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™‚

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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

A Texturilicious Cardigan

I guess it was too much to hope that I’d complete this project last year, but it’s finally ready. Well, almost ready, since I feel the sweater could do with more buttons but we’ve not ordered any. However, it’s wearable now, so can I consider it done already? πŸ™‚

A Texturilicious Cardigan

A Texturilicious Cardigan

The cardigan used up almost 1400 metres of yarn, so it was a lot of knitting, and it’s pretty heavy as well. The sleeves turned out much looser than intended, because I apparently messed up copying over the measurements for my calculations! ‘Oops’ is an understatement. 😦 It’s super-cosy, however, which meets the main requirement for the sweater. πŸ˜› I like that the i-cord edges suit the cardigan well. Hope my sis finds a use for it in the few remaining weeks of cold weather.

The knitting seemed to have gone on forever, but the slipped rib + seed stitch texture of the body was really fun to knit, and needless to say, I love that texture! Here’s the pattern I used for it:

RS: sl1p wyib, k1, p1, k1, p1
WS: p1, k1, p1, sl1p wyif, p1

A Texturilicious Cardigan

What next?

Seeing Ginny’s stitching updates throughout last year, I’d been thinking of refreshing my cross stitch skills, and I’ve joined the Linen and Threads SAL this year. It’s awesome how supportive the community is on their Facebook group!

Knitting-wise, I’ve decided that my next projects are a pullover for myself, and another blouse for my mom. Let the designing begin! πŸ™‚

(I’ve totally given up on crochet, haven’t I? Hope I find something to crochet this year.)

I know I’m a slow knitter / stitcher, and yet I found myself slightly stressing sometime last year about the ‘insufficient’ number of things I was making. (Not limited only to knitting.) So I’ve decided that my new mantra is to be mindful, and I don’t mind if my throughput becomes smaller than it already is. As long as I love the process of working on my projects (and maybe get to learn a new technique or two along the way), everything is good.

And how about you? I’d love to know your new craftsy goals, and your progress on old ones.

Ear Warmers for Dad

Oh yes! My dad finally asked me to knit something! (The conversation actually went more like — Dad: “Sooo… there are these things that cover your ears…” Me [jumping out of my chair]: “Yes, I’ll make one for you!!!”)

So I made an ear warmer — a quick knit. I didn’t realize it when I started, but the pattern turned out not so bad-looking on the inside too, so at least my dad doesn’t need to worry about whether he’s wearing it inside out. I didn’t block it since it is to be worn stretched out anyway, and it looks fine then.

Ear Warmer

Ear Warmer

Ear Warmer (inside-out)

Ear Warmer (inside-out)

It turns out Dad doesn’t want the ear warmer for everyday use, it’s more for when he travels, but it’s still something! This is a great end to my knitting year. πŸ˜‰ (I have a feeling it’s gonna be a long time before he needs anything knit again…)

Hope the new year brings more wonderful knitting / crocheting to you folks. Happy New Year!


And since writing down a pattern for an ear warmer is far less work than one for a sweater πŸ˜‰ here’s a summary:

The main pattern is a multiple of 12 stitches and 8 rows. My stitch gauge was 21.25 st per 4″/10cm, so I used 108 stitches for a width of around 20″/51cm.

Cast-on 96 stitches using cable cast-on with larger needles. Join in the round. Switch to smaller needles.
Preparatory rows:
Row 1: *k*
Row 2: *p*
Row 3: *k*
Row 4: *p*, while increasing 12 stitches uniformly. Total stitches: 108
Rows 5, 6, 7, 8: *k3, p3, k1, p1, k1, p3*
Main pattern:
Row 9: Same as preparatory row 5
All even rows: Knit the knits, purl the purls
Row 11: *k3, p2, m1r p-wise, p1, cdd, p1, m1l p-wise, p2*
Row 13: *k3, p2, p2tog, m1r, sl1p, m1l, ssp, p2*
(In row 14, treat the sl1p in previous row as a purl stitch.)
Row 15: Same as preparatory row 5
Repeat rows 9-16 until the ear warmer is almost wide enough. (I made only one more repeat.)
Finishing rows:
Rows 1, 2, 3, 4: Same as preparatory row 5
Row 5: *p*
Row 6: *k*, while decreasing 12 stitches uniformly. Total stitches: 96
Row 7: *p*
Row 8: *k*
Bind off using purl stitches with larger needles.

