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Done: Oaklet Shawl

July 18, 2011 1 comment

I had a fairly productive weekend, knit-wise. I managed to finish another triangular shawl with a lace edging. Go me! I’m on a roll. My Summer of the shawl continues…Isn’t is prettiful? I love this shawl. So simple.

I had to use the flash on my camera to get the colors to come out. It’s so dark and dreary here this morning. Cloudy and cool, here in PDX right now. I refuse to complain about our lack of Summer weather, here, while the rest of the country is in a serious heat wave. I keep telling myself, it could be worse. I will take the cooler weather, thank you. I think my cats will agree. They hate the heat as much as I do. 🙂

Info On The Shawl:

Pattern: Oaklet Shawl, a free ravelry download by Megan Goodacre.

Yarn: Berroco Sox Metallic, 1 skein with a bit leftover. Color: Papaya; 73% super wash wool, 25% nylon, 2% other fibers. 380 yards. (the yarn has a silver sparkly thread throughout.

Needles: US # 5 ciruclar needle.

Notions: two stitch markers used to make the center area of the shawl.

Ravelry Page: You can view more photos and notes on the shawl, here.

Mods: None.

Time: 17 days, or so. July 1-17, 2011.

Verdict: I love this shawl. It’s so simple and pretty. The pattern is well written and I had zero issues with it. I worked on this shawl (stockinette section) while watching TV and movies. Not much concentration required. The lace portion of the shawl is written out as well as charted. I used the written instructions to complete the lace part, personally. It turned out really great. The yarn is great, love the colors and I am pleased with the finished shawl. Love!

More Pics…

 

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A Quiet Saturday

I am hoping for a quiet Saturday. So far, it’s good. I plan to spend my quiet time working on some personal knitting project, not the work variety. Well, unless you could knitting on a sock sample…work? I plan to finish the last sock this weekend, sometime.

Otherwise, I will spend my time finishing up the Oaklet Shawl. I have made it to the bottom lace section. 18 more rows to go and I am finished. I am loving the triangular shawls this Summer. I can’t explain why. I have never been much of a shawl person. Maybe it’s the challenge? I have no idea.

The colors in my yarn/shawl are really brighter in person. I am not sure why my camera and lighting decided to wash out the colors in the photo. I prefer natural lighting over using the flash. I love the yarn. It’s Berroco Sox Metallic. It sparkles. The colors pool all funky with the shawl, but I am alright with that. The weirder it is, the more I love it. I plan to wear this shawl as a scarf, not as a shawl.

The other personal knitting project I have been working on is the Hotness Top. I am using Knit One Crochet Too Wick in # 676 Ocean Blue, for the top. I am hoping for an airy Summer top. I’ll snap some progress photos of the top, later. I am in the realm of boring stockinette stitch on the back piece.

And this is how I plan to spend my quiet Saturday. The weather here is much to be desired. 60’s and showers. I’m staying in…What are you up to this weekend?

Categories: general, knitting

A Designer Obsessed

July 13, 2011 2 comments

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…”

My latest design obsession is shown above. I finished a small sample last night and blocked it, to eventually share with the person I will be submitting the design to. I get inspiration from random things. I get an idea and I become obsessed with it…until I finish and it’s out of my head and/or out of my design notebook. Right now, this design is sort of consuming my head. I get a bee in my bonnet and have to go with it.

The post I made before, about being up way too late/early working on charts…is this design. I hand drew the charts, from my head. I had to knit a sample to see if the actual knitted version would look like I imagined and what I had drawn on paper. I need the visual. This is just me.

Can you guess what the inspiration is? If you read the quote above and recognize it, you would know. So, who’s gonna Google it? Cheater! 😉 Alright, I forgive you.

I am not going to share what this design is for, just yet. Things are still in the works. I need to figure out what yarn I want to knit this one in. Knit Picks yarn, maybe? It depends on where I can get my hands on fingering weight yarn in black.

So, the sample is done and I am pleased with it. Now to work on my sock design for today. I am close to finishing the sock samples…I will then be writing out the actual pattern. I can handle a few hours of sock knitting. It just doesn’t seem much like work. Off to “work” I go…

Busy Bee Is Me

This is my view for today. It’s the clean, neat version of my “desk area.” It will get messy real quick, give it 5 minutes. Technically I no longer have a desk. I gave it to the youngest daughter for her studying, upstairs, in her bedroom. I have to convert the dining room table into my desk, when needed. Believe me…the dining table allows for sprawl. I usually have papers, yarn, swatches, spread out over the entire table.

Creativity cannot be contained…

I have way too many design projects in the works. I seem to have inspiration ALL at once. Without giving too much away on my designs, here are what I am working on, in varying degrees of finish-ness.

