WIP Wednesday: May 14, 2014

It’s WIP Wednesday.  I finished the Palindrome Scarf this week and already blogged about that.  The Quinn Bag and Granny Square blanket that I posted about in last week’s WIP Wednesday are still in progress, and I’ve started two new projects.  SPOILER ALERT:  If you, dear reader, happen to be a woman on my Christmas gift giving list, you might want to avoid this post, as one of the new projects is a Christmas gift!

The Baltic Blue Quinn Bag

This week, I braided the handle of the bag.  Here’s what the project looks like now:

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I plan to finish this in the next couple days, as I will be seeing the recipient of this gift this weekend!

Granny Square Blanket

I finished 3 granny squares this week.  Here’s a picture of all the squares I’ve finished so far.

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Spinning

The first new project this week is a spinning project.  Just by eyeballing it, I think I did about 1.5 ounces.

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The fiber is pin drafted wool from Ohio Valley Farms that I bought at The Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana.  I bought a pound of this, and already spun up 8 ounces of it.  I’m starting on the second 8 ounces, all of which is part of my OWL for the HPKCHC.  For the first 8 ounces, it took me about 1 hour per ounce to spin.  This time, it seems to be taking me longer, in large part because I am spinning much finer yarn.  This fiber will be plied with a naturally brown Shetland blend that I also bought at The Fiber Event.  Given how thin I’m spinning this fiber, I’m hoping the final yarn will be somewhere between a lace and fingering weight yarn, so I can use it to make a shawl.

MAPLE LEAF Shawl

On Sunday, I cast on a MAPLE LEAF Shawl.  Last term, 23 Ravenclaws, including me, made the MAPLE LEAF Shawl (See The Ravenclaw Aerie blog post for pictures of them all).  I love how the finished shawls look:

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The pattern has some issues.  First, it does not take anywhere near as much yarn as the designer states.  For most people, it took about 500 yards (the pattern says 700+).  Second, the knitting order seems strange to me.  Every time you have multiple points, the pattern has you do the right point, then the left point, then the center.  You bind off at the end of each point and rejoin the yarn at the live stitches.  Doing this means you have 52 ends to weave in when the knitting is finished.  If I had to weave in 52 ends, I would never make this shawl.  But in the notes on the pattern’s Ravelry page, the designer says you could crochet slip-stitch the yarn across to the working stitches.  I did not know how to crochet slip-stitch, but I figured it out so that I would not have to weave in ends.  I quickly figured out that I could not do the right / left / center method the designer used if I wanted to do the crochet slip-stitch because it would mean slipstitching across live stitches.  So I knit from right to left across the points rather than right / left /center.  This meant skipping around in the pattern, and being careful not to lose my place.  Despite these problems, I enjoyed this pattern, and found it a fairly quick knit (the designer said it took her about 20 hours to knit, and I believe I took about the same).

Since I liked this project so much, I decided to make several of these shawls as Christmas presents.  I like to find a project that I can make for all the women in my life.  I personalize the project by choosing different colors for each person, or adding details that reflect the individual.  I will be knitting 9 or so of these MAPLE LEAF shawls this year.  I am knitting them in undyed yarn, and will dye each one myself, to match the recipient.

The MAPLE LEAF shawl I cast on this week is the second of the Christmas shawls.  Since I was sick and spent many hours sitting on the couch as a result, I got a lot of knitting done this week!  Here’s how far I’ve gotten:

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Travel Knitting: Decisions, Decisions

My sister graduates from medical school this coming Friday!  I am leaving my house at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday to fly to Baltimore, Maryland to attend the graduation.  I originally planned to fly home on Saturday night, but have extended my trip so that I can help her start packing for her move to Hartford, Connecticut where she will be doing her residency.  I’m not quite sure what to bring for my travel knitting.  I could bring:

  • The MAPLE LEAF Shawl.  I’m nearly done with the central section, and then will move on to the points.  This time around, I have to take notes on the order I knit the points so that I don’t have to figure out how to skip around the pattern again.  This means it is not good travel knitting.
  • Granny Squares.  Very portable.  I can bring a couple skeins of yarn and make a whole lot of squares.  Crochet is a little hard on my wrist, so this can’t be the only project I bring.
  • Begonia Swirl Shawl.  This is my Order of the Phoenix project for the HPKCHC, so I can’t cast on until the 18th.
  • A Monster and / or Palindrome Hat.  These are the projects I originally identified as my Quidditch Round 2 projects.  Round 2 starts on Friday the 16th and ends on the 25th.  I either have to work on one of these projects while I am gone or find alternative projects.  Five days is not enough for me to finish both of these projects after I return from my trip.

I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do.  I am only bringing carry bags for this trip.  I have a carry on suitcase and my messenger bag.  I have no room in the suitcase, so all the projects I bring need to fit in the messenger bag.  I can probably fit 3 projects in the messenger bag with the other things I have in there, and one of them will be the Quinn Bag.  That means I can bring two other projects.  Right now, I’m thinking Granny Squares plus the Begonia Swirl Shawl.  But I’ve changed my mind a half dozen times in the last few days, and I’ll probably change it again while I’m packing.  This means next week’s WIP Wednesday will be something of a surprise!

 

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