Chevron blanket update… and blanket surgery!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my chevrons blanket (aka Heirloom Chevron Throw by Jocelyn Tunney – the pattern is FREE)! Despite still having generally terrible wrists/forearms, I’m managing to sneak in tiny bits of knitting here and there (mostly because I am not typing very much right now – my typing job is on hold for a little while, so I can stand a bit more knitting as a result). Here’s the blanket with gratuitous cat blanket thief!

Cat blanket thief

Chevron blanket progress

Looking good! Wait a minute… what’s that in the apple green stripe?

Ugh!

Ugh! A weird little tuft of yarn! At first I thought maybe I’d done a bad job of felted-join-ing, but upon closer inspection, I remembered that it was just a felty nep in the yarn, and when I knit it in, I’d thought it would blend in fine. But because everything else is so smooth, it’s REALLY obvious. And annoying. I decided I could probably fix it with some surgery, by cutting the yarn, unpicking the few stitches where the nep was, and grafting with new yarn… weaving in the ends on the back for close to seamlessness.

SURGERY!

EEP!

Ooh messy

I worked on figuring out the kitchenering with contrasting yarn, to make it easier to see what was going on. Then I tied on the right colour of yarn to the contrast yarn, and gently pulled/guided the correct yarn through. (I really should have taken more photos… but it was intense.)

A little bit better

A little bit fuzzy, but:

And the after!

Pretty good, right?

Can you see where I fixed it?

This is the spot I fixed! Could you tell?

Here!

I am loving this blanket, even though it’s sooooo slow going. 20 more rows (10 more ridges) of this colour and then I’ll be on to the final triangles to square it off!

Chevrons progress

What are you knitting these days??

Yellow to Gold to Granny Smith

I took my garter stitch chevron blanket out for coffee and a donut this week! That right there, friends, is an earl grey donut. It was FAN. TASTIC :)

Yarn, latte, donut. Good.

Also, Miss New Zealand thinks this blanket is hers, already. She’s generally a big fan of squishy knitted fabric, and this is no exception. If I’m not quick to put it away, this is what happens:

Feline usurper ;)

Can I show you some actual progress instead of just snacks and cats? YES! Ta da!

Giant chevron!

I’ve modified from the original pattern a little bit. Instead of working 50 rows per stripe, I’m doing 60 (30 garter ridges). I just wanted to use up more yarn and have a wider stripe than I had at 50 rows.

Sharp corner

I like how it’s looking so far! Up next: apple green. I think the colourway is actually called “granny smith”.

Greens!

Greens!

Even though most of the time it’s squashed into a blob in my lap, it’s starting to be pretty substantial size-wise!

Blanket-ey!

Adding apple green

Can I bust out this stripe in a week or less? (Probably. My other activities this week will be deadline-dissertation-chapter-writing [ugh], deadline-TA-grading [ugh], and feeling grumpy and sad about my still far far away spouse [a million ughs]. That stuff means more knitting.)

Adding apple green

The BEST kind of mail :)

I really love receiving mail. Almost anything is good – even catalogues make me smile, usually. But the absolute BEST thing that ever comes in the mail is YARN!

Last week, a package came full of yarn that I’ve been eagerly anticipating. My 2013 Juniper Moon 100% cormo yarn share! If you don’t know about Juniper Moon Farm… it’s amazing. I’ve been a shareholder since 2010, and I cannot speak highly enough of their product, their people, or their values.

This year, along with the share yarn, they sent out gorgeous project bags!

Yarn + project bag!

So pretty!

This is some seriously luscious yarn.

Cormo wool and the skyline

It practically glows, doesn’t it? Turns out someone agrees with me about how interesting this yarn is…

Interested...

Still interested...

Mmmm delicious yarns

What, this isn't for cats?

I think she’s hoping that if she just hangs out near it long enough, I’ll let her have it to play with. (NOPE!)

Look what else was in my package!!!

Look what else was in my package!

Holy gorgeous.

Juniper Moon’s The Shepherd and The Shearer is an amazing project. I am OVER the moon about this yarn, and the patterns that go with it. I am definitely going to be knitting up The Shepherd (designed by the incredible Kate Davies) as soon as I finish the piece of deadline knitting I’m working on right now!

TWO SWEATERS' WORTH OF YARN!

Two sweaters worth of yarn. I cannot even tell you how happy this stuff makes me :) It smells amazing, it came from happy, well-cared for sheep, it was made and marketed by kind, ethical, excellent people, and it’s going to be an absolute delight to knit up. I can’t wait!!!

If I can get it back from the cat.

If I can just wrestle it away from my cat… ;)

Happy Things :)

There have been lots of happy things in the past week!

I’ve spent lots of time drinking tea…

This calls for tea.

Making (and consuming) fall-feeling desserts, like this Cardamom Gingerbread…

Tastiest!

Staying inside while perfect, gray days unroll outdoors…

Rainiest!

And hanging out with my furry, occasionally cuddly cat!

Furriest!

 

There’s a lot of knitting going on, too – but most of it is secret, for now :)

Garter Stripe Blanket – Finished!!!

