Knit: Thinking of Spring

Thinking of Spring shawl in action

Thinking of Spring
Pattern | Echo Flower Shawl by Jenny Johnson Johnen
Yarn | JulieSpins Vera Lace in Thinking of Spring
Needles | 4.5mm and 6.0mm circulars

This knit took me about a month to complete – in between managing the kids, a spin project plus soaping (and churning out balms). It’s a gorgeous pattern but not for those who hate nupps. You can replace them with beads but they don’t quite give the same impact.

Thinking of Spring shawl in action

This project is a beaded one – I used Miyuki 8/0 Opaque Khaki AB beads in the pattern repeat and true to form, I got pretty tired of it towards the 11th repeat (which is the size of my shawl – 2 short of the recommended 13 repeats for a shawl). The beads are not very obvious; I didn’t want them to stand out too much and since they have a matt appearance rather than glossy, they don’t really stand out. No biggies…it is visible up close in real life and that’s good enough for me.

Thinking of Spring shawl in action

The yarn is a Vera wool laceweight single dyed by JulieSpins; her Vera yarns are gorgeously dyed and the colours come together quite well without ever really getting muddy. The pattern would pop even more if you were to knit it in a solid-coloured yarn; I’m quite happy with the colour choice for this pattern – very refreshing.

I have casted on another shawl but this one is just garter stitch so it’s more for a “bored to death, nothing to do” knit. I might work on another lace shawl…Eva wants to play eagle with them so it looks like I’m not off the hook until I come up with something. O’well…

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

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Knit: Fraise

FO: Fraise

Fraise
Pattern | Liliiflora Shawlette by Lily Go
Yarn | Wollmeise “Pure” 100% Merino Superwash in WD Babe
Needles | 4.5mm and 6.0mm circulars

Yay, another completed shawl!

The pattern is another gem by Lily Go and a joy to knit with. It is – as usual – well written and easy to follow. The starting was a bit of a bother as I had to cast on 300 over stitches and I had a false start with my choice of yarn.

The original choice was the same yarn I used for my Narnia shawl – an alpaca yarn I bought from France in a gorgeous shade of raspberry pink. But the yarn gave me a horrible itch and I decided to take a look at my precious Wollmeise stash to see if I could find a suitable colour for this pattern. I wanted something girly yet nothing too “froo-froo” and thus, ended up with this lovely crescent shawl.

I’m enjoying the idea of knitting shawls with fingering weight yarn. The resulting texture makes the pattern really pop, especially things like nupps and cables. And the size is just nice – 19 repeats in order to make full use of the yarn. I finished the shawl with only 10% of the original 150gm skein left to spare which isn’t all that bad. (I’m rather tired of keeping odds and ends, scraps of yarn here and there.)

And yes, while this was on the block, I started another knitting project…which probably explains why it’s been forever since I last updated this blog (or any of my other blogs)!

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

FO: Fraise

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Knit: Spring Things Shawl

Spring Things Shawl on the block!

Spring Things Shawl
Pattern | Spring Things by Susan Lawrence
Yarn | Zauberwiese silk lace 600m in Nessie
Needles | 3.75mm circulars

With all the distractions and the shop keeping me occupied, it took me longer than usual to finish this project – but I still manage to finish it! I didn’t have time to take some really decent pictures – maybe I should – so it’s hard to imagine the sheen from the yarn.

I increased the number of repeats in the first part (Chart A) to get as much as I could out of my yarn and luckily too. The shawl didn’t seem all that big after blocking and if I am making this again, I’ll probably add another increase. The nupps were not all that difficult, or maybe I’m getting used to it again. I was actually tempted to replace the nupps with beads but after thinking, beads with kids don’t get along so well…especially SMALL beads. Maybe another time?

The colour is slightly variegated so the pattern didn’t really pop but it still makes for a nice knit. If you can, go for long repeat colourways or semi-solid colours – the pattern would really come through. All in all, a nice knit and nothing to hard on the memory either.

I seem to have caught the lace shawl bug again and after finishing this, I’ve started a new one. More on that another time!

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

Spring Things Shawl on the block!

