Posts Tagged ‘shawl’

Pattern: Friendship by Laura Patterson
Source: Fiber Dreams or Ravelry
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss Lace in Aegean; 2 skeins
Needles: 3.75 mm / US 5 Knit Picks Harmony Options
Finished Size: 76″ x 32″

Raveled Here

I’ve heard from many people that they don’t knit triangle shawls because they don’t want the point of the shawl landing on or pointing to their gluteus maximus. I agree.  This is why when I wear a triangular shawl, I twist it so that the top center of the shawl rests on my shoulder and the center line runs down my arm until the triangle point rests on my wrist.

I will admit I prefer the rectangle shawl shape as more practical for me to wear, but one of the things I truly love about triangle shawls is the interesting design construction that can’t always be accomplished with a rectangle shawl.  This particular shawl design has several different motifs so that just when you get one motif memorized and are starting thinking you may get bored, it switches to a new motif.  I just love a design that is simple but interesting.  In my book, it’s the perfect combination.

I especially love the addition of the seed beads on the lower half of the shawl.  I must advise that you don’t do as I did and use a crochet hook that is one to two sizes too large. It makes beading a pain in the gluteus maximus.  I’ve never added so many beads to one project before, but I love the effect they give.  I think this shawl will be the perfect compliment to my little (medium) black dress.  Thank you so much Laura for allowing me to test knit this shawl.  It’s a definite favorite.

This is the first time I used the Knit Picks Gloss Lace yarn and overall I liked it.  Notice I said “liked”.  For the value, it’s wonderful, but it’s a bit thicker than true laceweight yarn and so it didn’t give the overall delicate feel I was looking for.  It does look beautiful, but when I saw it side by side with Laura’s shawl that was knit with the Jaeger Zephyr Wool-Silk, I realized that although mine was pretty, I wanted to sneak hers out of her bag and slip it into mine.  I obviously didn’t do that, but it was sure tempting.

I loved every moment of knitting this shawl, but as with all triangle shawls, I despise blocking them.  You’d think I wouldn’t mind since I’ve got blocking wires and t-pins and a great foam pad and such, but still I find pinning it out and getting everything even on both sides a huge pain. Maybe there’s a shortcut or a trick I don’t know about. Am I the only one spending an hour or more pinning out a triangle shawl?  Please give me your tips.  I have 2 other triangle shawls completed and waiting to be blocked.


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I just finished my second test-knit for Laura (Fiber Dreams) and I’m so in love with this shawl, I’m keeping it.

Garden Party 3

Pattern: Garden Party by Laura Patterson (Ravelry)

Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18; Colorway: Ruby

Needles: Knit Picks Options Harmony 3.75 mm / US 5

Modifications: One that I thought was no big deal, but came to bite me in the butt when I was blocking.

There are 2 other knitters who also test-knit this shawl, and the pattern is released and ready for PDF download.

Other than just the overall beauty of the shawl with all the lovely flowers and leaves, the best part of it is the construction. Not that I’ve knit a lot of shawls, but I’ve never seen anything like it. There’s a center panel of leaves that you knit first and it seems like it’s just going to end up being a rectangle, but when you get to the end of that section, it ends in a point. Kind of like a long rectangle with a triangle at the end.

Garden Party Triangle Shawl

Next you knit the rows on the right side of the shawl while you pick up the stitches from the center section. As you get to that center point of the rectangle, you stop and put those stitches on a stitch holder. Since I was knitting with the Knit Picks Options cables, I was able to just leave the cable there, take of the needle points and start the next section.

Garden Party (Right Side)

The left side is knit exactly like the right picking up those center panel stitches until you get to the center point and then you join the waiting stitches from the right side and continue knitting back and forth while working decreases to shape the triangular point of the shawl.

Garden Party 4

The final step is the large border that you start on one side of the shawl and knit back and forth while picking up the stitches along the edge of the shawl until you come to the center. Here’s where I screwed up.

Garden Party triangle border tip

Somehow my counting was “off” (won’t be the first time, won’t be the last) and as I approached the center point, I discovered that I was on the wrong row and the center border panel wasn’t going to be centered at the triangles point. So I tried to fudge. Let me emphasize that word “try”. Instead of figuring out where I went wrong and ripping back, I continued on, and omitted a lot of the “knitting into the same stitch twice” rows. Because of this, when I blocked, I didn’t have enough ease at the point, so I had to stretch that yarn into submission like it was on some kind of torture device from medieval times. Although it worked overall, it was a great learning lesson and I’ll never do it again.

Garden Party 5

Obviously after you get through the center point, you continue knitting the border along the next side and then block and enjoy the masterpiece you created. I’m very pleased with how this shawl turned out, but honestly all the credit goes to the designer. Bravo Laura!

