KatieChameleon

Happily playing with fibers and other cool stuff

Well THAT took a while

by KCmeleon - December 29th, 2013

I moved. I have been settling in, but still traveling from where I was to where I am now every week. It takes around two hours to go each way. It is amazing how much energy that takes. We were also redesigning the publication we produce at my day job. That has been an intense three-month project. There is more to do, but the first issue is successfully launched. Once we post the issue online I will put a link here. It turned out nice and we are proud.

I was going to cut back to visiting Mom every other week in order to get caught up with The Chameleon, but then there were the holidays. Then Mom broke her arm. My sister and I have been checking in with her regularly, but we both work a long way from her and are usually gone for multiple days in a row. Our schedules have worked out so that we can take shifts. I am glad we can be there for her.

So. Updates on everything coming soon, with pictures.

Visible and not-so-visible progress

by KCmeleon - October 28th, 2013

I have a few photos of progress from last week. As I grow near the day I move into my new apartment, things grow a bit more erratic. Still, I knit on.

2013-09-big-foot2My Big Foot Knits sample approaches completion. The pattern is working, which is hugely cool. I can see that I will want to redo the heel, it bags a bit, but in her instructions she does encourage one to knit it over until it works, record what one has done, and then ta da, you have a heel that fits your foot that you can refer back to as long as you have your foot. I am liking the fit very much. I want to go one more inch up the calf  to see how the pattern fits on a leg, and then to the cuff. I do need to get this done, it is a sample for my class, and it needs to be up in the store. I can see the wisdom in knitting the first sock in this method as a plain sock, and then adjusting for cables and lace once one has their pattern down. Adding cables and lace do make it more difficult to get a precise fit. Even so, this sock is working.

2013-9-bathrobe2I have completed the back on the Bathrobe of Eternity. I had done the fronts about 2/3rds of the way previous to starting the back. Now I get to see them together. From this photo it looks as if I may actually finish in this lifetime! Next is to determine the length and angle of the neck decreases. Then comes the front band, and after that the sleeves.

I have also just cast off my “J’ouvre mon Coeur”. I went one pattern repeat beyond what the instructions suggested, and I am happy. It will be just cozy enough without being overbearing. Photos to come, it is late and it needs to be blocked.

Next week is my move. I am not sure when I will post next. Soon enough I hope.

Two steps forward, one step back

by KCmeleon - October 14th, 2013

I have no photos for this week right now. That may change (hopefully). I have worked on three projects, and have had mixed success.

First, I will report the happy news. The back panel of the Bathrobe of Eternity is now 33 inches. It will eventually be 41 inches, so I am hitting the home stretch. Yay me! Once the back is done, I can figure out the angle of the decreases on the front panels, finish them, and then figure out what else is going to happen. The nice thing about designing something on the fly like this is that it is all based on squares and rectangles. It is also meant to fit very loosely. It will be fun to see what happens as it heads towards the finish line sometime in this century.

The “Big Foot Knits” socks are on a short-term time out. I finished the foot and am on the leg. I am very happy with the foot and plan one minor adjustment to the heel, but then that will be just right as well.

I am increasing on the leg as my mathematical calculations indicated I should, and they work on paper. When I put it on, it feels like I am doing too many increases and it is getting loose. Perhaps this is due to the unblocked lace wanting to scrunch down, and so it is not hitting the correct part of the leg. I am going to either frog it back a bit, or sail forth and hope it all sorts out once I add the ribbing and block it.

The Stoneware Cardigan was progressing beautifully and quickly. I was knitting with two balls of yarn and alternating them every two rows to keep the slubs from repeating in a regular and predictable pattern. I was pretty happy with the pattern that was emerging. Once I passed the underarms I went to one ball of yarn, reasoning that with shorter rows I would not mind how the slubs landed in the back. I was wrong, I mind, and I will be tearing it back to the armholes. Sad, but not really all that much work.

Now, to bed so I can get up to get back up to Grand Marais, and do it all over again.

Just a quick Raven’s Beak update as well. We have postponed the Fiber Artist series a bit. The first artist will be in November, a wonderful felt artist. I will announce it here once the schedule is firmed up. I am tentatively rescheduled to January. I think this will work much better. I have taken a new apartment in Grand Marais, and will be packing and moving. It makes more sense to wait until I am settled before we feature me. This also lets me get a few more patterns finalized too. More on this later.

I’ve done quite a bit, but have little to show for it.

by KCmeleon - October 6th, 2013

In this weeks installment, our heroine has been doing a lot of math, lots of measuring, and not that much knitting. I went deep into the book Big Foot Knits and have figured out, drafted, and partially completed my sock, and I am pleased thus far.

I did find myself wanting a lot more graph paper and 2 to 4 column ledger sheets than provided in the book. Fortunately I have a bit of an office supply habit, and have everything I need. I can see that I will be creating more explicit lists of how to proceed, what to do with all the numbers, how to decide what works for the individual knitter, etc for the class I teach in January. If I do any Excel sheets or make any PDFs I will provide them on my blog somewhere. There was a spot or two I wondered how she got from point “A” to point “B”, but I figured  that out as well. There will be socks.

