Well, my frame ended up being one square too small in some places – and I was going to frog the entire thing and start over, but the idea of that was just so absurdly daunting that I decided that no one would be able to tell if I had to adjust a panel anyway, and I may as well just continue. Thus day one was The Black Cat, by Edgar Allan Poe, and day two is Jack Skellington. I’m looking forward to getting a little stitching done each day, and seeing how this project comes out in the end. I think it will be an adorable Halloween decoration to put up each year.
Even though most of this month has been taken up my my cross stitch SAL and poor days with MS issues, I haven’t forgotten about my cable crush hoodie. I’ve been working away on it slowly, I separated the back and front, and now I’m just working on the front. It’s a lot of sweater, and so squishy and soft. I’m really looking forward to being able to wear it once our winters drop to -40C. At this rate it won’t be too much longer before we’ll be seeing snowflakes.
I’ve been making some good progress on the SAL frame lately, I’m pretty confident that I can finish this before October, and if not I’ll at least be able to complete it as I work on each square during the month. I can’t believe October is so close already!
In the end this will look like a book cover, but for now it’s just a bunch of lines and squares, hehe. I can’t wait to see what little scene is revealed each day of the SAL in October.
I signed up to join in my very first ‘SAL’ – also known as stitch a long. It’s a Halloween cross stitch, where each day you get a little square to fill in and at the end of the month you have a completed piece. I’ve done a few cross stitch pieces before, but I’ve never participated in a SAL, and I’m really excited about it. The piece is also framed with cross stitch squares, which is what I’m working on in the screenshot above. We got the pattern early so that we’re ready to go when the SAL begins. I decided to splurge and I purchased a kit for this one that came with all sorts of little treats and goodies, but you can also just sign up and do it with your own items, too. It’s all about the community of crafters coming together, and that’s what I love to see.
Completed in August:
- I managed to finish my TAAT socks! Goal accomplished. They turned out beautiful and I am really pleased that they’re done.
- Scrap Blanket
- Cable Crush Hoodie
- I’d like to finish my Cable Crush Hoodie that I started so I can wear it for October, but I’m not sure if that’s a realistic goal or not. Maybe if it was the only thing I was working on for the entire month. I had myself on a bit of a schedule with it to start but I’ve fallen from that because I physically haven’t been able to keep up.
- I’d like to also knit two pairs of socks on my circular sock knitting machine. This should be pretty simple – in theory. I’m trying to figure out which tension is best for my socks, and that involves a little trial and error. I have a lot of sock yarn to get through and I’d love to be able to showcase it more. I think completing two socks is very do-able, but again it depends on my physical limitations and how busy the month is.
- I’d also like to start a 10 stitch blanket with my odds and ends that I’ve been collecting. I know I have the scrap yarn blanket on the go, but I’m looking for something that might be even easier for me to manage. The scrap yarn blanket is lovely, but it means a lot of weaving in ends, and a lot of little squares that are all different sizes as my tension changes. This would be an ongoing WIP, and maybe I’ll scrap the (har) scrap blanket, and make it a doll sized one for my kids to play with.
Not overly ambitious goals, but it should be enough to keep me busy!
The upcycled yarn I decided to go with for this cable crush hoodie is rustic and beautiful to knit with, but it’s hard to get the overall effect of the texture because I’m using 22″ needles that are quite small for the project that I’m working on (I decided to make this shirt oversized, so I’m knitting a 2XL which is one up from my actual size). The knitting on this stretch of 40 stitches is methodic and calming, out of a 10 row repeat only one of them is knitting the actual cables. I’ve been sticking with my goal of knitting 5 rows a day but it does take a few hours. I’ve also dropped a few stitches but I managed to pick them all up. I think I’m in good shape for whatever comes next. The project has “bat wing” sleeves, which means when you raise your arms it looks like giant bat wings, and I’ve never done those before. I’m cautious about the hood portion, and I just hope the whole thing turns out well. For now I’m just taking it step by step and doing one row at a time.
Now that I’ve finished my TAAT socks (picture will be posted once I actually weave in my ends, so sometime by 2025 I’m sure) I’ve decided on my next project. It’s called Cable Crush Hoodie and it’s a pattern by Chantal Miyagishima (Knitatude) which you can find on Ravelry and on her own site as well. It’s an absolutely beautiful sweater that includes cables in the front and back, a batwing sleeve construction, and a hood with icord draw string. I’m knitting it in upcycled wool from knitpicks, which is basically wool constructed of bits and pieces of other wool that wasn’t enough to make an entire skein of type A. Chantal’s patterns are easy to follow and use lovely construction, my silver bell sweater was also one of her designs and had I used the appropriate yarn I’m sure mine would have turned out better (not that it isn’t lovely, it is). I’m hoping to do well with this one, and have it turn out as beautiful as all of the others. I have never knit a hood before, but I have done quite a few cables. It’s knit in worsted yarn, so I’m also hoping it doesn’t drag on forever and maybe I can get it completed before Halloween. We’ll see. I’m a bit further along than this picture shows, I’ve done 8 rows of ribbing, and I’m on row 6 of the body. I’ll do row 1-10 4 times, so I’m 6/40. That’s something, at least. The sweater starts out at 230 stitches and grows to 310 – I’m hoping to knit 5 rows a day. Let’s see if I can do it!
I’m finally working the cuff of my sock, and it’s turning out lovely. I’m knitting through the back loop to keep the rows neat and organized, in a 1×1 ribbed pattern. A few more rows, and I can comfortably bind these socks off and move on to the next project! With fall just around the corner I’m thinking a nice cardigan is in order, but we’ll just have to see. I don’t tend to plan my projects but just go with whatever mood I’m in when I’m searching through my stash.
Speaking of stash, I decided to explore Hobbii a bit and see if I could get the site to work in my favour. See, Canada has a rule that if you order anything more than $100 from outside the country, you have to pay duties (on most things, not everything). Sometimes companies cover this cost (like Knitpicks) and other times, the company does not (Hobbii). Duty fees are high, and Hobbii also has a pretty high shipping cost if you don’t buy enough to qualify for free shipping. So free shipping is $75 USD, and duty is anything under $100. I managed to spend around $98.89 CAD which put me into both of those categories. I bought a yarn bag (for storage / projects on the go), and around 10 skeins of yarn. Most are sock yarn but two skeins are worsted weight acrylic that I’m hoping turn into a nice sweater. Some people really love their yarn, others have opinions. I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try, and in the grand scheme of things, this little experiment didn’t cost me too much (plus it has been a while since I picked up any yarn).
I’ve been working on these socks off and on since February, and normally it doesn’t take me that long to knit a pair of socks but these ones seem to be dragging on. That being said, I love the simple pattern and I know they’ll be worth it in the end. I’ve also been distracted by other projects, having completed 9 so far for 2021 (my goal is to complete 12 projects, one per month, no matter how big or small). I know splitting my time between other hobbies as well as gaming (which I suppose is a hobby) cuts into all this time I could spend knitting, but my hands honestly couldn’t take all of that anyway.
Just a few more rows for the leg, then a nice 2×2 ribbed cuff (through the back loop to keep it tidy) and a stretchy bind off – I’m confident I can get these done in August at least. I also plan on charting how much yarn I purchased for 2021 vs. how much yarn I actually used – I want to have more yarn going out than coming in (ideally). Plus who doesn’t like to track things. I probably spend more time making spreadsheets than anything else in my life, lol.