Tag Archive | handknits

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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Summer Knitting?

I did indeed finish my Mab shawl as I said I would, so it is currently pinned out and drying. (And it is stunning, if I do say so myself. I’m hoping to do a photo shoot tomorrow.) So what am I doing with my pruned down stash and fewer projects on the needles?

I’m planning a sweater, of course.

It’s over 90 degrees outside. Our downstairs A/C isn’t working so it’s 86 degrees in my living room. (Thankfully we have two units and it is blessedly cool upstairs in the bedrooms and my craft room.) You get the idea: it’s hot. So why in the world would I be working on a sweater, a wool/alpaca sweater even?? Because while I was going through my stash to pull out unwanted yarn, I found four skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca, all the same color and the same dye lot. What are the odds, right? Especially since I know I bought it back when I thought I’d never knit sweaters. It was probably on sale, and since it was purple, I probably just bought what they had left.

Sadly, four skeins isn’t quite enough on its own to make a sweater that will fit me. So I dug through the stash a little more and found two more colors, two skeins of each, and the three colors together easily get me enough yardage for a pullover. I’ve got four skeins of the top color (Berroco Ultra Alpaca in this unusual light purple), two skeins of the middle (Plymouth Baby Alpaca Worsted in Navy), and two skeins of the bottom (Berroco Ultra Alpaca Tonal in … magenta?).

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I’m planning to make Tea with Jam and Bread by Heidi Kirrmaier (I even have my gauge swatch already laid out and drying too!) but I’ll alter the stripe pattern a bit. I don’t think I’d like the navy as the bottom stripe (can’t tell you why, just my brain saying no don’t do that) so I’m going to do the top stripe navy, and then the bottom stripe and the bottom sleeve sections in the magenta.

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(LOOK! It even has POCKETS!)

And if I get to that bottom stripe and don’t like the color variation of the magenta with the lighter purple, well…I’ll figure something else out. But until then, I’ll be working on my wool sweater in June in the midwest!

WIP no more

After two and a half months, which is a ridiculous amount of time, I have finally finished a pair of socks begun in January. These are the Mapleridge socks, a pattern chosen from Kate Atherley’s sock book, which I got for Christmas. I chose the cuff down option, and altered the toe to do my usual Kitchener toe.

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I love the stitch pattern; it has such lovely squishy depth. And I think the yarn is a tiny bit thicker than some of the other sock yarn I’ve used, so on the size one needles, it works up into a dense, snuggly fabric.

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I’ve tried them on but haven’t worn them so I can’t comment on fit, but I am interested to see how they wear. The heel and gusset are different than the others I’ve made, and the bottom edge of the heel hits a different spot on my foot. Plus there’s that little ridge from knitting into the back loop, and I don’t know how I’ll like that.

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The yarn is Madtosh Sock, which is so soft but doesn’t have nylon, and I hope they wear well without getting holes too quickly. Still, I’m in love with the color, the style, the feel, so they’d have to be pretty uncomfortable for me to not want to wear them a lot!

img_0036Maybe it’s lucky that we’re having this endless winter? At least it gives me more time to wear my cozy handknit socks!

Slow socks

This was my first week in my new job (which I LOVE), and it was just half time, as I spent the other half in my old role to help them transition. There was so much new information, so many new tasks, that my brain sort of got tired. Every night I’d come home with grand plans to knit after dinner, and almost every night I’d lose steam after a few rows. I’m hoping that with a little time, things will balance out, but in the meantime, I just have a wee bit of sock progress to share.IMG_0009See that bit of brown there? Yep, that’s the progress made on this Monkey sock since I last shared it. I managed about five rows one evening this week. But it should grow more pretty soon because I’m almost done with this Madtosh Mapleridge sock:IMG_0008This represents the bulk of my knitting this week. Last weekend I got the heel and gussets done, so this week I’ve been working on the foot during lunch breaks. Just an inch left and I’m ready to decrease for the toes! I’m saving this for next week’s lunch breaks, and this weekend I’ve started a new project. I received some yarn to review, along with a pattern, so of course I had to cast on for that immediately! Here’s a little black & white peek. IMG_0007The pattern is simple so I’m hoping it goes quickly. It’s perfect TV and movie knitting, and I have several shows to catch up on this weekend. And books to catch up on, and chores to catch up on…weekends need to be longer than two days!

WIP Wednesday: Sweater Progress

The sweater WIP is still going, and I’m enjoying it more than my first sweater experience. I love my Harvest cardigan, but so much stockinette is just not my favorite knitting. So this new one, the Textured Pullover, is a 10-row repeat that keeps me going with color changes and alternating stockinette rows with k1, p1 rows. I zipped right through the yoke, discovered my stitch counts were wrong because I’d put my BOR marker in the wrong place, frogged about 10 rows, knit them again, and was finally able to put the sleeve stitches on waste yarn.

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Look at this pretty raglan sleeve detail!

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I’m not convinced it’s coming out big enough to fit me, but if not, I’ve got a girl who might wear it.

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Now I’ve just got about a foot of the body to knit, and it makes for perfect knitting while I watch the Olympics!

Rainbow Warrior, Part Two

Today was so sunny and bright that I braved the cold temperature to take some photos of recent projects, and I decided to add my Rainbow Warrior to the mix. I’d never taken any pictures in good lighting, and I was reminded of how gorgeous this shawl is. Stay tuned for pictures of new projects in the next couple of days!

More New Socks

You may remember that I am currently knitting all the socks, and I am making progress on most of them, so I thought I’d share since they’re all so fun. First up is my Madtosh Seaglass green. Love this color so much, but it’s really hard to photograph accurately. It’s even more vivid and gorgeous than these photos suggest. fullsizeoutput_efbThe pattern is called Marpleridge and it’s in Kate Atherley’s Custom Socks to Fit Your Feet. I think it’s especially cool that she gives directions for making it either toe-up or cuff-down! Both the heel turn and gussets are shorter than I’m used to, so I’m eager to see how these feel when I wear them all day. My only modification was a grafted toe.

This yarn is a slightly thicker fingering, so the socks are thick and squishy and I can’t wait to wear them. Unfortunately, I haven’t even started the second sock, so it’ll be a while still.

But here’s the funnest sock ever: Wonder Woman self-striping sock!! fullsizeoutput_ef7The yarn is from Artistic Yarns by Abi and I love it. Love how the stripes worked up, love the little thread of stellina, love that it’s just the tiniest bit crisp but still soft. These are more vanilla socks with a slip-stitch rib heel.

I’m already past the gusset on the second sock, so I’ll be wearing these before you know it. Maybe they’ll give me some superpowers!