Tag Archive | handknit

FO Friday: Mermaid Shawl

Back in 2017, I fell in love with a book called The Mermaid’s Daughter by Ann Claycomb. It’s about a descendent of the Little Mermaid from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, and it’s unusual and engrossing and I loved it. There was one description of the main character going into the sea and how the colors changed as she went further down, and I needed to make a shawl based on that. So in 2018, I found five colors from Dream in Color that were perfect.

It took a while longer to find a pattern, and when I did, I cast on twice, starting with different colors, but it just wasn’t right. So the yarn waited patiently for another couple of years, before I found the Sea Swell shawl (Rav link) by Westknits in May. And now? Now it’s DONE!

I don’t have a lot to say about this shawl except that it’s massive and it felt like it took forever to knit, much longer than five months. I wish the darkest blue/purple at the edge was more prominent but overall it’s what I wanted. The swells are great, and I think the short rows where two colors fade together are really cool.

I’m really glad I knit this but I’m also really glad it’s done. I’m not sure five-skein shawls are my jam!

Happy Friday, friends.

Hello, Hinterland Hat!

Okay, well, I knew hats were fast but apparently even cabled hats are a pretty quick project. I finished the Hinterland Hat today and heck, it’s cool. Here’s the Rav link if you want to check it out.

I did mess up two of the cables early on, but there was no way I was going to frog back to fix them. And it worked out well because the folded brim hides the worst of it. I’m still not sure I love the cabling process but I do adore finished cables, and it makes it worth it, at least for smaller projects. I don’t know that I’d want to do a cabled sweater yet.

This pattern had two versions and I chose the second version, which had extra little cables between the purl sections. I know, crazy! The yarn is Island Yarn Blackwater in Silver, and it’s a smooth, squishy superwash yarn. There was a bit of splitting with some of the little cables, but otherwise I love it. Maybe the variegation hides the cabling some, but I think subtle is okay for the recipient. Let’s just hope it fits him!

While I was outside taking photos, I had some furry helpers. What could I do but take a few shots of them too?

Pretty soon it will be too cool for me to want to be outside with them very much, so I’m enjoying while I can. Oh, and last night we watched Enola Holmes. It was cute; I enjoyed it. I loved Millie Bobby Brown but somehow Henry Cavill made Sherlock a little too … likeable. I guess I prefer Sherlock as a curmudgeon.

Hope you’re having a good weekend too!

FO Friday: Socks

My recent shawl-knitting obsession fell by the wayside the last week or so. I couldn’t resist casting on a new sock with some of my birthday yarn, and this sock practically flew off my needles! I mean, this is obviously a progress shot, but it’s done now. The yarn is Bootheel sock from Show Me Yarn in the color Sonny & Tubbs.

Once I finished the first one, I decided I needed to be good and finish a lingering pair of gift socks. I was partway through the leg of the second sock so I knew it wouldn’t take too long. But here’s the problem with making gift socks: they’re not as addictive if they’re not for me! Especially if I’m doing colors that don’t speak to me. So it’s possible that sock-knitting is primarily a selfish thing for me. Anyway, I finished the second sock and now have a pair ready to mail.

The eagle-eyed among you might notice the socks don’t match exactly. The main yarn is from a 50g skein of Happy Feet. I had two skeins but weighed the first after making the first sock and thought I’d have enough for the second. Well, not quite. I ran out with about 3/4″ left of the foot to knit. That wasn’t enough to make me want to add in the second skein and two more ends to weave in, so I just started the green early. The recipient won’t care a bit, I don’t think. It’s funny how I’m so much a perfectionist in every other area of my life, but in my knitting, it’s all just “Eh, that works!” Maybe that’s just one more benefit that knitting brings to my life!

Happy Friday, friends.

WIP Time

No, no, I know it’s not Wednesday, but today I’m talking about my WIPs. Yesterday I had the urge to spread my knitting love to some of my neglected projects. Really, I wanted to knit a little bit on each one, but then I remembered I have like eight WIPs right now and the day was not infinite. I started with a DK-weight cowl and did 14 rows of lace. That’s not very much in DK so it’s not photo-worthy. I knit on a sock, but that was plain ribbing and maybe two inches, and that was fun but I’ll just wait and show you the sock when it’s done. After that, I had the urge to revisit my Mermaid shawl.

I’m using Stephen West’s Sea Swell Shawl pattern, and it’s a lot of garter stitch (yay!) but also a lot of short rows (sigh), so it’s not really mindless knitting. It’s also getting kind of huge and each row takes forever now.

I’m on color four of five, and have five wedges left to knit. It’s equally encouraging and discouraging: I’ve come so far but it still feels like a lot left to go. Now that the weather is starting to cool off, though, I’m getting more eager to wear it, so maybe that will be my motivation to keep knitting. But then I get new sock yarn in the mail, like this new yarn from HaldeCraft, and I get distracted. The mug is hers too; I love her stuff!

Happy Tuesday that feels like Monday!

FO Friday: Hundred Acre Wood

Today I will share the pretty photos of my latest shawl, the Hundred Acre Wood shawl. I am very glad this shawl is done. This is one of those projects where you look at it and think, “Well, at least the yarn is gorgeous.”

So let’s start with that: the yarn is from Molly Girl Yarn and is a set of Bass Line Minis in Jazz. I love these colors. LOVE them.

And honestly, the pattern was good too! I mean, after the first lace section, I looked at and it was clearly wonky and I thought, huh, I have NO idea what I did wrong. After the second one, I realized I was doing my yarnovers wrong, and on the next row they were sliding to the wrong place and I was knitting them in the wrong order. But I didn’t figure it out until late in the second lace row and by then I just shrugged. Whatever. Little eyelets, nobody around me will know what they’re supposed to look like.

