Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Zelda

Glorious, isn't it?  This shawl design was so interesting to me that I signed on to test it, even though I had told myself no more testing and such until all of my works-in-progress were finished.   Well, they're not, but Zelda is.  It's by Libby Jonson, of Truly Myrtle.com and the Truly Myrtle Podcast.



I took FO photos on a day where I had on makeup and was sort of dressed up, but it was extremely dark and rainy day and I was in a hurry to eat.  So I'm not trying for artsy blur here, they're just sort of fuzzy, making my Instagram pics the best- mismatched stripes and all.  Sheesh, I really need to slow down and make nice, clear photos a priority again.  Oh, just go look at Libby's photos, they're so, so beautiful.




Ah, Libby, you've done it again.  Another design with graphic appeal.  I do like lace, really I do.  But I lean towards the un-frilly, and I think this is one of those universally appealing shawls that knitters who like either, or both, would enjoy.

I love her play with geometric lines through both color and texture.  Remember Rattan and Industry?  So this is my sixth Truly Myrtle pattern to knit, but it won't be my last.  I have some Knit Pick's Stroll in Cork and Midnight Heather just waiting to become Joss.  Seriously, click the link because Joss is awesome.


It drew "Ooohs" and "Ahhhs" from my husband and son.  When I wasn't even fishing for compliments.  These guys see my knitting as an extension of my arms.  They could care less what's in my hands, yet they noticed this shawl.  

I think the reason for their awe was how super complex it looks.  In reality, you could totally catch up on your favorite show while knitting it, but no one has to know that.  It is just the right amount of engaging to keep you knitting quickly.  I think I made this, working off and on, in about 20 days.

Now for the details, because I want to show off this yarn:

That's not a bad time commitment.  I used size US 4 Karbonz and a combo of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport in Thirst Heather and Madelinetosh Dk in Earl Grey.


No offense Knit Picks, I will always love you, but the Earl Grey totally stole the show in this one.  I mean look at that subtle semi-solid.  I don't know what color to say it is.  Except that it's one of my favorite Madtosh colorways.  At the time I bought this, when there was still a Madtosh store-front, it was impossible to get anywhere online.  So I used my trip spending money to splurge on only two skeins. Then I held them for eternity in a dark box in my room.  (It's not easy to find the right project to use up, but not exceed two skeins of Dk.)


Libby's shawl gave me an excuse to resurrect and use them in a project that would display the little flecks of blue that make Earl Grey so special.   One thing I love about Knit Picks is that their colors via the computer screen are completely accurate.   So, I felt confident holding my Earl Grey up to my iPad and choosing the main color.


Here's what I wish I had done:  I wish that I'd made the Early Grey the main color because I think the tonal shifts would have shone through even better if it was in the forefront of the design.  You can see how awesome it looks toward the edge of the shawl, right?  Anyway, I wasn't about to rip back and start over.  This was too perfect.  Plus, it was a test knit and I needed to finish.


So what will be next on my needles from Libby?  It's got to be Joss.  It's weird how often I think of that shawl.  At the moment I'm finishing up two Tops, Tanks, and Tees projects and starting a few test knits.  Don't know what happened to the "finishing all my WIPs, first" thing, but when I get caught up on all of that... Joss.

(more on ravelry, kollabora, instagram, and flickr)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tops Tanks and Tees Knit-Along Stuff

My first project for the Tops, Tanks, and Tees KAL is the May cardigan.  Oh yeah, I haven't even been on here enough to talk about the knit-along and now it's almost over.  well, if you are a knitter, you knew about it anyway.



As for May, you've probably seen in it in Quince and Co ads.  Like so many of Bristol Ivy's designs, the construction is interesting.

I'm using a yarn I've been wanting to try for a year or two-  Nice and Knit.    I first heard about Kara's and Katie's yarns from their sister, Betsy in the Very Shannon Ravelry group, where she turns out so many beautiful knits in their yarn.


So I made two skeins of Fingering in the Nantucket colorway mine for this project.  (I also got a skein in Dk for a hat.)  Look at how lovely the color shifts are.  I am alternating skeins, just in case.

