Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Striping It

It's all shawls here, all the time. The latest one on the needles:
For the Love of the Game, so named because I started it at my daughter's softball game this weekend.
It's a simple striped shawl with a lace border - go ahead. Click on the link. I'll wait.......and the bonus - it's a free pattern!
It has nice design features, with my favorite center increase - the M1R and M1L surrounding the center stitch. I only like this increase when there is a purl back row, as in the photo below. Beautiful.

The yarn is the exquisite Madelinetosh DK, so it's thicker than the previous shawls I've been knitting (not that you've seen them). The colors are Tart (Red) and Tern (gray). The amazing amount of depth in the dyeing process never ceases to amaze me, and this shawl pattern showcases this yarn feature well.
I also broke out the new signature needles in size US #8 - circular. I really didn't think signature could improve on their older versions (three of which I purchased last year at Maryland Sheep and Wool festival), but they did - this cable is amazing. So flexible, and well, those stiletto points are amazing.
So, I'm off to continue working on this shawl. It's been a bit addicting, and yet, relaxing as well......and my porch is calling me too!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's an emotional week, with my oldest graduating from high school. To add to all of that emotion and work, I decided to knit a baby gift instead of buy one for a baby shower at work this week. I felt like I had a homework assignment, albeit a good one. I'm not sure why I impose these kinds of deadlines on myself.
So without further ado, and very quickly, I might add, PRESENTING:
Sophisticated Baby (Baby Sophisticate....Raveled).
Yarn: By some strange chance of luck I found an acrylic (oh my goodness, my hands twinge at that word) yarn at Michael's. I'm not sure what I'm doing in the yarn section at Michael's, but that's another story for another day. When gifting my knitting, I'm also never sure whether the parent would appreciate a wool sweater that wasn't knit with superwash wool, so I knit this in, wait....I can hardly wait to tell you. I hate this advertising scheme....but it was.....Vanna's Choice - in the Harbor Mist color. It ALMOST resembles hand-dyed yarn, and it's super soft, without the wacky, scratchy feel of Red Heart. I used less than 2 skeins for the larger size, and the only modifications I made were to change the method of the raglan increases. I used a knit-into-the-front-and-the-back of the stitch instead of the backwards loop cast on. Much nicer and easier to complete the yoke.
The buttons were a great find at.....Walmart. $1.50 - amazing!

Needles: US #8 Addi Turbos. Love them!
The other beauty - I knit this sweater, wove in ends, sewed the buttons, in... three nights, with some nights not really knitting that much at all. So it's quick, and I'm a slow figure it out. Most people knit this little beauty in two nights.
There are complaints on Ravelry that the finished object runs a tad small, and I tend to agree. The larger size yielded me a sweater I'd consider to be about 3-6 months, maybe a little larger. I didn't do gauge, as it's a baby sweater, and well....I am nothing if not lazy at times with my knitting.
So, as I send MY baby off into the big wide world, it's bitter sweet for me to knit a baby sweater for an expecting Mom who is just beginning her journey.