The Moment We’ve All Been Waiting For

When I finished my Lizard Ridge, I’d already packed up my iron and I couldn’t steam block the border and seams. In addition to that, I wanted to get into our new house and arrange the bedroom before I actually used this beautiful blanket.

Stats:

Pattern: Lizard Ridge

31 skeins of Noro Kureyon used for this blanket, that’s 3400 yards of Noro. The border is handspun CVM Romeldale in a 3 ply. I used 775 yards for that. I worked on this project on and off for just a few months shy of 4 years. It really is one of my crowing moments in my knitting/spinning career.

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There are 6 strips rather than the 4 the pattern calls for, and each strip contains 6 blocks. Construction wise, I knit a block, cast it off, then picked up stitches for the next block for each strip. I then wet blocked all strips. For the seams, I picked up the same amount of stitches per block on each strip, then I used a 3 needle bind off for a stable seam and a seam that would create a bit of a border between the strips. For the border, I picked up stitches on each side, and increased at the beginning and end of every other row. I did not cast off, but left each side on a cable until all 4 sides were complete. I then did an icord bind off for the edge, which really does make it look professionally finished.

Today I steam blocked the entire thing to make it lay flat, and then put it on our bed.

I am so fortunate that Mr. Ink shares my love for color, unusual items, and art. We don’t feel this overwhelming need for the traditional, and when I shared with him my vision for our new house, he was on board completely. We shall fill our new home with color and art and things which are beautiful to us. It won’t be traditional, but it will be what soothes our souls, and that makes it home to us.

And we started with Lizard Ridge.

The light

Yesterday I finished the border knitting of the Lizard Ridge, and began the long task of the applied icord bind off. I snapped this shot after turning the first corner.

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It made me so happy to see it all coming together like that, and it also confirmed the icord bind off choice. It really looks so lovely and finished!

I worked on it all evening, and a little this morning, and then I snapped this shot:

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It doesn’t look much different than the last shot, but that’s corner #3, which means I only have one more side left! The end is in sight, I’ve seen the light at the end of this tunnel, and, quite frankly, I am a little confused as to what I’ll knit after it’s done!

(As a side note, I also think I am going to run out of yarn one last time. But, it’ll be so close to the finish that I can probably just finish up with the singles already on the spindles currently.)

I Could Show You…

A fully seamed Lizard Ridge. But, I am not going to. I think I am now going to save it for after the borders are complete. But, here’s what this morning looked like:

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That’s me, under the Lizard Ridge, working on the last seam. It’s done now, and I have picked up stitches for the first border piece.

What I am ready to show you is my current spinning project. I’ve been working on my Inglenook Smaug batt. It’s on my wheel at the moment.

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As per usual, the yarn is just beautiful. I divided the batt into two width wise, and will spin it in one long color change. It will go to one side of the batt and then back again.

Most of this was spun on evenings I was hanging out with Miss Bug watching Buffy and Angel. The weather is warmer now, and I seriously doubt she’s going to want to do that anymore unless there’s an outstanding circumstance like sickness, rainstorm, or she’s grounded for some reason or another.

The Drama

Sometimes knitting creates drama. Most of the time it’s a lovely and relaxing thing to do, but sometimes it’s drama.

I finished my lizard ridge strips, and it was time to seam them together. Now, it took me a total of 4 years to finish each of these strips, so I’ve had ample time to think over the seaming. And, the idea of that much mattress stitch didn’t please me at all. I also felt that perhaps the blanket would do better having a seriously stable seam.

So, my idea was to pick up stitches on the side of each strip, and then 3 needle bind off those stitches to keep a stable seam. I knew that this could mean that I’d have some of my grey yarn showing in between the strips, but since I’ll also use the same grey for the border, that didn’t seem problematic.

So, I started on the first two strips. I identified that I needed to pick up 52 stitches per block, and I picked up stitches using a stitch marker in between the blocks just to make sure I stayed on track. I picked up all 624 stitches, then did a 3 needle bind off of 312 stitches. I took a moment after it was done, held it up, and realized I’d oriented one of the strips incorrectly. This meant that the stripes didn’t line up. Wide stripes were paired with narrow stripes.

I had this moment where I thought “Can I live with this and just do the rest correctly?” But the answer was absolutely not. So, I ripped the entire thing out and put it down for a day or so.

Then, I got back to it, being more careful than before. I now have 3 connected strips, and they look amazing!

