Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Back To The Drawing Board

The last couple of days, I've been trying to design new pattern stitches that will work well blending multiple colorways of Koigu KPPPM


Swatching, Swatching, Swatching

Ideally, I was hoping to have a fabric with the resulting qualities:
  • Lots of drape
  • Great color blending
  • Reversible, or at least look good on both sides
  • Aesthetically pleasing fabric
I tried about three different stitch patterns and hated them all...they just didn't work at all as I had envisioned.

Then I came up with these two swatches:







Neither of the swatches are exactly what I was looking for, but I learned a lot on both of them.  I'm going to re-knit the top swatch with some changes.  While the second swatch looks the same on both sides, I don't think it's quite as nice looking as the fabric in the first swatch.  And the back of the first swatch looks good too.





Hopefully, I'll have a new Koigu Scarf design to add to the Koigu Cross Stitch Scarf and the Koigu Interlocking Crochet Scarf designs.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sugar = Poison

I typically hate such broad statements like this one...especially since not all sugar is poison.  But I think that for me, refined sugar is not a good thing.

Years Ago

I remember years ago, when I was running a lot and I was very active, it was fat that would kill you and make you fat, so I avoided it like the plague (I've honestly never really actively avoided the plague, but I have avoided fat in my diet).

So every week, I would buy about 7 or 8 pounds of non-fat candy and eat about a pound a day.  Thaddeus can verify this, but Brach's put out a jellied candy called Fruit Bunches (I think) and I could eat them like potato chips.

At one point, someone suggest that sugar was bad for me, so I stopped eating all sugar one day, and that night, I felt headachey and ill, so I figured it was the wrong time to stop eating sugar, and started again.

Little did I realize that I was actually experiencing withdrawal, but I soon figured it out and stopped eating quite so much sugar.

Eventually I did give up most sugar and today, I eat very little of it.  I feel much better as a result.  Every once in a while when I indulge in sweets, I still get a bit of a hangover from sugar.

Current Crocheting

I've made some slow and steady progress on the Rowan LDK crochet blanket.



If you compare the bottom photo with the last photo of the blanket, you'll note I've added about 10 color stripes (each one is two rows), so I've added 20 rows to the blanket.  I know it doesn't look like it, but it is gradually growing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Finishing Up

The gratification of not just finishing a project, but documenting it well enough that others can knit it is always extremely gratifying.  But it always leaves me with choices of what to work on next.

Failed Attempts and Back to Older Project

I tried a couple of new designs and they just weren't panning out, so I opted to go back an work on current works in progress.

I certainly have enough in my queue to choose from.

Current Crochet

I decided to pick up the Rowan Multicolor Crochet Blanket and see if I could make some progress on this.



Given that this project doesn't travel well (changing color every 2 rows requires carrying around a lot of different color yarn), it's a good thing I'm not traveling much these days.  The downside is the blanket is rather heavy for Summer crocheting, but mostly I'm working on it in air conditioning anyway.

Let's see how much progress I make on it.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Joy of Opening

No one makes opening their products more exciting than Apple.

Late To the Game - But Still Excited

I've been using an iPhone 4S for a few years now, and it's been an incredibly good phone for me.  Even when IOS 8 came out (which I couldn't load on my old phone), I didn't care much, as I didn't really need the new functionality.

But then my phone started getting really slow and I couldn't load as much music as I liked and certain apps started acting funky.  I was planning on just suffering with it, until my carrier (Verizon) offered me $200 off a new iPhone. 


So I am now back in the current world.

And I have to say, I couldn't be more pleased with my new phone.

Current Knitting

I was able to finish the Niece Blanket...AND...I even wrote up the pattern and test-knitted it (glad I did...it had quite a few errors in the first draft).


 
The resulting blanket is very soft and squishy and warm in a very cozy way.  As I've mentioned, the blanket looks the same on both sides...even the cable is completely reversible.  And I also have to say, I would gladly work with Seasons by Ella Rae again any time...it's soft, durable and I quite love the colors.
 
For anyone looking for the pattern, it's available on my Ravelry store...I did put a $3.50 price on it, just to try an re-coup the time needed to write up and test-knit the pattern.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Feeling Like a Traitor

I have always been a huge fan and supporter of fine yarns...both commercial and independent dyers...Black Bunny Fibers, Koigu, Puff the Magic Rabbit, MJ Yarns, Briar Rose Fibers, etc., etc.

Beautiful, Soft Synthetic Blend

Falling in love with a synthetic blend yarn seems like traitorous behavior to me.

My current project is using a yarn called Seasons by Ella Rae.


It's a bulky yarn that is very soft and has a braided-like ply to it that makes it very durable and easy to knit with.  The colors are really quite fine and I'm loving mixing some of the more ombre-like colors with the brighter colorways.

I highly recommend knitting this on a bigger needle than the recommended US 8 (5 mm)...I'm using a US 10.75 (7 mm) needle and with the brioche rib, it's coming out very soft and squishy.

I will never give up my fine yarns...but I am loving this project.

I will also probably end up writing up this project as a design...it'll be a two-fer design...one for the adult size afghan and one for a baby-size afghan...both will be completely reversible (with no "wrong side").

Current Knitting

Working diligently to try and not be distracted by a new project, I am focusing all my efforts on the Niece Blanket.



I've completed about 54 inches so far and have about 6 more inches to go before I bind off.  Hope my niece loves it as much as I do.