Tag Archive | shawl

Socks! And a shawl.

While I was off work in January recovering from surgery, I went on a bit of a sock binge.  Results below.

temperance-2 First up, the Temperance socks (Ravelry project page).

Pattern: Temperance by Liz Abinante

Yarn:  Footprints by Blue Ridge Yarn, colorway Secret Garden.  Per Webs, this yarn’s total weight for the full put-up is 108 grams. That means it’s 81 grams for the 300 yard skein and 27 grams for the 100 yard skein. When I was finished, I had 18 grams and 8 grams left, respectively.

Total yardage used: 304 yds.

temperance-1Needles:  US size 2 DPNS.  Pattern calls for using US size 1 1/2 needles. I need size 2 to achieve gauge.

New techniques? Yes!  First toe up socks, first short row heel, first time using different colors for different parts of the sock.  I discovered  I don’t like toe up socks.  The cast on and first couple of rows are really REALLY fiddly and annoying.  That was with DPNs.  I may try again using two circs.  Maybe.

Satisfaction with end product:  Pleased!  They fit pretty well, and I’ve worn them several times since completing them.  In fact, I’m wearing them as I type this blog entry. The yarn is soft and warm and comfy, especially after having been washed a couple of times.  The socks come through the washer and dryer just fine; I wash them inside a mesh bag so they’re protected from rubbing against other clothing, and I use the gentle/delicate cold water wash cycle and a low heat dry cycle.

Next, Hummingbird Spring (Ravelry project page).

hummingbird-4Pattern:  Hummingbird by Sandi Rosner

Yarn: Stardust by Magic & Moonshine, colorway “Crocus”. I love this yarn. It’s soft on the hands, comfy on the feet, and has a hint of sparkle when the light catches it just right.

Total yardage used: Roughly 293 yards

Needles: US size 1 1/2 DPNs

hummingbird-1New techniques? Short heel sock #2.  Progress, not perfection.

Satisfaction with end product:  Good enough, even with the following hiccup.  According to the pattern blurb in the book (The Knitter’s Book of Socks), this pattern was written specifically for a “highly-variegated colorway”. They must not have meant THIS highly-variegated because the lace pattern is virtually invisible.  Still, it’s a nicely written pattern, and fun to make. I may try it again in yarn with less contrast in color values.  The completed socks are machine washable (on gentle, in a mesh bag, as explained above) for ease of care.

Finally, Dragonfly and Rosebud (Ravelry project page).

dragonfly-rosebuds-1

You may notice that this photo employs sock blockers.  Yes, I finally bought some.

Pattern:  Veil of Rosebuds by Anne Hanson

Size: Medium

Yarn:  Skinny Bugga! by Cephalopod Yarns, colorway “Dragonfly Tattoo”.  This yarn is amazing. It’s too bad Cephalopod Yarns closed up shop and took down its shingle.

Total yardage used:  274 yds.

Needles:  US Size 1 DPNs

Mods: Medium size called for casting on 56 stitches at the cuff. That’s too small for me, so I cast on 64, knit the ribbed cuff, and then decreased by 8 stitches in the first row of the lace.

New techniques? Still working on perfecting that short row heel.  This technique has entailed a bit of a learning curve but I’m getting better.

pussy-hat-1Satisfaction with end product:  I love how these turned out!  Excellent match of yarn and pattern.  The lace pattern is gorgeous and highly visible in this colorway.  The only issue has to do with the short row heel.  I need to remember to knit the foot a teensy bit longer than I do with a flap-and-gusset heel to make sure the heel turn fits on my actual heel instead of getting pulled under.

Somewhere in the middle of all the sock knitting, I made three PussyHats. Two were dropped off at a collection point for the January 21st march that took place in Atlanta and worldwide, and one I kept for myself for future marches.  You can visit my Ravelry project page here.  Bet you can guess my politics now!

I finished the Cadence Shawlette (Ravelry project page) a couple of weeks before surgery in December.

cadence-4Pattern:  Cadence Shawlette by Emily Straw; 5 full repeats and 1 partial repeat (up to row 21) before the garter stitch edging and the bind off.

