Day One: The Twisted Skein

Road Trip ’18 is under way!

I did pretty good considering I-5 is generally regarded as a road no one wants to drive and Bakersfield, my destination, is a place no one wants to visit.

It was a beautiful day for a drive and I was headed to a yarn shop. No complaints from me!

The Twisted Skein is a great shop! It gets two thumbs up from me! They hit all the things I look for in a yarn shop…speckles, hand dyes, local yarns, gradients. They’ve got a selection of Berroco yarns as well, for the budget conscious.

It was spacious and uncluttered. The staff was friendly (and all male?!) They had a classroom and space to sit & knit, along with Ravelry corner (<-awesome!!)

I picked out a handful of mini skeins from Stitch Together, an indie dyer from Iowa. Not sure what they’ll be. I didn’t bring enough yarn for the trip so I’ll be busting into these beauties soon! And, adding to the pile when I get to Vegas. Sin City Yarns should be a yarn tour highlight!

The cherry on top of my day was dinner at Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace.

It’s a tourist trap but whatever! They have live music! It was a free show…apparently this dude is the last American Idol winner. He was perfectly pleasant knitting music.

Overall, not a bad start to Road Trip ’18. Now, on to Vegas…

FO Friday – Dotted Grays

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My Dotted Grays is done!

This shawl flew off the needles!  The pattern is Stephen West’s Dotted Rays, one of my favorites.  I think this is my fourth one (and it won’t be the last).

The yarn is from Gauge Dye Works.  It’s a self striping yarn that employs ‘shawl striping’ which means the stripes are different lengths rather than a classic stripe where the stripes are all the same length.   Check out my recent Hydrogen Shawl to see another example of shawl stripes.

Unfortunately, I thought this was classic stripes when I started knitting, meaning it doesn’t matter which end you start from.  Turns out, it was shawl stripes and I essentially knit it ‘backwards’.   Whatever, I like it this way, especially because it’s different.

I’m not even upset by the lack of color.   I’ve got one more skein from Gauge Dye Works.  It’s called Fade to Yellow.

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I’m not sure what to do with it just yet.  It’s gotta be something I can knit in the dark though.  I need a new movie theater project stat!  Bill Murray and I are going to see Groundhogs Day this afternoon!!  Talk about FriYAY! Woooo!


 

Blocking Matters

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While I did knit this weekend, none of my knitting looks any different today than it did last week.   The curse of solid color knitting.  I did manage to block my Hydrogen shawl though!

And it grew!  Yay!

Pre-blocking, with a couple inches to spare on either side of the fence:

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Post-blocking, overhanging the fence panel by a couple inches!

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It’s a great size now and I went up in needle size so it’s a loose, drapey, lovely fabric.

Also, Rainbow!!  I’m looking forward to wearing it a lot.

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Now, back to my sweater.  Next time you hear from me, I want to have the body bound off!


 

 

Rainbow FOs

My rainbow shawls are done!  Woo!

First, Match & Move by Martina Behm in Miss Babs Rainbow Polydactyl Yummy 2-Ply

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Loved knitting this, garter stitch by the mile is totally my jam.

The second one, is the Hydrogen Shawl knit in Gauge Dye Works, shawl striping MCN in colorway Concrete & Tulips.

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It’s an MCN (merino-cashmere-nylon blend) so it’s super soft!  The best part though, only two ends to weave!  The yarn is dyed in one continuous strand!  It’s amazing! Only two ends to weave.  Only two ends?!!  TWO!!  It’s incredible!

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Now to block it.  I’m not a fan of superwash merino.  I’m a little worried about the curl at the end.  Then, it’ll be perfect!


 

WIP Wednesday – Marled Magic

Marled Magic Clue 3 is done!  I am still loving this so much.  That big section of seed stitch made me happy.  I think seed stitch is fun to do.

Now, I’m on to Clue 4.  A 600+ stitch i-cord bind off.  I also happen to think that is fun to do.  Especially when it’s neon peach!

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It’s not like I’m saving the neon peach for something special?!?!  I think it’s just the thing to liven up some of the darker colors I used.  I’m about halfway.

