Tag Archive | shawl knitting

FO Friday: We Belong Together

Okay, this is not a recent finish. I finished this shawl a few weeks ago at least, even blocked it at the time. But the weather was never good for me to take pretty pictures, what with a polar vortex and all that, plus life gets in the way sometimes. So today I thought I would share the final photos of my We Belong Together shawl, cast on in honor of Inauguration Day.

I loved this project. DK weight shawls knit up so quickly, and the pattern was interesting without being too taxing for pandemic-brain, so I just wanted to keep going and going. It blocked out wonderfully, too. The teal is Boss Babe from Forbidden Fiber and the purple is Orchid from Old Rusted Chair. Both are awesome!

Even though I didn’t share anything current today, I have been knitting a lot lately, a lot of stress knitting. I’m a bit in the weeds emotionally at the moment, maybe have been for a little while, and I’m at the point where I’m tired of myself so I’m sure the people I’m venting to are tired of me too, even though most of them have given no indication of it. But since I also get more emotional when depression is winning, I’ve lately found myself so full of gratitude and love for the people who do listen and offer love and support, and for my knitting groups which are so much more than “just” knitting groups. Knitting, guys. It’s just the best. And in that vein, here’s an article I saw this morning, an article about knitting and friendship and healing and all kinds of cool things. It’s written by Barbara Kingsolver, whose books I love. I had no idea she was a knitter; now I love her more.

Happy Friday, friends. Hope life is treating you well!

There’s a lesson in this

In my last post, I mentioned one of my new WIPs, the Water shawl that we’re doing as a Blogville KAL. Last night I was able to sit down and start working the lace short row section, and maybe I got off on the one wrong foot because she uses KT= knit stitch twisted and I don’t understand why she wouldn’t just say knit through the back loop (ktbl) if that’s what she means, but whatever. That’s easy enough. I got to short row five and things just weren’t right, I didn’t have enough stitches to complete the repeats before the previous turn, and I knew that wasn’t right. I tinked back two rows and tried again, same result. I messaged my Blogville friends to whine and ask them to see if the chart and written instructions match — maybe there was a mistake in the written rows that I could avoid by using the chart. When I couldn’t find an error in either my knitting or the pattern, I frogged the five rows of lace, back to the end of the garter stitch section. At least I was smart enough at that point to put in a lifeline!

I poured a glass of wine and started again, counting carefully and using stitch markers to denote my turns, and again when I got to the end of short row five, it didn’t match up. At that point, it was 9:15 at night so I put the shawl in time-out and finished my wine and went to bed.

This morning, I printed out the chart and the written instructions. I sat down with a cup of tea and compared them on row five. Yes, they matched. I looked at my row five — it wasn’t wrong. I tinked back my row five and examined row four, and I’ll damned if the mistake wasn’t right there: I’d missed the last repeat in row four. ARGH.

So why did I struggle so much last night? I’d put in a day’s work, I was tired, I had wine, the boys were watching TV, it was darker. This morning, it was before work, I was less-tired (I mean, I’m always tired on some level, you know), the boys were upstairs so it was quiet, I had tea instead of wine, and I was at the dining room table with big windows letting in good sunshine. And, maybe most importantly, I’d taken a break, had some space between me and the frustration. So I guess when they say things like, “Things will look better tomorrow,” sometimes it’s true.

The bonus is that I got to be the guinea pig making life easier for my Blogville buddies, and anyone else wanting to knit the Water shawl (Rav link): KT = ktbl, use lifelines before each short row section, use stitch markers, count carefully, each short row turns two stitches before the previous turn, do a Wrap & Turn instead of just Turning to avoid big holes.

Happy Friday, friends.

Final FO of February: Madness!

Today is the last day of February and that’s a little bonkers — how did this month go so quickly?? I’ve got one more finished object to share, my Mad Mini Wrap, and there was a bit of madness there at the end!

That final color, the green, was just for the border, and when I got to where the pattern told me to bind off, I still had quite a bit left. I didn’t want the yarn to go to waste so I added a few more rows. Sadly, I misjudged the amount and I was about 3/4 of the way through the bind-off when I admitted to myself that I didn’t have enough yarn and had to unknit the bind-off and the last row. It’s done now, though, blocked and everything. Blocking definitely helped this one get to a wearable length, though it’s still a tad shorter than I usually prefer. The pattern is the Mad Mini Wrap (Rav link) and I used the same yarn, same colors used in the original design, the 5 mini-skein pack of Mad Hatter Sport from Frabjous Fibers in Mice in the Tea. I found the yarn quite delightful, all supple and bouncy, and the colors are gorgeous.

