Fall Shawl

I think I just completed a perfect shawl for transitioning into winter, and though this one is for my sister, I might want to make one for myself. πŸ˜‰ I even want to use the same color, because it’s so bright and cheerful and gorgeous!

Fall Shawl | Anita

Since this is a rectangular shawl, I designed it to have alternating horizontal sections of two textured stitches, with each section pair separated by a couple of eyelet rows. The textured stitches I used are moss stitch and diamond honeycomb stitch. The sections are of varying height, although symmetrical between the top and bottom halves.

I’d originally thought of having same-height sections for a given textured stitch, but while knitting, realized that there was a high probability that I’d run out of yarn. So I played with the section heights in my design until I was sure I’d use up most of the yarn but not run out of it. I barely have half a meter of yarn left now – so that’s another point to this project! πŸ˜‰

Fall Shawl | Anita

Another constraining factor for this design was that my sister wanted this shawl to completely cover her arms, but she also doesn’t like narrow shawls much, which meant it had to be at least medium sized. There definitely wasn’t enough yarn for that, and since this yarn is at least a year old, I couldn’t order more. How about adding yarn of a different color? We couldn’t think of any other color that would work well with this one.

So I decided to use a super-stretchy cast on and bind off – Jeny’s Stretchy Slipknot Cast-On and her Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off. Maybe it was a mistake, maybe not, because the yarn itself turned out to be slightly heavy, and now the shawl totally stretches lengthwise when it’s worn. πŸ™‚ Hence, I thought blocking it would probably be useless. My sister is anyway happy because it does completely cover her arms and is of a satisfactory height, so we thought she could wear the shawl unblocked for a while, and I can think about further finishing if it comes to it.


Now, after this high, I’m weirdly not in the mood to work on anything yarn related, so I’m left without a yarn project again. No matter, the September section of the Linen and Threads SAL is out, so I’ll take a tiny break and pick it up.

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Linen and Threads SAL 2018

August’s Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL section was again a difficult one to color in, but I think I can grow to like how it turned out. πŸ™‚

L&T SAL - Aug finish

The coloring decision did involve some to and fro. The edges were a breeze, but the birds… Well, unless I made the tail feathers multicolored, which I didn’t dig, it looked like I’d just have to go with my main color, green. I decided to do just that and started my stitching, but then changed my mind when I started on the first bird. I thought I’d make the edges of the feathers go from green to pink.

It was a good idea in theory (and in my colored chart), but in reality, the shocking pink overwhelms the already-short color transition. I’d discovered earlier that the pink bleeds during washing, and I’m hoping it’ll lose some of its edge then. It’ll also be fun to check out the ‘aura’ it might create in the process – do you think it’ll add to the look of the feathers? πŸ˜‰

Also, all those running threads at the back of the project from all the color transitions! I admit I hadn’t thought of that at all. I’ll definitely be limiting any color transitions like this in the future!

So – it goes without saying that I’m hoping the September section is easier in terms of coloring. πŸ˜›

As for other WIPs – my crafty mood has ebbed a bit right now and I’m not really working on anything, but fingers crossed I’ll get back to it soon. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear about your projects!

A ‘Fishy’ Sleeping Bag

I used up leftover yarn from a project or two, and made a sleeping bag for one of our favorite jewelry models – Penguin. πŸ˜€

'Fishy' sleeping bag

This project was a UFO till recently – I think I’d started it more than a year ago. I’m pretty happy that I finally picked it up again and finished it! (And I used up both leftover balls, so that’s another yay!)

The project itself is pretty simple. The tail fin is single crochet stitched in a circular manner so it stays stiff. (It still twists a little, though.) The body is double crochet, also worked in circles with color changes. The finishing at the top edge is a row of shell stitch, and I made the stitch spans wider so the edge becomes a bit more snug. (Also, I was running out of yarn. πŸ˜€ )

When I’d started on this project, I had grand plans of adding some fins on the sides too, but I guess I overestimated the amount of yarn (or maybe underestimated the size of the project), and in the end, there just wasn’t any yarn available for the fins. No worries, I think Penguin likes it just the way it is! πŸ˜‰


After that satisfying finish, I’ve completed designing a rectangular shawl for my sister. We’re using a single color for this project – which is a change from my previous shawl project, the colorful Oshara Shawl – so all I needed was a lot of textured stitches, which I’ll use for sections of the shawl. More on this one when I work on it enough and click pictures of it!

I’m also working on the August section of the Linen and Threads Mystery SAL – I’ve just finished figuring out the colors, and have started stitching with my main color.

That’s it from me this time. I’d love to hear how your projects are going!

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

I completed June-July of the Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL without too many hassles. This section is not as ‘wow’ for me as some of the other ones, but since it is not ‘argh’ either, I’ll take it. πŸ™‚

L&T SAL - June/July finish

If you recall, I cobbled together the vine at the center from bits and pieces of the other vines, since I’m not a fan of the original coat of arms – and I’m relieved it turned out okay.

Other than that, there aren’t too many things in this section to write home about. Maybe just a couple of tidbits –

  • The lion and the unicorn took way too long to stitch – so much that when I was done with them, everything else seemed to just fly by even though my stitching speed hasn’t really increased! πŸ˜‰
  • The blue motifs – they were so fiddly that every time I worked on a new motif, I noticed that I’d missed a stitch from one of the earlier ones. I think I’ve got all four motifs complete and correct now, but I won’t be surprised if I spot another missing stitch after a month… πŸ˜€

And now to wait a few days for the next mystery fauna…

Oshara Shawl

I completed the Oshara Shawl MKAL, and I’m in love with the shawl!

Oshara Shawl

My joy is threefold – that the shawl turned out alright though I didn’t know what I was going to make, that my choice of colors turned out alright just brilliant, and that my slight modifications to the pattern turned out alright.