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Here’s the deal. I took up the lizard ridge blanket with intent to finish for a very specific reason. I knew that we’d be moving fairly soon, and it seemed that moving a finished blanket would be a good deal easier than moving a bunch of unblocked partially finished strips and all the extra yarn still needing to be knit into additional strips.

I thought I’d have plenty of time for this endeavor, and while I was completing knitting quickly, and spinning yarn for the border, I wasn’t feeling rushed. I’d anticipated moving sometime in June perhaps? Maybe over the summer? I really wasn’t entirely sure, but it was still sometime in the future and I had plenty of time.

So, we worked on our house projects, Mr. Ink and I, separately and together, and I knit on Lizard Ridge in my spare time. And then, we made the decision to start looking at houses, since we knew we’d be on the market for one soon. We looked, and we saw some houses that would work for our lifestyle, but weren’t in an area we adored. And we saw a whole BUNCH of houses that were disasters. And we saw houses that we adored, but got snatched right out from under us because the market is really tough on buyers right now. And then…..we found a home that fit our needs perfectly in an area we didn’t expect to be living in, but we also weren’t opposed to. This moving thing? Is going to happen far sooner than we anticipated, because I purchased that house, because I just couldn’t live with someone else owning it.

But now? Not only is Lizard Ridge not complete, I have so little time to work on it because my time needs to be spent packing instead!

My new goal is simply to get all the strips attached together. If I get some border work done, that’s great, but getting those strips connected will still be the best way to move the blanket. I REALLY wanted it finished to put on our bed in our new home, but I just don’t think that’s going to happen at this time.

The Good News and The Bad News

The good news:

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My “last” lizard ridge strip is done.

The bad news. It’s not my last. If i want a queen sized topper, I need another strip.

I want to say I am desperately disappointed about this, but I am so far into this blanket now that it doesn’t bother me a bit to knit another strip. My obsession runs deep.

Lizard Ridge Reboot

Recently, Rachel of Dyeabolical yarns finished her long term project, Lizard Ridge. It was so inspiring to watch her finish it in fairly quick order even though I know that blanket has been on her needles for quite some time. After all, it was her Lizard Ridge blocks that originally inspired my desire to knit one.

Well, I’ve been working on a Lizard Ridge blanket since 2011. Every once in awhile I get it out and make some progress, but progress has been stalled on it for quite some time. However, with a potential move in the nearish future, I figured it would be a great deal easier to move a finished blanket than it would be to move all these small parts and small skeins of yarn.

Yesterday I pulled out the blanket, finished the last square of a strip, soaked it, and blocked it.

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This is a really big deal! The second strip is almost done as well, just a repeat away. However, the dog will be here tonight, and it is absolutely impossible for him to leave blocked knitting alone. So, despite being able to complete the strip today, I won’t get a chance to block and then seam these two together until sometime this week.

Here’s the thing. I’ve got 4 strips going at the moment, all of them almost done. However, I’ve thought about this regularly, and I think I’d like to make this into a queen sized throw for the top of my bed. After all, there’s nothing like bright bold color to inspire creativity in me. I am thinking that the 4 strips won’t be enough. That’s a bit discouraging, but I am just going to seam the 4 up, and see where I am after that.

But for now? It’s time to enjoy the weather and the melting snow and get out there on my bike! Not much knitting today, as We’ve got Mr. Ink’s birthday celebration tonight as well. All good fun times of a weekend!

Lizard Ridge Strip #3

I am truly amazed to report that I now have the third strip of Lizard Ridge blanket complete. For a gal who really hasn’t been knitting much, this feels like quite an accomplishment. I have one block of the fourth strip done as well. I’ll have a new blanket just in time….for wam weather. Of course. I do believe I have all the yarn needed for the blocks, but then I need to figure out what to do about the edging. I am toying with the idea of doing an applied icord edging as the suggested crochet edging looks far too delicate for a blanket of this sort to me. If I do that, I can just use more noro kureyon, and it really doesn’t matter what color.

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The applied icord edging doesn’t give me much cause for pause really, I know I’ll get into a groove and it will just happen. The blocking of the 4 strips and the seaming them all together however….well that makes me catch my breath at the thought of it. Would it be the seaming or the icord that sounded like the worst project if you were the creator of this blanket?

