Linen and Threads SAL 2018

Hurrah! I did manage to finish the December section of the Mystery SAL from Linen and Threads. And that means the year-long project is now complete!

L&T SAL - Dec finish

I’d altered the section to shorten the dress of the human in this section, and I like that it turned out not too bad.

I did make a mistake while coloring the chart, however. It’s not at all evident in the section, but maybe if you see the overall tapestry –

L&T SAL - The Entire 2018

I styled the flowers differently for Jan (green and pink) and Dec (only red)! I’m not going to redo it, though – too nitpicky, too much hassle, and I’ve already celebrated the completion of the project. πŸ˜›

Isn’t the overall project just beautiful? ❀ Now we’re wondering if this really needs to be a table runner, and if it’s not too late to turn it into a wall hanging or something. πŸ™‚

And now, the knitting…

For my brioche stitch project, I’ve chosen the Amherst Pullover by Amanda Scheuzger. This has brioche stitch only for the yoke and not the entire project, and that’s perfect for me, because the weather here doesn’t really require the squishy coziness of the brioche stitch. (And with all the swatching I did, I think I’ve now got the theory of both flat and in-the-round brioche stitch.)

As usual, I didn’t find yarn that fits both recommended weight and colors that I like, so I’m just going with colors that I like (albeit not too light weight-wise!) Right now, I’m reworking the project instructions to fit my gauge and preferred fit, because I can’t get the required gauge with this yarn without the stitches getting too loose.

I’m still undecided about retaining the pullover style of the sweater, or turning it into an open cardigan with i-cord edges replacing button bands. The pullover looks great, but by the time I finish it, I’m guessing the ‘harsher’ winter weather here would be over, and the sweater would be too hot / uncomfortable to wear, which probably means it’ll get an year of storage in the attic. A cardigan might be better for this sweater so I can use it more, but I’m not sure how it’ll look. Your vote on this oh-so-difficult decision?

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and are enjoying some crafty time too!

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The Haubergeon Blouse

After completing the forever sleeve(s) of the Haubergeon Sweater-based blouse that I was making for my mom, the body knitted up quickly. Blocking soon followed, and my mom has already worn it a few times now! (Mornings are finally a bit colder here…)

I can definitely say that I loved the knit, even if the tiny cables on the sleeves drove me a bit crazy. (But I’m already forgetting the difficulty of the cables – see, it was a great idea to tackle the sleeves first after splitting at the armhole! Plenty of time to recover while working on the body. πŸ˜› ) I like that even with my modifications to the original bottom-up instructions to make the project top-down, it doesn’t look too weird.

Haubergeon Blouse

There’s one thing that I really, really hope to take away from this project – and that’s not to use yarns of lighter weight for pullovers / no-button blouses, regardless of how much we like its color. I use the magic loop method on circular needles to knit in the round, and while it works fine for heavier yarn, the presence of ladders at the beginning of a new loop seems to be a given for lighter weight ones. I managed to tweak the stitches before and during blocking to get rid of the ladders, but their ghosts still linger… (I could buy a bunch of DPN’s instead, and try to get rid of the dread that I feel working with them.)

Another minor issue is that I used 2.75mm needles for this, and though I thought the stitches looked fine on my swatch, they don’t appear too tight now on the blouse. But maybe it’s just me, because my mom didn’t seem too bothered.

Current projects

As for this month, I haven’t started on another knitting project yet since I wanted to concentrate on the Linen and Threads Mystery SAL’s final section for the year. However, there’s not been much progress on the cross-stitching either, because design alterations! (Did you guess that? πŸ˜‰ ) This month’s section circles back to the January one, with a human surrounded by flora and fauna. There was too much empty space at the bottom of the current section due to the long dress that the person wore, and I ended up cutting the dress so I could trim down the space at the bottom to match the top of the project. And since I’d already hem-stitched the bottom border when I’d started the project, I undid and redid it along the new border.

I colored the chart, and now the cross stitch is limping along, but I’m in the mood for knitting again, and have started looking for brioche stitch projects. Does this mean I might not complete the cross stitch by year’s end? I don’t know, and I don’t mind if I don’t. πŸ™‚

That’s me so far this month. How are your projects coming along?

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

November’s Linen and Threads SAL section was pretty intriguing due to the intricacy of the intersecting motifs in the design. I love how it turned out!

L&T SAL - Nov finish

I enjoyed the time I spent picking my colors. The little bit of blue that I used does not really stand out. I didn’t think it would blend in that well with the green, but that’s still fine with me. (I’m a bit surprised that I’m not disappointed with this. :P)

The stitching, not to be left behind, was fun too, especially after I got the hang of the pattern and didn’t have to keep going back to the chart. Stitching while listening to books or binge watching serials – ah the bliss!

