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Posts Tagged ‘Shawl’

What else have I finished

It is that busy time of year again.  Several birthdays are interwoven with the holidays this time of year.  But I have other things I want to show you, so while my daughter is taking an almost nap on my legs, I will show you something else.

I know I have told you about a designer named Mmario before.  The one that designed Hippo Gnu Deer, and who organizes the MMKKMMysteries (just click MMKKMM on the right to see more of these projects I did from his mysteries.)  Last summer he started another, MMKKMM 2014.  I finished it in just a few months, and here is what I had left of my yarn:

IMG_7084Really, it was only a few yards.  What yarn?  It was Knitivity Primo Lace, a lovely soft yarn, with a nice sheen.  It is 80% Merino/20% Tussah silk, 1000 yards per skein.  And I got a couple of skeins of this from my parents-in-law, in the gorgeous Winter Spice color way.  Lucky me, don’t you think?  I love the yarns from Knitivity, they are always soft, very well dyed, and very reasonably priced.  I would strongly recommend you take a look, the next time you are looking for some nice, hand dyed sock or lace yarn.

Oh, the shawl?  Here is what it looked like before I blocked it.

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Pretty dumb looking, isn’t it?  Yes it is square, and you can see some holes.  But, once I gave it a bit of a wash, and put it up on my blocking frame:

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Isn’t it pretty?  Yes, those dark dots are all nupps!

Some details, first the center:

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Then one of the quarters:

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I was quite pleased with it, so I took some more pictures, which I will also share:

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After blocking it is about 42″ square.  That is just over a meter, for my metric friends.  Not terribly big, but because it is square, it is actually quite comfortable.  I have not been able to find the finished pattern posted anywhere, but you can always join the Yahoo group mentioned before, and get it from there.  🙂

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Catching up

It has been quite a while.  Dare I say it?  Daily life kind of got in the way.  As some of you may know or remember, I now have a 1 year old and a 3 year old (almost 4) who keep me quite busy most of the time, as well as a 6 year old who is now going to kindergarten.  This kindergarten thing required a lot of adjusting of our schedules and such all of it’s own.  Life as parent of school age kids is quite something different then life as ‘just’ a stay at home mom.  Yesterday, however, my husband informed me that a friend of his wanted to look at my blog.  Not a big deal, but I started thinking about it again.  I really have not been as quiet on the knitting front as the blog made me seem.  It was more one of these things where I could either write a blog post, OR relax with some knitting.  And at times it really is true what they say:  I knit so I don’t kill people… 😀

But I thought I would start with trying to catch you up with what I have been working on.  First of, back in September of last year, I finished Hippo Gnu Deer, a gorgeous shawl that was designed by Mmario.  I am utterly and completely in love with it:

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I was the first one who knit the whole pattern, and I loved being able to find the mistakes, and sometimes figure out the best way to solve them.  I  think Mmario is a wonderful (and prolific) designer, and always very helpful if you have any questions.  I used KnitPicks Pallette yarn in the color Silver; a fingering weight, 100% Peruvian Highland wool yarn, which is available in 231 yards, 50 gram skeins.  It is not necessarily a luxury yarn, some would probably call it a little scratchy.  But I really enjoyed working with it, and even though I had a little bit of an issue with 2 skeins that looked like they might have been attacked with a box cutter, an issue KnitPicks very quickly took care of by sending me new skeins, I would highly recommend this yarn for something like a shawl.  I started off the pattern, which is knit from the center out, with US 5 (3,75 mm) needles, and changed the size up every couple of rows until I had US 8 (5 mm) needles.  This keeps the center just a little more tight, and I think that looks better.

Next I finished a lovely cardigan:

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This I made for a friend from the Netherlands who was expecting a baby. (That was back in October, the baby was born healthy and well in November, and is now almost 2 months old!)  It is a pattern from ‘The Little Box of Baby Knits‘, by Sandy Scoville.  The pattern was called ‘Tie-on Sacque’.  I made it using Paton’s Silk Bamboo yarn, a DK weight yarn made up of 70 % of rayon from bamboo, and 30 % silk.  The colors used were Orchid and Stone.  I love the softness of the yarn, but it is also incredibly slippery.  It really needed a bit of a hand wash to even out the stitching. And my daughter loved taking the units apart.  (I am not sure what else to call the units the yarn comes in.  The yarn is wound over a 3″ cardboard core, but I would not call it a cone, it looks more like a ball…)  I love the pattern though.  The cable that runs over the sleeve is just adorable.  I love the way the second color pops the left front and the cables on the sleeve, though you could just as easily use a single color.  It just would make the pattern speak a little less loudly.  The ties on the front are really a nice touch, though I think next time I might use an I-cord edging, it just provides a little neater finish.

