Friday, January 30, 2015

Slow Going

I've made very little progress on the sleeve this week. Classes and life have been unnecessarily stressful for some reason.

Anyway, apologies for the poor photo quality. This is all I have accomplished since last Wednesday. I haven't even reached the armpit yet. Ugggghhhh...

Have a good weekend everyone.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Sleeve

I finally put a new project on the needles, the Batterslea Hall sweater for my mom. I began last Thursday but I've only gotten a few inches longer than the sleeve cuff. Hooray for nursing school.

I've slowly made progress in Sherlock Holmes but mostly I've been reading my school textbooks. Specifically, the past week's topics have been anxiety disorders and blood diseases.

There's my short and sweet for this week.

Check out more WIPs by clicking the button below:

  http://www.gsheller.com/2014/08/yarn-along-191.html

Monday, January 19, 2015

Yarn Review Monday: Acrylics Edition 4

What is YRM: I honestly believe there are good things and bad things about every type of yarn, no matter how much you save or how much you break the bank. 

This is for the lay-knitter, not professionals. This is for people like me who might not necessarily be fiber experts despite being a crocheter or knitter for a long time, but need an honest opinion about yarn before they dive into a project with it.



The yarn: Cascade Sateen Worsted
 
  • 100% acrylic
  •  100 grams, 3.53 ounces;  225 yards, 206 meters
  • Colorway: Goldenrod


















 


The project: Mudblood Cardigan from the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits magazine.

 

What I liked: This yarn is really soft and lightweight. It is really warm despite how light it feels when you're wearing it. I think the fabric it creates when knit up is very pretty. It looks smooth, and has a subtle sheen to it. Gorgeous color choices available; the goldenrod color I used was exactly what I had been looking for for a selfish sweater project.

What I didn't like: I have a list for this section unfortunately. Firstly, it is so slippery and splitty that I could not knit at a normal pace. The stockinette in 98% of the sweater caused what I'll describe as an unraveling (of the strand of yarn) on the purled side so that when I was knitting, it was as though I had individual tiny strands for each loop instead of a solid loop of yarn. It was super easy to miss just a strand or two, not notice for a row, and then have to go back and fix it. When joining skeins, the yarn was so slippery that after I had woven ends, finished, and was pinning to block, I found a hole in the front with an inch and a half long end where it had just slipped out of its place. I was incredibly irritated. Seething, in fact. The stitch definition the yarn provides does more to exaggerate flaws than show off your beautiful pattern.

(A note: I did block this garment. I used a steam blocking technique that I read is effective for blocking acrylics. The tutorial said you can get rid of any minor flaws in the knitting. This did not work when I attempted to block, although it was a first attempt at stream blocking and will assume the final outcome of the sweater was due to my novice blocking rather than blaming the yarn.)

Affordability:  I bought mine during a yarn sale on Craftsy.com for $3/skein.

Rating: I'm a diehard Cascade fan. I didn't realize this was an acrylic yarn until after I read the labels when it arrived in the mail (my fault. It's not the first time I've done that...). Honestly though, I'm going to have a hard time buying it again. This is the first and hopefully only time Cascade has/will let me down. 










For a list of Yarn Reviews, click below:

 

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this or asked to review this yarn by any store or the company itself. Opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Library Challenge FO (sort of)

I never feel like I have a legitimate reason to brag about my first FO of the year when the project had been on the needles since October. I felt the same way last year. I also don't know how legitimate the finish is when I'm waiting for the buttons to arrive in the mail.
True to original yarn color.

However, this cardigan was a real struggle and I feel like a huge weight has lifted off my mind now that all the knitting is finished.

The pattern was written fine but I had never done wrap and turn short rows. Therefore, I was quite frustrated when I couldn't figure out what the instructions were telling me to do once I began my sleeve caps. I ripped out the first sleeve no less than four times before consulting the almighty YouTube and kicking myself for not comprehending the simplicity of the wrap and turn.

The above photos are of the cardigan before steam blocking.

This yarn makes all your mistakes and small imperfections exaggerated times infinity. For. Real. My yarn review this upcoming Monday will tell you all about that.


As for reading, I'm still working through Sherlock Holmes and since our semester started Monday I'm back to the books again.
(Linking up as an FO with the Yarn Fanatic Party over at the Philosopher's Wife.)
Check out more WIPs by clicking the button below:

  http://www.gsheller.com/2014/08/yarn-along-191.html

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What the Dickens?!