2013-10-big-foot-knitsI wanted to post a picture with the heel placed and with the sock in all its unfinished glory on my foot so all could see how smashing it was, but no such luck. I will place the heel this week. For now, this tube is all I have to show. I did choose to knit the pattern Gaia. Just a happy plug for that great Yarn Pop bag I am using. I am still so tickled I won that bag set, and am very happy with the quality of her work.

I find it very interesting and kind that the patterns are charted for both toe-up and top-down. This pattern is reversible. I am impressed as well. There is a bit of work involved in creating a chart that is not only adaptable in either direction, but that can contract and expand as I size the pattern to my foot. I am working with four pattern repeats, and that gives me eight spots where I can increase or decrease. That will give me a smooth, gradual pattern shift as I knit up my calves. I am tempted to make these knee-highs just to test out the pattern. That would require a second ball of yarn, though, and I am not sure I want knee-highs that bad. We will see.

On other fronts: A great little yarn shop, Raven’s Beak Design in Grand Marais is starting a Featured Fiber Artist series. I am honored and excited to be the first one! On October 18th (a full moon no less) she is holding an opening where I and my patterns will be featured. 7 – 9 p.m. On Saturday I will be teaching a little take-away class. I will be teaching one of my ornaments, providing the pattern and enough yarn to complete an ornament from 11 a.m – 3 p.m. This is going to be very fun, and it will really out me as a designer. She is no slouch as a designer herself, and it is fun to see her patterns around the store. It should be a fun time. Come on down if you are around! Or, more accurately, on up, being as I am north of just about everyone.

Keeping me at it

by KCmeleon - September 30th, 2013

I am finding these posts are helping me to keep focused. Yes one loves readers, and I’m not sure this one has many readers because of the sporadic past posts. It is serving its purpose. All is well.

2013-9-railroad-rib-socksI finished my RailRoad Rib Socks. I am pleased. They will be good in my hiking boots this fall and early winter to keep those toes just a bit warmer. I am still wishing I picked a tan or brown. These will be functional, though, and I will soon forget that I am annoyed as my toes stay warm, or I will gift someone with  them.

Railroad Rib socks from Fiber Trends, Nautica by Regia, a sport-weight (6-ply) sock yarn, US size 2 needles.

 

2013-9-yipesstripesI chose to add a foot to this scarf. Although it would have been very fun to go longer, this is as far as I could go and keep the color transition intact without buying another skein of yarn. It is so delicious and so soft and drape-y. I am going to have to figure out something else delicious to do with this yarn and with this stripe concept.

Indecisive Rib Scarf,  Noro’s Silk Garden,  and Juniper Moon Farm’s Moonshine. US size 8 needles.

2013-09-stoneware2I have only minimal progress to report here. I am using this as my reward project. I may knit on this sweater when I take care of other things I need to do first. It will definitely slow this down, but it is going so fast on size 8′s that it will still be done in a relatively short period of time. I chose to run two balls of yarn at a time, switching them every other row, to keep the dark stripe from appearing too regularly. I am happy with how the stripe is falling thus far.

Stoneware Cardigan.  Linus and Geologee from Knit One Crochet Too.

2013-9-bathrobeI am finally posting this. The bathrobe of Eternity. It has been in progress for a very long time. It is slow going, and, well, I am knitting a size 16 bathrobe, I will be at this for a while. I do love the fabric I am getting with this yarn, and I am going to love the finished product. I am putting it here to encourage me to keep moving forward on it.

I am inventing the pattern on the fly. I am using Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Linen, and knitting on US size 4.

And for the final very exciting bit? My Yarn Pop totes and bags came in the mail. I love them, especially the large one. The strap is set a bit down on the sides. I wondered why at first. After carrying it around for a day, I am sold, it is so comfortable. It is a good size, has a sturdy zipper and a few interior pockets. I will be transitioning my other projects to the other bags this week. I will probably share some of them with my Mom and sister as well. I am very happy with them.

My somewhat weekly progress report

by KCmeleon - September 23rd, 2013

Sundays are my time to wind things up and get ready to drive back to Grand Marais. Of late it has also been a terrific time to update all my projects. I am enjoying the process, and it is helping to keep me focused. I like.

This week I have:

2013-09-big-foot1 The gauge swatch for my  Big Foot Knits class. I am using Schoeller+Stahl Fortissima Color in a great green-striping colorway.

In the past I have always knit fingering socks on size 0. My gauge has recently changed (after how many years?!), so I thought I’d best swatch in both 0s and 1s. It seems I will be switching up to size 1. I am actually kind of grateful. Size 1′s are easier on my eyes and hands.

Believe it or not I even followed the books instructions and blocked this swatch. The next step is to take this and use it and my measurements to draft my basic pattern, and then apply it to one of the designs from the book. It will be fun to see how it all works out.