Yarn:  Brisbane by Queensland Collection, colorway “Coral Trout”.  This colorway name tickles me:  I can’t see it without thinking of Pete Dexter’s novel, Paris Trout.

cadence-5Total yardage:  288 yds, plus a little extra (see notes below)

Needles: US 9 circs

Satisfaction with end product:  Love it.  It’s warm and cozy and colorful, just right to brighten up drab winter days.

Notes: I wanted to use every inch of the Brisbane, so I essentially played yarn chicken and kept knitting until I thought I had just enough for the bind off. As it turned out, I got 3/4 of the way through the bind off before I ran out of yarn. Luckily, I had remnants of another worsted wool (Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted) in a colorway similar to the color section of Brisbane at the bound edge, so I was able to finish the bind off instead of tinking back 200+ stitches.

I’m knitting my library.  Well, mostly.  Maybe you can join us!

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FO Friday: Weekend with the Swan Princess Shawl

Weekend Shawl 6I finished up this beauty Monday evening.

Pattern:  Le Weekend Shawlette by Jan Henry.  Click here for my Ravelry project page.   The pattern is a bottom-up short row crescent, and very easy to follow, although I made a few modifications.  After all the short rows were done as written, I didn’t really like the look of the edges, so I picked up the slipped stitches along the edges (11 stitches each) and continued the short rows until all stitches were knitted (200 total on needle).  To mitigate the stockinette roll at the top, I added an eyelet row (K2tog, YO), then two rows of garter stitch before binding off.

Weekend Shawl 9Yarn:  Miss Babs Cosmic Sock, 304 yards, colorway Swan Princess – hence, the name of the shawl.  The colorway was a limited edition “Babette” and is no longer available.  The yarn is spectacular with a gorgeous color spectrum and a smooth hand.  It had some minor bleeding when soaked for a wet block, but a dash of vinegar in the sink fixed that little issue.

Needles:  Addi Turbo 32″ circular, size 7 for the body, size 9 for the bindoff.

Size:  After blocking and relaxing, 65 inches wide, 12 inches deep.

Satisfaction with end result:  I love this so much I’m tempted to keep it myself rather than put it in the gift pile.

Weekend Shawl 8One more picture to show off here, but you can see several others on my Ravelry project page.

This post is part of Freshly Finished Fridays, a link round-up normally hosted by HardKnitLife, but she seems to be a little late posting the linkup.  Regardless, Shadow’s KnitKnacks stepped into the breach.  Click the badge to be taken to the roundup.  Add your link and read a few others!

Freshly Finished Friday

WIP Wednesday: Apparently I have become a shawl person

Tardis shawl 6A couple of years ago, I made my first shawl (Bigger on the Inside) (pictured at left) because it was Whovian and thus irresistible.  But I insisted that I was not a shawl person.  I didn’t wear shawls, except on the rare occasions spouse and I attended an event that involved wearing a Little Black Dress (or a red one, in my case).  And then I discovered I quite liked those little lace crescent-shaped scarf-like shawls and the small triangular shawlettes: they were perfect for covering my head and warming my neck in winter while waiting for the MARTA train.

Flash forward to the present, take a look at my recent WIP and FO posts, and what do you find?  Shawls.  And shawls.  And more shawls.  It’s official.  I am now a shawl person.

Le Weekend 1So it’s fitting that today’s WIP is another shawl.  I’ve been trying to find the right pattern for this purple variegated yarn for quite some time.  Le Weekend (a free Ravelry pattern) must be the third or fourth pattern I’ve tried, and so far I’m very pleased with how it looks.

I’m still seaming the Tunisian Terror.  You won’t see any more pics of that beast until it’s finished.  I also started and finished another scarf over the long weekend, and that will be the subject of a Freshly Finished Friday post later this week.

Stitch Along WednesdayThis post is part of the Stitch-Along Wednesday link-up hosted by Gracey’s Goodies.  Click that badge over there to see who else is busy stitching away.  Also check out Shadow’s Knit Knacks for more WIP Wednesday goodness.

FO Friday: It’s a shawl!

Gingko Crescent 10PatternGingko Crescent Shawl by Jade Keaney (free pattern on Ravelry).  For Ravelry members, here’s the link to my project page.  Omigod, this pattern.  I had to completely rewrite it because when I knit it as written, the shawl came out with a camel’s hump that would never ever ever block out.  Even after rewriting it using top down short rows, it came out with a hump, but not nearly as bad as the original, so I let it go.  Gingko Crescent 3Here’s a thumbnail of the shawl after I rewrote the pattern, with the hump, before blocking. You can click the pic to see it larger. Humpback issues aside, the lace pattern is nicely charted and easy to follow.

