Tag: Mirkwood

kira makes Little Arrowhead Shawl, revisited

The weather lately has been indecisive.

First it’s warm and Spring-like (even sometimes downright hot), but then it will switch and turn chilly. In order to combat the fickleness of the changing season, I’ve taken to wearing my Little Arrowhead Shawl.

Despite having made it in… late 2012?, I hadn’t really worn it often. I think it was my first (or possibly second) lace shawl. I like lace shawls, conceptually and in the creation process, but hadn’t quite figured out how to wear them.

Previously, I only had pictures of the shawl from when it was blocking: Attempt #1, where the bind-off edge was too tight, and Ziggy was “helping”; and Attempt #2, after I re-worked the bind-off edge, and re-blocked it (sans-Ziggy).

But since I was wearing it fairly often, I finally snapped a pic of the shawl being worn.

Little Arrowhead Shawl

This shawl has been great for the fluctuating temperatures. It is warm, but not too warm. The yarn is smooth and soft. It is a now-discontinued DK yarn (Spa) from the Naturally Caron line from Caron, made of microdenier acrylic and rayon from bamboo. I have another skein of this yarn in pale yellow (Soft Sunshine), that now I am pondering working up into another lace shawl, since I’ve been wearing this one so much lately.

Sooo, I pull up Ravelry, and look at my options. I immediately spot one that looks good… and see that it is the Little Arrowhead Shawl pattern, again. Hah.. well, apparently I know what I like. But, I want to try another pattern, since I’ve already made that one. Variety!

Soooooo, I browse other options of thicker weight lace shawls, because I want to use bigger needles and take a break from laceweight and sockweight yarns. Looking at patterns until it dawns on me: I COULD MAKE MY OWN PATTERN for a lace triangle shawl.

WAIT, brain. What? Stopppp! …not only are you not supposed to be starting yet another project, but… designing one?

Needless to say.. I’m totally planning on looking through my lace stitch dictionaries when I get home.

(Not like I don’t already have a lace shawl on the needles (*cough*Mirkwood*cough*)… But this one would be a much quicker knit! I haven’t really picked Mirkwood back up since the cat-astrohpe. One day I’ll get around to finishing it. One day…)

-x

kira makes a string of expletives

I had to reset my phone, and everything was fine.

tally counter pro

…until I realized this morning that my Tally Counter Pro app was deleted. Meaning that I now don’t know what row I am on in the Mirkwood Shawl, the Featherweight Cardigan, and the Crocodile Stitch booties (a project I think I’m starting over anyway). Boo, technology failures!

(However, now from blog post title, I want to somehow craft a “string of expletives”… *ponders*)

-x

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*

-x

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.”

Beehive

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.

-x

kira makes a sad discovery… and a triumphant recovery

It’s been a long while since I have updated the blog. Life has been busy. I’ve been surprisingly social, which (while being enjoyable) has severely cut down on my personal time and time for making things.

I’ve been trucking away on the Mirkwood Shawl at the weekly Twisted Stitchers RVA craftnights, and in the few evenings I have to myself. Everything had been going along relatively smoothly, with the potential for actually finishing it in time to wear to the wedding a not-too-far-off possibility. Until…

Mirkwood - Eaten

… one of the cats ate multiple holes in it. I am fairly certain it was Árnyék; he likes to gnaw on the red blanket on the bed and probably found it to be similar. As you can see from the picture, there’s still kitten-spit on it. *sadface*

On the bright side, all of the three holes that I found were relatively close to the working side. After recovering from the shock-and-horror, I bravely removed the entire shawl from the needle and unraveled it, picking out the beads as I went, until I got to the base of the holes (which apparently was all the way back to when I switched skeins of yarn).

Mirkwood - Unraveled

And then — picked up 379 stitches like a BOSS.

In a stroke of luck, the row I picked up had the distinctive double-YOs, allowing me to more easily figure out what row I’m now on (Chart 2, row 79). And each segments’ stitch count matches what it should be. Woot.

This means that I lost 30 rows… and since each row takes foreeeeeever (like at least good 20 min per RS row) that means I lost only like, 10 hours of my LIFE. Plus the probably-around-2-hours it took to carefully unravel and pick-up stitches. Jeez.

It is much more unlikely that I will finish this in time to wear for the wedding as I am now having to backtrack… Le sigh. So, I’ll have to figure out something else to wear.

But, I get to be all proud of myself for fearlessly taking several hundred stitches off the needles, dismantling, and picking up stitches — LACE stitches — without doubting my skills to actually do it. Because I am awesome. And I can do things if I put my mind to it. I will finish this shawl and be victorious. (I really hope it blocks well, since it seems to be turning out fairly small… eek.)

