Posted in knitting

Cast-on Monday (and hopefully cast-off too)

Spring is in the air and on the ground! Although we had frost on the roof this morning, it is warming rapidly. I was in St. Louis for the spring equinox. When I got home last Thursday, there were hundreds of grape hyacinths blooming in the yard and the flower bed.

While in St. Louis, we visited a LYS located in a suburb. We had promised Lu that she could pick out the yarn for her next sweater. Many thanks to the tolerant staff at Yarn Com while the little one whirled through the shop, looking at and picking up every skein that attracted her attention. She carried this on while talking softly to herself. Finally, she triumphently presented me with this hand-painted merino wool skein in her favorite shades of purple and pink.

Alas, the label was torn off and lost, so I don’t know the maker.

I paired it with some lavender Cascade 220 and a soft pink blended wool in Elysion by Cascade, quickly and quietly moving to the register before she added to the stack.

The washed swatch is very soft.

On Friday I searched Ravelry and chose a pattern that fit this yarn quite well.–simple-cardigan

C2013 Coats & Clark

The other item I’m working is a scarf. It has many attributes, including travel knitting, mindless knitting, stashbuster and quick knit.

The brown yarn is a wool-acrylic blend leftover from Christmas sock making. The gray and white yarns are 100% alpaca. I was given the multi-hued natural colored skein from knitting buddy Kathy. The source of the white is forgotten and unknown.

To keep from being too bored I played around with different striping patterns. To achieve the diagonal stripe, you decrease at the end of the right-side rows and increase at the end of the wrong-side rows. I’ll knit until I run out of the shortest yarn. That could happen today.

Do you have a project in process that is inspired by Springtime?

Posted in knitting

Friday Finish: Cheers Shawl

One of the resolutions I made to myself for 2023 was to clear up my backlog of UFOs. Today I celebrate another finish from the knitting category. This shawl, designed by Laura Nelkins….

….has been hanging around in its unfinished state for at least three years. I was working the beaded version and got into trouble by choosing beads that were too heavy. Anybody out in blogland work with beads on knitted garments? Let me know if you had any success. For me, the beads were so weighty that the shawl was pulled considerably downward. Sorry, Ms. Nelkin.

Anyway, I still loved the colors and the lace edging. It blocked out to 72 inches.

The beads weren’t totally wasted. I learned how to work them into knitted jewelry, eventually teaching a class on the technique, using up a few beads in the process.

This beadless shawl pairs nicely with my blush-colored boiled wool jacket.

Last time I looked in my craft room closet, there were still three knitting UFOs to finish. I hope to get them marked off the list before summer arrives.

Posted in knitting

Friday Finish: Socks for him

At long last the toe-up socks I had been working for the past two months are done. And while I was cross at times over how tedious it was, in the end I fall in love with the finished product, just like every other piece of knitting that I finish.

As a reminder, the yarn is Signature Four-Ply by West Yorkshire Spinners. It is a blend of wools with 25% nylon for strength and regain. I purchased it in Madison, WI at a shop whose name escapes me. I used no1 circular needles, knitting in a 3 by 1 rib.

After washing and then left to dry flat, the socks became very soft and luxurious.

If I have the opportunity, I will buy more this yarn.

Posted in knitting

Monday Blues: Yes, I Still Knit

It’s been almost 2 months since I cast on this lovely blue 4-ply sock yarn by West Yorkshire Spinners.

I’m feeling guilty about my lack of progress since then on socks for my DH. It’s been very cold here and he has nearly worn out all the other socks I’ve knit for him.

In early January I picked this project up again and I hope that they’ll be finished soon.

This photo shows the toe-up method using two size one needles. Gauge is about 12 rows per inch. Because the stitches are so small, I find it difficult to work on this in low light.

But Ta-Da! I have one completed sock.

Today I worked on sock 2 during Westham United’s game against Darby. At the whistle, I had completed another 1 and 1/2 inches on the foot section. I’m hopeful that cast-off will take place before another week has passed by.

What are you knitting this month?

Posted in knitting

Friday Finish: Cardi Vest

Fresh off the blocking mat and slipped across my shoulders, here is my version of Kate Oates’ Cardi Vest. Although it’s cold here in Oklahoma, my dear husband agreed to a quick photo shoot in the backyard.

In this image two changes that I made to pattern are visible: the lower body is knit in a baby eyelet rib instead of a twisted rib and I substituted a stranded pattern of my own design on the yoke.

It took some extra time to work out and knit this pattern based on a daisy. Here on the back you can see how many yarn ends resulted from this small square of stranded work – a lot!

Despite the griping I did about picking straw out of this yarn as I worked it, now that it is washed, blocked and dried, the yarn is rather magnificent. The 100% wool in a thick and thin worsted weight made by Ewetopia is every bit as warm as I thought it would be. The fibers bloomed into a nice loft and stitches evened out and locked into place. I must be careful in future launderings about its propensity to felt.

Because I intend to sew in a zipper by hand, I cast off the neckline with the I-cord method. But so far, I haven’t located a separating zipper in the length and color required. Until I do, I’ll wear the vest open.

The hood is a fun feature that took up an entire ball of yarn. I hope that it stays on my head in the Oklahoma wind.

I rate the pattern as suitable for an intermediate knitter. Here is a link to it on Ravelry.