Monday, August 11, 2008

Knitting olympics, or Ravelympics

Well, that's what I want to talk about, but as I do this post will greatly lack pictures so I decided to start with an FO so you have something to look at.

This yarn was finished quite some time ago, but I never got around to photographing it.





Think Spring Collage

Yarn : 100% South African Fine, from Spunky Eclectic

Colourway : Think Spring (Club Colour February 2008)

2ply, 360m to 4oz (fingering weight)

I liked spinning this yarn but I especially liked how it fluffed up after the washing! Though I wasn't sure about the colours I love how they muted while spinning. All in all a good yarn!

On the wheel right now (well, on the Lou√ęt S45, on the Victoria it's still the blend I started in France) is this :

Centreren




Dandy Lion - Singles

(The pink shining through is the basket, there is no pink in the fiber)

This is superwash Merino, again from the Spunky Eclectic fiber club. It's been on the wheel since the start of July. I had hoped to finish it before leaving for France but I never did. I spun a little this week but only a few yards. I hope to finish it soon. Plus I hope this turns out more muted then the fiber was!

Reason I want to finish this yarn is that I want to start spinning my Ravelympics Fiber. Ravelympics is actually just the Summer Knitting Olympics, but then on Ravelry. I wasn't sure about participating and now that I did I think I gave myself to many goals. But I'll try to get there.

The fiber is one of the first goals. I want to spin up some fiber in a sock weight and then actually knit socks out of it. Well, hopefully that is. If the fiber turns out to great I might knit it up into something different. Though my main goal for spinning is sock knitting, lately I've noticed that I don't want to knit the nice yarns I spun into socks but rather something that's more in view, and something that gets less wear. Though I still adore socks. Anyway, I have 2 possible fibers selected, both BFL as that's my fave at the moment! :D

Then I joined the Wip Wrestlers, as I'm into finishing right now. The idea would be to finish up 2 WIPs :




Icarus shawl - In Progress IMG_3288

On the left is my Icarus shawl, which has a tiny more progress then shown, but not much. It was casted on not to long ago. On the right is Raspy, just casted on for the sleeves (front and back done). This has been on the needles forever and I really want to finish it!

I hope to at least finish Raspy, the shawl might be a bit much, but we'll see!

One more thing I wanted to do during the Ravelympics was knit a pair of knee high striped socks in a DK weight yarn. Well, DK or Worsted, I have a hard time keeping those apart. I have had those in mind forever so I want to get them started. Plus I need to keep up with the 52 Pair Plunge!

What I had totally forgotten about was that I signed up for the Olympic sock challenge of Socktopia. So that one is on the needles right now, hope to finish it soon!

The negative side is of course that I won't have much knitting time the coming weeks. This week I'm still at work but starting next week I'm giving riding camp at the riding school. And I know from experience I'm not much at home then!

Ok, off to do some work now ...





Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Embroidery

Remember my plan, back at the beginning of the year, to knit a pair of wristwarmers for each theme of project spectrum, and embroider them? I added knitting matching gloves and maybe a pair of embroidered knee high socks.

Well, I finally finished that first pair of knee highs, and we are now at the last them of Project Spectrum (Water). It has taken me ages to knit them. I have no pictures to show, at the moment it's just a pair of black stockings. Not my favourites either. I had issues with the toes, I changed needles after the heel and that's quite obvious and there are too many stitches around the ankle. so in all, no my best knitted socks. But they are done, and as they are black and need embroidery, the faults will not be to obvious.

So, embroidery. I know cross stitch and I can do some basic handsewing, but I never did embroidery. I bought a French booklet while on holiday about embroidery and the different stitches. I watched some videos on YouTube. But apart from that I have no experience. And I do know it's harder on knitted fabric.

Knowing my own high standards, I decided to embroider something as a test. I needed a phone cover for my new cell phone, as it's already damaged due to being put about everywhere. I usually buy plastic covers for the cell phones I owe, but it wouldn't be ideal with this one. So knitting to the rescue.

I started it yesterday and finished it in no time (yes, I still have nothing to do at work, I'm luckily allowed to take tomorrow off, as I had no therapy planned at all and I'm sick of inventing therapeutic material!). It's a simple black pouch knitted out of Regia 4ply on 2mm needles. Cast on 44 stitches, 10 rows of 2x2 ribbing and further in stocking stitch. At the end I decreased (sp?) 4 stitches twice, as my phone has a round shape at the bottom. The pouch is a bit longer then I initially intended but it's ok as this way my phone is less likely going to fall out. Oh, and I did kitchener stitch on the bottom.

That being done I took my DMC thread and started some free form. I don't have any kind of chalk to draw on the fabric, so it's just testing. Here is the result :





Phone cover 01

I wanted to do the swirls as I have an addiction to them, plus I think they are perfect to present the Water them of PS3. The yarn is variegated DMC, makes it easier! :D






Phone cover 02

It wasn't easy as I couldn't really put my hand in the pouch, and there's no easy way to seperate the fabric. Plus I wanted it really fine and - if possible - detailed. So I had high hopes again.





Phone cover - close-up

As you can see in the close-up there are quite a few mistakes and it's not so great. But it's ok for my first time. I think I'll do the stockings next. I have quite a few ideas for other embroidered stuff, but I need to knit them up first. And well, there'll be more stockings in the future, there is plenty of time to improve!