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All about that Fade

Somehow I have turned into a monogamous knitter. It’s the weirdest thing. But it means that I’ve been working solely on my Find Your Fade shawl and as of last night, I am in section three. Here’s how it looked at the end of section two:

img_4086Weird, right? Like a thong, or a uterus, or ram horns. But I am assured that this is how it looks for everyone and it will grow up to become a normal Find Your Fade shawl. I’ve even planned out my fade sequence, thanks to the little graphic at the end of the pattern.

I had to color it twice to get the sequence I liked best, which is the one on the left that will allow me to use as much yellow as possible. But I have a confession to make: the Fade is a little…boring? I hate to say that because it’s such a popular pattern. Maybe it’s just because it’s not a color I like that much and I’m in a big garter section. Surely it’ll perk up once I get back to lace and start fading in a new color.

And in other news, Duncan has not reached the point of not chewing things up.

img_4088In his defense, this bed already had some holes from a few months ago when I tested Duncan the first time, so he might have just expanded on his earlier work. Still, he’s back to his beach towel on the floor for now.

Ready to Fade!

My new yarn arrived yesterday, a set of four skeins from Bumblebee Acres Farm in a Game of Thrones-inspired fade. My colors are Lannister themed but they have plenty of other choices. This is for my commissioned shawl and even though these aren’t my colors at all, I’m excited to make it for her. The yarn is called Butter Sock, with 70% Merino, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere, so it’ll be a treat to knit with and cozy to wear. (I’m pretty sure she’s never going to see this blog, so hopefully it will be a surprise when it’s done.)

I chose the Find Your Fade pattern so she’ll have a big squishy wrap to keep her warm, and because I’ve been wanting to make one for ages. I cast on at first with the recommended size four needles, but quickly decided I wanted a tighter gauge and started over with size three. Warmth is key, and I think it will still come out plenty big! I haven’t gotten very far, maybe 15 rows in, and I haven’t planned out the color changes for my four-color fade yet. I need another weekend to spend with my Fade!

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We’ve had days and days of rain and gray skies, which makes me just want to curl up and knit even more than usual. Hope you’ve got sunshine where you are!

 

FO Monday?

Why isn’t FO Monday a thing? I mean, most of us are coming off a weekend where hopefully we’ve had some knitting time, if not substantial chunks, so it seems like Mondays would be the perfect day to show off finished projects. I’ll start: I knit a sock this weekend! On Saturday morning, I had an inch of cuff for my second River Fleet sock, and last night, I grafted the toe. Of course, it was the second toe because first I had this:

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These socks do not match.

I couldn’t live with that much difference, not when it was easily fixed. I pulled back just the toe and reknit so they’d (mostly) match. Even then, the second sock seemed bigger overall than the first sock. I was disgusted with myself for the lack of matchiness so I tossed them to the girl to try on.

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These socks also do not match.

It’s not super obvious, but the lace doesn’t match. Somehow, the second sock has an extra repeat in the foot. I have no idea if the first was right or the second is right, and at this point, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. They are done, they are pretty, and the girl can get them on her feet and they fit. I’m calling it a win and moving on.

The pattern is River Fleet Socks by Jem Arrowsmith, which I test knit. I really do love the lace on this one. I’m just learning I need to pay close attention when I knit lace! The yarn is Knit Picks Capretta Reserve, with 10% cashmere, in Vibrant Violet. I’ll be interested to see how they wear with the cashmere.

And today is Duncan’s birthday. He is three, which I hope means we’re moving past the long stage of chewing things up. He’s been doing much better the last few months so I’m cautiously optimistic. Here he is from adoption day to now! Spoiler: he’s a lot bigger.

Hope you also had a lot of knitting time this weekend!

FO Friday

It’s Friday, and I have a Finished Object to share! Now, I didn’t make it all on my own, but I did quite a bit. Our knitting group at work decided to make another blanket to donate to the Welcome Blanket project so we used the Come Together Blanket Square pattern as our base. I ordered KnitPicks Brava Bulky in gray, navy, green, and hot pink, and shared it with all the willing crocheters. I believe there were six of us, and two were brand-new crocheters who learned just for this project! When the squares were done, we met for a lunch-time seaming “party”. We got a good start, but we still needed a second seaming session, and even then it wasn’t completely done. I took it home with me, finished the seams, wove in all the stray ends, added a single crochet border, and called it done!

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It’s a little random, color-wise, because we didn’t plan out how many we wanted of each color combination, and there are a couple of squares that don’t have a match, but that doesn’t bother me. It’s fun and colorful, and hopefully will bring someone some warmth and comfort.

