On the WIP Side – 10.28.2020

It’s Wednesday and I’m here to chat all about my current works in progress. It’s been a while and I’m so excited to show you what’s going on here. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope it brings you some joy during the work week. Definitely check out my YouTube channel to see any projects “in person.”

For Ravelry users: There are links throughout this post that link to Ravelry. If you are experiencing issues with the new Ravelry design, you may not want to click on those links. You can also see pictures on my instagram account, youtube channel or feel free to go to the contact form and send me a note if you have any questions.

Total: 6 WIPs (4 active)
Knitting:
5 projects – 3 shawls, 1 pair of socks and 1 blanket
Crochet: 
1 project – 1 blanket
Spinning:
0 projects
Finished: 1 project
2020 Total Finished: 23

Gingerbread House Socks – DONE!
Pattern: Vanilla Socks
Yarn: Gynx Yarns | Power Sock | Gingerbread House
Needles: Size 0 – Flexi Flips!
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 9/5/2020
Cast off date: 10/10/2020

A winter-y pair of socks are done! I love the BFL yarn, it feels so nice and secure and these really fit well. I knit them shorter than I have been and it’s a length I really like. I do plan to do a flexi flips review soon, which is the only unique thing about these socks. Otherwise a quick pair of vanilla socks are ready for this cooler weather!

Slipstravaganza Shawl – Stephen West MKAL – NEW!
Pattern: Slipstravaganza MKAL | Stephen West
Yarn: agirlandherwool | Sock base | Speckled Orchid, Hibiscus Tea, Dragonfly and London Fog
Needles: Size 2
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 10/9/2020
Cast off goal: Not too long after the MKAL ends

OMG I CAST ON A STEPHEN WEST MYSTERY KNITALONG WHAT WAS I THINKING OH BY THE WAY I LOVE IT!

The above are my thoughts every time I check out the next clue. You guys, you definitely need to consider knitting one of these at some point and then also knit all of his MKAL patterns. I will be. It’s SOOO out of my comfort zone and exactly what I needed.

Okay okay let me take a step back.

I decided I wanted to cast this on because I was in somewhat of a knitting rut (hence my absence) and thought having a KAL with weekly clues might be a motivation I needed to keep up with my project. If you don’t know or haven’t figured this out already, I am a routine person. I even set up these recaps in the same format each week. Giving myself a schedule for my knitting, is something I thrive in. The idea of not having to be indecisive about what to cast on or overthink the color choices was really motivating as well.

I decided to use my own yarn because the more yarn samples I have, the better. If you’re interested in hearing about how I picked the colors (and dyeing them with me), head over to my YouTube channel. There’s a project planning video and then a Stephen West MKAL dye with me.

As a project knitter and a generally “I can’t own something without a purpose” person, I found comfort in knowing that the purpose of this shawl was to become a shop sample. I have knit a Stephen West pattern before and it came out way too large for me to be able to wear. Of course, there are modifications that can be made, but with a mystery knit a long, that would be really hard to do when you don’t know what you’re actually making.

As I work on this shawl, I’m amazed at how someone can think of these things and I’m always really excited to see what the next clue is going to be. It’s not something I think I would have been drawn to, but now that I have it, it’s amazing! It really is!

I talked about this on my recent project recap, but I think a lot of what we knit probably tends to be the same. Same styles, same colors because let’s be real. We like what we like and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you’re going through a knitting (or crafting) rut, I recommend knitting something completely out of your comfort zone. Why? It probably changes up some sort of technique you use over and over again. There are so many different things about this shawl that I’m having fun doing because it’s a style I’ve never knit before.

The color play is also so great. I’m usually a muted/toned down person and I LOVE the hot pink. It’s not overdone, but it truly does make the shawl. I won’t post spoils just in case, but check out my project page or my YouTube channel to see more.

PS. Kits are available and the colors are available individually in my shop now!

Golden Dusk MKAL – NEW!
Pattern: Golden Dusk MKAL | Tamy Gore
Yarn: agirlandherwool | Silk DK base | 4 Spices Kit
Needles: Size 6
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 10/19/2020
Cast off goal: none

Along the same lines, when you’re casting on 1 MKAL, why not 2?

So I talked a bit about how I wasn’t sure if the Stephen West MKAL would be my style, but I knew going into the Tamy Gore one that it absolutely would be. I love her designs and the Ashbrook shawl is my favorite make of all time (bold statement!). I went into this with the same thoughts as the other shawl except I knew it was going to be something I wanted to wear.

