Tag Archive | shawls

Two of a Kind

I have two shawl projects on my needles, one fingering weight and one sport weight. One is garter stitch and one is stockinette. But both started with a few stitches and a garter tab, and increased six stitches every two rows to just over 260 stitches. And both seemed to take FOREVER. At first it was relaxing, just la-di-da knitting along, but then it became very OMG am I there yet?? Well! After this weekend, I am there on both of them!

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Now I get to move on to the fun lace sections! The top is my test knit, so no pattern to share yet, but the yarn is Araucania Huasco. The bottom is Late Harvest in the new Manos del Uruguay Feliz yarn, color Wildflowers.

I was outside photographing a different project and took the time to snap a few photos of the dogs too. Jack may be my favorite but Duncan is so photogenic and handsome!

Grace didn’t stand still long enough for a good photo, and Jack…well, here’s Jack.

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After a couple of hours outside, we’re all happy to chill on the couches for a while. I wonder how much lace I can get done tonight?

Review: Zen Yarn Garden

What’s your favorite splurge yarn? Mine is now the Serenity line from Zen Yarn Garden! I got to test a 3-skein kit of Serenity 20 Fingering and OMG I’m in love!!

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I made Stephen West’s Dotted Rays – Speckled Fade shawl. This was one of my favorite pieces ever to knit, and I think it will be a favorite to wear too.

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ARGH it’s so gorgeous I can’t stand it! I really wanted the chevron edge, but I didn’t plan my yardage correctly and ran out too soon. I even had to use a bit of the creamy speckle for the i-cord bindoff when I ran out of the purple. And yet I don’t care a bit because it’s fabulous as is. I think most of you already know the brilliance that is Westknits, so I won’t spend too long on the pattern. It’s enough to say that I loved it and am already planning to make another.

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But the yarn? The yarn I must tell you about! Serenity 20 is a fingering weight that’s 70% superwash superfine merino, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon. I don’t think I’ve ever knit with a cashmere blend before, so I had no idea what a decadent experience it is. Soft? Oh my yes! The yarn was lush and full and squishy, and every time I picked it up, my hands were so happy. This was what I picked up at night as my treat knitting, because the combination of relaxing garter stitch in such a yummy yarn pleased me so much. It wasn’t splitty at all and behaved nicely when I had to frog a bit. It might be handwash only but it’s worth it!

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I love this color combination too. This is the Vivid Bundle, with Vivid OOAK, Vivid Splatter, and Scallions. They also offer the Jazzy Bundle with blues, grays, and cream. (Keep reading for a special discount code on these bundles!) But with all the gorgeous hand-dyed colors they offer, you could put together any number of combinations for the gradient and fade shawls that are all the rage right now.

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The finished shawl is big and has a comforting heft to it. The size 4 needles I used made it dense enough to be warm but kept the fabric at a soft drape. I find myself reaching for it on those cool mornings when I’m up early with the dogs. I know I say I love a lot of yarn, and I always mean it when I say it, but this yarn truly is special. It’s luxurious and decadent and kind of represents everything I love most about knitting: cool people (like the husband and wife team who own ZYG), soft yarn, pretty colors, and finished pieces that are a joy to wear.

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If you need some splurge-worthy yarn in your life, I’ve got good news: you can use the code BONNYKNITS to save 20% off either the Jazzy or Vivid bundle! Just click this little link here to start shopping. The code is good until 12/31/18, and they’re limited quantities, so don’t wait too long.

Many and most sincere thanks to Zen Yarn Garden and Stitchcraft Marketing who so generously provided 1 Vivid Kit ($91.80) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Mermaid Shawl

I couldn’t wait any longer–I had to cast on for my mermaid shawl! This is the one inspired by a book which will use a whopping five skeins of yarn purchased at the Loopy Ewe. After pondering several patterns, I settled on the River of Time. I like the massive size, the suggestion of waves, and the mythological inspiration of the pattern. I decided I wanted the deepest purple as that small inner half-circle, so I wound that color first, then found the recommended needles. The pattern said I needed 36 stitch markers (eek!) so I pulled out all the cute little beaded ones I’ve made. Then I started reading.

The pattern starts at the outer edge. Not only did I have the wrong color wound, but I would also need to cast on 426 stitches! (EEK!!) That’s kind of a lot of stitches. I guess the silver lining is that the shawl will be getting smaller as I knit, making it appear to go faster…right? Here’s hoping.

I wound the color I’d chosen for the outer edge, a seafoam color called Ivy Snowbell, and started casting on. I put in a marker at every 50 stitches, which made it so much easier to keep track of how many stitches I had. As I knit the first row, I pulled those markers out and added in the markers specified in the pattern. I got about halfway through that first row and couldn’t help but admire how pretty it was with all the little beads dangling from the cord.

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But I also couldn’t help but feel how heavy the beads were making it. One or two of these beaded markers isn’t a big deal, but you get up to about 20 of them and you definitely feel it! I switched to plain plastic circle markers, which aren’t as pretty but also don’t add extra weight and stress to my hands and arms.

The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere and it’s as marvelous to knit with as you might imagine, so soft and warm. But since each row is so long, I’ve only managed to get about six or seven rows done. It’s not much but I can already see the scallops of the border. I’m so excited to knit this shawl! It might take me three months, but I’ll enjoy every minute of it!

Shawls and Socks

That’s all I’m making these days, shawls and socks! I’m not complaining, though. They’re both pretty fun projects. The boy’s marching band had a football game last night, so I had a couple of hours to work on his sock and I’m past the gusset and into the long foot portion. Before I go too much further I’ll have him slip it on and make sure the cuff and heel fit all right, and then I’ll measure his foot to see how long I need to knit the foot.

