Tag Archive | shawl knitting

Pretty in Pink

Do you know how hard it is to photograph the color pink? It’s really hard. It might even be harder than red. I have two FOs to show off today, but I struggled to show the true beauty of the pink. It’s one of those that’s really best in person, but still, I’ll try.

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The pattern is A Noble Cowl and it was lovely to knit. Interesting lace without being too difficult. I used one of my yarn treasures from our Colorado excursion, my Baah! Sonoma in Pink Tourmaline. I love this yarn. It feels so nice in my fingers and is just firm enough to cooperate perfectly with the needles, plus it blocks out wonderfully. The colors are stunning too.

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I ran out of yarn and couldn’t do the full pattern, but I think it blocked out plenty tall enough, and I love the scalloped edge.

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My other FO is a delicious shawl.

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The pattern is called Frisson and I’ve already worn this one a couple of times.

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The yarn is Manos del Uruguay Fino, which is a merino/silk blend that is simply heavenly. I wanted to knit on this shawl every day because the yarn felt so good in my hands. And wearing it is just as delightful because it’s soft and lightweight despite its impressive length.

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That’s even one point shorter than the pattern! The knitting of this one wasn’t as easy as the cowl; I had some difficulties as I was getting started (you can read my Ravelry notes here) but once I got used to it, it was a smooth and pleasant process.

Today I’m hoping to finish the cowl I’m test-knitting, though I won’t be able to show that off for another week or so. Happy knitting, friends!

Socks and Scarves

Time to show off the FOs from our road trip last weekend! The first I actually finished on the way to Colorado, which was perfect because then I could wear it! Apparently Colorado weather is just as unpredictable as Missouri weather, and as we drove into Denver we saw signs warning us of an impending bout of heavy snow. Swell! Thankfully we avoided all the snow, but we did have strong, cold winds to contend with and we all forgot our coats. I couldn’t believe it: here I was with the perfect opportunity to put all my handknits to good use, and I’d left them all at home! But at least I  had my new little Copper Boom, lightweight and airy though it was, and that provided a bit of comfort.

fullsizeoutput_aa5fullsizeoutput_aa7fullsizeoutput_aa6The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in colorway Night Hawk, and it’s the best Madtosh yarn I’ve used. I find their yarns splitty, but didn’t have that issue with this yarn. I love all the colors; they’re all colors I wear frequently so I think I’ll get a lot of use out of it. The pattern is Copper Boom and it comes in two versions, the eyelet one that I made, and a solid pattern. It’s very simple but not boring, and my only minor caveat is that one edge comes out a bit tight so the ends curl even after blocking. Still, I love it!

My other FO is my first pair of sock yarn socks! Yes, I finished my Hermione’s Everyday Socks and they are perfect!

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Okay, not really perfect because they’re a tad too big, but they’re wearable and now I know to make the foot portion shorter. I love the feel of the fabric, the density of the tiny stitches, and the magic of turning the heel. So, FINE, yes, I agree: making socks is fun. In fact, I’ve already got a new pair on my needles.

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This time I’m using Kate Atherley’s Basic Ribbed Socks because I love ribbing and I love snug socks. And ribbed socks out of rainbow yarn are extra perfect. I just wish the yarn had kept up with the striping instead of starting to pool.

The socks are my lunch break knitting at work; my new at-home knitting is a scarf in yarn from my stash. (Gasp! I’m using stash yarn, not new? Crazy, I know!) I wanted a versatile ivory scarf and this more than fits the bill. It’s Manos del Uruguay Fino, which is a merino/silk blend that is just delicious to knit with. It feels good in my hands while I knit with it, and it feels good in the scarf. Every day, I look forward to going home so I can knit with this yarn. I’m going to want more Fino for sure.

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The pattern is Frisson and I love how it’s knitting up. But I’m not crazy about the way it’s written. My main peeve is that each section has several lines like “knit to 8 stitches before YO in previous RS row”. I mean, I understand the directions, but it’s just kind of a pain to have to watch for that YO two rows below each time. A stitch marker would probably help, and this far into it, I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting it quickly, but it’s still a bit annoying. Maybe I’ve gotten spoiled by patterns that tell me when to place/slip a marker, or how many stitches to knit before doing something different, so that now when I pay $4 for a pattern, I expect that kind of work to already be done for me. What can I say, I’m a lazy knitter, I guess! Anyway, like I said, it’s turning out beautifully and I imagine I’ll wear the heck out of it.

