Tag Archive | shawl knitting

Weekend Knitting, plus Yarn

Thanks to my girl and her band activities, I got to spend the entire day Saturday knitting. Well, at least as much as my hands could tolerate. I had to take breaks periodically, of course. But I was focused on one goal: finish this second sock, which is a Christmas gift. I got pretty close.

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Since then I’ve gotten farther, and I only have about an inch left before starting the toe. This one will be a FO before you know it!

Her competition was out of town, which meant a LYS stop for me. We went to True Blewe Yarns in Columbia, MO and I found lots of really pretty yarns. Lots of yarns I appreciated, several I picked up and carried around, but it was the strangest thing: most of them weren’t calling my name. I didn’t feel like buying yarn just to buy pretty yarn. (GASP! Am I feverish??) I want more sock yarn, but I want self-striping, and I want more colors, not just purple. I have quite a bit of purplish fingering weight, waiting to be made into shawls, so I didn’t really want to get more. I don’t know, I guess I just wasn’t really feeling it that day.

Okay, that’s not completely true, because you KNOW I didn’t walk out empty handed. I thought about the pieces I’ve wished I had to wear, and chose these accordingly.

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I’ve used the super bulky Spuntaneous and LOVE it, but hadn’t seen the worsted version before. I’ve wanted another neutral gray cowl, so I’ve got enough here to make a lovely long one to double.

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I don’t have a lot of blue clothes in my closet. I don’t like blue things in my house, really. So why have I been drawn to this vivid royal blue lately?? No idea, but I decided to give in. This one is already on the needles and on its way to becoming a Squishy Soft Cowl, like the dark green one I just made.

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I’ve bought this Wonder Woman yarn before. I made a gorgeous cowl, put it on Etsy as a showpiece, thinking it would never sell, and it sold! So I had to send it away, and that made me sad. Now I can make something for myself to keep.

I have one more new project on my needles. This is a Be Simple Variations with my new green Classic Elite Magnolia. I’m already loving it.

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Hope your weekend was as productive as mine!

 

Rainbow Warrior

I have another finished shawl! This week I bound off my Rainbow Warrior shawl, all 440+ stitches in a beautiful picot edge. As tedious as a picot bind-off is, I do so love the look, and it was the perfect finish for this shawl.

I’d wanted to make this shawl for months, but I wanted to do it just like the original, which meant waiting until I could justify buying the Miss Babs yarn. And a couple of times I tried, but the Perfectly Wreckless color was sold out, and I had to wait for that yarn. I just couldn’t make it with another color, I loved the pink variegated with the gray so much. Finally, I had two skeins of Yummy 2-ply in my hands: Perfectly Wreckless and Thunderstorm.

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This was so much fun to knit. I loved balancing the garter stitch with the slipped stitch sections, how there was repetition that soothed me but also some variation to keep me interested. I loved seeing the colors pop out through the gray slipped stitches. My skein of Perfectly Wreckless had more black than I would have chosen, but overall I’m still delighted with it. I loved watching it grow each time I got to an increase row, until near the end when it was all squished together on the needles. I knew it was going to be quite large, but I couldn’t quite get a sense of how large, because I couldn’t spread it out enough.

img_4660Another thing I love about this pattern: it looks awesome on both sides. The “right” side shows off the slipped stitches and is more subtle with the colors, but the “wrong” side is just as delightful, with the colors on full display.


 The pattern calls for eight slipped-stitch sections, but as I got near the end of the seventh, I realized my contrasting color was getting alarmingly low. I really didn’t want to play yarn chicken and have to frog back, and I could tell the shawl was already big enough to be wearable, so I ended with the seventh section. Since I still had plenty of gray left, I did the first two rows of the MC in section eight before starting the bind-off, to give a bigger, more defined final edge. I love this shawl. It’s exactly what I wanted it to be. 

This is a pattern I’d love to make again, as soon as I decide on another color combination. The possibilities are endless! Have you made one yet?