Like I mentioned before, the pattern was nicely marked to show where you should have used certain percentages, so it was easy for me to mark each 20% section for each mini skein. The problem came when I had more yarn than each section called for, and I tried to get creative to use as much as possible. It went fine until the last section, and I tried to use up the pink, and … well, math is not my strongest subject. I added a few simple eyelet rows, all along weighing to make sure I saved enough (5%) for the picot bindoff. It didn’t seem like much but that’s what the pattern said, right?

Wrong. The pattern said 5% of your total yarn, not 5% of that one mini skein. Unfortunately, that light bulb didn’t go on until I had already started the picot bindoff and it was very clear I wouldn’t have enough yarn. ARGH. Of course that’s how this project would end. I unbound my cute little picots and did a normal, plain bind-off, and realized I should have just done a couple of garter rows at the end instead of eyelet rows because now the edge wants to curl even after a good blocking.

Sigh. It’s fine, though, really. Because look that that up there. It’s pretty. No one else will see any of my errors. But just in case you want to see what it’s really supposed to look like, or maybe you want to make your own correct version, here’s the Ravelry pattern link. This is the small size, which does work quite well for mini skeins, if you do it right, that is.

I’ll be casting on a new shawl this weekend; here’s hoping it goes better! Happy Friday, friends!

Happy Mail

What even is today, Wednesday? Not close enough to the weekend, that’s all I know. The mail carrier provided a much-needed boost for my day today, delivering a package from LoloDidIt.

img_8593This is Facebook’s fault. Lolo shared a photo of socks made with the variegated, which is a new Halloween colorway called Beetlejuice, and I had to get a skein of coordinating Wonka purple to go with it. I’d planned to do socks but now I’m thinking a sparkly shawl would be lovely too. I mean, we all know it’s just feeding the stash at the moment, but it’s pretty high on my To-Knit list!

Finishing some things

Yesterday was apparently a productive day for me, now that I’m thinking about it. I finished my Hundred Acre Shawl (stupid thing. It’s blocking & will get its own post later) and I finished my Wonder Woman puzzle (super fun!) and I finished a sock! After I finished the shawl, I pulled out the sock, thinking I was maybe halfway through the leg. Instead, I was delighted to find that I was on the foot and even past the gusset decreases! I’m not sure why I continued the lace down the foot instead of doing plain stockinette, but I stuck with it and I think it was the right choice.

Now I better cast on the second sock right away or it might never happen. Even though this yarn demanded to be lace, I am reminded why I knit vanilla socks over and over: they are my comfort knitting and lace does not fulfill the same needs. Doing this puzzle also reminded me of how calming I find puzzles, and LEGOs, probably for the same reasons: they demand focus and concentration so my brain doesn’t wander too much into my worries, and they do what they’re supposed to and create something pleasing. They’re rather therapeutic, really, which is why I’m going to find another fun puzzle to do very soon. We need as many therapeutic things as we can find these days!

Birthday Birdie

Yesterday was the mother’s birthday. I probably shouldn’t tell you what age it is, but I’m 43 and she had me in her 30s so that’s close enough. Old enough that when I dropped off her birthday donuts, my heart ached that I couldn’t go inside for a long visit, that we had to stay on the porch in the heat and the sun, that I felt like I needed to wear a mask to keep her safe, that I couldn’t give her a hug. But I remind myself that I’m doing this so that maybe she’ll be around for another birthday next year, and by then hopefully we’ll be able to do all the things I missed this year. And we’re having a small socially-distanced family gathering tomorrow, which will be nice. I have a real gift for her but today I also made her this.

7220843E-97C0-429C-8C53-D015A48FC89A_1_201_aCardinals are her favorite bird. I’ll cut a little bit of string so she can hang him somewhere and he can always be flying. And now that he’s done I’m off to finish my shawl! Happy weekend, friends!

No FO Friday

It’s close, but not finished yet. I made it to the final color of my Hundred Acre Wood shawl, and the pink just pulls it all together and makes it perfect!

img_8565

The “whatever” theme continues with this color: I over-estimated how much blue I had left, so I wasn’t able to do a baby fade with the blue and pink. And since I used more of the previous colors, I have more pink left over than I do rows in the pattern. I’ve added two rows already and plan to add at least two more. I’ve got my scale handy and will keep weighing to make sure I save enough for a picot bind-off, but I definitely want to use as much of the pink as possible.

Also, I need to show off my new pins! Katrinkles is doing a gift with purchase, where you get a free Vote pin with every purchase until November 3rd. I wanted a Vote pin for my Empower People cowl anyway, so this worked out perfectly.

ea54ad64-2644-4dc8-8e91-a4a9b212ac12I love them both! And the sheep pin has a magnet on the back, rather than a pin, which I think is a brilliant idea. I think it’s because they were more or less intended as name tags, but I just wanted a wee bonny sheep for myself.

Happy Friday!

Trying something new

I’ve just been working on my Penny sweater this week and the sleeves are going really quickly. The first one is on hold and I’ve got the second one started. AND I even tried something new for the second sleeve: I’m knitting it on two circulars!

img_8004I got such terrible laddering with the first sleeve on DPNs that I needed to do something different for the second. I thought about knitting it inside out, since I don’t have issues with laddering with knit stitches, just purling. But I knew my gauge would be different then — I purl more loosely than I knit. I don’t even know what prompted me to try the two circs thing but after some awkwardness, I’ve gotten into the groove and it’s going smoothly. Bonus: NO ladders! I guess it’s worth trying new techniques every once in a while.