2013-09-stonewarecardi1

 

 

 

The bottom band on my Stoneware Cardigan. I love how these two yarns play together in this pattern. Elann.com was cruel and tempted me with these yarns, Linus and Geologee from Knit One Purl Too. I bought the yarn and pattern a bit ago. I cast on Saturday, and I am loving it. It is an aran weight, and it will knit up fast. It is a very soft yarn, a wool/acrylic blend, so I have some concerns around how it will wear. I am not so concerned as to not knit this sweater though. It will be so pretty.

2013-09-YH_KAL1Here is my entry in Yarn Harbor’s Fall Knit-along. Our practical pattern (yes, we ARE from The North Shore, why did you ask?) is The Railroad Rib socks from Fiber Trends. I am knitting them in Nautica by Regia, a sport-weight (6-ply) sock yarn. I am a bit frustrated by the color I chose, a mottled denim. I am also a little annoyed at knitting them two at a time on a circular needle, it is not my favorite method. I am over half way done with both socks in one week though, soooo, I think I’ll get over my annoyance and just be happy they will be done soon.

yipes-stripes3The last thing I will be taking north with me this week is my Indecisive Rib Scarf. I had made a scarf in this pattern for a class sample. i just loved the fabric I got from the two yarns I used, Noro’s Silk Garden and Juniper Moon Farm’s Moonshine. I knit it somewhat loosely on a size 9.

What I did not love was the length of the final product. A scarf this delicious should be able to wrap around a few times until you can feel the hug. I have just picked up the necessary yarn to increase this scarf to “What? Who said it is cold out, I don’t feel it.” length.

The pattern is Mandyz Moon’s Indecisive Stripes Rib, found here. The patten describes the technique, and does not spell out how to create this scarf. I cast on 27 stitches on size 9 needles (bigger if you are normal to tight gauge) and slipped the first stitch on each row. The scarf is 8 inches wide and wonderfully drapey.

 

Yarn Pop has great totes

by KCmeleon - September 16th, 2013

I find it a great deal of fun when blogs I enjoy have contests. You’ve probably seen them.” Leave a comment, and we will use a random number generator to pick one of you to get this cool stuff”. I always leave kind words. I have never gotten anything.
This morning, however, was different.
Lori from Yarn Pop gave me a very wonderful message. “Your comment number was chosen using random.org and you are the winner of the Yarn Pop pack!

I am so excited! I could really use some nicer knitting bags for my perpetual, revolving project collection. And I get these!

This has definitely been Katie’s Happy Month. I’ll post a picture when they arrive.

Getting Stuff Done

by KCmeleon - September 16th, 2013

This has been a great weekend for getting things finished, organized, and prioritized. It feels great. Two of the items have photos to share. The rest, though more boring, is necessary and in progress.

baby batmanI present to you, the newborn Batman hat. It worked out pretty well, and I think it should do pretty much what it was supposed to do. I am popping it in the mail tomorrow.

60 stitches, size 5 needles, a bit taller than necessary so that the ears don’t get pulled in, and short-row ears which are knit over 12 stitches, reducing one stitch each row. It is seamed flat at the top. I hope I am treated to a picture of the recipient in all of his/her newborn splendor.

 

A Lady's GauntletsI am craving pretty and fun things to knit. When I saw this pattern I was smitten. I used Silky Wool, one skein which was hiding in the bottom of my sport-weight stash, and one picked up at my LYS, gratefully of the same dye lot. I have been just starting things on the fly of late, and hoping they work out. This one did.

Lady Violet’s Dinner Gauntlets by Kristen Ashbaugh, free on Ravelry. Needles size 2.75 mm, and plenty of leftovers in the two skeins of Elsebeth Lavold’s Silky Wool, though one skein would not have made it, sadly.

J’ouvre mon Coeur is on hold. I am not quite sure why. I finished knitting and cast off half of the shawl, and then put it back on the needles. I want it bigger. I am thinking two patterns larger should take care of things, and be hugely snuggly. I believe the big hold is the other deadlines I have looming.

I have to get my sample done for the class I am teaching from the book Big Foot Knits. The class is in January, but I want to be very comfortable with the process. I also agreed to a sock KAL with Yarn Harbor. I am doing the sock in a sport weight to speed up the process and to have a warmer winter sock.

Both of these are more boring. This frustrates me a bit. I have just come off knitting 6 pairs of mittens and 24 felted ornaments. I am finding that I am growing bored of knitting as I set these big, useful, but uninspiring projects in front of me. It is, however, inspiring a necessary period of reflection around what I chose to knit and design, and why. I do need to get focused, and I need to this focus to be around what I love. My current gauntlet obsession is a reflection of knitting things that jazz me. We will see where this reflection leads. I do think it will be fun.

The Deep Fall Knitty is up

by KCmeleon - September 12th, 2013

And I am in it!

leavesBEAUTYMy first published pattern. Be still my heart. I have a great deal of intense happy happening right now, and a bit of work to do to get it properly linked. But first, the happy dance. No video attached, just use your imagination (or not, if what comes to your mind is too scary).

Leaves of Grass is found here.

I did it!

by KCmeleon - September 5th, 2013

My website is now up as a self-hosted WordPress site. I love Lynda.com tutorials! I am not completely in love with the layout, but that is an easy fix. Experiencing great relief and a great need for sleep. Goodnight!