Wonder Woman Wrap

It’s done it’s done it’s DONE! My beautiful Wonder Woman wrap took about six weeks to make, mostly because I had to take breaks from the long stretches of garter stitch toward the end. The pattern is the fantastic free Wonder Woman Wrap by Carissa Browning, and I used Malabrigo Sock in colors Ravelry Red and Ochre.

This was my first adventure with wrap and turn short rows, and I was apprehensive at first. But once I started doing it, I realized they’re actually super simple. (Seems like that’s true for all the things in knitting I think are scary.) Somehow I did end up with wrong stitch counts after each short row section, but it wasn’t enough to mess up the pattern. The first time it happened, I adjusted with an extra KFB or two, but after that I just kind of rolled with it.

Earlier this week I made it to the end of the last yellow stripe and realized how close I was to the end, and that gave me the push I needed to power through. Yesterday I took a sick day from work (remember I mentioned poison ivy? It’s all over my chin and it was oozing and hideous, and I was miserable and needed to go to the doctor anyway to get steroids to make it stop. It’s even on my FINGERS. Thankfully it’s just a few tiny spots and the steroid cream I got helped control the itch there so I could keep knitting.) and in between loads of laundry to get rid of all the poison ivy plague, I sat and knit, all day long. By the time the husband got home from work, I was binding off.

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This wasn’t my favorite thing to knit. I still don’t love short rows, and the long rows of garter stitch got a bit tedious. But then it’s done and it’s so beautiful. I love it so much. I want to wear it tonight when we go to the symphony. And every day after that. Forever. This will be my Halloween costume.

WIP Wednesday

Okay, so I haven’t gone off socks completely. I got back in the groove of my pretty purple and pink sock, and made it past the heel. And since I frogged and restarted with a different pattern (my fave, Vanilla Latte socks) I’m not even dreading the second sock! In fact, I’m wanting to get this pair finished quickly so I can wear them!Also, I have not finished Wonder Woman yet. I knit on it a lot over the weekend and made good progress…

But by Sunday afternoon I needed a break, and as I predicted, I got distracted by the purple yarn. I have four new skeins of purple to play with, and I chose the Expression Fiber Arts yarn solely because it was the one skein of worsted, and I wanted something to balance all the fingering weight yarn I’ve been knitting with. I found a pattern designed for this yarn, a lovely simple cowl that should show off the yarn and be super cozy to wear.Pattern is called the Chocolate Diamonds Cowl, and it’s free and really simple. The yarn is, of course, delicious to knit with, since it’s 50% silk and 50% wool. I’m guessing this cowl will get a lot of wear this winter!

Working on Wonder Woman

I’ve been knitting on a sock during lunches, but that’s not the fun knitting. The fun knitting has been the Wonder Woman Wrap, which has grown significantly this week! I managed to get both side stripes done, short rows and all. I was putting it off, afraid it would be tricky or confusing or time-consuming, and it wasn’t at all. The first side went faster, since it was the knit side.

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I still don’t love knitting them, but I will concede that they are not difficult, and they can help create some awesome shapes.

The second side was all purling, and my gauge was slightly different. But once it’s all knit, I don’t think it’ll be too noticeable. Right now I just wish I could spread it out and see how it’s coming along! This is as good as it gets, though:

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Maybe I can finish it this week…if I don’t get distracted by all the purple yarn I wound yesterday, that is!

Warrior Shawls

I have gone off socks, it would seem. Don’t worry, it’s temporary, I’m sure. I’ve been working on a pair that has not been very fun, not intuitive for me, which means I have to put more mental effort into it and then it’s not good travel/lunch time knitting. And the pattern insisted I cast on more stitches than I usually do, so I’m worried it won’t even fit after going through all the trouble. And even if it does, I’m already dreading the second sock. And now that I’ve verbalized all of that, I’m wondering why I’m not frogging it and picking another pattern. I did use a hot pink contrast yarn, and I cut the yarn after the cuff and heel, but if I reused it for a pattern with fewer stitches, it should be fine, right? Right. Anyway, I needed a break from socks, so I’ll worry about that another day.