-x

kira makes more Mirkwood

Mirkwood 07.2015 02

I’d rather be knitting.

Making progress on Mirkwood. Slow going, as the stitch number increases. But thoroughly enjoying knitting it.

Mirkwood 07.2015 01

I am fast closing in on the end of Chart 1. I’ve gotten my system down for keeping track of all the lace charts. It’s not nearly as difficult as it had initially seemed it would be. I occasionally consider adding lifelines, but so far, I haven’t had many issues where I need to undo the work. When I do run into a problem — finding one stitch more or less per the segment — I am able to easily find where I need to fix it in the previous rows and correct it. Since the whole shawl is broken down into smaller charts, it’s actually easier for me to keep track of it. I think perhaps when I get to the flaming pinecones section, I may consider adding a lifeline.

But for now, making good progress, and finally with pictures.

-x

kira makes inkstained crossed fingers

Oscar Wilde - Experience

Crossing fingers for luck with a potential opportunity!

I haven’t made an update in two weeks or so, because I didn’t have any good images of progress on my various projects. And a post without pictures is truly not as exciting.

So, quickly whipped together this image to prompt me to post. I haven’t really devoted much (read: any) time to actually digitizing my calligraphy, past shooting a quick iPhone image. (Which I honestly ought to spend a little more time making sure that it is lit well, and… you know, actually in focus! Hah.) It was interesting seeing what I could pull together in just a few minutes, testing out a few techniques I’d seen. Not sure I actually like the colors of the end result, but…

Anyway — making good progress on Mirkwood Shawl. Pictures to come, when I remember to actually document it. Progress is slow, and it’s nice to have companions in this KAL journey to commiserate about confusing parts and the numerous lace charts. I’m about a third of the way through Chart 1 (which starts after setting up all the inner borders). It’s hard to judge precisely how far in the pattern I am, since each row has more stitches than the previous. So, even if I could say I am __ rows in a pattern consisting of __ rows, it’s not a good method to evaluate how much more there is to go. We’ll just say that it will go on and on until it is done.

Which will hopefully be before September (I’m sure it will!) because I plan to wear it to my sister’s wedding.

-x

kira makes the start of Mirkwood

Mirkwood - Beginning

I caved and cast on for Mirkwood. I knit about 13 rows at craft night, before having to pause because I didn’t have any of my beads with me. Later that night, I knit to about row 31, before realizing that I had just been purling the entire WS rows, instead of knit-the-knits, purl-the-purls. Plus, I didn’t really care for the bead that I was using — in the pattern, there are special “tree” beads used occasionally throughout the pattern (in addition to the seed beads); I had tried using tiny metal star shaped beads, but they were not laying in an attractive way, because of hole placement and how they are added to the pattern.

So, I decided to frog the whole thing and start over.

When I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, due to insomnia, I had the brilliant idea of getting up and working more on the shawl. Which, of course, lead to me not going back to bed again! But I did get back to the point where I had gotten before, so overall progress. This time, I am using a spherical shiny gunmetal-grey bead for the accent beads. They are a little large/heavy, but I think they will work.

Mirkwood - Bead Options

For the main seed beads, I couldn’t decide what color to use, so I ended up ordering all the color options. This was actually a good idea, since several of them looked very different from their online appearance. I have ultimately decided to go with the transparent grey bead — it appears to catch the light the most, as well as having a hint of the color through the bead. The transparent ruby beads don’t really complement the yarn’s shade of red, and the opaque black, while pretty, don’t seem as sparkly as the grey.

Now that I’ve started Mirkwood, I’m itching to go back home to work on it more! Boo having to work…

-x

kira makes another mistake

This time an actual problem.

I loaded the hank of Malabrigo Lace onto my yarn swift, and used my ball-winder to wind the hank into a center-pull yarn cake. Not so much of a problem so far.

But then, I attempted to use the yarn cake as a center-pull… which is where I ran into a big snag. The fine laceweight yarn caught and snagged on itself, and in pulling it, snapped the yarn. Attempting to find the end again, I managed to make a 400+ yard knot-bundle. Oops…

yarn tangle

After spending a while, with a lot of patience, I managed to unknot the entire skein, but now it’s split into smaller balls, as the yarn snapped a couple more times in the unknotting process. Oh well. Luckily, it was technically the extra skein I ordered, so not too much of a concern.

I think this was a lesson I learned the last time I worked with laceweight yarn, but had forgotten. It doesn’t seem like laceweight yarn likes being used as a center-pull. Now will hopefully remember this for the future!

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