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My Ten

I would like to share with you the beautiful knitting project I completed Saturday morning, but I can’t. My grandkids spent the weekend with us and now today DH and I are both sick. The little one’s snotty nose looked innocent enough, but obviously he got the minor runny nose and gave us the rest of it … sore throat, headache, body aches, etc. So instead of a FO, I’m sharing with you my Garden Party Shawl “blob”.

Garden Party

I’m sure most of you have seen this award floating around blog-land, but the most amazing thing has happened. I not only received the “You Make My Day” award, but I received it four times. I’m floating on cloud 9 so I won’t be back for awhile.

You Make My Day

My first award came from Hasbu at Hasbu’s Hideaway. Not only does she take the time to write her posts in both Finnish and English, but her beautiful handknits seem to fly off her needles.

The next award came from Judy at Persistent Illusion. Everything Judy knits is amazing, and I tend to need to hide my credit card when I see her latest “yarn collecting” endeavors, but I especially love that she invented my favorite cast-on (Judy’s Magic Cast-On) and I find it quite interesting that she’s from my hometown.

The third award came from Micki at A Thing For String. She has always enchanted me with her knitting, but just recently she started spinning and you’d never know she was a beginner. It looks better than some professional yarns I’ve purchased.

My most recent award came from Angelika at Knit Wiz. Although she teases me with her secret knitting projects for KnitPicks, I still love to hear about her adventures in knitting, motherhood, and admire her for being a military wife.

All of these women definitely make my day, and so I’m flattered to know that I make theirs too! Thank you. The official rules of this award are: Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times.

Since I received 4 awards, that means I get to choose 40 blogs .. right? No? There are most definitely more than 10 blogs that make my day, so I’m using a random number generator. Pathetic? Well if you all weren’t so wonderful, this wouldn’t be so difficult.

In no particular order:

The A.D.D. Knitter Her knitting is fantastic, but I love her wit. I rarely read a post without giggling or smiling.

Pats Knitting & Quilting Socks, shawls, hats, gloves, sweaters, etc. She knits it all and makes it look so beautifully easy.

ByFlutter She is a beautiful writer who inspires me to continue to better myself.

Tiennie Knits Just seeing her completed knitting makes me want to be a better knitter (and photographer).

Sknitty She has been my saving grace for dealing with FMS, but she also knits such beautiful things for herself, that it inspires me to do the same.

Musings of a (mostly) Self-Taught Knitter She writes some of the most clever posts I’ve ever seen in blog-land.

Fiber Dreams A talented designer, beautiful knitter, and a true friend. Just knowing her makes my world a better place.

Carole Knits She shares herself, her knitting, and her family so openly, that I almost feel like she’s a long-distance friend.

Knit/Wit There’s a lot I like about her blog, but I especially appreciate that she specifically shares what she does and doesn’t like about the yarn and patterns she knits.

Yarn It – I’m inspired by her knitting, and amazed at how she ever finds the time to knit, blog, raise 4 kids, and go back to school for her nursing degree.

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Designer spotlight

This was going to be a post about my adventures at TNNA in Long Beach, but it makes no sense telling you what I saw at this tradeshow, without first explaining why I was there. For those of you who are unfamiliar with TNNA, it is the National NeedleArts Association which is a trade association for professionals in knitting, needlework, and stitching. Each year they have two trade shows for members and it is huge! For our purposes, I’ll only discuss the knitting side of things. If you are a yarn store owner, a TNNA tradeshow is the perfect venue to go check out what’s new in the industry, place orders with vendors, meet designers, etc.

So lets get back to why I was there. My dear friend Laura is a very talented designer and a member of TNNA. She graciously asked me to attend with her so she could meet with yarn companies, show them her patterns, and hopefully gather enough interest from them to possibly design some patterns in their yarn. It’s really a win/win situation.
One of the items I was wearing on the 2nd day we attended was a pair of socks that she designed that I failed to post about when I finished them in November. I’m going to remedy that problem right now because this is a pattern I definitely would like to show off!
Pattern: Candy Wrappers by Laura Patterson of Fiber Dreams

Yarn: Socks that Rock Lightweight in Rose Quartz
Needles: 24″ circular 2.25 mm (US 1) and 2.5 mm (US 1.5)

Modifications: I cast on with the 2.25 mm needles to work the ribbing and then switched to the 2.5 mm needles to knit the rest of the sock. I didn’t do this because of any problem wit
h the pattern, but because I was too lazy to swatch & realized when I completed the ribbing that I better go up a bit in needle size if these were going to fit.
I also added an extra 1/2 repeat of the pattern on the leg because I’m somewhat strange and always like my socks a bit longer than any pattern I’ve ever knit. It seemed like a good idea at the time until I figured out that I had to shift my stitches on the needles to work the heel flap in the pattern stitch. It took some math skills on my part to make it work, but I think I executed it fine.
Notes: The cabling technique in this pattern is beautiful and very unique and something I’ve never ran across before. I was unable to figure out how to do it without a cable needle, but when I knit this pattern again, my goal is to figure it out. That is, unless someone does it for me first, which would be wonderful.

