Tag Archive | lace shawls

FO: Sea Swell Shawl

Today’s project is a KAL I did with Jemma and Under the Olive Tree Knits: her new free pattern, the Stargazer Shawl. She designs a lot of one-skein shawls, which are perfect for my little yarn treasures. At the end of June, I’d pulled out a skein of Andromeda sock yarn in the prettiest pink/purple colors, but wasn’t sure what to do with it, so it sat around until I saw Jemma’s pattern. I’d say the two go together very well!

0F52E8A9-C80B-4454-80F3-BC5BC3714482The pattern is easy to follow, though I have to say it got a bit repetitious for me toward the end. And somehow my gauge is completely different than hers: this is the second project of hers I’ve done where I ran out of yarn quite a bit sooner than she did. Instead of 295 rows, I stopped at 271 rows before doing the garter edging. I probably could have done one more eight-row section, but really didn’t want to play yarn chicken. And I think it still turned out to be a wearable length. Now I know to check my gauge when I knit her patterns … or just have extra yarn on hand, which is more likely!

65E1DD45-92CE-47AD-9B98-3E5283FAC9EFThe yarn is Andromeda sock yarn in the color I Love You Berry Much. It is good yarn with such gorgeous colors. It would have made beautiful socks, but I’m still glad it decided to become a shawl instead.

I’m also glad I got these photos taken early in the morning. It is very hot here so now I can hibernate in the A/C with my knitting for the foreseeable future. Happy Friday, friends.

Two Big Finishes

Painting the dining room didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would: I got it all done in one day! Two coats plus the edge by the ceiling on the six-foot ladder, which was definitely not my favorite part. Yesterday I pulled off tape, washed the trim, gave it a final vacuum, and called that room done.

We chose a slightly darker gray for this room and it’s really hard to photograph. There’s not enough sunlight and the hanging light gives off too much yellow. But I think this is a good approximation. Mostly I’m just delighted that it’s clean and patched and smooth. We’ll see how long it stays that way, what with three dogs and all.

My other big finish is the Dowland shawl! I bound off Friday night. I had three rows in the final section that were off by one stitch but by then I just couldn’t deal with any more tinking or frogging so I pushed through. I could see a couple of the spots as I was pinning it out, but they’re minor and I won’t notice them as I’m wearing it, for sure. I need to get outside to take some pretty photos, but here’s a preview of the finished, and massive, shawl. (Dog included for perspective. And because he wouldn’t move.)

DC6299FE-C771-49C4-8C01-33D6FC9BBB03After finishing the dining room yesterday morning, I really thought I was done painting for a while. It’s been hard on my back, elbows, wrists, hands — everything, really. But the work and the final products are really good for my mind, so by last night I was pulling pictures off the walls in the living room and starting to dust and spackle. I’m going to take it slow, though. I’ll do bursts of prep in between spurts of knitting today, and take my time. The boy asked me last night what I was going to do when I ran out of rooms to paint, and I had no answer. After the living room, I have a stairwell to paint, and that’s it for painting. I could be done by the end of the week. Then what?

Oh well. That’s a problem for future Bonny!

Lifelines

THIS is why we use a lifeline, friends.

C3490BD9-9267-426D-95CC-3126682DD30DI had to frog 30 rows of lace on Saturday. 327 stitches per row. That’s over 9800 stitches, and it was only 15 rows from the end of the shawl. But I’d dropped a stitch a few rows back, thought I’d fixed it, then I dropped another stitch, thought I’d fixed it, my stitch count was off by one so I adjusted, and then the next row my stitch count was off by three. Upon further investigation, the diamond lace pattern was hecked up, to put it in technical terms. I hated to do it but I want this to be a good shawl, thus, the frogging. I got all my stitches back on the needle safely and have done three rows correctly. Now I’m just trying to decide how often to move my lifeline now!

I’m not sure how much knitting I’ll be getting done in the near future, though, because I seem to have found a new project: painting. Alas, no, not pretty pictures but rooms in our old house. We’ve been here five years and never painted a room, mostly because we always had other projects that needed the time/energy/money/focus first. But now I’m not working, the girl is home and will be done with school stuff soon and is eager and willing to help, and paint is relatively inexpensive. It all started with the husband’s office, which was an unattractive salmon-pink color. It’s a small room and he’ll be in there for at least the rest of May, if not longer, so I offered to paint it for him. I filled and sanded all the cracks, taped all the trim, and the girl and I painted it a fresh pale gray. The prep took longer than the painting itself!

