3rd time’s the charm – my February Nerd Wars plan

February is Round 1 of Tournament 4 of Nerd Wars…my 3rd NW Tournament. I’m like, a real veteran now.

Since it’s a short month & there are actually things I want to knit, here’s what I’m planning for the month:

Porifera Socks

These will apply to the Scientific Challenge which is to create a single something or an item out of all one “thing” – such as one ball of yarn. And that’s what I’m doing…making a pair of socks out of a single ball of yarn. I have no idea how I’m going to tie these to the team yet.

The pattern is quite pretty and is working up quickly so far.

iPad cozy

This I am making from scratch without a pattern for the Nerd Culture Challenge (make an item inspired by technology). The yarn is a very nice dark purple. I am going to tie it back to Warehouse 13. I figure I can make a nice little story about neutralizer (purple goo) infused yarn keeping Steve Jobs’ original iPad from going all “artifacty.” (In reality, I need a cozy for my fancy new iPad that the Hubs got me for Christmas.)

If I wind up having time I’ll try to do a third project, but at this point I’m only planning on two. I figure I’d rather aim a little lower this time and not have to be sad when real life intrudes on my knitting time.

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I shall now revel in my joy

I made it through one repeat of the Leaf & Acorn Shawl!!  It only took me 2 weeks (and 4, I think) restarts.  And, although I knew I should have been using a lifeline in the first place, I have now learned to love that bit of waste yarn which saves my project, and more importantly my sanity, from having to be unraveled back to the beginning.  Hooray!

Only 5 more repeats to go.

Crap.

Apparently I’m “counting challenged”

In a fit of post-Nerd Wars ambition, I decided that I would tackle my first official lace shawl project.  I looked & looked until I found a pattern that I liked, but that didn’t seem monumentally over-challenging and that would work with the Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Twilight that I already have a bunch of.  And I found a pattern that I think fits those criteria nicely.

Leaf & Acorn Lace Shawl*

From what I can gather on Ravelry, there used to be a Leave & Acorn Lace Shawl pattern specifically for worsted weight yarn but it’s been discontinued.  Instead the pattern link takes you to another very similar pattern that is for a certain yarn on the pattern provider’s site (as they are also a yarn-seller).  The yarn seems to be a much lower weight, as I figured out pretty early on in my first attempt at knitting the pattern.

Yes, I said first attempt.

I’ve been knitting this shawl since September 1st and I’m only on about row 30. (Actually I’m on row 33, but I screwed up – again – and I have to work backwards.)

First I started using only slightly larger needles than were suggested on the pattern – but much smaller than suggested for the yarn weight.  The shawl looked more like a small scarf and you couldn’t really differentiate the lace pattern at all.  So I ripped back to the beginning and started over.

Then I got to about row 15 and something just went horribly wrong.  Stitches were dropped and lost and I don’t even know how to explain how badly messed up it was.  So I started over again.

Now I’m on my third attempt and, again, things are just wrong.  However, as I said, I’m about 30 rows in…I was nearly 40, so there’s no way I’m starting over again unless I have absolutely no choice.  I know that I dropped at least one stitch and I thought I fixed it, but then I counted the # of stitches in my row and I had 4 less than I needed.  I worked one row backwards and it was still wrong.  So, I went back another row…still wrong.  You can guess where this is going.

Now I’m going back to at least row 30 and hoping that I can start moving forward again tonight.

This shawl may mean the end of me.

Well, probably not…but I may have to jump to something simpler for a week just so that I don’t get too annoyed with myself.

 

*You have to register/sign in to view the pattern, but it’s free to do so and it doesn’t appear you need to buy anything.

Something for me?

Since I’m waiting on the yarn I ordered for my upcoming baby projects, I decided to de-stash a little and make something for myself using my super soft, super bulky Rowan Big Wool in Smoky.  It’s a really pretty gray, almost 2 shades in the the same family.

I decided to use a pattern by Mary-Heather Cogar (of Ravelry, naturally), called Riverwalk.  It’s a pretty, but simple cable pattern and should work nicely with my super bulky yarn.

The pattern itself is actually the first individual pattern I’ve ever purchased (on Ravelry or otherwise).  Although I’ve bought books before, I’ve never actually bought a single pattern on its own.  Much to my husband’s chagrin, this could become a habit.

This scarf I’m keeping for myself.  I haven’t made myself anything in quite some time and since I’m the only person in my family that seems to be able to appreciate real wool when it’s at its soft, fluffy best anyway this one gets to be mine.

Sheep pic from http://www.nataliedee.com (so cute!)

A third of the way there

I’m happy to report that my knitting time has not been as severely compromised as I had originally anticipated.  Which means, I have been able to continue to work diligently on my Hooded Scarf project for my sister.  It’s about a third of the way done…I just finished the first scarf section (with pretty cables btw) and moved on to the hood portion last night.

With any luck, I may actually finish this thing before Christmas.

And that’s kind of important for a Christmas gift.

Also because I want to move on to making my scarf for Scarves for Special Olympics (whole separate post on that soon).

Baby’s First Easter Bunny

Right now I’m working on the Little One’s first Easter Bunny.  The pattern is from Susan B. Anderson’s book, Itty-Bitty Toys.  I’m using Bernat Organic Cotton in Muslin and Prairie Rose (although I’ve just discovered that this yarn is now discontinued…disappointing really, I like working with it).

This is my third project using patterns from this book and, like the two before it, the pattern is super easy to follow.  I have her two other books as well, Itty-Bitty Hats and Itty-Bitty Nursery, and I love them all.  All of the patterns I’ve done are clear and easy to follow and the results are adorable.  You would not believe the amount of compliments I get on the Little One’s hats.

I am 25% done this one and have an actual deadline, so I should probably be working on the bunny instead of writing about it.  At any rate, here are a couple pics of the yarn and the work in progress.