That’s my week of knitting; hope you all got plenty of knitting time too!

Day of Knitting

We have had a lot of germs in our house already this year. The kids have been taking turns being sick, back and forth, and the husband took a turn once, and all along I managed to stay (mostly) healthy. But for most of last week, I could feel something creeping up, and I kept the symptoms mostly at bay out of stubbornness. But the germs are fighting hard this time, and yesterday my body told me I needed some time to just chill out and let my mind and body rest. So with the exception of a needed grocery run, I rested. I sat outside in the gorgeous weather to let the dogs run around. Then when they made too much progress on their tunnel to China, we went inside and hung out on the couch, watching Mean Girls and Property Brothers. I finished one book and started another, and I did some knitting. Of course some knitting!

I started by officially casting on for my Harvest cardigan. I pulled out one of my favorite sweaters to measure so I could choose a size. Based on the chest measurement, I could go down an inch or up three. Because I like my sweaters loose and oversize, I chose the bigger size, especially since the upper arm measurement was better on that one. Then I gathered up all the tools I’d need for the project, and cast on. So far, so good!

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Of course, it’s just a straight row of garter stitch so it doesn’t get much easier! The only trick is making sure I keep track of how many rows I’ve done.

Then I set that aside to save the easy knitting for a concert I’m going to today, and revisited Miss Winkle. This one is a slow knit for me for some reason. Maybe it’s that so much of it involves knitting those 4-stitch loops. I do love how it looks but this isn’t my favorite thing to knit.

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After yesterday’s talk about gauge, I decided to check my gauge on Miss Winkle, and sure enough I have more stitches per inch than called for. But my skein has 120+ more yards than hers, and the pattern is designed to be knit until your yarn runs out, so I feel confident that this one will end well. I just don’t feel confident that it will end anytime soon!

I also took a quick trip to my LYS in hopes of getting the yarn I needed to finish my Hitchhiker Beyond, and got kind of lucky. They did have the right yarn in the right colorway, but as with most Malabrigo, there’s a lot of variation between dye lots. I bought my original skein while on vacation, plus I’d thrown away the tag (rookie mistake) so the odds of getting the same dye lot were slim to none. I decided I was okay with that if I could get the project done soon. So yes, my latest Hitchiker is complete, just not perfect.

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Yep, if you’re looking for it, the color difference is noticeable. But I certainly won’t notice it while I’m wearing it. I love the shape of it, long and more narrow than the original Hitchhiker, but after this and now with Miss Winkle, I might take a break from garter stitch shawls for a little while!

Other than that, my day was mostly like this:

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WIP Assessment

Whew, there are a lot of projects floating around my living room right now! I’ve cast on several new things lately and now the WIPs are in abundance. Here’s a peek:

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And this isn’t all of them: I’ve got another shawl and a blanket that aren’t shown. Miss Winkle, the pink/black one at the top, hasn’t grown at all in the last few weeks. She’s a little fiddly so I haven’t been in the mood for her. The purple/teal/black cowl looks finished, I know, but it’s really not. I bound off and it squished down shorter than I expected, and since I have yarn left over I’m going to try picking up stitches to add another section. The big shawl is the Hitchhiker Beyond and I’ve been working on that one a lot. It’s good TV knitting and I’m getting close enough to the end that I’m motivated to work on it. There’s a ribbed edge for a long gray cowl on the left side there, something I’m modifying from another pattern, so that’s been an adventure trying to figure out the right number to cast on. The purple hat just needs the top closed and furry pompom added. The little cuff is the start of my Hermione’s Everyday Socks, and the hot pink is another cat hat, requested by a friend.

So you can see, even though I have no finished projects to share, I have been doing much knitting, and will continue to do so as life allows! Oh, and after three swatches, I did finally match gauge for my first sweater, but haven’t cast on yet. I know that will be a more involved process, so I’ve been waiting for a time when I have enough mental energy. Happy knitting, friends!

Madelia Photos

I unpinned my Madelia shawl this morning and started taking photos as soon as I got enough daylight. I just love lace, don’t you?

