Tag Archives: shawl

It’s A Kind of Magic

This week my WIP is a little magical.  It is a shawl, but is a very magical shawl indeed.  Sadly, it is not so magical that it knits itself.  Nor does it knit up at a magical pace.  And there is no guarantee that is will be the perfect size when it’s finished either.  (Just for the record, I have never figured out exactly what the perfect size for a shawl is.  It seems to be way too dependant on my mood.)  It is magical because of the stripes.  Those little colour changes are happening all by themselves in the right place and making perfect little sections.

Now, before you start thinking that I have figured out the secret and am some sort of knitting wizard, it’s really not that at all.  It’s the yarn.  It’s all the yarn.

The Yarn Harlot first blogged about it here and you can imagine what happened next.  The yarn became a very scarce commodity.  There were sell-outs, and back orders, and now it seems that scoring a skein of the magic yarn is the same as winning the knitter’s lottery.  Somehow, my knitting guru managed to do just that and for Christmas a few of us received  skeins.

 

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This past weekend I cast on the shawl.  It says right inside the ball band, to be used with topdown triangle shawls.  I checked Rav and the Caterpillargreen website and picked a pattern.  I grabbed my 3.5’s and cast on.  Four and a half hours later I was cussing the yarn and the dyer.  I was oscillating between thoughts of auctioning off the skein and lighting it on fire in the courtyard.  It was not going well.  Colour changes were happening everywhere except where they were supposed to.  I was miserable.  I was frustrated. I was so very, very unhappy.

I had gone up and down needle sizes, tried a different pattern, added a second colour.  Nothing was working. So I took to Twitter and posted my woes.  Very quickly I received helped from another knitter.   She pointed out that gauge is super important and to try again.  So in one last ditch effort I went up another needle size.  4 mm way the key.  They were the saviour for the shawl, and at that moment my sanity.  It all started to work!  It started striping by itself!!!!

 

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Now the shawl is flying off the needles.  My goal is twofold.  First I want to finish it this week so I’m ready for the weekend.  (More about that on the weekend 😉  Next, I want to somehow win the knitting lottery when Caterpillargreen updates again.  They have some truly beautiful colours just begging for me to knit with them.

Yarn : Caterpillargreen Merino Twist shawl striping
Colour: Warm and Fuzzy
Pattern: Simple Yet Effective Shawl

For more great stuff check out the Yarn Along at Ginny’s and KCCO at Frontierdreams.

 


FO Friday

My new favourite shawl! Finished just before Christmas. I was thinking of giving it to my MIL, but my Hubby insisted I keep it for myself. I am really happy he did.

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Pattern:  Cladonia

Yarn: Austerman step classic

Indigodragonfly merino sock

For more Friday knitting check out Creative Friday, and Fiber Arts Friday.

 


FO Friday – it’s Just a Little Late

In a perfect knitting world, every time you picked up your needles, you would know that everything would always work out.  You’d always get gauge.  You’d never run out of yarn or have to frog a project back.  Any gift you knit would always be the right colour, size, and fit and the recipient  would be worthy of the work.  The gift would also be on time and you would meet all your knitting deadlines with ease and grace.  Sadly though, we aren’t talking about the perfect knitting world.  We are talking about my knitting world and in my world my BFF received her Christmas present a little late.  Yesterday actually.  (But we  won’t deal on that).

She had already seen her gift as I had given her the option of having me knit it in front of her thus spoiling the surprise but greatly decreasing the length of time she would have to wait for the finished object.  Maybe I should do  the same thing for her birthday gift.  Sigh.

The pattern is Earth & Sky 

And I used Silky Wool

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She’s being a little camera shy.

One last note on a perfect knitting world. You wouldn’t have my SIL’S pooch trying to help you  with your knitting  by sticking her nose smack in the middle of every ball you pull out of your knitting bag just long enough to sneeze in it. Every. Single. Time.

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My name is Daisy. I steal birthday cupcakes and lick socks.

For more Friday knitting check out FO FridaysCreative Friday, and Fiber Arts Friday.


