Knitting, shawls

Summer Shawl Knitting…

One sure sign of a truly deep love of knitting is a knitter who keeps on knitting despite the Summer heat! 😉

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Knitting the Kathryn Scarf on my back deck!

What to knit in said Summer heat?

My favorite go to is lace! In the Summer, I knit lots and lots of lace! Though I don’t personally limit myself to only working with yarns that are cotton/linen blends in Summer, I do enjoy them, and they’re a great option for cooler Summer knitting and knitwear. 🙂

Shawls are a really useful (and beautiful) garment to create when you’re knitting lace. They can be very light and airy, making the perfect light layer to grab and wrap around your shoulders as the sun goes down on a breezy Summer evening! I find them very entertaining to work, as well as super portable for travel knitting!

Here are a few favorite Summery projects of the past that I would knit again in a heartbeat!

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Flambe

This is the first shawl I ever knit – the one that got me hooked on shawl knitting in fact! It’s the Flambe One Skein Shawl, by Michelle Miller of Fickleknitter. I bought the kit for this shawl in order to participate in a knit-a-long (KAL) that Michelle was hosting. It was SO much fun! A KAL is a great way to connect with people who like a lot of the same things you do, and also provides amazing support and encouragement! (Especially when you’re new to shawl knitting!) 😉 This shawl has a lot of happy memories for me!  Flambe makes a fabulous Summer knit because it’s complicated enough to keep your mind busy, but not too complicated for travel knitting, and it only requires one skein of sock yarn! It’s also perfect for Summer wear as it’s small – just enough to cover your shoulders if the air conditioning gets to be a bit much or there’s a chilly breeze at night. 🙂

 

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Lace Leaf Shawl

This one is the Lace Leaf Shawl, designed by Mary Henderson. It’s a lovely leaf pattern, easy to memorize; and you can customize the size of your shawl by knitting more or fewer repeats! The yarn is a fingering weight merino/silk blend called “Row of Tulips” by Expression Fiber Arts. It was an absolute dream to knit with!

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Obi Shawl

Another Fickleknitter design by Michelle Miller, The Obi Shawl is one of my all-time favorite shawls to knit. In fact, I’ve already made two of them! One I gave away, and the other gets a lot of wear as a favorite go-to layer that I turn to constantly! The yarn is amazing – a merino/cashmere/silk blend called Serenity Silk Single by Zen Yarn Garden, it’s also one of my favorite yarns to work with! The color shown here is called “Dragonfruit!”

I might also finally allow myself to knit a shawl or two from my current list of shawl-crushes…!

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A Hap for Harriet: Designed by Kate Davies; photographed by Tom Barr.
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Fantoosh!: Designed by Kate Davies; photographed by Tom Barr.

I’m totally in love with both of these shawls designed by Kate Davies: A Hap for Harriet, and Fantoosh! They are both simple, but elegant, and the yarns used for the samples look absolutely scrumptious! I particularly love the coziness and generous size of Fantoosh!, and the delicate simplicity of A Hap for Harriet. If you’re drooling over these like I am, be sure to check out Kate’s shop – she has kits for sale containing: yarn, pattern, and project bag!

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Rock Island: Designed by Jared Flood.

I’m also loving Rock Island, by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. I find the mix of openwork lace and simple garter stitch captivating! Brooklyn Tweed Vale is a lovely lace weight wool; although for Summer, I think this shawl would also be great in a cotton or linen blend such as Purl Soho’s Linen Quill (wool/alpaca/linen) or Juniper Moon Farm’s Zooey DK (cotton/linen/flax).

While we’re talking about Summer shawl knitting…

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Leaves of Grass: Designed by Jared Flood.

…knitting a circular shawl has been on my bucket list for a good long time now, and I’m feeling the urge to buckle down and just do it! I’ve been eying this one – Leaves of Grass, (another Jared Flood design) as a potentially great Summer knit…hmmm…need to go check my stash and see if I have enough fingering weight yarn… 🙂

Do you knit in the Summer time? If so, what Summer knitting project(s) are you currently working on? Do you have a favorite Summer knitting style or project? I’d love to hear all about it! 🙂

~Happy Knitting!

