Completed – Palatki Wrap

I really enjoyed this project and the yarn.  The yarn is a very soft “Desert Bloom Yarn” available from Sedona Knit Wits  (see previous post for more info).

This was my first attempt at Mosaic Knitting (there are MANY posts about this technique – a quick Google search will provide both videos and blog posts). It was fast, enjoyable, and kept my interest – particularly, this southwest-style pattern.

I forgot that the yarn is a silk blend, and I was a bit aggressive in blocking.  The final product is still lovely and soft, but definitely without any give.

Advertisements

Quick and Easy – Thunderstorm Scarf

Another “one-skein scarf” marketing.  This is Lion Brand Scarfie Yarn in color Charcoal/Magenta.  Of course, intended as a color blending/self-striping scarf and, of course, perfect for a quick and easy project.

I’m starting a couple of afghan projects (stay tuned for posts), so used this project to “warm up.”  Quick, easy, and fun.

The pattern is Thunderstorm Scarf published by Michaels’ and free at the store.  I unintentionally purchased some yarn at Michaels’ when I was at the store for some other, completely legitimate, purchases unrelated to knitting.

The pattern was very easy to memorize – actually, the tough part was not getting distracted from the pattern, it was so easy.

I thought it turned out very nicely, and will make a nice, warm, and cozy gift.

More Socks

Socks are easy, mostly mindless, and quick to accomplish.  There’s something to be said for feeding my desire for instant (well, relatively speaking) gratification.  That said, they are also very good for trying out new techniques.  I have a LOT of sock yarn – each selection just enough for 2 socks, and not really enough for a more substantial project.

Yet, I don’t really care for the finished project – mostly because the only time I wear socks is in the deepest of winter.

I suppose it’s a good thing that’s where things are, right now at 17° (F) on a mid-January morning.

First Below:

Pattern = Crystals, Combs and Cable Socks (Free Ravelry download) – This is a pattern I’ve made a few times, and enjoy.  Fairly quick, interesting, and I like the heel treatment – short row heel that gains texture by use of garter stitch. I don’t add beads, mostly because I’m not a “bead person,” and I don’t think it adds to the pattern.

Yarn – Noro purchased in Toronto, but a commonly available in most boutique yarn stores (that is, not found at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s).  Not sure of the color – I lost the yarn band.

Second Below:

Yarn = Patons Kroy Socks FX in color Cameo Colors.  I’m wondering if the previous “sock fail” was also a Paton Kroy sock color – the look and feel was the same (the twisted tweed colors).  While I didn’t get sock pooling with this  project, I certainly did not get matching stripes.  They almost look like two entirely different socks!

Pattern = Nutkin (Free Ravelry download) – also a pattern I’ve done a few times before (including the aforementioned sock fail).

I’m sure I’ve used Patons Kroy Sock (generally available at JoAnn’s and Michael’s) yarn a number of times, previously.  Not sure why I’m getting unsatisfactory results with the current projects.  I have one more “set” of this style yarn in my yarn stash – I wonder how it will work up?

 

Finally Done – Great American Afghan

This took nearly three years to complete – started in early 2015, and with the blocks finished and assembled in August of 2015.  However, it took two winters and into November of this year to finish the knitted band around the edge.  To be fair, I only worked on the band intermittently and only in the winter – when the rest of the afghan could be warming my lap in the process.  The unending nature of the band around an afghan this size (that’s a queen sized bed it covers) meant that I had to take frequent breaks to avoid going out of my mind with boredom.

It is a generously-sized and very warm afghan.  After two years of quasi-use, I’m a little disappointed that it is showing wear in the form of fluffing and mild pilling, which suggests that it might not take to many washings (and afghans should be washable).

This was going to be a gift (but for whom, I never determined), but after using it for a few years – and having it show signs of use – I will likely keep it.  Unfortunately, the colors are not appealing to me.  Mind you, they are terrific colors, and I’m pleased at the way the afghan turned out but (as you can see by the bedspread), I prefer a different color palette.

New techniques (Finished Projects Installment) – Mitered corners!  I chose a band from one of the squares of the Great American Afghan book (one of the squares that I did not use for the precise reason of the band that I – at the time – did not want to tackle).  The straight sections of the band were attractive and easy, and the instructions for the mitered corners were OK – they only gave directions on knitting the corner, without direction on where to start the mitered corner.  I’m still not sure about that one.

Green the Whole Year ‘Round

This yarn was pulled from my stash – one of the “on vacation” purchases.   I think I purchased it when in Palm Springs several years ago – we took an outing to a nearby historic (and touristy) district and found “The Wool Lady” store tucked in a corner.  I picked up a few hand-spun and hand-dyed hanks and never found the right project – until now.

The yarn is Teeswater/Wensleydale by Feathergrass Fiber.  Unfortunately, I could not find information about either the store or the fiber producer, so either may or may not still be in business.

The pattern is Green the Whole Year ‘Round by Anna Yamamoto, available as a free Ravelry download.  The yarn I used was a bit fuzzy, so tthe pattern in my finished project is not as distinct as the author’s pattern suggests, but I think it turned out nicely.

The pattern was fun but challenging – the author rates it as “advanced”  The pattern is both charted and written out, and the author provides clear directions, but one needs to be very comfortable with some of the more advanced stitches and the pattern requires attention.

Changes:  I did not include the “nubs” – I don’t particularly like that feature in most patterns, and I don’t miss it in the finished product.  The pattern also calls for short rows for shaping – I used my favorite German Short Row technique, instead.

Also note:  I think the term is “severe blocking” and is required to make sure that the shawl is shaped properly.

 

I was concerned about the yardage, but I had plenty, and wish I would have carried the pattern on for a bit more length.  But, that sometimes happens with hand-made and dyed yarn, and having yarn leftover is better than not having enough.

Note in the pictures that the yarn has more pink tones at the bottom (right side in the picture) of the shawl, and more evenly purple at the top – that is the difference in the two skeins used to make the shawl, and a cautionary tale in purchasing yarn by unknown fiber artists – even though clearly the same dye lot, purchase at the same time, and looked the same on the hanks, the dye process on the two hanks resulted in a clearly different product for each hank.  Fortunately, the shawl pattern lent itself to this and the color change looks like it an intended feature.  Had this been a sweater or some other more fitted project, it would have been a noticeable flaw in the construction.

 

Completed Project – Champagne Bubbles

I wasn’t sure about the lace version of a Nancy Marchant pattern, but I decided that I was ready to try.

Champagne Bubbles is published in Vogue Knitting, Holiday, 2014 (available as a digital magazine).  Again, using Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball, in color Peaceful Earth, with the contrast color of Knit Picks Palette in color Camel Heather.

I intended this to be a light and casual wrap, and I believe that is how it turned out.  Very enjoyable project, and now that I’ve knit several of these, I can follow the pattern and fix stitches that are missed.

Note on the picture with two side-by-side projects.  The one on the right is not blocked – same yardage as the one on the left.  What a difference a little warm water and stretching can make!