more dedicated knitter than I would have knit it up in white and then hand dye-painted each leaf that burgundy/magenta of its namesake.

Also on the knitting front, its approaching Sock Madness time, and yet I managed to plan out extra socks to make, and even finished a pair for Ben, who has since decided he actually likes hand knit socks.  And I churned out a brioche cowl for a KAL this month too.

And last but not least I said I wanted to make 5 quilts this year… so I managed to put together another quilt top (I have the backing and binding fabric for this already)

Yes, it is a Christmas Throw Quilt.  No, I don’t have plans for it other than to make it. The design is called a Four Patch Lattice and goes together rather quickly.

Next Up: Expect a bunch more socks, Maybe a sweater, and I should probably get around to quilting one of these quilts…..

How to Invoke the Fairies, and my Beautiful Brioche Shawl

First of all…. I need to tell you I finished my  Brioche 2 color shawl that I posted the yarn for earlier…. and its so nice I’m going to give it a proper size photo.

Just like my climbing Hydrangea... its wearing the colors of both Spring and Fall leaves.

Just like my climbing Hydrangea… its wearing the colors of both Spring and Fall.

This is a pattern I fell completely in love with when I first saw it called Under Dutch Skies.  I decided that I would need to learn to brioche, just so I could make one of my own.   I started it towards the end of the Ravellnic Games with the hopes I might complete it.  But as the deadline got closer and closer I started to push myself and made more mistakes… primarily with my leaf spine counts.

As you can see here, in rows prior I did my increase in the wrong spine  instead of the center.

As you can see here, in rows prior I did my increase in the wrong right side stitch instead of the center stitch.

Once you’ve made that mistake well… its not one I was able to tick back and then work up correctly so thank goodness for lifelines, but it still meant frogging several rows.  I wasn’t going to make it to seven leaf repeats in time to finish… so it was finally time to take a real break and get the shawl out of my head for awhile.  This also freed me to make an additional leaf repeat.  I was so excited when I got to the binding off.

I realized as I was laying it out to block, that I’d made a mistake earlier on, and I’d just never found it.  Now here’s the thing about knitting mistakes.  They are kind of like looking at yourself.  When you look at yourself and your own knitting you find all the things you wish were better.  Maybe we wish we were thinner, or maybe we wish our hair looked better or that there is less of it in some places and more of it in others, and we can get focused in on all the things that aren’t just right. (My stitches are uneven, I twisted that one stitch wrong, etc) But when you take a step back and you look at the whole picture like someone else does…. both you and your knitting are so much better than you think.

So I’ve given you hints now go right ahead… find my mistake.

Not so obvious until you find it....

Not so obvious until you find it….  Feel free to click on the photo until you get it in a larger size too!

Now the reason for that whole exercise is that sometimes when we gift or sell our handcrafted items we feel this compulsion to point out those mistakes.  There is no need.  Its a gorgeous thing worth of praise WITH its minor imperfections.

Now perhaps you have some eagle eye friends and family or over time they find its special unique “feature” and feel compelled to point them out to you.   You can respond to this in a few ways, but here’s my favorite two.

  1. This is an identification feature.  It proves that this item is unique and should it be lost or stolen you could correctly identify yours, even if someone else made the same item with the same yarn.
  2. Invoke the fairies.

 

That’s right… invoke the fairies by looking that person straight in the eye and letting them know that you had to leave a mistake in the item.  Fairies like to steal and take things that are perfect, and after all this friend/family member was already so incredible you felt that if you gave them an absolutely perfect knit item, the fairies might feel compelled to take them away.  (Thus making your imperfection into a very high compliment!)