Oh dear, I just realized something. In the hustle and bustle that is the winter holidays and the days leading up to them, I totally didn't have the time to post about the last few FOs I managed to eek out before 2016 was over and done with. Sadly, one of the FOs has already been gifted and I had finished it on the wire and so the only photos I was able to get of it was from phone. On a really, really dark day. Another of the FOs has been held hostage in the Mister's truck, as the Kiddo constantly forgets to bring the scarf back into the house and by the time I remember that it needs to be brought back into the house the Mister had already left the house. It's a vicious circle that has been happening for almost three weeks now.
Luckily for me, at least one of the FOs is still in my house and is being enjoyed on a daily basis. And by "enjoyed", I mean I force everyone to look at it by placing it right next to the Xbox. Heh heh heh...
So without further ado, let's get this mini FO train underway! First up:
I had blogged about a review I did on a KPC Yarn sampler box that was sent to me back in December. To be able to use all of the different yarns without having to knit a handful of swatches or little objects, I decided to knit something that involved colourwork. I was too nervous to knit something that had to be worn, for fear that the different yarn weights involved would mess the accessory up completely. I had stumbled upon a super cute planter cozy designed by SpillyJane and thought it was the most perfect pattern ever for my needs.
After sorting out my colours I immediately cast on and before the day was over I was a good three quarters done with my super cute cozy! I opted to knit the "medium" size, which was to fit a terra cotta pot that was about 3.75" in diameter and about 3.25" tall. I just happened to have that size of a pot in my house that was waiting for a succulent to call it home. I really wanted to knit the largest size, as I thought it could use up more yarn. Well, it would have used up more yardage but not more ball of different colours, as I would later realize. Oh well, I didn't have a large pot anyways (yet). But after knitting this nifty little cozy, knitting the large size is now definitely on my to-do list!
I stuck with the pattern completely and didn't do any mods - not counting the fact that I had to switch out a few colours as I didn't have anything similar to the ones used in the pattern in the yarn sampler box. I had read a few project pages in which some people had issues with the bottom curling up too much and wasn't sure if it had anything to do with the type of stretchy cast-on they had used. As in maybe their cast-on wasn't stretchy enough? So I decided to use the Old Norwegian Cast-On. All was good until I was halfway into the cozy when I noticed that my cast on edge was also curling like crazy. I didn't think much of it as I knew blocking would help. Well, it did but I think I could have gone with a less stretchy cast-on still!
Knitting colourwork was a lot of fun, although I doubted myself quite a few times because the piece would look wonky from time to time. I figured the wonkiness had something to do with the fact that I was using different yarn weights and fibres. But after a good steam blocking, I think the cozy turned out fantastically well. I'm so pleased with the results that I would love to knit a few more in all the sizes given in the pattern (there are three). I definitely would like some more medium sized ones but will have to see if my attempts at propagating succulents works first before I start whipping the cozies up. The cold snap we had at the start of winter has killed a few of my attempts as well as one of my prominent succulents, and almost took my little avocado tree too! Of my attempts, only three babies have survived. In the meantime, I've re-potted all my plants in hopes that the new soil will help to rejuvenate them. This little sedum plant was the lucky recipient to get the first of what will probably be many, of the plant cozies.
I think it looks pretty happy already!
:: Cozy Details ::
Pattern: Planter Cozies by SpillyJane
Yarns: KPC Yarns
Colours: Various, unfortunately I've misplaced a few of the tags!
Needles: Knit Picks Nickel Plated Fixed Circulars in 2.75mm (US 2)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits KPC Sampler Succulent Cozy
Next up: the beautiful shawl that I had knit for my kiddo's teacher. I really wish that I got better photos of the shawl before I gifted it, but sadly I was cutting it super close and didn't have the time. This photo collage does not do this shawl any justice whatsoever. But trust when I say that the teacher absolutely loved the gift and I have since seen her wearing the shawl several times now!
A lot of people have asked me if this is The Rain Outside shawl pattern by Sylvia McFadden. No, it's not. But I did use another of Sylvia's patterns from her book, Shawl Joy. This is Waiting For Rain, only with a TONNE of mods to sort of emulate The Rain Outside. Like for instance, instead of a solo colour, I chose to use two greys to make it tonal and stripe-y. I changed the increases at the edge so that it would look neater and not hole-y. I added a yarn over between the edge stitches on the right side and dropped them on the wrong side in hopes of loosening up the edge. I had accidentally knitted more rows than called for before the first lace panel because I got distracted on a knit date but decided that I didn't care and that I wasn't going to rip back. I thought I was going to be somewhat methodical in how I was going to add the stripes but then just started striping wherever I felt like in hopes of using up as much yarn as possible. I also changed the bind-off and went with the same "lace-y picot-style" bind-off that Sylvia used in one of her samples (it was included in the hack sheet that was sent out along with the individual pattern). For a full comprehensive list of my mods, check out my Ravelry page. I made sure to keep notes on all the changes and where I added my stripes, just in case.