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And then, finally, the whole reason I wanted to knit this pattern…braiding the ends into a design feature rather than weaving them in!  Oh yeaaah!

And, I’ve already picked out yarn for the next one.  This was too fun to only knit once.

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I’ve got a lot of blue & blue adjacent fingering weight yarn.

Marled Magic #2 isn’t actually going to be marled though.

The marl is accomplished with two strands of yarn held together.  The result is a very heavy shawl.  I’ve only knit the medium size to keep the weight down.  For #2, I’ll just use one strand of yarn and do stripes, maybe faded stripes.  And definitely knit the large size!!  It’s gonna so good!  …eventually!

Gotta finish that i cord first…


 

WIP Wednesday

The casting on continues with a new shawl!  The photographs aren’t doing it justice.

It’s a classic top down triangle in shape but through a series of short rows, the classic shaping is spiced up a bit!  The sections are more wedge shaped than plain stripes so the design within the shawl triangle is comprised of asymmetric triangles.  It becomes more pronounced as the knitting continues.  I can’t wait to get to that part…I just love asymmetry!

The yarn is knitpicks Chroma Fingering.  The slow fade of the colors is perfect to highlight the pattern, Vee Vee by Mariana Martins.

Hopefully, my excitement for this project continues.  I’ve made it to the cat sweater’s face so it’s kind of hard to tear myself away from that!  More pics to follow!

 

FO Saturday. I refuse to be rushed.

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I finished my latest shawl last week.  It’s a bit of sequence knitting that I designed myself.  I LOVE SEQUENCE KNITTING!  I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it.  I really want you to know how awesome it is.  It’s such a simple idea – pick a sequence and repeat it – and yet the possibilities are endless!  Anyone can become a designer with a basic understanding of sequence knitting.

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The thing about sequence knitting is amazing reversible textures that look complex but are easy to execute.  My sequence of choice was K5, P5.  With just a few little notes about how to create a shape, a triangle in my case, you’ve got the whole pattern already.

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Of course, I complicated matters by making two asymmetric triangles but taken individually, either half could be a stand alone design.

The first triangle, the green one, I started at the bottom edge on the right side.  I cast on 3 stitches and then worked every row the same:  KFB, (K5, P5) to the end.  If my row ended K5, P1 I just ignored those 4 purls necessary to complete the sequence.  Same thing each time, disregarding the portion of the sequence that was missing.

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To work the second triangle, I picked up stitches along the edge of the first triangle, casting on 6 stitches at the top.  I really wanted to accentuate the asymmetric shaping.

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I set my sequence as K5, P5 again but this time the triangle is shaped with decreases instead of increases.   I wanted the top edge to remain straight so I only decreased along the bottom edge.

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The result for the orange triangle is a two row repeat, starting from the top edge.

Row 1:  (K5, P5) to end.  Row 2:  K2Tog, (K5, P5) to end.

Last change:  For the second triangle, instead of ignoring unworked portions of my sequence, I carried them to the next row.  If Row 1 ended K5, P2, the next row began, K2Tog, P3, K5, P5…etc.

I know, it sounds complicated, but really, that’s just me doing me.   I like simplicity and complication all at once.  I added lots of little bits to customize it.   All that extra stuff is completely knitter’s choice!  That’s why sequence knitting is great!  Maybe you like lace, your sequences could include yarn overs & k2togs.  It could be a really long repeat, like K5, P1, K3, P2, K2, P1, K1.  If you can remember it, it’s your sequence.

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And we haven’t even mentioned the ridiculous color yet.  I dyed the base yarn for this project with my Mom.  It was Halloween.  Maybe I got carried away.  Maybe orange, green and purple yarn is a classic example of variegated clown barf.  So, maybe double stranding it with other orange and green yarn will tone down what could be variegated nightmare?

Hopefully?

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Ultimately, it all works.  I couldn’t be happier with how this knit-on-a-sequence-whim piece turned out.  The yarn, the crazy designing, the sequence knitting, all came together lovely!  I really like it.  I’ll definitely be wearing it lots!

(at least until my cat sweater is done…it’s on the needles!  Stay tuned for an update, it’s gonna be awesome!!)