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The only modification to the pattern was to use DK instead of sport weight. My edge didn’t come out quite as pointy as hers, but close enough. If you don’t set it aside for two months as I did, it’s a relatively quick knit. The pattern was well-written and easy to follow (except for one bit where it says to use the right needle tip to lift a stitch over, and I think it should maybe be the left needle that’s doing the lifting). Plus it’s super easy to modify; it’s written for three colors but obviously I only did two. It would also be lovely in a solid color. And if you made it in a fingering weight, I think it would be a good size for more of a scarf look.

This morning I came to the determination that I am inspired more by yarn than by patterns. I wanted to cast on some new projects so I had more variety, and went to my stash and picked out five yarns that were calling my name. Thanks to Ravelry, a short while later I had patterns picked out for all of them and have big plans for today! … Except I just realized that none of them are a hat, and I need a hat in the mix, so I’ll be revisiting the stash in a bit. Yeah, I’ll be doubling my WIP count today. Right now I’m okay with it. We’ll see how long it lasts before I’m hit with a bout of finish-itis!

Madelia Shawl

I started and finished a shawl yesterday. Haha, NO! Not that same shawl! First, I cast on the Chevrione shawl with high hopes of making good progress this weekend. I made it through the first two sections, but it was tricky! Not that it’s really that difficult, but the lace is intricate and a little complicated and I kept making mistakes. I had to focus all my attention on it, no movies or TV, and after a couple of hours, I needed a mental break. But here’s what I’ve got so far:

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It’s really pretty and I like it and I can’t wait to get to the next color. I think it’ll go more smoothly now that I’ve gone through the chart once.

When I set aside the Chevrione, the girl and I decided to watch a movie, so I pulled out another old WIP, one that’s not mindless but is easier to follow with distractions. It’s the Madelia Shawlette by Picnic Knits that I started in September. As I finished the section I was on, I realized I only had three sections left, and each one was 12 rows or fewer. So close to the end! Suddenly my goal was to finish this project.

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I knit my way through West Side Story, Moulin Rouge, and the evening news, and at 10:30 I finally set aside the completed shawl. And this morning I got up, wove in the ends, and blocked the sucker.

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Here’s a close-up of the lace. I think blocking is going to make a huge difference in this one. When I was done binding off, I wasn’t sure I liked it, but it’s growing on me now.

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So with that done, I had 4 WIPs: three shawls and a blanket. Well, that wasn’t going to work for me. I need more variety in my knitting life. Fortunately, I was saved by a friend’s request for two pussyhats. I did a bit of stash-diving and came up with an assortment of pink yarn, and had a nearly finished hat after a viewing of The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Now I’ve had a workout and a snack break, and I’m ready to dive back in. The goal is to have two completed pussyhats by the end of the day. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

Two Pink Hats

These are the only finished objects I have to show you this week, two pink kitty hats. They are cute. I like them.

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They were supposed to be for me and my daughter, but then a friend of a friend needed two hats for the March on Washington, and I was more than happy to send these her way and make more for us. I used AndreSue Knits’ pattern for the KitKat hat and KnitPicks Preciosa Tonal in Pokeberry. I was able to get two hats and another brim out of one skein, and I’ve got more on the way. (And if you don’t know anything about what these hats mean, check out www.pussyhatproject.com)

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Wow. That’s a very large photo of my face. Second guessing that selection now.

I did find and attach buttons for my Gothic Lace cowl, and I’m delighted with how that turned out. I’ve already worn it to work and gotten several compliments on it.

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My only (very small) regret is that the silver buttons I chose, which I adore, are a bit heavy for the cowl, so it’s a little hard to wear. I very much want to make another one of these with lighter buttons.

Anyway, while I wait for my pink yarn to arrive, I needed something new and exciting for my weekend of knitting. Not only do I get Monday off for the Martin Luther King, Jr. day, but we also have an ice storm warning, so yay for three days of solid knitting! Last night I wound my Frolicking Feet gradient set and cast on for the Chevrione shawl.

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I didn’t get far because we started watching a movie and this is not movie-watching knitting. But I’m hoping to make good progress today! My only question is whether I should have started with the darkest teal instead of the lightest…hmm. What do you think?