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Knitting, Maryland Sheep and Wool

Current Events

The Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival is this weekend, May 2nd and 3rd! I’m so excited, I can hardly wait!! Mom and I go together every year, it’s our tradition! We missed last year because of my surgery, so we’ve been looking forward to this a long time! This year is also special because Annelies is planning to bring Vera and join us! It’s going to be loads of fun!

At the Maryland Sheep & Wool there are so many fascinating vendors with lovely yarns; wools for spinning, dying, and felting; and beautifully handmade fiber craft tools. And I love seeing the animals – sheep,  alpacas, llamas, and angora rabbits! The sheepdog trials are always such fun to watch! And the people! So many interesting people, and so many of them wearing gorgeous handmade items they crafted themselves, or gifted to them by a loved one or friend! If you are in the area this weekend, I heartily encourage you to make the time to stop by!

In other news, I decided that my Lace Leaf Shawl needed to be knit on larger needles…

So, during a car ride of several hours a couple weekends ago, I started over on size 7s (4.5mm). (I had originally been using size 5s (3.5mm)).

Having a second ball of “Row of Tulips,” I played it safe…

I cast on with the larger needles and the second ball of yarn, knit for awhile…


… and then compared the two fabrics. I decided that I liked the fabric resulting from the bigger needles better, so I kept knitting on that one, and pulled out and re-wound the other!

 There’s been plenty of knitting time, so I’ve made good progress…

ready to begin the edging
finishing up the edging


I’m just starting to cast off. Perhaps I’ll have it done in time to wear to the Sheep & Wool?!

Knitting, Lace Leaf KAL, Weather

Daffodills & Lace Leaf Progress

We’ve had a number of rather severe thunderstorms this week, with high winds, lightening, lots of thunder of course, and even hail!

  

But my daffodills are holding up remarkably well so far!  

  

We have a whole long row of them between the two properties, next to the grapevines. 

  

Some of them are looking a bit droopy, but they will perk back up! 

  

And honestly, I was surprised to find them still all in one lovely piece! 

  

That row of daffodills is one of my favorite things about Spring around here!

  

And of course there are a couple of hyacinths mixed in as well! 😉 They smell absolutely heavenly!

Stormy weather is also good knitting weather, particularly if the power goes out (because electronics are optional, all you need is a flashlight or a candle or two and you can keep right on knitting!), which it didn’t this time, for which I’m grateful because it’s still a bit chilly around here.

  

I’ve been working on my Lace Leaf Shawl, and enjoying it very much!

  

I’ve made it through repeat number eight now, and had to get a longer cable in order to spread it out flat! 

  

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend with lots of the things you love best!

  

Knitting, Lace Leaf KAL

Ready!…Set!…

Today is an exciting day, folks! You all know what I mean…! Not only is it the last day of March, it’s also Lace Leaf KAL Eve!

Are you excited? I know I am!

Today I’m making final preparations before the KAL begins tomorrow. For me, that means I’m doing things like:

Reading my Lace Leaf pattern through one more time, to be sure there isn’t something I missed… 

Winding my yarn into balls…     

Laying out my needles… 

And setting up my project on Ravelry!

In fact, would all of you fellow KALers set up your Lace Leaf KAL project on Ravelry and then select the option to “share” it with our Lace Leaf KAL group please? That way, we can all share, see, and enjoy each other’s work as the KAL progresses!

Once your project is set up, all you need to do to share your project with our KAL group, is to go under Groups (right hand side of your project page), click on the “Share with a group” drop down box, and select our Lace Leaf KAL from the list, as shown below:

What are you all doing to get ready for tomorrow? Feel free to share your favorite KAL prep tips!

Happy Lace Leaf KAL Eve, Everybody! See you tomorrow!

P.S. If you haven’t signed on to do the Lace Leaf KAL yet, but would like to, you are more than welcome to join us! Just join our group on Ravelry; then decide whether you want to knit the Blackthorn Shawl pattern, or the Lace Leaf Shawl pattern!