FO Friday – Batad

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In a surprise twist, I’ve got an FO Friday this week.  This is my new Batad.  It’s unexpected because I thought I had more yarn.  Turns out, I don’t.  This is what happens when you let gorgeous yarn languish in the deep recesses of the stash.  I completely forgot, I poached the other skein of Deep, the dark blue color, for a Doodler, way back in 2015.   Fortunately, I still love that shawl lots so no knitter’s remorse here.

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Of course, it also helps that the Batad was at a perfect stopping point.  I was able to bind off with no ill effects whatsoever.  I was only going to add one more wedge, so no harm done really.

This is one of my favorite patterns both to knit and to wear.  It’s Stephen West, of course.  I love it’s no fuss nature.  It stays put with no fiddling and no shawl pins.  I tend to wear it on one shoulder but it’s great as a sort of cape, worn to the back as well.

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It doesn’t hurt that the yarn is MadTosh Pashmina…yay for merino-silk-cashmere blends!  The white speckled color is Cosmic Wonder Dust, my favorite color name ever.  I brought this yarn home for this specific project in 2015.  I have no idea why I didn’t get to it sooner because I can tell already, it’s my new favorite.

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I wore it out last night…complete with ends hanging.  LOL.  At least they were on the inside (unlike the Schitt’s Creek sweater!)  I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who noticed.  I was surprised how many people commented on it.  I shouldn’t be though…I was at a drag show.  Those queens know fashion when they see it!

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And so, my Batad collection has grown.  I still want another one though!  I should probably weave the ends on this one before I wear it again.

“probably”

 

The Swap

It’s been a while, life happens.  Last weekend in particular.  After doing nothing but crafting in August.  September has roared to life!  There were many parties, all with libations but only one with YARN!

My knitting group had a big yarn swap!  We’ve done small white elephant style yarn swaps in the past but frankly, I’ve got enough of my own white elephant yarn.  I don’t need anyone else’s.  And, I knit with a group that is very experienced.  More importantly, they have VERY NICE STASHES!  I wanted a piece of that action.  On the day of our last white elephant swap, I casually suggested we do a bigger, more open swap.

Apparently, they wanted a piece of MY STASH too!  In no time, we had organized ourselves a party.

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Mostly MadTosh Pashmina

This is just a sampling of what I took for swapping.   There comes a time, if it’s been in the stash untouched for years, let someone else have a crack at it!  And, if I’m being honest, I still kept the best stuff for myself.  This was only the stuff I could bare to part with.

I’m pleased to say, I came home with a lot of great stuff!  I’m impressed with what I managed to pry away from them.  I can’t wait to use it all.  So far though, I’m stuck in the chaos of it.

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There’s a desk under there somewhere, I swear!  So what’s in this pile?  I have spent a fair amount of time putting in piles and then rearranging the piles.  And, taking pictures of piles, of course.

I have put two of the new yarns into my Marled Magic shawl so far.  I started with that skinny purple mohair.  It was hard to ignore that ball in the swap pile, when I had crazy purple brioche on my needles, at that exact moment.

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It was meant to be.

The second yarn is a skein of MadTosh Twist Light, which I’ve never actually used before.  It’s grey and pastel variegated, so it’s perfect to tone down some of the neons I’ve got.  Right now, a highlighter yellow color, up next will be some neon peach!

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Plus, the purple brioche doesn’t seem so blinding anymore! 

I walked away from the swap with not one but TWO skeins of Caterpillar Green striping shawl skeins.  Not my favorite colors but this yarn is fun!  I think the Fade to Black color is going to become a Dotted Rays.  Not sure about the Fade to Yellow, suggestions anyone?

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This beauty…a Koigu dye job on Buffalo Wool Co.’s bison and silk laceweight.  It’s 400 yards, that is something amazing and lightweight.  I almost think I should do lace?!?

And then, there’s this…

The Bill Murray Sweater really needs to happen.  I’ll never match his original dye lot, so rather than try, I’m collecting a mish-mash of white and off white yarns.  It’s going to be a simple vest I think.  It’s very much a work in progress.  Calling it a work is even a stretch.  It’s still mostly an idea but now I’ve got 7 balls of Jojoland Baritone to add to the pile.  It should be the perfect base.  I’ll fill in with my other oddments as it progresses and it’s going to be charming and perfect…eventually. (which just got a little sooner!)