I have plenty more to show, but I am going to stop here for now.  This post is long enough, or so I would think.  It is my sincerest hope not to wait another 4 months or so before I bring you the next installment, though I do have a gorgeous shawl that keeps calling my name… (and might well distract me…)  More about that gem later though.

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Long time no see

It has been a long time…  But I have been getting used to 3 little ones running around my house.  Yes, the littlest one is also crawling, making nothing safe, and no time peaceful.  But in the evenings I have been managing to do some knitting here and there.  And I have gotten over the problem that I mentioned last time.  Do you even remember?  Can’t blame you if you don’t.  I was having some issues with not wanting to finish my current projects.  I stop working on them, just so they won’t get finished.  It really is something like  saying goodbye to a dear friend, even though, since these projects stay with me, I won’t actually have to miss them.  I know, it is complicated.   But all of this, just to say that I actually did finish some projects.  As we speak, Hippo Gnu Deer designed by MMario is blocking on my floor upstairs, and the 22 leaves shawlette, designed by Lankakomero is drying on the blocking frame at the other side of the house.    I don’t have pictures of those two yet, but I do have a picture of this:

Yep, Wingspan is truly finished.  It was a fun, simple pattern, pretty well written, though if I made it again I would probably wrap the short rows.  I just think it provides a slightly neater look, even though most people don’t really see the difference.  I made it 9 wedges, instead of 8, as I wanted to use up as much of the yarn as I could.  Poem works really well for this pattern.  The yarn has some thicker and thinner parts (though not like a novelty thick/thin yarn, much more irregular), which would have really bugged me if I had continued to use it for the socks I had initially intended for.  Some people might really like it, but I could do without the thicker/thinner parts.  The colors are absolutely gorgeous, and as wingspan it works really, really wel.

 

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I did it again

I thought after doing Oregon twice, and clearly passing on the issue when I did them, I would have somehow learned to by pass this stage.  But obviously that is not the case.  Because this weekend I realized that I have been doing ‘IT’ again.  What is ‘IT’ you ask?  Well, it is this little problem I have.  When I get close to finishing a project, I stop working on it, because I don’t want it to end.  I don’t want to say goodbye to this project that has been with me for quite some time.  It doesn’t seem to happen with small projects nearly as often.  But recently I have been working on Hippo Gnu Deer and have gotten really good progress.  So much so, that I have finished all the body charts, and have started the edging.  Here is a picture of my progress right after I started the edging:

But now that I have gotten half way around, I don’t want to finish….  I am enjoying working on this too much.  Instead, I have also made progress on Wingspan:

And, because it is also nearing it’s end, I have even been making major progress on the Heirloom Crochet Afghan.  I will share those pictures later, I still have to liberate them from my camera… 😉

And on top of that I have actually been reading!  I got 3 new books for my birthday, The Dresden Files 1-3 by Jim Butcher.  So far I have been quite enjoying them.  Maybe, now that I have actually been writing about my procrastination, I will actually get my act together, and actually finish one of these projects?  I mean, my list of WIPs could definitely use some crossing off… 🙂

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Shawl or Scarf

Let’s begin with the good stuff.  Here is a picture of the first 2 triangles of Wingspan.

It is a fun knit, but there is  one thing that I wish would have been different.  I can’t decide if I can consider this a shawl, or whether it would be more like a scarf to me.  The pattern does not tell you what size it is going to be when you are done.  The designer does suggest that you can also make it in DK yarn or Worsted, but then also adjusts the numbers.  I am guessing that the ending size is pretty similar to the one made with sock weight.  But how would you decide if you want to make it bigger, which would not be all that hard to do, if you don’t know what size it is to be begin with?

Now, having been knitting this ‘per the pattern’, I have started wondering if I would call this a shawl, which is what the pattern calls it, or whether it is really more of a scarf.  The definition of a ‘Shawl’ is, according to Google:

Noun:
A piece of fabric worn by women over the shoulders or head or wrapped around a baby.

Well, I guess Wingspan does meet this definition.  Therefore it can be called a shawl.  However, I find this a very sexist, very broad definition.  Let’s see what else I can find.  The Free Dictionary, which uses The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, says:

n.
A square or oblong piece of cloth worn as a covering for the head, neck, and shoulders.

Well, that is a little better, and not sexist.

Merriam-Webster defines it as follows:

noun
“a square or oblong usually fabric garment or wrapper used especially as a covering for the head or shoulders”

Which is nearly the the same as the previous definition from the Free Dictionary.  I think, per the definition, a scarf would be considered a shawl.  Now, for the definition of a scarf.

Google
A length or square of fabric worn around the neck or head.
Free Dictionary
A long piece of cloth worn about the head, neck, or shoulders.
Mirriam-Webster
a broad band of cloth worn about the shoulders, around the neck, or over the head

I guess they all pretty much agree on that, and I would say that at all times this falls within the definition of a shawl.  Therefore a scarf is a shawl, even if not all shawls are scarfs. This is just going to make everything confusing. In my opinion, a shawl is supposed to be bigger then a scarf. But that is clearly not part of the ‘official’ definition.