Tasseling Borders

I took yet another break from knitting — but only for a few days — during which my mom and I made tasseled fringes for some of our saris. We have a wedding to attend in a couple of months, and we really need to start finalizing apparels and accessories. I’m sure you know how fast time flies when you think you have lots of it, and before you know it, there’s just a week left and you haven’t done anything! πŸ˜‰

Tassels on Saris

These tassels don’t really take a long time to make, but I ended up spreading my work over a few evenings as usual. πŸ™‚ I made two-tiered tassels, the second tier created by using a half each from two adjacent tassels in the first tier. While I was chugging along on one sari, my mom finished her single tier tassels on two saris!

Aren’t the saris just gorgeous?

Through Thick and Thin

Finally, I got to finish my stripey top, block it, and click a picture of it!

Through Thick and Thin Top

Through Thick and Thin Top

I completed knitting the top last week, and though Nako Comfort Stretch yarn doesn’t really need much blocking, I’d wanted to block the neckline to see if it would fix the distortion of the yellow stripe near the neck join. And our heating iron broke just in time! (I need to steam block since this is not wool.) I got to the blocking only after the weekend ended.

The yellow stripe is not really fixed from the blocking — but it does look better than it did before blocking. Or is it just that I’ve gotten used to it? I couldn’t find the time to click photos earlier in the week, but I wore it to work already, and… I got no compliments, because it “looked store-bought, not handmade.” I guess that’s a compliment? πŸ™‚

I’d thought earlier that I’ll need to knit jogless stripes for the sleeves, but I ended the sleeves soon after the armhole because that suited the top, and no jogless technique was needed. Maybe in a different project!

I’d also tried adding a little heart on the chest using duplicate stitch, but it didn’t look very good, so of course I removed it.

A small but helpful thing that I do these days (as I did for this top too) is weaving in ends as I go. It makes a huge difference for me — my brain is done with sweater projects when the body is done, and even knitting sleeves is an effort of will, so I absolutely hate weaving in ends after I’m ‘officially’ done with the project. Tackling it then and there makes it so much easier! (Now, if only I tackle other things in my life then and there… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜› )

Textured Blouse

Can you believe it, my mom’s blouse is ready! I think this is the quickest I’ve ever produced a garment. πŸ™‚

While the knit itself was pretty boring because (a) simple pattern and (b) this project occupied every free moment I had, I’m satisfied with how it turned out. The texture is just awesome!

Seed Stitch Textured Blouse

I used a slipped seed stitch variation for the body and sleeves, and garter stitch for all the borders. The slipped stitches give some denseness to the fabric, and I think that works well for the frogged yarn. The yarn obviously doesn’t feel the same as before, but it’s still soft and maintains a slight sheen, so that’s good.

The original seed stitch pattern is worked on the wrong side to avoid purling, but I changed it to right side since I was trying out combination knitting anyway. (I think I like combination knitting. I’ll probably use that in my next project as well.) So my 4-row pattern repeat is:

  1. [p1, sl1 wyib] to end of row. (RS)
  2. Purl.
  3. [sl1 wyib, p1] to end of row.
  4. Purl.

At the raglan seam, I used a (k1, p1, k1) on the RS and purls on the WS.

My mom has already worn it, and this time, I can tell she really likes it. Phew! (And hurrah! πŸ™‚ ) As for the design, however, I think the neck, again, needs to be even smaller for her next blouse — a tighter crew-neck, that is.

Seed Stitch Textured Blouse

I need a short break from the incessant knitting, and then, it’s time to finish those sleeves for my top!