Saturday, June 23, 2012

FO: Straightforward Mitts

Time for a little catch up. As you may know, I started a new job a couple of weeks ago. Turns out the facility manager for my building likes to set the air conditioning at 40 degrees. Ok, I'm exaggerating. Maybe it's closer to 68 degrees. Anyways, it makes me cold. Even when it's 90 degrees outside, I still have to dress warmly in the morning so I don't turn into an ice cube by 5 o'clock. My fingers have it the worst since I spend most of the day typing.

Last weekend I decided this situation needed to be remedied immediately so I found myself a free pattern on Ravelry for a pair of mitts and cast on Saturday morning. I finished the mitts Monday morning carpooling in to work. Here's how they turned out:

Pattern: Straightforward Mitts by Simone Draeger
Yarn: Shibui Knits Staccato in colorway Chrome
Needles: 3s

These mitts turned out great, and they don't interfere with my typing at all. They're great for delicately holding lilies, as shown above, in case you ever find yourself in that situation. The fit is good, they don't take much yarn, they're pretty much perfect. I also loved the color of the yarn. The silk in Staccato really gives the grey color a beautiful luster. Plus it's machine washable, which is perfects for mitts.

The pattern was designed to match Herbivore, a shawl by Stephen West. My fiance is knitting one of Stephen's hat patterns, Windschief, at the moment, so we had a house full of slanted twisted rib projects going on. It was adorable, if I do say so myself.

Right now, I'm working on knitting the sleeves to my White Pine cardigan. I have them about up to the elbow. Hopefully I can join them to the body by this weekend and update you all with some pictures. I need to get that cardigan finished so I have a free schedule for Ravelympics in July. Ahem, the knitting community event coinciding with the Olympics. Wouldn't want to upset anybody. I have this crazy idea to knit a sweater in just 17 days. We'll see how that turns out!

Happy knitting to everybody!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

FO: Winnowing Shawl

Well, I finally did it. I finally finished the fingering-weight twisted-rib shawl I started way back in January. It feels so good to finally have it off the needles. Here she is:

Pattern: Winnowing by Bristol Ivy
Yarn: Loft in Faded Quilt
Needles: 4s
Raveled: Winnowing

I totally fell in love with this pattern when it came out Wool People Vol. 2, so I ordered the yarn and bought the pattern that same day. I love the look of the pattern- lacy but not frilly. It's grounded but lets a bit of sun peek though. A couple of days after I ordered my yarn, I read Bristol's blog and she mentioned the patterned was inspired by Iowa corn fields. I wish I had ordered the yarn in a beautiful green, but it was too late. Maybe I'll have to make another one some day...

I really loved this pattern, even though knitting it was incredible tedious. When you finish the main charted section, it feels like you should be over 50% done, but the knitted border is what really takes the most time. I posted some information on my Ravelry page about what I'd do differently if I made the shawl again, so if you're interested in knitting be sure to check that out. The last 10% of the shawl was pretty nerveracking because I was afraid I was going to run out of yarn. Luckily I had enough to fudge the ending. When the designer says it takes all of the 3 skeins, she isn't kidding.

Shawl in the blocking process. Thank heaven for blocking wires!
I'm not crazy about the faded quilt colorway. I was hoping it would have more blue flecks, but it's mostly a grey. I'm considering the possibility of overdying the shawl in black. I'm hesitant to do so because the entire point of buying a Brooklyn Tweed yarn is for the color variations within the yarn, but it's rather "blah" to me. I'd certainly never knit a shawl like this using black yarn for fear of going blind. I think it might worn more in outfits if I dyed it black, but in it's current state it makes for a good shawl to keep at work. Decisions, decisions. Does anyone have any advice?