Tag Archive | handknits

New Socks

My new sock project is a test knit called Paddington Station Socks for Ambrose Knits ( I found her on Instagram). She’s got several ones she’s working on, and they all look like fun to knit. I know I’m enjoying these!

The yarn is my new Knit Picks Stroll Hand-Painted in Train Station Tonal. I’m liking the colors and the yarn a lot! The yarn is soft and knits up thick on my size 1 needles, and the pattern has just enough variation to keep me interested. I’m eager to see a finished sock!

Travel Knitting

I understand now why knitters always pack so many more projects than they think they’ll need. The unthinkable happened when I was visiting the girl last week: I was at risk of running out of knitting! *gasp* How did I let that happen, you ask? Well, you see, I finished a second sock on the plane there and cast on another sock the next day, but I had a lot of knitting time so that sock got done by mid-Monday.

fullsizeoutput_1d67

Mostly it’s the fault of the mermaid shawl: I hadn’t realized I was so close to needing the second color, and hadn’t brought it, so I was only able to do two rows on that shawl, which is what I’d planned on knitting when I was hanging out in the dorm by myself. That left one project, my Hogwarts cowl, and I confess I didn’t even finish it. I’m actually a little stuck on it because it’s getting so tall. I was basing it on this pattern which is also a tall skinny cowl and it’s coming out like it should, I think, but I’m not convinced I’ll enjoy wearing it. I’m half tempted to frog and make a wider, shorter cowl. Thoughts?

fullsizeoutput_1d85

But we made a stop at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe on Sunday and I bought a beautiful little skein of Baah! super bulky Sequoia and had to knit that up right away. (See my two-hour cowl.) And after knitting with super bulky, I wanted more, not my fingering weight Hogwarts cowl. So yeah, I made another detour to Joann and used a coupon to buy a $3 skein of super bulky for a quick gray cowl that I left for the girl. It must be getting cold if I’m itching to knit all the bulky yarns! Still, when I got home and cast on a new project (because of course I did), it’s a sport weight, not bulky.

fullsizeoutput_1d87.jpeg

This is my new Manos del Uruguay Feliz and I’m loving it so far. The pattern is Late Harvest and I’m excited to get to the lace section. I’ve also made good progress on my boy socks, once I had him try them on and I measured his foot. The first one is *thisclose* to being done, and the second one should go a lot faster.

fullsizeoutput_1d86

But I swear, the bulky knitting will be happening soon!

Review: Zen Yarn Garden

What’s your favorite splurge yarn? Mine is now the Serenity line from Zen Yarn Garden! I got to test a 3-skein kit of Serenity 20 Fingering and OMG I’m in love!!

img_1314

I made Stephen West’s Dotted Rays – Speckled Fade shawl. This was one of my favorite pieces ever to knit, and I think it will be a favorite to wear too.

img_7935

ARGH it’s so gorgeous I can’t stand it! I really wanted the chevron edge, but I didn’t plan my yardage correctly and ran out too soon. I even had to use a bit of the creamy speckle for the i-cord bindoff when I ran out of the purple. And yet I don’t care a bit because it’s fabulous as is. I think most of you already know the brilliance that is Westknits, so I won’t spend too long on the pattern. It’s enough to say that I loved it and am already planning to make another.

img_7933

But the yarn? The yarn I must tell you about! Serenity 20 is a fingering weight that’s 70% superwash superfine merino, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon. I don’t think I’ve ever knit with a cashmere blend before, so I had no idea what a decadent experience it is. Soft? Oh my yes! The yarn was lush and full and squishy, and every time I picked it up, my hands were so happy. This was what I picked up at night as my treat knitting, because the combination of relaxing garter stitch in such a yummy yarn pleased me so much. It wasn’t splitty at all and behaved nicely when I had to frog a bit. It might be handwash only but it’s worth it!