Now for the cardigan: I adore this cartridge stitch.  It is taking forever to knit up, but it will be worth it.  It's such an interesting alternative to ribbing.


I think this is a good project choice for my being between sizes, too.  It can look good a bit more fitted and definitely looks nice with extra ease.


So I have a huge Bristol Ivy "Wanna Knit" list growing.  At this moment I have yarn for both Bridie
and the AllongĂ© Tee.  I did have yarn for Offshore V-Neck, but I poached it for my Cherry Pie zip-front sweater.  It will happen eventually, I think.  I also feel like a Kit Camisole is in my future too because it's such a sweat fest here.  I need sleeveless, airy things on me.



Having said that, it's obvious that May may not see the light of day until next Fall.  As light as it is, it is wool- the most lovely wool- but still wool.  So, to counteract that bummer, I did start on my Hualpa Kimono, in cotton, from We Are Knitters.  More about that later.

Other than the Kimono, I was thinking I have to get Canyon, Zara, and AllongĂ© on my needles this summer, then I opened the new PomPom Quarterly and all of my summer knitting plans have been constantly rearranging themselves in my mind.  I want Red Bud Isle and Nouri!  But Nouri can wait until Fall because, like I said...sweat fest.

What are your must-knit knits this summer, friends?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Morning Mist, I Didn't Forget You

Don't let the length of time this was on my needles fool you.  Morning Mist, by Annie Rowden, was a fun knit and is a lovely pattern.  Every knitter needs one... or two or three.   I just got distracted by Fall knitting and I gained some weight and wasn't sure if it would even fit.  So, I set it down for a while, but pulled it back out for my Spring Cleanup.


A quick disclaimer:  My camera was being loaned out and so I used my cell phone as camera and husband as tripod.  Sadly, it isn't the best and he just can't do still or straight, or reduce upper arm puff with various camera angles.  Sheesh.

But I wanted to get this on my blog and get my modifications out there in case anyone else wanted to try a fingering weight yarn for this, but were feeling hesitant.




And now it's perfect weather for this lovely tee, my friends.  Come along with me and let's dissect my modified Morning Mist to the few cell phone photos I could get that were decent.  (My camera was on loan and my husband has no concept of a still, straight photo.  Not that I'm ungrateful for the help...)

Details:  When I cast this on, I really wanted to use a different weight yarn for it- Knit Picks' Lindy Chain, in Linen and Plum.  I knew I would have to knit more tightly than the sample gauge, though, to produce a nice, full looking fabric.  My gauge in stockinette was 6 sts/ 10 rows per inch.  So, I decided to loosely follow instructions for the second size.


Lace Panel: With a size US 2 needle, I cast on for the lace back panel, completing the number of lace repeats recommended for the second size.  When finished I blocked as instructed, but it was about 1.5 inches shorter than the pattern dimensions.  No problem.


Straps:  I moved on to the straps and picked up 1 more stitch than directed for each strap and worked each one about 1.5 inches before casting on the neckline with 6 more stitches than the pattern called for.  I worked front to the length instructed, then set it down to get my back panel to the right length.


Lengthening the back:  To get it to the same length as the front, I simply picked up the same number of stitches I had on the front and added about 1. 5 inches of stockinette.

At this point I blocked the front and the back again because things looked wonky with an unblocked front and a partially blocked back.  Thankfully, they lined up beautifully.


The edges: From this point I could've just followed the directions, but for some reason I added a 1 x 1 rib band at the bottom instead of garter.  I think I did this because I was away from home and couldn't get to my phone to see what was really supposed to be happening.  Of course, once I'd done that, I went ahead and added the same style ribbing to the sleeves.


Neckline: The ribbing didn't look good at the neckline, so I just did an I-Cord Bind off around the neck.  It's fine and has the look of a raw edge that I really like; however, I wish I'd remembered what the pattern called for at the edges.  Oh well, what's done is done.  Either way, this is such a lovely design that I don't even think of those things when I wear it.


I love the simple style of this tee.  The fact that it involves a challenging lace panel adds that thing that a knit needs to feel like their "really knitting."  I'm excited to see how the Lindy Chain washes and wears over the summer.


