Archive | October 2022

Super Shawl Sunday

I have a finished object!! Just in time for the end of the month too! It used seven skeins of yarn from my stash and it is EXACTLY how I envisioned it in my wee brain:

This is my second Rock Candy Mountain shawl and it was just as fast and fun to knit as my first one. I picked out all the yarn in Wisconsin so I knew I’d have enough to knit it as written, and it’s enormous. I used size 6 needles on my first one and size 8s on this one (as the pattern recommended), and honestly if when I make another one, I think I might land in the middle with a 7.

I swear, I cannot recommend this pattern enough. I’m already thinking about how I could do one in fingering weight with all my sparkly purple yarns, with a simple neutral in between! If you’re interested, here are the yarns I used and how much of each one. You’d think all the purples would be the same yardage used but somehow that wasn’t the case.

Gray: Hook & Shuttle Salty Dog DK in We’re Not in Kansas Anymore – used 162 yards

Purple 1 (palest): Northern Bee Studio Sturdy Sport in Old Wisteria Tree – used 150 yards

Purple 2: Sun Valley Fibers Superwash DK in Leap of Faith – used 156 yards

Purple 3: Leading Men Fiber Arts Dramaturg DK in Achieve Grapeness (this one was the softest & squishiest!) – used 135 yards

Purple 4: Hook & Shuttle Salty Dog DK in Violet Beauregarde – used 152 yards

Purple 5: Hook & Shuttle Salty Dog DK in Dancing with the Devil – used 160 yards

Purple 6: Sun Valley Fibers Superwash DK in Plum Crazy – used 165 yards

Happy Sunday, friends, and for those of you in the States, have a safe and happy Halloween tomorrow!

Should I knit or should I frog?

I’ve recently been pondering options for my next sweater and decided I very much liked the navy blue with the pink/purple/indigo sparkly yarn. I found a pattern I quite like called The Librarian Vest (on Rav) and cast on for a swatch, as a proper knitter is supposed to. And it’s a good thing I did too because friends, I have doubts.

I still adore the sparkly yarn, so much so that I worry it is being too much overshadowed by the navy blue. Even though I don’t have pattern in mind for it, I wonder if perhaps I need to save the sparkly skeins for a shawl all by itself.

And the pattern. It’s lovely! I do really like it. But…would I wear it? I’ve never been much of a vest person. I don’t particularly like wearing button-up shirts; I’m always fidgeting with them and just don’t find wovens as comfortable as knits. Would the vest look cute over a long-sleeved tee? Possibly yes, so I will keep it in mind, but maybe not for this yarn combo?

Thankfully, I do have some knitting that I am sure about. A coworker is collecting winter gear for children and I asked if new handknit hats would be acceptable, and she said yes. Hooray, a good excuse to knit some hats and get some acrylic out of my stash! I’ve got one done and one on the needles.

We’re having unseasonably warm temperatures this weekend and I think we’re going to take advantage of it by going on a day trip tomorrow to a nearby college town which has a fabulous downtown area with yes, a yarn store! I hope you all have a lovely weekend too! Happy Saturday, friends.

WIP Wednesday: Socks & Puzzle

Yeah, balancing blogging with a busy full-time job is a little tricky. My brain is tired at night, plus I just want to spend my downtime knitting! I’ve been mostly working on bigger projects but I did manage to finish one sock. Sure, it’s a shortie sock but that’s something!

Can you believe I don’t have any purple shortie socks in my extensive handknit sock collection?? Obviously I need to remedy that ASAP.

Besides knitting, I’ve been trying to do more reading. I’m reading Jason Kander’s memoir for one book group and need to reread Haroun and the Sea of Stories for my other one. Plus I usually have a fluffy novel going too. And I’ve also been trying to work on my yarn puzzle!

This might be the hardest puzzle I’ve ever done. There is so much pink/peach/salmon/orange!! I really need to set up my Ott light to see the pieces better. Because apparently I have old eyes now.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

WIP Wednesday: Scrappy Blanket

Remember how I was going to start a new blanket, a scrappy fingering weight blanket? HAHAHA that didn’t last very long! I DID start it, cast on enough stitches to almost fill a 60″ cable (using knitted on cast on, for those following along) with a size 3 needle, and knit three rows. Maybe four? And I didn’t like it. It was too thin, too lightweight. I knew I’d want a blanket with a bit more density. So I frogged it and immediately started over with two strands held together. I used the same cast on (which wasn’t quite as loose and messy this time) with size 5 needles this time, and I’ve already made it through several very long rows.