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This is a very mindless project, especially with the boring solid color yarn, but it pleases me to think of him wearing them and enjoying them.

My current shawl project is the Piece of Cake shawl with my Delicious Yarns. It’s going slowly, and I’m blaming the wrap & turn short rows. Those are not my favorite, you know. But the yarn is indeed delicious.

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The photo doesn’t do the colors justice. When it’s done, I’ll work hard to get the colors as true as I can, but this will have to suffice for now.

It has turned hot and muggy again, and the car is in the shop AGAIN, so I’m going to hide out in my dark cool living room and knit the day away as much as I can. Happy weekend, friends!

Vacation Yarn

It’s a thing, vacation yarn. Or souvenir yarn, some may call it. Though I tend to think of souvenir yarn as like one special skein, and I bought…more than that. We left town Thursday and I didn’t even get to a yarn store until Saturday, and by then I was getting a little anxious. Fortunately I found Spindles, Shuttles and Skeins in Boulder. It was a little tricky to find, since it was on the second floor of a strip mall, but it was a nice big roomy store with a good selection of yarns. Still, my favorite part of that store was their shop dog, Nula. She was a good dog.

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Sunday was our day to explore Denver and I went to Fancy Tiger Crafts and OMG it was a wonderful store! It had other crafty stuff besides yarn, like fabric and I don’t know what else because Yarn. I had plenty of fun there. And then our last day we made a special trip to The Loopy Ewe because no trip to that area is complete without a visit there. Plus it was their new location, which was better than the original if only because it was easier to find! I had even more fun there than at Fancy Tiger. Let’s see my haul, shall we?

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These were all the random single skeins that I couldn’t resist. I tried to only get yarns I couldn’t find back home, but that one multicolored skein of Manos on the far right was just impossible to resist. And that Anzula on the far left? It’s sparkly! Then there’s this:

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This will be a fade shawl, maybe another Stephen West pattern. It all started with that speckled yarn (second from left) and I built from there. These yarns came from all three stores, which pleases me. I’d still like to find a solid purple to go with it, but I think it would be good even without it.

Finally, here’s my favorite selection. A while back I read The Mermaid’s Daughter by Ann Claycomb and loved it SO MUCH. It’s a continuation of The Little Mermaid story, and the descriptions of the ocean water were so vivid and clear that I felt like I was right there, seeing it all with her. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to make an ocean shawl, using the colors she described. I found what I was looking for at the Loopy Ewe.

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*shivers* I love this so so much. I just need to pick a pattern. I think it needs to be a semi-circular shawl (maybe this Karakorum?) but I’m not sure if I should start with the deep water (the dark purple-blue) and work out to the seafoam, or the other way around. Originally I thought I’d have the seafoam be the outer edge, but then I found this awesome Degreenify pattern and I’m not sure. What should I do??

So yeah. Colorado was definitely a success for me. And I can’t afford to go back to visit the girl for several months!

ShaZAM! It’s done!

Wow, that was like magic: this project flew off my needles! I cast on three projects last Sunday, and suddenly I’m back down to one (a sock). You needn’t be too impressed at the speed of this one, given that it was a one-skein cowl in worsted weight on size 8 needles, with a very simple lace pattern that was really barely lace. It was my comfort knitting last night. It’s not been the best week, or two weeks, or summer, to be honest, for a lot of reasons, but yesterday I was in a serious funk. I escaped for Mexican food and a margarita with the sister, which was a lovely treat that helped a lot, and when I got home I picked up the cowl and turned on an old episode of ER. I didn’t expect to finish, but suddenly I was at the end and binding off before the show even ended.

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The pattern is sha-ZAM! on Ravelry. This was a fun knit. I love these one-skein cowls; they’re so easy and fun to wear. And it was a treat to get back to some squishy soft Malabrigo. Makes me look forward to fall, when I can actually wear things like this again. (NOT winter! Note the difference, please, Mother Nature!)

And now, with almost empty needles again, I am eager for my next shawl project, and it’s going to be amazing! I have 3 skeins of Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 Fingering in a gorgeous Vivid bundle that I’m itching to cast on. I mean, it’s a whopping 1200 yards of 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, with 10% nylon.

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I’m pretty sure this is going to be my first WestKnits project, but I’m debating between The Doodler and the Dotted Rays – Speckled Fade. Have you made either? Both? How do I choose??

Fastest Shawl Ever

I bound off my Denim Sprinkles shawl on Monday night, just eight days after casting on. I have never finished a shawl that quickly before, but the combination of the gorgeous yarn and addictive pattern meant I wanted to work on it all the time, and BAM! It was done!

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I did have to improvise though: the pattern calls for 380 yards of fingering weight yarn on size 5 needles. My yarn was 437 yards of heavy fingering/sport, so I went up to a size 6 needle and assumed I’d have more than enough yarn. Oops. I ran out with three rows and a bind off left. Luckily, I had some sock yarn in white that matched perfectly, so the eyelet edging is all white, and I think it’s absolutely perfect. A happy accident, as the husband said. Even unblocked, I could tell this was going to be an awesome shawl, and it needed blocking badly.

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In that before shot, the edge is undefined and wavy, and the shawl itself sort of squishes all together. But then you wash it and pin it out and let it dry and it becomes a whole new thing of beauty!

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If you like lace shawls, I highly recommend Sugar Sprinkles. It’s easy enough for beginners, interesting enough to not be boring, and makes a wonderfully wearable shawl. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making this one again! The yarn is Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts Passion 8, in the color T-Shirt and Jeans, and I loved it. It’s definitely heavier than I would use for socks, but it’s perfect for shawls, and I bet it would make an amazing sweater!

I probably won’t ever make another shawl so quickly! What’s been your fastest shawl?