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!

 

Trusting the Process

The time finally came to start my cashmere cardigan!  I whittled my WIPs down to a manageable number (currently only 7!)  I finished my Mother’s day knitting.   I cleared the project off the needles I wanted to use.  I made a swatch – complete with washing and blocking!  Only thing left to do was cast on!

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The pattern is Sabine, a light, airy, top down raglan by Julie Weisenberger, aka Coco Knits.  The yarn is Superior Cashmere, heaven in a ball of yarn!  I got start and expected to breeze through the raglan shaping…it’s all yarn over increases!  A sweater, literally, does not get easier than this!  Except…

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…I knit two inches and then checked my gauge.  It was way off.  Logically, I know it doesn’t matter.  It’s not blocked, of course my gauge is off.  I have to trust the process.  I double checked my swatch, still dead on.  I double checked my progress, still way off.  This yarn is not froggable.  If I don’t get it right, it’s a waste of time and cashmere.  Wasting cashmere is worse than spilling a full beer!  A minor panic set in.  I had no choice but take if off the needles and do a test block.  It’s the only thing that would assuage my fear of doing it wrong.  There’s no trusting the process here, I can’t have this nagging at me through an entire sweater’s worth of knitting.  It would set me back a couple days but I have plenty of other things to knit.  A day or two would be worth it.

So off the needles it came.  And suddenly my gauge was off again…this time in the opposite direction.  There was more double checking.  Okay, so maybe it’s not so bad, maybe I didn’t need to jump to instant doom and gloom.  After careful consideration, I decided I do, in fact, trust the process.  This is why we have processes.  Trust the process.  It’s not as though I’m re-inventing the wheel on the this one.  Disaster averted.  I’m pushing forward.  For now!

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