I don’t recall ever knitting this type of toe decrease before, especially since I usually knit all my socks toe-up, but it’s so pretty I felt it needed its own close-up. At TNNA I got compliments left and right every time someone saw these. In fact, the VP of Brown Sheep Company was practically gushing over them and said if they weren’t on my feet she’d steal them. The glint in her eye at one point led me to believe that she may indeed be serious.

As can be the case with some patterns, you have to be careful as to what yarn type and colorway you choose, so that the stitch pattern doesn’t get “lost”. I think this skein of Socks That Rock showed off the pattern very well, and I was very lucky to win this skein in a blog contest awhile ago from Tiennie Knits.
The pattern is written top-down (cuff to toe), on dpn’s, but I found it extremely easy to modify it for two circular needles. Dare I say that it would be just as easy using the Magic Loop?
Now if this fabulous sock isn’t enough of a designer spotlight, I’ll tease you a bit here by showing you her current design that I’m test-knitting. It’s called the Garden Party Shawl, and with all the beautiful flower and leaf motifs, I can definitely see why. Some of you may remember her last design, Pacific Islands, which can be knit into a shawl or a scarf. It got quite a bit of attention when Wendy Johnson (Wendy Knits) test-knit it for Laura, and the pattern went flying out of Laura’s online store. I suspect the Garden Party Shawl will too … once it’s available.

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My dear friend Laura designed her first lace shawl project, and she honored my request to test knit it for her (along with some other very talented knitters). I’d like to present you with my attempt at her pattern, the South Seas Stole:

click photo to enlarge

Pattern: South Seas Stole by Laura (to be released soon)
Source: Fiber Dreams and Ravelry
Yarn: Laceweight Mystery Yarn — nylon blend?
Beads: 8/0 Marble Marine Green T1207
Needles: Knit Picks Options Harmony size 5 US

This is the very first time I’ve ever test knit for someone and hopefully I’ll be able to do it again in the future because it was so fun! There were a few bugs here and there, but those have all been worked out and the final pattern is amazing. Actually, the entire design is amazing. I would go on & on about all the details, but I’ll save that for Laura to do when she releases the pattern in a few days.

I loved adding the beads to the stole and I even made a mistake and added extra beads in a section that I wasn’t supposed to. It’s alright though because you’d never know unless I told you. The needles, oh those needles! I can most definitely recommend the new Knit Picks Harmony needles for lace knitting. In the past I’ve used the new Addi Turbo Lace needles, but these Harmony needles score a perfect 10 in my opinion.

I had a heck of a time getting the colors to show correctly since I’m obviously in desperate need of a photography class, but it’s a beautiful blue/green colorway that has very subtle variegations throughout the yarn. Although I’m not sure what the yarn is, I will say that it wasn’t very cooperative when it came to stretching for blocking or the points that should be prominent on the edges of the shawl. Regardless, it did come out very nice and I’m hoping DH has a dress-up Christmas party this year so I can wear it.

Look at this beautiful skein of yarn I received from Tiennie. Of course, how can anyone ever not want Socks That Rock? She held a blog contest (as she frequently does) and all I had to do was leave a comment (which I love to do) and she randomly drew a name. The colorway is Rose Quartz and I’m already dreaming of what pattern will be worthy. Thank you so much Tiennie!

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I can tell when I’ve been a “bad blogger” and haven’t posted for awhile because I had to log in to blogger to write this post. Can I use a family visit last week as an excuse? Today I thought I’d share with you all the projects (I’m willing to admit) I have on my needles.

I’ve realized that since I’m going to freezing cold southern Idaho for a week in December, I may need some real winter knit-wear. So, I decided to design a scarf for myself. This is the Cable Wave Scarf and I’m using Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted in Prairie Fire although I’ve also test knit it in Malabrigo Worsted. I’ve *got* to add more of that to my stash!

My sister’s birthday is in December and she requested a pair of fingerless gloves that convert to mittens. The pattern I’m using is Urban Necessity from MagKnits Sept. 2005, but honestly I’m not in love with all the yarn end weaving that this project entails. I do love the Cascade 220 superwash wool though so that definitely helps. I must admit though that after trying these on multiple times, I think I need to rip these back and make them larger. Drat.

