Tag Archive | handknit

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.

Weekend Cowls

This weekend was kind to me, giving me lots of knitting time. The girl and I watched movies Friday night and I got most of a cowl done that night. (We watched The Greatest Showman and Lady Bird, and both were just Eh for me.)

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The second one was a Sunday project, mostly done while watching Everest (really good!) and the last half of Toy Story 3. I had to do this one in daylight because OMG black yarn.

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Obviously it’s still drying and I wasn’t patient enough to wait for it to dry before taking photos. The yarn for both is Cascade Baby Alpaca and the pattern is Flor de Maio. I didn’t do as many pattern repeats as the pattern called for, but I think they’re still a good wearable size. Hope the recipients like them!

And now that those are done, I am free to play with the yarn that came in the mail today!

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More new projects?

Well, clearly I don’t respect my own limits. Or maybe subconsciously I do and they’re not as low as I thought they were. Despite my whining about feeling overwhelmed by WIPs the other day, I have added more to my queue. One is a sock but that’s totally justifiable: I needed a simple travel project for car/concert knitting. And I had beautiful new sock yarn calling my name.

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This is Hedgehog Fibres Sock in the color Gossip. Love it! After the boy’s band concert, I have a good two inches of leg past the cuff, but it got too dark to take another photo.

Okay, the sock is understandable. But apparently I have also agreed to make two cowls…before Christmas…as gifts…for a friend to give. But hear me out: I like this person a lot, and I like to help my friends, and I like it when people like my knitting enough to ask me to make things for them. Plus, I like it when they’re willing to pay me to make said things!! So, two cowls are on the list. They’re bulky weight and it’s baby alpaca which means they’ll be fast, fun knits for me. Right? Right. Thank goodness it’s Friday so I can get to knitting ASAP! Anyone else taking on last-minute gift knitting?

Meet Me at the Station Shawl

I have a finished shawl to show you, and the best part is that the pattern is now live and you can knit one too! This is the Meet Me at the Station Shawl by Under the Olive Tree Knits, and I loved testing it.

img_8116It’s designed to be a one-skein shawl, but as you may remember, I had issues and ran out of yarn too soon. To be fair, I did not check gauge before I started knitting, so I accept full responsibility. And in any case, I’m glad it happened because the cream lace is perfect with the dark green body.

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The pattern is clear and well-written, and Jem provides plenty of photos and tutorials as well. My knitting experience was smooth and happy, and I’d love to knit this again, maybe in one color like I intended!

Pattern: Meet Me at the Station by Olive Tree Knits

Yarns: Araucania Huasco Multy Botany Lace in Hunter, Cascade Heritage in Snow

See my Ravelry project page here.