FO Friday – Southern Skies

southern skies hyperspace shawl star chart night sky shawl fogknits made in san francisco knitting etsy

Happy Friday, indeed!  My Southern Skies shawl is finally done!  Each bead & eyelet combo represents a star.  Together, they are an accurate representation of the night sky as seen in the Southern Hemisphere.  Blah, blah, blah…no one is ever going to know that’s Canus Major at the bottom of the photo there but it is!  Only took me 5 minutes to figure that out, with a cheat sheet.

No, the remarkable thing about this shawl is purple cashmere!  I wish you could pet it.  It’s amazing.  The purple strand is one of my favorite yarns, Superior Cashmere.  Yum!  They call it sport weight.  I call it lace weight.   I like to pair it with Panda Silk, for a bit of body.  The photos don’t do it justice.  I love it!

It took a while, a third of the project, to really find a rhythm.  It’s a charted design that is entirely non-repeating.  At it’s longest, each row was 576 stitches or 8 pages of chart.  There’s no other way to do it.  The consolation is it’s very easy knitting, stockinette stitch with ‘YO, K2Tog’ forming the eyelets.  The beads are placed on the following row.  No brainer, once you figure out the mechanics of it.

I made a couple modifications.  I stopped (aka ran out of yarn) around row 120.  The pattern continues to row 160.  Doesn’t sound like much but that’s ~half the yarn necessary.  It would have been huge had I continued.  I was ready to be done though.  I’m not sure pi shaping is for me.  I’ll wear it folded in half most of the time.

I modified the bind off as well, subbing in a beaded picot edge to use the remainder of my beads (because of course I had plenty of those.)  You can find those details here!

Now, you’ll have to excuse me, I may have had an idea that demands casting on…right now?!?  (I last nearly 24 hours!  Wooo!)

A Tale of Two Swatches.

It’s time to prepare for the Ravellenic Games (the knitting olympics, for those not in the know)!  My event is the ‘Sweater Triathlon’.  Yes, that means I’m going to knit an entire sweater in 17 days.  I want a sweater.  I have yarn for sweaters.  I have sweater patterns in mind.  I just finished a whole bunch of WIPs.  The time is right.

Option #1

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The yarn is Lace Lux, same as the scarf I just finished.  The pattern is Sabine.  A repeat of this beauty…

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I really want to wear that sweater!  Just not sure I want to knit it in 17 days.  Even on a size 6, that’s a lot of stitches.  So…

Option #2

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Chunky yarn on size 11 needles.  Now that seems reasonable!  The pattern I’ve got in mind is Stephen West’s Outer Space.  It’s got the classic WestKnits’ wedge & stripe construction so even if I don’t like wearing it, I’m going to like knitting it.

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I get to stashbust a little.  I’m throwing in the leftovers from the cardigan I knit in January. I think this is the plan.  With only 17 days to execute, it’s good to have a plan.

Cast on is one week from tomorrow…theoretically, I’m continuing my WIP knitdown until then.  I may crack though.  It’s hard to not cast on.  Amirite?  I’m gonna try.  I’ll keep you posted!

FO Tuesday — The ABBA Hat

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For my next trick, I present back-to-back crochet FOs!   There’s not much to say about this one.  It’s a quickie custom job I picked up, being in the right place, at the right time.  It was a kit.  I followed the instructions.

Okay, I made a couple little mods, went up a hook size and tweaked it to work in a spiral rather than rows.  Trivial stuff.

The fun part of this project is where it came from…Sweden!  ABBA: The Museum to be exact!

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This is Agnetha’s ‘Famous’ Blue Hat from the Waterloo video!  They sell the kit at the Abba museum in Stockholm.  I love everything about this.  I definitely would have bought this.  I think every museum should have hat kits in the gift shop!

And now, Dance Break!

 

Don’t worry, there are sequins for this hat…it will be authentic.  They’re glued on, so the gentleman who commissioned my services is going to handle that part himself!

I had planned to put my hooks away for a bit but this was fun, I’m thinking I may have to hunt up some blue yarn & sequins to make one of my own.  LOL!   My craft card should be revoked if I can’t find sequins in my apartment!  I know they’re here somewhere…

 

 

FO Monday -Crochet ‘Entrelac’

Last week there were multiple FOs for other people.  This week there are multiple FOs for me.  This is the part where have 10 WIPs at once finally pays off!

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First up, the crochet piece I started as a swatch.  It was so much fun to do that it grew into a full blown WIP, complete with yarn chicken!  I got more yarn, only a single skein though.  I knew then, it wouldn’t be enough but it was available and it was a dye lot match and one is better than none.

With my skein count at 4, I decided, enough is enough, even if I barely had a scarf.  That’s 4 skeins of Crystal Palace Mini Mochi, 780 yards.   (Which I’m just now realizing is way less than I thought.  Each skein is 195 yards, I thought it was 300.  I was annoyed that 1200 yards wasn’t enough.  ooops.  my bad.  I completely understand why I never had enough now!  On average, crochet uses 30% more yardage than knitting.  Imagine a knit shawl with 520 yds.  yeah, that’s exactly what I’ve got here.  and it’s just not enough.)

 

I’m quite pleased with my solution to the problem, in any case!  It’s a button!  One single button from the stash.  It wasn’t even an agonizing decision, as buttons often are.