Yarn:  Surf by Mondial.  298 yards.  As far as I can discover, this yarn is discontinued, so here are its vitals:  100% cotton, says it’s sport-weight, but personally, I think it’s fingering.  Plied construction.  Feels nice in the hands, and knit up with a lovely drape.  I wouldn’t mind having more of it if I could find it.

Gingko Crescent 11Needles:  Addi Click Turbo circulars in sizes 6, 7, and 8.  Size 6 for the actual knitting, size 7 for the very last row, and size 8 for the bind off.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Buying those Addi interchangeable needles was worth every single penny.

Satisfaction with end product:  I like it.  It’s pretty.  It’s intended as a gift, so I hope its recipient will like it too.  The pooling of the yarn was nicely distributed, giving it an impressionistic feel with the pastel colors.  And it’s a bit of a chameleon: the standout color varies depending on its surroundings, so the shawl may seem predominately yellow/orange in one view, but the blue and pink may be more obvious in the next.

Now, about this pattern.  The original called for casting on with a garter tab, then knitting in stockinette with increases until you reached a certain number of stitches, then beginning the lace pattern.  Sounds pretty standard, yes?  The problem is the increases were both poorly placed and insufficient to create a real crescent shape.  Instead, we got a pointed ovoid with a camel’s hump on one long edge and pretty lacy leaves on the other.  (I really should have taken a photo before frogging my initial effort.)  So here’s what I did to fix it:

Gingko Crescent 12Begin Pattern

CO 99. Knit 2 rows.

Row 3: K2, YO, K1, YO, [K2tog, YO] to last 4, K1, YO, K1, YO, K2. (103 stitches)

Row 4: K2, YO, P to last 2, YO, K2. (105 stitches)

Row 5: K2, YO, K1, YO, K to last 3, YO, K1, YO, K2. (109 stitches)

Row 6: K2, YO, P to last 2, YO, K2. (111 stitches)

Repeat Pattern Rows 5 & 6 twice. (123 stitches)

Begin short rows:

1. K2, YO, K1, YO, K to 10 before edge, wrap and turn
2. P to 12 before edge, W&T
3. K to 5 before gap, W&T
4. P to 5 before gap, W&T

Repeat short rows 3 and 4 until 12 stitches remain between wraps.

5. K to last 3, picking up wraps, YO, K1, YO, K2
6. K2, YO, P to last 2, picking up wraps, YO, K2. (129 stitches)

 Begin pattern again.  Repeat pattern rows 5 and 6 10 times. (189 stitches)

Gingko Crescent 7Begin second section of short rows:

1. K2, YO, K1, YO, K to 20 before edge, wrap and turn
2. P to 22 before edge, W&T
3. K to 10 before gap, W&T
4. P to 10 before gap, W&T

Repeat short rows 3 and 4 until 23 stitches remain between wraps.

5. K to last 3, picking up wraps, YO, K1, YO, K2
6. K2, YO, P to last 2, picking up wraps, YO, K2. (195 stitches)

 Begin pattern again.  Repeat pattern rows 5 and 6 once. (201 stitches)

Begin lace chart as written.

Gingko Crescent 8After allowing the shawl to relax after blocking, we have a better crescent shape, although still not perfect.  The cotton yarn just wouldn’t hold on to that straight edge.  I think a wool yarn would do better.  Overall, though, I’m pleased.  Truth time: this is the first time I’ve done such a major rewrite of a pattern.  If anyone else tries this, especially if you use a wool yarn, let me know how it turns out!

Freshly Finished FridayThis post is part of the Freshly Finished Friday round up. Click on the badge to see what other crafters have completed this week.

Work In Progress Wednesday: Blocking It Out

Mondial SurfAfter experiencing cross-stitch burnout, I set aside the Tunisian Terror for a while to work on a shawl.  I had two skeins of this discontinued 100% cotton variegated “sport” weight that had been given to me a few years ago, and it had been whispering in my ear recently.  (I say “sport” in quotation marks because that’s the weight Ravelry gives for this yarn.  Personally, I think it’s fingering, and that’s the weight I filtered for when looking for a pattern.)