My pattern modifications were nothing big, just a few alignment and increase adjustments. Weeks 3 and 4 had sections where the left and right edges of the shawl didn’t match. They would definitely not be noticeable when the shawl is worn, but I would know! πŸ˜› (And I would not be as happy while knitting these sections.) So I moved / changed the repeats in those sections a little to make them match. For one of the sections, this would slightly mess up an increase row, and I changed the way I increase to retain the expected stitch count.

 

Overall, I’m ecstatic about the result. I wish I could wear this shawl right now, but it has turned out to be a wonderfully lightweight summer shawl, and summer is long gone here – it’s pretty chilly now. No worries, I can hope for a warmer day or two, and if that doesn’t happen, well, the shawl will be ready for next year.

Can I just say again how glad I am that the risk of joining this MKAL paid off! Thank you Susanna for designing such a fun and beautiful project, and Interweave for the opportunity to play along! I don’t know if I’ll work on more MKAL’s in the near future, though – my thirst for knitting mystery projects seems to have been quenched for now. πŸ™‚

Works in Progress

I’m merrily switching between my two current projects this month. πŸ™‚

The Oshara Shawl MKAL

Week 3 of the MKAL is here, and like I predicted, I’m still on Week 2. πŸ™‚ I felt that there was quite some variance in the knitting amount each week. I finished Week 1 in a day since it was just short rows in garter stitch, and have spent a few evenings so far on Week 2 since it involves colorwork and lace. Week 3, again, looks smaller than Week 2 chart-wise, but maybe they’re comparable stitch-count-wise.

Oshara Shawl MKAL progress | Anita

The charts haven’t been difficult so far, and I’m hoping they remain that way for the remainder of the project. I don’t totally get how it’s shaping up, though. This week, Susanna (the designer) mentions that she uses a top-down construction method for this shawl, and that, I think, removed some of the confusion I had, but it’s still a little bit of a mystery. πŸ™‚

I can definitely see that the yarn I’m using is thinner than the one featured on the project page – it was the closest replacement I could find – but I like the loose knit that it creates.

The one thing that I absolutely love in this shawl so far is the play of colors! My next section is a bright yellow, though, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll gel well with the rest of the team. πŸ˜‰

The Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL

TheΒ current section of this mystery SAL is a giant one that spans two months. It might look like I’ve made very little progress on the project so far, but I actually did a lot of work. It’s just that it was on designing and not on the stitching.

L&T SAL - Jun/Jul progress | Anita

This section has a lion and a unicorn among vines/plants, holding up some kind of coat of arms with our initials and the current year. The instructions also come with a helpful section that shows charts for every alphabet and digit, so we should be able to easily stitch whatever we choose to feature on the coat of arms.

I appreciate all the effort the creators of the SAL have put in for the section, buuuut I didn’t really subscribe to the coat of arms concept, even after I gave it a few days. So I tried replacing the entire coat of arms with another vine/plant, using bits and pieces from the vines that I’m stitching now. I had to move around the other pieces a little too, and I’m happy with the changes, in spite of a small curve in the new vine that I still think is a bit wonky. πŸ˜‰

So now I’m finally stitching! I’m still not completely sure of the colors I’ll use for the animals, but that’s a bridge I’ll cross when I get there. I’ve done enough designing on this project for one month. πŸ˜›

That’s it for this time, folks! Hope you’re enjoying your projects at least as much as I’m enjoying mine!

Pullover ft. Entrelac

I can’t believe I managed to finish the entrelac pullover before I start the Oshara Shawl MKAL! It’s definitely not what I had in mind when I started experimenting on featuring entrelac, but it’s also definitely not a bad attempt.

Pullover ft. Entrelac | Anita

My main concern in this design was to account for decreases and increases in the entrelac pattern at some point (not counting the obvious one along the body.) Since this project has had its fair share of mistakes and frustrations in the first attempt, I wanted to minimize those. So I chose to start the entrelac from one side of the body – the right seam, as it turns out – and continue towards the left seam. With this approach, the start and finish of the pattern would be easy, the decreases / increases of the entrelac squares would be concentrated on one side – around the neckline – while the other side would just continue as usual. I hoped this would make it manageable, and it definitely did!

Another area where I experimented was with starting the pattern exactly at the seam – I made the pattern run from armhole to hip, and tried increasing its width after a few rows to make it now run from shoulder to hip. This gave mixed results while increasing, so I decided to frog it and use plain stockinette till I increase for the sleeve, and then switch to the pattern. Anyway, that section would be mostly hidden behind my arms. πŸ™‚ This made my life easier. The seam is pretty visible, though. :-/

The rest of the front was just picking up stitches along the slanting entrelac edge and knitting increasingly longer rows top down. The back is plain stockinette, and so are the sleeves. I wanted the side seams to have slits, and on a whim, also made the back longer. I still don’t know how I feel about this. I think I like it, but if I decide later that I don’t, I can always rip it out and redo the ribbing. (Thank goodness it’s top down!)

I feel that designing with entrelac is definitely a challenge, with its share of table-flipping level of frustrations. But looking back, I think I learned much from the overall experience – I had to think and try out stuff quite a bit. If I make this project again, I think the entrelac will look good as the ‘outside’ of an inverted V, or maybe even the inside of the V, instead of as a simple diagonal. I might need to construct it differently, though. I’ll try that in a few years though, when I’m a better designer. (Fingers crossed. πŸ˜› )


And what about the MKAL? Yes, I did start it yesterday, and knit quite a bit, before I realized that I was using the wrong color. (I’m using different colors than suggested.) Frogged, restarted; but at least now the pattern is already imprinted in my mind so maybe it’ll go quicker. πŸ™‚

Oshara Shawl MKAL