Knitting, Stash

In ProgressΒ 

I’ve been working away and making good progress with my yarn stash organizing and cataloging! It feels good to see my Yarn Stash Notebook filling up with yarn samples and data, and to see my Yarn Stash becoming more orderly, accessible, and therefore useable!

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Progress on the Yarn Stash Notebook!

I do take frequent breaks to do some actual knitting though! πŸ˜‰

Right now, I’m loving knitting the sample for my newest design (coming soon!!)! πŸ™‚

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Lacy, stripy chevrons…!

The yarn I’m using is Knit Circus Greatest of Ease in “Over The Rainbow Speckles,” and Expression Fiber Arts Resilient Superwash Merino Sock in “Pistachio.”

I’m also really enjoying my “just for fun” knit…

The very start of my Leaves of Grass shawl!

The pattern is “Leaves of Grass” by Jared Flood (Brooklyn Tweed)…

Feeling like I need to switch to a longer cable soon…!

The yarn I’m using is Madelinetosh Pashmina in “Thoreau.”Β It’s super soft and squishy and feels lovely in my hands as I knit. I can’t wait to snuggle up in this shawl on those cool Autumn evenings (they are still a long ways off, so I have plenty of time to finish!) πŸ™‚

This is the very first time I’ve ever knitted a circular shawl, and I’m finding that I’m really taken with the ease and simplicity of the Pi Shawl construction! At the beginning of this project, the one piece that I had absolutely no idea how to do was the circular cast on. This tutorial by Knit Picks was super helpful, and I quickly discovered that it’s not as hard as it looks! πŸ™‚

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Working on Leaves of Grass with grass for company! πŸ˜‰

Something I’m really enjoying with this knit is the excitement whenever I finish one chart and move on to the next! It’s fascinating to see how the different motifs fit together, play on each other, and seem to grow together! (This effect with the stitch patterns will be easier to see after blocking!)

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Leaves of Grass shawl.

Now that I’m on the second-to-last chart and have completed the last increase round, I have a total of nearly 600 stitches on my needles! Even though each round now takes a while to complete, I’m still excited and enjoying working this shawl! I can’t wait to see it finished! (And I’m sure I’ll be knitting another circular shawl before long!) πŸ˜‰

And last but not least, I’m trying out something new – knitting with beads!

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Practice Swatch: Arrowhead lace with beads.

This is just a little practice test swatch I’m working with some leftovers of a gorgeous alpaca yarn and some seed beads I have on hand. It took me awhile to decide where to place the beads with this Arrowhead Lace stitch pattern, and I’m still not quite sure I’m happy with the result. I think I’ll knit on it a little more and then block it and see what I think then. πŸ™‚

Of course, I’d love to hear your thoughts too! πŸ™‚ Where would you place the beads in this stitch pattern? Have you ever used beads in your knitting before? If so, what do you think of the technique? Do you like the effect?

I’d also love to hear about whether you’ve knitted or considered knitting a circular shawl before! If you’ve made one before, did you enjoy the experience? Why or why not?

As always, best wishes to each of you, and happy knitting!

~Sarah

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Family, Holidays, Knitting, Uncategorized

Cables for Phyllis

I was so thrilled when my mother-in-law, Phyllis, asked for a handknit sweater for Christmas! The important thing to understand here is that I was longing to knit something for someone who would actually wear it. My dear husband, you see, refuses to wear anything I knit for him ever since the unfortunate incident of the black-hat-with-the-red-angora-lining. And who could really blame him?! But that’s another story for another time. He saves me time and trouble though, by telling me up front, not to knit him anything because he won’t wear it, so at least there’s that. This then, is why the excitement was impossible to contain when Phyllis asked for a sweater!

[Yes, I do realize that we are currently in the month of March, and that this fact makes my Christmas gift to Phyllis about three months late. Fortunately, Phyllis is a fabulously gracious person who didn’t at all mind opening a half-knitted sweater on Christmas, and who waited very patiently while I finished it. ❀️]

Since she was actually visiting at the time, we got online immediately and went virtual shopping to pick out the perfect yarn and pattern together! What a good time we had! It was even better than “normal” shopping because we didn’t get worn out and stressed from walking and driving from store to store and dealing with crowds and traffic. 😊

Phyllis settled on the Cable Down Raglan by Stefanie Japel. She wanted a turquoise color, and the sweater was to be warm, but not too warm in order to layer in Virginia’s mostly moderate winter weather. We decided to go with a cotton yarn, and settled on Knit Pick’s Shine Worsted in Aquamarine.

 

the yarn

 

Once the yarn arrived, I could hardly wait to cast on and start knitting! It was really hard to make myself knit gauge swatches, but I’m REALLY glad I did!

 

the beginning

When one is knitting a garment, especially for someone else, (especially if that someone else does not live in the same house or even what could be called reasonably close by) it is vital to:

1) Take said person’s measurements with care, ahead of time; paying close attention to his/her preferences regarding ease…

2) Note and plan ahead for any alterations in fit that will be preferred… (for example, my mother-in-law wanted the sleeves on her sweater to be full length rather than 3/4. This necessitated planning ahead by ordering more yarn.)

3) Find and maintain the proper gauge…

4) At least one or more fittings along the way to ensure the garment will be a success!

 

knitting the body

The Cable-Down Raglan, as the name suggests, is worked from the top down, circular fashion, raglan style, and all in one piece.

 

cables & raglan shaping

I love the cables. I really enjoyed knitting them, and I still enjoy looking at them! You can see the sleeve stitches on hold and the rest of the body in progress.

 

counting repeats

 

I put my Grellow & Gray Sirka Counter to excellent use on this project! Would have lost my head for sure without it! At one point I was using all three hands to track three different sets of repeats! What a lifesaver!

 

knitting nook

 

This was my first experience with knitting a raglan sweater, and also my first experience with knitting a sweater in the round – all in one piece!

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cable detail

I really like the idea of knitting a garment in one piece. Of the entire ensemble flowing along smoothly in an orderly and aesthetically pleasing fashion. Of not having to go back and sew up seams afterward.

cabled waist ribbing

 

But I discovered, as I worked on the sleeves of the sweater, that it became very frustrating to deal with the bulk of the body of the sweater while knitting around and around each smaller sleeve. I had to adjust the entire body of the sweater in relation to the sleeve four times per round. It really slowed me down. In the future, I think I may try holding the body stitches and working the sleeves first since they are so much smaller and could be easily pinned in place to keep them out of the way while knitting the body.

 

weaving in the ends

 

There were a lot of ends to weave in, but that just goes with the territory! Aunt Peggy had made a gorgeous bracelet that went perfectly with the sweater!

finishing

 

As a final touch, I sewed in a special label…

 

a personal touch

 

Phyllis loves her sweater, and it makes me happy to see her so happy!

 

front

 

She looks fabulous in it, if I do say so myself!

 

back

 

shoulder detail

 

 

sleeve detail

 

 

neckline detail