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.

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Casting On- New Techniques- Palatki Wrap

When I travel, I try to find and visit local yarn shops to see what is being manufactured (or dyed) locally.  On our December trip to Sedona, AZ (one of my favorite spots for hiking!) I visited Sedona Knit Wits and was not disappointed.

The store is typical of most LYS I visit when traveling – a small shop in a strip mall.  Like most, it had a “knitting table” where knitting groups or classes can congregate.  This table was right inside the front door and was full of ladies knitting and chatting.  The store is well stocked and very welcoming, with a knowledgable sales person ready to answer any questions.  If you are ever in Sedona – don’t miss this stop!

The yarn is Desert Bloom Yarn, an Arizona-dyed yarn that is named for the local flora and culture.  The colors are Indian Blanket (the brown with red tones) and Ironwood (the grey).  Unfortunately, the day the picture was taken was dark and cloudy, so the artificial light makes the brown look more orange, and the dark grey looks more brown.  The yarn is fingering and works up to a very soft and drapey fabric.  I look forward to the blocked finished project.

The pattern is Palatki Wrap, by Sandra Butler, available for purchase from Ravelry.  Not only was there a sample in the store which immediately caught my eye, but the designer herself was knitting with the group at the table!  Talk about your local culture!

This wrap is knit in mosaic style, with the pattern color changes made with slipped stitches.  It is a very easy, fast, and enjoyable technique, and this particular pattern is soothing and rhythmic to knit.  I’m enjoying this so much that I  regret not trying this technique earlier.

Palatki Wrap 2019-02-01.jpg

Come to Sedona for the view – stay for the knitting!  Sedona Trail Hiking.jpg

Trellis Leaf Stole (WIP)

This is Trellis Leaf Stole from the book Lace One-Skein Wonders book by Judith Durant (Editor) and one of the “One-Skein Wonders” books, of which I have several.

The yarn is a single-ply, cotton, hand-dyed yarn I found at the Richmond, Indiana yarn store, Ply Fiber Arts.  Unfortunately, I’ve mislaid the tag, so I can’t tell you about the artist.  This is, technically, a one-skein project, though the yarn is 800+ yards.

Ply Fiber Arts is located in downtown Richmond and is a terrific boutique-style yarn store.  The website photo is representative of the bright, spacious shop, with plenty of lovely specialty and premium yarns.  If you get over to Richmond, I recommend you stop for a visit.

Richmond, Indiana, is also the southern-most point of the Cardinal Greenway, which is a biking path from Richmond to Marion.  My friend B and I have enjoyed biking on that trail more than once (though we have never gone the full 60 miles from Richmond).

While I’m enjoying this project (the size 2 needles are a nice switch from the size 10 needles for other projects), I’m not as fond of the yarn as I hoped.  This is another example of yarn that looks better on the hank than it does knit up.  It’s a lovely color but the stripes are too narrow and busy.  I’m hoping that the finished project “blends” with whatever it’s worn with, and is not so distracting.

This is why I keep telling myself to skip the novelty yarns – they usually don’t work up as well as I imagine (or, I am not imaginative enough to work them up properly – either could be true).

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.

 

Bart & Francis – Brioche Knitting

I was certain that I had posted a “casting on” photo, or at least a WIP photo, but I may have only thought I did.

Here is another Nancy Marchant project, Bart & Francis, published in Knitting Fresh Brioche: Creating Two-Color Twists & Turns, available from Amazon.

Continuing as before, I selected a pattern that would use an entire skein of Lion Shawl in a Ball yarn, this time in color Cleansing Quartz, along with the companion Knitpicks Stroll Fingering in color Black.

Also, continuing as before, it took multiple tries to get the hang of the pattern.  I wish I could figure out what my problem is with these patterns – It’s like that “Magic Eye” picture – it makes no sense until, suddenly, it does, and then it’s a great project and lots of fun.

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!

Latest Brioche Adventure: Champagne Bubbles Brioche Lace Scarf

Champagne Bubbles is another pattern from Nancy Marchant, this time published in Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2014 (available as a digital purchase).

I’ve looked at brioche patterns by other designers, but Nancy Marchant’s pattern format is the easiest to read.  I’ve noted in earlier posts that it seems to take me a while to get the hang of a particular brioche pattern – though it shouldn’t, since for every four knitted rows, there is only one “pattern” row – the rest all are knitted (or purled) in a standard manner.  Other patterns I’ve read have detailed every row as a “row,” rather than 2-sets-of-2 or a set of 4, which (IMHO) makes them far more difficult to read.

In the case of Nancy Marchant’s patterns (at least as far as I’ve knit them), once I get the hang of the major pattern, I can easily memorize the format and knit more quickly and confidently.

That is, “once I get the hang of it.”  As usual, it took me no fewer than 6 attempts to “get the hang” of this pattern.

This is my first attempt (and a rare version of Nancy’s patterns) to incorporate lace.  It took a while to be able to “read” the double-yarn-overs on the 2-of-4 row and knit (or purl, or slip) properly.

Even though Nancy Marchant’s brioche patterns take time to read, understand, and properly execute, they make beautiful projects, and the unique light and fluffy fabric is wonderfully inviting to the touch.

Yarn:  I’m still enjoying my “Shawl in a Ball” binge, this time with color Peaceful Earth.  I’m augmenting the pattern with a second color from Knit Picks Palette in color Camel Heather.

One twist:  I purchased the downloaded pattern via the Vogue Knitting App, and haven’t been inclined to try to figure out how to print out the pattern onto paper, so I’m only using a digital version.  Since the pattern (now that I’ve started over several times) is fairly easy, I’m OK with not having a paper pattern.

Now, if I could just find time to do more than one round of four at a time!