Tag: Les Misérables

kira makes the start of a New Year

Four days into 2016, and it’s time for the obligatory New Year post, albeit a little late.

I haven’t done as much reflecting on 2015 as I probably should. It’s nice to have the blog to go back through older posts to see what I was up to throughout the year. Definitely more motivation to try to keep the blog updated more regularly.

This year, according to the blog (not a comprehensive review):

  • Around the start of the year (technically in the December of the previous year), I finished making the squares for the Cabled Afghan Knit-Along. I have yet to sew these squares together into the blanket. Eeesh.
  • Also at the start of the year, I cast on for making the Featherweight Cardigan. I have yet to finish this project. (I’m already sensing a theme here…)
  • I created a digital drawing that I converted into an embroidery piece. I did finish the embroidery, but did not document it here. And, really, the piece needs a good ironing and still needs to be framed. Continuing the “not quite finished” trend…
  • I needlefelted a penguin — first and only needlefelting project so far. I enjoyed needlefelting, might try it again in the future. The penguin suffered a sad fate, when the cats decided that he was their toy and has since then been chewed to bits.
  • I successfully completed A Month of Letters Challenge and International Correspondence Writing Month in February! I plan to try to do this again this year.
  • I started, and abandoned 30 Days of Lists. I partially did not finish this challenge because the lists were becoming increasingly more personal and I did not want to revisit or share some of these memories publicly.
  • I got back into needle tatting; I started making a pair of needle tatted barefoot sandals, making all the pieces, but not assembling them. All the parts are somewhere in the apartment… Also, a needle tatted choker that was started, and turned into an unfinished project.
  • I started my Fleegle heel socks, working toe-up. I made each sock until they reached about mid-calf, before realizing that I probably need to undo them a bit and add calf increases, if I want to keep knitting them taller. Another unfinished project.
  • I GOT KITTENS! Which, have increasingly hampered my ability to make things, as they like to get into nonsense and wander across whatever I am working on.
  • The kittens also chewed a hole in the Mirkwood Shawl, the complicated beaded lace shawl that I started in June, with the hope of finishing it in time to wear to my sister’s wedding in September. While I made a great amount of progress, the kitten-chewed-hole caused the project to get derailed and did not finish in time. It is still languishing in my project drawer, waiting for me to pick it back up and finish it.
  • I completed Drawlloween 2015, making a tiny-tiny drawing for each daily prompt.
  • I finally finished my Les Misérables wrap; it is tremendously long and I wore it several times before the weather warmed up too much to warrant wearing it. Now that the weather is getting more wintery, perhaps I will have more opportunity to wear it!
  • I did some gift-making, which I was unable to document, as they were to be surprises for the recipients. Now that gift-giving season is over, I can showcase them. Woo.

So, in reviewing the year, lots of making: knitting, crochet, embroidery/cross-stitch, drawing, letter-writing, calligraphy, general crafting and DIY. I am finding that I do like starting projects, but often run into issues finishing them.

Hence, my “resolutions” for 2016:

  • make time to work on projects.
  • finish the projects that are waiting to be completed.
  • update the blog more often!
  • actually do the courses that I’ve purchased from Craftsy, Skillshare, and Creativebug.

Those are pretty much my goals for every year. Make more things. *wink*


kira makes non-NaNoWriMo

I knew from the start that I wasn’t planning on participating in NaNoWriMo. One day, I will get back into fiction-writing, but that day is not right now.

After considering what other truncated-word/acryonym challenge I might do instead of NaNoWriMo (such as NaBloPoMo or NaNoJouMo), I decided I really can’t be arsed to do a daily intensive challenge and I’m already a day behind anyway… So, whatever.

I’m going to work on my creative assortment of interests daily, as usual. This month’s focus is Finishing Things.

So far, I’ve completed the Les Misérables wrap and hand-felted it in a basin in the bathtub. Handfelting — what a workout!

Les Miserables - Bathtub

Les Miserables - Felted Closeup

The color never shows up in the photographs right… Sigh. Think turmeric (which is actually the yarn color’s name).

I believe I thought the felting would shrink it a lot more, so it is still massively long. Enough for two wraps around the neck and STILL long. It is too warm to wear right now, but will be lovely in the winter.

In the spirit of finishing the UFOs that I have laying about, I pulled out the Fleegle heel socks I had set aside. As I pulled one of them on, I re-confirmed what I had previously determined: I need to unravel them a fair bit and start to add calf-shaping increases. So… I’m not that excited about that. Part of me wants to just bind-off and call it a day, but I know that I want to keep knitting them until they are TALL socks, and to do that, I will need to add calf-shaping, since they are being unattractively stretched out. But… I will get to that later, when I have more motivation for that.

I then turned to the Featherweight Cardigan, which has been sitting, neglected in a bin. Several rows into the plain stockinette stitching, I got a little bored and was hoping for a bit more excitement. Thinking I might cheat and cast-on for a quick new project (a hat), I remembered that I already knit a hat that is just waiting for some finishing (d’oh!). Tiny Owl Knit’s Deer with Little Antlers Hat. Mine has been sitting in a bin, with the hat part, two ears, and ONE antler. All that needs to be done is to make the other antler, felt them, stitch the antlers and ears on the hat, and ta-da! Done. The hunt for the skein of natural-colored wool began. I pulled bin after bin out of my closet (where I hide my yarnstash), finding several other UFOs along the way — the thick stack of squares from the Cabled Afghan KAL just waiting to be stitched together, a hat that just needed fringe added, and then… a scarf that I made as a gift for a friend… in 2008. Which has been waiting for a cloth backing to be sewn on to hide the back of the colorwork. Since 2008. …wow.

