Tag Archive | handknit

Frog and start over

Recently I wrote about a project that was not behaving in an appropriate manner, the Heart Check cowl. There was an error in the written instructions and after knitting the first section twice, I realized I was now holding a grudge against the poor pattern and I didn’t want to knit it again. But I still wanted a cowl in the beautiful magenta Malabrigo, so I went browsing until I found a worthy candidate, the Waverly Weekend Cowl. It says it can be made in a weekend, and maybe it can, but certainly not in a weekend like mine with two family parties, including one at my house that required a bit of tidying up. (Okay. A lot. I have three dogs and I hate housework. And also, in the future, I either need to have leather couches or no dogs. And no dogs is not an option, so leather couches it will be. Vacuuming couches is a terrible thing to have to do.) Anyway! I have at least made some progress and it’s enough to know that the pattern appears to be error-free and I’m liking the lace.

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It’s also enough to know that this vivid pink yarn is next to impossible to photograph well. This was in my backyard, in the shade, late in the day when the sun was on the other side of the house. It’s usually my best light for photos. But this pink, wowzers!

The sixteen rounds on that cowl were pretty much the extent of my knitting for the weekend, but I also got to celebrate the girl’s 19th birthday with our family, plus the brother’s college graduation, plus I went to a local symphony concert with the girl Saturday night.

The dogs all partied pretty well. Jack got a sedative so he wouldn’t bark constantly, and each dog got their own empty peanut butter jar to lick clean. But after a couple of hours socializing, they were pooped and wanted to sack out on the couch. I have to say, I felt the same way! It was a good weekend, but exhausting and I feel like Monday came much too quickly. I need a spring break like my kids!

Reading AND knitting

I’ve read two and a half books in the past week, and two of them were actual, physical books! I’ve been trying to encourage myself to do a little bit of reading at night, after some knitting, and I like it. I like spending time with a book in my hand. Going forward, when I take a break from knitting, I’m going to try to redirect myself toward a book instead of my phone, and we’ll see if we can get back into the reading groove. But photos of books aren’t as interesting as photos of knitting, so I’ll share some of that too. Since I finished my Granola socks, I switched my focus to my Clarke pullover and made good progress.

HQueF4y2TLe9Bv6jH78L4wAck. I just realized how bad this photo is. Well, whatever. It shows that I have an almost-complete sweater body anyway! I have just a few rows and then a split hem, and the body will be done. It’s so close that I might just work on this today and see if I can power through it.

I also worked on another sock project, but it’s still in the beginning stages, just a bit of leg. The yarn is Tibetan Dream sock yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch, and it’s a yak/nylon blend. I’m loving these purples! Stay tuned — I’ll have a review later this month.

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More snow fell overnight, so we have a couple of inches of bright, powdery snow. It’s pretty but I am tired of it and it can go away now. The only good thing about it is that I can stay cozy on my couch with a blanket and my knitting and not feel any guilt, because that’s what you do on snow days! Hope you’re all safe and warm too!

 

Two New FOs

It’s been a productive weekend, friends. I mean, I haven’t left the house since Thursday but I’m not mad about it at all. Don’t worry, I’ve showered and done some chores like cleaning a bathroom and vacuuming the floors, but I’ve also gotten to do A LOT of knitting. Oh, it’s been heavenly. I wish it happened more often. I was able to finish two projects, including my long-lingering WIP, the Zomboni!

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Apparently I just needed to be in the mood to work on it, because once I got going on Friday, I couldn’t stop. It made a really long narrow scarf that will be super easy to wear, and the colors are perfect for me. (It will go so nicely with my purple hair!) The yarn is Caribbean by In the Deep Hue Sea, color Snap Out of It, and it’s quite nice.

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My other FO was a quick and easy cowl, my gray Woolfolk LUFT cowl. I chose my favorite cowl pattern, River Deep Mountain High, and cast on a few extra stitches since I had plenty of yarn. It knit up so quickly, and I finished it last night while watching The Wife (which was SO GOOD. Highly recommend and now I need to read the book!).