The pattern I settled on was the Gingko Crescent Shawl by Jade Keaney because I loved the lace edging.  The path for this shawl was rocky.  I knit it to completion, hated the result but still loved the lace edging, so I ripped it all out and rewrote the pattern, then knitted it again.  When I write up the finished object post, I’ll give you all the gory details.  For now, here’s a photo of it blocking.

Gingko Crescent 5I’ve taken the week off work and, by the time this post appears publicly, I will be on my way to Hilton Head Island.  A friend and I are leaving our respective spouses behind for a few days and running away to the beach!  We’re taking the convertible, our knitting (of course), our cameras, our bathing suits, and very little else.  According to The Weather Channel, thunderstorms are expected during the few days we’ll be there, so that should be entertaining.  Maybe I can capture some dramatic “lightning over the Atlantic” photos.  Or maybe we’ll just sit on the balcony of the hotel room and revel in the windswept ocean vista.  Regardless, it’s going to be a fun time, no matter the weather.

Stitch Along WednesdayThis post is part of Stitch Along Wednesdays hosted by Gracey’s Goodies.  Click that badge over there to visit Gracey’s blog and see who else is participating.  This is also part of the WIP Wednesday link roundup hosted by Shadow’s Knit KnacksClick here to check out other linked blogs and add your own!

It’s A Thrilling Thursday Throwdown!

The above blog post title came about because I’ve missed WIP (aka Stitch-Along) Wednesday and Freshly Finished Friday for the last few weeks, despite my best intentions.  This evening I found some time to take a few photos and do a little mental composition; thus, a blog entry!  Ta da!

Said blog entry (that would this one, the one you’re reading, right here, right now) will contain:

  • Photos of an unfinished project!
  • Photos of a finished project!
  • Photos of a project that has yet to be commenced!
  • Yarn p04n!
  • And a flimsy explanation for the recent lack of activity (plus a bonus excuse for a future lack of same)!

Isn’t that thrilling?  Get it, thrilling?  Because it’s a “thrilling Thursday throwdown”?  Oh, never mind.  Let’s get started, shall we?

Mom's Tunisian 18First, the unfinished project.  The Tunisian Terror approaches the end of its crocheting phase.  I have one more solid square to finish in the coffee colorway, two to make in the cranberry colorway, and then eight striped squares.  Once the striped squares are completed, the crocheting is done.  Then will begin the cross-stitch component of this blanket.  Yes, each of these squares will have a cross-stitch design embroidered on it.  Have I mentioned I don’t do cross-stitch?  That’s my sister’s craft.  But, for my mother, I will do my best.

Bryony 5Next, the finished project.

Pattern: Bryony Cap by Tammy Eigemann Thompson; found in Interweave Knits Weekend 2010Click here for the Ravelry project page.

Yarn: Malabrigo Rios, colorway Marte, roughly 162 yards

Needles:  Addi Turbo circs, size 9 for the ribbing, size 10 for the cabled body, and size 10 DPNs for the crown

Satisfaction with end product:  Very pleased.  If this hadn’t been intended as a gift, I’d have gladly kept it.  I’ve never used Malabrigo before, and now I understand why fellow yarncrafters fall all over themselves for it.  It’s a dream to stitch: soft and squishy and satisfying, not to mention flat-out gorgeous.  Pure tactile pleasure! The pattern itself was well-written and easy to follow.  I made a few minor adjustments.  The pattern called for Bryony 6using a US 10.5 needles, but the ribbing in the 10.5 needle was far too loose for my tastes, so I switched to US 9s and cast on the same number of stitches that were required for the cable portion of the hat (rather than increasing after the ribbing as the pattern specifies). After the ribbing and a no-increase knit row, I switched to the larger needle (a 10, rather than the 10.5) and carried on as written. Using the smaller needles meant row gauge was short, so I did two and a half repeats of the cable section to get sufficient height before starting the decrease. The extra half repeat meant adjusting the decreases to get the same pattern effect at the crown, so I shifted the k2tog and ssk sections by…um, I think it was six stitches.

