coffee table filled with unfinished projects

 

A monthly update of all the projects piling up on and under my coffee table. You can read last month's update here and all previous months here.

My usual January disclaimer that it's still winter in Scotland and it has been very dull and rainy so some photos are a bit gloomy...

I ended the December 2023 WiPs round up with these plans...

I've set myself a deadline for the end of January for the Opal socks (the recipient has their birthday in February).

Once I finish the Asymmetrical Scarf I'll use Caine as my simple project as I'm just going round and round in broken rib.

And once I finish Frosty Pines I'll get back to the CoCo Vest as it requires the same level of concentration.

Of course I'm also thinking about warm weather projects. Indeed, I should be knitting them right now... 😆

 

I haven't stuck to that plan at all, but I have finished these. 👇

 

green socks

 

Socks! These were a Christmas gift made in super quick time. I used Opal Whispering Leaves 4ply sock yarn in shade 11252. I used my usual sock pattern - My Favourite Vanilla Socks - which is available for free on Ravelry. It's written for the magic loop method but it's simple to adapt to suit whatever technique you use. I really like the heel flap used in this pattern.

I tried to match these socks - not always easy with self-patterning sock yarn - and I was very pleased how they turned out. The stripe is slightly off as I accidently knitted two extra rows on the heel flap of one sock. 

 

yellow stripe scarf

 

A striped asymmetrical scarf using Rowan Alpaca Classic and part of our Alpaca Collection kit. You can read more here.

 

charcoal grey shawl

 

A super chunky giant lace shawl using King Cole Big Value Super Chunky. This pattern is called Eremophila by Ambah O'Brien and it is available to buy on Ravelry.

The pattern is written for 4ply or DK yarn but it's quite easy to adapt it to a larger yarn. Read more here.

 

grey poncho

 

A cosy poncho also knitted in King Cole Big Value Super Chunky. This is Route 66 a free pattern from The Noble Thread available on Ravelry. It has a striking but easy to work slip stitch pattern and it's a great beginners project.

Like Eremophila this was an impulse knit inspired by our new super chunky... and perhaps the wintery weather! You can read more about Route 66 here.

 

I have also finished the Frosty Pines shawl. It's just been blocked and I'll take photos this week and share them later. Between Eremophila and Frosty Pines our dining table has been out of commission a lot this month.

 

So to review the goals...

I've set myself a deadline for the end of January for the Opal socks (the recipient has their birthday in February).

er... it might have to be February 2025.

Once I finish the Asymmetrical Scarf I'll use Caine as my simple project as I'm just going round and round in broken rib.

I did do another inch of the body of my Caine but promptly got distracted.

And once I finish Frosty Pines I'll get back to the CoCo Vest as it requires the same level of concentration.

I have not thought about the CoCo Vest at all.

Of course I'm also thinking about warm weather projects. Indeed, I should be knitting them right now... 😆

I have thought about these but I knitted 2 super chunky projects instead.

I will definitely need to set new goals for next month because now that the coffee table is back in the living room (we have to take it out to fit the Christmas tree in) I've gone a bit crazy with new projects...

 

blue vest with lace diamonds

 Student vest by Svetlana Volkova available to buy on Ravelry. 37" vest on 34" mannequin

 

First new project is called Student vest. A knitting pattern by Svetlana Volkova and available to buy on Ravelry.

I loved the simplicity of this - the argyle like diamond lace, the vertical rib down the sides and the split hem.

I'm using Rico Luxury Alpaca Superfine in a new blue shade 027. So it'll be light and luxurious.

There are two options for the neck - tall or short. Both begin with a tubular cast on. This type of cast on gives a neat edge for ribbing. It looks like the rib rolls over without a beginning. It's a wee bit of a phaff but worth doing. I used the tutorial on Ysolda's website.

 

shoulder of blue vest

 

The neckline and back are shaped with short rows. The designer uses the simple wrap and turn method which is explained in the pattern. I find this video by Elizabeth Smith Knits to be very clear on how to resolve the wrapped stitches, especially picking up the wraps on the purl side.

It has a contiguous shoulder construction where your increase rapidly (increasing on both right and wrong side) until you get the shoulder width.. So neat!

 

The body is worked back and forth.

 

blue vest

 

The diamond pattern is charted only (it's a big A4 chart). I found I just needed to pay very close attention when the diamonds intersect. I made a mistake and had to rip back 15 rows when I finally admitted to myself that the holes were wonky. 😬

If you do want to knit your own Student Vest I would advise reading the pattern all the way through. It's not difficult but it is perhaps so straightforward you may miss some info especially if you're not an experienced knitter.