Again with Awesome Friends

So, only a week after my awesome friends gave me a new scarf, it happened again! My friend Mary had been working on this amazing noro shawl. It was just gorgeous and soft and wonderful, I fell in love with it as she was knitting it. And again considered purchasing yarn for something similar. Once it was done, she complained that she couldn’t see herself wearing it. And I am pretty sure I complained louder about how I couldn’t understand that because it was SO VERY BEAUTIFUL. And apparently my loud complaint worked, even though I hadn’t intended for it to, as I ended up with a new shawl. Thanks Mary!

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Totally Unexpected

This is an unexpected blog post about an unexpected gift. My friend sparkeespud had this noro silk garden clapotis. She became frustrated with the yarn and she didn’t finish the project. It languished in her hibernation pile for a good long while. One day, while telling us about it, our friend Sarah said to hand it over and she’d finish it for sparkeespud. Well, by the time sparkeespud handed it over, she wanted to wash her hands of it completely. She told Sarah that once it was done, Sarah could keep it. Well, I must admit to feeling slightly green with envy once I saw the project. I mean, it is NORO! And also, the colors were fantastic, truly fantastic. Totally my kind of colors. As I watched Sarah knit on it I just couldn’t help but think I’d fall into the trap of knitting another clapotis in noro very shortly.

Well, last night I saw the finished object. Finished except for having the ends woven in. It was just gorgeous! So pretty, so colorful, so rich looking. Sarah tossed it at me and said “It is for you, it was always for you. I saw those colors and I knew who it belonged to.” All I had to do was weave in the ends! As I have said before, the only thing better than handknits I created myself are handknits someone has lovingly created for me. And this one has the work of not one, but two friends. So cool!

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Progress

But slow! I’ve made a bit of progress on my Road Not Taken scarf. The slowness has a lot to do with being out of town and not taking this project with me. Actually, I didn’t really do much knitting at all, so even if it had made the cut progress wouldn’t have been made. Mostly I’ve been knitting this in the morning while Bug gets ready for school.

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You can see I have worked through brown, natural, and am now working my way into some yellow/orange.

You know what real progress would be? Blogging. About warrior dash. About my plumbing issues. About stuff other than knitting!

Goofing off

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This is what has been occupying spare moments of my time here and there. I purchased this Noro Sekku while on a Kansas City yarn crawl with my girlfriends last year. It has been sitting in my stash waiting for the right pattern. but the more I looked at it, the more I wanted to knit with it. After a false start in which I knit about a repeat and half, then yanked on the cast on edge and broke the yarn, I decided to rip it out, hold the yarn double for the cast on in order to reinforce it, and then see what would happen.

In order to choose the pattern, I grabbed all my lace books and handspun books just to see if I could find a scarf pattern that would work well with the handspun look of Noro yarns. I really wanted something with simplicity but it had to be interesting enough to knit. In the end, I chose The Road Not Taken out of my A Fine Fleece book.

I am exceedingly excited about the colors in this one. That shock of purple is completely unexpected. I look forward to working this one in my spare time!

Skew Socks

I decided that the commission piece has to come to work with me. I am just not inspired enough to work on it at home. I don’t have time, life is busy, and when I do sit down with a little time, it isn’t really what I want to work on. I had these great hopes that I would finish it this weekend, but cycling took priority and I couldn’t be bothered. At least with it at work, it will get a consistent 4 hours of work per week, especially since I am unlikely to try to work on anything else during that time.

What I did work on this weekend was my skew socks. I found that they were the portable and easy project I needed while I was hanging out with friends, and the moved along so quickly that before I knew what hit me, I realized it was time to bind off! I love the fit on these, they feel fantastic. These are certainly going to go on my easy portable sock list, since they are actually something I’d wear with consistency. And yes, I did wear them to work today despite the warm weather. I still think wool socks, even in the summer, are the best. You may already have noticed, but they don’t match. Yarn is noro kureyon sock, and while I probably could have tried to make them match better, I wasn’t inclined to worry over it very much.

Lizard Ridge

I’ve returned from vacation and have had very little time to knit since, so I am showing the lizard ridge blocks which were completed before I left.  I love these blocks, I love all the color. It thrills me to keep my yarn and blocks in a basket in my living room to look at regularly. I know that sounds silly, but the burst of color in my day really lifts my spirits.

I did manage to finish another shawl, but have not yet had time to block it. I am supposed to be spinning for tour de fleece. But I just cannot manage it. With Bug gone, I feel the need to do everything I cannot do with her hear, and none of that is knitting or spinning. So my days are filling up at an alarming rate. I am not complaining really, crafting will happen in its own time. Just explaining why the blog sits quiet.