 

I’m getting there

Last night I pulled out my naughty shawl, the one that had the stitch count issues the other day. I counted my stitches, all 383 of them, and realized that I was only off by one stitch at that point. I spread out the lace as best I could on the cord, and the lace pattern looked okay, not all wonky, so I decided it would be fine to continue on and not frog back to before all the craziness started. I got about six rows done by 9 pm, and I really wanted to finish since I only had six rows left before the bind off, but with each row almost 400 stitches, it wasn’t gonna happen. But it should be done and blocking by end of day Sunday!

779a3eb7-fc83-4027-8119-ab80c4099f99I’ve been making sock progress too, during my lunch breaks at work. This is my Pickle Juice/Belle Star sock, and I’m past the gusset now.

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It’s a good thing this shawl is almost done, because I have five skeins on the way for the commissioned shawl for my work friend, so I’ll be able to switch my focus to that. But there’s also a little short-sleeved sweater I want to knit, and I have a second sock in my WIPs, and my Changing Staircases shawl, plus this sock and its mate. Clearly I need more knitting time in my life!

 

HOW does this happen?

As you all know, I got new yarn last week, after the husband came home from Colorado. It is beautiful yarn and I love it! But somehow, I STILL ended up at my LYS on Friday afternoon, buying more yarn.

See, I’d been itching to visit them for a few weeks, but they were hosting a trunk show over Mother’s Day weekend for a dyer new to me, and I wanted to check out her yarns. So I waited, not knowing the husband would be bringing me new yarn. And Friday came and it was a super long day and I really needed some retail therapy so I went. I just went. And it was good.

Except there was no one there to make me feel guilty for buying so much. And the one friend I texted encouraged me to treat myself, so…I did. And I love my new bag and my gorgeous new purple yarns from Honey Girl Farms! She had a lot of pop culture themed yarns, lots of Game of Thrones and Outlander, but also a few Harry Potter. She’s got amazing project bags on her website; at first I wished she’d brought some but then I was kind of glad she didn’t. Anyway, I came home and played with yarn and I’m pretty sure I have an amazing fade begging to be knit:

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I would have cast on yesterday, but I’m trying to finish my test knit shawl. I’m in the last section but I’m afraid I’m going to have to frog about five or six rows, rows that are around 350 stitches. Somehow, my wine convinced me that I could fudge a lace pattern that was off by several stitches. I don’t think it went well but I’ll check on it tonight. I’m pretty sure I’ll be wishing I’d put in a lifeline at some point.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend, especially my fellow Moms!

Review: Boca Chica yarn

A while back, you all helped me choose a pattern for some new yarn. That yarn, which is a brand new base called Boca Chica from A Good Yarn Sarasota, was for a review, and I’m happy to report the shawl is done and blocked!

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This is a fingering weight merino wool dyed in gorgeous, bright colors, both solids and variegated. Boca Chica Key is an island in the lower Florida Keys, and the colors are all named for things found in the Florida Keys. I had to pick the hot pink, Duval Street, and the pink/gray variegated, Rainbow Reef, and I was impressed when my package arrived. Not only was the yarn beautiful, but it arrived with extra goodies! The gauge/ruler tool is a thick, sturdy plastic and has come in very handy already, and the bag lives in my car for those unexpected shopping trips.

After much pondering and discussion, I chose the Delphia shawl pattern and I think it was a great choice for these skeins. The pinks matched up perfectly, so the shifts from one colorway to the next were subtle. The first thing I noticed as I was knitting was how lightweight and airy the yarn is. I’m pretty sure that’s thanks to the fact that it’s a chainette yarn. With chain construction, the fibers have already been โ€œknitโ€ into a tube, which leaves air between the fibers and provides a lot of drape and breathability. Even after using almost both full skeins, the finished shawl is light and comfortable for spring and summer evenings.

This was a really fast and fun project for me. I liked the chain texture of the yarn, though I found it to split easily. I was using my Addi Turbo Lace needles with a pointy metal tip, so maybe that split the fibers more than another type of needle would. It didn’t affect my experience too much; it just meant I couldn’t do the lace portion without looking. And I LOVED the colors. They do recommend prewashing high-contrast colors, and I would agree with that. The water after my shawl’s bath was really pink, but I didn’t notice any fading or bleeding with the finished shawl. The gray was still perfectly gray.

The skeins are generous, with 480 yards per 4 oz, and retail for around $28 on their website. Even though it is superwash merino, they recommend hand wash/dry flat for best results, which is what I did. It blocked out wonderfully, with the lace opening up nicely and the picot edge all pointy and defined. Overall, I think this is a great yarn for spring and summer pieces. You can find it here: http://bit.ly/AGYbocachica

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Thank you toย Stitchcraft Marketingย and A Good Yarns Sarasota, who generously sent me two skeins of Boca Chica (retail value $56) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.