A Year of Projects 2015, Weeks 27 & 28

come-blog_0

I didn’t write a Year of Projects post last Sunday, so this post covers the last week and a half of progress.  Saturday, July 4 was Independence Day in the United States.  My husband had Friday and Monday off, and we planned to go to the beach at least one day.  We didn’t go because I wasn’t feeling well on Sunday and Monday.  On Friday, my family got together for lunch:

image

Chris and I hung out around the house for the rest of the long weekend.  The rest of this week was our usual routine.  Today we did some yard work.  The aloe plants in our backyard are blooming.  I love their flowers!

image

I’m also happy to report that while Tiger seemed suspicious of his cat bed when I first made it, he’s decided he quite likes it.  It is now his favorite place to sleep — if no human lap is available, that is!

image

Let’s review the goals I set when last I wrote a Year of Projects post:

Goals for July 1 to 5, 2015

  • Knit at least 1/2 of the Sweet Summer Shawl
  • Cast on Miranda Shawl
  • Swatch and Cast on Bubbles Baby Blanket
  • Swatch and Cast on Liquid Silver Shawl
  • Finish spinning and plying the Cormo I’ve been working on since February
  • Start spinning the 3 Feet of Sheep (8 ounces BFL) on July 4 for Tour de Fleece

I finished the Sweet Summer Shawl on July 8.

image

I cast on the Miranda Shawl, knit 8 rows, discovered that my mistake on the cast on row was going to be a problem, ripped it all the way out, and cast on again.  I only cast on again yesterday and I’m now making excellent progress.

image

Since I’m working on the Cormo as part of Tour de Fleece, I’ve been writing regular updates about it (Stage 1, Stage 3, Stage 6, Stage 7).  Today I finally finished plying it!  The bobbin on top is the one I finished plying for Stage 7.  I finished the other two bobbins today.

image

I have not started the baby blanket, Liquid Silver Shawl, or spun any of the BFL.  I didn’t include anything about the Master Hand Knitting swatches on my goal list, but it is an ever-present goal.  I knit one more swatch in the last week:

image

 

Goals for July 13 to 19, 2015

The next two weeks I will be very busy.  My cousin is in town next weekend.  I’m also taking a three-day weaving workshop from the 17th through the 19th.  On the 21st, I head to San Diego for The Knitting Guild Association Annual Conference, and I won’t be home until the 26th.  I have a long list of things to do and little hope that everything will get done!  I’m trying to write a modest list of goals, and it’s taking every bit of restraint I have to keep it short.

  • Finish the Miranda Shawl
  • Knit all the homework swatches for TKGA classes
  • Finish knitting the MHK1 swatches
  • Spin 1 color of the BFL / day (there’s 10 colors / 8 ounces total in Three Feet of Sheep)

On Deck:

  • Mittens for MHK1
  • Liquid Silver Shawl
  • Bubble Baby Blanket
  • Weaving with VCR tape
  • Color and Weave Study scarves
  • Begonia Swirl Shawl

Updated List of Goals for 2015

Knitting

  • Knit myself a sweater
  • Improve my finishing techniques
  • Finish MHK Level 1
    • First 3 swatches finished by June 24, 2015
    • Swatch #14 finished July 11, 2015
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Tribbles, finished January 18, 2015
    • Leaves, finished March 30, 2015 but never blogged
    • Heart Illusion Dishcloths (in progress)
  • Charity Knits
  • Do some test knits
    • Sand Tracks Scarf, finished June 16, 2015
    • Grisou Scarf, finished June 24, 2015
    • Raindrops on Roses Shawlette, finished June 27, 2015
    • Miranda Shawl (in progress)
  • Finish or frog all UFOs
    • Traveling Scarf
    • Bigger on the Inside Hat
    • Evenstar
    • Quinn Bag
    • Baby Blue Monster
  • Socks
  • Other Projects
  • Design at least one project from scratch

Crochet

  • Learn to read crochet patterns
  • Learn all the basic crochet stitches.
  • Make at least one non-granny square crochet project
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Diagonal Crochet Dishcloths (in progress)