  • – A new sock design, made for a knit-along that will be going on in September, on ravelry.
  • – A scarf with a lace edging along the side.
  • – A new slouchy hat design made with cotton yarn.
  • – A triangular lace shawl for a new book proposal, in the works. (mummmms the word)

With all four of the designs going on…my brain hurts. I was up until almost 3am last night, errrr morning, working on the charts for the lace shawl. I have discovered that it isn’t enough for me to calculate numbers and chart it out…I have to draw the chart out and visually see it before I “get it.” I drew out one chart over and over again, making adjustments, for hours, last night. I refused to go to bed until I figured it all out. THEN, I layed in bed, while my brain kept going and going.

Seriously, I need to make a morning schedule for all of my designing. I will keep late night for knitting on personal, more relaxing projects. I may be able to sleep better. You think? I can’t help when inspiration strikes. I have learned to keep a notebook nearby for writing down my ideas. Yes, I have gotten up in the middle of the night to write an idea down. I have even had a design idea while in the shower. I get weird timing, sometimes.

Other things I am doing today…House chores. I did half of my “to-do” list yesterday. I am working on the other half, today. A lot of vacuuming will be performed some time today. I need to clean my bedroom, do a load of laundry, vacuum the upstairs and downstairs. I will make the youngest child take out the trash and recycle this too. There will be arguing over it. It may just be easier to do it myself.

Phinn is being Mr. Cuteness this morning. He likes to roll around on the carpet. He will stare at you until you talk to him, then roll into another position and stare again. I call this his “pose.” He poses like this all the time. Phinn also sleeps sprawled like that. He is a bed hog. He will lay on his back, in bed, between Hubby and I. It’s like having a toddler between you all night. Heaven forbid, Hubs and I get in a snuggle. Add in Pixie, my middle cat, and the bed gets quite crowded at night. Pix likes to sleep curled up at my back, on the outside of the bed. Occasionally I wake up and she is wrapped around my head, on the pillow. One day I will be smothered by my cat…

Phinn is such a rolly-polly. I leave you to admire his cuteness. Off to work I go. Have a great day, everyone.

Categories: cats, general, knitting, work

Finished: Vlad

I am happy to report that I have finished my Vlad. I completed it on Saturday, my birthday. I blocked the shawl for most of yesterday. Blocking lace is not one of my strong suits. I am surprised it turned out looking fabulous.

This is my first triangular lace shawl. Well, one that I have managed to finish, anyway. Also, this is my first time using lace-weight yarn for any project. Remind me later, how crazy that is. Right now, I am riding the “I finished it” high.

I love, love, love this shawl. It wasn’t as hard to knit it, as it appears. It looks so pretty and delicate. It’s so beautiful that I want to frame it, rather than wear it. Silly me. I am ridiculously proud of this shawl.

Info On The Shawl:

Pattern: Vlad, by Tammy Bailey, a free download on Ravelry.

Yarn: 1 skein of Knit Picks Gloss Lace (440 yards) 70% merino wool, 30% silk, in #24502 Fiesta. I love the yarn. It was my first try with it. It’s sooooo soft.

Needles: US # 5 circular throughout.

Size: One size

Mods: None. Knitted the pattern as written.

Time: 12 days from start to finish.

Verdict: LOVE! The shawl came out beautiful. I can’t gush about it enough. I knitted this shawl as a knit-along for the True Blood group I belong to on Ravelry. It was a lot of fun to knit the shawl with other fans. It kept me going…I recommend the pattern. It is mostly charts, but not hard to follow at all. I want to make another Vlad…in a different color. I also think I will make it bigger too. That is easily done by adding more “body repeats.”

The Knits I Can Show

July 7, 2011 2 comments

It is all dark and cloudy this afternoon. It’s been this way all day. I think I saw the sun for about 5 minutes, as it came up over the building, around 7 am. I guess I am alright with the clouds for a change of pace. It was pretty warm the past two days and having a cool day to recover is sort of nice. The cats are enjoying the cooler day too. They are more active. Phinn has been playing and chasing Phoebe around all afternoon. She’s an old biddy and cranky about it, but Phinn is sure having his fun.

Look at that bratty face. He was evil-eyeing Phoebe as I took the photo. You can’t see the twitchy tail. Two seconds after i snapped the photo, he jumped off the couch and went tearing after poor Phoebe. Meh, it keeps her young, right?

Yes, my Vlad Shawl is certainly coming along. I have about 10 rows of the edging chart to knit before I am finished. Done, done, done! The shawl pattern is not as hard as I thought it would be. The shawl looks really intricate and fancy, after blocking. I found it kind of easy to work. This will be my first completed intricate triangular lace shawl ever. I’ve been knitting for over 7 years and it’s about time, right?

