Friday, 20 October 2017

Ravelry Designer's Challenge, August/September Voting

Shwmae a chroseo! 

It's a short post today, but hello all the same, and welcome to my third successful attempt at completing the Ravelry Designer's Challenge!

A top-down view of a stranded colourwork hat.  The background colour is a blue gradient, and the forground mandala pattern is a navy blue.
I suspect (and hope!) many readers remember my Winter Mandala Tam.  Well, even though it didn't turn out quite the way I had wanted, it is still in the running for the Designer's Challenge Voting!

As always with the designer's challenge, the entries are all absolutely gorgeous.   So, I'd very much encourage people to go check out the entries in the Ravelry Thread, and cast their vote. There's some gorgeous stuff there!  Voting runs until November 2nd, so you've got just under two weeks.  You will need to be a Ravelry member to cast your vote, but, sign up is free (all you need is an e-mail).

Thanks for taking a look, and stay tuned for the results!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

WIP Wednesday: Spiralling Star Mittens for Barter!

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * will give me a reward or commission if you purchase something using that link.**

Prynhawn da! (Good afternoon!) And welcome to this week's WIP Wednesday!

And yes, it's now afternoon by the time I got around to writing this, but, it's still Wednesday, so that counts, right?

A textured mitten in progress on circular needles.  The yarn is fingering weight, and grey with specks of other colours. The yarn and mitten are in a purple ceramic yarn bowl, along with a small wooden ruler.This weeks WIP is something I started just yesterday -- a pair of Spiralling Star Mittens.  They're actually to barter with one of my friends who does video work.  The deal is, I make him mittens, he helps with the filming and setup for my upcoming Youtube channel.  (I'm finding I really do need a camera-person to make sure my hands stay in frame while I'm filming tutorials!)

So I've got the mittens in my new yarn bowl that I got from Patina Studios at the Woodstock Fleece Festival (there is a post forthcoming about my adventures there), 

Yarn is an *80/20 BFL/Nylon blend in the colourway "Work Jeans" from Crooked Kitchen Yarn's *Etsy Store.   This yarn is lovely!  I have a particular weakness for BFL/Nylon blends, since they wear so well, and this yarn, so far, is keeping with that promise!  My friend is the one who picked the colourway (since they're for him, he does, of course, get veto power).  
Two cats on either side of a a yarn bow with knitting in it.
The cat on the left is Jessie, the cat on the right is Tika.

And it also seems that this particular yarn (or maybe it's the yarn bowl) is cat-approved, as well!  While I was trying to take a photo, this happened first!  Our two cats were quite content there!  They did of course, refuse to look at the camera despite my attempts (because they're cats and enjoy being contrary, I think!)  But, no mittens (or yarn) was harmed; they're usually pretty good yarn cats.  They've only ever really made a tangle of my skeins once. Though they do sometimes hunt skeins of yarn, if the yarn isn't put away.  But they don't untangle it, just hunt it. 

Well, that's it for today in this corner of the internet! Stay tuned for more WIP's (and hopefully even a few FO's soon!)

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

WIP Wednesday: More on the Geometric Mittens

Hello again, and welcome to another installment of WIP Wednesday!

It's a short update this time around.  Things were quiet over the weekend, since I went up to my aunt's cottage for Thanksgiving.  But, I did get some knitting time then, plus more time since I got back -- I also took them to Knit Night -- so here's an update on the Geometric Mittens!

A mitten on the needles.  The cuff is stranded colourwork and ribbing, while the back of the hand shows an intarsia geometric diamond.
As you can see, they're coming along pretty well for a prototype, though they will definitely need to be blocked when I'm done.  For some reason the second diamond has something weird going on with the tension at one edge -- I'll have to play around with it and see what's going on there.

I'm actually relatively happy with how these are turning out.  I'm pretty close to where I'll have to start decreasing for the top of the mitten (I'm wondering if I can fit a third diamond repeat between the decreases for a larger size, so I'll have to experiment a little and do some math).  Once I finish this mitten, I'm planning to take these needles and do the ribbing to finish off the third Spiralling Star Fingerless Mitten I've been working on. Well, yes, I could just buy new needles, but I'm trying to actually finish things, not just leave WIP's live on the needles!

That's it for this week's post (it is a shorter post folks, since I wasn't knitting as much)!  Thanks for tuning in and I'll be back next week with more WIPs!

P.S.  I will be going to Woodstock Fleece Festival, since the Toronto Knitter's Guild has chartered a bus!  If you're interested in catching a ride with the guild, there are still seats available.  And, if you're planning to drive there, then hopefully I'll see some familiar faces at the festival this weekend!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

WIP Wednesday: Geometric Mittens and Intarsia in the Round

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * will give me a reward or commission if you purchase something using that link.**

Welcome back to another installment of WIP Wednesday!

