Tag Archives: shawl

Finding Time

Like any hobby or extracurricular activity, finding time for my knitting can be a challenge.

I often enjoy knitting in the evening after my daughter has gone to bed. I can visit with my husband and watch TV. But ever since my daughter started middle school we have to get up really early, which means I have to go to bed early, which means I have less time to knit.  And sometimes I’m just too tired to knit at all!

One of my favorite times to knit is in the waiting room while my daughter has her therapy and social group appointments. A nice chunk of time all to myself! Sometimes I wonder if the other parents think I am obsessed with my knitting (I’m not) since I’m always doing it. They might not realize it’s one of the few times I have to knit without The Other Things I Should Be Doing hanging over me.

Regardless of where, I manage to find enough time in bits and pieces to actually make progress on some projects.

When do you find time for your hobbies?

Here are the projects I am working on right now:

Ambiguous Cowl:

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This is the January 2016 Progressive Needles knit-a-long. I’m way behind because I focused my energy in January and February on my Downton Abbey Shawl.

The project is a long cowl. It’s a two-color project using the Fair Isle technique. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love Michelle Hunter’s knit-a-longs because I always learn so much!

This one is going to take me a LONG time to finish. It takes a lot of concentration and is not a good project to take with me to my daughter’s appointments. I manage to get just a few rounds done each week. At this rate, I will be lucky if I have this done in time to wear next winter.

Edith’s Secret:

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I have been working on this shawl for over a year now, but I’m on the home stretch. It is the Downton Abbey KAL project from LAST year. I really love the way it’s turning out, and am focusing most of my knitting time getting this one finished. Hopefully I will be sharing the finished project soon!

Strie Socks:

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As you can see from the photo, I am not very far along on this pair of socks! This project is kind of on the back burner right now. I started it as a nice, easy project to work on during my recent trip to Seattle. Also, I like having a started project waiting in the wings. I am sure these socks will see more action once my Edith’s Secret is finished.

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A Grand Finale

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What did you think of the Downton Abbey series finale? I loved all the happy endings, even if it was a bit predictable. The series ended with a smile on my face.

I have been a knitting fool the last couple of months, working on the final Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-a-Long (MKAL) hosted by Jimmy Beans Wool. I have done all four of the Downton Abbey-themed knit-a-longs and they have been so much fun! (We won’t discuss the fact that I haven’t actually completed last year’s project yet…) They stretch my skills and produce beautiful garments.

This year’s project was a shawl. I really don’t need another shawl in my wardrobe, but what can I say? I enjoy knitting shawls. I’m slowly learning how to wear them.

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Because it was the final MKAL and because I loved the colors, I sprung for the yarn that was specially-dyed for this project. It is called “Yorkshire Skies”, and I think it really does look like sky when it is knit up.

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This was a super-fun project! The construction of it was quite unique (at least to me), which kept us guessing what the final product would look like (remember, this was a mystery, with small sections of the pattern released over 8 weeks). I think this might be the prettiest thing I have ever knit.

My head got cut off on this photo, but it was a good one of the shawl, so I went with it:

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Project Details:

Pattern:  Downton Abbey MKAL 2016, by Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich.

Yarn:  Lorna’s Laces Solemate, in Yorkshire Skies

Ravelry Project, with additional notes and photos: Karen’s Project

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WIP Wednesday: Shades of Gray

It’s been a while since I have shared my knitting projects with you, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been knitting!  I have an unprecedented (for me, anyway) three projects going right now. Each of the projects is very different, except for one similarity:  they all use yarn in some shade of gray.

Project 1 – Socks

CoBaSi - Gun Metal Gray

First up is a project I actually started over a year ago.  It’s my first pair of socks, Focus Pocus by Michelle Hunter.  As I said, I started this one a year ago, but I didn’t like how tight the cast-on edge was.  It was hard to get over my heel, and it felt a little tight on my calf.  So I ripped it out.  I put off starting over for several months.  The cast-on and knitting of the first few rows is quite fiddly and stressful and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I finally braced myself and cast on in November.  To address the too-tight edge I used a larger needle for the cast on, then switched back to the smaller needle when I began knitting.  This not only helped with the tight edge, but it seemed to make the whole process go a little easier.  Now that I am well into the knitting, I am enjoying this project!

Focus Pocus Socks

I am about halfway through the cuffs of these socks.  This project is temporarily on hold while I work on some other projects, but I am looking forward to getting back to it.

Project 2 – A Mystery!

I can’t really tell you much about this next project, because it is super secret!  I can show you a picture of the yarn I am using:

Kenzie Yarn

And here is a little detail photo:

Mystery Detail

I will tell you more about this project when I finish it in a few weeks!

Project 3 – Downton Abbey

Lastly, I couldn’t resist participating in the Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-a-long hosted by Jimmy Beans Wool again this year. I have had so much fun with it the last two years, and so far this year is no exception.  As always, Jimmy Beans created a specially-dyed yarn just for this project.  While I liked the pink and brown colors of the special yarn, I couldn’t see myself getting much use out of a shawl in those colors, so I went rogue and chose these pretty colors:

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock

The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. The color on the left is called “Fifty Skeins of Gray – Anastasia” and the color on the right is “Kerfuffle”.  I love these two colors together!

