Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Starfish shawl

My new shawl. Let me show you it:
Starfish shawl

I've had the Starfish Shawl pattern from Knitting Nature in my Ravelry queue for almost 2 years. Every time I looked at it, I'd see the words "CO 730 sts", and just couldn't bring myself to start it. I eventually figured out that I didn't want mine to be as large as the original, since anything that's too over-sized just looks ridiculous on me. I ended up downsizing it by about 6" in diameter, and only had to cast on 625 sts. ("Only" 625 sts.).

It was an easy knit, though. Once I figured out which row on the chart matched my number of cast-on stitches, the knitting went on auto-pilot. The yarn is Wool in the Woods Frizee, which has sadly been discontinued. It's a rayon yarn that's mostly smooth, but has little frizzy spots every so often. I'm so glad I finally found a pattern to show off these colors. The constant decreases in the pattern broke up any pooling quickly, and the drape of the yarn is just wonderful with this pattern.

The shawl has armholes to make it easier for those of us with narrow shoulders to actually keep it on. It can be worn with the longer end on the bottom:
Starfish shawl

Or with the longer end on top as an over-sized collar (which is probably how I'll wear it):
Starfish shawl

And if I don't feel like wearing it, it makes a great lap blanket. Or cat bed, if I ever let Cleo get a hold of it.

Thursday, September 02, 2010


As I type this, I am being watched.
Destroyer of Yarn

She's sulking because I finished Annis. She thought it would make a MUCH better cat toy than scarf. To demonstrate this, one day while I was working on the shawl, she waited until I left the room, chewed through my working yarn, and then went to hide for the rest of the day so I wouldn't know it was her. She didn't fool me for a second; the kitty saliva gave her away.

Anyway, even with the extra "help", I still finished:


There's a reason there are currently over 1300 Annises on Ravelry: this is a great pattern! The lace goes quickly, and then you can do the short rows on auto-pilot. I also loved working with the Tess Super Sock & Baby yarn. I couldn't tell in the skein, but it has a very subtle kettle-dyed effect. The stitches and nupps are well-defined, and the thicker yarn gave me a thicker shawl that will work well as a scarf.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jumping on the Annis bandwagon

I absolutely fell in love with the Annis shawl pattern when it was first released on Knitty a couple of months ago. Judging by the number of Annises (Annii?) on Ravelry, I was far from alone in that sentiment.

And how could you not love it? It's a simple, gorgeous pattern, but has enough there to make it interesting. Lace, nupps, short rows... I'm into the short rows now, but the lace was a joy. Yes, even the nupps. There was a great tip in mwhite's Annis project notes to do the nupps not as p7tog, but as slip 4, p3tog, pass 4 sts over, which is what I opted to do. I don't think the shortcut detracted from the nuppulosity at all.
Annis shawl in progress

Annis shawl in progress

The pattern uses lace weight, but I'm using Tess Super Socks and Baby sock yarn. It worked out to be the same gauge even with the thicker yarn.

I hope the short rows go quickly!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Impasto: Finito!

I almost went with "Impasto Was Fast-o", but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

I finished up Impasto and got it blocked this past Sunday:
Impasto Shawlette

Blocking worked magic on this. The fabric is so light and has such a nice drape to it. The AC in our staff area at work has been on the fritz again, but I've been able to wear this shawl without overheating. And it's a wool blend, so that's saying something.

Impasto Shawlette

It looks so complicated, and was so easy. I love projects like that.

Impasto Shawlette

I'm loving all the brightly colored projects that are popping up on Ravelry, but I bet this pattern would also look gorgeous in shades of natural wool.

Pattern: Impasto Shawlette by Susanna IC, in Interweave Knits Summer 2010 issue.
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, in Flax, Sky Blue, and Woad
Needles: Size 10

Sunday, May 09, 2010


Last weekend was the annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I was VERY well-behaved; it's possible I've hit stash saturation.

Brooks Farm always breaks me. I got a skein of Mas Acero:
Brooks Farm Mas Acero

And a skein of Willow:
Brooks Farm Willow

More pictures from MDSW 2010 in my Flickr set.


I cast on a new project last Saturday with my blue/cream Silky Wool stash. When I first bought the yarn, the store didn't have enough of any one color to really do anything with, so I got 3 skeins of an off-white, 3 skeins of sky blue (you saw about a skein of that in the last post), and one skein of a darker blue. I figured I'd someday make a colorwork sweater.

Well, it's not a sweater, and it's sort of colorwork...
Impasto Shawlette

I cast on for the Impasto Shawlette out of the Summer 2010 Interweave Knits. For one thing, I loved it in the magazine. For another, saying the word "IMPASTO" with a thick Italian accent is really fun.

The "colorwork" is a 4 row slip-stitch pattern; the picture shows one repeat with all three colors that I have. My colorwork section is shorter than the one in the magazine. I have fewer colors, and while I could have added more rows to match the colorwork length of the model in the magazine, I really liked how it looked with 2 repeats. So, instead of having a shawl that's 16" high in the middle, mine will be 12". I'm using the off-white for the short row section that will make up the bulk of the shawl (which I'm already well into). I can't wait to get this off the needles and blocked!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Old Man of Storr shawlette

I don't know about anyone else, but when I know I have a stash enhancement experience coming up--for example, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival--I start to feel a little bit bad about my existing stash. "Why am I buying more when I haven't used what I already have?"

