Tag Archive | shawl knitting

All about that Fade

Somehow I have turned into a monogamous knitter. It’s the weirdest thing. But it means that I’ve been working solely on my Find Your Fade shawl and as of last night, I am in section three. Here’s how it looked at the end of section two:

img_4086Weird, right? Like a thong, or a uterus, or ram horns. But I am assured that this is how it looks for everyone and it will grow up to become a normal Find Your Fade shawl. I’ve even planned out my fade sequence, thanks to the little graphic at the end of the pattern.

I had to color it twice to get the sequence I liked best, which is the one on the left that will allow me to use as much yellow as possible. But I have a confession to make: the Fade is a little…boring? I hate to say that because it’s such a popular pattern. Maybe it’s just because it’s not a color I like that much and I’m in a big garter section. Surely it’ll perk up once I get back to lace and start fading in a new color.

And in other news, Duncan has not reached the point of not chewing things up.

img_4088In his defense, this bed already had some holes from a few months ago when I tested Duncan the first time, so he might have just expanded on his earlier work. Still, he’s back to his beach towel on the floor for now.

Ready to Fade!

My new yarn arrived yesterday, a set of four skeins from Bumblebee Acres Farm in a Game of Thrones-inspired fade. My colors are Lannister themed but they have plenty of other choices. This is for my commissioned shawl and even though these aren’t my colors at all, I’m excited to make it for her. The yarn is called Butter Sock, with 70% Merino, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere, so it’ll be a treat to knit with and cozy to wear. (I’m pretty sure she’s never going to see this blog, so hopefully it will be a surprise when it’s done.)

I chose the Find Your Fade pattern so she’ll have a big squishy wrap to keep her warm, and because I’ve been wanting to make one for ages. I cast on at first with the recommended size four needles, but quickly decided I wanted a tighter gauge and started over with size three. Warmth is key, and I think it will still come out plenty big! I haven’t gotten very far, maybe 15 rows in, and I haven’t planned out the color changes for my four-color fade yet. I need another weekend to spend with my Fade!

img_4068

We’ve had days and days of rain and gray skies, which makes me just want to curl up and knit even more than usual. Hope you’ve got sunshine where you are!

 

I’m getting there

Last night I pulled out my naughty shawl, the one that had the stitch count issues the other day. I counted my stitches, all 383 of them, and realized that I was only off by one stitch at that point. I spread out the lace as best I could on the cord, and the lace pattern looked okay, not all wonky, so I decided it would be fine to continue on and not frog back to before all the craziness started. I got about six rows done by 9 pm, and I really wanted to finish since I only had six rows left before the bind off, but with each row almost 400 stitches, it wasn’t gonna happen. But it should be done and blocking by end of day Sunday!

779a3eb7-fc83-4027-8119-ab80c4099f99I’ve been making sock progress too, during my lunch breaks at work. This is my Pickle Juice/Belle Star sock, and I’m past the gusset now.

img_4024

It’s a good thing this shawl is almost done, because I have five skeins on the way for the commissioned shawl for my work friend, so I’ll be able to switch my focus to that. But there’s also a little short-sleeved sweater I want to knit, and I have a second sock in my WIPs, and my Changing Staircases shawl, plus this sock and its mate. Clearly I need more knitting time in my life!

 

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!

fullsizeoutput_20bd

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 โ€œknitโ€ 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

fullsizeoutput_20bc

Thank you toย Stitchcraft Marketingย 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.

WIP Wednesday

It is Wednesday, right? It feels like it should be Friday but alas, two more days to go. Still, there is some good news here: I finished a project last night! The birthday socks, which are to be gifted on Saturday, only need some ends woven in and then they can be wrapped.

img_3965My goal was “complementary” rather than matching, and I think I succeeded at that. Here’s hoping she’s pleased with them! I especially like the second one (on the right) where I striped the two yarns together before switching to the variegated for the toe. Wish I’d done it on both!

But I don’t just have a FO, I have a new WIP to share too. This one is a selfish knitting project (hooray) with yarn that was a gift from a friend. We’re both knitting the Changing Staircases shawl and I got a good start last night.

img_3966I can tell this is going to be a fun knit! It alternates between simple lace and stockinette, so it’s quick to memorize but switches so often that you don’t get bored.

And the best news of the day: the girl is home for the summer! I’m looking forward to having her around again for a couple of months at least.

River Fleet Socks

The pattern for the gorgeous River Fleet Socks is live now! I test knit the pattern for Under the Olive Tree Knits and had no issues. It’s well-written and clear, has tutorials for some of the trickier stuff, and it’s really not as hard as it looks!

To me, it looks like a cable running down the front, but there is no cabling, just increases and decreases, so this would be great for an advanced beginner or intermediate knitter. I’ve got the second sock on the needles and hope to finish soon, especially now that I’ve finished my Delphia shawl!

adcb63ef-787a-45be-ab0b-a44d805fcfce

The picot bind off took about two and a half hours, but I think it will be worth it. I had to save my end-weaving for another night, so I got that done last night, but blocking will wait for the weekend when I have plenty of time to get all those cute little picots pinned out perfectly!

 

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!

fullsizeoutput_208d

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?