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Knit: Poseidon Socks

FO: Poseidon Socks

Poseidon Socks
Pattern | Poseidon Socks by Elinor Brown
Yarn | JulieSpins Glimmer in Darkling
Needles | 2.25, 2.5 and 2.75mm DPN and circulars

I actually finished this before Chinese New Year but never got around to blogging about it (due to the pre-CNY pre, post-CNY trip and then the crazy time at the shop with V-Day promos) until now!

I was itching for a quick project to sort of give me a break from all the soap- and balm-making for the past couple of weeks (sounds like something that’s worse that a physical addiction to opiates). Socks seemed like a good pic and I had a nice stash of sock yarn to choose from. The problem was the pattern. I fell in love with the yarn by JulieSpins – she makes the loveliest, ultra saturated, rich hued yarns and fibres ever! – but picking a pattern (that I liked too) to ensure that the colour doesn’t pool or muddle out was quite a challenge.

I finally settled on this one by Elinor Brown which features a small amount of lace and nothing overly fancy. I stuck to my master sock formula for the heel which is basically a gusset and the Eye of Partridge heel flap. The socks fit really well, are utterly comfortable although I would love for the cuff to have some form of staying power. I reckon that could be easily remedied with some elastic thread that I’ll just have to handsew into the stitches.

I’m glad to see that for now, the Second Sock Syndrome is being kept at bay and I’ve also started making some headway into my stash. Destashing 2014 Year is looking quite promising…especially when you consider that I’m already working on another knit project! Tehehehe!

FO: Poseidon Socks

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

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Knit: Red Diamonds Entrelac Stole

FO: Red Diamonds Entrelac Stole

Red Diamonds Entrelac Stole
Pattern | Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole by Kathleen Power Johnson
Yarn | Patons North America SWS (Soy Wool Stripes) in Natural Geranium & Natural Violet
Needles | 6mm

I finally finished a very very VERY old project. Took me a grand total of FOUR YEARS & EIGHT MONTHS – yes, you read that right – to finish! I have no real excuses except a few of the cross-continent moves I made in between and the very long bouts of knitters block. The last move triggered me to not just stop stashing but to also finish my old projects that have been hibernating.

When I took out this project, I realized that I didn’t have much to knit up – I was down to my last two balls…well, slightly over one since nearly half a ball will go to making the fringe on the ends. So I decided to pick up the speed – I began knitting whenever I took a break from soapmaking and found that with one or two hours a day, I was making good progress.

FO: Red Diamonds Entrelac Stole

I didn’t really follow this pattern – there are many variations of it floating around the Internet and some of these variations are free. So I adapted it to suit what I was looking for, the size I wanted, etc. Trouble is that I started this many years ago so along the way, when I had picked it up again in between then and now, I must have done something “off” because the width suddenly increased a little. I might have switched needle sizes or changed my knitting tension. Who knows? Hopefully, with a little blocking, this error won’t be obvious.

One thing tho – this won’t be going on anyone’s shoulders. The approximately 10 balls of yarn that went into this has resulted in a heavy stole. I suspect it’ll be more suitable as a wrap in terms of the weight but not quite the width. I don’t know if I’ll be hanging onto this or gifting it since Christmas is coming soon (I usually give something handmade like knitted wear or soap for Christmas).

I must say that now that this is done, I’m quite glad to see it gone. I’ll be picking up the cardigan I started for myself – hopefully I’ve kept track of my progress!

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

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Knit: Narnia

FO: Narnia Shawl

Narnia
Pattern | Narnia Shawl by Lily Go
Yarn | PurPle Alpaga in Gris Clair
Needles | 3.25mm and 3.5mm (bind off)

Since my travel project was completed just before I travelled to Penang, I thought I’d take a break and start a new project in Malaysia. But by the time I arrived at Dubai airport, I was itching for something to work on with my hands. Luckily I had enough sense to pack my project necessities (yarn, needles, etc) in my carry-on bag.

Note: If you intend to fly AND knit, be sure to carry only wood-based needles. They’ll show up on the x-ray as pencils or toothpicks or sticks. No metal. Same goes for DPNs and straight needles.