I’d forgotten how satisfying it is to paint a room and have it be all fresh and pretty! We’re all jealous of the new room. And honestly, I think it was good for me to have a project that made a difference. I felt a little…lost last week, for lack of a better word, without work to give me a sense of purpose. The last times I wasn’t working, the kids were younger and my purpose was raising them. Well, at this point, that’s pretty much done, and it’s not like the younger one listens to me anyway! So directing my energies toward this sad house is a good plan, I think. It needs to be done before we can sell in a couple of years anyway, and we might as well get to enjoy the fresh paint jobs. Next up, my bedroom!

091869DE-AA0E-437F-A2B0-33DAC2B512B1I hate this color so much. In person, it’s a touch more yellow. It’s like a pale pea green. It’s hideous. All the many cracks have been patched (hooray for old houses with plaster walls, right?) and today I’ll sand them down and start prepping furniture to be moved out of the room. And then it will be painted the palest gray and the girl said she’ll repaint the glossy white trim, and then! Don’t tell the husband, but then I’m going to order new bedding and it’s going to be PURPLE and I will love my bedroom.

And then I’ll take more ibuprofen and lay down because I’m old, friends, and my back hurts.

WIP Wednesday: Bonny Lass

I know it’s Wednesday because Blogville tells me so, with other WIP Wednesday posts! I wasted no time in winding my beautiful Bonny Lass yarn from Kitty Pride Fibers last night. I’d already done some pattern hunting while I waited for the yarn to arrive so I just had to make my final pick. I knew I wanted lace, and I felt like it needed to be a classic half-circle shawl shape. I ended up choosing Dowland and cast on last night.

This will definitely NOT be a watching TV kind of project, and in fact, might be the first project where I faithfully use lifelines! I’m about to start chart two of eight, and I’m thinking the first lifeline will go in at the end of chart two, just to be safe. Do you use lifelines for all your lace projects?

Spring Rain

It’s a holiday week and my girl is home and I think I might take the day off tomorrow to decorate and be home with my kids and it feels really good to have a happy head space! Plus, I have a beautiful new shawl to share with you!

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This is Spring Rain, which I started a couple of months ago. I had a little hiccup in the middle of the last lace section but it recovered nicely and I think it’s gorgeous. And I learned that putting stitch markers between lace repeats is extremely helpful!

The green is Madelinetosh Twist Light in Seaglass and it’s even more stunning in person. It’s vivid and saturated and a little darker than in these photos. I don’t even wear a lot of green but I love this color so much. The other yarn I got from a mystery destash and I have no idea what brand it is, but it coordinated perfectly with the Seaglass!

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Happy Tuesday, friends — hope the Thanksgiving planning is going smoothly for you!

 

When it rains, it pours

Because I wasn’t stressed out enough lately, the fates decided I needed another challenge. Yesterday I stepped down weird off a step stool and heard a pop in my calf, then felt extreme pain. SUPER. I am so lucky and grateful to have good health insurance and I was able to go to the ER to get checked out for breaks, tears, and blood clots. They decided it was probably just a bad muscle strain and prescribed an NSAID, rest, ice, and elevation. Plus, since it’s my right calf, no driving for a couple of days to give the muscle time to rest and avoid straining it more. And since I took time off last week for my MIL’s service and some mental health time, now I’ve got the guilt from being home again. The sister pointed out that I had a good reason last week, and I have a good reason today, and of course logically I know she’s right. Yet there’s the guilt, still hovering. WhatEVER. Sometimes I hate my brain.

Let’s distract with some knitting, shall we? Here’s my Fade progress.

I went through so many project pages on Ravelry and didn’t find many helpful notes for a 4-color fade, but I got enough to give me confidence to move on. Rather than frog back to fade in the yellow garter section, I was a rebel and did the color melting in the lace section, and I think it looks fine. I did a longer melt than in the pattern, to use as much yellow as I could, and now I’m halfway through the second skein. This shawl is going to take forever, I think. As much as I love the look, I don’t know if I’ll want to make another one for myself once this one is done.

Hope you all are having a better start to the week than me!

Review: Boca Chica yarn

A while back, you all helped me choose a pattern for some new yarn. That yarn, which is a brand new base called Boca Chica from A Good Yarn Sarasota, was for a review, and I’m happy to report the shawl is done and blocked!

