Tag Archive | shawls

FO Friday: Water Shawl

Oh happy day! It is Friday, it is sunny, and I have a new shawl to show off! This was our Blogville KAL led by Alissa at Headknits. It started on March 1 and even though we have until the end of … um, June, maybe, I finished mine Wednesday and blocked it yesterday. It was greatly helped by two things: I am currently a monogamous knitter, and the boy has been re-watching Doctor Who in the evenings. I’ve seen those enough that I can focus on the pattern and just half-listen to the Doctor. (Tennant is my favorite but Matt Smith is a VERY CLOSE second. And Smith with River and the Ponds is probably the best combo ever.) Without further ado, here is my Water shawl:

I know, it looks nothing like water, being this dark pink color, but it called for two skeins and I had two skeins of this that needed a pattern and I couldn’t justify buying two new skeins just for this. The yarn is from The Periwinkle Sheep. I don’t remember the base name but it’s 100% merino and the color is Fuschia Agate and it’s gorgeous, so rich and vivid. It didn’t lose any color when I blocked it, either!

The pattern is Water by Soft Sweater Knits. Though she has several patterns available on Payhip, Water is only on Ravelry at the moment. There were a few tricky bits in there for me, a couple of instructions that weren’t clear for me, which is why I was so glad this was a KAL and I could ask the other girls what I was supposed to do! The lace sections are lace short rows, which was only tricky the first time around. I did use stitch markers each time I turned, and I definitely recommend lifelines before each lace section. But once I got into the flow of it, I sailed along smoothly! (Hee hee, see what I did there?) Well, until the bind off, which is apparently a knitted on bind off or some such nonsense and took ages but my goodness, it sure is worth it in the end. Look at those little loopy bits!

I used around 600 yards and probably could have gotten another pattern repeat in, but it’s plenty big enough as is, very close to the ideal shawl size for me. It is kind of hard to show the full size of it; I don’t have a great way to display it stretched out.

But the branches of my beautiful magnolia tree seem as good a place as any! Happy Friday, friends.

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!

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: Mermaid Shawl

Back in 2017, I fell in love with a book called The Mermaid’s Daughter by Ann Claycomb. It’s about a descendent of the Little Mermaid from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, and it’s unusual and engrossing and I loved it. There was one description of the main character going into the sea and how the colors changed as she went further down, and I needed to make a shawl based on that. So in 2018, I found five colors from Dream in Color that were perfect.

It took a while longer to find a pattern, and when I did, I cast on twice, starting with different colors, but it just wasn’t right. So the yarn waited patiently for another couple of years, before I found the Sea Swell shawl (Rav link) by Westknits in May. And now? Now it’s DONE!

I don’t have a lot to say about this shawl except that it’s massive and it felt like it took forever to knit, much longer than five months. I wish the darkest blue/purple at the edge was more prominent but overall it’s what I wanted. The swells are great, and I think the short rows where two colors fade together are really cool.

I’m really glad I knit this but I’m also really glad it’s done. I’m not sure five-skein shawls are my jam!

Happy Friday, friends.

FO Friday: Manos Alegria Grande

I’m excited to share my latest FO with you today! I got a chance to review some Manos del Uruguay Alegria Grande and I’m always up for that challenge. It’s a yarn I’ve used before, but they’ve released some new semi-solid and space-dyed colorways. I selected one of the resist-dyed colors called Gleam, which is black with purple specks. (Shocker, I know.)

Okay, first of all, what the heck do ‘space-dyed’ and ‘resist-dyed’ mean? I had no idea. The internet tells me that space dyeing is when multiple colors are applied along the length of the yarn which may or may not repeat after a fixed interval. Resist-dyeing is when a substance that is impervious to the dye blocks its access to certain areas of the fabric, while other parts are free to take up the color of the dye. Hm, okay, that sounds fun, and it sure makes some cool yarn. And that cool yarn can make a really cool shawl — look at how the speckles change direction between each section!

For my two skeins, I chose a pattern from Manos called the Serenità Shawl. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry and was designed for two skeins of Alegria Grande. I did the pattern as written and ended up with just a few yards left over. It’s a fun pattern that switches from stockinette to garter to lace.

Knitting with the Grande was a delight, as Manos always is. The Grande is a smooth, thick, squishy yarn. But here’s what I never realized before: it’s machine washable! It’s 75% merino wool and 25% polyamide, which means you could make awesome sweaters in gorgeous colors that are easy to care for! This has opened up a lot of new opportunities for me to use the Alegria yarns in my knitting.

For shawls, I’ll still hand wash, though. This one is a small shawl so I blocked it as aggressively as I could, and wow, the lace opened up beautifully. It’s got a great drape and I’m happy to wear it next to my skin, which occasionally has some wool sensitivities.

I did come across two frayed spots, one in each skein, where the yarn had thinned. I didn’t want to risk it breaking unexpectedly so I did break the yarn to skip those spots. I ended up with a couple of extra ends to weave in but I feel like those two spots are totally within reason. There are so many good reasons to knit with Manos (pretty! soft! colors!) but don’t forget the cool stuff like supporting the skilled women in Uruguay who produce the yarn, or that Manos is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization. It’s just a company I feel good supporting, and you can learn more here.

Thanks so much to Stitchcraft Marketing and Fairmount Fibers, the North American distributor of Manos del Urugay, who sent me two skeins of Alegria Grande (retail value: $52) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

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!

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: Olive Pink shawl

Yes, it’s Monday and that’s supposed to be sock day here in Blogville, but weird monogamous knitter me doesn’t have any sock progress to share. I finished my Olive Pink shawl on Saturday morning, blocked it that day, and yesterday took it out for a photo shoot. It was a challenge because it is so BIG.

4B30C783-12CA-4886-821F-C4A75A6725A6This isn’t even the whole thing. From tip to tip, this baby is over eight feet long. I have no idea how that happened, except, you know, gauge. If you don’t count the angled ends, it’s about 70″ long, which is much closer to the pattern’s 73″ length. Also, I used less of Color B and more of Color C than the pattern said I would, and again, no idea. Whatever. That’s kind of what I love about this pattern: it works really well with “whatever”. I made some mistakes? Whatever. I added an extra two rows to that section? Whatever. I did the final border wrong for the first two rows? Whatever. It’s all good!

F380335C-1B98-4D4E-9A7D-013983651758_1_201_aBecause it doesn’t really matter! There are so many patterns and textures and colors that no one knows what it’s “supposed” to look like, and no one is going to look closely to try to find mistakes. And if anyone where to do that, that would be weird and I don’t really care what they think anyway.

This was a fun pattern to knit, at least for the first 75% of it. By section 16, I was getting a little tired of it, but it was fun to use so many colors and stitches. The yarn is SoLo from LoloDidIt and I really like it. It’s 100% and has a little bit of a halo, which was only a problem when I was knitting with two colors and the yarns would get wound around each other and stick together. But it’s super soft, doesn’t bleed, and blocks out beautifully.

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The original pattern was a collaboration between Casapinka and Lolabean Yarn Co. and you can find it here on Ravelry. Note: I do have Classic Ravelry turned on. (Side note: I’d had NuRav on since they switched and it didn’t bother me, though Rav’s reaction, or lack thereof, to all the issues others were having bothered me a lot. This morning I turned on Classic Rav before adding the link here, and it was like a sigh of relief. I hadn’t realized how much I preferred the look of the original!)

With this done, I’m off to finish an almost-complete cowl now. Hope you’re all staying mostly well and happy!