I simply love how this shawl turned out and absolutely adore the bind-off. I'll admit that it took me a few tries to figure out the instructions (as per usual I was over-thinking it and once I realized that you were to turn your work after each row, all was peachy once more) but I'm SO glad that I stuck it out and didn't settle for the regular picot bind-off. Actually, because of the awesomeness of this lace-y version, I don't think I could ever knit a regular picot bind-off again! One of my goals for this year is to knit myself The Rain Outside and I'm already looking forward to knitting this bind-off. Sounds weird, I know!
If you're looking for a shawl that's impressive but not too flashy, that's a bit lace-y but not over the top, and that's simple to knit but can keep your interest, I highly recommend Waiting For Rain!
:: Shawl Details ::
Pattern: Waiting For Rain by Sylvia McFadden
Yarns: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light
Colours: Gossamer (MC, light grey) and Composition Book Grey (CC, dark grey)
Needles: Knit Picks Nickel Plated Interchangeables in 4mm (US 6)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits Waiting For Rain
And now, the very last project of 2016. It doesn't involve knitting!! Shocking, isn't it? I had mentioned in this post that my kiddo had been asking for a scarf for over a year. At first I thought a scarf would be pointless since he never wears one (then again, he doesn't own one so how could he wear one in the first place?) but then after some thought figured that a scarf has more staying power in that he could easily grow out of a hat whereas if you make the scarf long enough it would be more of a matter of wearing it out before you would get rid of it.
A week and a bit before Christmas I started crocheting this Adventure Time themed scarf of the character, BMO, and its best friend, Football. I figured I could crochet the scarf much faster than knitting it, especially since the scarf involved just one stitch, double crochet. I had a feeling the limbs, the face, and the sewing up of everything is where the majority of my time would be spent. And I was right. When I say I was pushing it and it was down to the wire, I mean I was up until 3am on Christmas Eve stitching everything up!!
But it was worth it. The look on the Kiddo's face when he saw it was priceless!! And dare I say, mathematical!! (only Adventure Time fans would get that reference)
Since I was in such a rush to make this, I didn't keep any notes. I do remember that I made the arms and legs a little bigger simply to make it easier for my hands to crochet, and that I made the arms a little longer. I think my gauge was tight as the edge was curling so I made the scarf about twelve inches longer so that I could turn the ends into pockets. Cause who doesn't love pockets? They're currently the right size for the kiddo's hands but are small enough to hold a little toy (or a handful of Lego), a little treat, or even mittens when not in use. I also crocheted the white "screen" face instead of using felt. But that's only because everywhere I went was sold out of white felt and the cream just didn't look right to me. Lucky for me, Michaels was offering a "buy 2 skeins of yarn, get the 3rd for free" deal. Perfecto! I ended up using almost one and a half skeins of the turquoise and the white yarn was a freebie.
I thought crocheting the scarf was tedious, I was wrong. Cutting out and then sewing the felt pieces was quite the arduous task. All the pieces were so tiny and I needed doubles. The perfectionist in me was going crazy that I couldn't get my circles round enough, the bars straight enough. Scissors just weren't cutting it (no pun intended). As a last resort I took out my quilting ruler and rotary cutter and just started cutting out rectangles and squares. It worked! My bars were perfect and I managed to get non-oval, perfect looking circles by using scissors to trim the corners of the squares to get my nicely round circles. Then I had to sew the felt pieces on... times like these I'm glad I'm a craft hoarder. I used embroidery thread to sew the pieces onto the scarf using the back stitch technique. SO.tedious.
But hey, in the end I'm super proud of how the scarf turned out and how cute the faces look. I can't say I would ever make a similar project again, but I did learn some stuff. And the best parts, my kiddo was happy and my hands didn't hurt after all that work. Algebraic!!
:: Scarf Details ::
Pattern: BMO Scarf by Rose Henderson
Yarns: Red Heart Soft Solids
Colours: Turquoise (#2515) and White
Hooks: 5mm (size H) and 3.75mm (size F) for the limbs
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits BMO & Football BFF Scarf