I also discovered that the new red – the one that I started using after my earlier pink ran out – does not bleed! (I was kinda sure it would, though.) While that is good, it makes the overall project look a bit inconsistent now. Do I run an ink pen over the reds to force those parts to bleed? πŸ˜€

There’s a lot of space for the December section (ooh, you can see the hem stitch border at the bottom of the picture) and I’m hoping it’s not too much to stitch. Fingers crossed.

Knitting

As for the blouse I’m knitting for my mom, I’m done with the sleeves, (and they do look beautiful), but I’ve not made too much progress on the body. I’m hoping I’ll be done before this month ends so I can finally start on a brioche sweater – one of the knitting goals I had for this year was to learn brioche stitch. I did try a brioche sample a couple of months ago, but I’ve already forgotten how to go about it, πŸ™‚ so a project will help me remember it better.


Only one month of knitting, crocheting and stitching remains before the year ends. Have you started thinking about next year already? (I haven’t.)

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

Stitching in October was more fun than I’d thought it’d be, because mermaids!

I decided on my colors pretty quickly, but I could see an element in this section that might be a problem. The mermaids here appear the way they probably would if they were real – with uncovered chests. On a coffee table runner in the living room (which is what this project will be when done), this would undoubtedly result in affronted conservative eyes – a lot of them. So after some agonizing over this aspect, I decided my project would have the mermaids be Disney ones instead, wearing shells on their breasts. (Sigh!)

L&T SAL - Oct finish

After some changes in the chart to accommodate this design decision, the stitching itself went along without a hitch, so I don’t really have much left to say other than gushing about how I love the way this month turned out! πŸ™‚

I can’t believe there are only two more sections to go before this SAL is done! I’m so looking forward to the decorative section of next month.

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

Looks like I forgot to talk about my completion of the September section of the Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL!

L&T SAL - Sep finish

The single noteworthy event that happened this month was that I ran out of the pink thread. I stitched half of this section’s pink part, and the skein ended, but when I rummaged through my stash, I couldn’t find another. This came as a surprise to me, because I’d thought I had 5 skeins of this color, and had anticipated that it would last beyond this SAL. I was wrong big time!

The pink skein was an old one and I had lost the color number for it, so instead of trying to shop for a color that most closely matches this one, I decided to go a shade darker, and picked a reddish one. (Yes, this one has at least 5 skeins, however, not all of them will be used.) Anyway, my January section had a lighter shade of pink before I switched to the darker one, so it could be a natural transition to grow even darker, and end the SAL with the new color. So many improvisations!

I hope October has fewer surprises in store. πŸ˜‰

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

August’s Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL section was again a difficult one to color in, but I think I can grow to like how it turned out. πŸ™‚

L&T SAL - Aug finish

The coloring decision did involve some to and fro. The edges were a breeze, but the birds… Well, unless I made the tail feathers multicolored, which I didn’t dig, it looked like I’d just have to go with my main color, green. I decided to do just that and started my stitching, but then changed my mind when I started on the first bird. I thought I’d make the edges of the feathers go from green to pink.

It was a good idea in theory (and in my colored chart), but in reality, the shocking pink overwhelms the already-short color transition. I’d discovered earlier that the pink bleeds during washing, and I’m hoping it’ll lose some of its edge then. It’ll also be fun to check out the ‘aura’ it might create in the process – do you think it’ll add to the look of the feathers? πŸ˜‰

Also, all those running threads at the back of the project from all the color transitions! I admit I hadn’t thought of that at all. I’ll definitely be limiting any color transitions like this in the future!

So – it goes without saying that I’m hoping the September section is easier in terms of coloring. πŸ˜›

As for other WIPs – my crafty mood has ebbed a bit right now and I’m not really working on anything, but fingers crossed I’ll get back to it soon. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear about your projects!

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

I completed June-July of the Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL without too many hassles. This section is not as ‘wow’ for me as some of the other ones, but since it is not ‘argh’ either, I’ll take it. πŸ™‚

L&T SAL - June/July finish

If you recall, I cobbled together the vine at the center from bits and pieces of the other vines, since I’m not a fan of the original coat of arms – and I’m relieved it turned out okay.

Other than that, there aren’t too many things in this section to write home about. Maybe just a couple of tidbits –

  • The lion and the unicorn took way too long to stitch – so much that when I was done with them, everything else seemed to just fly by even though my stitching speed hasn’t really increased! πŸ˜‰
  • The blue motifs – they were so fiddly that every time I worked on a new motif, I noticed that I’d missed a stitch from one of the earlier ones. I think I’ve got all four motifs complete and correct now, but I won’t be surprised if I spot another missing stitch after a month… πŸ˜€

And now to wait a few days for the next mystery fauna…