Monday Morning

It’s only been Monday for six hours but I’ll admit, I’m already nostalgic for Sunday.  It was a lovely day, overcast and eventually rainy!  Just my kind of day!   And that’s without even mentioning the knitting!  I did spend some time working on my newest sequence knitting project…which I’m completely loving!

My Eyeball Shawl is the big news though!  I’ve started the brioche border.

It’s only a 596 stitch row.  Here’s what I think about that…

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It’s worth it though.  This is going to be awesome when it’s finished!!

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How could a giant pink eyeball be anything less than fabulous!  I think I’m going to run a little short on yarn, not enough to worry about it, just enough to stop a row or two early…the end is in sight!!  (<–get it…eyeball joke!)   With that, it’s time to Monday!


WIP Wednesday – Another New Cast On

Last month at Stitches West, my knitting group all drank the same kool-aid!  The Miss Babs’/Martina Behm kool-aid, Viajante.

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The mass cast on swept me up easily.  I picked yarn, a lace weight halloween themed number my mom and I dyed together.  I knew from the beginning it was destined to be a Martina Behm pattern, so the time was right.

Until Stephen West’s latest MKAL started.  I’m not doing it this go around but I’m watching the progress intently.  I got swept up with that energy too and promptly decided I’d rather work on some bias knit seed stitch, like the second section of the MKAL.

Until I swatched, that is.

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I tried the yarn held alone.  Then I tried introducing a second lace weight yarn (Malabrigo Lace that’s been hiding in the stash.  It’s Malabrigo March after all!)  I wasn’t loving it the way I wanted to though.

Before I could say ‘cast on’, I found myself sequence knitting.  And suddenly, a star was born!  I’m definitely loving it.

New Plan:  Avoid KALs of all types and make up my own shit.  As usual!

In theory, I’m going to knit a symmetric triangle, with the yarn held double, currently the halloween yarn and the green Malabrigo.  I’m doing a simple K5, P5 sequence with a KFB at the beginning of each row.  It’s developed into a lovely argyle/brocade sort of texture.  It’s amazing, reversible and super easy to knit!  Winning!

I can’t possibly knit a plain symmetric triangle though.  As a twist, I’m going to knit the first triangle, then pick up stitches along one edge for another triangle worked perpendicular.   Because one twist is never enough, I’m going to offset my triangles.

2017-03-18_09-10-23_580 Like this!

Of course, I’m not actually working out from the corner of the second triangle, I’ll be working along the entire edge, doing decreases this time.  At that point, I’ll switch from the green Malabrigo to the orange Malabrigo.  How convenient that I just happened to have the exact right colors in my stash!  More winning!

I haven’t decided on a sequence yet but I’d probably change my mind anyhow!   I’m sure I’ll get there soon enough.  This has been lots of fun so far!

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I would be working on it right now, if it weren’t for work.  C’est la vie!  Fingers crossed for a speedy hump day at work so I can get back to this tonight!!


FO Friday – Marled Hitchhiker

My latest Hitchhiker is finished!  Lucky Hitchhiker number 13 for me!

If you aren’t familiar with the Hitchhiker Scarf, you’re missing out!!  It’s the most wearable scarf, that’s easy to knit, perfect for on-the-go and social knitting and, if that’s not enough, it tames even the craziest of rainbow clown barf variegations!  It’s perfect!

I’ve done a lot of variations over the years.  Seed Stitch.  Eyelets.  Eyelets with Beads. Big One.  Little One.  Sparkly One.   This is my first marled Hitchhiker though!

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I’m quite pleased.  The yarn is Anzula’s Haiku.  Instead of an MCN (merino cashmere nylon) blend, it’s an MBN…merino/bamboo/nylon.  It’s soft and warm but hasn’t made me drip sweat yet!  The garter stitch gives the fabric a delightful squish and holding the yarn double only adds to that.  This is all came together so perfectly!

I predict this scarf becomes a staple as Fog Season approaches!


 

WIP Wednesday – March Madness

After February, when I didn’t allow myself new cast ons, in an attempt to finish a few WIPs, the pendulum is now swinging the other way.   There are many new cast ons (and not much finishing!)

Of course, a new sweater.  It’s a hoodie with a cable & lace pattern up the back.  It’s on size 13 needles and I’m following a pattern, so it barely counts!

The yarn is Imperial Yarn’s Bulky 2-Ply Pencil Roving!  I love it.  And it’s green, yes, very excited for this one!  It’s going quickly too!

And then this arrived in the mail…

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It came as kit with yarn to make Yoda and a Stormtrooper.  Needless to say, I’ve got half a Yoda at the moment.  Turns out, he’s got a lot of pieces!  And his ears really define him.  Right now, it looks like a weird little toad.  Fear not…be here soon, Yoda will!

This is another project with amazing yarn.  I’ve been eyeballing it for a long time!  It’s finally on the needles…whoooo-hoo!

This is yarn my Mom dyed for me.  They aren’t my usual colors but it’s just gorgeous.  I really love it so far.  I also appreciate getting free advice from my knitting.  I often need to get my shit together.  It’s a good reminder :)

This is the old WIP that’s getting love this week.