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This is a fingering weight merino wool dyed in gorgeous, bright colors, both solids and variegated. Boca Chica Key is an island in the lower Florida Keys, and the colors are all named for things found in the Florida Keys. I had to pick the hot pink, Duval Street, and the pink/gray variegated, Rainbow Reef, and I was impressed when my package arrived. Not only was the yarn beautiful, but it arrived with extra goodies! The gauge/ruler tool is a thick, sturdy plastic and has come in very handy already, and the bag lives in my car for those unexpected shopping trips.

After much pondering and discussion, I chose the Delphia shawl pattern and I think it was a great choice for these skeins. The pinks matched up perfectly, so the shifts from one colorway to the next were subtle. The first thing I noticed as I was knitting was how lightweight and airy the yarn is. I’m pretty sure that’s thanks to the fact that it’s a chainette yarn. With chain construction, the fibers have already been “knit” into a tube, which leaves air between the fibers and provides a lot of drape and breathability. Even after using almost both full skeins, the finished shawl is light and comfortable for spring and summer evenings.

This was a really fast and fun project for me. I liked the chain texture of the yarn, though I found it to split easily. I was using my Addi Turbo Lace needles with a pointy metal tip, so maybe that split the fibers more than another type of needle would. It didn’t affect my experience too much; it just meant I couldn’t do the lace portion without looking. And I LOVED the colors. They do recommend prewashing high-contrast colors, and I would agree with that. The water after my shawl’s bath was really pink, but I didn’t notice any fading or bleeding with the finished shawl. The gray was still perfectly gray.

The skeins are generous, with 480 yards per 4 oz, and retail for around $28 on their website. Even though it is superwash merino, they recommend hand wash/dry flat for best results, which is what I did. It blocked out wonderfully, with the lace opening up nicely and the picot edge all pointy and defined. Overall, I think this is a great yarn for spring and summer pieces. You can find it here: http://bit.ly/AGYbocachica

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Thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and A Good Yarns Sarasota, who generously sent me two skeins of Boca Chica (retail value $56) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Almost Done

This morning I had some waiting room knitting time, and I took my Delphia shawl with me, hoping to get through a few rows. I did better than that, though: I’m ready to bind off!! Now the question becomes: is a picot bind off really worth the time and effort? I mean, I’ve got over 365 stitches here.

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With any luck, I can get through the bind off tonight and start weaving in ends. How long does a picot bind off really take, right? I’m ready to be done, yes, but I also have my next shawl project planned and I want to use these needles!

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I’m doing another test knit and needed over 500 yards of fingering weight yarn. I was worried at first since all of my fingering skeins are 3 oz and between 400 and 450 yards. Then I found these two skeins of Araucania Huasco that have been in my stash for over three years, and I think they’ll be perfect. I just need my shawl needles now!

Delphia Progress

As I said yesterday, I have been getting a bit of knitting in here and there this week. The weirdest thing is that I’ve been a monogamous knitter. I’m not sure that’s ever happened in my knitting life. But I’ve just been merrily going along on my Boca Chica Delphia shawl, enjoying the mindless garter stitch with a few stockinette rows thrown in for fun, and what do you know? It’s grown a lot!

fullsizeoutput_2097I’m loving this pattern, and the colors of the yarn. I’m also really glad I didn’t try to use these yarns for Straight and Arrow because it definitely wouldn’t have been enough contrast to do it justice. The color changes are super subtle.

fullsizeoutput_2098See those stockinette rows? Those are the ones with Color B (aka the solid pink). They don’t stand out as much as I anticipated, but it’s fine. I’m starting the big lace section now, which means this won’t be my mindless knitting anymore. Pretty sure that means I need to cast on some new vanilla socks today!

New Shawl

Thanks for all the feedback on my next shawl choice! I really do love both patterns so it was hard to choose, but I finally decided Delphia was the better pattern for this particular set of skeins. As I was winding the gray/pink skein, there was more pink in it than I originally realized, and I want more contrast when I knit Straight and Arrow. I’m almost through the first big garter stitch section.

fullsizeoutput_208aSoon I’ll start striping in some of the solid pink, and then eventually I’ll get to the big pink lace section. I’m loving the colors in this yarn! (Which is Boca Chica by A Good Yarn, a brand new yarn!) I’m also loving the comfort knitting of squishy garter stitch.

But fans of Straight and Arrow, do not fret, for I have also picked out the yarn I want to use for that pattern, and it was even from stash!

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The only problem with spring knitting is that all I want to make are shawls and lightweight sweaters, and those are bigger projects that take more commitment. I guess that’s what socks are good for, right?