Tag Archive | Westknits

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.

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!

WIP Time

No, no, I know it’s not Wednesday, but today I’m talking about my WIPs. Yesterday I had the urge to spread my knitting love to some of my neglected projects. Really, I wanted to knit a little bit on each one, but then I remembered I have like eight WIPs right now and the day was not infinite. I started with a DK-weight cowl and did 14 rows of lace. That’s not very much in DK so it’s not photo-worthy. I knit on a sock, but that was plain ribbing and maybe two inches, and that was fun but I’ll just wait and show you the sock when it’s done. After that, I had the urge to revisit my Mermaid shawl.

I’m using Stephen West’s Sea Swell Shawl pattern, and it’s a lot of garter stitch (yay!) but also a lot of short rows (sigh), so it’s not really mindless knitting. It’s also getting kind of huge and each row takes forever now.

I’m on color four of five, and have five wedges left to knit. It’s equally encouraging and discouraging: I’ve come so far but it still feels like a lot left to go. Now that the weather is starting to cool off, though, I’m getting more eager to wear it, so maybe that will be my motivation to keep knitting. But then I get new sock yarn in the mail, like this new yarn from HaldeCraft, and I get distracted. The mug is hers too; I love her stuff!

Happy Tuesday that feels like Monday!

Sea Swell Shawl

My WIPs are down to three, and that’s after I cast on a new sock yesterday. But I’m still mostly going to continue with my monogamous knitting, and I’ve selected the WIP Sea Swell Shawl by Stephen West. (Ravelry link here) This is the mermaid shawl that I’ve been trying to make for over two years, and I just haven’t found the right pattern before now. I started this one at the end of May and set it aside shortly after, though I don’t remember why. It’s a lot of short rows, maybe that’s why, but it’s also garter stitch, which is my fave right now. I’m doing the large size with five colors and I’m just about ready to start fading in Color B.

And I know I said I cast on a sock but it’s a lace sock and I’m pretty sure I’m going to need a self-striping vanilla sock very soon!

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.