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I wanted to use all the yarn but didn’t come close. I’ve got about 3/4 of the second skein left, so I think I might get another skein the next time I’m at my LYS (which will be next weekend) and then I can make something else too! I love this yarn so much; it’s so airy and lightweight, but still so warm and cozy. I wish it came in more colors.

Now I’m down to five WIPs and none of them are calling my name today, which means casting on another cowl in either worsted or bulky. We’re in day 547 of cold, gray weather (I mean, it doesn’t FEEL like an exaggeration) and my spirit could really use some sunshine and warmth, and since I can’t get either of that outside, at least I can find some warmth in thick yarn, I suppose. And with puppers.

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Jack says no yarn. Only pet.

Hope you all had a good weekend too, and if you’re like me and have today off, may you find yourself some knitting time!

One-Day Project: Silk Cowl

I figured out the secret to getting that sense of accomplishment when you’re overwhelmed by your WIPs: start new, smaller projects that you can finish within a day! No, it doesn’t do any good for your WIPs, but at least you have FOs to show for your time. I made two of those over the long weekend. One was the set of mitts I shared in my last post. Then Sunday I went up to my stash to find some yarn to make a knitted mouse, and somehow came downstairs with some pretty pale purple silk instead.

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The tag said it was 100g of worsted weight, so of course I cast on a project intended for DK. I don’t even know how. Whatever. It came out fine, except I ran out of yarn sooner than the pattern said I should.

I assumed it was my fault for choosing the wrong yarn, but when it was done, I weighed it, and it was NOT 100 grams. It was 54 grams, with only about 5 grams leftover. Well! That’s not cool. But it’s fine; it’s perfectly cozy and wearable and soft. The yarn was a present from when the husband when to India a few years ago, so I’m glad I can wear it and be thankful that he’s supportive of my yarn obsession!

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The pattern is Side-Stepping Cowl and the yarn is SilkIndian Duke Silk.

Time to switch things up

Monogamy is boring, guys. Seriously. I’ve been working on one project for the last week, at least, and I’m getting a little tired of it, especially since it’s not even done yet! It makes for good progress but not good blogging, really. This is my Boho Baby Blanket with Appalachian Baby Organic Cotton.

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According to the pattern, I’m a little past the halfway point, but according to the yarn I’m close to 3/4 done. No, I didn’t check my gauge. It’s a blanket, it’s all good. At this point it covers Jack pretty well, so that must mean it will soon be baby blanket sized. (Also, can I just say: my next couch will definitely be leather. The dog hair doesn’t stick to that!)

I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed by my nine WIPs and needed to counter that with some sense of accomplishment, and since the blanket is my only WIP with a deadline, it’s been my focus. I feel good about it now; I have plenty of time to get it finished. And that’s a good thing because I got some new needles in the mail today that I’m desperate to test, so despite having those nine WIPs that are looming over my head, I’m going to cast on a new project today. I know. It’s crazy. What can I say? Knitters are crazy. At least it will be a hat, so it’ll be a quick project.

Also, today is Jack’s birthday and he is five! I’m so glad we picked him out at the shelter four and a half years ago!

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He’s a good boy. I like him.

A few new goodies

Hello. My name is Bonny and I am a yarn addict. It has been exactly four weeks since I purchased yarn. I’m still feeling strong and have only briefly been tempted by seductive skeins in photos on Instagram. It helps that we are making progress in getting our finances in shape so that we can do a very big home improvement project this year, and the pleasure of not feeling stressed about money is better than the pleasure of impulse-buying yarn. (Let’s hope that lasts. Knock on wood for me, will you?) However, I feel I must be honest and say that I did ORDER a new skein of yarn. I just didn’t technically pay for it, since I used some credit from returning a Christmas gift. And really, new yarn is even more fun when you don’t have to pay for it!