While the northeast is dealing with a blizzard, it’s been nearly 80 degrees and sunny in San Francisco.  While, I normally hate that, it was such a wet winter, even I’ve been able to enjoy a bit of sun.  Thank you Daylight Savings Time!

It seems like very little progress is being made but in reality, I have several large shawls nearly completion!  I’ll just keep plugging away…I’ll get there eventually or at least run out of needles to cast on with.   :)


 

Shawl Progress

All this talk of sweaters, you may have forgotten about the pile of shawls I’ve got in progress.  There’s still a long way to go but I’ve made sizable dents!

With so much fabric scrunched up on the needles, it can be hard to tell what’s going on.  I think I’ve got some visible progress though.

Of course, this one is new all together.

It’s a Hitchhiker.  The yarn is Anzula, Haiku.  I had a different plan for this yarn.  A plan that didn’t pan out.  I was holding the yarn double then.  And so, now, I must also hold the yarn double.  Frogging a project back into single skeins after it’s been held double is a serious pain in the butt.  I picked the easy solution, winding it double as I unraveled my work.   While that decision limited my options going forward, it’s also created an amazing squishy lovely huggable fabric.   Plus, I haven’t knit a Hitchhiker in 5 months?!?  I was way overdue!

My Dotted Rays – Doodler mash up has made some lovely progress.  I’ve added a few new stripes to this WIP, which is quite a task given how long the rows have gotten.  I still have plenty of scraps to add in, so it’s just going to keep going.  Although, it seems I’m heading for the neutral zone.  Not surprising that those are the scraps I reach for last.

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I also decided to omit all my variegated scraps.  That’ll be the next one!

The real progress though, and my current favorite, is the Eyeball Shawl.  You can’t really tell it’s an eyeball yet.  It’s going to have a very dramatic reveal at the bind off.  I haven’t dared to look but I’m guess at the point of bind off, it’ll have 650+ stitches.  It’s a lot of fabric.  Even if I can’t spread it out, it’s still lots of fun to photograph!

 

The yarn is MadelineTosh.  Those colors!  I just can’t resist.

With fingers crossed and just a little bit of discipline, I think this could be the next big thing off my needles!  Only time will tell!


 

 

FO Friday – The Lopi Sweater

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After many unplanned creative diversions, the sweater I started in November is finally finished**.  It’s entirely my own design.  It was a circuitous path but it was worth it.  It’s comfortable.  It fits well.  It’s close to what I had in mind when I started. Best of all, it looks good on!

The construction is both top down and bottom up.  The pieces met in the middle and were grafted together.  The body and sleeves were done bottom up and steeked.  The yoke is a top down raglan.  Not what I originally planned but it totally worked!

The yarn is Lett-Lopi, direct from Iceland!  It’s perfect for steeking!  I reinforced my stitches with a simple backstitch before cutting it open.  Picking up stitches for the button band is another layer of reinforcement.  That’s all I’m going to do to it.   Being a sticky wool, the loose ends are perfectly happy where they are.  I’m not worried about slipping or unraveling of any sort.  I’d certainly never attempt this with superwash.  No, this is Lopi in it’s glory.  This is what it excels at.

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You can see my reinforcing stitches on the right hand side…the little row of light green yarn.  And you can see my cut ends, just chilling there on the edge.  Before I added the button band this sweater kicked around for 2 weeks.  If it didn’t unravel then, it’s not going to unravel now.  Lopi is magic.  Plain and simple.

I thought about a decorative bit of ribbon to hide the mess but meh.  I don’t think it’s necessary.  The sweater hangs so well.  Nothing flips up or curls in where you don’t want it too.  I don’t think the inside will be seen often.  Everything lays perfect and flat.

Speaking of perfect and flat, check out this awesome button band…no puckering, no gaping, no unintentionally ruffles.

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And it only took one try!  It turns out, math totally works.  I’m just as amazed as you are!

I love the sleeves.  They’re long.  Worn cuffed, they’re long.  Worn with the cuff unrolled (thank you seed stitch for being lovely AND reversible!), the sleeves fall almost to the end of my fingertips…No need to carry fingerless gloves if you’ve got long sleeves!  This is the sort of personal touch that I love about knitting my own sweaters.

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The only thing I forgot to do was short row shaping at the back of the neck.  I wouldn’t mind a little bit more coverage at the back of my neck.  That’s a minor detail.  Maybe next time.

I have a feeling I’ve found my next favorite sweater!  Now…time to start plotting the next one!  It’s gonna be more green…


** My finish proclamation totally gets an asterisk.  The observant among you, and the OCD, may have noticed the stripes don’t match up.  D’oh!  My perfect button band apparently is not spaced evenly.  I put my buttons at regular intervals, not thinking to check if the stripes lined up.  Whoops.

As luck would have it, I was debating changing the buttons anyhow.  I think the antler buttons are too busy.  I should have gone with the wood buttons.  They’re birch branches from Iceland, they really belong on this sweater.  I bought they from a farmer on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.  Icelandic buttons definitely belong on an Icelandic Sweater.

So, this weekend, I’ll take the antler buttons off and put the birch buttons on and I’ll end make sure the stripes line up this time.  THEN, my sweater will be “done”.  In the meantime, I still plan to wear it…crooked stripes and all!