And now, let the weekend begin.  First Stop:  The Knitterly in Petaluma.  It’s Friday, I’m driving by.  I should probably just buy yarn!


 

 

Eyeball FO

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I expected a 600 stitch i-cord bind off to take much longer!

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Somehow, I got it done all in one morning! And so, the eyeball shawl is finished!

It’s so fun!  The garter stitch is so squishy, it’s a lot of fun to wear!  And that color…

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The details:

My Ravelry Page

The Pattern:  Stephen West’s Eyeball Shawl

The Yarn:  MadelineTosh Euro Sock

It’s currently unblocked. I’ll definitely be doing that soon!  It’s currently large but I want extra large…shlanket size even! I have a feeling all that squishy garter stitch will accommodate me!

In the meantime, I’m ignoring all those other WIPs and thinking about the next cast on instead!

 

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!


 

 

It’s looking at me!

 

I have not touched the languishing (and growing) pile of WIPs.  Pretty sure I won’t be getting 12 pairs of socks done this year.  And that sweater steek I was going to finish for Christmas dinner…obviously I meant Christmas 2017.  and those two Stephen West shawls I have on the needles?   Heck…why not make it one more?  Three shawls in progress are definitely better than two!

A friend gifted me two skeins of MadTosh for Christmas.  Another friend sent me a MadTosh gift certificate.  And then, the first paycheck from the new job arrived.  It was the perfect storm of yarn addiction.  I meant to get just a couple skeins but ended up with these 8 beauties and a desire to knit Stephen’s Eyeball Shawl.  I couldn’t contain myself.

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I was egged on by the fact that the friend who gifted the first yarn, also a knitter, bought herself the same yarn!  And she agreed, the eyeball is completely necessary.  And so we had a little cast on party.  It can’t be a completely horrible idea if you can convince someone else to do it.

It begins from the center, a complete pain but after a short knit, it’s just pi shawl shaping.  Lots of stockinette in the round, one of my happy places.  Despite not having much knitting time, this has become my sole focus, I’m loving it.

 

I’m not sure why I picked this crazy color, Electro Magic.  It’s way more pink that I usually go for.  I’m drawn in by it’s iridescent quality.  It’s an amazing color.  Even for an eyeball.

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Find all the details on my Ravelry page!

Building Blocks – Clue One

It’s the best knitting month of the year…WestKnits Mystery MKAL!

I said NO to this project many times, to many people.  In yarn shops, on Facebook, in text messages.  I denied it every time, with many excuses.  The threat of brioche, a lack of yarn, a lack of time.

Me thinks thou doth protest too much.

No October Surprise here…I can’t resist Stephen West!

Clue One.  No Brioche.  Game On.

I joined the lovely ladies at Uncommon Threads for their Shawl-tober Fest kickoff!  Getting in the car and driving 40 miles to a yarn shop wasn’t even the first sign that this was happening.  I brought Color A with me.  Hard to deny when I’m clenching the yarn in my grubby fists!

It wasn’t long before I’d picked 3 more colors and cast on!

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Counter Clockwise from the Lower Left

Color A — Tosh Merino Light, Jasper (green)

Color B – Tosh Merino Light, Court & Spark (the neutral, inspired by joni mitchell.  I love this color!)

Color C – Tosh Merino Light, Plunge (blue!!)

Color D – Koigu Kpppm, P479 (neutral speckles)

P479 isn’t a very sexy name but it’s the lynch pin of this shawl!  It’s exactly what I needed to tie the room together.

I’m loving it so far!

I’m calling this an Exploration Station/Boardwalk mashup.  We’ve got a long way to go.  Anything can happen but right now, it seems to be mimicking Boardwalk construction with bands of varied color & textures a la Exploration Station.

Just to re-iterate, I love it.

Clue 2 comes out just as I get on the plane to Rhinebeck!  Not even screaming babies, chatty neighbors or turbulence will be able to ruin this flight!  Happy Knitting, Indeed!!