(Again, some of this is copy-and-pasted out of my Ravelry notes.)
(IMAGE HEAVY UNDER THE CUTS)
Project: Jumbo Crayons Unoriginal Hat
Pattern: An Unoriginal Hat, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (yarnharlot)
Yarn: Blue Moon Leticia (100% handspun merino), colorway "Christmas Balls"
Needles: US:10 DPNs
This was an incredibly easy knit for anyone familiar with DPNs and the concept of cables. I cast on for it an evening after work, worked on it for a couple hours that night and the following day, then finished up with another hour of work the 3rd day. I worked it without a cable needle, simply slipping and manually manipulating the stitches for the crossovers back onto the left-hand needle before continuing on my merry way.
The original pattern calls for 7.0mm needles; since there is no US equivalent to that, I went down a millimeter size (to 6.0mm) since I tend to knit loosely. Using US:10’s, the hat still easily fit a woman’s head, and might have still been a little long in the crown (the brim came down to the eyes of the human model who agreed to wear it for me). I had roughly a yard of yarn leftover when I was done.
The Christmas Balls colorway seems to have a lot more white in it than when it’s knit up. In the Leticia yarn, I kept gleefully announcing “It’s like Jumbo Crayons!” Because that’s what the melange of bright, primary colors with the bulky, single-ply yarn reminded me of.
This was a gift for a friend who was going through a rough time at the time, knit in early April, when it was still cold and snowing where she lived. I seized on it because it was a quick knit and suspected she was the type of person who would like a fun, colorful hat. Fortunately, I was correct, and it was much appreciated.
|Finished shawl||From behind|
|Being blocked||Modified edging close-up|
Project: Blue Jay Brick Shawl
Pattern: Blue Jay Shawl, by Alison Jeppson-Hyde
Yarn: Blue Moon Geisha (70% Kid Mohair/ 20% Mulberry Silk/ 10% Nylon ), colorway "Blue Brick Wall"
Needles: US:7 24" circular
When this book came out, I was originally drawn to the Redwood Burl Shawl. But one day, I suddenly decided I wanted to use the Geisha, which was a birthday gift spearheaded by lynthia, and this pattern seemed the most suited to it that I liked.
The pattern calls for yarn sized (3), which according to the legend in the book, is “DK or light worsted”. Geisha is a fingering weight.
The finished shawl of the pattern was approximately 6 oz. of yarn and the materials list calls for 5 skeins of alpaca at 150 yds per skein, but there is no weight by skein to estimate on which side of the 5 skeins 6 oz. is.
Since Geisha comes in an 8 oz. skein (more than the 6 oz. of the pattern shawl), the main body of the shawl is comprised of rows of equal length (384 sts) from yoke to bind-off, the ability and encouragement by the author to do extra pattern repeats (20 rows) to increase the length, I decided I was going to make it bigger.
I weighed the skein of yarn right before starting the first pattern repeat of the body and again at the end of the repeat to estimate the amount of yarn by repeat. Knowing that, I could decide how long I want to make the shawl and be better prepared not to run out of yarn. :)
The original pattern called for three repeats. Doing the math (above), I calculated I would have yarn to do just shy of 6 repeats (not including the edging). To leave myself enough yarn to do the edging, I settled on 5 pattern repeats
For the edging, I opted to do the following after the completion of the 5th pattern repeat:
- I did four more rows (2 pattern rows, 2 rows of purl-backs) of the pattern. For the pattern rows, I completed the points of the diamonds started during the 5th pattern repeat, but knit across the pattern where it would have you begin the next diamond.
- I then knit two more rows in stockinette.
To bind-off, I switched to the US:13 as recommended in the pattern, but on the stitch corresponding in the same column to the last YO of the final set of diamonds, I switched back to the US:7 needle and added a three-stitch picot to the bind-off.
I love it, for as much as it drove me kind of nuts to knit it. The 384 stitch rows meant it wasn't a project I could work on in short windows of time, but had to sit down for a half an hour or more to work on.
If I was to do this pattern again, I think I would make the following changes, based on my own experience and consulting with a designer friend:
- A heavier yarn. I think it would look better in a sport-weight, rather than the fingering weight of the Geisha. This would also decrease the number of repeats needed and therefore the time needed to knit it.
