Tag Archive | handknit shawls

Mermaid Shawl

I couldn’t wait any longer–I had to cast on for my mermaid shawl! This is the one inspired by a book which will use a whopping five skeins of yarn purchased at the Loopy Ewe. After pondering several patterns, I settled on the River of Time. I like the massive size, the suggestion of waves, and the mythological inspiration of the pattern. I decided I wanted the deepest purple as that small inner half-circle, so I wound that color first, then found the recommended needles. The pattern said I needed 36 stitch markers (eek!) so I pulled out all the cute little beaded ones I’ve made. Then I started reading.

The pattern starts at the outer edge. Not only did I have the wrong color wound, but I would also need to cast on 426 stitches! (EEK!!) That’s kind of a lot of stitches. I guess the silver lining is that the shawl will be getting smaller as I knit, making it appear to go faster…right? Here’s hoping.

I wound the color I’d chosen for the outer edge, a seafoam color called Ivy Snowbell, and started casting on. I put in a marker at every 50 stitches, which made it so much easier to keep track of how many stitches I had. As I knit the first row, I pulled those markers out and added in the markers specified in the pattern. I got about halfway through that first row and couldn’t help but admire how pretty it was with all the little beads dangling from the cord.

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But I also couldn’t help but feel how heavy the beads were making it. One or two of these beaded markers isn’t a big deal, but you get up to about 20 of them and you definitely feel it! I switched to plain plastic circle markers, which aren’t as pretty but also don’t add extra weight and stress to my hands and arms.

The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere and it’s as marvelous to knit with as you might imagine, so soft and warm. But since each row is so long, I’ve only managed to get about six or seven rows done. It’s not much but I can already see the scallops of the border. I’m so excited to knit this shawl! It might take me three months, but I’ll enjoy every minute of it!

Hitchhiker photos

I can’t believe I never shared any of the glamour shots of my Nerd Girl Yarns Hitchhiker! It’s such gorgeous yarn that I must rectify that immediately. Behold, this is Nerd Girl Yarns Mutiny in the color The Wise Build Bridges, inspired by Black Panther.

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I adore NGY yarns. The colors are beautiful, they’re inspired by and named for clever nerdy themes, and yarn itself is top-notch. Plus it’s made by a small indie dyer who’s a badass chick, so of course I love supporting her.

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The pattern is Hitchhiker Beyond by Martina Behm, and I like it better than the original, but that’s just me. This is what I knit for the NGY Hitchhiker KAL during July and August. It creates a longer, narrower shawl than the Hitchhiker, which I find easier to wear. And I also enjoy having the rows get shorter rather longer as I knit! Which Hitchhiker do you prefer?

 

 

ShaZAM! It’s done!

Wow, that was like magic: this project flew off my needles! I cast on three projects last Sunday, and suddenly I’m back down to one (a sock). You needn’t be too impressed at the speed of this one, given that it was a one-skein cowl in worsted weight on size 8 needles, with a very simple lace pattern that was really barely lace. It was my comfort knitting last night. It’s not been the best week, or two weeks, or summer, to be honest, for a lot of reasons, but yesterday I was in a serious funk. I escaped for Mexican food and a margarita with the sister, which was a lovely treat that helped a lot, and when I got home I picked up the cowl and turned on an old episode of ER. I didn’t expect to finish, but suddenly I was at the end and binding off before the show even ended.

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The pattern is sha-ZAM! on Ravelry. This was a fun knit. I love these one-skein cowls; they’re so easy and fun to wear. And it was a treat to get back to some squishy soft Malabrigo. Makes me look forward to fall, when I can actually wear things like this again. (NOT winter! Note the difference, please, Mother Nature!)

And now, with almost empty needles again, I am eager for my next shawl project, and it’s going to be amazing! I have 3 skeins of Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 Fingering in a gorgeous Vivid bundle that I’m itching to cast on. I mean, it’s a whopping 1200 yards of 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, with 10% nylon.

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I’m pretty sure this is going to be my first WestKnits project, but I’m debating between The Doodler and the Dotted Rays – Speckled Fade. Have you made either? Both? How do I choose??

Denim Sprinkles Shawl

This is my last new cast-on after clearing off all my needles last weekend. The Ancient Arts T-shirt and Jeans yarn was still high on my list of “must knit” but I didn’t want it to be socks. Partly because white socks never seem like a good idea, and partly because I wanted it to become something more visible than socks. While going through my Ravelry queue, I found the pattern for the Sugar Sprinkles shawl, which I’ve been wanting to make for quite a while, and it checked off all my boxes: Long narrow shawl, variegated yarn, lace, right yarn weight and yardage. I bought it, downloaded it to my pattern app (I use Knit Companion) only to discover it was already in there! I think I must have downloaded it when she did a short free period, but I forgot about it. Oh well, the $4 is totally worth it.