It’s going to be as random as I can stand to make it. I started with two yarn balls of different sizes and will just add another color as one runs out. With luck, it will be marled in a fun and quirky way!

Happy Wednesday, friends.

FO: Autumn Falling Shawl

About a month ago, I received my Autumn mystery yarn box from Chestnut Hills Studio which included a skein of Pumpkin Patch fingering yarn dyed by Laughing Cats Fibers. It was so gorgeous and so perfect for the season that I cast on immediately, and after a couple of distractions, yesterday I blocked the finished shawl.

The pattern is Autumn Falling, which is free on Rav. I did at least three more pattern repeats than it called for, trying to use up as much of the yarn as possible and make it a wearable size. I think it’s perfect. I don’t like warm colors and I never wear orange but for whatever reason, I adore this yarn and this shawl. I might wear all black tomorrow just to be able to wear this!

Also I adore bank holidays especially when it means I get a day off. Happy Monday, friends.

My First MKAL

I have decided to do my first mystery knit-along! I’ve never been tempted before — I typically like knowing what something’s going to look like before I spend hours and hours knitting it. But this time, one of the yarn kits drew me in.

That’s from Miss Babs’ website and oh my gosh isn’t it stunning?? That’s the link to all the sets for this MKAL but of course none of them come close to matching the beauty of this one. Even after seeing this, I thought I’d be able to resist, but I could not stop thinking about it. I thought about just buying the yarn and not doing the MKAL, but I knew it would be more likely that I’d never find a pattern as well-suited to the set as this one (hopefully!) will be.

So what am I knitting? It’s a Winter Wonderland rectangular wrap/shawl with “easy texture and simple lace” and no colorwork or brioche, so fingers crossed it won’t be anything too tricky! I’ve already convinced one knitting friend to play along with me!

Have you done a MKAL before and if so, do you wear the finished item?

And best of all: HAPPY FRIDAY! FINALLY!

Is it Friday yet?

I got so much great feedback to my last post about planning a new sweater! Nothing feels quite right to me yet, so I’ve decided to put that project on hold for now. Those purple/blue sparkly skeins are quite special, so I want to make sure I use them in a project I’ll love. Instead, I cast on a new cowl with some of my yarn from Wisconsin, and it was so addictive that I finished it within a few days.

This is the Fino Shadow Cowl done in five miniskeins from Four Crows Fibers. I adore the yarn, love the pattern — but for some reason I don’t love how it all came out. I did mess up my color sequence at the beginning, when I didn’t read the pattern carefully enough and grabbed yarn A when I was supposed to grab yarn B, and then the whole sequence was off but I didn’t want to frog and start over. It’s pretty, and soft, and squishy … and I just don’t love it. However, I showed it to a friend who does love it so it already has a good home waiting for it! That’s a happy ending.

This has been a weird and hard week. I found out Monday that two people I knew were murdered last weekend. I didn’t know them well, had only emailed each of them a couple of times about two years ago. But they were young — only 24 and 25 — and brilliant and kind and compassionate, and it’s heartbreaking that this happened to them. The world sucks sometimes, or maybe America sucks sometimes. It’s just put me in a funk and all I want to do is knit but that’s not really an option. So, just keep swimming, right?

Happy Wednesday, friends.

Sweater Planning

A while back, maybe a year or so ago, I bought four skeins of navy blue fingering weight yarn to make a Doctor Who shawl. I ended up not liking the pattern so I gave up and frogged it. Recently I thought it would be nice to use that navy blue for a sweater, so I cast on a simple pullover. After a month, this is what I had:

It was knitting up nicely, was very soft … and VERY boring. I had zero motivation to work on it. That got frogged this morning and now I’m trying to figure out if I can do another sweater where I hold a solid with a variegated, and use up four variegated skeins along with the navy. Fortunately, both purple and pink look marvelous with navy, but I’m not sure I’ve got enough coordinating skeins to make it work.

The one on the left is amazing and I love it, but I only have two skeins of the pink sparkle yarn, that dyer has gone out of business, and I can’t find anyone selling any remaining skeins. Only 800 yards of that probably would not make a sweater that would fit me! So the skeins on the right are the more likely option, and I love 3 of the 4. But that one on the far right just sticks out to me, and I don’t know how well it would knit up with the others, even if I did alternating skeins. What do you think?