I’m unsure why I was so excited to cast on for these Diamond Waffle Socks when I saw them in the last Knitty issue, but I think I cast-on in haste because I’ve not liked knitting these at all. I thought they’d be perfect for DH, but I’ve not liked the yarn (Cherry Tree Hill Supersock) nor the pattern and once I completed knitting the heel, I disliked the particular heel in the pattern, ripped them back, and threw them across the room. They’ve been sitting in time out ever since. Normally I love CTH Supersock, so that’s odd, but maybe it’s a bad combination of yarn and pattern. Regardless, since I’ve already done so much work on them, I’m going to pick them back up soon and maybe DH will have them in time for Christmas.

Tangled Yoke is completely knit and ready to be blocked. This is the first cardigan I’ve knit for myself (or anyone else for that matter), so I’m excited to almost have it finished. I suppose I should also be concerned about getting buttons too. Hopefully the next photo of this will be me wearing it.

I’ve had the Drunken Bees socks in my queue ever since the day I saw the pattern on Domesticraft’s blog site. Finally I received the perfect yarn (Shibui Sock) and cast on. Can I just tell you that both the pattern and the yarn are exceeding my expectations. I’m in love!

I’m test knitting Laura’s South Seas Stole and loving every minute of it. In fact, all the above mentioned projects have been sitting in limbo since I cast on for the stole. I already had the yarn in my stash which I coincidentally purchased from Laura a few months ago. I’m not sure what the yarn is comprised of, but it has very little, if any stretch to it, so I’m suspecting there is no wool. Maybe an Acrylic blend? I have no clue, but the finished fabric is beautiful. Finding the correct sized beads though that complemented the color was quite tricky though and luckily I’ve discovered (after 2 other stores failed to “wow” me) a wonderful store right by my house called Brea Bead Works.

I’ve knit the entire length of the stole and am now working on the border, but have discovered I’m running out of yarn. Hopefully Laura has more I can sneak away from her while I distract her with a German beer and deli sandwich from Mattern’s deli.

Thanks again for everyone’s comments. If I didn’t get to yours or your blogs recently, I’m sincerely sorry. My sister’s family was here visiting last week and my fibro wasn’t cooperating, so computer time was limited. Since this big desktop system won’t fit on my bed or my comfy knitting chair, I think it may be appropriate to start researching laptop computers.

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Shall I say last, but not least, … or are there still a few of you knitting this?

(click for bigger)

Swan Lake by Melanie Gibbons
KAL: Mystery Stole 3 (Yahoo Groups)
Source: Pink Lemon Twist (pattern to be released soon to anyone not in the KAL)
Yarn: Baruffa Cashwool; colorway 11 (black)
Needles: Addi Turbo Lace circular Size 3 (3.25 mm)
Finished Dimensions: 60″ x 17″

I love that I decided to jump in with both feet and join this KAL. I’ve never done anything like this before because frankly, I’m a control freak. I want to know what, when, where and how with what I’m knitting, so this was a complete change for me.

There are a few things I would do differently if I were to knit this again:

  • Pay attention to the blocking instructions. For those of you who have knit and blocked this stole, you’ll notice in the photos that I obviously blocked this incorrectly. I forgot to make the points on the wing side. Please don’t remind me though, I’m hoping I forget about it so I don’t feel the need to re-block it.
  • Use a different yarn. I like the yarn, but I don’t love it. I wish I would’ve chosen a wool/silk blend (like the yarn she recommended) because I think I would’ve liked the drape better.
  • Use a size 4 (3.5mm) or 5 (3.75mm) knitting needle. Although I think the Addi Turbo Lace needles are amazingly perfect for lace knitting, the size 3 (3.25mm) needles I used didn’t create a fabric that was the overall size I wanted.
  • Include the beads. Since I didn’t know what the beads would look like in the stole, and since I was afraid it may look tacky, I wimped out and didn’t include them. If I were to only change one thing about my stole, it would be to add the beads.

Overall, I’m quite happy with my Swan Lake Stole and I’m looking forward to wearing it on my cruise next month for our four year anniversary. I’ll try to get modeled shots of it then.

Also, look what came in the mail! It’s my Loopy Ewe order! (click for bigger)

From Left to Right:

  • Panda Cotton in College Prep (freebie)
  • Louet Gems Pearl in Burgandy
  • All Things Heather Sock in Raspberry
  • Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett in Mirage Storm
  • ShiBuiKnits Sock in Midnight
  • Addi Turbo Lace needles (to add to my growing collection)

This is the second time I’ve ordered All Things Heather and I’m still in love with it! The photo of the Kaffe Fassett yarn from Regia does not do it justice because this colorway is stunning! Also, if you get the chance to order ShiBuiKnits Sock, definitely do! It’s a smooshy, squishy delight, and the color is stunning. This was my 6th order, so I’m now a Loopy Groupie. This is a great thing since now I should be getting notified before she does her sneak-ups. Maybe now I can get my hands on that Wollmeise. I’m coveting the Granatapfel and Gewitterhimmel colorways.

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