Purple Shawl 1The project yet to be commenced is also a gift.  I want to use the yarn pictured, which is Miss Babs Cosmic Handpainted Sock in colorway Swan Princess, because the gift is intended for a purple-loving person. The pattern pictured, Bellingrath, is the current champion of the Ravelry “what’s in my library?” search.  I’m just not sure it’s the right pattern for a colorway with such high contrast.  I’m afraid the lace will get lost in the color changes.  I have another sock yarn in stash that is a much lighter purple and much more subtle in its color changes, and now I’m waffling back and forth between the two, plus still stalking Ravelry for patterns. Thus, the “yet to be commenced” part of this project.  I suppose one could say that the only thing I’ve decided here is to make something purple for a particular individual.  Thrilling, yes?

And now, the promised yarn p04n.  I’ve been on a bit of binge recently.  Ready?

Yarn Acquisitions 1Wait, here’s another angle.

Yarn Acquisitions 2Some go-to workhorse yarn (the Cascade 220, along the back), some vibrant look-at-me sock yarn (four skeins at the front left), and that gleaming alpaca-rayon blend Folio in a deep charcoal on the right.  Heaven only knows when I’ll get to use any of it…well, that’s not true.  I bought the Cascade because I needed those colors for specific gifts.  The rest was whimsy.  It’s the whimsy that gets me in trouble.  I am quickly approaching SABLE status.  (That’s “Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy”, for the uninitiated.) I’ve already achieved BABEL status.  (That’s “Books Acquired Beyond Expected Lifespan”.)

Harvey 1Speaking of books, I’ve read several good ones recently.  No, I haven’t blogged about them.  Yes, I feel guilty.  But (here’s the flimsy explanation portion of this blog entry), I’ve been busy.  With this.

Yes, that is a script for a stage play.  After three years away, I auditioned for a local community theatre production and was cast as…

The female lead.  Veta Louise Simmons, sister of Elwood P. Dowd, he of the white rabbit fame.

It’s nice to know my acting chops have not failed despite their lack of recent use.  It’s not so nice to realize I have over 200 lines to learn and must be totally off book, not even calling for a line, by NEXT TUESDAY!!!

Harvey 2Just look at all that yellow on those pages.  It’s like that throughout most of the show.

Actually, I have a good grasp of about half of my scenes, and between now and Tuesday night will be spending virtually every moment that I’m not working with my nose buried deep in that script.  I intend to drive my husband insane by making him run lines with me every night when he gets home from work.  I expect I’ll make the other riders on MARTA think I’m insane by constantly muttering to myself while commuting back and forth to the office.

We open in May, so (and here’s the excuse for future absence bit) don’t expect much in the way of activity here for the next couple of months.  I hope to get back here and read some of your entries for Knit & Crochet Blog Week, but there’s no way I can take part this year. *sad face*

Hey!  I have one more photo for you, and would like a little feedback on it.  When I sat my camera on my desk to upload the photos I had taken today, I noticed something interesting in the viewscreen, so I quickly snapped a couple of shots.  After some judicious editing and cropping, I came up with this:

Yarn Book Banner 3Books, yarn, music…pretty much everything I ever write about.  And a pen to indicate the writing.  I’m thinking I might make this photo the banner for this blog.  Or maybe stage a better one.  What do you think?

Freshly Finished Friday(Edited to add:  I’m going to link this to Hard Knit Life’s Freshly Finished Friday.  Well, it contains an FO, doesn’t it?  Click the badge over there to go to the link party.  You know you want to.)

Freshly Finished Friday: Hot off the blocking wires

I’ve had busy fingers the last few weeks. Behold:

Before blocking

Before blocking

This beauty came off the blocking wires this morning.

Pattern: Ironwork Shawl from Interweave Knits Spring 2012 (click here for the Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Cascade Dolce in Teal, approx 57 yards; Cascade Superwash 220 in Red, approx. 82 yards
Needles: US size 10.5 straight; US size 11 circular
Process/ Satisfaction with end result: This little shawl is a superfast knit with that worsted weight yarn. The pattern is well-written and easy to follow.

After blocking

After blocking

I wish it had a chart, because I prefer charts when knitting lace, but the written instructions were perfectly clear.

I should really learn to trust that blocking fixes a lot of perceived issues. When this first came off the needles, I thought: Well, the colors are nice together, but I’m not too sure about the whole mixing of these totally disparate lace patterns. Then, after blocking, I fell head over heels in love. It’s gorgeous.

Before blocking

Before blocking

Two other projects came out of the same skein of vibrant orange yarn.

