Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year in Review

Wow, I really fell off the blogging wagon. Here is the knitting stuff that you missed.

I knit a lot of hats and a few cowls and one random pair of slippers for a Nerd Wars challenge. Nerd Wars doesn't exist any more so I am now just knitting whatever makes me happy. I have quiet a few works in progress that will hopefully be finished sometime in 2015 but who knows.

I have no knitting goals for 2015. I have made knitting goals in the past and haven't stuck with them so I am just going to play it by ear in the coming year.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Nerd Wars Tournament Ten, Round Two

I managed to finish three projects for this round of Nerd Wars. I think that my knitting would be more productive if I could figure out how to incorporate projects into Nerd Wars instead of using Nerd Wars to select projects. I currently read the Nerd Wars challenge prompts and then select projects based on the prompt. I sometimes have other projects that I want or need to make but I have a hard time making my brain find ways for those projects to answer a Nerd Wars challenge. I think that I am going to try harder to make those project fit which should make juggling my knitting projects a little easier and should give my brain a bit of a workout. I think it is good to find different ways to give your brain a challenge, even if it is something small like making your project work with a Nerd Wars challenge prompt.

Without further ado, here are the badges that I earned for round two and the projects that I knit.

The challenge was to craft something inspired by the rocks that are studied by geologists. I knit a red hat inspired by rubies.  It is the Giving Comfort hat by Alicia Landi. It is a well-written pattern for a simple, bulky weight hat with a little bit of texture. I can see making a lot of these hats in my future for charity knitting. I used Malabrigo Mecha which is a lovely superwash bulky single that I purchased from my local yarn shop.


Please pardon the quality of the pictures. They were taken on a not so great camera and are a little blurry.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Leveling Up My Knitting Skills

I just love it when I learn a new knitting skill! Well, I don't know that it is actually a knitting skill so much as it is a yarn skill but since I use it in my knitting, I'm just calling it a knitting skill. I stumbled across this technique in the Haka pattern by Lee Meredith (you may know her as leethalknits) when she suggested using worsted weight yarn held triple to get a super bulky weight yarn. Now, I don't know about you but the thought of holding three strands together from three different balls of yarn was enough to give me hives. I sometimes get tangled up in one strand of yarn, let alone three! However, she mentioned a technique that allowed you to use one strand of yarn to get three strands held together and she linked to a video tutorial. Just one strand? I knew I had to give it a shot.

The video tutorial was created by Alex Tinsley, another fabulous designer, who can be found at her website, dull roar. The tutorial is genius! I am finally going to be able to use up the lace weight that I have in my stash along with all of the fingering weight. I don't mind knitting with fingering weight but I have so many single skeins of it that it will take me forever to knit through it all. Also, let's be honest, sometimes I get bored partway through a fingering weight project so it just gets shoved into a project bag and thrown in a corner, never to be seen again. Triple-stranded fingering weight will allow me to zip through a project without getting bored and now I will be able to use fingering weight for charity knitting since most of the places that I donate hats to prefer that they be made out of worsted or bulky weight yarns. Here is the video that has changed my knitting life.

It was a little fiddly when I first got started but if you are a spinner, it will probably come very easily to you since it is similar to chain plying. (At least that is what Lee Meredith said in her pattern. I don't spin so I neither confirm nor deny the accuracy of her statement.) Initially, I would chain up some yarn and leave it in a pile on the desk while I was knitting. I am sure no one is surprised to hear that led straight to tangle city. Then I started wrapping the chained yarn around the outside of the yarn cake and unwinding a little bit at a time to avoid tangles. Other than being annoyed at the interruptions to unwind the yarn, that method was working well until the yarn cake started to collapse. It was a center pull cake and I was pulling from the center so when it started to collapse, I worried about yarn tangles. This wouldn't have been a problem if I had worked from the outside of the cake but that's not how I roll. Inspiration struck in the form of a juice glass. I just wound the chained yarn around an upside down juice glass: no tangles, no collapsing the yarn cake, and no stopping to unwind the chained yarn as it just slipped nicely off the top of the glass as I knit. Here is a picture of my setup.

Since I wanted to test this technique on fingering weight yarn, I just knit a basic hat following the Giving Comfort hat pattern by Alicia Landi. I omitted the purl bumps in the body of the hat so I could focus on learning this new technique. The yarn that I was using as a test yarn was some leftover self-striping fingering weight yarn and it turns out, this technique is great for self-striping because you can preserve the striping sequence when would not happen if you held three different strands together! Look how great the finished product is:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Nerd Wars Tournament 10, Round One

I was a bit of a fail for this round of Nerd Wars. I only completed one project but I did manage to make sure that it was also fit in with the team unity for the round. I was very busy with work and I just wasn't feeling like knitting during February. Below are the badges that I earned during round one.

My amazing team captain always whips up awesome badges but I think the badges for this round are my favorite.

The challenge was to craft something that resembles a real, non-extinct, living organism, be it plant, animal, fungus, or bacterium. I knit a maple leaf dishcloth in Hobby Lobby's I Love This Cotton. That yarn is so soft! I'm guessing the dishcloth won't hold up for very long but I will enjoy the softness & squishiness while it lasts. I tied the color of the dishcloth to a shirt that Stacey wears in the pilot episode of "Gavin & Stacey." I also tied the color and the fact that it was a leaf to the woods that the runners are taking bathroom breaks in during the Marathon for Incontinence that was part of Monty Python's Silly Olympics (the sketch that we used for Team Unity).

If you haven't seen it, here is the Silly Olympics sketch.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bonus Knitting Time

The best part about traveling is the extra time that I have to knit. I don't have any distractions (I'm looking at you, internet.) so I get a fair bit of knitting done. I am knitting on a Monster Cowl out of yarn from Another Crafty Girl. If you haven't tried her worsted yarn, you should. It is a dream to work with.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Nerd Warriors for the Win!!!

You guys, this just happened:

Also, I got my official badge for Dwarfing the Nebula in T9 Round 3:

If you are interested in Nerd Wars, it is team sign up time and Team Most Amused would love to have you. If Britcoms aren't your cup of team, there are a bunch of teams and you are sure to find something to tickle your fancy. Here is the thread of the teams that are hoping to participate in Tournament 10.

Oh the places I've been...