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With one little plastic button, I’ve gone from shawl-that-isn’t-even-big-enough-to-be-a-scarf to the perfect garment.   The stitch pattern (diagonal crochet stitch tutorial here) is predominately double crochets.  They’re tall enough that a button pushes through anywhere, easily…no buttonhole necessary!  (aka no planning necessary!)

Now I’ve got a beautiful shrug!  Perfect for warming the shoulders without the bulk of a shawl (or the fuss.)

I realize this isn’t a new or unique idea but I’m tickled pink with it.  There are lots of ideas out there.  That doesn’t help me remember them all.  Having the right idea at the right time…priceless!  I never would have planned this and I’m pleased as Punch that this is where I’ve ended up.   I may never take it off…at least until the next FO comes around!

 

Freddy, Jr.

Who’s inner 5-year old doesn’t want to live in Opposite Land?  It’s been FO after FO all week, so it’s entirely fitting to end the week with a new cast on.  Yay Opposite Land!  Anything to keep me from finishing my mini mochi crochet shawl, that Rockefeller I started way bay when, the hitchhiker I impulse casted on last week, or even that project who’s bind off is half finished.  I could do just half a row, and have a beautiful, beaded, purple, cashmere shawl but no, I’d rather start something new!!

New is so exciting!  I love new!  Especially when it’s something fun.  Something ridiculous.  You may have noticed how much I like knitting ridiculous things.

570C44E9-093A-4ACE-BB39-F74C19434ED4 Like a Freddy Krueger sweater for a little kid!  It’s just such a good idea, it has to happen.

The yarn was sitting right *there*.   As if that was an accident?  Clearly, it was meant to be.

 

I’m staying true to the look of the original sweater but I’m changing the construction. This is a no brainer as a top down, raglan, pullover.  The original is a very fine rib, machine made I’m sure.  I’m going stockinette, again, no brainer…in the round, just knit away, making an occasional stripe.  Yeah, I got this.

 

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An inch of ribbing, go up a needle size, start the raglan increases.  It’s perfect.  Who says patterns and gauge swatches and measurements are important?  Not me!  At least, not yet!  Happy Friday :)

 

The Best of the Secrets

I saved the best of the secret knitting, or at least the cutest, for last!  In addition to the baby sweater, the gift I gave and the gift I received, there was a group project for our pregnant gal!  We debated what to do for a long time.  Squares for a blanket seemed easiest except when it came to assembly.  No one wanted to volunteer for that!  Seaming your own work is chore enough.  Seaming someone else’s work takes a special kind of nutty.

We started to run out of time.   We couldn’t decided on a type of project, let alone a pattern or yarn.  And then a flash of brilliance struck!  Someone suggested a mobile…perfect!  Picking a theme was easy for our resident biologist/open water swimmer…Under the sea!

We all set out to pick our own patterns, use our own yarn, knit at our own gauge.  Exactly the type of accommodations a group project of this nature needed!   In the end, the ‘related separates’ idea brought a terrific dynamic to the finished mobile.  Every critter has it’s own little personality.  If one of us had made all the critters, I think it would have been a bit flat.  They’d all be the same style, a bit homogenized.  Instead, we’ve got a super little underwater party happening!

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As the collection started to grow, we still needed someone to do assembly.  Being unemployed, I had the time so I volunteered.  I just kinda winged it all, and somehow it all worked out!  I started by wrapping the inside hoops of a couple old embroidery in yarn, some random random Noro from the stash.  Yay Stashbusting!

Then I hung the critters using an invisible nylon thread.  Took a little trial and error to get the best method but in the end, everybody played nice together!

 

As it came together, it was hard to contain the excitement of how perfect it really was.   In the end, everyone loved it and it fit the nursery perfect.  It’s hard to think of adjectives other than ‘perfect’ and ‘adorable’.  Once again, not having a plan, was a really good plan!

 

Get a closer look and more details on some of the critters here:

Stinging Nettle

Blue Fish

Green Fish

Top Starfish

Striped Fish

And now, it’s time to get back to current knitting.  I’m only halfway through my 576 stitch beaded picot bind off.   Progress, thy is Thursday!

Luca Baby Sweater

The secret knitting parade continues today with a baby sweater — Luca, from Berroco!

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When it comes to babies, sweaters are my go-to.  This one was a no brainer.  The yarn is Berroco Comfort, soft, soft, soft for new babies and easy care for moms!  The pattern is from a Berroco pamphlet and this is the sample garment in many shops.  Samples really work!  They couldn’t have made it easier, 2 balls of yarn makes all the sizes.  No yarn chicken here!

As usual, picking buttons was a lengthy process.  The new baby is a boy so I wanted something fun without being too cutesy.  I had something particular in mind — even with a vast selection of button shops in San Francisco, I didn’t find it.  I wanted fish but I couldn’t find any that meshed.  Everything I found seemed to distract rather than compliment so I stuck with the basics.

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Let’s face it, no one is going to be looking at the sweater anyhow!  And if, by some slim chance, someone glances away from the new baby cuteness to notice the sweater, I want credit for doing the work…not the buttons!

I enjoyed this yarn so much that I picked up the appropriate colors to make baby’s first Freddy Krueger sweater next!  That one is going to be fun!   Before then, there’s one more day of secret knitting to reveal tomorrow.