A few days ago, Etsy announced that they had implemented the updates to their site needed to collect the European Union VAT from sales of digital items. Hooray! This meant I could re-open my Etsy shop, which I've now done. I also added three new patterns to my Etsy shop which I'd begun selling since having to put my shop on 'vacation' mode; the Tracery vest:
The Jianzhi cowl:
And the Balthazar's Jumper socks:
And of course I'll be adding more as I make new patterns available.
A lot of the knitting work I've been doing lately has been pretty cool, if I do say so myself. :)
Firstly, I finished the dragon woobie for my co-worker:
The edging took a while to work out. I gave up on the crochet (the instructions looked insanely complicated), and instead adapted an edging pattern from one of my stitch dictionaries - I think one of the Barbara Walker treasuries. I had to make it smaller than give in the dictionary, partly because so much green flapping around wasn't to my taste, and partly so that I wouldn't run out of yarn. One of my co-workers also suggested a really amazing way that I could cover up all the weaving-in-of-ends at the underside of the dragon:
When she first suggested it, I was worried I'd run out of yarn, but she came up with the idea of doing a tummy oval in a different colour, which I thought was an incredible stroke of genius. I added purl ridges every three rows for extra coolness and texture.
It worked great - I had just 1.5g left of the green and 1.5g left of the red when it was all done. My co-worker seemed to like it. :)
And then...there were the birthday socks for DH. I went as far as I could with the second sock before running out of yarn, and then cannibalized a pattern repeat off of the leg of the first sock - partly to have enough yarn to finish the second sock, and partly to make the legs of the two socks the same length.
First, I cut the leg of the first sock open so that the very top of the leg (ribbed cuff plus a little bit of twisted cable pattern) was separate from the rest of the sock. Then I grafted the top of the leg to the appropriate spot further down the sock, so that I could cut away an entire pattern repeat after the graft was done.
Of course, the graft had to be done in the twisted stitch cable pattern, and there were no rounds anywhere on the sock where there were not at least two cable crosses. So this was challenging, to say the least! At least I didn't make the second cut until after the graft was done, so that I had a template behind me for which path the yarn should take through all this insane grafting.
Once that was done, I cut away the excess repeat of the leg pattern:
My triumph was not quite complete because after I cut away that section, I discovered that I'd messed up the graft right near the end of the round, so I had to spend some extra time figuring out what the hell I'd done wrong, and then fixing it.
Once that was done, however, I used the salvaged repeat to complete the foot and toe of the second sock. This was how much yarn I had to spare when it was all done:
That is some serious brinksmanship right there. I still can't believe it.
The finished product:
He loved them. :) He loved them even more when I told the thrilling tale of how they came to be!
Then for some reason, I was seized with the desire to grab some yarn out of my stash and make a shawl pattern that I found while browsing Ravelry. Two days later, I had this:
That picture was taken while it was blocking, before I wove in the ends. The pattern is Portia Shawl, by Corrie Purdum. I had to shorten it up a bit because I didn't have the required yardage, but I like how it turned out.
Then I did another bit of stashbusting, and got rid of most of my leftover sportweight yarn from trying to finish off DD1's cardigan a few months back. I made her matching fingerless mitts. Pattern is Princess Mitts, by Jennifer Hagan:
Plus, I finally started making some progress on DD2's slippers. I'm almost done the first one...except that I've decided the opening is too wide so I'm going to rip about half of it back and do it over.
And the baby blanket for my cousin's impending arrival has seen some good progress. Unfortunately, I'm designing it as I go, so it's been very much a two-steps-forward-one-step-back kind of thing. However, since I've only got two weeks to go before my aunt and uncle are travelling back there for the baby's birth, I rather need to make more rapid progress very soon! In fact, I'll be dunking my latest swatch for the lace-and-bobbles section into the water tonight so I can block it tomorrow. Progress, here I come! (I hope.)
I finally got back to making DD1's lace overtunic. It became her birthday gift from me (and she's squinting here only because I made the mistake of making her look directly into the sun when taking the shot, my bad):
Unfortunately you can't see the lace pattern very well against the striped t-shirt underneath, so here's the selfie I took of it on me after I finished:
Yes, she's now so big that our tops are starting to fit each other. However, she's still rather smaller than I am because the armholes were too tight on me. If I ever make this for myself (and frankly, I'm pretty sure I will), I'll add a few more repeats of the lace pattern before the armhole, one more repeat for the armhole depth, and one or two more repeats for the neck.
Unfortunately, I used up more than half the yarn in that first sock. And it's a top-down sock. And it's fiddly. So...I'm not sure what I'm going to do, since I sure as hell don't want to rip the first sock all the way back to where I should have started the heel. I think my plan is going to be to make the second sock with one less pattern repeat on the leg, and then make the leg of the first sock shorter by cutting, ripping out the extra repeat, and then doing a truly tricksy graft IN THE TWISTED-STITCH CABLE PATTERN to put the two pieces back together.
(I rather suspect DH will instead be receiving a partially completed pair of socks for his birthday. Poop.)
I also got started back on the "Dragon" woobie for my co-worker. It's mostly done now, I just need to do the edging around the square (in green):
The kicker here is that the edging in the pattern is crocheted. Not simple stuff that I can hack, either, there are abbreviations in there I've never even heard of. So I'm going to hit my stitch dictionaries and find a knitted alternative.
However, in addition to all this "responsible knitting", I must admit that I did do some backsliding. I did an entire sweater for DD1:
For Mother's Day my family gave me five balls of Classic Elite "Pebbles" yarn, so of course I had to figure out what to make with it, and then of course I had to cast it on. I'm combining it with some recycled yarn from a thrift store sweater to make a vest for DH. The pattern I'm using has been in my queue ever since it came out: Analog, by Kyle Kunnecke. Here's what it looked like a few weeks ago, it's since grown somewhat:
And that's about the size of my knitting since my last blog post! I'm hoping this spat of virtuousness will last, because I've still got my cousin's baby blanket to design and make, and not much more time to do it in!