img_7930

I love this color combination too. This is the Vivid Bundle, with Vivid OOAK, Vivid Splatter, and Scallions. They also offer the Jazzy Bundle with blues, grays, and cream. (Keep reading for a special discount code on these bundles!) But with all the gorgeous hand-dyed colors they offer, you could put together any number of combinations for the gradient and fade shawls that are all the rage right now.

img_7926

The finished shawl is big and has a comforting heft to it. The size 4 needles I used made it dense enough to be warm but kept the fabric at a soft drape. I find myself reaching for it on those cool mornings when I’m up early with the dogs. I know I say I love a lot of yarn, and I always mean it when I say it, but this yarn truly is special. It’s luxurious and decadent and kind of represents everything I love most about knitting: cool people (like the husband and wife team who own ZYG), soft yarn, pretty colors, and finished pieces that are a joy to wear.

img_7924

If you need some splurge-worthy yarn in your life, I’ve got good news: you can use the code BONNYKNITS to save 20% off either the Jazzy or Vivid bundle! Just click this little link here to start shopping. The code is good until 12/31/18, and they’re limited quantities, so don’t wait too long.

Many and most sincere thanks to Zen Yarn Garden and Stitchcraft Marketing who so generously provided 1 Vivid Kit ($91.80) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Two hour cowl

So I finished the sock on the plane ride here, and the girl was very happy with her new socks. Fortunately I planned for that and still had three other projects to work on. Yesterday on our way to Boulder, we made a spontaneous stop in Longmont to visit the Longmont Yarn Shoppe. And I’m so glad we did–the selection wasn’t vast but it was all marvelous. I had to work hard to restrain myself to two skeins.I also got a super cute pin for my collection.I tucked them into my suitcase and pulled out my mermaid shawl today and understood why knitters always pack extra projects: after two rows, my shawl was ready for color two. I didn’t have color two with me. So mermaid shawl went back in the suitcase and the girl took me to JoAnn so I could get some chunky needles to cast on my new super bulky Baah! Yarn.

While there, she announced she misses knitting and wants to make a scarf for one of her friends. Of course I’m happy to encourage that! When we got back to her dorm, we both cast on. After a couple of hours, I had an awesome new cowl. I’d forgotten the instant gratification from super bulky yarns! Now I want more! Yarn is Sequoia by Baah! and the pattern is because I’m happy, and it’s free, simple, and a breeze to make.

And now that it’s done I guess I’ll go back to my sock.

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.

img_1795

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!

Fastest Shawl Ever

I bound off my Denim Sprinkles shawl on Monday night, just eight days after casting on. I have never finished a shawl that quickly before, but the combination of the gorgeous yarn and addictive pattern meant I wanted to work on it all the time, and BAM! It was done!

img_1315

I did have to improvise though: the pattern calls for 380 yards of fingering weight yarn on size 5 needles. My yarn was 437 yards of heavy fingering/sport, so I went up to a size 6 needle and assumed I’d have more than enough yarn. Oops. I ran out with three rows and a bind off left. Luckily, I had some sock yarn in white that matched perfectly, so the eyelet edging is all white, and I think it’s absolutely perfect. A happy accident, as the husband said. Even unblocked, I could tell this was going to be an awesome shawl, and it needed blocking badly.

img_1317

In that before shot, the edge is undefined and wavy, and the shawl itself sort of squishes all together. But then you wash it and pin it out and let it dry and it becomes a whole new thing of beauty!

img_7876

If you like lace shawls, I highly recommend Sugar Sprinkles. It’s easy enough for beginners, interesting enough to not be boring, and makes a wonderfully wearable shawl. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making this one again! The yarn is Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts Passion 8, in the color T-Shirt and Jeans, and I loved it. It’s definitely heavier than I would use for socks, but it’s perfect for shawls, and I bet it would make an amazing sweater!

I probably won’t ever make another shawl so quickly! What’s been your fastest shawl?

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.

img_1201

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.

img_1306

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?