I am concerned that my gauge isn't right. Or perhaps it's the yarn that is not right?

Rico Luxury Alpaca Superfine is an alpaca and polyamide blend in a chain construction. It has a soft fluffy halo and some stretch. My stitch and row count are very slightly tighter than the pattern specifies but I know it will relax once washed. Perhaps this is why it looks quite small on the mannequin? Not the oversized look of the pattern photos... I may block it whilst unfinished just to check that it will relax as I expect to it.

 

The next project is a joint project with Sue to make a new window display.

There's a thick pink knitted hanging scarf on one window currently and it's looking very bleached out. We're going to replace it with... FISH!

 

multicoloured fish 

We're using our new super stripy Emu Helter Skelter DK in Splash and Sardine by Barbara Ceiga, available to buy on Ravelry.

The fish are knitted seamlessly from the nose to the tail and you stuff as you go.

So far we have almost 6. I think we'll need 10 - 15 to fill the space. So we may be a while!

 

Another project using our new Emu Helter Skelter DK is a crochet cushion kit!

  • The stripy colours are great fun.
  • Its an easy care robust acrylic.
  • It's also very economically priced.

All great attributes for a beginners kit:

  • Stripy yarn is very motivating as you want to keep making to get to the next colour change.
  • An easy care acrylic is great for homewares - blankets and cushions
  • You don't need to spend a lot to try (or gift) something new.

 

Why crochet? I am not a big crocheter. I can do the basic stitches and I can follow some patterns. But my stitches can be inconsistent and I have to double check what I'm doing especially when turning to go back along the row. It's taken practice to get to even this skill level.

 

my first attempt at crochet many years ago

 

Way back in olden times we had a crochet kit for a face cloth which aimed to teach chain stitch and double crochet stitch - making the same stitch over and over again is the best way to learn, if a little dull. Taking the same principle as the face cloth but jazzing it up with a stripy yarn I thought a cushion would be a good kit.

The kit will include the yarn, hooks, instructions AND cushion pad.

 

crochet cushion 

 

Of course... I need to actually crochet a cushion and write the instructions to make the kit.

My first sample looked great - love the stripes (shade Pow). But it is way too small. I need to chain at least another 10 stitches to fit a 40cm square cushion pad my preferred cushion size. My gauge swatch lied to me!

I didn't account for the lack of stretch... I normally make knitted cushion covers about 5cm smaller than a cushion pad so that it is nice and plump. Double crochet has no stretch for that.

So... back to the drawing board!

(Although having written all that I may bring back the face cloth kit too.)

 

The last project I have no photo for as I haven't started it yet. Or rather I did start it but ripped it out when I turned the page on the pattern and realised I did not work the cast on correctly. A good example of reading through a pattern before beginning. 😆

Anyway, it's called Loop by Casapinka on Ravelry. It's a semi circle shawl and I'm using our new Lang Alpaca Soxx in shade 05 and the undyed Angel Delightful.

It is going to be AMAZING.

 

(Active) ongoing projects...

I am still going round and round on two other projects. The Half Linen Stitch Cowl and the Fluffy Loop.

 

fluffy yellow green cowl

 

The Simple Fluffy Loop is knitted in Nervus Fibre Suri Silk. A hand dyed blend of alpaca and silk.

(For those that are sensitive to mohair silk I'd recommend trying this alpaca silk. You may find it less annoying.)

The yarn is super super soft and squishy. On the hank it's soft but when it's knitted it's another level of squishy. I'm also surprised at how the colours are coming together. It almost looks like camouflage.

I'm using a 5mm needle and I cast on 100 stitches. Just knit every stitch on every round. I was aiming for a tall cowl of about 60cm. But I think I meant 30cm! As 60 cm would be very tall.

It is currently 35cm tall (it was a great project for 'social' knitting over the festive period) and I've used half the yarn (it comes in 50g hanks). I think I'm going to cast off now. That will leave 25g for another cowl, like our Mohair Cowl.

 

So, goals for the coming month...

Cast of Simple Fluffy loop and write up the (very) simple pattern.

Make at least 3 more fish.

Work on Student Vest and finish another ball of yarn.

Start the Loops shawl... again.

Start and finish Crochet Cushion v. 2.

 

 

January 30, 2024
Tags: WIPs

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