FO Friday – Outside the Box Can be Good

So what do you get when you take three colours that you would never, ever, dream of putting together and decide that maybe you should knit them all into the same garment?

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Well, I suppose that sometimes you end up looking at your final object and screaming in horror while covering your eyes and running from the room shouting “eye bleach! Where’s my eye bleach?” right before you collapse into a quivering heap in the corner self rocking and numbly repeating “can’t un-see that” over and over again until either someone who loves you (or is just super annoyed with you) sedates you and burns the offensive piece of work before you can ever see it again.

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I was pretty sure that the above scenario was how this whole thing was going to end.

Or, somehow, even though you spent the whole time while you were knitting not being sure of what exactly it is that you are doing, you end up with a finished object that you love. Truly and totally love and adore. And that is what happened. I love my Colour Affection (or as one of my other knitting friends calls it, the Colour Affliction, because it really becomes the only thing that you want to knit).

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It is actually remarkable how much I am in love with this shawl. I want to wear it all the time even though it is still over 20 degrees Celsius. I want to wear it even though it has three colours in it that I would normally never wear at the same time. I want to wear it even thought I was unsure of the whole thing right up to the last possible second.

So I have to thank my BFF for suggesting that I knit these three yarns together in the first place, since it never would have occurred to me to do it (though I admit I thought maybe you were a little high on pregnancy hormones at the time for even thinking it).  And I am really happy that I managed to snatch these few remaining balls of Viola before she stopped dyeing yarn.

Have I mentioned that I love this week’s Finished Object a little bit?

For more Friday knitting check out FO Fridays, Creative Friday, and Fiber Arts Friday.


FO Friday – Three Finished Shawls

So I’ve been a little behind on the photos, but finally I have my latest three shawls to share with you.

First up, my Giant Flamboyen.

I'm not sure what the finished dimensions are, but I can assure you I will never be cold again!

I used approximately 1050 yards and it’s really a small blanket.

Next up is Flavia.  I really lucked out.  I know the designer and asked her to take the pictures for me.  Pro tip – do that whenever you can.  I love how she photographed it.

And lastly is Arroway minus the arrows. I realized three rows into the double stranded work that I had sort of just started making stuff up as I went along and decided just to run with it. I love how it turned out.

Overall, very pleased with all three and all three are very different.

For more Friday knitting check out FO FridaysCreative Friday, Fiber Arts Friday, and Fibers on Friday


WIP Wednesday Feb 29

I have been making a huge effort to decrease the number of WIPS that I have, and I’ve been at least a little successful.  However, since I am taking part in the 12 shawls in 2012 challenge, it does mean that I had to cast on something new, as I finished the February shawl and I want to stay on track with a shawl a month.

My march shawl is Oeste. It a very interesting construction, comprised of seven of these little triangles and the main body.

As you can see, I’m short a few triangles.  I’d love to say I had a genius plan in mind to make sure that I have enough yardage or that doing things this way will somehow speed the whole process up.  In reality, I was a little bored with the triangles (and a lot sleepy) and needed something very simple to knit.  I switched to the body and will finish the triangles after.
I’m using a combination of MCN sock from IndigoDragonFly in “Now Accepting Applications for Minions” and some of the lovely yarn my BFF brought back from New Zealand for me, called Kitsch.  I love the way the two yarns are working together and am curious to see how it all comes together in the end.  It’s actually a relatively fast knit, so I’m hoping it won’t take too long.

For more great Wednesday stuff check out WIP Wednesday and the Yarn Along.


12 in 2012; One down, 11 to Go

The first of my 12 in 12 shawls is finished.  I am pleased to say the the seemingly never-ending rows of moss stitch on the Flavia did in fact end.  They lead to a 500 stitch border which was initially very daunting and did result in me texting my husband and telling him that I was seriously considering tossing the whole damn thing under the wheels of the car and driving over it a few times.  I refrained from actually doing that and instead picked up the stitches that I needed and made the border.  (Remarkably, I was only missing one stitch!) And it was worth every moment.  I am super pleased with the final shawl.  I’m going to post pictures in the next week as I still haven’t blocked it.

