Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WIP Wednesday 8/15/12

Well, not much progress to report on the Ubiquitous Kate front.  I’ve picked up the stitches along the top of the shawl and done the necessary increases for the ruffle. I had just barely started knitting the ruffle ribbing when this happened:

Let me give you a closer look.  See that?  

That is a broken needle, and it’s totally not my fault.  I’ve broken needles before, of course- stepped on them, sat on them, etc.  This is the first time, however, that I have had a needle snap in half while I am in the middle of knitting.  It’s a Knitpicks Zephyr Acrylic Interchangeable Needle.  I haven’t heard of this happening before, so I don’t know whether these types of needles are just weak, whether I got a bad one, or whether I am just an extremely strong knitter.

I think I managed to pick up all of the stitches that dropped when it happened, thank goodness.  I called Knitpicks, and thanks to their excellent customer support, I have already received a replacement (I didn’t have to send the broken one back, or even show them pictures!  And they sent me a whole new pair, rather than just a replacement for the one needle!).  I am super impressed with their customer service, but I think that I will stick to ordering their nice, strong nickel-plated needles in the future, rather than the Zephyrs.

On the bright side, this means that I had lots of time to focus on my Honey Bunches shawl. It just needs end-weaving and blocking.

I’ve signed up for two beaded lace mystery knit-a-longs on Ravelry.  Laura Nelkin is hosting the Trapeze Mystery KAL, which is scheduled to start on August 17.  Boo Knits is doing  the Out of the Darkness KAL, which will start on August 25.   (I ordered the beads for both today and am so excited!)

Since I have both of these projects coming up really soon, I’ve been reluctant to start anything too complicated in the meantime.  I’m about two-thirds of the way through the hat from the Knitpicks Luxe Accessories Kit, and I’m really enjoying the feel of the Knitpicks City Tweed Heavyweight.  There are some major errors in the pattern though, which has been a little bit frustrating.

I also cast on for a pair of toe-up socks in Berroco Sox Metallic.  I’m kind of making them up as a I go along, with a little bit of this pattern here, and a little bit of that pattern there.  I’m thinking that I may do an afterthought heel (I’ve never done one before!), but I still have a bit to go before I have to make that decision.  I’m just doing a basic stockinette foot for these socks, and will probably just do a ribbed leg- this will be my nice, simple, uncomplicated project for when my brain needs a break from all of the beaded lace in the KALs.

What have you been working on this week?  Head on over to Tami’s Ami’s WIP Wednesdays to see what everyone else has been working on!

Friday, August 10, 2012

FO: Radiance Shawl

I cast on for this shawl before my trip to Orlando, as I thought that it would be excellent travel knitting.  It really was, and  I got compliments on it from the airline stewardess!  The pattern is really easy to understand, but it does get a little bit boring at times.  It’s a great pattern to occupy your hands when your mind is doing something else (reading, etc), but not so much if you’re looking for something complicated to concentrate on.

One of my favorite things about this pattern was that it had three versions that you could choose from.  The first was a regular, written-out version.  Most patterns would stop there, but this one also included a printer-friendly version, as well as a detailed version.  I chose the detailed version, and it was so easy to follow!  Each row was written out, and the pattern also indicated what percentage of the way done with the shawl you were.  That was a really nice touch that I especially appreciated.  I wish every pattern were written like that!  The pattern does not include a chart, but while I normally prefer charted lace, this lace was simple enough to really make any sort of chart unnecessary.

I love the feel of working with Malabrigo lace.  It is incredibly soft, and the end result feels like wearing a warm cloud.  However, it is a huge pain to have to frog- it does not unravel well at all.  I’m also a little bit concerned about how the shawl will wear, because this doesn’t strike me as a particularly durable yarn.

I love the way that this shawl turned out, especially the ruffles!  It’s a very snuggly shawl, and very warm despite being so light-weight.  I love curling up with it around my shoulders!

Pattern: Radiance Shawl
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace
Colorway: Stone Blue
Needles: US 6
Modifications: None
Ravelry Project Page

Monday, August 6, 2012

Madelyn Mondays: Cat's Cradle

The name of the "Cat's Cradle" game suddenly makes a lot more sense...

