Tag Archive | shawl knitting

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!

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.

Wait, it’s Tuesday?

I saw someone’s Sock It To Me Monday post last night and was genuinely confused — I was sure yesterday was Sunday! Especially without a work schedule to ground me, my days are all muddled now. But apparently today is Tuesday so I’ll show you my finished sock a day late.

img_7856This is the Orange Jellyfish Dream yarn in my go-to sock recipe: ribbed leg, stockinette foot. I did most of the toe while on a Skype call Saturday night so it might not be exactly correct, but it’s toe-shaped so that’s a plus.

But the WIP getting all my attention right now is my new Olive Pink shawl. This is with four colors of SoLo from Lolo Did It and I am loving this project.

8D9E7CA3-73D6-4324-94EB-05B859C10924_1_201_aThere are so many color changes and stitch changes that it keeps me going to get to the next section, and I’m really pleased with the colors I chose. I’m eager to get a little more green in there, though. Even though this is 20 sections and I’m only on the sixth, I have a feeling this shawl will fly off my needles. Especially since I might need some comfort knitting! The kids have both left today, on the way to Colorado. The girl needed to move out of her old apartment and into her new one, and the boy was desperate to get out of the house, so he joined her to help clean and pack. It’ll be a big change after having her home with us for about six weeks. I’d gotten used to it and we were all having a lot of fun, so I’m a bit blue today. But, c’est la vie, right?

Happy Tuesday, friends. Hope you have better weather than our gray skies and rain!

Finished: Dowland Shawl

My Dowland shawl got blocked this weekend, and after the boy mowed the backyard I went out for a photo shoot. It posed beautifully, too. Prepare yourself for a photo-heavy post because it was hard to choose which ones to omit!

45957989-6B81-4A3B-BD04-6BAE994D1CBC_1_201_aI’ll start with the obvious: this is a huge shawl. I used all but 14 grams of my two skeins of Kitty Pride Fibers’ Ocicat Fingering in the color A Bonny Lass. The pattern says you can repeat section eight up to two times to use up more yarn, so I repeated it once. I didn’t want to risk running out of yarn, though I think I could have squeaked through just fine.

The last lace section gave me fits. I had to rip out thirty rows of lace the first time I knit it. The second time went better, but I still had three rows where I ended up off by one stitch, and I just fudged it. I couldn’t stand any more tinking or frogging. I did spot one of the errors when I was pinning it out, where the yarnovers didn’t line up just right, but no one will ever notice it while I’m wearing it, and it doesn’t detract from the overall beauty of the lace pattern.

After I had it all pinned out, I realized I did not pin the scallops correctly, so there are more scallops and they’re closer together than the designer intended. But by then, it was mostly dry and again, I wanted this shawl just to be done, so I’m calling it a design feature.

726BB99D-595F-4B7D-BBF6-78246BD7FF75_1_201_a

This was not an easy knit for me but it might be one of my proudest knitting moments. It turned out to be exactly what I wanted from my Bonny yarn, and I can’t wait to have somewhere to wear it to show it off!

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.