Sunlight Shawlette Done!

I had no idea how much I would love this piece! But I do. It’s soft and drapey and light but I think it will still be warm. I love how the color block/stripe worked out. I even love the picot bind off, which is not usually my thing. I am so excited to give this to T on Thursday. I hope she loves it too!

The rundown

Pattern: Sunlight Shawl for Sad People (free)

Yarn: GGH Tajmahal that my former SIL gave me a loooong time ago. It’s 70% wool, 22% silk and 8% cashmere. I tried to use up as much as I had on this project. It took 572 yards all told.

Size made: One–knitted until I ran out of yarn. The finished measurements are something like 29″ deep by 72″ long.

Needles: US5

Techniques used: Russian join, picot bind off.

Modifications: None

Ravelled: Here

The pretty




IMG_4254And here are a few modeled shots:




She insisted on bringing her cell phone outside so she could take some pictures too!


Here’s One Way to Get Rid of Some WIPs:

Just frog ’em all. Froggity frog frog frog. Then, you can cast on for something new with a clear conscience! I made the decision to rip out (ribbit) my Color Dipped Hat (thanks for all the advice). I haven’t actually done it yet, but I will. That one I will restart, but I guess I got the frog bug because I just decided to deep six another project that was giving me headaches. The Lacy Loo just was not going to work in Berroco Linet. Just not happening. So, that one will get ripped out too and I’ll keep my eye out for a better yarn choice for the pattern. I also decided to scrap a dishcloth I cast on a couple months ago as I have no idea where I was in the pattern, and not a ton of interest in dishcloths at the moment. So there! Two WIPs gone and one on the way to recovery!

I’ve been knocking WIPs out another way today, too. I’ve actually been working on finishing some of the damn things! I finished the knitting, and even wove in all the ends, on my Garter Yoke Baby Cardi ages ago but was dragging my feet on sewing in the buttons. Well, I sewed on all five of them today and even gave it a wash. Once it dries, it will be ready to get out of my life and off the WIP list! These aren’t the greatest pics, but they prove there are buttons:

IMG_4224 IMG_4225Of note, I used TECHknitter’s button shanking technique. Black yarn is really tricky to photograph. Once it is done drying, I’ll try to get some shots in natural light that are a little clearer.

Another WIP that’s teed up and ready to go is my Sunlight Shawlette. I finally got around to blocking it today. It’s currently drying on our very tidy guest bed:

IMG_4222I’m really happy with how it turned out. I of course forgot to take pre-blocking measurements, but it grew a lot. I hope the recipient likes it! I should be able to give it to her this week.

Oh yeah, and I straight up finished another WIP. Say hi to my third pair of Passport Mitts! I made them out of the same orange Ella Rae Lace Merino DK. These are the size large but like the other orange pair, I stuck with US2s the whole time instead of switching to 3s. This yarn is just not anything close to DK weight and I like the way the knitted fabric was with the 2s. Also, the intended recipient wants a snug fit. I think they’re just about perfect!

IMG_4221So, I’m down to six WIPs. Two are blocking and will be done within a day or two. One is my Drachenfels which I still just haven’t blocked and taken final photos of. I really just want to wear it all the time so I don’t want it out of commission for a couple of days! Plus, to block it, I’d have to legitimately clean off the guest bed and that hasn’t been high on my priority list. I’m left with the Color Dipped Hat which is back to square one and two old-ish WIPs just waiting around for some finishing. Capucine needs tassels and Twirly Summerskirt needs elastic in the waistband.

You know what the next question is, right? What should I cast on next? Well, I swatched for Hermione’s Everyday Socks the other day and came in closer to 8 sts/inch than 9. I was even using US1s! I thought about casting on anyway because I would need to adjust the pattern for my big feet, but I’m starting to wonder if that’s the best next sock pattern for me. I kind of want something with more explicit instructions for how to make size adjustments, or at least something that offers different sizes so that I can see more clearly how to manipulate things. I stumbled across a link to get a free class the other day and chose to use it on a sock class. I think I might watch that before I start my next sock project.

So, what else is on my queue? A few things, but nothing I’m ready to start yet. I guess I’ll just commence with the frogging!

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Since most of my time these days is spent shuttling from appointment to appointment and taking care of a nearly three year old, I haven’t had a ton of time to blog. So here’s just a few snippets to tide you over until I have a few minutes to concentrate.

First, I’m working on a new test knit, the Tunbridge Malabrigo Hat. This is my third test knit and, like the first two, is a hat. I’m using two matching balls of mystery yarn I got in a grab bag a bit ago. Initially I thought it was wool but after working with it for a bit, I think it’s a wool/alpaca blend. Or some kind of blend. It’s very soft and a little hairy. So far, so good!

IMG_4131Second, I am very close to finishing my second pair of Passport Mitts. I just need to weave in the ends and they will be done! More detailed review post to follow. FYI, the KAL is still happening. There’s a month to go, which is plenty of time to knock out a pair or three! Check out the pattern here.

IMG_4096Third, I am getting more serious about stashbusting. I have a list of Christmas/gift knits I’m working on and once those are done, I’m going to focus more on some of the stashbusting projects I have percolating. There will be chenille scarves, acrylic afghans, and lots and lots of charity hats. It’s gonna be great!

Fourth, I am making progress on my Sunlight Shawlette. I wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted to use the darker blue. On the recommendation of the wifey, I switched to dark blue when I was down to one ball of light blue. I’ll knit a wide band of the dark blue (until I run out of yarn) and then finish it off with the light blue. My aim is to use up as much of the yarn as possible. I even switched colors mid row so I didn’t have to waste a length of the light blue. I’m not bothered by it; I think it looks cool. The darker blue in the pic blends in with my jeans a bit, but you can get the idea.