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This is a really fun knit! I love making eyelets, and the pattern switches back and forth often enough that I don’t get bored quickly. This was my progress on Monday night, and it’s been my evening knitting (when I’m not too tired to knit). This morning I took it outside again to get a progress photo.

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It’s so fun! I think it’s going to be a great addition to my shawl wardrobe. But here’s the thing: it’s gotten long. Like really long. There are over 250 stitches on the needle, and when I tried to spread them out to show the size of the shawl, about 10 stitches jumped off one end! And you know yarnovers just love to spring free. ARGH. I managed to catch most of them, and I got it kind of fixed, but I’m pretty sure my stitch count is off now and I’ll have to do some fudging to get it back. Thankfully this is a forgiving pattern where being a stitch or two off doesn’t really hurt the look of it.

So now I have three projects on my needles, and that seems like a good number for me, at least for now. What’s a comfortable number of WIPs for you?

 

FO: Mab Shawl

My Mab shawl is done! It might be my favorite thing I’ve ever knitted, thanks to the perfect combination of yarn and pattern. I have no idea what the name means, but you can find the pattern on Ravelry here.

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I absolutely loved knitting this pattern. The lace wasn’t difficult, but I did have to keep track of what I was doing. I think I’d been craving some intricate lace knitting, and this definitely fit the bill.

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For this one, I even tinked back when I made mistakes, rather than just fudging things like I usually do. I really wanted the lace to line up from top to bottom. I knit the pattern exactly as written, no modifications, and I made sure to bind off loosely so I could get the gorgeous points along the lower edge.

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As I was knitting, I worried it would be a little too small, but thankfully it blocked out beautifully into a very generous shawl.

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I tried very hard to photograph the sparkle in the yarn, but it was a challenge. I’m afraid my photography skills are still lacking in some departments. The yarn is Canon Hand Dyes Oscar Sparkle Fingering in the color Isobel Crawley and it was marvelous. Soft in the hand, not splitty, clearly has wonderful stitch definition. I’m sure I’ll be looking for more of her yarns in the future! And in the meantime, I’ll be eagerly waiting for a chance to wear my new shawl!

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Finished: Supernatural Kindness Shawl

This was a quick little shawl to make! That might be because so much of it is stockinette stitch which goes quickly for me, but it might also be because I loved the project so much. For someone who says they don’t like orange, I loved this yarn! There’s something about pink and orange together that just makes me happy, and the green balances it out and makes it all springy, reminding me of flowers. Then there’s the thread of sparkly stellina and I do love a good sparkle.

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I also liked the two kinds of lace. It made it fun to knit and interesting to look at too.

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I did have a couple of hiccups with this project. First, I ran out of yarn before I could do the three rows of garter stitch at the end and I should have done an edge with another yarn because even after blocking, it wants to curl. I suppose I could pick up and knit an edge if it bothers me. Second, when I blocked it, I discovered a dropped stitch in the stockinette section. Once I recovered from the initial panic, I let it dry and then picked up stitches until I got to the first lace section. I had a bit of yarn leftover so I threaded some through the stitch and wove in the ends, hiding and securing that loose stitch. Given that shawls typically get light wear and don’t get washed often, it should be fine. Today is slightly cool and the girl has a flute recital, so I might just have to debut it today!

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Pattern is Kindness KAL Shawl (and I just realized I didn’t block the scallops into my shawl! Dang it!)

Yarn is Supernatural Yarns Gryffin Sock in the color Listen, Dammit! Love their yarns.

FO Friday: Arya Shawl

This shawl actually got done last weekend, when I got to stay home and knit all Sunday. (It was marvelous. I highly recommend it.) But I haven’t had the time, light, or energy to get good photos until last night. We got a rare 60-degree day, and I slipped outside after dinner to sneak a few shots. The light was absolutely perfect.

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This is the Arya Shawl and it was wonderful to knit. The repetition never got boring, maybe because it alternated between lace and garter, maybe because the stripes kept it interesting. I loved the way it shifted from one color to the next, too, with slipped stitches similar to the ones in the Rainbow Warrior shawl.

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I reached the end of the increase section quickly, and was concerned that the shawl would be too short. Several of the projects on Ravelry also mentioned that their shawl was a little shorter than they’d expected. Yes, I could have tried to figure out a good way to add length, but instead I measured the width, and it was as wide as it was supposed to be, so I decided to trust the pattern and just keep knitting. I’m glad I did, because it came out a perfect length.

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The yarn is Universal Yarn Bamboo Pop, a 50/50 cotton/bamboo blend, and I love it. I wore it yesterday to work and it was lightweight and very breathable. The only time I got too warm was when I was rushing around, running up and down stairs. It was soft in my hands to knit with, maybe a tiny bit splitty but not annoyingly so, and blocked wonderfully. I think this is going to be a staple in my knit wardrobe!

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The only hard part is deciding which colors to use for my next one!