Jimmy Beans Crochet

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I will confess, whether this pattern is particularly easy, or I’m a quicker with crochet than I thought, this bag which is two months worth of kits took me a grand total of three days to crochet.  Not even particularly dedicated days, and I did put in an extra repeat of the mesh.  I would have done another but I was not certain I would have enough extra yarn.  The pattern is a ton of fun to crochet, the cotton/linen blend makes for a lovely, yet crisp, crochet.  Since I spent the month of April trying to knit a pi shawl, I love it, and crocheting shower poufs I did not get a chance to indulge in my Jimmy Beans Wool Boxes of the month.  By the time this is posted I will be back from my vacation and will have some to post about that (I hope) so I should be able to work on knitting the shawl that is this quarter’s knitting club.  I have a couple of other  kits that I have purchased recently and while I look forward to working with them, they will have to wait until I get back from vacation.

As to why I bought the kits, I am a plus sized woman.  As a plus sized woman, with lovely taste in yarn, purchasing a sweater’s quantity of yarn is quite expensive.  In fact, most sweater’s worth of yarn would run me a conservative 120+.  This is why when I find a kit that promises a sweater’s worth of yarn, in my size, with a pattern I like for under 75 I tend to seriously contemplate purchasing them.  If you throw in a coupon or a KAL or CAL then I will usually see if I can fit it in my budget.  This is why I have a shawl that I really need to start crocheting on for my CAL as well as three other sweaters I need to work on.  One of the sweaters, I suppose it really is a cardigan, is of the same construction as the shawl so once  I have that pattern mastered I will feel comfortable starting on the cardigan.  I am very excited.

In the next post I will be discussing my trip as well as any crafting I managed during the trip.  Until then remember to live life A Little More Abstract.

Pi Shawl Blocked

Okay, so not everything blocks out.  This is not the 40 inch shawl I hoped it would be, let alone 60.  It is about 30 inches, I’m going to call it a shawlette.  Now that it is washed and blocked the shawlette is very open with amazing drape.  I will let my sibling know that if it gets dirty they can send it to me, I’ll wash and block it back out again.

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I love how this looks, with the arrows pointing to the left as they spiral around.  For my very first try designing a shawl, my first round shawl, and with just one skein, I believe that this turned out pretty well.  I have learned a lot from this experiment, always have 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn that are either complementary or the same if you want a full sized shawl is one.  Go big or go home, make sure you know what you are doing with stitches before you get started, count the stitches between repetitions, little things like that.  I am enjoying knitting more than I thought I would.  I like the challenges, I enjoy having a framework that I can be creative within, as well as the amazing knitting podcasts, lol.

Happy Crafting and remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Pi Shawl Finished!

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I finished this shawl before 8 am Sunday May 5, 2019.  Since I began this shawl April 16th, this is pretty good.  Completely unblocked it looks like the shawl is about 24 inches wide.  I am hoping that the phrase, “Oh, that’ll block right out” is true.  The center puckers, the edges don’t want to lay flat, the lacy bits don’t show up very well.  Aargh!  So, I am going to throw this in the wash when I get home with some other stuff (the way I think my sibling will…) Hmm….I don’t want my sibling washing this.  They will not know how to block it….I’ll tell them if they don’t get it dirty it doesn’t need washed.  If they do I’ll pay the postage send it home and I’ll clean it.  A little fussy, but it’ll work.  Okay, that being said, I’m going to throw it in with some wool wash and lukewarm water to give it an initial wash.  Then I’ll block it aggressively and hope that it stretches to about 40″.  I originally wanted the shawl to be about 60″ (my wingspan) but this will have to do.  Perhaps my next will be a different size.

I very much enjoyed knitting this Pi Shawl, though I believe that one skein of fingering weight yarn is probably too little yarn for a shawl with this much straight stockinette stitching.  Should the shawl have more lace elements, and therefore more holes making the yarn stretch further, then this might have been enough yarn.  Given that information I believe that I will buy sock yarn in pairs of skeins from here on out so that I have the opportunity to make two pairs of socks or a really rocking shawl.  I will also test this theory by taking one of the single skeins of sock/fingering yarn I have and trying out a half pi shawl.  If my (pretty bad) math is accurate, this means that I should be able to get to the…Okay so I tried to draw this out and write it out to figure things out, then I had to admit I cannot.  If I were to knit along with my patterning then I would stand a chance, but just sitting here and trying to imagine it, not going to happen.  Due to this, I believe that I am going to do three things.

1) Search ravelry for a fingering weight half-pi shawl.  If I really like it I will buy it

2) Check the BluPrint papers for the shawl construction sheet and use  that information to begin ‘writing’ a pattern for a shawl

3) Trawl my stashed yarn on Ravelry for what kind I would like to use.