Spinning

  • Breed Specific Spinning
    • Cormo (in progress)
  • Learn to spin on a drop spindle

Weaving

  • Continue playing with color and weave drafts
  • Learn pick up stick drafts
  • Learn Inkle Weaving
  • Learn Kumihimo braiding
  • Explore Twill weaves on the floor loom
  • Make items for the Guild Sale
  • Other

Dyeing

  • Finish dyeing the MAPLE LEAF Shawls
  • pH / water source experiment
  • Return to dye triangles project

A Year of Projects 2015, Week 26.5

come-blog_0

For the past week, I’ve been crafting like it’s my job.  I also had an unusually high number of fun activities.  I had lunch in Diagon Alley with Ravelry friends who were in Orlando on vacation from Massachusetts.

image
Of all the items listed for sale here, I most want the never-tangle wool.

I went to my first ever professional soccer game.  It was my cousin’s wife’s birthday and that’s what she wanted to do.

image

My husband and I bought tickets to view last Sunday’s SpaceX Falcon 9 launch from the NASA causeway.  We didn’t want to get up at the crack of dawn and drive over, so we drove over Saturday night and stayed in a hotel.

image
If you look closely, you can see Launch Pad 40 and maybe the rocket on the pad. There’s 4 objects that look like buildings. Pad 40 is between the two right hand buildings. There’s 4 lightning towers surrounding the pad; the rocket is in the middle.  It’s a slightly thicker line than the 4 surrounding towers.

Here’s the video I took of the launch.  The vehicle failed 139 seconds after launch.  I stopped recording two seconds before that because I was using my phone to record video and could barely see anything at that point.  It looked like a beautiful, perfect launch with nothing more to see.  And then the Liquid Oxygen tank exploded.

 

I still managed to get quite a bit of crafting done!  Let’s review the ridiculously ambitious list of goals I wrote:

Goals for June 21 to 30, 2015

  • Finish Raindrops on Roses Shawl (Headmistress Challenge)
  • Finish Grisou Scarf (homework, but which class?)
  • Finish Solid / 1×1 Scarf (OWL)
  • Three more color and weave scarves to meet OWL 50% (highly unlikely to finish)
  • Finish current Heart Illusion Dishcloth, plus 4 more (COMC?)
  • Tier Scarf (Charms or Potions)
  • Crochet Dishcloths (Transfiguration)
  • MHK1 swatches (Divination and / or Charms)
  • Small stuffed bird (DADA)
  • Cast on Sweet Summer Shawl (Quidditch Round 3; due July 8)
  • Liquid Silver Swatch (OOTP; due July 19)
  • Cast on Begonia Swirl Shawl (Headmistress Challenge; due July 28)

Fully Accomplished Goals

I finished the Raindrops on Roses Shawl.  I absolutely love it.  I test knit this for Assorted Musings (Ravelry, blog); the pattern will be released on July 15.  I plan to publish a detailed blog post for FO Friday on July 3.

image

I finished the Grisou Scarf.  I test knit this for Sasoolero (Ravelry, blog) and I’m not sure when she plans to release the pattern.  I will publish a blog post on this project for FO Friday on July 3.

IMG_9439

Partially Accomplished Goals

I started the Solid / 1×1 Scarf.  I’ve woven somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of it.  I have the hardest time taking pictures of weaving in progress.  Since the finished work gets wound onto the cloth beam, it’s difficult to see progress!

image

I finished the Heart Illusion Dishcloth that I had in progress, plus two more.

image

I started the tier scarf and knit about 1/3 of it.

Knitting while waiting for the rocket launch.
Knitting while waiting for the rocket launch.

I crocheted one dishcloth.  In my goal, I didn’t say how many I wanted to knit.  I need 18 for the Dishcloth Advent Calendar, but didn’t expect to get them all done this month.  I was hoping for 9.  I learned how to single crochet increase, single crochet decrease, and crochet through the back loop.

