All the Shawls

I’m taking a little shawl breather before I start the next round of sweaters!  Finished one for mom, finished one for me and the next one is on the needles already!

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First up, the Corona Shawl, a free crochet pattern from Universal Yarns.  I had fun with this one, despite never really getting  accustomed to the pattern.  Unlike the knitting I do, there were lots of different stitches and the patterning changed nearly every row.  This has definitely given me the confidence to crochet more complicated shawls but I will be looking for charted designs in the future.

I took lots of detail pictures with future crocheters in mind.  In the absence of charts, having Ravelry’s database of photos was incredibly helpful.

The yarn is Lion Brand Mandala.  It’s surprisingly nice for highly affordable acrylic.  The softness is great and the colors are super.  My one complaint though…I wish I could block it.  I’m missing the crispness I could give all these details in a nice, natural wool.  That said, I’m glad it’s crochet and not knit.  I don’t think knit lace would be as forgiving without a blocking.  Ultimately, I think I lucked into this pattern and yarn combo being a winner!  And, as my dentist says, it’s better to be lucky than good!

My second shawl finish is another scrappy, striped Dotted Rays.  Yes, another Dotted Rays.  The first six are not enough.  A 7th was necessary.  I’ll still be saying the same thing when it’s the 10th, the 15th and even the 20th.  I love this pattern.

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It works with any & every yarn.  It’s easily committed to memory.  It’s got about a million options for customization.  It’s easy to wear.  And now I’ve got one for every day of the week!

I wasted no time casting on my next shawl.  Another Stephen West, this time his newly release, Spring Cleaning Shawl.  It’s got all my favorite components, garter stitch, short row wedges and lots of options for yarn customization!

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I’m going fade with this one…starting off with this light color that will eventually fade from the light green with bits of yellow into the blue you see at the i-cord edge.  I’ve got new project excitement at the moment so progress should be quick!  This pattern has modular construction…I think that’ll help it along too.  Fingers crossed because I’m excited about this one! These colors are swoon-worthy!

Overdue Update

Well, Heeeeeelllo!

It’s been a while.  I’ve been busy.  Work, eh?  Takes up all the best hours of the day!  Never fear though…there has still been knitting!  No time to talk about knitting but still time for knitting!  I’ve finished up a bunch of projects too!

Like my Striped Esjan!  It’s awesome.  I’m glad I finally made one!  It’s inspired me to put more holes in my knitting for years now!   The ends aren’t woven and it’s not blocked yet but that has not stopped me from wearing it.  It’s an older WestKnits design.  The big swiss cheese holes have always attracted me to this shawl.  All the increases to create those holes resulted in nearly 1200 stitches in the final rows!  The bind off took an entire day but I’m super stoked to have finished it.  It’s fun to wear.

There’s also my latest nephew knit!  Another sweater for the little man…it’s just a top down raglan with a few stripes for interest.  Hopefully he’ll get plenty of cozy time from it!

The kid is growing like a weed so I had to knit this yarn up quick before he outgrew the 3 skeins I bought!  The yarn is from Swan’s Island’s ecowash collection.  Don’t be fooled by that convenient name, that also sounds like it might be better for the environment than superwash.  This yarn, while listed as washable, is not machine dryable which, for me, negates the whole purpose of being washable.  It behaves like superwash, in that it grows upon washing.  So…poooooooooh.  I should have read the label closer.  As much as I dislike superwash, it’s the way to go for kids clothes.

It’s gonna be a while before I start the next nephew sweater.  It’s going to be a Mini Sunset Highway for his first birthday.  It’s going to be incredibly adorable.  I can’t wait to see him wear it.   But for now it’s on the backburner.  I’m shelving all knitting until May.  That sounds drastic but…

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I’ve been accepted into another street fair, the Bayview Mercantile, April 28th, in San Francisco, at All Good Pizza in the Bayview neighborhood.  Let’s face it, they had me at pizza!  So, no knitting for the next couple weeks while I prep some new cross stitch hoops for the event!

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Luckily, it’s kind of addictive and I’m not upset at this self-imposed ban on knitting.  I have cross stitch ideas faster than I can stitch them so a month long cross stitch binge is just what I need!   My crafty Mom is getting in on the action too..she sent me a big package full of hand dyed aida to stitch on!  The colors are so fun!  I especially love the rainbow stripes!

I love a good pop culture reference.  I still have lots of song lyrics, movie quotes and of course, Game of Thrones quotes on the drawing board…I’m curious about what you’d like to see too!  Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Stitches West & Beyond

February has been a total whirlwind!  I knew going back to work would happen quickly, when it did happen.  I knew my creative time would take a hit but man, I forgot what a disaster everything else becomes too!