Fortunately with the MyBluPrint class I was able to discover the ratios that I need to make my own shawl with an approximate depth of 18 inches.  This should be enough to come about mid back on me.  With the help of the website “New Stitch A Day” I was able to narrow down, without being overwhelmed, my knitted on border choices to 4.  This may be revised at a later date.  Since all four of the borders involve techniques I do not know off hand I plan on using them to create bookmarks so that I can:

A) Practice

B) Block

C) Gauge Yarn used

D) Gauge size of edging when finished

Now I just have to Woman Up and Cast On!

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract

Sugarfina

I have a horrible philosophy about foods that I should not eat.  For background information, I am diabetic and should not be eating sugar in any form except on special occasions.  Yeah, I’m bad about that.  I’ve been having a bad time of it, and I know that I tend to eat my troubles away, but self awareness doesn’t equal a solution.  All of that to say, Sugarfina has some sugar free candies that I really wanted to try.  They also have Caffeinated Gummy Bears!  I am a caffeine hound, I drink 2-3 energy drinks a week (of course I work a 13 hour day one day then have to get up about 6am the next to get to work on time) and can often be seen sipping diet mountain dew.  I am trying to drink water as well as using Cirkul to add flavor and sometimes caffeine.  All of this to say, I placed an order at Sugarfina.

Next week is extended hours week (where the library will be staying open later than usual as well as having snacks and extra tutors to help students through the last week of classes at the community college I work for), so I will be bringing the caffeinated gummy bears in to share with my co-workers and student workers.  Since I received my package I tried the sugar free champagne gummies, very yummy, and brought in the three pack that I ordered.  It contained Prickly Pear gummies, Chocolate Pearls, and Rose flavored Gummies (part of a Mother’s day promotion).  I am very glad that I tried these, the pear gummies have a light flavor but a very gummy (not rubbery) texture to them.  The same with the rose gummies, light interesting flavor, good chew, nice finish.  I am so glad that I brought the chocolate pearls in to work.  I would have the entire container devoured like they were M&Ms.

Am I going to order from Sugarfina again?  Probably not unless they greatly expand their sugar free line, of if I hear of an international sweet that I cannot get elsewhere.  I am happy with what I received for the money, however this was one instance where I would rather have the experience of trying something new than really messing with my blood sugar on a regular basis.

About crafting, that thing I do when I’m not eating things I shouldn’t?  I’m 9 rows from being done with this section of the shawl, and I firmly believe that this is going to be the last section and the size is going to be whatever it turns out.  If it is only about 30 inches I’ll tell my sibling that it is a bed accent or a mandala for their wall, I’ll think of something.  Should it actually be between 40-60″ wide, yay!  I’ll tell them that it is a shawl/lap blanket and they can style it however they want to!  Since I will be seeing them two weeks from Tuesday this should turn out fantastic!

Until next time, Remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract!

Pi Shawl Take 1

I am using US size 7, 4.5mm, inter-changeable needles from Knit picks with a 16″ cord along with knit picks stroll tonal sock/fingering weight yarn in the blue yonder colorway.  I have chosen to use the basic pattern from the mybluprint class, shaping shawls 14 ways.  From there I have made a couple of modifications, essentially so I did not become too bored just straight knitting for 12+ rows.   The first photo illustrates how this kind of knitting does not look like anything until it is blocked, the second illustrates the magic loop cast on I hope that blocking will fix and the third illustrates some of the patterning I decided to place in the 48 rows before the next increase.

Cast on 8 stitches using Magic Loop *hope that blocks out*
Knit one row, doubled stitches to 16, knit three more rows. On row 6, doubled stitches to 32 using double yarn overs, knit six more rows
On row 14, doubled stitches to 64 using double yarn overs, knit rows 15-26 (12 rows)
On row 27 doubled stitches to about 128 using double yarn overs, then knit rows 28-39, did k2tog, yo, across shawl before knitting rows 41-51
On row 52 I did double yarn overs to double stitches
53-57 knit, on the second of these rounds I placed a marker after 9 and then every 14 to create pattern repeats, the last marker should be different since it delineates the beginning of the row.
SKPO- Slip, knit, pass slipped stitch over
58-k2, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k3 *k7 yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k3 repeat from * until back to starting marker
59- Knit all
60- k3, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k2 *K8, yo skpo, yo, skpo, k3 Repeat from * until row end
61 Knit all
61- k4, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k1, *k9, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k3, repeat from * until row end
62 Knit all
63- K5, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, *K10, yo, skpo, yo, skpo
64-66 Knit all
67- k 12, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k7 *K3, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k7 repeat from *
68- Knit all
69- K11, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k8 *K2, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo Repeat from *
70 Knit all
71- k10, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k9 *k1, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k9 Repeat from *
72- knit all
73 k9, *k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo k10 repeat from *
74-76 knit all

