Sunday, November 19, 2017

Giftalong 2017

This is my fourth year participating in the Indie Designers' Giftalong on Ravelry. If you are unfamiliar, it's basically a big KAL/CAL (knitalong/crochetalong) that starts with a pattern sale, then continues on up to New Year's Eve. The sale starts on Tuesday November 21st and runs for a week. I've got 20 patterns included in the sale- check them out here. There are prizes like free patterns, yarn, and books for those who finish projects and post about them. Even though I don't generally get a chance to make anything during the Giftalong, I always discover a new-to-me designer or two, and my queue gets bigger every year.

Check out the patterns, and use coupon code giftalong2017 for 25% off from November 21st to 28th. Happy gifting!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Clover Club Hat

Remember a while ago when I posted about this hat, and how my color choices were questionable but I was probably gonna finish it anyway? Well I did. Color choices are still questionable. That pink reads as neon but maybe we'll just say it's FUN!

The pattern is Clover Club Hat from Berroco's Portfolio Vol. 4, which also has my Millington Cardigan pattern (shameless plug.) The hat is fine. I like the pattern, but I wish that a) I had made better color choices, b) I had done twisted ribbing, because I think that no matter what, 1x1 ribbing that isn't twisted looks sloppy, and c) that I had lengthened the hat either in the pink part above the ribbing or the tan part above the colorwork. It's just a tad short on my head, and my ears aren't totally covered, and personally I find that unforgivable in a hat. 

The colorwork pattern is awesome-looking, but keep in mind that you do have to strand across like 9 stitches at some points. I personally dislike doing that, but to each his own. It's much easier to do in worsted than fingering, though, so there's that. I wouldn't do this hat as a first colorwork project.

The brim is knitted to twice the length then sewn to the inside to make it double thickness. This is the first time I'd done that and I like it. 

I will likely take this hat with me to the Midwest at Christmas and see if any family members want it. I actually have quite a collection of accessories that are looking for new homes. I just don't need much more than a fingering-weight hat and a pair of gloves down here in the Bayou. (Not that that's stopping me from knitting more hats and mittens and cowls, but.)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Zen Yarn Garden Quartet // So Faded Pint Sized

I understand now about fading. At first I was like "I don't get why everyone is SO OBSESSED with fading, I mean it's fine I guess" but now I want to fade everything, and I mean everything. It's addicting. I'm not one to jump on a bandwagon, but here we are.

I'm making a So Faded pint sized for baby Elaina with this Zen Yarn Garden Quartet. Once I'm done I simply must cast on for another one for her, and one for me too. Love the fade effect. I like the pattern, it's fine, but it's the fading that's got me. If you're not into fading, or want other ideas for this yarn set, Zen Yarn Garden has this helpful idea list for patterns that fall within the yardage of the gradient sets, which come in quartets, like I have, or trios.

How great is this fade?

I was offered this yarn as a blog review, and I knew right away that I wanted to make a So Faded for Elaina. The yardage (200 yards per skein, 4 skeins total, 800 yards) is great for a kid's sweater. For reasons that surely made sense at the time, I decided to make the size 4... for my 8-month-old. I guess we'll put it in storage once I'm done and pull it out in a few years. I claim mommy brain.

The yarn! It's really soft. It has a slight superwash stringy feel to it, but I suspect that will be remedied by 5 minutes in the dryer after I wash it. For babies it's so important that yarn for next-to-skin projects is really soft, and this definitely is. It's lovely to knit with, too- think of a sock yarn you really like, and that's this. No splitting, no snagging, smooth stitches.

As for the colors, I absolutely love how the teal, purple, and pink fade into one another. It's perfect. I'm less thrilled about the gray- if you look closely at the photo above, the gray has speckles that are cobalt blue and red. To really fade it should be teal and pink to match the other skeins. Also, I sort of wish for a color in between the gray and teal. The fade is a bit harsh between those two. I might just be picky though. It's a great gradient and I like that they take the guess work out of picking coordinating skeins. Plus the packaging is nice so it's totally giftable. See? Pretty.

Thank you to Zen Yarn Garden for providing the yarn for me to review. All opinions and rambling are my own.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Self-Patterning Socks

Finished these plain vanilla socks the other day. They don't match. I don't care. But also, I don't love them, and I do care about that.

After the flood, a bunch of wonderful souls sent me yarn, and an awful lot of it was sock yarn, including several balls of self-patterning yarn. Self-patterning yarn has never really been my thing, but sometimes I find myself in need of some vanilla socks on the needles, and self-patterning doesn't require winding, so... perhaps a touch of laziness wins out, and I cast on. 

This particular pair is maybe not my favorite, because the yarn isn't terribly soft and the socks aren't super warm (odd, for knitted wool socks) so I'm not sure I'll wear them a lot. Not that I get to wear my wool socks a lot anyhow, but. 

I've got all of this self-patterning in my sock yarn bin, courtesy of the aforementioned knitters. Do I keep on trying with self-patterning? Let it shuffle to the bottom of the bin?

Thoughts on self-patterning yarn?