I used to laugh at the parade through my building on Saturday mornings.  First thing…take out the garbage.  Without fail, every Saturday morning, half the building takes out it’s trash.  Then they all parade through the laundry room.  Then it’s the parade to the grocery store.  As you can imagine, it is with great reluctance that I re-join this parade.  It’s all coming back to me though.  I’ve usually gotta work a trip to the post office in there, too.

I’ve been forcing myself to knit at least a few stitches in the evenings.  Slowly, I’m getting back into the swing of maximizing my time.  I’ve finished a bunch of small instant gratification projects recently, hats and toys.  I’ve got a new Dotted Rays shawl on the needles, too…but I’ve had no movement on my steeked sweater.  It is still zipper-less.

 

And then Stitches happened!  Phew!  I’m nearly recovered.  It was a good time and, I’m happy to report my ‘Carrying Coal to Newcastle’ approach worked.

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I filled my bag with stash yarn from home, just as little reminder that I have plenty of great yarn and there’s no need to buy anymore.   It totally worked!  I did not buy yarn at Stitches!  I did buy a couple trinkets…a Willie cool patch and a cute tin with a few little stitch markers.  The flying alpaca-corn became the perfect zipper pull for my notions bag!

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Check out this slideshow to see all my Stitches pictures.  Without serious yarn shopping to do, I took a lot of pictures and looked at lots of samples.  I doubt I even saw half the market floor though.

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And so, another Stitches is in the books.  I’m looking forward to next year when, hopefully, I’ve lifted my self imposed ban on stash acquisitions.  I’m super inspired and motivated to do lots of knitting in March!

Ready…Set…GO!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

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As it happens every year, not only is today Mom’s birthday, it’s also the FogKnits Blog 4th Anniversary!  I’m still quite pleased that I thought about this overlap in the beginning.  I’ve always got an FO post for the blog-iversary.  It’s another project with a flower.  If there’s one thing Mom likes it’s hats with flowers!

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This was a fun one! The yarn is Noro’s Rainbow Roll…aka a thick, fluffy, pencil roving.  It can be delicate and break easily so it’s not for everyone but I really love this yarn!

The pattern is Cameron’s Cap.  It’s been one of my favorites for years.  It’s a bottom up hat with a few quick short rows added to create the little ear flaps!  Perfect for winter!

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The flower is a common embroidery flower.  I’m sure someone out there has a name for it but it ain’t me, babe!  I’m really pleased with it though.  And because it’s pencil roving, it’s not heavy or burdensome on the hat.  That’s always a concern when attaching a big flower.

If I had more time, I’d share a retrospective of hats with flowers or maybe give you some blog stats.  Instead you get pics of science shit.  I got right back into it on day one!  Turns out it’s like riding a bike…

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And with that, I’m out the door for work.  Those electrons won’t manipulate themselves!  Happy Hump Day and Happy Birthday Mom!

 

Sweater Complications

Sweaters are complicated beasts!  Anyone who’s ever tried to knit their own sweater knows this.  There are many phases and emotions involved.  Finally, I think all of my sweater pains have been addressed sufficiently and are coming to happy resolutions.

The big one is this…

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I have officially reclaimed my needles & notions.  This sweater is no more.  It’s been a work in progress since June but I’m over it.  It’s a duplicate of this sweater, that I finished in the spring…

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I love this sweater.  I wear it all the time.  It’s almost perfect.   Almost!  It’s so close.  There’s just one thing that has stopped it from being perfect.  Unfortunately, much of it’s charm, also, comes from this not perfect part…the yarn, Pluto-Lopi, the Icelandic unspun pencil roving.

It’s delicate.  It’s not fragile.  The fabric is quite sturdy but I’ve managed to rub it thread bare in the armpits already.  img_1829

I’ve got spots on both arms and both sides, where pilling and rubbing have nearly eliminated the loose unspun fibers.  Hope is not lost for this sweater.  I’m embracing it’s wabi sabi and patching it.  I don’t have any of the matching yarn left but I’ve got plenty of the Noro I used for the stripes.  I’m down with funny duplicate stitch patches in my armpits.

The Noro yarn is a thicker anyhow, more fiber in the problem areas is exactly what this sweater needs.   I’m happy to keep patching it as needed.  I might even love it more as the armpit patches continue to develop and take over.  It’s a lightweight sweater, both in mass and in wearing, and yet it is incredibly warm.  It fits perfect.  It matches everything in my closet.  It’s only 8 months old…there’s no chance I’m ready to retire it yet.

But, I don’t need two sweaters like that.  So, Plutolopi sweater #2 has been halted.  I understand why this yarn is commonly held double now.  That’ll definitely help with future sweaters, maybe even held double with Einband, the Icelandic lace weight yarn.

