Tag Archive | shawls

WIP Epiphany

I was finishing up the toe of my Granola sock this morning, just some easy knitting that let my mind wander, and it wandered to the Mermaid Shawl that I started almost six months ago and then ignored. I thought about how I’d planned to order the colors, and I thought about the book that inspired it and how the book made me feel, and suddenly I figured it out: I was doing it wrong! I had my colors backwards!

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I’m doing an enormous half-circle shawl called River of Time, and I originally decided to have the lightest color on the outer edge, like seafoam on a beach, and progress into the deepest part of the ocean. But that was wrong, and I think that’s why I got stuck on the third row.

The book is about the main character, Kathleen, accepting her deep love of the sea, accepting that it’s her destiny. It’s about her being in love with the water and desperately wanting to be down in the blue-purple depths. And the way the author wrote that longing was so clear and powerful, I could see the colors as Kathleen went deeper. I could feel the chill and taste the salt. And that’s why I wanted to knit this shawl. It’s about embracing your fate, your desires, and diving into that ocean. The shawl needs to emphasize the depth, not the surface.

So this morning I frogged what I had, which wasn’t much, and cast on anew with the darkest color, the Dream in Color in Galaxy, and it feels right. It starts out with 426 stitches so it’s slow going, but I’m loving it.

If you’re interested, the book is The Mermaid’s Daughter by Ann Claycomb and it’s easily in my top ten all-time favorite books, if not top five!

Two New FOs

It’s been a productive weekend, friends. I mean, I haven’t left the house since Thursday but I’m not mad about it at all. Don’t worry, I’ve showered and done some chores like cleaning a bathroom and vacuuming the floors, but I’ve also gotten to do A LOT of knitting. Oh, it’s been heavenly. I wish it happened more often. I was able to finish two projects, including my long-lingering WIP, the Zomboni!

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Apparently I just needed to be in the mood to work on it, because once I got going on Friday, I couldn’t stop. It made a really long narrow scarf that will be super easy to wear, and the colors are perfect for me. (It will go so nicely with my purple hair!) The yarn is Caribbean by In the Deep Hue Sea, color Snap Out of It, and it’s quite nice.

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My other FO was a quick and easy cowl, my gray Woolfolk LUFT cowl. I chose my favorite cowl pattern, River Deep Mountain High, and cast on a few extra stitches since I had plenty of yarn. It knit up so quickly, and I finished it last night while watching The Wife (which was SO GOOD. Highly recommend and now I need to read the book!).

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I wanted to use all the yarn but didn’t come close. I’ve got about 3/4 of the second skein left, so I think I might get another skein the next time I’m at my LYS (which will be next weekend) and then I can make something else too! I love this yarn so much; it’s so airy and lightweight, but still so warm and cozy. I wish it came in more colors.

Now I’m down to five WIPs and none of them are calling my name today, which means casting on another cowl in either worsted or bulky. We’re in day 547 of cold, gray weather (I mean, it doesn’t FEEL like an exaggeration) and my spirit could really use some sunshine and warmth, and since I can’t get either of that outside, at least I can find some warmth in thick yarn, I suppose. And with puppers.

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Jack says no yarn. Only pet.

Hope you all had a good weekend too, and if you’re like me and have today off, may you find yourself some knitting time!

Meet Me at the Station Shawl

I have a finished shawl to show you, and the best part is that the pattern is now live and you can knit one too! This is the Meet Me at the Station Shawl by Under the Olive Tree Knits, and I loved testing it.

img_8116It’s designed to be a one-skein shawl, but as you may remember, I had issues and ran out of yarn too soon. To be fair, I did not check gauge before I started knitting, so I accept full responsibility. And in any case, I’m glad it happened because the cream lace is perfect with the dark green body.

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The pattern is clear and well-written, and Jem provides plenty of photos and tutorials as well. My knitting experience was smooth and happy, and I’d love to knit this again, maybe in one color like I intended!

Pattern: Meet Me at the Station by Olive Tree Knits

Yarns: Araucania Huasco Multy Botany Lace in Hunter, Cascade Heritage in Snow

See my Ravelry project page here.

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!