In order to assuage this feeling a bit, I decided to do a little bit of stash knitting. Out came a couple of hanks of "Sky Blue" Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, as well as a free shawlette pattern that I stumbled across on Ravelry. A few nights' worth of evening TV knitting, and...
Old Man of Storr shawlette

The pattern is the Old Man of Storr shawlette (pdf) by Carie Kottman at knitcrush. It's a mostly-garter stitch triangle shawl, with a 5-stitch repeat lace edging. The pattern calls for fingering weight, but since I was using DK weight, I played around with the pattern a little bit. I added one repeat of the lace pattern in the middle of the garter stitch section, and then only did 28 rows of lace edging. It blocked out to 42" wide, which is just about perfect for me for wearing it with the point in front.

Old Man of Storr shawlette

Even though it's a heavier yarn, the shawl is very light. And since we're expecting temperatures in the 80s this weekend, it'll be a good handknit to wear to Sheep and Wool!

Old Man of Storr shawlette

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring is here!

After the grey, snowy, slushy, icy, snowy, blah, did-I-mention-snowy winter we had here, I couldn't resist these hyacinths at Trader Joe's.

The lavender and green put me in the mood for SPRING! I decided to finally get a start on the Kitchen Cure Spring 2010, and have spent most of the day today weeding things out of my freezer and refrigerator. There were some historic finds in there. Historic, and also fuzzy. Eww. Things are much better now.


Back to work -- the pantry is next!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ridiculously easy stockinette cowl

I got an orphaned ball of SWTC Pure a couple of weeks ago from Jimmy Beans Wool. It's a fingering weight soy silk yarn, and given the softness and the weight and the drape it had, I decided to make a quick cowl. I tried a couple of stitch patterns, but the stockinette won out because it showed off the color the best. The yarn is actually 4 different shades of purple plied together, and the end result is a really nice depth of color effect.

SWTC Pure cowl

SWTC Pure cowl

SWTC Pure cowl

I cast on 90 stitches on size 7 needles, and just worked in stockinette stitch until I was happy with the length. And now I have a purple cowl to go with my purple winter coat and my purple purse.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Farpoint 2010

Thank goodness for the epic snow removal that's been going on here in the DC/Baltimore corridor. Things were cleared out enough to allow the 2010 Farpoint Convention to go on as scheduled! It's a small sci-fi convention in Timonium, named after the Farpoint outpost in the series premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Happily, the Timonium Crowne Plaza hotel was not built on top of a giant captive space jellyfish.

The convention was able to book several recognizable guests with a lot of sci-fi credits: Lee Arenberg (Pirates of the Caribbean), Sam Witwer (BSG, Smallville), Mira Furlan (Babylon 5, Lost), and Felicia Day (The Guild, Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog). Laurel and I got to see 3 of the 4 Q&A sessions; we missed Lee Arenberg's because it was happening at the same time as Mira Furlan and Felicia Day's autograph session:
Farpoint 2010

Yay! We talked WoW with Felicia Day for a couple of minutes, and she was just as sweet as could be... which is probably part of why the charity auction for lunch with her ended up going for $5000. Seriously.

I also met Mira Furlan and got her autograph, but didn't get a picture with her. After the autograph session, we wandered through the vendor area and then went to the game room for a little while before heading back to the main room to watch the costume competition and charity auction. This was one of the more astounding costume entries:
Farpoint 2010

It's a reproduction of Kaylee's pink frilly dress from the "Shindig" episode of Firefly, and it was absolutely stunning. She did this without a pattern,and had to piece together the bodice by hand, along with custom-dyeing some of the fabric and hand-tying the tassels on the sleeves (she has the details available here). Just incredible.

And the evening was capped nicely by a screening of the new Star Trek movie (it is FARPOINT, after all, so they have to get some Trek in there).

All in all, a very enjoyable day!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Again with the snow

Snowpocalpyse 2: Snow Harder has arrived, and I'm preparing for a couple of days of being unable to go anywhere. After last Saturday, when I was driving home and ended up skidding into a full 180-degree spin that ended with me facing oncoming traffic, I'm perfectly content to stay right where I am. I prefer less excitement than that in my commute, thank you.

I went to Trader Joe's yesterday for my regular Thursday grocery run, and was greeted by empty freezer case after empty freezer case, and empty shelf after empty shelf. I wish I'd had a camera with me; the store looked like it had been looted, and the employees all looked a little bit shell-shocked. The library was CRAZY, so I imagine that places selling food and essentials were much, much worse.

Anyway, in sitting here this afternoon, I realized that I never shared this FO from a couple of weeks ago:
Voidwalker amigurumi

He's a voidwalker, one of the warlock minion creatures from World of Warcraft. I made up the pattern, and will need to tweak some things if I want to post it here. His shape isn't 100% correct. However, the recipient immediately knew what this guy was, so it was close enough. The main body is some blue acrylic I had on hand, with some black boucle for his shadow cloud and some gold embroidery floss for his bracers and eyes. He's kind of adorable for a demonic creature summoned from the Twisting Nether.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Wool Kerchief

My first FO of 2010! I finished this and pinned it out for blocking on New Year's Day.

Wool Kerchief

It's about as simple as a pattern gets. Garter stitch in 2 alternating yarns to create stripes, with 4 increases every RS row.

Wool Kerchief

The color changes on the Kauni were surprising. The blue-to-lavender one was very slow, but then the lavender-to-green one was KABLAM. There was a 4th color that I never even got to, which is a deep mauve-y pink. Even with the crocheted border, I was still nowhere near getting to the pink section in the yarn.

Wool Kerchief

I liked the borders that several Ravelry members had added to theirs, so I decided to crochet on a scalloped border. I used a new-to-me technique (relief crochet) to give the scallops a little more depth and structure:
Wool Kerchief

Raised stitches! On purpose!

Pattern: Silk Kerchief (pdf) by Kate Gagnon Osborn at Zeitgeist Yarns
Yarns used: Kauni Effektgarn 8/2, EF colorway and Knitpicks Bare fingering weight.