And, with that big bag of guilt officially retired, I can, legit, think about an RBG inspired sweater!  I’ve been saying it’s going to happen since Christmas but with two sweaters on the needles, I just couldn’t bring myself to start a third.    I’ve finally got a clean sweater slate because, oh yeah..I finished the sweater I’ve been working on for Mom!

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It’s WestKnit’s Outer Space, another favorite of mine.  The yarn is an assortment of Lopi & Lettlopi.  Yes, I have a thing for Icelandic yarn.  At this point, it’ll be no surprise that my RBG inspired sweater is going to be Lettlopi.

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I spent at least two days, last spring, futzing with variations of this palate to find a fun peacock fade.  I had the sweater all planned out.  It was going to be lovely side to side number that faded from light at the cuffs to dark in the center.  I knit the whole thing…in my mind.  I had high hopes.  Somehow that all got derailed though.

Turns out, I was just waiting for the right idea.  RBG Peacock Fade…Hello 2019!  Let’s do this!    (right after I spend two more days futzing with colors again…)

It really is happening this time!  I’m ready for a new sweater!  It’s a new year.  The moons have all aligned.  I’ve cleared out all the 2018 knitting baggage.  It’s on…


 

FO Friday – All The Hats

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As I prepared for this week’s pop up event, I didn’t put all of my knitting aside.  I kept up my on-the-go knitting and it turns out, I get a lot of knitting done when I’m out of the house.   Four new hats, just in time for holiday gift giving and winter chill!

The first two are Wurm derivatives.  It’s a great free pattern.  There’s nearly 16K Wurm hats on Ravelry.  I know I’ve knit probably two dozen of them.  They’re great stash busters, if you go the striped route like I did and they knit up in no time!  Perfect last minute holiday gifts!

Of course, I can’t follow a pattern.  I change my version up at the brim.  The pattern is written with a folded stockinette hem.  I prefer to go the all purl ridge route.  This originates from my early days knitting.  The double roll brim was my favorite way to start a hat.  You can see it here, on my third hat of the week.

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All my early hats have a double roll brim.  I never liked the look of classic ribbing, especially not with a knitted cast on, which was my go-to.  The stockinette curl hides that cast on edge perfectly!  No reason to fret over doing the long tail cast on, if your edge is hidden.

It certainly started out as a lazy decision but honestly, it’s also a super comfortable way to start a hat.  It’s cozy and warm around the ears and it’s never too tight.  I’m not sure why it fell out of favor but I’m officially bringing the double roll brim back.

You heard it here first…2019 is the year of the double roll brim!  Try it out and you’ll see…it’s a lot of fun!  You’ll be screaming it from the roof tops too!  Double roll brims for everyone! It’s gonna be so good!

It’s simply 10 rows of stockinette followed by 4 rows of reverse stockinette.  Easy peasy.  Just remember if you want to go for the two-tone look, you knit 9 rows in color 1 and then knit 1 row of color 2 before purling 4 rows of color.

Now, off to finish some last minute christmas knits.  Packages don’t have to be in the mail until Monday…I can get a lot done in 72 hours!


 

FO Friday – Baby’s First Ugly Christmas Sweater

Crafternoon giveth and crafternoon taketh away.  Just as I was settling in Wednesday, for a highly motivated knitting session, I got the email.  That pop up event that waitlisted me… they were offering me a spot.  It’s in one of the biggest office buildings downtown.  There’s no vendor fees AND they’ll validate parking!  Sign me up…again :)

SO, my knitting excitement has been set aside for another week while I do a quick cross stitch restock!

I did manage to finish my Nephew’s Christmas Sweater first, though!

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Ta-Da!  Baby’s First Fornicating Reindeer sweater!  I can’t wait for the little nugget to wear this.  He’s pretty cute but I have a feeling he’s going to break the cute meter in this sweater!

I rushed through the finishing a bit.  There are a few rough spots but good enough.  It’s gonna be worn for such a short time.  The kid has started growing!  His next sweater is going to be have all the life extending tricks so he can get a lot of wear but this one is just a novelty sweater.  I’m not going to beat myself up over a few rough spots that no one is going to look at, once it’s on an adorable baby.

Killing the acrylic was, indeed, a good idea.  Check out the curl in the before shots.

It instantly vanished with a couple shots from the hottest steam setting on my iron!  Woooo!  Acrylic for the win?  Despite all my usual yarn snobbery, there really is a place for acrylic and this is it.  Perfect for baby uses!

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Pictures from my Nephew’s first Christmas in a humping reindeer sweater…Priceless!

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It’s gonna be good.  My Sister is totally on board with this.  I think this will be a good time for Baby’s blog debut.

In the meantime, I’m off to cross stitch.  There is definitely, absolutely not any super secret Christmas knitting going around here.  None, whatsoever!

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!