FO Friday – Southern Skies

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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!)

Momentum

I had such a productive weekend and I’ve been able to keep that momentum going.  Even better, I’ve channeled it into old WIPs that have been languishing!

My Rockefeller got a new inch!  At 330 sts/row, that’s a substantial task!  In garter stitch, on size 3 needles?!?  This is a relatively new WIP though, it hasn’t become a chore just yet.

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My Southern Skies, on the other hand, with it’s jar of beads, crochet hook and 4 page chart, definitely fell into the chore category.  The yarn, Superior Cashmere, a skinny little cashmere-silk blend, is far to luscious to be considered a chore!  That was enough to get me started!

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After an inch or so, I finally found the groove.  There’s a lot of moving parts with this one, flip the chart page, move the highlighter tape, positioning the crochet hook and beads for optimal usage!  I’ve figured out the perfect configuration of everything just in time to make the switch to the fifth chart section, this is the section where the chart spans 8 pages!

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It’s suddenly way less daunting.  The knitting is just stockinette in the round, it’s actually my favorite thing to do!  Safe to say, I’m back in love with this project!  Let’s see how long it lasts…

Cashmere as a Lifestyle Concept

Or, here at FogKnits’ HQ what we call … FO Monday!

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Stashbusting and hat knitting continue.  I was worried about this one from the onset.  I knew I was going to run out of yarn.  I didn’t have time to plan a graceful way around it.  Color block it was.  Ultimately, I think it worked!

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The pom pom really ties it all together!

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The details are sparse.  there’s no pattern.  I just winged it.  It’s a classic roll brim hat, just cast on and knit.  The yarn combo is what makes it  — Superior Cashmere, a lace weight cashmere and silk blend which I held double with Panda Silk, a bamboo, merino, silk blend.  I love this combo, soft, warm, fuzzy, shiny, all with gorgeous drape.

As always, I’ll take one for the team and keep it for myself, if the intended recipient hates it!  Fingers crossed ;)

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

It’s Wednesday and I am full of wips!  There was a slight bout of castonitis yesterday.  There are still hats to be made and stash to be busted so there’s a new hat on the needles…

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It’s my favorite yarn combo, Superior Cashmere and Panda Silk!  It’s the most amazing thing to knit, so soft and lovely!


And it’s about time I started something for Malabrigo March!

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The yarn is Malabrigo Arroyo and the pattern is chose your own adventure knitting inspired by Sequence Knitting.   The tagline is ‘Simple Methods for Creating Complex Reversible Fabrics’.  In addition to being a gorgeous book, it delivers gorgeous fabrics, every time!  I played around with a few different swatches, all attractive and easy to execute.  I decided on a simple K4, P4 repeat within the framework of a bottom up, asymmetric triangle.  I’m striping two colors, two rows each.  Couldn’t be easier, the process knitter in me loves it!

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It’s going to be perfect as a daily commute project!  and it’s reversible.  I love everything about it!  I’m thinking about ways to change up the sequence for my next one already!


And just so I wouldn’t feel guilty about ignoring the stack of UFOs, I picked up my second doodler again.  Clue 3 begins by picking up 300 stitches.

I don’t count so it’s actually easier than it sounds!  I’m certain I didn’t have the correct stitch count but I like to live dangerously.  I made it work.  There was never actually any danger.  No biggie.

And now, it’s time to knit!

 

Southern Skies

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I’m patiently waiting for The Doodler MKAL  to start on Friday by catching up on some older projects that haven’t gotten much love lately!  Ha, yeah right!?!  I’m actually avoiding the lace section of the Jolly Roger shawl.  I worked the first lace row with gusto and then promptly put it down!  I haven’t touched it since.  Instead, it’s back to the Southern Skies shawl.  

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I absolutely love this yarn combo.  It’s Superior Cashmere and Panda Silk.  I doubt I’ll be able to part with this when it’s finished.  Of course, it’s a huge assumption to say it’ll get finished!

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I worked for several hours this weekend and accomplished maybe 10 rows.  That puts me one third of the way through this section where one row is four pages long.  It’s kind of crazy how long the chart is for a non-repeating row of 288 stitches!  Double that for the next section, 576 stitches, each row is spread across 8 pages of chart!  Egads!

And suddenly, I remembering why this is a back burner project!

24 Hour Cast-On-Palooza

It happens.  Sometimes I can’t fight the urge to cast on as many projects as possible.  I gave myself 24 hours after Stitches to start as many projects as I wanted.  I thought I was going to start 4 new things, instead I started two new projects BUT I started them both twice…so mission accomplished, I guess!?

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The first project is a selfish one.  I’m making myself a cassette tape vest.  I’ve made a few cassette tape hats and now I’m hooked!  I want all my clothes to have cassette tape in them!  This time I’m going with one strand of Noro Silk Garden Solo and one strand of Maxell XLII 90!  It’s so fun!  Plus, if I’m ever an extra in a post-apocalypse movie, I can bring my own costume!

This one got started twice because of a gauge problem.   Turns out Silk Garden and Silk Garden Solo are not the same, despite being labeled the same!   The Solo is more consistently spun, no thick & thin to it, that bulked up my gauge significantly!   I swatched with Silk Garden, 4.5 sts/inch but the reality of Solo was 3.5 sts/inch.   A bit of math, a quick frog and I was back in business!   This is gonna be so awesome!   I can’t wait!

The second project may very well end up a selfish one.  In theory, it’s for a friend but I may not be able to part with it!  I’m not gonna tell you what it is but I will tell you it’s Panda Silk (drapey bamboo with a silky sheen)  and Superior Cashmere (lace weight Cashmere!)…Yum!  It’s an awesome combo!  This project will hence forth be called the Purple Haze.  This is also going to be awesome!

IMG_2134 This one was started twice for gauge reasons again.  Seriously, when ‘they’ tell you to do a gauge swatch, it’s actually for your own good.  One day I’ll heed their advice.  I did a few rows and realized I didn’t have quite the amount of drape I wanted, so I frogged and restarted a size larger.  It’s almost like I did a gauge swatch.  I just like calling my gauge swatches ‘casting on’.