Monday, May 12, 2014

Bound Off: 3 Shawl Extravaganza

In between designing, gift knitting, and long term projects (ie: 2014: Year of the Pullover), I've finished knitting 3 shawls!

I'm not usually a shawl person, but they've been calling to me.

In March I took part in a fun ancient civilizations swap, and finished this shawl for my spoilee:

This is a worsted weight shawl, knit with some Knit Picks Swish Tonal I overdyed a few years ago. The pattern is His Golden Lair.

You'll notice on the pattern page quite a bit of errata, but I didn't run into any major trouble in that regard--I think I noticed a small error in one chart, but didn't bother to let the designer know. Don't be like me! If you spot an error in a pattern, (nicely) inform the designer. 

What bothered me a bit with this pattern was the use of non-standard symbols on the chart. To a certain extent, you can use whatever symbols you want, as long as they're properly identified in the key. That said, if you're using a dot to indicate a RS purl stitch, then, logically, any RS cable symbol that includes a dot should mean one of the cable stitches is purled. Just a matter of consistency, but overall a minor irritation.

If you're looking for a good first shawl, try this--it works up quickly in worsted, the heavier yarn is easier to handle, and you get to practice with some simple lace, shaping and blocking.

Next, I completed the lovely Xeni shawl, by Kitman Figueroa. When I am in the mood for lace shawls, she's my go-to designer.

This one a tough one to photograph--I can never capture reds. This was knit with some beautiful Forbidden Woolery Pride, a fingering weight yarn with just a hint of sparkle. The colorway is Arkansas Black, an exclusive club color.

Fingering weight shawls seem to fly off the needles for some knitters, but not for me--especially if the wrong sides aren't plain; this one took about 3 months to finish, but I think it was worth the wait. Or weight. Heh.

I actually used my blocking wires for once, too, though I didn't pin the shawl out as carefully, or evenly, as I could have. I don't think it will be obvious when worn.

And lastly, I'm happy to say I did manage to finish that Captivating Capelet for my mom for Mother's Day.

This pattern is part of the Gloss Collection, but I used a new (to me) yarn, Sweet Fiber Yarns Merino Twist DK in Sea Glass.

What a disaster. Both skeins were horribly tangled. The 1st I managed to get through in about 45 minutes--that's WITH a swift and ball winder--but the second took, literally, hours. And I never finished. I wound enough to get me through the project and stopped.

I'm sad it was such a terrible experience, because the color is beautiful, and the yarn was nice enough to knit with, but I won't be buying it again. I hope, for others' sakes, that it was just a fluke, but with 2 tangled skeins, I won't risk it.

The capelet looks a bit like a skirt here (which was my mother's comment--I told her I didn't think she'd have much use for a see-through wool skirt), so I took this lousy selfie to show you what it looks like on:

My mom is much smaller than me and not pregnant, so I'm sure it will fit her quite a bit better.

I really like the idea of a capelet--lacy like a shawl, but more apt to stay on. This might be my new thing. 

And speaking of Mother's Day: 2 things.

1. The CCFA fundraiser continues. Let's honor all those moms, like mine, with Crohn's and colitis by raising that $$$! More details here.

2. In honor of the holiday, I'm offering a special promo code for my pattern store. Take 50% off any of my baby-friendly patterns with the code MAMA14. This includes Javi, Hugs and Smooches, Cielito and Nevado. Hurry, expires May 19th!

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