I am running a few weeks behind the knit-a-long (the group is on clue #4 and I am on clue #2).  Here is a picture of my shawl at the end of the first clue:

DA Mystery Shawl Part 1

I can’t wait to see how this one turns out!

What projects are you working on?

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FO: Larch

Larch

I finished my Larch shawlette last month. I love, love, love it!  It was really fun to knit, I love the yarn I chose, and it was very satisfying to make.  This would be a great pattern for anyone wanting to try lace for the first time.

I will probably mostly wear it like this:

Larch as Scarf

I am finding myself drawn to shawl patterns lately.  I have never been much of a decorative scarf wearer, so I have to make sure I will actually wear my shawls before I make any more.

Can we talk about the yarn?  This was my first time using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light and I am in love.  I love the subtle variations in color.  The photos really don’t do it justice.  I keep thinking about new projects I can make with it, and occasionally peruse the color options over at Jimmy Beans Wool.  Right now I am considering a sweater using the Mandala colorway.

Details:

Pattern:  Larch.  It is available as a free download on Ravelry.

Yarn:  Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light.  I used the “Alizarin” colorway and used pretty much the entire skein.

If you are on Ravelry, you can check out my project here.

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FO: Lady Mary’s Comfort Wrap

Lady Mary's Comfort Wrap

As promised, here is my recently-finished knitting project.  I finished it a couple of weeks ago, but finally got photos taken this weekend.

This was another Downton Abbey-themed mystery knit-a-long like the one I did last year.  Initially I thought I would sit this one out, but then I got caught up in the excitement.  It didn’t help that I found a yarn I fell in love with!

Hand-knit Wrap

The pattern is called a shawl by the designer, but it is shaped more like a wrap.  Luckily I chose my yarn hoping I could wear this as an evening wrap, so the end result is perfect for the use I had in mind!

Lady Mary's Comfort Wrap

It took me extra long to knit this pattern because after I knit almost three quarters of it, I decided to rip it all out and start over.  The finished dimensions were turning out to be VERY long, and I felt that a shorter wrap would be better for me.  It would have hung down to almost my knees.  I am so glad I did this because I am very happy with the finished length.

Long Wrap

I love the lacy details in this wrap.  I have discovered that I enjoy lace knitting quite a bit, though I have only tried simple lace patterns so far.  I will certainly be doing more lace knitting!

The color of this yarn has proven to be very difficult to photograph accurately.  This picture comes the closest:

Malabrigo Silky Merino

Details:

Pattern:  Lady Mary’s Comfort Wrap by Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich.  It is available as a free download from Jimmy Beans Wool.

Yarn:  Malabrigo Yarn Silky Merino.  I chose the “Cloudy Sky” colorway and used 510 yards.

Additional photos of my shawl and details about changes I made can be found in my Ravelry project.

 

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Work-in-Progress Wednesday: First Edition

Welcome to Work-in-Progress (WIP) Wednesday!  I hope to be updating you every (well, most) Wednesday on various projects I am working on.

Knitting

I have been knitting pretty continuously the last few months.  I recently finished a project that I will be sharing with you soon.  I just need to take some pictures (hopefully on Sunday as I will be wearing the finished item for Mother’s Day).  I pretty much immediately started a new project that I am quite excited about.

Meet Larch:

Larch Shawlette

It’s a little shawlette or scarflet that I have been wanting to make for over a year.  I had just been waiting for the right yarn to find me.  The yarn and I finally crossed paths recently and I love it!

Back in January I started my first pair of socks as part of a mystery knit-a-long.  This is how far I got:

Focus Pocus

The project stalled for a couple of reasons:

1) I started a Downton Abbey KAL at the same time I started these socks.  I discovered that I am  a one-project-at-a-time girl, and this is the one that didn’t get worked on.

2) After trying on my socks, I found that the cast-on edge is quite tight around my ankle, which discouraged me.  I think I will start over soon with a looser cast-on.  I want the finished socks to be comfortable to wear!

Home Improvement

In other news, I finally started a home improvement project I have been talking about for years!  I am turning our spare bedroom into a freshly painted and revamped bedroom for my daughter.

I have ripped out molding, removed doors, pulled down shelving, and sanded down flaws.  By the end of this project, I will have learned how to paint a room (can you believe this is my first time?), install baseboards and molding around a door, install a closet organizer, and all sorts of mundane home improvement tasks.

Door in Progress

Now I would like to get some opinions about the closet.  I have already removed the original, boring shelf and bar and will replace them with some sort of closet organizing system (I haven’t designed it yet).  I am trying to decide what to do about the doors.

Original Closet

These are the original sliding doors that were installed when the house was built.  They are in good condition and function well.  I have some fun ideas about how I can spruce them up and make them more interesting.  But, I am also considering replacing them with bi-fold type doors.  Any opinions?  Pros and cons for the different types of doors?  I would love to hear what you think!

Whew!  I have a lot going on!  What projects are you working on?

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