This time around, it's a long-neglected project, partially because it took me forever to actually figure out how to do what I wanted to do!

Theses are the tentatively-titled Geometric Mittens, and so far, I'm pretty happy with how they're coming along!
The cuff of a mitten done in green and white colourwork.  The knitting is on top of both yarn balls resting in a yarn bowl.  The front of the work is facing, and you can see a set of live stitches in the contast colour where the intarsia has begun.

I actually started these almost a year ago, as part of the Ravelry Designer's Challenge, but I put them on hold.  Between other commitments at the time, and figuring out the best way to do (and write down) the technique idea I had in my head, they didn't get very far at the time.

While the ribbing is stranded colourwork, the main motif will be done as a type of intarsia in the round (and yes, these mittens will have a full tutorial!).  It's taken a lot of experimentation to find a technique that did what I wanted it to do, but, so far, so good!  I've just started the intarsia section, so here's hoping it does work out the way I think it should!

The yarn for these comes from two different sources.  The green (MC) is Briggs and Little Durasport.  It's rougher on the skin then most merino sock yarns, but it wears like iron.   The CC is handspun from Fibersden Studio, which I got last year at the Haliburton Studio Tour!  According to my notes, it's a merino/nylon blend.

Needles are *2.5mm HiyaHiya circulars, which are working out well for this pattern.  For mittens it's always a trick to figure out how to best handle the thumb gusset, I find. While my personal preference so far has to put all the thumb gusset stitches on one double-pointed needle, it's always a bit fiddly for the first few rounds, plus, you then have to rearrange the stitches when you've finished the thumb.  With the circulars and magic loop, plus some *locking stitch markers to mark the thumb, it seems to actually be easier to do them this way!

I'm hoping to finish at least one of these up so I can free up my needles for another project (I'm trying to not take the easy route and just buy even more knitting needles!), so these are still going to take a while to finish up.  Plus, I know I'll want to do a complete photo tutorial (and hopefully video tutorial) as well.  With all that said, I'm not sure when this pattern will actually be ready for testing.  But, it's an ongoing project, and one I'm enjoying, so wish me luck!

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

October Featured Pattern and Mini-KAL: Mitered Drawstring Project Bag

The September 2017 Featured Pattern is here: The Mitered Drawstring Project Bag is 50% off at $2.50 CAD for the month of September!  
A drawstring bag made primarily of joined mitered squares. The top has eyelets with a twisted cord threaded through them, and a skein of yarn is partially out of the open bag.]
Photography: Stephanie Wallace
 "Buy Now"
You can buy the pattern through Ravelry or Etsy, the discount is available on both platforms.  The discount should be applied automatically on Ravelry, and be visible on Etsy.   As always, let me know if something doesn't work!

Now as usual, onto the Mini-KAL!

For the month of October, any finished Mitered Drawstring Project Bag has a chance to win a pattern from any of my self-published patterns!  To enter on the blog, simply post a link to your completed Mitered Drawstring Project Bags in the comments of this post by October 31, 2017.  Please note that the bag(s) don't have to have been started in October, just finished in October!

You can also win by posting to the giveaway on Facebook, and in my Ravelry Group, giving 3 chances to win in total!*

I always look forward to seeing your Finished Objects! Please post them to various social media with #SarahDawnsDesigns, and/or to my Ravelry Group if you're on Ravelry.  That way, I can see the awesome that you folks make!

*One entry per person for each project per platform (three entries total for each completed project). Winners will be drawn at random using random number generation. Winners must have a valid e-mail address to receive the patterns. Participants may enter the same project on more then one platform, but may only enter each project once per platform.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

WIP Wednesday: Progress on the Sterling Cables Birthday Sweater

Once again, welcome back to WIP Wednesday!

 So, this Wednesday post is more on the Sterling Cables Sweater.  Pattern is from Bernat, (so it's not one of my own designs), and it's their Sterling Cables Sweater.

A peice of knitting laying flat, still live on a circular needle.  The are decreases visible to shape the underarms. There's a large central cable motif and two smaller cables on either side.  The knitting is done in a tonal yarn that varies between emerald green and almost black.
I've been knitting away on this (it's now officially another belated birthday gift, but my giftee is ok with that), and have gotten to the underarms, and past the underarm shaping on the back.

It's a good thing I chose to do this in pieces, even though I hate seaming.  Toronto's been having a heat wave over the last few days, and I don't think I could have stood to have an entire sweater on my lap -- this is bad enough!  I am, however, going to knit the sleeves in the round, since it's always has seemed odd to me to seam sleeves (and I realize that I just wrote a bit of a tongue-twister there!)