Friday, August 3, 2012

FO: Wendy Knits Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl

This is the second year that WendyKnits has done a shawl knit-along in her group on Ravelry, and I’ve enjoyed both of them immensely.  This year, the shawl was called the Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl, and worked out to be a beautiful lacey crescent.

I purchased the Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light on major sale quite some time ago, and have been waiting for the perfect project to use it on.  This is the first time that I’ve used this yarn, and I’ve definitely enjoyed it.  It feels nice as I knit it, and looks very pretty.  It almost seems like it has a little bit of silk in it, but it is actually 100% merino.  The color variations between a dark teal and a forest green really added some interest to the shawl without taking away from the lace pattern.  I would definitely use this yarn again, although I think Madelinetosh as a whole seems to be a little overpriced at full price, so I’d wait for a sale.

I had a lot of fun working on the pattern.  The crescent shaped shawls that I have worked with in the past have had a lacy border, then used short-row shaping to make the crescent shape.  This pattern had a completely different construction.  It was knit in lace wedges, with decreases at the ends of each wedge.  This created the crescent shape while allowing a lace pattern to run up the entire shawl.  It was a lot of fun to knit.

I have a fair amount of yarn (.27 grams/ 119yds) left, and I’m not entirely sure why.  WendyKnits had indicated in her pattern that she used almost all of her 420 yard skein when she made her sample shawl, and my Tosh Merino Light has the same yardage.  I got gauge.  I repeated the last 2 rows of the lace a couple of times, but still have some left over.

The pattern was really good about explaining in each section exactly where to add extra repeats to make the shawl longer.  I didn’t use these modifications, since I didn’t think I would have any yarn left over, but I might if I knit a future version of this shawl.

The pattern also gave the option of using nupps, beads, or neither.  I opted for beads, because I really was not enjoying the nupps.

I do like the way that this turned out, but I do wish it were a tad bit bigger.  I blocked it pretty aggressively, but it’s still smaller than I would prefer.I think that in the future, I might either use larger needles or do all of the optional extra repeats to make it bigger.  I think it will look lovely with my winter coat, though!

Pattern: WendyKnits Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light
Colorway: Forestry
Needles: US5
Modifications: I added 2 extra repeats of the last two lace rows.
Beads: Silver lined clear beads
Yardage: 321 yards
Ravelry Project Page Link

Want to see what everyone else has finished up this week?  Head over over to Tami’s Amis FO Fridays.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

WIP Wednesday 8/1/12

Happy August!  I have no new projects to share with you, and I’m still knitting the same WIPs as last Wednesday.  And the week before that.  And the week before...well, you get the idea.

Anyway, I’ve finally finished the body of my Ubiquitious Kate!  It seems to be a really nice size, and I can’t wait to get the ruffles on this thing so that I can actually wear it.  I don’t kid myself about the fact that it’s going to take forever to do that, though- each round on the ruffle will be about a trillion* stitches.

My Honey Bunches is still moving slowly along.  I am halfway through the third garter stitch section.  

I seem to have a lot of yarn left so far, especially for being fairly close to the end of this shawl.  I know the rows get bigger as I go, so maybe I’m underestimating exactly how much bigger they may get, but it still feels like a lot of yarn!   The smaller version of the pattern (which I am using, as it calls for the amount of yarn that I have) tells you to only knit half of the lace repeat (12 rows) in the third and final lace section, but I think I may have a lot of yarn left over if I do that.  I’m thinking I might knit the whole 24 row repeat, but place a lifeline at row 12 just in case I run out of yarn, so I can easily frog back and finish the last garter stitch section.  What do you think?

My WendyKnits Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl and Radiance Shawl  are finished, blocked, and photographed, so look for those in the next couple od FO Fridays!

Want to see what everyone else is working on?  Head on over to Tami’s Amis’ Work in Progress Wednesdays.

*Okay, “trillion” may be a slight exaggeration, but not by much!