A Shawl & A Sweater

 

 

I am breaking my long standing one project at a time habit.  My socks have stalled and been stalled for months.  I just got all socked out I guess.

I picked up a shawl pattern, Sharon Miller’s ‘The Grey Shawl’, which used to be sold on her website as Project #2.  It is a Hap Shawl so I suppose it could be in her Shetland Hap Shawls; Then and Now but it doesn’t look like it… the really appealing part of it, to me, is the color Grey!, and the changing colors in border.  However there are many other similar patterns out there from various designers.  A hap isn’t supposed to be fancy schmancy after all. The pattern and yarn kit was a gift from my friend Mama Liz in 2004.  I recall starting it and then, after finishing the center diamond/square, ripping it.  I am either much more laissez faire about my knitting these days or I was just crazy.  I have moved past the center onto the border and cannot for the life of me imagine why I was dissatisfied the first time.

I have been working on it slowly, while watching Game of Thrones on DVD, Midsomer Murders on Netflix, and Vintage Dr. Who on Britbox.  Right now we are in the 2nd season of Dr. Who and I am looking forward to a new Dr.  This morning I spread out my shawl in progress in preparation of first color change and saw that I had a dropped stitch in the actual center part… the last row prior to picking up border and went back.  Despite this it is being a satisfying knit although I shouldn’t have started the border while trying to suss out who dunnit last night.  Here is my shawl after fixing my center and picking up for the border:

Redoing border pick-up

I recently joined Instagram.  Not because I have plans to share my pictures, which I have always felt lacked a certain something something, but because I wanted to be able to follow people. After redoing my border pick-up I took a break and bopped online to enjoy some pictures and did you know they have something called fairislefriday?  This of course, combined with my current Jamieson & Smith yarn knitting, had me hankering for some color work.  While I was eyeing the wee little hanks and balls of shetland around my husband asked me what I was doing.  I told him I was thinking of knitting a sweater for myself.

Dear hearts would you believe my husband unkindly scoffed?  Well he did.  Probably because, in all the years of my knitting, I have only knit three sweaters for myself.  The first I promptly gave away… literally off my back.  That was in 1986.  The second I knit while pregnant with Zoe in 1995: Rosemaling from Knitters Issue #32.  I never did get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and it just didn’t fit correctly since I had knit it for my pre-baby figure. The third sweater, my most successful, was knit in 1998, without a pattern out of pink Satakieli yarn.  The whole process, from picking out the stitch, modifying it to be worked in the round, figuring out sizing and design elements as I went along, even the yarn were a joy.  Unfortunately the style I had chosen, lacy, became impractical for my new life as a mom.  Tyler was born the following year and then Nece.  Of course I love my children but running after them in a dressy tunic just didn’t work.

Anyway my husband is unaware of my previous sweaters only my Strokkur failures.  I have knit it three times only to find my gauge has tightened between hem and yoke.  I am unsure if this is because it was winter time, and I was wanting a a hand knit sweater, or if it is just one of those yarns that my fingers want to be at a certain gauge.  It has been known to happen.

Regardless Instagramers, Instagrammers?, apparently tag anything stranded as fair isle and given my mistake during tv watching on shawl I figured some nice relaxing stocking stitch in the round would be good.  I pulled out Strokkur, which I had restarted for the forth time a while ago, from its knitting bag and have been amusing myself with my stitch marker.  Enjoy my lovely bunny:

Strokkur Restarted

There is my pattern in the background.  I think I have it printed out a dozen times at this point!

Bunny Tails

The pink ball along time is one of those jingly jangly balls that rings as my knitting gets shaken.  The bunny has a silver stand and the cutest little cotton tail.

Beribboned

Beribboned

Okay not quite beribboned but still!  We last saw Strokkur last November.  I have finished 2 sleeves, which are still on point regarding gauge, so I hope if I concentrate on staying slow and relaxed the body will also not tighten up.

Yarny days and knitterly evenings~

Elka

A YOP Post Week 21

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At least *I think* we are starting week 21..

 

So I was laid off of work on the 11th and that explains why I wasn’t up to posting last Sunday.  I also didn’t much feel like knitting this week.  Or rather I did but I was busy resume writing, LinkedIN updating, applying for unemployment -on advice of several people who told me that job hiring tends to be on hold during holiday season, and applying for jobs as well.  I haven’t heard back at all from those.  Not even a thank you for applying auto response.

A thing about me is that I really like shopping when I am feeling a bit blue.  I don’t think this is particularly unusual although I realize it is not the best reaction to anything, negative or positive.  Still my inner magpie likes something new and shiny and pretty on a semi-regular basis and I have had an overwhelming desire for nail polish.  Other than yarn, cosmetics totally snag me in and just like yarn, I will never, ever get through all my nail polish or lipstick or perfume.

This weeks picture is more nail polish than knitting.  I finished the first sleeve and despite my gauge reading as being seriously off the finished sleeve matches schematic.  I am almost done with the second sleeve and I shot a picture of my nail polish which was kinda matched my little kitty cat stitch marker and my lopi yarn.  I will not be finishing this sweater this month as I had hoped but que sera, sera.

