Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Watermelon Shrug - Two Stripes Done

I have several projects on the needles right now, but I've mostly been working on this one.  I like the colors, and the simplicity.  I didn't realize, until I was looking at the project pages for my other shrugs that for my first Watermelon Shrug I started with the greens, not the reds/pinks.  I tend to start with the darkest color and work to the lightest, although with the first Watermelon Shrug I worked dark - light - dark - light, putting the darkest color next to the central panel.  For this one I will be working dark - light - dark, ending with the darker green.

Pattern:  Traveling Zebra Shrug by Carolyn Blakelock
Yarn:  Biscotte & Cie Bis-sock
Needles:  US 2.5 (3 mm) and US 4 (3.5 mm)

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Watermelon Shrug - Central Panel Done

On the drive back from the Retreat I finished up the central panel of my Watermelon Shrug.  We left the Retreat early, before breakfast, before folks were even up.  I totally forgot about the group photo.  I think we both just wanted to get home.  Bruce's back was bothering him (he had strained a muscle working in the yard a few days before we left) and I could feel a migraine starting and neither one of us wanted to deal with Richmond at rush hour.  The drive home was very uneventful and the traffic wasn't bad at all, although it was starting to build up when we hit Richmond, which we did around 2pm.  We made it home before 4pm, which was very nice as I had to work the next day.

Pattern:  Traveling Zebra Shrug by Carolyn Blakelock
Yarn:  Biscotte & Cie Bis-sock
Needles:  US 2.5 (3 mm) and US 4 (3.5 mm)

Gazania Shrug - Finished!

Last Sunday we drove down to Andrews, North Carolina for the annual Unique Sheep Retreat.  I took this project along with me for car knitting and finished it on the drive down.  I joined the edges while I was down there, but not by grafting, I joined them by pulling the loops through each other with a crochet hook, alternating between the two needles.  It gives a firmer edge than grafting and does not stretch out the way grafted stitches will.  I waited until I got back home to work the cuffs.  I ended up doing a simple eyelet lace pattern (yo, k2tog every other row).  I'm not sure why I decided that this shrug needed cuffs.  It might have been because I had a lot of yarn left over from working the stripes.  It might have been because I only was able to work 400 rows of the central self-striping panel.  Although looking back at some of my other shrugs, I only worked 404 rows on my Strawberry Shortcake Shrug, 406 rows on my Peacock Shrug, and 408 rows on my Twinkle, Twinkle Shrug.  Do those few extra rows make that much of a difference?  I'm not sure, although not grafting the edge stitches definitely does.  We'll see how it fits after it dries.  I can always rip back and redo things if I don't like it.  That is one of the wonderful things about knitting.  There aren't many aspects of life that give you do-overs.

Pattern:  Traveling Zebra Shrug by Carolyn Blakelock
Yarn:  Biscotte & Cie Bis-sock
Needles:  US 2.5 (3 mm) and US 4 (3.5 mm)

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Mulberry Ombre Dress - Cast On

I received this lovely set a little bit a go and was inspired to cast on another Alita Dress.  I wanted something fairly easy to take with me to the Unique Sheep Retreat - from which I have just returned.  I did manage to make some progress while there, and also on the drive back today.

Project:  Alita Dress by Adrienne Larsen from Knitter's Magazine 116, Fall 2014
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Kiri in Mulberry
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Gazania Shrug - Side Two - Two Stripes Done

There is something odd going on with the dark red skein.  It was the lightest of my 4 skeins for the side, weighing in at only 50.6 grams, but I should have still had enough to work two stripes as the stripes take about 22 grams each.  But the first stripe of the dark red took 25.4 grams.  My first thought was that I must have done an extra pair of rows on the stockinette section, so I didn't worry about running out on the second side, until I ran out only 1.5 rows into the second garter part.  So I went back and counted the rows of the first side - 20 rows, per my pattern.  I put the project aside while I pondered my next steps.  In the end I decided to rip back and remove two rows of the stockinette section, this gave me enough to work the 6 garter stitch rows, and the slightly shorter ruffled section should not be too obvious.  But the mystery remains.

Pattern:  Traveling Zebra Shrug by Carolyn Blakelock
Yarn:  Biscotte & Cie Bis-sock
Needles:  US 2.5 (3 mm) and US 4 (3.5 mm)

Irish Spring - Cast On

Laura of The Unique Sheep dyed up this trio for St. Patrick's Day and I immediately knew that I wanted to knit another Liken shawl with it.  The yellow is what really grabbed me.  When I was growing up yellow was my favorite color.  My bedroom was painted yellow, I had a clock in the shape of a sunflower on my wall, and a 3-legged stool with a sunflower on it.  Even today, my living room is painted bright yellow (which is far better than the medicinal mint green the room was painted when we moved in).

I wore one of my Liken shawls to work this past week and it inspired me to cast on.  But first I had to make sure I understood my pattern modifications.  That actually took a little more work than I thought it would as I originally knit this as part of a mystery knit along, so some of my notes referred to clues instead of just line numbers.  I printed out my project notes and a copy of the pattern and studied my shawls, which were not exactly the same, and figured it out.  This time I am formalizing my modifications and hope to publish them for free on Ravelry (if Sivia is cool with it).  I can do it without infringing on the copyright by referring to pattern line numbers.

I did make a modification to my modification.  On my other two versions I started out with 4 rows of garter stitch, instead of a garter tab cast on.  The garter tab cast ons can stretch, as opposed to giving you a firmer neck edge.  Last week I had also cast on the Snowmelt shawl by Helen Stewart and that pattern started out with an I-cord.  But instead of doing an I-cord cast on, that pattern called for picking up stitches, as you would with a garter tab cast on. That seemed to me to be making your point the hard way.  Why not just do an I-cord cast on?  The shawl then continued with an I-cord edge.  For this shawl I cast on my 3 stitches for my I-cord, worked two rows as straight I-cord and then continued working an I-cord cast on to get my 42 cast on stitches, plus the 3 stitches of the I-cord itself.  I turned the work, slipped the first 3 stitches purl-wise, and purled across to the end of the cast on stitches.  I then used the tail of my original cast on to pick up 3 stitches in the other end of my I-cord, secured the tail, and slipped those 3 stitches.

Pattern:  Liken by Sivia Harding, modified to be a cape
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Kiri
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Lady of the Lake - Finished!

I finished the shawl up last night, powering through the other half in four days. Here is a picture of the shawl on the blocking mats.
And for contrast, here is the original Once and Future King, which provided the inspiration.  Lady of the Lake is knit from the center out instead of from the border in, I also modified the diamond motifs somewhat - simplifying them.  The design definitely shows up better in the darker yarn.

Pattern:  The Lady of the Lake by Carolyn Blakelock, a modification of The Once and Future King by Janine Le Cras
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Sea Silk
Needles:  US 3 (3.25 mm)