This hat is another example of how blocking changes a project from a crumpled mess that doesn’t seem large enough for a child into a fabulous beret suitable for the most discriminating of beret wearers.

Pattern: Rustling Leaves by Alana Dakos (click here for the Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Savannah Sock by Copper Corgi Yarn Studio in colorway “Devil’s Kiss”, approx 152 yards

After blocking

After blocking

Needles: US Size 2; US Size 3
Process/ Satisfaction with end product: Alana Dakos writes the most beautiful patterns. Her instructions are clear and concise; her charts are phenomenal; and I’ve yet to encounter any errata in anything of hers I’ve done, so she must have a fabulous vetting team. She’s easily my favorite designer. (Just because she hails from the county where I grew up doesn’t mean I’m partial or anything. Really.) This little hat is no exception to the high quality work I’ve come to expect from Ms. Dakos. It’s a breeze to knit, and fun, and cute as can be.

Just for grins, here's another photo of the hat so you can see the lacy leaves a little better.

Just for grins, here’s another photo of the hat so you can see the lacy leaves a little better.

We'll always have Paris.

We’ll always have Paris.

The third project completed was also lace: a scarf, this time.

Pattern: Raha Scarf by Nancy Bush (click here for Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Savannah Sock by Copper Corgi Yarn Studio in colorway “Devil’s Kiss”, approx 198 yards
Needles: US Size 4
Process/ Satisfaction with end product: My gauge was way off on this, and by the time I realized it, I was several inches into the scarf and didn’t want to rip it back and go to a larger needle. Knowing that the project would need a good hard block to make the specified width, I added an extra repeat of the lace pattern to make up for the extra tight gauge; even then, the scarf blocked out three inches shorter than the pattern specified. Good written instructions and an excellent lace chart. The lace pattern is not your usual leaves and flowers; it’s reminiscent of filet crochet, in fact. I like it a lot.

Freshly Finished FridayThat’s it from me for Freshly Finished Friday. Click the badge over there, follow the link-up at the bottom of the post, and take a gander at what other folks have accomplished this week.

Inspiration Saturday: Savannah has yarn stores, too

This past week was spouse’s and my 12th wedding anniversary. We decided to take a short vacation trip to celebrate. We hadn’t taken a vacation-type trip together in several years. In fact, the last time was Labor Day weekend 2009, and our impromptu jaunt to Carmel, so we were overdue.

So what did we do? We went to Savannah for four days! We stayed at a beautiful old hotel, ate some fabulous food, saw some gorgeous sights, and generally just enjoyed being together with no distractions like work, pets, or chores.

Monday, we took a trolley tour of the historic district.

Trolley Tour
This was a “hop-on, hop-off” tour, which meant we could get off at any of several designated spots if we wanted to take a closer look, and then get back on the next trolley that came around when we were ready to move on. The trolleys came through about every 20 minutes or so, making it really easy to spend just the right amount of time at any given historic spot and not have to wait too long to continue on the tour.

We hopped off a few times and took lots of pictures. These are just a few.

Fountain 1

Public Xylophone

Wrought Iron Wreaths

Church Rotunda

Stained Glass 1

Telfair Hospital

Langston Headstone

Mr. Grumpy

Mr. Grumpy

All that walking around Monday wore us out, so we slept in Tuesday morning, then hit the bricks again, this time completely on foot. I had found the address of a yarn store and I wanted to visit it, because I do my best to shop the LYS wherever I go and buy something local. Spouse grumbled but went along. We shot lots more photographs along the way, including one of him.

Bless his heart.

Book LadyThe yarn store I wanted was out of business (boo), but luckily the custom tailoring shop that shared their space knew of another LYS nearby and gave us directions. And in the basement of the same building as the defunct LYS was a bookstore! Had the LYS been open, this would have been the perfect shopping combo for me! Spouse started counting his lucky stars that this had not been the case.

The book store was wonderful, with books slotted and shelved in all sorts of nooks and crannies and hidey-holes. I found a hardcover edition of George R. R. Martin’s Armageddon Rag that I nearly bought. I talked myself out of buying it because we were headed to the yarn store next, and I didn’t know how much I would end up spending in there. I can get the book from the library; I can’t get yarn there.

I’m regretting that decision. But only a little. Because yarn!

The store is called The Frayed Knot. And it’s lovely. Just look! They have their yarn arranged by color!