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77 was supposed to be a straight repeat of this pattern but I messed that up and liked the effect.
77- k2, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, yo, k3 *k2, yo, skpo, yo, skpo k 10 (to end of pattern repeat) Repeat from *

This is where I am now, but the rest of the pattern should be as follows:
78 knit all
79- k3, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k2 *k3, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k to next marker then repeat from *
80 Knit all
81- k4 yo, skpo, yo, skpo, yo, k1 *k4, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k to next marker repeat from *
82 Knit all
83 k5, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, *k5, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, knit to next marker repeat from *
84-86 Knit all
87 Knit 12, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k7 *k12, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo (should be at next stitch marker) repeat from *
88- Knit all
89 k11, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k8 *k11, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k to marker, repeat from *
90 Knit all
91- k10 k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k9 *k10 k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k to marker repeat from *
92 K all
93- k9, *k9, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, knit to marker repat from *
94-97- Knit all
***At this point I will need to evaluate if I have enough yarn to justify another double yarn over increase since the next batch is supposed to be 512 stitches for 96 rows***

Until next time, remember to live life A Little More Abstract.

Easter Crafting

Hello All, I hope that Easter went well for you.

I had a nice and quiet time, you would think that this means I accomplished a lot of crafting however that is not really the case.  I managed to create a sample for a craft I will be teaching in June, and worked toward the craft I will be teaching in July at a library I do not work at.  I also managed to create the two cement samples for the public library I do work at.  My first cement craft was a resounding success and I hope that the second in a couple of weeks will be equally popular.  I found out that while I was turned down for the full-time job the two candidates they wanted to interview further backed out so the job will be posted again.  I have already applied for the second posting, though I have also sent my resume into other opportunities as well.  Enough about work!

The end of May my Sibling and I are taking a trip, yay!  A few days before hand is my sibling’s birthday and I have made them a few shower poufs as well as a surprise!  I’m trying to figure out how to tell my sibling that if they do not like my surprise to just tell me so that it does not get shoved in a closet or something.  Some people claim that it has taken them 4-11 months to knit a similar project up, mine has taken about a week and I hope to block it by Friday or Saturday?  I’m not sure if that says I made it too small, I’m a fast knitter, I used big yarn or what.  However, as long as I have it bagged and ready to go by the trip I’m happy.  No pictures or anything to spoil the surprise in case my sibling actually reads this blog.  So secret knitting, listening to podcasts, trying to get ready for the trip, applying for jobs, and podcasting is my life right now.  I’ll tell more when I can, until then Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Another Week Bites the Dust

I cannot for the life of me figure out where the first quarter of this year has gone.  IMG_2310My first Blossom Sock Pattern in Baker Street colors by Knitpicks is complete!  It is great!  I mean, I need to lengthen the flat part of the heel flap, not decrease as much around the ankle portion and make a bit more of the edging on the second sock, but it is great!  Okay, so I’m still learning how to make socks.  But whatever, the next one will be better and I will keep going after that.

For knitting socks, well that has stalled.  I have my gauge swatch for the sock yarn I got in March’s knitcrate and I am pretty good on row gauge, but on stitch gauge…well I’m an inch off on a 3 inch swatch.  So, I’m thinking that I need to go up a size, more stitches in the inches.  However, I am also using Flexi-Flip needles and at over $20 a set of three I am not that certain I want to knit socks that badly.  I barely purchased the first set, and thought that would be it for a while.  It will be a little while before I decide if I am going to go for it, or work on something else.  Until then, I do have some other projects I am working on.

My Morrigan shawl, okay, so it is now going to be a Boneyard Shawl based on the pattern from Stephen West.  As it happens, when I rip something out five times before I have gotten through the first row of the second of four repeats of a chart I give up on a pattern.  I know, two weeks of knitting and you’re giving up, pfft.  The pattern is probably great for people that have knitted lace before, can follow half of a chart and repeat it, and know how many times a chart should be repeated (off the cuff) when doing the second round.  Since there were 14 stitches to the repeat and there were 28 rows to the chart, but the repeat was repeated on either side of the shawl, this should have meant that the repeat was twice on either side of the shawl…so I’m not sure why I was about 10 stitches away from repeating it three times on either side of the chart, and then I gave up.

The Boneyard pattern is much simpler, very pretty, and I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out in my laceweight yarn.

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Above, please find the set up and 12 more rows.  it doesn’t look like much, but with an increase of 4 stitches every two rows it will grow quite quickly.  This pattern is a formula, but I do plan on getting into some slightly more complex lace shortly.

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Finally, I have the first of the two shower puffs in my sibling’s chosen colorway.  I love how it turned out and I am looking forward to getting the second one done.

Until the next time we speak, Happy Easter and remember to live a life A Little More Abstract.