 

Glitter Daze Chemise A La Reign polish, what I recall being my first fancy stitch marker, and Lopi in progress

Glitter Daze Chemise A La Reign polish, what I recall being my first fancy stitch marker, and Lopi in progress

 

Okay so its a little thing that made me smile this week.  Wishing  you all

yarny days and knitterly evenings~ Elka

YOP Week 18

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Last week I knit a pair of socks for my husband.  Unfortunately I misread how long the foot is to be, I keep such notes on Ravelry, and did 7″ from back of heel instead of 7″ from end of heel shaping.  Socks are now for Tyler who has scored 3 pairs of socks since YOP goals were assembled.  This pair, and the last pair, are to be Christmas gifts.

This August we went to MidAmericon in Kansas City and I purchased Tyler a piece of artwork from art show.  It was a relatively expensive gift and he was told to not expect anything for Christmas so the socks are all the unwrapping he will be doing this year.

So the yarn is an oldie from my stash.  There was a time, say 11  yrs ago or so, when I purchased several hanks of Mountain Colors Bearfoot sock yarn and I am down to 3 hanks after this one called Moose Creek. For some reason it always looked like a brownish plum color but honestly it is a brown and my eyes were just drawn to the flashes of plum or burgundy in it.  Here is the hank wound up into a yarn cocoon:

Mountain Colors Bearfoot Moose Creek yarn cocoon.

Mountain Colors Bearfoot Moose Creek yarn cocoon.

 

See the plum and reddish tints?

Here is the finished sock, overexposed and unwashed.  You can see how the colors pooled but it isn’t nearly as obvious in the actual sock:

Finished sock

Finished sock

 

One nice thing about Bearfoot sock yarn is the mohair content which makes it super warm and cushy.  Usually whenever I wash a pair I reach inside and take out yarn pills.  Sometimes I let them gather for a while and it is extra padding on sole of foot.  For some reason it just pills inside the foot.  I have knit textured socks and the texture is basically lost after several washes.  But these have made my warmest and longest lasting socks.  I have  pair going back 8 years.  My Mad Color Weave socks.  I also have a couple of pairs even older than that but I don’t have them saved anywhere handy picture wise. Most were Michelle’s Basic Sock pattern.

Another awesome thing about this sock yarn is that it is slightly heavier than fingering weight.  I think it is the mohair again.  The yarn feels dense and plush and fills in any place that would normally have a gap such as the gusset area.  Here is a close up of heel and gusset to once again show color of socks {not overexposed}:

Sock heel and gusset

Feel free to click to embiggen 🙂

The pattern is A Classic Sock from Nancy Bush’s Folk Socks book.  I purchased my copy when Zoe was a baby so about 21 yrs ago and it is falling apart at this point.

In a few days Wovember starts.  I have been anticipating Wovember for weeks.  I have cast on Strokkur and am hoping I don’t have the same tension woes that caused me to rip and reknit this sweater 3 times so far.  I have switched from my Trusty Grays {aka Aero needles} to bamboo ones hoping that will help.  I am also planning on measuring every 20 rows or so which is annoying but should end up with a finally FO.  It is expected to be in the mid-80’s on Tuesday, not the least bit Wovemberish at all, but such is St. Louis weather.  Winters here tend to be relatively warm and drizzly instead of snowy.  It makes me sad but home is where the heart is and I do heart my family.

yarny days and knitterly evenings

~Elka

 

Hunter Hammersen

Hunter Hammersen has been on my radar for a while.  I first noticed her due to her then free sock patterns Slant and Popped. Note they are no longer free but Hunter has gone from a one size pattern to multi-sizing and gauging which understandably requires more work. Then, my green love, had me drooling over Propitiate and if you peek into the comments section I was begging for the pattern to be written up.  It was and has since been taken offline.    Back then I used to download all the patterns onto my computer and print them out, remove the download so as to not clog up my computer, and begone.  Or even not do anything at all since the pattern was free and I figured I could just open it up whenever. Since then I have learned to save everything into my Ravelry library.  I never did buy her Silk Road Socks book, being unemployed at the time with 3 children, but I have purchased her self published Knitters Curiosity Cabinet Vol 3.  I think it was just about this time of year and I discovered the joy of having an electronic version of a pattern to work on while on the road.  I signed up for her newsletter, I believe, after purchasing her book.  I really tend not to subscribe to feeds or newsletters or anything else because I am bad about reading my emails and great about shopping 🙂  I mention this because Hunter frequently offers a discount code for patterns through her newsletter and this week she is offering a free pattern to subscribers!

Welter Pattern is a cowl worked in worsted weight yarn and looks like it would be good for gift giving.  I think this is a nice way for those who are not familiar with Hunter’s work to get a feel for her patterns.  So consider this my PSA of the week 🙂 Her blog/website is Violently Domestic which is easy enough to remember.  If you are a sock knitter I think her work is worth looking into although she has branched out and offers smaller shawls and fingerless mitt type of things… basically nothing too yarn or time consuming that would be perfect for wrapping up and giving to others….last year I gifted a secret pal some fingerless mitts and they were very fun to knit.

yarny days and knitterly evenings.

Elka