I may have to make this shawl again…probably bigger and in a different color, of course. I am anxious to see how much my red Vlad will grow with blocking. I won’t share my blocking process, since it is most embarrassing. My method does work, though. Let’s just say, I need to purchase a blocking board and pins some time soon, if I continue with the lace knitting.

I have also been knitting, slowly and randomly on the Oaklet Shawl. I work on it, while watching TV or listening to my iPod. Right now, it is mostly mindless stockinette. The colors in the yarn are a bit bright and wacky. I do love the bit of sparkle the yarn has going on. I am hoping to wear this one as a triangular neck scarf, more than an actual shawl. This photo of the shawl is not a very good one, since it is all scrunched up on the needle. My size 5 circular needle is currently occupied with a project. So, Oaklet is being knitted on flat needles until such a time that I can transfer it to the circular needle.

I think when these two shawls are completed…I am going to cast on a project that uses at least US # 8 size needles. Maybe even US # 10 needles. I need something quick and larger to work on. This tiny needle and finer yarn project obsession I have going on…is getting a bit crazy. I am considering a cardigan. I always need a cute cardigan to wear. Any suggestions? I’ll look at patterns later.

I’m also knitting on some designs. Three to be exact. I can’t really share them right now. It drives me crazy not to be able to discuss them. I spend more time working on the designs, then all of the above shared shawl business. ~sigh~ I keep telling myself, “Soon. Soon, I can share.” I am also thinking of opening an Etsy Shop to sell a bit of my hand knits. Not sure just yet. I’m always up for making a bit of extra money. I have a huge plastic zip-up bag with tons of over flow hand knits. Hats I have made over the years, mostly samples of my designs. I never wear them. I just put them in the bag, zip it up and put it up in the top of my closet. I only wear a select few knitted hats. Maybe a handful. I would not sell those…just the ones sitting in the bag. I don’t know? Do people really buy hand knitted items from etsy? Just a thought…

My youngest daughter, Hannah, and her friends love to take artsy photos, lately. They go to the park and break out the camera for the afternoon. They are pretty good at it, if I do say so. Not bad for a few 15 year olds. I love the colors in this picture.

I use Hannah as my model for some of my knit designs. Any excuse to put on make up and primp for a 15 year old…is the thing. I am sure to use Han in my upcoming designs. I already warned her to be ready and cooperative.

And that is all I have to share for today. I am going to make myself a home-made iced coffee and watch the evening news for a bit. Then it is off to cook dinner for the family, cleaning a bit. I also need to work on some knitting…I probably won’t get to bed before 1 am. Oh well. Have a great evening, everyone.

Categories: cats, general, knitting, motherhood, WIPs

Summer Of The Shawl

I have been knitting over the past weekend. Mostly on a new sock sample for a new design…and on my red Vlad Shawl. I have knitted about 5 and a half repeat of the body portion of the shawl, in this photo. There are 7 total repeats in the shawl, before the edging begins. Almost done.

I really like knitting on this shawl. It isn’t as confusing and hard as I thought it was, when I first started on it. The pattern still takes a bit of concentration to knit. The yarn is enjoyable to work with, as well. I bought the skein of Knit Picks Gloss Lace with some Christmas money I had, two years ago. It had been sitting in my stash for that long, waiting for me to find a lace shawl pattern to be knitted into. I am quite pleased with how the shawl is coming along.

~knock on wood~ There have been no mistakes in my lace knitting…yet!

I’ve probably just jinxed it.

So, I am calling this my Summer Of Shawls. I have never been one for lace shawls. Not my style. It just wasn’t an interest for me, as a knitter. I always thought of little old ladies with the shawl-wearing. For some reason lace shawls have become my summer obsession this year. I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s the intricate lace that is attracting me, lately? I love wearing triangular neck scarves, though…so I like the smaller lace shawls for that purpose.

After I complete the above lace shawl I want to make two more shawls. Yes, you read that one right. More shawls! What is wrong with me?

I recently won a lovely skein of Lucy’s Laceweight yarn. I did a search on Ravelry on what to make with this new skein of yarn. I have decided on knitting Citron, from Knitty Winter 2009, with the yarn. Again…a small shawl neck scarf type pattern. I will probably begin this one after completing Vlad. We will see how much time I can allot for personal knitting. Personal knitting as opposed to design sample knitting. I have plenty of that going in the background.

A second shawl I would like to knit soon is the Oaklet Shawl. I have a skein of Berroco Sox Metallic set aside for this one. Rather than knitting a pair of sparkly socks, I am aiming for a neck scarf/shawl.

With all of this lace shawl knitting…I should just take advantage of the obsession and design my own shawl. I am definitely inspired. My brain is beginning to turn…

What is your knitting obsession lately?

Today is another perfect Portland Summer day. 85° and sunshine galore. I love days like this. I love to take my knitting out on the patio… 🙂 Enjoy your day, everyone.

Categories: general, knitting, WIPs
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