Unblocked and needing it's ends weaved in.

But, on to number two.  Number two is Arroway by Stephen West.  Aside from having reached the Fair Isle colour work section of the shawl and being slowed down a little, the shawl has been going swimmingly.  It has had, up until this point, the perfect balance of mindless and interesting that means that it comes off the needles relatively quickly.  And just at the point where I was beginning to think that I was getting too bored to carry on, Mr. West threw in some two stranded colourwork and now I’m not bored.  And I love the colours of this shawl.

I’m using two shades of Indigodragonfly’s MCN Sock.  The darker of the two is “Who’s a Guy Gotta Kill Around Here to Get a Drink” (it’s an Angel reference), and “Hi I’m Fred.”  These are not two colours that I ever would have put together.  But fortunately, I have a very helpful Hubby. When I went to him and said, “This is what I’m making.  I want the colours to pop” he told me to give him everything that had the right yardage in it, and this is what he came up with.  I was a little skeptical at first (I’m really good at picking colours that blend.  Colours that pop were outside my comfort zone), but I realized very quickly that much like the colour of the bedroom walls, (I was pretty skeptical about that too), I loved these two colours together.  The really good thing is that I had no idea what I was going to use Fred for.  He was clearly stash and now he is happy in the shawl.

So far, I am on track with the 12 shawls in 2012 challenge.  I tip my needles to those who are already on shawls #3 & 4! I think the fact that I know what my next shawl is going to be (Walnut Grove) and that the balls are wound is enough of an accomplishment all by itself.


It’s Getting Close to Being 11 in 2012

With only 7 days remaining in January I am pleased to say that the Flavia shawl has finally turned a corner.  At some point, I did hit that magic sweet spot where the rows started going faster and I felt like I was actually getting somewhere.  A single row stopped taking so long that my hands would get tried and I would get bored and start cursing under my breath about how I had entered knitting damnation.  To make matters worse, Glenna C, the designer, is one of my knitting buddies so I know that in the end the shawl is going to be beautiful.  And that the pattern is well written, so I couldn’t even curse her while I struggled through the nightmare slog that is row after row of seed stitch.  But even with that knowledge, here’s what I realized:  if it wasn’t for the 12 shawls in 2012 group there is a very real possibility that Flavia would be set aside…….possibly forever.  It would be sent to whatever that space is in your home that projects go to be forgotten about and where you can eventually block out the nagging guilt that is induced every time you see it because you don’t really have to see it that often.  It’s not the same place as the naughty knitting pile because there is nothing naughty happening here.  The pattern is not poorly written.  The yarn is not jumping off the needles, flipping me a little yarny bird every time I put the knitting down and walk away from it.  I have not bollixed up the pattern for more than a few stitches at a time and have always noticed right away.  In reality this is a very well behaved peice of knitting. 

But I have to admit that it will only be finished because of the challenge.  Maybe it’s a good thing that this first shawl is being slightly disagreeable.  I am hoping it means that everything else will be slightly easier and elicit far less cursing on my part.

Onto the edging!


A 12 in 12 update; Or, This is Harder Than I Thought it Would Be

So this year I decided to embark on the 12 in 2012 shawl challenge.  I knit shawls, a lot.  You can read more about that here.  For me this will be challenging but not undoable.  Ambitious without being insane.  I intend to complete all twelve shawls and am happy about what this will do to my stash.  Right now it’s all sunshine and roses, (aside from the fact that my January shawl is driving me a little mental), and I am in knitted shawl bliss.

And then I go onto to Ravelry and Twitter and this petals start to wilt and fall off the roses and the sun peeks behind a cloud and things get just a little dimmer.  See, here’s the thing: people keep making new shawl patterns and I want to knit them all.  I want to knit them all right now.

