The newest shawlette, not yet blocked
I can’t settle on a new knitting project. A finish of a complex multi-chart lace shawlette led to a binge knit of three identical cowls that are destined to be Chrismukkah presents. They were about as simple as a knit can be – stockinette tubes. The excitement was in the yarn. A fluffy mohair silk strand held together with a linen cashmere. It made for an almost weightless piece of cloth.
The unblocked presents-to-be
Since then I’ve been scouring my Ravelry favorites, trying to match yarn and patterns without success. The two just aren’t meeting up. I’m not sure what I really want to make. Nothing too complicated, but not just another cowl or scarf. It needs to be something I can knit while watching TV. It needs to be from stash yarn. I’m leaning towards thin rather than thick yarn. The yardage isn’t right, or the pattern is too expensive, or the color doesn’t work. I’m stalled.
I even started a scarf tonight, but ended up unraveling it all. The yarn combo I came up with just didn’t work. I will have to keep trying.
The failed scarf yarn choice heading back to the bins
In digging around I did come across a handspun silk scarf in progress that I last remember knitting on six years and two house moves ago. It was really buried! I will add a few inches to it while I ponder my next start.
I recently finished a two color shawl that I really like. It’s a triangle that grows from one side point across to a wide edge on the other side. It is mostly garter stitch, but with just enough variations and slipped stitches to make it interesting to knit.
I haven’t blocked it yet, so it is bound to grow larger.
Shawl: Lochlyn, in Mad Tosh Merino Light; colorways Cove & Whiskey Barrel
The shawl done, I needed more to knit, so I went stash diving and came up with two very different skeins.
The first is some of my handspun, polwarth wool and silk in a DK weight two ply. I dyed it turquoise and brown before spinning it, and while I’m not crazy about the final color, it is springy, cheerful, and quick to knit with. The cowl pattern I chose is a good one for mindless knitting in meetings and easily interrupted, so it has become my work project.
For home, I pulled out a very shiny tencel yarn that I bought at OFFF a couple of years ago. It is slick, and has absolutely no give, but I love the color and sheen. I chose a lacy shawl pattern with a bunch of charts, so I’m working on it in the evenings at home when I have time to concentrate. I’ve never blocked tencel, so I will have to do some research into methods.
It makes for a messy looking wad of yarn on the needles, but lace knitting becomes magically different once it is stretched.
Tencel yarn: Teresa Ruch tencel 5/2; colorway Sedona
As I showed at the end of my summer vacation post, I didn’t get a lot of knitting done this summer.
That trend has continued. There has been progress made on the shawl I started at the beginning of July, but it has been very slow. Now the cooler, wetter fall is upon us, I think that it will speed up a lot.
Pattern: Lochlyn Shawl — Yarn: Tosh Merino Light, in Whiskey Barrel and Cove.
Finally on summer vacation! And then I made the mistake of watering all the new plants in the garden, and a sudden rain storm blew in. My fault – I should have know better than to temp the rain gods like that.
But it made for a lot of available sewing time. I’m back at work on the Growing Up Odd quilt, chain stitching the little squares and building the different sized blocks.
I’ve finished the 7×3 and 7×7 blocks, 16 of each, and I have 34 of the 48 3×3 blocks done.
I tried hard to not duplicate fabrics in the same blocks. That was easy in the nine patches, but harder when it was a 49 square block, sewn together randomly in chunks. There is usually at least one repeat.
Sashing next. I’m planning to quilt it in strips to make it more manageable, though the actual quilting will have to wait until I get my Juki back from the shop. My smaller Brother machine is great for regular sewing, but it doesn’t like too much bulk under the needle.
I also finished up my ribbed scarf knit with a variety of coned yarns. I’m trying to clear up space in the craft storage. It is entirely 1×1 ribbing, so it made a great work project I could pick up during lunch or faculty meetings. No pattern or thought needed.
While I was knitting it the yarns were thin and almost cotton like – coned yarns still have oil on them as they were meant to be used on machines – but once it was done and hand washed in hot, soapy waters, and then dried on the hammock, the yarn softened and bloomed. Definitely a cold weather accessory, so it will be put away for awhile.
A while back I knit a Craftsy kit called the tool box cowl. Mine was the hill myna colorway, a gradient of grays with a mustard yellow to cheer things up. (I love gray and yellow. Love, love, love. Pretty much the color scheme of my entire house.) I added in some cream as well to get a wider cowl and to create more contrast.
There was yarn left over, so I just knit up a tool box hat to match.
They are both really simple patterns, with a slip stitch garter transition between colors. I was never knitting with more than one color per row thanks to the slipped stitches.
No decreases needed, and a quick three needle bind off. Then the corners turned in, a braid, and a matching set is done.
Another fiber friends weekend has flashed past. This time we met up halfway between the northern people and the southern people, at an Air BnB house in Olympia. Tucked into a quiet little neighborhood we sewed and spun and knit and played with fiber. Also, there was wine. 🙂
I cut out and sewed most of three more tunics based on the Dress No. 2 pattern. I got as far as the neck bands before I broke the sewing machine needle on a misplaced pin and had to stop. But look at this book card fabric I found! Perfect for my job as a high school librarian.
Leslie 1 (50% of the group is named Leslie) brought her blending board and showed us how to make rolags, which you need if you want to spin in true woolen fashion. And it makes it really easy to mix up colors and fiber types. There is cotton, wool, angora, and alpaca in those sample rolls.
I added another big chunk to my 1×1 ribbed stash-eating scarf. I’m holding three strands together for a marled effect.
There was knitting in public, which greatly intrigued the wait staff at the Three Magnets Brewing Co. when we ventured out of the house in search of cold drinks on a very hot day.
Look at all the handspun my friend Paige has created and accumulated! This is just the fraction I could fit in the photo.
I tremendously enjoy each of these weekend getaways. Like minded people laughing together, plus fiber. How can that not be great?
A few years ago I went through a Colourmart stage where I bought a lot of coned yarns of various types. I made some lovely projects, but still ended up with a couple of bins of cones that have been sitting around waiting for inspiration.
With the intent of creating space where is now none, I grabbed some of the half full cones with thinner yarns and cast on with three of them held together for a 1×1 ribbing. When one cone runs out I will add in another and just let the colors change.
These cones yarns still have the spinning oil on them, so when it is finished and washed in hot water the yarns will soften and expand. And my available storage space will expand as well.