(That title describes how I felt trying to decipher the directions for the sleeves on this bad boy. Also, as you will read, it's a play on words...har har.)

I've been chugging away on my yellow cardigan. I finally looked up the sleeve short row directions on YouTube and I'm so glad I did. I've done short rows before on socks but the wrap-and-turn technique was new.
So after ripping out the sleeve a few times I'm finally at the ribbed cuff and will be starting my second sleeve soon.
Also, I will be replacing the buttons at some point since I hate the ones I have on currently. I'm thinking I'll look for some with blue flowers for a little contrast.

As for reading, we're all about the classics. I'm slowly working on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's  Sherlock Holmes. My four year old has been asking me to read out of his illustrated Dickens for children book. We gave it to him for Christmas. We've read Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, and we just finished Great Expectations last night. 

In two short weeks we've read 60% of his book. It's the best $20 I ever spent on a book and I know the kids will love it for a long time. The book also has David Copperfield, Bleak House, and a short biography on Dickens. (I've never read those books.)

I realize these stories may have some mature themes for a four year old, such as social justice, politics, and the fact that characters have died in every story we've read so far. I think the way the book is written is appropriate for a child even that young. I try to talk about more difficult concepts with my son when I think some of the story content is above his comprehension. I bought the book though because I want my kids to develop a love of good literature early in life, and so far it's the only book he's wanted to read for the last couple weeks. I definitely recommend this book. I like reading it to my four year old and it will be great once he gets older and learns to read chapter books on his own.

Check out more WIPs by clicking the button below:

  http://www.gsheller.com/2014/08/yarn-along-191.html

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Love Your Library 2015

As I mentioned in my knitting to-do list, there are a few projects I have to get done. With the exception of one pattern, all of my planned  projects this year are from my library.


The Batterslea Hall sweater for my mom. I finally ordered yarn that matches the stuff I bought last week so I'll be able to start that as soon as it arrives.

Some undetermined cardigan pattern for my mother in-law. I have a planning session with my sister in-law this week so that she can look at patterns and tell me what she'd actually wear. I'll put an update in this post after Thursday.
1.8.14 edit: After much discussion, we decided on the Blue Sand Cardigan. Which might have me biting off more than I can chew, bit I'm really excited about it.

My husband loves knit socks. (Much to my dismay, since I really hate making them.) I think I could stand to make him a pair of Dumbledore socks, but with his initials instead. Or our last name on them instead. Either way, that should be manageable before his birthday in May.

I also need to finish the Mudblood Cardigan, another library pattern (from Harry Potter) that I started in the fall and would really like to finish before the end of the month.


Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 To-Do List

I can't really say these are goals because these projects just have to get done.

1. I will make a sweater for my mom, for all the babysitting and help (cleaning, cooking, etc.) that she's given me while I've been in school.
Photo source: Ravelry
I do have a pattern picked out and I bought yarn the other day for it but the colors looked way different than in the store... The colors clash really bad. So I need to get different yarn. I'll be using a variegated lavender/gray, and I need to replace the yarn I though was a compatible lavender (it's blue! How did that even happen?!).

2. A light cardigan for my mother in-law. Maybe something with a faire isle pattern. She, too, has been a huge help with babysitting and lending my husband's siblings for babysitting when he is working out of town while I'm working. Something heavier like the sweater I'm planning for my mom won't work for her because she's always hot. Even in the winter. I'm considering making her the same cardigan in working on for myself at the moment but that might change if I can't figure out my sleeve caps! Again, she is another person that so far, I wouldn't have gotten through nursing school this far without them.

3. The third project is for a nurse who has been invaluable to me as a professional mentor and friend. There is a lot I could say but the long and short of it is the same as the other two. She has been a huge help while I've been in school again. She has also passed on a lot of really nice things from her grandchildren such as car seats and almost-new clothing. I want to tackle a Celestarium for her.
Photo source: thetwistcollective.com

She and I work night shift together (for two years now) and she is the type of person that would really appreciate and take good care of a gift like that.

I've got a year left of school; I'm supposed to graduate in December this year. If I don't finish all of these large projects before I graduate, I think I can manage to finish by the time I get my license.

So, here's to another year of hard work and good knitting.

 Happy New Year, my fellow knitters!