Friday, August 31, 2018

mittens managed

I took my parents and nieces over to Half Moon Bay on their visit earlier this month. A visit to the coast obviously demands a stop in the yarn store, so we meandered into Fengari so I could show the girls all the yarny fun. While I'm sure we all would have liked to take home everything, I let my nieces each pick out a skein of Malabrigo Mecha to take home and suggested I could make them mittens from their pick. Bonus, I also got to show them how my ball winder and swift work. Fun!

Samara is super into rainbows and dragons right now. It was really hard for her to pick out a color, but I showed her this variegated one because somehow the sooty overtones to the rainbow also suggested 'dragon' to me. She agreed, and I found a simple mitten pattern with some details that remind me of the spikes along a dragon's tail. There is a central knit stitch that is flanked by seed stitch triangles along the back of the hand. I REALLY like how these turned out and am bookmarking this pattern for future reference! The color worked up fabulously and I think they look funky and awesome. 

Pattern: Tolten Mittens (my Ravelry page)
Needle: US 9 dpns
Yarn: Malabrigo Mecha in 'aniversario'

On the other hand (no pun intended), Jasmine wanted a solid color and was positive she wanted teal. Teal, turquoise, blue-green, green-blue, whatever I call it she's into it. It was harder for me to pick out a pattern for her, but I settled on this cool swirly rib. The pattern calls it a "cross stitch 2x1 rib" but it's really just 1x1 cables going up the mitten. They look a little strange off of a hand, but once you put it on the rib stretches out and you can see the whole pattern better. I think the chunky yarn is shown off really well and the semi-solid color makes it not too busy. This one was fun to knit and easy to memorize. I had Mom measure her hand and text me measurements, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed I got it right. 

Pattern: Shelburne Mittens (my Ravelry page)
Needles: US 9 dpns
Yarn: Malabrigo Mecha in 'teal feather'

My original plan was to whip these up while they were still out in California, but that didn't happen because we packed a bunch of other things into our evenings. Still, these only took me a couple days each and I'll be able to pack them up with some hot chocolate packets and bookstore gift cards so the girls will be ready for the colder weather when it comes to Chicago. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

trellis, finished

Sometime in early July Dave and I ended up in Half Moon Bay at Fengari, my favorite yarn shop. "I am on a yarn diet!" I said. And then I found some really pretty yarn to take home anyway...

One of those lovelies on the right there is an alpaca/wool/acrylic blend that became this cowl. When I started this the only projects I had on the needles were huge (a worsted weight blanket), tiny yarn (mom's birthday shawl), or both (the never-ending shetland shawl). I was craving fluffy yarn, big needles, and an easy peasy pattern. 

Enter Ravelry filters to help me find something! This cowl uses a neat repeating stitch pattern to achieve this smocked fabric effect. It was easy to memorize and also addictive to knit. Similar to self-striping yarn, I found myself wanting "just one more row" before I put it down for the night. It was a quick knit in the round that kept my interest but was easy enough that I could watch tennis or a movie while working. I love the color and tweedy bits in this yarn. I also have some in yellow that has been in my stash for longer. After working with it on this I'm really looking forward to finding a project for that yarn as well. 

I really like how it turned out! It's quite soft and doesn't suffer from the itchy problem I had with my Lando cowl, but the fabric has a little more drape than I might like, so I'm letting it sit for a bit before I decide whether I should line it or not. It probably depends on who I end up giving it to. I like chunky substantial cowls that stand up on their own. I'm on the fence.  In summary: Hurrah for quick knits!

Trellis Cowl
Pattern: Ziyal, free on Ravelry (my Ravelry page)
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Monte Donegal in 'ivy'
Needle: US 8

Monday, August 20, 2018

blueberry wine, finished

So excited about this finish! I started this on April Fool's Day and finished just a few days into August. And it is lovely. I recall the feeling of excitement I felt when I cast this one on: new shiny project, super awesome yarn, 'ooh it's not my one-color enormous shetland shawl'. Then somewhere along the way it gets put down amid vacations, house guests, life, all the things, and ack it's almost Mom's birthday! And she's coming to visit! Better finish it up.

I was really good and did not post *any* work in progress pictures or posts or anything while this was working its way off the needles because I didn't want to ruin the birthday surprise. Success! In true me-style, I did block it with her while she was visiting.... but that was just bonding time, ok?

I am really digging the triangle shawl in general. The size seems to turn out great every time and I think this style drapes on shoulders and around necks really nicely and also securely. The center fabric of this Ulmus, which has a bunch of slipped stitches and ribbing, is super squishy and weighty. It didn't even really need the block, but of course the lace border did. The pattern opened up nicely with a good steaming and I'm glad I changed my mind and made the border with this pretty variegated yarn instead of the solid. These yarns were from a lady at the King's Mountain Art Fair and I'm excited to go see her again this year and get some more of her lovely work!

Happy birthday Mom :) 

Blueberry Wine Shawl
Pattern: Ulmus by Kirsten Kapur (my Ravelry page)
Yarn: Serendipidye King's Mountain Sock in 'claret' and 'blue denim & blueberry'
Needle: US 5
Size: 52" wide x 26" deep