Shelter in Place: Day 29 – FO Tuesday!

Shelter in Place:  Day 29

I finally have an FO!  One that I don’t want to frog!  WOOO!

The pattern is Squish Factor by Astrid Ferrell aka DundeeKnits.

It was a fun stash buster!  I had a couple mini skeins and a few other half balls that all wanted to be together.  This shawl was the perfect choice a stash busting dream!  I wanted to do brioche, but not too much so these alternating bands were just what I needed!  And, it’s got the squish factor big time!  It didn’t disappoint on that front.  It’s light and airy.  I just want to squish and squish and squish.  I’m very pleased with the outcome.   And, it’ll be fun to repeat…I love mixing and matching all the odds & ends in my stash so this is sure to be repeated in my future!

My WIP Queue is nearly empty!  Time to start something new…or rather several somethings…

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.

ice cream pile

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.

texture

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.

blocking

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.

texture together

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!!)

 

Me Made May (aka The Pile)

stack of shawls

It’s almost June and I’ve failed to mention ‘Me Made May’.  If you aren’t familiar, it’s a month long celebration for makers and slow fashion.  Participation is easy, wear the fruits of your labor (sewn, knit, crocheted, woven or otherwise handmade) everyday and share photos on social media using #memademay

While primarily geared towards those who sew their clothes, I think it’s a great opportunity for knitters too!  There was a time, when I never wore any of my knitting.  I think this is true of many process knitters.  These days, I’m more of a ‘reformed’ process knitter.  With only a little bit more attention to the product, I’ve been able to knit things I love to wear while still scratching the urge to knit miles of garter stitch.  It was a little shocking to look at that pile and realize how much of it is garter stitch.  I just can’t resist.

a big pile

At this point, I’ve almost amassed a shawl collected that affords me the luxury of a different shawl every day of the month.   Luxury being the key word!  I love my Merino-Cashmere-Silk pile of amazingness!  Which, brings me, finally, to the point of this missive — pictures of the pile!!

My Mom will be visiting me in San Francisco, for the first time in a decade.  I’ve promised her the pick of the litter while she’s here!  I’ll start with the two that I’m keeping.  No chance I’ll part with these two:

Keepers

My Exploration Station (left) and My Doodler (right)

They’re probably the two I wear most.  I’m not parting with them.  Don’t worry, there’s still lots of amazingness to choose from, much of it, I’ve never really worn.

I’m obsessively organized when I comes to project details and notes on Ravelry, I’ve linked everything to it’s Rav page if you’re interested in yarn or pattern info!


transatlantic

(L to R):  Garden Arbor, Lux Adorna Cashmere, Transatlantic, Icelandic Citron, Lefty, Neon Grape Feather & Fan


thendara hitchhiker

(L to R): Thendara, Geysir Stretch, Giant Hitchhiker, Exploration Continuation, Dotted Rays, Granny Triangle


pendulum batad cameo

(L to R): Pendulum, Stripe Study, Cameo, Batad #2, Batad #1


eyeball dotted rays doodler

(L to R): Asymmetric Sequence Shawl, Striped Sequence Shawl, The First Doodler, The Eyeball, Another Dotted Rays, Gradient Garter Triangle


color craving southern skies

(L to R):  Muh-Muhs, Color Craving, Southern Skies, Building Blocks, Another Big Hitchhiker

Oh yes, so much to choose from!  I love having this many options!  The first time Stephen West did a tour with classes, I couldn’t wait to take his shawl class.  He started off by asking everyone what their ideal shawl was.  Most people had an idea…two of the ladies even said Nieblings.  Not me though, my answer was ALL OF THEM.  No one shawl can be perfect all the time, obviously I need about 1000 to choose from.  I’m making good progress!!

And so, the moral of the story is:  Wear your handknits proudly, in May and the rest of the year! Slow fashion has so many benefits, to the planet and to your own health!

My pile of sweaters is growing too!  At a slower pace, but progress is being made!  I want at least three more sweaters this year and another skirt too!  Ready…Set…GO!

 

 

FO Monday

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Not only did I finish weaving ends without a bribe, I got my latest shawl blocked in short order as well! I really love the end result!

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I’m a fan of aggressive blocking with my shawls.  I wanted it to grow, which it did!  and the result is a beautiful airy fabric!

I love it but as usual, there are things I would change.  The ‘pattern’ is a mashup of WestKnits designs…mostly Dotted Rays with a little Doodler and a little Esjan thrown in!  I definitely could exaggerate some elements more.  The Esjan edge isn’t nearly loopy enough!

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It’s a minor change and it doesn’t detract from this beauty at all!  I currently have no plans to take it off!

The real dilemma…what to knit next? or what won’t I knit next?  I’m currently down to six WIPS.  I feel a cast on craze rapidly approaching!  (you know…after all this work stuff…ugh! mondays!)