A note about the fit:  I started this one year ago.  I was 22 pounds lighter, according to my doctor.  Without getting into a long winded diatribe against unnecessary hormone therapy, I will say that I had a feeling I might gain weight when he put me on hormones (though I was feeling a bit desperate).  Thankfully, I figured this into my sizing when I cast on.  So you can see that my Morning Mist fits, but without a lot of ease.  Normally, I would want more ease, but I cast on when I was unsure what would happen.  A lot of ravelers have intentionally made there's as fitted as mine, so I know that's some people's preference.


Annie has a lot of designs out now, but Pasture and Avana are the ones that call to me.  Probably because they can be made with summery fibers and still look great.  I'm thinking I could use Lindy Chain for Pasture and shorten the sleeves to a level that's bearable for the ridiculous heat of Southeast Texas.

Side note about me:  I think the weight is coming off but, more importantly, I've finally found better, natural methods for regulating my periods, controlling migraines, and treating my skin- in case you were worried.  Now to reclaim the last year of my life. :)

What summer knits are on, or about to be on, your needles?


Friday, April 29, 2016

Springtastic

Guys, I just knit the most textured, cabledy socks I've ever seen.  They're Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter's Springtastic Socks.  Ah, my need to make something "more" has been completely satisfied.  The lower cuff also meant I could finish before the end of the Holla Knits KAL 2016.




Details:  I planned to use size US 0 needles since this pattern required a larger cast on than I normally use, but I couldn't find them.  So I used my 1s and thought "tightly" through mental gritted teeth while I worked.

 

I followed the pattern completely except I left a few more stitches at the toe for binding off.  I don't know if it would make a difference, but these socks seemed to make a more pointed toe than I have.  my feet seem almost straight across.  The fit is perfect, so I'm thinking it was a good call.

The yarn was Let's Stay Home on the The Fawn & the Fox's Raven base.  I think I've already mentioned that I was unsure about using a busier yarn for these, but I loved the results.



Though I'm glad I chose this pattern for this yarn, looking at the stockinette portion makes me think it would make a great pair of vanilla socks.


If you think mine were chock full of stuff knitter's like, check out all of the variegated, lengthened, striped, and modified pairs on the Ravelry thread.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sunset Shawl

This pattern is called the Simple Spring Shawl, by Michelle Krause, but mine looks more Sunset than Spring.

I have never used a variegated yarn for a shawl or scarf before this, so I wasn't sure about all the pooling and such that I hear other knitter's talk about.  I'm so glad I tried it.




Isn't this the most gorgeous sunset?  Must be all the chemicals in the air.

This is a side to side knit and crescent shaped, so the placement of colors was really consistent throughout the shawl.  The garter stitch is like a textural striping that looks really good with this colorway.   It also keept the lace-bordered from feeling too formal or frilly.


Details:  I used size 5 needles and Red Sock Blue Sock Yarn Co.'s Comfort Sock in the Muchier Muchness colorway.  It was my first installment from their 2016 Yarn Club and such a beautiful mix of earthy red, brown, and orange.  I really don't have many knits in those colors, so I was excited to cast on for something that could be seen.  In other words, I didn't want to knit a sock.


Michelle Krause's pattern is very easy to follow and went along so smoothly that I did an extra increasing section... which led to an extra decreasing section... which meant I'd need just a fraction of another skein of this colorway.  Thankfully Ashley had a few extra skeins reserved for club members who ran short.


I only needed a fraction of that skein to finish my shawl, so it looks like I'll get that pair of socks in the Muchier Muchness colorway after all.


And of course here's my selfie version of the shawl so I could post on instagram- not unlike Lucille Bluth's latest driver's license pic.


I have already received my other club shipments for the Winter Club, now I'm into the Spring club.  Take a look:

Off with Her Head would make a lovely shawl or beret:


Alice, which I'm thinking I might use for a Monkey Socks:


and Queenie, which is exactly the color combo I've been looking for in sock yarn:


I am also dying to use their Stellar colorway for one of my Box o Sox projects.  Ah, as soon as I get thru the next two knit-alongs, I'm devoting a few weeks to socks only.