IMG_4130Last, but not least, I’m a winner! Yeah, I won something! Actually, two somethings: knittinginfrance hosted a giveaway on her blog, and I am one of two lucky winners! I will be receiving a skein of sparkly hand-dyed sock yumminess called Strawberry Frappuccino and a sock pattern (Strawberries & Cream Frappe Socks) written specifically for that colorway. Check out pictures of both yarn and pattern here (as I foolishly forgot to ask permission to use her photos) and stay to check out her blog and her shop! Also, be sure not to miss her awesome sock knitting prowess!

Happy knitting!

Knitting Save!

I’ve felt a little at odds with my knitting over the past day or so. Out of four active WIPs, I finished one, worked on one out of obligation, was bored with another and having issues with the fourth. I toyed with the idea of casting on something new but nothing was really coming together.

So, let’s review: the one I finished was my third River District Toque. This one is adult sized. I haven’t taken pictures of it yet, but given that it’s nearly identical to the other adult one I made and is in the same yarn (malabrigo Rios in Archangel), I’m not really motivated to do so. This will be going to my SIL for an early Christmas gift as soon as I’ve given it a wash. I was getting over a cold while working on it so I want to make sure it’s clean. Highlights from that project include grafting in pattern (I’m getting pretty good at that) and weaving in most ends as I went. As a result, I was able to get all the finishing done really quickly. It’s really pretty and I think she will like it!

The obligation WIP is my garter yoke baby cardi. I’ve blogged about this project and its woes before, and it hasn’t gotten any better. It got put on hold for a while because, despite the fact that there are tens of thousands of buttons in this house (really) I could not find more than two matching ones in an appropriate size and color. So, I eventually bought some buttons, then dragged my feet on knitting the button bands and doing all that stuff. I picked it up the other day because if I wait any longer, the baby I made it for will have outgrown it and it won’t be sweater weather anymore! I knit the first button band (the one which will have the buttons sewn on) and then debated for a while on what form of buttonhole to use. I didn’t want to do just a yo/k2tog because the buttons are really too big for that. I didn’t want to get super fiddly and do real buttonholes because, let’s be honest, how many times will this even get worn? I don’t mind putting effort into things, but babies grow so fast! So I figured I’d do applied I cord with button loops.

Sounds simple, right? Well, there are directions in the original pattern for how to do that, but they just weren’t making a ton of sense to me. I’ve done this kind of thing before but couldn’t quite remember how to get going. So, I poked around ravelry and couldn’t find anything. I know it’s there, I just wasn’t able to stumble across it. Then I went to TECHknitter and read everything there about buttons and buttonholes…no luck. I was about to just resort to google when I decided to bring out my go-to handbook again, The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie M. Wiseman. Sure enough, it was all spelled out clearly with clear photos and illustrations. Great! So I did the button loops and cast off. I was feeling like a martyr so I just kept going and wove in all the ends*.

IMG_4085It’s proving difficult to get decent photos of black yarn, but you get the idea. Here’s a better look at the button bands:

IMG_4091 IMG_4092So now all I have to do for this is sew on the buttons and wash it. Depending on how it looks after a wash, I may try steam blocking it a touch…but I don’t really think it’ll be necessary. I’ll be happy to have it done.

The WIP I’m a little bored with is my Sunlight Shawlette. I know the idea is that it’s a simple pattern, but it’s just turning into a lot of stockinette to slog through. I’ve made a little progress on it though.

And last, the WIP that was giving me some trouble? My second pair of Passport Mitts. Everything was going fine. I was working on the first mitt (the left one) and making progress. I was liking the stitch definition of the yarn I’m using as well as the semisolid colorway. Then, I tried it on and realized I was doing something wonky with my tension on the m1r stitches along the right edge of the thumb gusset:

IMG_4081It’s not the most awful thing, but the contrast with the left edge of the gusset is pretty stark. That one looks so neat. So, I wasn’t sure what to do. Rip it back? Ignore it? Mess with the surrounding stitches to try to even things out? Hope it blocks out? I stalled for a little because I really didn’t want to rip it out, but I also didn’t want to ignore it. Well, I picked it up today while I was between chiropractor and PT appointments and just started adjusting the tension. I used the tip of a dpn to snug up the holes and work the extra yarn into the stockinette panel to the right of it. I am very pleased with the results!

IMG_4089So, moving forward I will just try to be more conscious of the tension on those stitches. I also switched out the stitch marker I was using there for one with a lower profile. Hopefully that will help prevent it from continuing to happen.

I’m glad I’ve worked through some of my knitting issues. I’ve been very frustrated with the rest of life in general–it’s taking me so much longer to heal than I’d thought it would and I’m getting really tired of not being able to do stuff that I want to do. Knitting has been sort of my saving grace, so not having a project that I just wanted to pick up and work on was frustrating.

I’ll leave you with a little dose of cuteness. Lately my daughter has been talking about wanting to learn to knit. It’s a little early (she’s not quite three) but it’s really sweet that she’s interested. The other day she put on some dress ups, grabbed some crayons and told me she was knitting:

IMG_4078 IMG_4079 IMG_4080

*I’ll tell you a secret about weaving in ends when using Caron Simply Soft acrylic: Tie knots. Just do it. That yarn is so slippery that I don’t think anything else will hold. What I did in this case was weave in the end with duplicate stitch for a while then split the tail into two pieces with two plies each. Then I ran one half through a neighboring stitch and tied it to the other half with a secure square knot. This thing needs to hold up to machine washing!