Frayed Knot 1Frayed Knot 2

What’s not to love about that, right? This made me very happy, and I told them so. They carry some lovely stuff: Madeline Tosh, Rowan, Blue Sky Alpaca, and a local yarn called Copper Corgi, which is what I bought.

Copper Corgi 2

460 yds of fingering weight 100% superwash merino, in colorway “Devil’s Kiss”. It’s simply gorgeous and needs to become a shawl, a fiery swirl of lace to wear in the dead of winter, perhaps with tiny beads to add sparkle. I will scour the Ravelry pattern database for something suitable. Or — and this thought just occurred to me — maybe even design my own? I’ve never designed a shawl. Just fingerless mitts (which reminds me, I really need to write that pattern up, have it tested, and publish it), and the occasional improvised baby blanket. Hmm. It’s a thought. Dare I say…an inspiration?

So this is Inspiration Saturday, after all. Who knew?

FO Friday: Starry Oaklet Shawl

Starry Oaklet 12
Pattern: Oaklet Shawl by Megan Goodacre (a free pattern!)
Yarn: Pixie from Dragonfly Fibers, colorway Starry Night (apparently a discontinued colorway, but this yarn has lots more to choose from), approximately 423 yards of a 475-yd skein.
Needles: Hiya Hiya Steel Circular, size 3
Mods: Increased stockinette section until I had 249 stitches on the needles before starting lace border. Did 1.75 repeats of lace section, ending with 290 bound-off stitches.
Satisfaction with end product: Love! It’s just big enough to throw around my shoulders, but still small enough to easily wear as a scarf. I finished the bind-off Sunday evening, wore it to work over a white blouse with a little pin to keep it from slipping off my shoulders, and got tons of compliments.

The Pixie yarn was a little fussy to work with, but that was mainly due to the trouble I had winding it into a center-pull cake. Somehow I got the first inside bit of the cake tangled, which meant it didn’t pull easily and actually tied itself into some rather impressive knots. At one point while working out a knot, I managed to break the yarn — it’s a single, so the breakage didn’t surprise me all that much. I’m much more impressed that was the only time the yarn broke during its tangled knotty phase. Once we got past that poorly-wound section of the cake, the going was easy as pie! (You may groan at will.) It knitted up beautifully and was easy on my hands.

Starry Oaklet 14Here’s how the shawl looks as a scarf, bandit-style.
—>
Starry Oaklet 15<—And tossed about the neck with carefree abandon.

Oh, and let's take a look at the difference blocking makes. When I took the shawl off the needles, it was a crumpled mess, as most projects usually are, especially any that contain lace sections. The lace pattern was almost undetectable, and the shawl would barely reach around my shoulders. A good hard block later, and a totally different project has emerged! Take a look at the difference between the lace sections. On the left, unblocked; on the right, blocked!

Starry Oaklet 4Starry Oaklet 16

And, of course, as you can see from this picture, as well as the pic at the top of this post, the shawl’s wingspan and mine match up just fine.
Starry Oaklet 13

7cde9-fofridayI used to say I wasn’t a shawl person. That isn’t necessarily a true statement these days. I’ve discovered I quite like little shawls, especially the crescent-shaped ones like my Tardis shawl, and the smaller triangular shawls such as the Oaklet pattern featured here.

This post is part of the FO Friday round-up, hosted by Tami’s Amis. Click the badge and take a look at what other folks finished this week.

WIP Wednesday: Starry Oaklet Shawl progress

Starry Oaklet 2

I would estimate I’m about 85-90% done with the shawl. Maybe another three or four rows of lace to go before binding off.

Starry Oaklet 3

I say “maybe another three or four rows” because I don’t really know. I’m trying to use as much of this yarn as possible, because I really hate excessive amounts of leftovers, especially of sockweight. And by “excessive”, I mean more than 50 yards. Of course, there’s a pattern for a “honeycomb quilt” or some such that uses little “cells” knitted out of leftover sockweight. I’m keeping it in the back of my mind.

Starry Oaklet 4

ab2a5-tami_wipSo, the unblocked lace pic above is for comparison’s sake. When this project is finished and blocked, we’ll have before and after pics. Yes, Virginia, blocking is important.

You know what else is important? Clicking that badge over there to see what else is going on with WIP Wednesday.