In the meantime, I’ve got a mindless cowl on my needles. It’s the Chunky Basketweave Cowl and I’m using gorgeous ivory Ella Rae Cozy Alpaca, which is some of the softest, squishiest yarn I’ve used in a long time. It is very splitty, but I can work with that. I want it to be long enough to wear doubled, and I’m using smaller needles to make a denser fabric, so I started out with a cast-on of 180 stitches. That was too short, so I frogged and started over with 200, and that should be just right. I can’t wait to wear it when the temperatures cool down!


And for fun knitting that makes me think, I’ve been working on my two new shawls. The Rainbow Warrior is addictive. I’m so glad I waited until I could get the beautiful Miss Babs yarn, because I’m in love with how it’s turning out. I’m already planning other color variations! (Gray with purple variegated and black with rainbow are the top two, I think.) I’m on slipped-stitch section four of eight, so it’s coming along nicely.


Then there’s Wonder Woman. I took a short break because it was time to do wrap & turn short rows, which I’d never done before, and I was a little nervous. But last night I decided I didn’t want to wait forever for my wrap and just pushed through and did it, and it looks great, IMHO! It wasn’t hard at all, just fiddly, and I had to really pay attention to where I was in the pattern. I did mess up, because I somehow hecked up my stitch counts (off by three stitches), so the row after my triangle was a little tricky as I fudged to get the counts back to where they were supposed to be. I think it’ll be okay. Thank goodness it’s just garter stitch and not a complicated lace pattern.


So those are my WIPs for the week, but I’m already itching to cast on another new shawl! And as soon as the temps drop a little bit more, it’ll be time to pull out the alpaca for cowls. Fall is the best time for knitters, I think. So much delicious anticipation!

More birthday fun

One last birthday photo, because I can’t not share the super awesome cake one of my coworkers made. It was a chocolate cake covered in shiny purple glaze!! It was gorgeous.

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Okay, wait, one more. Because a couple of other awesome coworkers gave me some beautiful knitting needles that look like magic wands!! (Again, purple.)

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They gave me yarn too (Madelinetosh! HELLO!), but it hasn’t come yet. Seriously, do I have the best coworkers or what?? Another one gave me delicious chocolates, but those didn’t last long enough for a photo!

I’ve also had some good knitting time this week and I’ve cast on two new shawls. I was finally able to get yarn to make the Wonder Woman wrap, hooray!

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I chose Malabrigo Sock yarn in Ravelry Red and Ochre. I’ve cast on and done the easy first section, and am loving it so far. Now I need to move on to the scary part, which has wrap & turn short rows, which I’ve never done before. It’ll be fine, though. Fine. Just fine.

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Did you notice? I’m using Wonder Woman stitch markers too! Love them!

And this morning, I cast on for the Rainbow Warrior by Casapinka. I’ve been wanting to make this shawl for ages, but I wanted to do it with the Miss Babs yarn, just like the original, and I could never bring myself to order the yarn. Thanks to birthday money, I was finally able to place the order. And along with an adorable little mini-skein and three stitch markers, I got two skeins of Yummy 2-play, one in Perfectly Wreckless and one in Thunderstorm.

I’m pretty sure this will be a quick, fun knit. I’m already loving it and can’t wait to go back! How do I choose which awesome shawl to work on??

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Plus I want to cast on more things. Really I just want to cast on ALL the things right now. But hopefully I can contain myself to two shawls at a time. More might be overwhelming!

Duncan is settling in nicely. He’s feeling more comfortable, which is mostly good. He’s not quite as mellow and easy-going as he was the first couple of days. In fact, he can be rather ornery and mischievous, both with us and the other dogs. His appetite also grew noticeably, and he’s much more playful and spunky that I thought at first. He’s making the other two play much more than they’re used to, so at least they’re getting worn out. I’m having a marvelous time watching them all interact, and I’m so glad I was able to convince the husband to add just one more dog to the pack.

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Happy weekend, friends!