I just realized something.  Apparently one difference between a scarf and a shawl is that a shawl is worn about the head or the shoulders, and a scarf is worn about the head, NECK or the shoulders.  I guess that means if it is small enough that it can not be worn about the head or shoulders, only about the neck, it is a scarf and not a shawl!  So, maybe size, however minor is actually the one difference between a scarf and a shawl after all.  I know I am, probably nit picking.

At an estimated 10.5 inches (27 cm) deep, and 42 inches (107 cm) wide, I would be more likely to consider this a scarf. I am definitely too grown up to be able to wear something that size around my shoulders comfortably, and something narrow doesn’t really ask to be worn about the head either.  (Though maybe as a headband?  😉 )Had I known this, I would probably have tried to find a thicker yarn, used the same number of stitches, and made this scarf a little bigger, so I would consider it a shawlette at the very least. I could still easily make it longer, and maybe even deeper, but I have only one skein of this Poems Sock yarn by Wisdom Yarns. The color is 955 – Tropical Sunset. I bought it to make a pair of socks out of it, but ripped my first attempt out, because my gauge had changed quite significantly, and I was less fond of the thick thin parts that occasionally show up in this yarn.  It just didn’t look good as a sock.  But since I had ripped it out, I could now make this scarf out of it.  And I think this works wonderfully well, and because the skein is 3.5 oz (100 grams), 459 yards (420 meters), I can hopefully make the whole scarf out of just one skein, leaving me (barring any bad knots) one gorgeous stretch of changing colors.  The yarn is composed of 75% superwash wool, and 25% nylon, which also means, when I get done, it can be wash in the laundry machine on warm, and then laid out to dry.  Recommended needle is US 1-3 (2.25 – 3.25 mm), but this being a scarf, I wanted a less dense material, so I am using a US 5 (3.75 mm) needle. One skein is not enough to really make this scarf bigger, because the pattern calls for 100 grams, 400 meters to begin with.  But I do really like this yarn for the scarf, love the colors for sure!

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Three months later

As you might have figured, not too long after the last blog post, more then 3 months ago, my family was increased with a darling, absolutely lovely daughter. And of course that is when my leisure life had to be put on hold for a while. Hardly surprising, but babies really do take all the time you give them, especially the first 3 months. What? You want a picture? Alright. This was a day after she was born.

She really is a wonderful baby, sleeps a lot, doesn’t cry much, and grows very, very well.  At this point she has found her thumb, and finally gives me a little more time for…. Me.  So, I have a chance to catch up with all my crafting friends, and even get a little knitting done here and there.

What have I been working on?  Oh this and that…  Wait, you actually want to know?  Hmm, let’s see.  One of my favorite things to work on are shawls.  And I have about 3 active on my needles at this point.  Two came from one of my favorite designers, Mmario.  The first one, that is currently furthest, is called Hippo Gnu Deer.  I am currently a little further then this picture, but I don’t believe I have shown you this yet, and the current one would not be all that much more interesting.

I am also working on Caroling, Caroling, the latest Mmystery Kal that was organized by Mmario.  The Kal was of course finished a couple of months ago, but I am no where near finished on it yet:

And the third one is a brand new start:

Yep, you have seen that right, it is the Poem sock yarn of the socks that I took out because my gauge had changed QUITE significantly over time.  I think it is actually much happier as a shawl.  I will probably have an update on that next time.  I also have some other things on my needles, as well as a couple of things that came off the needles, and I promise, I will tell you about all in due time.

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Oregon Shawl # 2

Last week I all of a sudden became obsessed. As my family and friends can tell you, I ignored and neglected everything and everyone one. I had decided that I could get Oregon shawl finished before I saw the friend who I was knitting it for this week. At that time I still had about 12 hours to knit, some stitches to catch and secure, and of course washing and blocking to do. And I will remind you that I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old who are with me at all times. So… This was going to be a challenge!

But, on Saturday, I finally finished knitting:

And the corner detail, my favorite part of this shawl:

And on Sunday, I washed and blocked it. Blocking really does make lace from a pile of wet noodles into a wonderful project. 😀 I think especially the detail picture of the corner shows what a difference blocking can make, if you compare it to the one above.

Of course I also took some detail shots, one of my favorite part, that corner I talked about before:

And the side:

It took a day or 2 to dry, and then it was ready to be returned to it’s owner, my friend Patti. She was quite delighted with it. This made me happy, because I know it got a good home, where it and my work are appreciated. Of course I forgot my camera, so no pictures of the happy recipient. And of course it is still a bit warm here, too warm to wear a shawl.

Now, what is next…

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