Tag Archive | handknits

WIP Progress

I haven’t shown much off but I have been knitting and knitting over the last several days so I thought I’d share what I’m working on. My top priority is my Late Harvest shawl with the Manos del Uruguay Feliz yarn. Loving this yarn, and liking the project more now that I’ve moved on from the endless garter stitch. This is really cool:

oh9j20xvr7yfer171ldzfa.jpg

I’ve got three more pattern repeats and then it’s done, so that’s only about 21 rows. I can do that easy this week if I work on it every night. But I’ve been distracted by my new sweater project. I’m making a Clarke Pullover with Lion Brand Jeans yarn and I’m in the newlywed phase where I want to knit on it all the time. I just made it to the join-in-the-round point.

DEy1mfVHQIqYFU+tO2g

It would be awesome if I could do this as a NaKniSweMo project but since I need to finish Late Harvest, I’m not optimistic. We’ll see. If I can be monogamous after I finish the shawl, it’s a possibility.

During the work week, I’ve been knitting on my Goth Kitty sock, done with my favorite Vanille Latte pattern and Felici yarn.

AEf3ivWAQg2izQRh+e7rVQ

I don’t love the way the stripes fell–I wish I’d had a gray heel and more of the purples on the foot, but I can always do the second one that way and have fraternal twin socks instead of identical.

And this post really brings home the fact that I need to stop saying “I’ll never…”. I said I’d never get into making sweaters, and though I don’t do them often, I’m liking it more with each one. I said I’d never want to make socks, and now they’re my favorite thing to knit. I said I’d never love knitting with fingering weight yarn, and now I have more of that in my stash than anything else. I need to remember that every time I say I’ll never do brioche, or cables, or intarsia!

Before I run off to knit for the rest of the morning, I want to share something the mother included in an email yesterday. It expresses some of the darkness I’ve been feeling in my head:

“And in despair I bowed my head.
There is no peace on earth, I said
          For hate is strong
          and mocks the song
of peace on earth, good will to men.”

 

It was written in 1863 by Longfellow, and as she wrote, “The country survived then and we’ll survive this.”

Moving forward

Thanks for all the kind words and suggestions on my shawl dilemma! As several people suggested, I decided to frog the lace section and start it over with a contrasting color. I have a cream in my stash that will be quite lovely with the green. Last night I threaded the needle through the last row of stockinette (or so I thought) and started frogging the lace. Of course once the lace was gone, I didn’t exactly have one row of stitches on my needle, but it was simple enough to go through and fix that. Tedious and time-consuming, but simple. With that done, I was ready to pick up with my cream and start the lace section anew.

QcchKWoRRCa2tekHeFlYRg

I love it! I think it’s going to be a perfect Christmas shawl this way, maybe worn with a red sweater, or is that too much?

Also this morning, I made a quick trip to the craft store for felt and safety eyes so I can make this baby sloth. Found the felt easily enough, but can you believe they don’t carry safety eyes?? Craziness. It’s not for a baby, so I can substitute tiny buttons and it will be fine. Still, I couldn’t just buy one 40 cent sheet of felt, could I? Plus all the yarn was on sale! Plus I stumbled across this new jean yarn and it’s awesome, even if it is acrylic.

yDFr8gflQhW7XnudYRA6xA

I may have bought enough to make this sweater. (And for only $21!!) I know, the pattern is DK and the yarn is worsted, and I’m going to have to swatch and do math and all that. I’m okay with that! I can swatch sometimes, when I have to.

Speaking of swatching, the crochet hat that I struggled with is done. It seemed to grow a little bit in washing but I’m crossing my fingers that it will fit. It is pretty, at least! It’s the Ski Lodge Beanie and you can see my Ravelry notes here.

kopg4nb0ryiijulk8ovvw.jpg

I’ve discovered the best part about getting an extra hour today is not an extra hour of sleep (I have three dogs, are you kidding me?) but an extra hour of knitting!

Testing, Testing

I have my selfish knitting, my commissioned knitting, my review knitting, and now I have test knitting! It’s kind of cool how each type feels kind of different, and I enjoy each one for different reasons. But my selfish knitting has definitely fallen by the wayside thanks to all this knitting with deadlines. I’ve finished my commissions, I only have one review project in the works, and I have my two test projects. And one test is almost done!

This Paddington Station sock just needs a toe, which I should be able to finish tonight, and then I can pass on my notes and let the second sock wait until I have more selfish knitting time.

My other test knit is newer, a shawl for Under the Olive Tree Knits. I found Jem on Instagram and have been following her for ages, and her designs are gorgeous. Even though I wasn’t sure I had the time, I really wanted to test one of her shawls. I haven’t gotten to the really fun lace section yet, but I adore the top edge already with the slipped stitches and big yarnovers. As soon as the sock is done, this project moves to the top of the list.

The yarn for this one is Araucania Huasco in a divine dark green.

The only downside to all this knitting is that I’m pretty sure I won’t have much time for gift knitting this year. Sure hope my family isn’t expecting anything!

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.