I knit the first 3 swatches for MHK1.  I still need to weave in the ends and block them.  I also wrote answers to several more questions.

image

Unaccomplished Goals

As expected, I did not weave the 3 additional scarves for my OWL.  I did not make the stuffed bird.  I decided to submit the Grisou scarf for DADA instead, and didn’t need the bird for anything else.  I have not cast on the Sweet Summer Shawl.  I will be doing that today.  I have not swatched for Liquid Silver.  I will be doing that today.  I have not cast on Begonia Swirl Shawl.  I think I’m going to wait a couple of weeks and cast on before I go to TKGA in San Diego.  It will make excellent travel knitting.

Other Projects

I made a felted cat bed for Tiger.  I managed to knit 1,047 yards worth of garter stitch in less than 3 days, felt it, and stitch it together!  It wasn’t on my goal list because I hadn’t decided to do it until after I wrote that list.  Tiger’s been sleeping on an alpaca blanket my father bought me when he was in Peru and I didn’t want it ruined.  I needed a quick replacement.

image

Goals for July 1 to 5, 2015

  • Knit at least 1/2 of the Sweet Summer Shawl
  • Cast on Miranda Shawl
  • Swatch and Cast on Bubbles Baby Blanket
  • Swatch and Cast on Liquid Silver Shawl
  • Finish spinning and plying the Cormo I’ve been working on since February
  • Start spinning the 3 Feet of Sheep (8 ounces BFL) on July 4 for Tour de Fleece

I’m tempted to write more, but I think this is more than enough.  My husband is off on Friday and Monday for the July 4 holiday.  I will have less crafting time than usual because I’ll be hanging out with him, and we’re going to the beach for at least one day!

Updated List of Goals for 2015

Knitting

  • Knit myself a sweater
  • Improve my finishing techniques
  • Finish MHK Level 1
    • First 3 swatches finished by June 24, 2015
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Tribbles, finished January 18, 2015
    • Leaves, finished March 30, 2015 but never blogged
    • Heart Illusion Dishcloths (in progress)
  • Charity Knits
  • Do some test knits
    • Sand Tracks Scarf, finished June 16, 2015
    • Grisou Scarf, finished June 24, 2015
    • Raindrops on Roses Shawlette, finished June 27, 2015
  • Finish or frog all UFOs
    • Traveling Scarf
    • Bigger on the Inside Hat
    • Evenstar
    • Quinn Bag
    • Baby Blue Monster
  • Socks
  • Other Projects
  • Design at least one project from scratch

Crochet

  • Learn to read crochet patterns
  • Learn all the basic crochet stitches.
  • Make at least one non-granny square crochet project
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Diagonal Crochet Dishcloths (in progress)

Spinning

  • Breed Specific Spinning
  • Learn to spin on a drop spindle

Weaving

  • Continue playing with color and weave drafts
  • Learn pick up stick drafts
  • Learn Inkle Weaving
  • Learn Kumihimo braiding
  • Explore Twill weaves on the floor loom
  • Make items for the Guild Sale
  • Other

Dyeing

  • Finish dyeing the MAPLE LEAF Shawls
  • pH / water source experiment
  • Return to dye triangles project

WIP Wednesday: April 29, 2015

I’m home from India, but continuing to work on the same two projects!  I’m also starting to work on the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Level 1.

Super Secret Shawl

I’ve now completed 3 repeats of the pattern.

image

 

Splash Socks

I hoped to finish these while traveling, but while in India I spent most of my knitting time on the shawl, leaving these socks for the flights.  The trip home involved 20+ hours actually on planes, with little to no time on layovers.  I dozed off and on throughout the trip home, leaving less time for knitting than I had planned.  Still, I got 5 stripes done on the trip home.  Since I hadn’t brought appropriate waste yarn to mark the heels, I just kept knitting.  I’m going to steek for heels — the first time I’ve ever done that!

image

 

TKGA Master Hand Knitting Level 1

I purchased the Master Hand Knitting Level 1 at the end of February and blogged about it in mid-March.  When I discovered that we were going to India, I decided I wouldn’t work on the program until I returned.  However, before we left, I did make myself a detailed checklist, breaking down each step of the project.  Now that I’m back from the trip, I want to focus on finishing Level 1.  I have an extremely ambitious goal: mail off the Level 1 binder by the first week of June.  The reason for this ambitious goal is that I will be attending the TKGA Conference in San Diego July 21-26.  If I can get Level 1 mailed off by the first week in June, it’s possible (though tight) that I might get the reviewed binder back before I go to the conference.  Since I’m attending the Master’s Day program on July 21 and taking a workshop with Arenda Holladay, I’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions I have regarding necessary corrections for Level 1.