And, I do have vacation photos to post at some point, I just need to get organized enough to do so!

Running out

I’ve run out of yarn! Well, that is, for my messenger bag. I had enough of the main color for the entire bag, but not for the icord edging that still needs to be applied all over it before it gets felted.

So the question is, do I go for the same main color beige for the i cord edging or do I go bold and pick up a solid turquoise to edge with? Such choices!

My addiction is increasing

I love Noro, I really do. I keep trying to let it go, but it all comes back to the noro.

I wanted to knit with noro, many many colors of noro. So I decided to make the lizard ridge afghan. After all, what could be better than working with so many different colors? Thankfully, I was able to get a sweet deal on a good portion of the yarn for this through a destash. I’ll need to pick up more at some point, but since the pattern calls for various colors, it won’t matter if I don’t get them all at once.

This may be a long term project, or it may be one of those that gets started and then I cannot put it down. No matter what happens, I know I’ll be enjoying it!

Noro Messenger Bag

Upon the completion of the baby sweater, I decided to work on my messenger bag. Yes, I know I should be working on my madli shawl, but it is just too hot and sticky for me to work lace.

It took 2 days to finish the front flap, those rows got very long toward the end. I am assuming the icord edging will help with the curling issue I am currently seeing. Next up is the sides.

I took my own advice and wove in all my ends thus far. Much tidier!

Month O’Socks day #4

Decent progress made today. But no spinning!

I think the best progress has been on my stockings. Now that they are started, I am really getting into the groove of it and enjoying them.

You can really see the pattern now, and I am loveing how it looks!

I had about an hour to work on Wanida today, so a little progress there. These are tempting to finish up this weekend.

A few rows done on the handspun scarf, again I put a marker where I left off.

And I had about an hour to work on the hermoine’s everyday socks.

Finally, I got a lovely little surprise in the mail yesterday that I wanted to show off. It is a noro scarf made by a dear friend of mine for the facebook pay it forward challenge.  It is lovely and matches so much of what I wear. I didn’t miss the chance to wear it today!

Not the best picture,

Not the best socks.

I took the leftover yarn I had from the baby jumper and started socks two at a time toe up. I wasn’t sure how much I’d have so I knew I had to do two at a time.  I did a short row heel and three different types of ribbing total.  And when I finished them? They were short, and too small.

So I gave them to my friend Sarah, as she has small feet, and took a picture. Which turned out kind of fuzzy.  The socks are entirely fraternal.

The yarn is Noro silk garden sock.

Noro Virus

I’ve contracted it, I can’t seem to knit with anything else right now. First there was the baby jumper, and then I cast on a pair of two at a time socks in silk garden sock, and then I just had to bring out the kureyon in order to do the noro striped scarf I’d been eyeing for years.

It was a weekend project.

It was successful

I am tempted to turn right around and do another.

It has been a long time…

Since I’ve done any entrelac or worked with noro silk garden.  Despite that I love the effect.

I’ve had this noro silk garden in my stash for a long time, waiting to create a Lady Eleanor stole.  But, other knits have seemed to take precedence.  I needed some easy knitting this weekend as shaped knitting didn’t seem to be going so well, so I cast on.

This is what one skein yields,

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I can’t wait to see what the next skein brings!

Wheeling toward the finish

I have finally finished my pinwheel sweater.  The yarn?  Noro matsuri.  The modifications?  I put bell sleeves on this, and then added the garter edge and the double icord edging at the bottom of the sleeves, just to pull it all together.

Bug took the pictures, and they are a little silly.  I may have to have someone else do a photo shoot.

I am extremely happy with this sweater.  I am glad I made it larger than the written pattern, and I love my modifications.  This was a case where just a little extra time on the details gave a big payoff in the end.

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Noro Stripe Scarf

Noro stripe scarves have been all the rage, but I haven’t managed to knit one yet.  Luckily,  Sarah has, and it was one of the scarves I wanted to block for her.  Which means now I get to feature a noro striped scarf right on my blog!

The idea is to take 2 skeins of Noro yarn, of different colors, and knit a scarf alternating skeins.  2 rows of each yarn.  Since both yarns will gradually change colors, the stripes will change and play on each other in unique and unexpected ways.  I’ve seen many noro striped scarves done in 1×1 rib, but I love what Sarah did with hers!  Take a look:

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And a close up of the stripes:

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This one was done in noro kureyon sock, isn’t it gorgeous?!?!