Anyway, it's only a few more inches to the shoulder, now, and I'm going to use TechKnitter's show-row stepped shoulder trick rather simply casting off stitches at the edge of each shoulder, as the pattern says.  It will make a neater seam, and I'll leave the stitches live so I can 3-needle bind off them to the front.  Hopefully, I can even get to the shoulder shaping tonight, if I'm productive.

If you want to see where I was on the sweater last week (and my admittedly less-then-flattering thoughts on the pattern), check out my previous post.  As for the sweater itself, well, progress is slow, but the sweater is definitely growing!

And that's it for this time around on WIP Wed.  I doubt I'll get this done for Friday, but the heat is supposed to dissipate tonight, so maybe I'll be more in love with my knitting tomorrow!

Monday, 25 September 2017

New Knitting Needles -- my thoughts on Knitter's Pride Needles:

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * will give me a reward or commission if you purchase something using that link.**

Well, so I got some new knitting needles.  That, in and of itself, is not an oddity.  But the fact that I was at a different yarn store, and thusly ended up with a different brand of needle, well, that's the novelty.

I hadn't been to Romni Wools in ages, partially because they used to have a step up to the front of their shop.  Well, I found out at the Toronto Knitter's Guild meeting that they now have a StopGap ramp, so, over I went!  It worked out almost perfectly (I did have a moment of awkwardness with their door), but otherwise, yeah, the StopGap ramp did exactly what it's supposed to do! (P.S.  I also found out that The Toronto Knitter's Guild Discount applies to needles at Romni Wools, too!)

A sock in green yarn on a pair of double-pointed needles.  The sock and yarn are in a wooden yarn bowl, and there is a progress keeper with a rose charm showing in the work.Anyway, I picked up some double-pointed needles while there, but, of course, they were a different brand the ones I'm used to getting.  I've never tried the Knitters Pride needles before, and I'm fascinated by the results of my experiment, so, here goes!

The first set of needles was a pair of 2.25mm Nova Platinas, and I put them to work in the Bricks Birthday Socks.  I prefer dpns over magic loop for sock knitting, so I was glad to make the switch.  (If you're curious, I talked about the yarn bowl in the photo in my last post, and you can find the Rose Progress Keeper I'm using *here.)

The shaft of a metal dpn held against a green background.  Text on the dpn reads US 1 2.25 mmFirst, wow, the KP Platinas are much longer then my usual HiyaHiya needles, and I like it!  I'm also surprised and impressed that the needles have the size, and the name of the store, imprinted on the side.  The text on these needles is also much easier to read then the teeny-tiny text on the HiyaHiya dpns (and my newer HiyaHiya dpns don't have the size written on them at all).  Two points strongly in their favour there!
The shaft of a metal dpn held against a green background.  Text on the dpn reads Romni Wools They also seem a tiny bit sharper at the tip then my HiyaHiya's do -- I've put a tiny hole through the callus on my index finger!  And, the Regia Sock yarn isn't splitting nearly as much with the Platinas, either.  So, another point for the Platinas as well.

My biggest worry about switching needles was that there would be a noticeable tension difference where I made the switch. But the answer seems to be that no, that's not a concern, so I'm quite happy with that!

 So, overall, I quite like the Knitter's Pride Platina Needles, and if I need another set, I'll definitely look into these again.

Now, onto the second set of needles I got!

The second set of needles was also my very first set of square needles, and I have to say, I thought it would be more different to work with them!

I put them to work in my version of the Beekeeper's Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits.  I started the blanket ages ago, as part of Eat.Sleep.Knit's *Booster Club challenge, which is still continuing this year!  (You don't have to finish the entire blanket for the challenge, you only have to do 15 hexagons for this year, so if you're interested, I suggest you check it out -- it's a great way to use up yarn scraps!)

The yarn I'm working with for this hexagon is a thinner yarn, it's leftovers from a *MadelineTosh Unicorn Tail I got for another project, in the colour "Cousteau" (I really like this colour!).  I wanted to test these with a fingering-weight yarn, since that's most of what's going to be on these needles, so that's what I pulled out. 

Honestly, I expected more of difference when working with the cubics needles.  There really wasn't too much of a difference in the knitting!  I didn't have to alter my grip or change anything in my knitting process.   It does, however, seem that my stocking stitch is coming out a little crisper on the cubics, so there's a point in their favour as well!

End conclusion:  both of these are needles that I'm happy I bought, and I'll probably slowly add both of these brands to my ever-growing stash of needles.