So, I decided the next project to complete was the scarf; I am over halfway through handsewing the jersey backing to the scarf. Once it’s complete, I’ll ship it off to the intended recipient. Only like… 7 years after I started it.


kira makes more stitches (a catch-all knitting post)

The last 23 days or so have just been short posts for the #drawlloween challenge. I haven’t updated much else. But I have been knitting.

Mirkwood is sadly set aside, having never regained momentum after the cat-attack. While the work has been salvaged, the semi-deadline has passed, so there’s less motivation to keep working on it. I do plan to get back to it, but am just taking a break.

In the meantime, I cast on a new project. (Of course. It’s not like I have a zillion projects waiting for me to finish them…)

I had purchased some “souvenir yarn” during my trip to Seattle — Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Beehive and Knitted Wit Victory Sock in Market Flowers (exclusive Seattle colorway). I was eager to try something with these new yarns, since starting new projects is always exciting.

I cast on with the Maxima, test knitting stockinette, linen-stitch, a chunky lace, and a few others, frogging each time before settling on the star-stitch pattern of “Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks.”


The scarf is wider that the original pattern, and I knit until I ran out of yarn, resulting in a short scarf, good for tucking into one’s jacket. I still haven’t weaved in the ends, because I am lazy.

I also mended a machine-knit sweater. One of my favorites had gone through the wash and emerged with a broken strand that unraveled the stitches several inches wide.

Rock & Republic - Unraveled

Rock & Republic - Repaired

Using the crochet hook I’d been using for beading on Mirkwood (the hook is 0.5mm!!), I picked up all the unraveled stitches, and re-bound off the edge. I wouldn’t say it’s as good as new, because it slightly puckers there, but in the overall design of the sweater, I think it is virtually unnoticeable.

I’ve picked up the Les Misérables scarf/wrap again. I’ve decided to use all the balls of the yarn I have, and it will be very long. It is already… very long. I don’t know how much it will shrink when felted (technically, fulled). Part of me wonders if I want to felt it at all. I guess we’ll see when it’s done.

Les Misérables - with Cats

On a side note, the kittens are getting quite big.


kira makes twitchy fingers

Malabrigo Lace -- Pagoda

Currently trying to resist temptation.

I think I have found the yarn I want to use to make the Mirkwood shawl. Malabrigo Lace, in Pagoda — a deep dark shade of red. (Although looking at some of the stashed photos on Ravelry, it looks like there is a fair bit of variation in tone.)

The online shop has just enough in stock in the right color… Trying to decide if I can shift next month’s “hobbies” budget to now, since I don’t want them to get sold out. (All of this month’s “spare” money went towards kittens.)

*twitchy fingers*

Not like I don’t already have enough projects going on at once… Currently still working on the Les Misérables wrap, the Featherweight Cardigan, and my Fleegle Heel Socks. The Les Mis wrap may actually be long enough to consider binding off (I have 2 more balls of yarn; trying to decide whether to just knit until I run out of yarn, or go by the pattern’s length recommendation). I’m making decent progress on the Featherweight Cardigan, specifically at craft nights. And, I’m technically on the second sock of the Fleegle Heel socks, about to make the gusset and heel. Soooo… I’m kind of in a place where I could theoretically finish some projects soon, and can add another project into the mix. Maybe…

But now, researching pet insurance like a “responsible adult”… boo, adulting.


kira makes a knitting update: Les Misérables

So, it’s been a while since I’ve actually knitted, up until last weekend.

Tidbit (my Scion iQ) needed to have routine maintenance and an inspection, so I was going to be stuck waiting at the shop for roughly 2 hours. I needed to bring something that would be portable — so into my bag went 2 knitting projects and my tatting supplies. Because I like to be prepared.

I ended up working on a project that I started a while back and set aside — Les Misérables.

When I first saw the pattern for this deconstructed scarf, I immediately thought of this iconic ballet photograph (Ballet Study by Harvey Edwards), with its well-worn ballet slippers, tattered legwarmers, and mustard-y coloured tights.

Ballet Study by Harvey Edwards

I have long adored the colour of the tights in combination with the distressed legwarmers. I could easily envision the Les Misérables scarf in such a shade, so I selected KnitPicks Palette in Tumeric, described as “a brownish, orange yellow color… inspired by the golden tones of spices found in South Asia…” It looks like the spice Tumeric; however, it has been near impossible for me to capture the hue correctly in photographs.

Les Miserables On Head

I made a fair bit of progress while waiting for Tidbit (check-up all good!), and have continued to pick it up off and on again throughout the week. About to be on ball three (of six). And after all the knitting is complete, it is partially felted. I’m excited.

One day, I will get back to the Featherweight Cardigan. I have made a significant amount of progress on the Cardigan, but have not documented it at all. Perhaps I will remember to snap some pictures soon.