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This is KnitPicks Hawthorne Fingering in Turkish Delight and it will become socks. I’m tempted to use some leftover bits of variegated yarns for heel/toe accents. I haven’t used this yarn before, so I’m eager to see how it knits up. (side note: did you know you can buy some KnitPicks yarns on Amazon?? Craziness!)

I also ordered another size 6 needle, since that’s the size I use for almost all of my shawls, and I’d rather buy a new needle than finish a shawl WIP. Makes sense, right? I chose a 32″ ChaioGoo fixed circular, mostly because it was cheaper than the Addi Turbos. And since I’m talking about knitting accessories, let me show off my other recent acquisitions!

I finally got my pocket scale, which I’ve been wanting for ages! I haven’t needed it yet, but it goes with me in my knitting bag and I know it will come in handy one day. And I also got a wall hanging to display all my enamel pins! I kept thinking I’d figure out how to make one, since they’re so simple, but I just don’t like sewing enough, so I was tickled to get the gift. It holds most of my pins and hangs in my bedroom so I can easily pick a pin to wear in the morning. As much as I love having pins on my project bags, I’ve now lost two that way, and I’d rather keep them safe by wearing them myself.

Did you get any fantastic knitting gadgets for Christmas?

 

New yarn from Manos!

Manos del Uruguay is one of my favorite brands, has been for a while now. I’ve used the Maxima and Alegria with great success. Their colors are gorgeous, the yarn is soft and wears well, and it’s all certified Fair Trade. Plus the yarns are made by artisans in cooperatives located throughout Uruguay, and each skein is signed, so you know who made your yarn and which village it came from. That makes it so much more personal for me, and I feel like I’m doing a good deed just by buying yarn.

So, when given the opportunity to review a new yarn from Manos, of course I jumped at the chance. Feliz is 70% superwash merino, 30% modal. Modal is a man-made fiber from vegetal pulp, and I was familiar with it from my past life in retail: I knew it was smooth and had fantastic drape. I could only imagine it would be equally delightful in yarn. It’s available in several of the gorgeous Manos hand-dyed colorways; I chose Wildflowers.

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Doesn’t it make you swoon? Yum, it does me! I cast on almost as soon as they sent it to me! It’s listed as DK on Ravelry, and has about 350 yards per 100g skein. Fairmount Fibers, their North American distributor, was generous enough to send me two skeins. I selected a pattern called Late Harvest, which was written for a different sport weight Manos yarn. It has a really unusual slip stitch pattern.

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Guys, I love this yarn. It felt like premium merino, all bouncy and supple, but even smoother, almost silky. There’s almost a hint of a sheen to the yarn. I didn’t have any issues with splitting, and it tinked back nicely when I made the inevitable mistake.

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It was a happy yarn for me, a happy knit. It felt soft and comforting in my hands, it slid smoothly on the needles, and the colors were perfect for the pattern. I keep coming back to the smoothness, because honestly, I prefer that to the fuzziness you get with some yarns. I can’t wait to see how it wears long-term, because if it doesn’t fuzz and pill as much as all-merino yarns, it will make some truly fantastic sweaters! Plus, I’m sensitive to some wools against my skin, and this feels like a yarn I might be able to wear without a layer underneath.

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Even though it’s mostly superwash merino, it does say to hand wash, which I did. It blocked out beautifully without much work, and the water was still clear after the soak, so the dyes didn’t bleed. I didn’t even pin it, just laid it out and nudged the edges into the shape I wanted, and now I’ve got a big, gorgeous shawl that will go with so many things. You can see my Ravelry project page here.

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You can see Feliz in all the pretty colors on their website, including their special 50th anniversary color, Cincuenta. It looks like Feliz sells for around $26 a skein, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. I’m happy to pay that for yarn that looks good, feels good, and helps women support their families!

Many thanks to Stitchcraft Marketing and Fairmount Fibers, who generously sent me two skeins of Manos del Uruguay Feliz (retail value $52) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.