I was hoping I’d get my sock done before the end of the month too, but spent too much time yesterday doing stuff around the house, preparing for some renovations. A necessary evil, I suppose, but today is for fun!

FO Friday: Hopes and Feathers

My second finished object of 2021 is another carryover from last year, my Hopes & Feathers shawl. I started this in September and at first I was addicted to it, but then like many of my bigger WIPs, it got set aside when I got bored. Thank goodness I have these bouts of finish-itis!

It has a fun zigzag pattern done with slipped stitches. Mine isn’t super noticeable because my yarns are so close together in color; I think it would be fun to use two yarns that contrast a lot. But it was fun to knit and it made an enormous shawl!

The yarn is from LoloDidIt but I’m afraid I’ve forgotten which base. They’re sparkly so I’m guessing Sparkle Sock, and the colors are Wonka (purple) and Beetlejuice (purple/gray/green variegated). The yarn is gorgeous, a treat to knit with, and blocked out beautifully. I’m learning that the sock yarns with stellina make my feet itch, so I’m very glad I made a shawl with these instead! And I used 792 yards, enough left over to add some to my scrappy blanket.

Happy Friday, friends!

What was I thinking?

My other shawl got done sooner than I anticipated, and was blocking by late Saturday morning. Did I then wind my Rasta? Nope. Did I start my LEGO set? Nope. I was good and heeded the hint of finish-itis that’s starting to bloom, and I picked up my Mermaid Shawl. I’ve been working on it all weekend and today I faded in the last color. But good grief, this shawl is killing me.

It’s endless. I have two more short-row wedges left to knit, then an I-cord bind off. So the next time I think I want to make a big five-skein shawl, just slap me, okay? Or at least tell me to use purples and pinks! The silver lining is that the last color is the best, the deep blue-purple meant to represent the deepest part of the ocean. And darn it, I do love an I-cord bind off once it’s done.

I also managed to bake peanut butter chocolate chip bread and start the new Jodi Picoult book this weekend. If only we could squeeze in one more day before Monday!

Friday Feelings

I have zero FOs this Friday. Not really any that are very close either, though if I have some solid knitting time this weekend, I might get through one of them. I’ve been focusing on a shawl with some new review yarn (early review: it’s scrummy, as Mary Berry would say). It’s aran weight so you’d think it would go quickly, but my brain has been tired at night the last couple of weeks. It’s a good thing, though: I’ve been doing more writing/ content creation stuff at work, and even though it’s taxing my brain, it’s so good. It’s so much more fulfilling than just doing social media stuff. So cross your fingers that this trend carries on!

Anyway, shawl. It’s also a black yarn, and I am old so my eyes need good light for black yarn, especially when it comes to lace. Last night I was zooming along but lost track of which row I was on, and I just didn’t want to deal with trying to read my stitches in black yarn at 9 pm. That’s my goal for today, because I’m on the home stretch with this one and I’d like to be done soon!

You might think I’d like to be done so I can return to current WIPs. Maybe. Or maybe I want to cast on something with some new Malabrigo Rasta??

A cowl with this would be fast! And perfect for the fall weather that’s looming. But yes, I’d also go back to WIPs. I’d like to finish Tubbs so I can move on to new sock yarn. I always have new sock yarn calling my name. And I’ll also spend some time on my new LEGO set. I’ve embraced LEGOs as therapy for when I’m feeling anxious or stressed and I have a big new set waiting for me!

Honestly, I struggle with buying these, as much as I love them. I abhor what JKR has said about trans people, and I worry about doing anything that might support her or make other people think I support the views she espouses. But I have so much love for the HP world itself, the movies are serious comfort movies for me, and I have a lot of great memories with my kids that involve the HP world. So I am conflicted, seriously conflicted. I was talking about it at dinner the other day, and the boy had a great suggestion: donate to a trans rights organization as well.

Today I googled “trans rights charities” and donated to GLSEN: “GLSEN believes that every student has the right to a safe, supportive, and LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 education. We are a national network of educators, students, and local GLSEN Chapters working to make this right a reality.”

They’re both small actions in the grand scheme of things, but I do like the balance I feel with the donation.

That’s my weekend sorted: knitting and LEGOs! Fine, and a few chores too. Anyone doing anything fun this weekend?

WIP Thursday

I missed WIP Wednesday, so you’ll get the WIP without the alliteration today. Late last week, or maybe last Saturday, I cast on for a new shawl with my new yarn. This is the Hope and Feathers shawl with my Lolodidit Halloween yarn. I really did think this was going to be sock yarn when I ordered it but boy was I wrong, because it’s PERFECT in this pattern.

