Ishbel the Grape

Ishbel is finished!  I had enough yarn!

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I bound off the last of the stitches on Monday night, just before the season premiere of House, and put her in the sink to soak.  After a while, I pinned the shawl out on my yoga mat (a little narrow for this project) on commercial breaks.  It was dry by the next morning!

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  • Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague, size Large (see my Ravelry project page here)

  • Yarn: Malabrigo Sock Yarn in color 853; 1 skein or about 440 yards

  • Needles: US size 6/4 mm Addi Turbo Lace needles

  • Mods: None.

This project was everything I had hoped it would be the second time around.  I wanted a darker, more moody colorway.  Check.  I wanted it to be larger than the first version so it would stay put when worn as a scarf.  Check.  And I wanted to get it all done with one skein of great yarn.  Check.

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The Malabrigo sock yarn was a dream to knit with.  The color variation is subtle yet saturated, moving from deep indigo to grapey purples and everything in between.  All without stripes or pooling colors showing up in the final product.  It is soft and sturdy too, which means it should work great for socks as many knitters have already reported.  I have another skein in chocolate brown that hasn’t decided what it wants to be when it grows up yet.

Turns out taking self-timed photos of yourself wearing a shawl is pretty tough.  First all I got was a picture of my butt.  Next it was more shawl and less butt, but it was out of focus.  Finally I got something that wasn’t too blurry or butty (helped along with a little cropping, of course).  Here it is:

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Oh, I’m just in love with this!  Not only do I want to knit more lace shawls immediately, I want to go out and buy a new, more neutral coat to show off my hand-knits this winter.  Is that so wrong?

Early Bird Gets the Mojo

The Early Bird paid a visit to our house this morning, and as a result we had homemade zucchini bread in our bellies by 8:30 am.  I’ve been wanting to bake up a batch of this kind of goodness since Saturday when we visited a friend’s farm stand.  Because of all the rain we’ve had this summer, many of her veggies didn’t exactly thrive.  The squash, and specifically the zucchini, have loved this weather.

Here is where I would put a photo of the mammoth vegetable we purchased, but I forgot.  It was at least 2 feet long and weighed about 2 pounds.

So up early with my Betty Crocker cookbook, I made this simple and delicious quick bread.  The recipe makes 2 loaves, so I wrapped one up and threw it in the freezer for later.  Of course, Sweetie and I demolished half of the other loaf for breakfast…

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On to knitting news, I have two works in progress to show you.  I also noticed, as I was updating my Ravelry projects, that I have a few older and abandoned works in progress.  These are hibernating for now, and I have no plans to get to them any time soon.  This is very out of character for me, as I usually can only stand to have 2 things on the needles at a time.  Onward and upward is my current motto!

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This is my second Ishbel shawl in Malabrigo sock yarn, color Abril.  I have finished the stockinette center and am currently waiting for inspiration to strike before I get started on the lace charts.  It’s been about a week and a half since I’ve knit on it.

Instead, I got excited to start a a baby cardigan.  This is the Little Coffee Bean Cardi in a hand-painted yarn from Purlsoup Fibers.  I am really enjoying the pattern and the yarn together.  The yarn is more lavender than I had realized before I started knitting with it, but I love all the bright flecks of colors that pop up.  All I have left is a sleeve and the button bands.

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So that’s where my knitting is at today.  I am also making plans to start a cardigan for myself as well as more baby knits.  I don’t want to jinx things, but I think my knitting mojo may be creeping back!  Shhh…we don’t want to scare it away….

Yarn in a Box

My mailbox has been bustling with wonderful boxes full of goodies.  One is something I won on a blog giveaway, the other a gift from a friend halfway around the world.  I tell, you there’s nothing like receiving a box of special treats; I plan on sending out some care packages in the very near future to pass on this great feeling.

First, I was the lucky winner of a blog giveaway last month at Knitting Siamese. There were great things in the package, the highlight of which was a skein of Malabrigo sock yarn in Abril.

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I also love the project bag, which of course features a slinking Siamese cat…

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These lovelies arrived the day before I left town, so I didn’t get much time to fully appreciate them.  Rest assured, time was spent yesterday petting the Malabrigo and finding an appropriate new knitting project for that bag.

And when I returned from my vacation, I was delighted to find a stamp-covered package all the way from Hekiknits in Australia!  She and I have been friends through a mutual group on Ravelry, and have really supported each other through some ups and downs.  I feel very fortunate to have a pen pal like her, especially now that she’s sending me yarn and chocolate!

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I love tasting treats from other countries.  Apparently there’s a method of eating one of these cookies called the “Tim Tam Slam” that I need to try out immediately!  What are some goodies from America that I can send her way?

Now that we’re back home, things are settling in to a nice summer routine.  So far this has included some knitting, yard work, Sweetie making dinner, and general sorting out of the household affairs.  Good, normal life stuff that is making me feel very content.  Especially around dinner time when a plate of food magically appears in front of me!  How is your summer shaping up?

Socks to Be

Did you wake up to an unholy amount of snow on the ground this morning like we did?  March is truly living up to its reputation so far this month: “In like a lion, out like a lamb”.  Let’s hope the latter part comes true!

It was a good weekend around here, starting with a banner trip to Webs and ending with a fun afternoon at Stitch ‘n Bitch.  I like it when life is book-ended with fiber and knitting gatherings.

I arrived at mecca with a list of possible sock yarns I would like to look at, feel, smell, and potentially bring home.  I checked online to make sure they carried these yarns before I arrived to be reassured success.  The first thing I saw when I got there was the Malabrigo sock yarn I had been longing to touch.  I then made a circle through the entire store, ending at the sock yarn section.  I guess I was in a delayed gratification sort of mood.  Everything I could have imagined finding was there, including some old favorites.

Here is what came home with me:

Malabrigo sock in Chocolate Am

Malabrigo Sock in Chocolate Amargo

Shibui Knits in

Shibui Knits in color 2955

Noro Kureyon Sock in S182 B

Noro Kureyon Sock in S182 B

Madelinetosh Hand Dyed in Lettuce Leaf

Madelinetosh Hand Dyed in Lettuce Leaf

With the exception of the playful rainbow of the Noro, I was trying to stick to a semi-solid palette.  I have plenty of vibrant, wacky sock yarn in my stash already and I wanted to round it out with some more versatile yarn.  These will show stitch patterns of all types very well, and of course I have some things in mind…

I may have already cast on the rainbow socks.  You know, just to make sure it’s a good yarn.  And I’m so glad I did, since it turns out today is a snow day; what better way to stay warm and cheery than by knitting bright socks?

Did you cast on any new projects this weekend?