Checkerboard Lace Scarf

Another Shawl in a Ball yarn project (Color Prism, this time). Another scarf or wrap. My current project load, plus tax season, means that I don’t have the mental space left for anything more complicated, but I need a way to relax in the evening.

I didn’t take any WIP pictures – it didn’t take me long to work through this project, and I didn’t manage a post, meantime.

This was an easy project – Checkerboard lace project, by Purl Soho, available for free. While it was “easy,” I did have to pay attention and watch the rows. Eventually, I was able to see more quickly when I was off a row (which seemed to happen way too often).

Casting On – Swinging Brioche

Still in the mood for Brioche, and still working up to a lacy project. This is Swinging Brioche, by LizKnits, available for $5 on Ravelry. I’m expecting this to be a wrap or a large shawl, depending on how long it gets. Because it looked like a fairly easy project to get “into the swing of,” (pun intended), I was happy to make the purchase.

Yarn is more of the Shawl in a Ball by Lion Yarns, in color Quartz, and KnitPicks sock yarn in black. As usual, it took a couple of tries to get started, and I eventually went with the suggested garter stitch starting point to get a grip on the yarn,

It also took me a bit to work out how to do the left-leaning stitches. I think I have that messy spot cleverly covered in the photo (I also think it will “block out”).

I remember why I like brioche knitting – you only have to pay close attention for the first row of 4 in the “row grouping,” and the other three rows are repetitive.

Cross Stitch – Native Blankets

Typically, most of my cross stitch is done at continuing education seminars. I need something to do with my hands so I can pay attention to the speaker. Sometime in 2019 (before COVID), I started cross stitch on “my own time” in addition to keeping my hands occupied during seminars.

Ironically, during COVID when I attended continuing education seminars entirely virtually, I couldn’t manage cross stitch and attention to the online speaker at the same time – probably because I was at my desk, and my brain felt that it should be working (and/or paying attention to the seminars).

The three pieces in the photo below were all done over years of seminars. The patterns were purchased on a vacation to Nevada and Arizona, with a visit to the Grand Canyon as part of the trip. I picked these up at a “Trading Post” tourist store around the rim of the Canyon. I like the colors, the symmetry, and the patterns.

I was pleased to find the rustic frames at Barnwood USA, and happy with the quality and style of frames (I used another Barnwood USA frame in another cross-stitch piece found here.)

While I’m satisfied with the overall project, I have noticed that I need to improve my skills in framing cross-stitch. I know what I need to do – can you see the flaws in the project framing?

I purchased all three of the above projects as kits, but I’ve since found and purchased patterns (only) from the same publisher. I have several cross-stitch projects in the queue – we’ll see if I get to another “blanket” project.

The designs are all from Southwest Decoratives, and you can purchase both kits and patterns here: Southwest Decoratives.

Experimenting with Mosaic – ZINA

Trying some new things, and trying to use some of my stash. The colored yarn is left from an earlier sweater, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted Yarn – Christmas at Downtown color, available from Jimmy Beans.

I like the pattern, and I think I like the way the yarn works up. There are some issues – the contrast of the colors is a little muddy, and – do you notice? – there is pooling of like color going up the sample. While this might be an interesting effect, it will last only as long as that small ball of leftover yarn lasts. When I add the next color, the pattern will be lost or obviously out of sync. I have an entire skein of the colored yarn, so I could unravel the sample and cast on the full skein. That might work.

The yarn is fairly lightweight and soft – I’m using a slightly larger needle, so there’s not a lot of body to the sample. This suggests that the scarf might not display the mosaic pattern well.

I’m also not sure about the obvious slip stitches on the right side of the piece. I’m not sure why you don’t see a similar extension of the slip stitches on the left side – it might have something to do with the color in that section.

I’m inclined to change directions and work toward a wrap (like the picture – but in a different color palette). For now, I’ll continue to work on the sample to get the rhythm of the mosaic pattern – it’s not difficult, but it does require my attention.

Casting On – Campfire Cozy

Requested by Daughter #2, who likes to wrap up in oversized, cozy wraps. She picked out the yarn (Wool of the Andes – Worsted) in Camel Heather, and the pattern, Campfire Cozy, published by Espace Tricot and available on Ravelry.

This worsted-weight shawl is an easy knit, though as it gets bigger, it become a little unwieldy to manage. Circular needles (with a long cord) are a MUST to manage this project. This project is suitable for a beginner, thought the lace pattern took a little to get used to. I’m in the very-long-block of garter stitch and ready to switch to the next stitch.