Chadwick

I stayed up late one night last week to finish up this shawl, tucking in the ends and blocking it the next day.  I finished it with almost a week to spare before Sock Summit, and have been dying to share it with you ever since.  Timing (and styling) never quite lined up over the weekend, so we’re just now getting to it.

What a fun knit!  Chadwick is classic Stephen West, with its colorwork, assymetry, and simple stitch patterns.  It was easy to work on while chatting at knit night or watching over a busy toddler; it looks a lot more complicated than it actually is. At one point I was juggling 3 balls of yarn, which got a little tricky, but overall it was great fun.  You can see all the details on my project page.

 

During the photo shoot I played around with all of the different ways to wear this shawl.  Typically I like to wear my shawls bandit-style (with the point in the front, ends wrapped around the neck), but I think that really hides the features of this one.  I’ll have to go traditional with this decidedly untraditional shawl.

So happy to have this finished for Sock Summit!  I know that in most parts of the US having a new wool shawl for an event in July sounds ludicrous, but around here it’s necessary.  Mornings and evenings can be a bit chilly, and a small shawl over one’s shoulders is just the thing. Plus, what knitter doesn’t want to wear something hot off the needles around other knitters?

I’m heading off to the mighty summit tomorrow, picking up my bestie at the airport in the evening.  This is my first real amount of time spent away from PB, and I am filled with a mixture of emotions.  Elation, excitement, trepidation, and a touch of worry.  Everyone will be fine, I know this.  And in a sense, this time apart feels like a bit of a trial run for when I start working at the shop. Granted, I won’t be gone for a 4 day stretch very often, but it will go a long way for all of us to know that we can function outside of our normal routines.  Besides, I get yarn and she gets swimming lessons.  Win win!

Please come say hi if you see me running around in Portland, I love meeting new people.  And for those of you staying home I will have a full report and lots of photos to share upon return.

 

 

For the Love of Ishbel

Ishbel turned out to be one of those projects that was impossible to put down.  Once I cast on last Sunday, I was a knitting fiend, putting in some time on a row or pattern repeat whenever possible.  It must have been the perfect storm of yarn and pattern, because both were equally pleasing to work with.  Ysolda writes a wicked clear pattern that was a joy to follow, and the Madelinetosh sock yarn kept me smiling throughout.

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  • Pattern:  Ishbel by Ysolda Teague

  • Yarn: Madelinetosh sock yarn in Lettuce Leaf, approximately 300 yards

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

  • Mods: None.  I knit the size small as written.  See my notes on Ravelry.

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When I finished binding off it seemed small.  I knew that it would grow during blocking, but I wasn’t sure it would be big enough to wind around and wear like a scarf.  The pre-blocking measurements were 13 x 35 inches (depth x wingspan).  I soaked it for a few minutes, then pressed it in a towel and pinned it out on my yoga mat.  The dimensions grew to 18.5 x 38.5 inches.  It’s still a bit skimpy as a scarf, but I am really enjoying it as my new spring accessory!

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If I were to knit this again (as I am feeling wont to do) I would probably knit the large stockinette pattern with the small lace section, or vice versa.  First, I only used about 3/4 of the skein, and I loathe having that much yarn left over.  Secondly, it is just a little bit shy of wrapping around so that the ends dangle without sliding off over my shoulder.

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I love this scarf and would totally marry it if I weren’t already spoken for!

This was my first lace shawl, and I couldn’t be happier with the experience.  In the past when I saw lace charts I would instantly feel intimidated.  But there was just something about this pattern that spoke to me and said: “Don’t be afraid.  You can do this!”.  Maybe it was that the pattern called for sock yarn and started out in stockinette.  Or that I knew what all the symbols meant and simply needed to pay a little bit of attention every other row.  Most likely I’m just a more experienced and less fearful knitter than I once was, especially when it comes to lace.  Now I’m looking at some of my sock yarn with a certain lace lust that wasn’t there before…

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Now that it’s off the needles I can admit this out loud without ramifications: when it came to the lace section, I didn’t count stitches or use life lines!!!  ‘Cause I like to live on the edge like that.

Must Keep Knitting…

Warning: Once you start knitting Ishbel, you may find it impossible to stop.

Other activities such as sleeping, eating, or self grooming may tempt you into putting down the needles, but you will not be able to be gone long.  Ishbel will lure you back with her sexy yarn overs and fast paced lace charts.

I cast on Sunday afternoon, and by Tuesday had finished the first lace repeat.  I took Wednesday off from compulsively knitting, and am now working on the last chart.  It could be done this weekend…

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May you be blessed with the same excitement over one of your projects this weekend!

Designing Woman

I’ve been dividing my time between the afghan, finishing my Hedera #2, and working out the design for my shawl. This designing thing is pretty swell! (uh, Mad Men has had an influence on my adjective usage, I see) It is seriously fun to have an idea, play around with it, and watch it develop into something tangible. I’m not saying this shawl is going to be anything earth-shattering and innovative, but it’s a big step for me as a knitter cum designer.

I never thought I would feel inspired to design something on my own. But slowly, I have. First it was the Jingle Bell Collar for my dog, then a scarf here and there, a kitchen towel, and now this. Who knows where this might lead: creative fulfilment, fame, world domination?

To get started, I sketched out some ideas for where I wanted the details to fall. Then I cast on and started playing around with different stitch combinations, ripping back to the start to try new ideas. After about four cast on/frog combos, I think I’ve found it! And it couldn’t be more simple and fun to knit. In truth, it’s been hard to sit down and knit my socks, when all I want is the fun yarn and ease of this shawl.

This weekend we are going to be working on some home improvement projects. There is the small issue of the dining room that has been hauting us since we moved in, one BIG unfinished project. We have spent hours and hours scraping two layers of wallpaper from the walls. I should have listened to the guy at the paint store who warned me, “I would pay any amount of money to have someone else scrape wallpaper.” Silly me, I didn’t think it would be so hard. Now we are finally ready to prime and paint the walls and set up the furniture how we want it.

I also have a 45-gallon aquarium that will go in the room, so once we are finished painting I can put that in place and fill it up with water. It has been sitting in there empty for a couple of months, as I didn’t want to fill it and then have to move it; the thing is heavy enough empty, I can’t imagine when it’s full of water. Bet you didn’t know I was a fish keeper, did you? I almost get as excited about fish as I do about yarn…almost.

As for my weekend knitting, I plan on finishing up the Hedera socks. The second sock went pretty quickly, but I’m stalled out about halfway through the foot. This is what they look like today:

I just have to grab a nice drink, find a comfortable spot to sit, and make myself finish it. Then I can enjoy the pure pleasure of casting on a new project! I already have some yarn wound up, waiting for me.

What are you up to this weekend? Do you have any projects that you are trying to make yourself finish before you start something new?