My personal approach to Level 1 is to research all the questions relevant to a swatch and write draft answers prior to knitting the swatch.  Then I knit and block the swatch and edit the answer based on the experience of knitting and blocking.  Yesterday, I did the research for the blocking report and wrote a draft that includes all the information other than how I blocked the swatches.  Today I did the research for the first question and wrote a draft answer.  As I write, I am compiling the References sheet that is one component of the binder.  Every time I use a new source, I add it to the References section immediately.  I expect to take significant time to edit the written work after all the swatching is complete.  Proceeding in the manner I described makes that easier because I won’t have to switch back and forth between writing and editing.  Switching back and forth slows me down considerably!

My single biggest worry about the swatches is that there will be cat hair all over them.  The directions specifically say that the swatches should be free of pet hair.  This seems like an impossible standard in my house.  We’ve got three very cuddly cats in varying colors that mean no matter what you are wearing, the cat hair stands out from a mile away.  Since we got back from India, they are even more cuddly than usual.  They were well cared for while we were away, but they obviously missed us!

image image image

Master Knitter

A couple weeks ago, I paid for The Knitting Guild Association‘s Master Hand Knitting Level 1 course.  I’ve been a dues paying member of The Knitting Guild Association for a year and a half.  When I first joined, I did it because I wanted to do the Master Hand Knitting course, but when I read the requirements, it just seemed like too much work to fit into my life at that time.  I hadn’t really thought about it since, but I was catching up on podcasts yesterday, including Mastering the Knits (website, Ravelry group, iTunes), a podcast in which the two hosts discuss their progress on the Master Hand Knitting course.  The podcast reminded me that I wanted to do this, so I signed up!  I now have a year to complete the Level 1 course.  Well, technically, I can take as long as I want; if I take longer than a year and the instructions change in the interim, I have to use the updated instructions rather than the set that I currently have.

The Master Hand Knitting program consists of 3 levels.  For each level, you prepare a binder of materials and submit it for review.  You can not move on to the next level until your binder has been reviewed and approved.  The Level 1 binder has 7 sections: Cover Letter, a copy of the instructions, a report on blocking (2 to 4 single-spaced pages), 17 swatches with information sheets, answers to questions about the various techniques used in creating the swatches, a pair of mittens knit to specifications provided in the instructions, and a list of the references used in preparing all the other sections.

In the last couple weeks, I’ve read the entire instruction packet, making notes as I went.  I selected the yarn I will be using for the swatches.  I did not have appropriate yarn in my stash (light-colored, worsted, 100% wool), so I ordered some from my LYS.  I’ve collected several references for the blocking report — I already owned several books with relevant information — and watched the Craftsy class Blocking Handknits with Kate Atherley (Affiliate link), which I purchased specifically so that I could use it as a reference in my report.  Today I put together the binder, printed a clean copy of the instructions, and put it in place.

I plan to do the research for the blocking report and write the first part of it by the end of this month.  I can’t write the entire blocking report until I finish the swatches, because the report must include a description of my methodology for blocking them.  However, I can write the general part of the report, covering the various techniques and purposes of blocking.  I’ll start the swatches in April.  I’m not sure how long it will take me to work through the entire Level 1 instructions.  I already possess all the knitting skills required for Level 1; there’s nothing in here that I have to learn just to do the course.  I’d like to move through this level as quickly as possible because of that.  I know I don’t currently possess all the knitting skills required in Levels 2 and 3, so expect those to take me longer to complete since I will learn as I go.  Level 1 is really just a matter of prioritizing the work.  I will, of course, write regular updates regarding my progress and the things I learn along the way!  I’ll use the tags Master Knitter and Master Knitter Level 1 on these posts.