It calls for DK weight and the yarn used in the pattern also has a silk content, so I knew my Silk DK base would be perfect! Again, if you want to hear more about how I picked out the colors, check out that project planning youtube video. I’m using a 3 colors from my Cinnamon Spark set and then created 1 new color as well.

I cast this on while off from work last week and knit to basically the end of clue 2. I’m definitely behind as I think the MKAL is technically over but still trying to keep it a mystery. The yarn in the mostly garter stitch shawl is so soft and scrumptious. The colors are also working so well together too. Again, I won’t post spoilers but check out my YouTube channel or instagram for some pictures. I’ll be posting more updates soon since I’m close to finishing clue 2 on both shawls.

Tan House Brook Shawl – NEW!
Pattern: Tan House Brook Shawl | Jennifer Lassonde
Yarn: Handspun with Fiber from Created by Elsie B | Niagara Falls
Needles: Size 4
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 9/25/2020
Cast off goal: none

So I was really undecided about knitting a project out of this handspun. It was my first skein and definitely has room for improvement. When I was first casting on, I actually thought the yarn was too fluffy or at least too many fibers were hanging around. I guess I’m used to the smoothness of superwash.

In any case, the fluff is not bothering me at all. In fact, I love how soft the yarn came out and is knitting up. My goal for skein #1 was to make it not ropey and I definitely succeeded in that. The fluff is a perfect bit of softness.

What does bother me is just how thin the yarn is. I almost wish I made a 3 ply instead of a 2 ply yarn. It’s almost a lace weight, which I was not expecting for my first skein. As a reminder, I have spun yarn before on during the class I took and that was much more thick/thin. However, this yarn was the first “real” project in that I did a braid start to finish and I wasn’t expecting a lace weight.

I did go down in needle size quite a bit to compensate and I am kind of just going with the flow on stitches. I kept increasing the stockinette section for more rows than the pattern called for to make sure it doesn’t come out too small, considering the lighter weight yarn and smaller needles.

It just is too light. It’ll be more accessory that a garment for warmth and I’m just not sure if the woolly wool is the right feel for that either. It has the feel and look of something that should be for warmth, but will be more accessory to an outfit. That’s my only hesitation with it.

Jen also reached out and told me she did a gradient version and left the pattern modifications on her project page. Now that I’ve expanded the stockinette section, I’m following along with those suggestions to make the shawl larger. The plan is to use as much yarn as I can.

Overall, knitting with handspun is fun, although you do become more critical of it. I’m thinking about all of the ways that I would spin this differently next time and I can’t wait to try again soon!

Vanilla Oink – NEW!
Pattern: Vanilla Socks
Yarn: Oink Pigments | Targhee Sock | Ravin’ Claw
Needles: Size 0
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 9/25/2020
Cast off goal: none

Always need a pair of vanilla socks, right?

This post is getting long, so I’ll save this for next time as vanilla socks aren’t too interesting. The targhee base is and so I’ll be sharing more on that soon.

Other
1. Preemie hat – I’ve mostly finished a preemie hat, which I will include in a charity knitting recap coming soon!
2. Spark sweater – Officially off the queue for now!
2. Spinning – I haven’t spun.
3. Northeasterly – I have not worked on this as I need to pick out more colors. I’m really bad at working on projects if they are not ready to go.

Inactive
1. Neat Ripple – This is on hold until I finish up the charity items with the colors that I have used so far.

What’s Next?
ADVENT! I plan to knit up the gradient advent that I dyed up this year. Otherwise, we’ll see. I have a lot of WIPs right now and not many plans beyond that.

Shop
Go check out Ambah O’Brien’s advent patterns. I’m so honored that she designed not 1, but 2 patterns with my yarn.

The Radvent Cowl is technically a DK weight cowl, but Ambah used my sock base and held the skeins double. She used 12 mini skeins from an expanded version of the Faerie Shadow gradient set. I’ve named the green half Faerie Garden. Kits are available now!

Radvent Cowl using the Faerie Garden gradient

Ambah also designed a wrap that has not yet been released yet, so stay tuned. I can tell you that she used an expanded version of my Rose Gold gradient set! It’s a 24 skein mini skein gradient set. It’s available now in the shop too!


November mystery yarn clubs are now available
until November 15th. Grab them now!

Check out the shop here. There are some great kits for shawls and socks along with good pairings for sweaters. Let me know if you need help with some color selections.

Check out my latest project recap, which a special guest star – my mom!

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