Monday, February 29, 2016

February is for Finishing 2016 Report

Good afternoon, finishing fans!   February is winding down, and so is my finishing extravaganza. The extra day we squeezed out of the calendar certainly helped, as I spent the morning finishing a sock and casting on its mate.

I posted a couple of quick wins early in the month, as you'll remember.  My Halloween socks were an easy win, followed by Laurelhurst, that cute and simple little fair-isle number for 25,000 Tuques.  

After I got those knocked out, my strategy changed a little.  If I were playing along the way I have in years past, I probably would have targeted my Hitchhiker next, and knocked it out of the park.

I did work on it some, when everything else was on my nerves, and only garter stitch would do. There's maybe six more teeth than there were on January 31, so we'll call it progress.

But mostly I worked on socks for my Order Mission and on Lilli Pilli for my Potions O.W.L.

On February 1, I had less than five inches of cuff on the first sock in my Post-Apocalyptic Valentine's Day socks.  

I worked on them everywhere from work to pedicure chairs to cozied up on my couch to the Atlanta airport.  I finished them up on February 24, exactly one month after I cast them on.  I have good intentions about doing a proper FO post for them later.  We'll see how that pans out.

Anyway, those socks where my "purse knitting" and the other pair, Crocus vernus by Hunter Hammerstein are my "mild to moderate concentration required knitting."  My strategy was to have one relatively simple pair and one more complicated pair going.  This was a good strategy.  Right up until I finished the simple pair.

The good news is that as of this morning, I have one sock of this pair done as well.   These are pretty enough that I think they warrant a second, closer look.

Isn't that lovely?  I've the second sock cast on, and I'm a repeat into the leg.  

For those of you playing along at home, we're sitting pretty on 5 of 16 socks done for the year.  And it's not even March yet.  #sockwatch16

When I'd had enough of socks, I switched gears and worked on my Circles to Squares afghan.  The Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup doesn't care that it's February, or that I'm meant to be finishing.  I'm still supposed to turn in a few classes.   But don't fret!  Blanket squares totally count for classes, so I could make a few more blocks for my afghan, honor February is for Finishing by working on an old WIP, and get my classes taken care of.  (Yes, I know this is all mildly ridiculous.  But I'm getting stuff done, so whatever.)

Two more of the tiny squares, and one more big one, and I'll be ready to start seaming.  In the spirit of continued gamification, I'm aiming to finish the blanket during Stash Dash this summer.

The rest of my February was spent in the pleasant company of Lilli Pilli.   I was about half done the lace when February started.

When the picture on the right was taken I had about 75 of 100 garter stripes done.  I'm closer to 85 now.  Once I'm done with the stripes, there's another small lace section and I'll be done.  It's going to be humongous, and completely awesome.  I'm really excited to see it blocked.

So, of the eleven projects I had on the needles at the beginning of February, I've finished three.  I'll have two more done within the next few weeks, and then I'll be down to six.

I'm already making plans (of course) for what to cast on next.  I'll need some more socks for my purse, and probably another shawl or cowl, because I have a sickness and must be stopped.  I'm also planning to haul my Monkeys out of retirement and get them finished up.

How did your February go?  I know some of you out there were able to knock several things off of your lists.

Friday, February 05, 2016

FO: Laurelhurst for 25000 Tuques

My second February is for Finishing success is the Laurelhurst hat that I'm knitting for the 25000 Tuques project (click through for more information).   I'll send this one along with the Barley I knit in January.  

Laurelhurst is quick, cute, and has just enough going on to keep it interesting.  In other words it's practically perfect.

I have an embarrassment of Wool of the Andes in my stash.  Leftover bits and bobs from various projects (the Fourth Doctor Scarf being chief amongst them), and a few odd balls here and there.

This hat is pretty much perfect for that kind of situation.   It took the better part of a full skein of the Grey, and a wee smidge of the pink, and that's yarn well used and out of my stash.  

Project Notes

Yarn:  Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Dove Heather and Pink Posy Heather
Total Yardage: 121 yards
Needles:  US 6 (4.0 mm) and US 7 (4.5 mm)
Started: January 17, 2016
Completed: February 3, 2016 

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

FO: That Orange Stripe Tho Socks

My first FO of February was pretty much a cheat, but I wanted to have something ready to go to turn in for Detention in the HP House Cup see, and ... well let's just say leaving this pair of socks all done save kitchenering the second toe made a lot of sense in light of imaginary internet points.

So anyway, I got home from work last night, went for a walk, had some dinner, and basically did half a billion things before I finally got to what I really wanted to be doing -- finishing up these socks.   Eight quick stitches grafted, some ends tucked in, and Bob's yer uncle:  SOCKS!

It was too dark to get any kind of decent picture last night, so I took them to the office to try to get better pictures there today (a frequent problem I have in the winter -- I work in a different city and it's often mostly dark when I leave and mostly dark when I get home again.  Lousy for taking pictures of hand-knits).   Anyway, our VP of Human Resources is visiting one of our other locations, so I snuck into his office and took pictures in there.  Please note that by "snuck" I mean I announced, "I'm gonna go take pictures of my new socks in TJ's office."  Sneaking:  I'm doin' it right.

I still didn't manage to get perfect pictures -- but these are better than the ones I took last night, so.

There is a part of me that felt a little silly working on Halloween socks in January, but frankly I'd feel sillier having a pair of vanilla socks on the needles for over a year because they were "out of season." Besides, this way they'll be ready to wear whenever I decide I want to.

After all, orange never goes out of season.

Project Notes

Pattern: My basic, vanilla socks with an OMG Heel by Megan Williams
Yarn:  Color Wheel Tuff Sock in the "Hoot" colorway
Total Yardage: 280 yards
Needles:  US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
Started: October 2, 2015
Completed: February 1, 2016

A note about the heel -- I decided to try the OMG Heel, as I'm experimenting with different options for self-striping yarns.  I'd used a modified toe-up version in my Mystik Spiral Socks by Josh Ryks, but I hadn't ever done it cuff down.  Overall I liked them, but need to find a tidier way to work the join once you start knitting across the instep again -- a pretty much constant sock knitting woe.

sockwatch16: 2/16