It started innocently enough when I won a copy of the Walnut Grove pattern from KnitPurlGirl.  It’s a great shawl and the kind I like to knit.  It doesn’t have a bunch of lace so it’s right up my alley.  Simple enough.  I swapped out one of the shawls on my Year Of Projects list and added that one in its place.  I even have all the yarn I need for it and it’s going to be damned pretty when it’s finished.  Then the January shawl for the West Knits Shawl club dropped and I love it.  No real problems here yet.  I just have to force myself not to stash dive and cast on the shawl right freaking now.  And because Mr. West is already not a huge bundle of temptation for me on any normal day, he has a new patternoutside of the club dropping on February 1st.  I love it and it will look great with the birthday yarn my husband bought me.

Birthday Yarn!

This  may not seem like a big problem, but this now puts me in the position of having to really start juggling my list or saying forget it all and just add it.  I’m leaning towards the first one.

But that’s it in a nutshell.  I only have two hands, which do get tired sometimes.  I need to eat and sleep and go to the gym.  I need to work full-time.  All these things contribute to a better, happier, warmer life.  It’s a life in which I have a roof over my head and food in my belly and that makes me a much happier knitter.  I just don’t have enough time or hands and I don’t have any magical powers that would allow me to knit two projects with my mythical second set of hands at the same time.  (Though I do wind balls with my ball winder in my hands instead of on a table.  I’ve been told this is odd.)  I just don’t have time and I can only knit so fast, which is not as fast as I would like.

So now I have to juggle my list and fall into a fibre filled haze of madness and pretty shawls.  I’ll post regularly as I fall into madness.  Please, just pull me back if I go in too far.


On My Needles and Between My Pages January 18

One My Needles

I am very proud of myself for the knitting week I have had. Even though temptation abounded (there’s are rant about that tomorrow), I was very good and did not cast on anything new. I focused on the WIPS and did manage to decrease the number by one.  I finished the Reunion cowl on Sunday.  I also joined the dishcloth challenge, and finished my first cloth.  (And yes I realize that was something new but it’s small and fast and took less than two hours. Just let me have that.)

My apologizes for the repeat picture. It still looks more or less the same, just slightly bigger.

So my focus has now shifted to Flavia. It is the second shawl that I cast on for the 12 in 12 challenge. (Sadly the first one is not finished, just being ignored. It wasn’t working for me right after Christmas, but I’ll get back to it). And here’s what I can tell you about it. This shawl is driving me slowly crazy. (Okay, crazier than normal.)  The big problem is a huge cast on, followed by rows and rows and rows of seed stitch seed.  For those of you not familiar with seed or moss stitch, it is a knit stitch followed by a purl stitch across the row. Each row alternates what stitch it starts with to create a fabric that is very textured and very pretty.  It’s not hard, it’s just incredibly time consuming as every for every one stitch you make you have to do two actions (creating the stitch and then moving the yarn to the front or the back of the work), which will slow down the fastest knitter.  Add to that each row is huge and even though I have completed just over ten wrapped stitches on each side, I am still waiting for the magical moment when each row doesn’t take me forever.  The bottom line is this: it is a lovely shawl and I am going to be very happy to have it when it’s finished.  There is nothing wrong with the pattern.  It is well written, concise and clear.  It’s just reminding me that underneath everything, I am an impatient person and this is a little test of wills between me and the seemingly never ending short rows. I hope that by the time I write this next week, that I have exciting progress to share. If I’m really lucky, I’ll be dealing with the 310 stitch border.

Between My Pages

There wasn’t a lot of reading this week. Time didn’t really allow for it. However, the little bits I did managed to sneak in got me to the point in The Mockingjay, the third book in The Hunger Games, where I am finally enjoying the story.  After well over 150 pages of the lead character dithering about and remaining uncommitted and passive the author decided that maybe she should involve Katniss in the action instead of having her behave like a stereotypical clueless female. Also, the message in the book is clearly shifting to how one person can make a difference. For me as the reader, I am to the point where I want to be reading the book again.  It should go much faster from here on out.

For more great Wednesday stuff check out WIP Wednesday and the Yarn Along.