Wednesday, January 28, 2009

textured shawl

I had a lot of fun knitting this textured shawl recipe by orlane over on Ravelry. It is just a normal triangular shawl, two garter stitches on each side and left/right increases instead of yarn overs.

Pattern: Textured Shawl Recipe by Orlane
Yarn: Cascade Pastaza (colorway 077), Cascade Jewel Hand Dyed (colorway 9888)
Needles: US 10 1/2
Started: January 25 2009
Completed: January 27 2009

The textured stitch pattern was extremely easy and adds a lot to the shawl. I made my first shawl a few months ago for my mom that used garter and stockinette stitch and some yarn over rows. I like the simplicity of these triangular knits and the stitch variations that make them interesting.

The last picture is a variation of the Simple Yet Effective Shawl by cosmicpluto.

Both yarns were so nice to work with. I love the colors in Cascade Pastaza, especially this heathered mustardy yellow. It makes an even dense fabric that gives the piece good drape. The charcoal Jewel Hand Dyed is very interesting with its light and dark shades gray. It's a squishy thick & thin yarn. I only had to use two skeins of Pastaza and one of the Hand Dyed.

I have figured out a few ways to wear this shawl and it is very warm so that's good for these cold winter days. I have scarves and other things for my neck too, but I wanted to make a shawl anyway. I had just enough yarn and when I don't wear it, I like looking at the wonderful fabric hanging in my room.

I just started another triangular shawl in stockinette stitch with several garter ridges in a gray tweed. They are so easy and enjoyable to knit and make great FO's.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

seamless hybrid

I've wanted to make Elizabeth Zimmerman's Seamless Hybrid sweater for awhile now and finally got around to it. I love how the sweater can be just the size I want with her percentage system and the majority of it is good mindless knitting.

I started this sweater soon after the new year in Minnesota with family. It was a great project for all the down time I had sitting around visiting with family, waiting an hour for my little cousin to open all her birthday presents, and of course all the time spent in the car. I even knit in the sanctuary before a service at my aunt's church. (Their exit signs in the sanctuary were stained glass!)

The final product turned out pretty well. If I do it again I'll make the body an inch or two longer. I had to block and encourage a little more length out of the body fabric.

Pattern: Seamless Hybrid by Elizabeth Zimmerman (Knitting Workshop)
Yarn: Beaverslide Dry Goods Worsted, Clear Water colorway
Needles: US 8, US 6 (ribbing)
Started: January 2, 2009
Completed: January 9, 2009

I got the yarn from Beaverslide's website on sale about a year ago and was a bit surprised when I saw it in person. The color seemed bright for my taste, but I love the yarn quality and finally cast on with it. I thought I might try dyeing it darker, but the color has grown on me so I'm liking it now.

I didn't have many problems with the construction except I forget to allow a plain stitch between the arm's double decreases going up to the shoulder. You don't notice when I wear it unless I raise my arms. I cast on 182 sts (my key number) for the body and 36 sts for the arms.

I had 6 balls of the yarn but I ended up just dipping into the fifth one for the neck's ribbing. You get great yardage with Beaverslide, 250 yards/skein, $8 for the colorway on sale, less than $40 for a great sweater!

I loved working with Beaverslide's yarn. It's nice, plush, and has great texture. There are also scattered flecks of lighter blue throughout the yarn. It has a loose twist, but that didn't bother me at all. I need to try other colors in the future.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I finally got to give Chris his Christmas sweater a few days ago. I started working on the pattern at the end of September and finished the collar and sewing the seams January 1st. So, it's my first FO of the year!

I did some collar modifications and mirrored cables on the sleeves after reading Ken's blog entry of his Durrow. I used the smallest size on US sz 6 needles instead of 8s and added some sleeve and body length.

Pattern: Durrow by Jodi Green
Yarn: Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran, colorway 155
Needles: US 6 & 4 (for collar)
Started: September 30, 2008
Completed: January 1, 2009

Kathmandu Aran is one of my favorite yarns to work with. It's soft and the subtlety of colors is great.

I had the front and back done during school and tackled the sleeves over winter break. About a week ago I had to be in the car from Chicago to Tulsa, OK. So, I spent the whole time finishing one sleeve, took about 10 hours or so.

The cables and charts look complicated, but by the second sleeve I was moving along quickly and memorized what all the symbols in the chart meant. It's a lot easier than it looks.

It fits Chris perfectly and he loves it!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Within the last few days I got to enjoy two nice 700 mile drives, one from Chicago to Tulsa,OK and one from Tulsa to Minneapolis. In about an hour or so my mom and I are going to scout out a couple yarn stores in the area. I brought several projects and plenty of yarn (a backpack and messenger bag full), but I've finished several things/don't want to work with the rest. Anyway, the holidays + traveling make for excellent knitting time.

Around Christmas I went on a little cowl kniting spree. I made my mom the Ice Queen cowl with beads which she LOVES.

Pattern: Ice Queen by Rosemary Hill
Yarn: Kidsilk Haze colorway 583
Needles: US 8
Started: December 23, 2008
Completed: December 25, 2008

She's going to make something like it in black for my sister-in-law. She's been knitting in the car too, working with Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino doubled with Rowan Kidsilk Haze in shades of blue. She made a nice cowl for her sister and I got to help her with the lace edge.

About a week ago, I made two other cowls.

Pattern: The Guy Next Door Cowl by Devin Fred Fredrickson
Yarn: Hand Jive Knits Nature's Palette Bulky thick and thin merino
Needles: US 13
Started and Completed: December 26, 2008

This yarn was awesome to work with and I have about a quarter of the skein leftover. The fabric is exceptionally squishy and has great texture.

The same day I got that yarn at Three Bags Full in Northbrook I went over to Nina in Chicago for the first time. The shop is really sleek. Everything is very organized and well lit. You just have to barely pull the yarn out from the shelf and it hits the light perfectly so you can get a good look at the true color, very inspiring store. I scored a habu textiles kit and a few skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas Melange that resulted in this.

Pattern: improvised
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Melange
Needles: US 6
Started: December 27, 2008
Completed: December 28, 2008

I loved working with the heathered colors of melange. I improvised this simple design and it entertained me as I waited in line for an hour at Wool and Company in Geneva, IL for their 40% off almost everything sale Saturday morning. I controlled myself and got what I needed. I didn't walk out with a garbage bag full of yarn like many others.

I guess this holiday break has been full of knitting stores and it's not over yet!