When I last posted about my spectrumey, garter stripe blanket project, it was nearly done – I had finished all the coloured stripes, and I had finished the natural cream wool garter border. Since then, I’ve added a gray i-cord edging, woven in all the ends, and taken a few ton of glamour shots!

First, some details about the i-cord edging. I’m kind of an i-cord fanatic. It’s so simple, but it look so professional and tidy! I certainly could have called the blanket “finished” after the natural garter borders, but I’m thrilled with how the i-cord edge looks.

I love the Purlbee’s attached i-cord tutorial, here. For this blanket, I used a 3 stitch i-cord edge. Whenever the item I’m adding i-cord to is round, I cast on provisionally (I like this crochet cast on), so that when I get back to where I started, I can undo the provisional cast on and graft the two ends together. Be careful – grafting top to bottom a little bit tricker than normal kitchener stitch. The best visualization I’ve seen is on a fellow Raveler’s project page: check it out here!

So! I worked the 3 stitch i-cord edging all around the blanket, skipping an edge stitch every inch and a half or so in order not to stretch out the garter stitch and keep everything nice and tidy. I used Briggs & Little Heritage yarn in medium gray, leftover from an Owls sweater I made a few years ago.

One or two other specs, in case you’d like to make something like this: I cast on as many stitches as would fit on my longest circular needle (174, it turns out). I knit 20 rows/10 ridges in garter stitch per colour, x 10 colours, for 20 coloured stripes. Then I picked up along the long edges of the blanket (200 stitches per side: 1 stitch in each garter ridge), and worked 20 rows/10 ridges in cream yarn. On the short edges, I worked the same 20 rows of garter in cream (I left the coloured stitches live, and picked up 10 stitches from each top edge of the cream borders from the long side). Finally, I added the i-cord.

Without further ado, behold! A TON OF PHOTOS!

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My cat, Miss New Zealand, *really* wants the blanket to be hers. Any time I lay it out, she climbs on and settles in immediately.

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Once I wrestled it away from her adorable napping self, I took the blanket outside for a little photoshoot! I definitely plan to enjoy more cups of tea on my balcony with the blanket.

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I think it works inside, too!

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Guess who popped over for blanket time?

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Lastly, a few shots of the wrong side of the fabric – for full disclosure!

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I think I’ve come a very long way from the very first blanket I ever knit, which I pulled out of the closet this week. I made this old blanket in stages, in 2003-2004. I knit big, garter stitch squares on straight needles, and then seamed them (very, very badly) together. The yarn is this crazy, neon, bouclé stuff that I really loved back then… (Lion Brand Bouclé Multi, to be precise.) I remember many pleasant evenings working on it, while living in university residence and watching Law & Order with my college friends.

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I’m glad I still have it, first because it’s serviceable and warm (and machine washable!), and because it’s nice to compare it to my most recent blanket project and think about how much I’ve grown as a knitter and a person in the ten years between these two big, soft pieces of knitted fabric.

I find blankets to be such satisfying projects, even if they can take a long time. I’ve already started another one, with a different pattern (and a different yarn weight)! More details about that another day :)

Cat *nearly* on a knit!

I haven’t posted a cat-on-a-knit picture in a long time!

This one is a super old throwback to when my cat was a teeny little kitten. I made the shawl pictured, Multnomah by Kate Ray, in the summer of 2010 when my cat was only a few months old! That’s why she looks extra tiny. In the photos she can’t be more than 5 months… she’s three years old, now! Whoa.

And, I guess she’s only almost on the knit. How respectful of her! :)

Baby cat! Nearly on a shawl!

She was SO TINY!

Cat on a Knit!

Today, before-and-after cat on a knit photos.

Knits laid out to be packed for a trip:

shawl cat-1

And the same knits in a post-trip-to-be-washed pile.

shawl cat-2

(Both, obviously, equally perfect spots for sleepy cats :) )

Pictured knits:

Coral shawl: Damask by Kitman Figueroa in Shibui Knits Staccato

Yellow shawl: Moonlight Sonata by Shui Kuen Kozinski in Miss Gusset Sock

Blue shawl: Thorn by Kitman Figueroa in Baah! La Jolla

Blue sweater (in second photo): Tea Leaves by Melissa LaBarre in Juniper Moon 2010 CSA Share Yarn

Gray sweater (in second photo): Bergen Street Cardigan by Alexis Winslow in KnitPicks City Tweed DK

Crochet Cat Nest Update!

So, I rooted around in my stash last night, and came up with a tiny bit more yarn in the right weight for my crocheted cat nest.

Although red isn’t really a colour we use in household decor over here at casa-barf-green, I really like using up leftover yarn (in this case, the red yarn is from slippers I made my brother-in-law for Christmas one year), AND I want to keep this project as cheap as I can… because my cat is wonderful and I love her, but she’s also hella fickle.

While she looooves the cat-nest-in-progress right now…

Cat Nest Update!

Maybe she won’t love it forever, and if I spend a lot of money on the yarn, I’ll be sad.

I’m hoping I can use some coupons at Michael’s and pick up some (Lion Brand) Wool Ease Thick & Quick to continue the nest!

I never thought I’d be saying this, but… crochet is really fun, people.