FO: Narnia Shawl

The pattern was pretty easy to follow despite having no rest rows (read: all purl/knit on the wrong side) and I adored the transition between one pattern to the other. This transition is especially obvious when the shawl is being blocked – one must always block lace shawls in order for the pattern to really shine and pop! I wouldn’t mind knitting up another Narnia in another colour…it’s that pretty.

I couldn’t say the same for the yarn. By some oddity, I developed allergies to it. Every time I pick up the shawl to knit, I would end up with itchy hives on only my left hand. If I don’t stop for a day or two in between, it would “spread” to my right hand. I have never had this problem with other alpaca yarns so it couldn’t be alpaca itself that is causing the problem. I have another skein of the same yarn but in a different colour so will see how my skin reacts to handling that yarn.

I’m not too sure if I’ll keep this for myself. While I like the shade – of lately, I’ve been very fascinated with shawls in solid colours – I am not too sure if I’d have a need for it. I still have my Jaali, Melange and other shawls. Maybe I could sell it if I’m tired of stashing so many shawls? Hm. Now back to my other crafts and surfing the Net for a mount for ipad.

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

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Knit: Interlock Leaves

FO: Interlock Leaves

Interlock Leaves
Pattern | Interlocking Leaves by Kelly Porpiglia
Yarn | Cascade Yarns Heritage Solids & Quatro Colors in Anis/Lagoon
Needles | 2.5mm, 2.75mm (gusset and heel flap) and 2.25mm (cuff)

Finally the perfect fit!

After three projects, I finally found the right combination of cast-on stitches, needle size and gusset/heel flap styles to get a pair of socks that fits just right all over. This means 60 stitches, 2.5mm needles for the body, 2.75mm for the gusset & heel flap and 2.25mm for the cuff. I have grown to enjoy the feel and look of a heel flap, even in toe-up socks. Yes, I still knit a lot of my socks toe-up. I have yet to enjoy knitting cuff-down. Perhaps I can’t bring myself to try it out for fear of it not fitting or having to discover the magic combination all over again.

FO: Interlock Leaves FO: Interlock Leaves

Pattern-wise, this was lovely to knit. The pattern pops out well with the lacework and “wrong” side parts. For a change, I made my socks longer than before. The leg section is about the same length as the foot section which gives it a nice overall appearance but I wouldn’t go any longer without adding increases for the calves. I might scout around for some elastic thread for the cuff just to make sure that it holds up nicely but otherwise, this pattern, especially the heel flap, is a definite keeper!

Initially, I had planned for this to be a travel project – to knit during those long hours on the plane, in transit but somehow I ended up finishing this way before I even saw any travelling time. Currently, I am working on another sock project but it seems that I might finish this before I reach the airport too! Ohdear! To counter this, I have two skeins of fingering weight alpaca yarn to turn into shawls but this is to keep me occupied while I’m house hunting back in Malaysia. I might end up getting a skein of sock-weight yarn from the local yarn shop tomorrow…just in case. I’d love to order online but one issue with that is 1) I don’t have anything to wind the yarn up into yarn cakes and 2) the timing is tight as I’d be leaving for Lyon next week.

Hm, we’ll see how this goes.

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

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Knit: Chilli Red Hot!

Chilli Red Hot

Chilli Red Hot!
Pattern | Cloche Divine by Meghan Jones
Yarn | Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted in Amoroso
Needles | 5 mm circulars

After a few incidents of misplacing my beret or either spending quite some time searching for it, I decided to knit up another hat. I fell in love with the overall look of a cloche – don’t ask why – and decided that I’d brave the waters and try something different. Winter must have left an impact because I chose the brightest yarn I have in my stash – a nice chilli red – for this hat. At least it will add some colour to my wardrobe! Tehehehe.

I made the brim wider by about one to one and a half inches, and knitted the entire hat (after the brim) in the round. It is quite a fast knit; it took me about two to three days to finish the hat (I knit only when the kids nap or at night). While the overall result is fine and I do like how it looks, I think I need something sturdier with the same shape and a slightly wider brim. I reckon a plain stitched cloche that is felted would do just fine. It is just a matter of finding the right colour and yarn for it.

Guess it’s time to dig into my stash…or add to it! Kekekeke.

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

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