- Modify the last two rows of stockinette stitch to garter, to prevent the ever-present curling.
- Add heavy beads to the picot to help weight the edging down.
This started out being for me, but I decided midway through it to make it a holiday gift for windrose. Although she lives in humidity laden Florida, I know she frequently was chilled in winter, and what better thing to send my love than a Wrapped in Comfort shawl in a soft, fuzzy yarn for her to curl up in on her diva bed? It was late getting it to her, but she forgave me all sins upon receiving it. :)
|Shell body||Gusset close-up|
Project:Cascade Pima Tencel Sharks Ribby Shell
Pattern: Chic Knits Ribby Shell by Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Cascade Pima Tencel (50% Pima Cotton / 50% Tencel), colorways black and teal
Needles: US:3, US:6
Zzzz. Pretty darn simple. Knit in the round, the variation I'm knitting, with flat front and back panels, begins with a bottom edge of non-regular ribbing on the US:3 needles, then switches to the US:6 for the rest of the body.
It's 200+ stitches of black mostly stockinette, with 2x2 ribbing on each side. For most of the body. Zzzzz. It's taken me a while to knit this far (this was cast-on in June 2007) because it was so blasted boring.
It got exciting around the bust area, where I decided to add short-rowing to accomodate my "frontal real estate", which I'd never done before. I worked with kiyowaramiyuki to figure out the math for that, then went to town (the second photo is a close-up of the short-row gusset worked into the ribbing on the left side of the shell).
A couple of inches above the fullest part of the bust, I switched to the teal--I really like teal, but I didn't want to wear that much really bright, unbroken teal. I combined it with the black because I like that color combination (Go Sharks! :), but also because I thought the black would be more forgiving to my "earth goddess curves".
I've reached the point on it where I'm to the armholes, and need to cuddle up with the pattern to figure out what I need to do next to start the straps.
Incomplete. I'll wait until I'm finished to pass judgement.
|Current progress, with investigative cat||Drop-stitch close-up|
Project: Manos Silk Clapotis
Pattern: Clapotis, by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend (70% Merino, 30% Silk), colorway "Stellar"
Needles: US:7 24" circular
I just can't leave any pattern alone anymore. My modifications on this one:
I estimate I'm a little over halfway done at this point, but as I'm kind of making this up by the seat of my pants, I'm not sure.
Still out, but I love this yarn. The silk mades it easy to the touch and it feels great to work with. I also love the wider stockinette field between the dropped stitches, it just feels a little more substantial for the shawl I'm aiming for.
Also, I love the colorway, but that's the whole reason I had to buy it. :)
Gague swatch | After Clue #1, using Chart C
Project: Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl
Pattern: Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl, by Renee Leverington
Yarn: Skacel Merino Lace (100% handspun merino), colorway #669 (teal)
Needles: US:2 circulars, two 24"
I don't know if anyone reading this is doing this or not, but I'll pretend as if people might be concerned about spoilers and continue to put the photos as hyperlinks instead of in the posts. Be warned if you check my Ravelry page for this project, there are no such niceties. :)
This is a mystery knit-a-long, so I know very little about this pattern as yet. The pattern designer (Renee) revealed up-front that the original design is a 60" circular shawl, the pattern of which will be presented in five clues; the fifth clue will also include instructions on how to make it bigger, if people so desire.
I've never done a mystery knit-a-long, so the idea intrigued me when technocowboy alerted me to it. I had the yarn in stash, another gift yarn from esmerel, so I decided to jump on the idea.
I've also never done a circular shawl, so this is an adventure, as well. It had me learn how to do a magic cast-on to start a small circle, a variation on the magic cast-on which can be used to start toe-up socks. It's pretty wifty.
It's also got me knitting lace in the round on two-circs--thank goodness for the practice knitting two-circ socks!--although I could've used DPNs to start with. In retrospect, I'm nervous that perhaps I should have, as I see noticably looser stitches at the 'gaps' between the two needles, that I'm hoping hard will fix itself in blocking.
At this point, only Clue #1 has been released, but I'm finished knitting that portion and ready for when Clue #2 is released.
Magic 8-ball says: Check back later.