My zigzags don’t seem as prominent as the ones in the original, but I’m sure that’s just because there’s not as much contrast in my yarns and I still think it looks awesome. And this pattern is seriously addictive. I worked on it all of Saturday and Sunday, until I got distracted by my other projects on Monday. I’m eager to get back to it!

I also got a little bit of happy mail earlier this week, a skein of yarn that I ordered from Bumblebee Acres Farm back in August. It came with a set of mini minis, and I find them adorable but am not quite sure what to do with them.

Any suggestions?

FO Friday: Hundred Acre Wood

Today I will share the pretty photos of my latest shawl, the Hundred Acre Wood shawl. I am very glad this shawl is done. This is one of those projects where you look at it and think, “Well, at least the yarn is gorgeous.”

So let’s start with that: the yarn is from Molly Girl Yarn and is a set of Bass Line Minis in Jazz. I love these colors. LOVE them.

And honestly, the pattern was good too! I mean, after the first lace section, I looked at and it was clearly wonky and I thought, huh, I have NO idea what I did wrong. After the second one, I realized I was doing my yarnovers wrong, and on the next row they were sliding to the wrong place and I was knitting them in the wrong order. But I didn’t figure it out until late in the second lace row and by then I just shrugged. Whatever. Little eyelets, nobody around me will know what they’re supposed to look like.

Like I mentioned before, the pattern was nicely marked to show where you should have used certain percentages, so it was easy for me to mark each 20% section for each mini skein. The problem came when I had more yarn than each section called for, and I tried to get creative to use as much as possible. It went fine until the last section, and I tried to use up the pink, and … well, math is not my strongest subject. I added a few simple eyelet rows, all along weighing to make sure I saved enough (5%) for the picot bindoff. It didn’t seem like much but that’s what the pattern said, right?

Wrong. The pattern said 5% of your total yarn, not 5% of that one mini skein. Unfortunately, that light bulb didn’t go on until I had already started the picot bindoff and it was very clear I wouldn’t have enough yarn. ARGH. Of course that’s how this project would end. I unbound my cute little picots and did a normal, plain bind-off, and realized I should have just done a couple of garter rows at the end instead of eyelet rows because now the edge wants to curl even after a good blocking.

Sigh. It’s fine, though, really. Because look that that up there. It’s pretty. No one else will see any of my errors. But just in case you want to see what it’s really supposed to look like, or maybe you want to make your own correct version, here’s the Ravelry pattern link. This is the small size, which does work quite well for mini skeins, if you do it right, that is.

I’ll be casting on a new shawl this weekend; here’s hoping it goes better! Happy Friday, friends!

Oops a new shawl

Okay, first things first: this is my first time trying the new WordPress editor and it’s weird. I mean, it’s fine, but it’s different and I’m a little slow trying to figure it all out. Hopefully we’ll get it all done right in the end.

Right, then, shawl? Yes, shawl. Yesterday afternoon my SIL texted me a photo of a shawl pattern she’d found that she was thinking of using with some of her amazing thrift-store yarn. And honestly, my first thought was that it would be perfect for the yarn I just got yesterday!

This is from Lyrical Knits and It’s done with slipped stitches, which I can totally manage, and it’s even free if you sign up for her newsletter. Since I’m trying to find new places to get patterns, I was more than happy to sign up for the newsletter. Follow this link to find links to the pattern on Rav or Payhip or instructions on getting the pattern for free.

Just what I needed, another project to add to my large pile of WIPs!

No FO Friday

It’s close, but not finished yet. I made it to the final color of my Hundred Acre Wood shawl, and the pink just pulls it all together and makes it perfect!

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The “whatever” theme continues with this color: I over-estimated how much blue I had left, so I wasn’t able to do a baby fade with the blue and pink. And since I used more of the previous colors, I have more pink left over than I do rows in the pattern. I’ve added two rows already and plan to add at least two more. I’ve got my scale handy and will keep weighing to make sure I save enough for a picot bind-off, but I definitely want to use as much of the pink as possible.

Also, I need to show off my new pins! Katrinkles is doing a gift with purchase, where you get a free Vote pin with every purchase until November 3rd. I wanted a Vote pin for my Empower People cowl anyway, so this worked out perfectly.

ea54ad64-2644-4dc8-8e91-a4a9b212ac12I love them both! And the sheep pin has a magnet on the back, rather than a pin, which I think is a brilliant idea. I think it’s because they were more or less intended as name tags, but I just wanted a wee bonny sheep for myself.

Happy Friday!