Chill in the Air

This month is definitely colder than last month. There’s a chill in the air that’s not really noticeable when standing in the sun, but slowly seeps into your soul if you’re in the shade. The kind of cold weather that’s too hot for a sweater but perfect for a shawl! πŸ™‚

Chill in the Air shawl -- blocking

I knit this shawl for my sis — it looks like she prefers the rectangular ones. Lots of eyelets in this shawl, and I broke them up into repeating thick and thin sections between blocks of uniformly wide stockinette sections. So it’s not too warm and not too airy — it’s just right. (I’m so reminded of Goldilocks when I think that! πŸ™‚ )

The eyelets form a winding texture between them that I just love!

Chill in the Air shawl

Over some serial episodes, I added quite a few tassels and formed fringes at both ends. I’d love to see them fully frayed over time — and it looks like they’re as eager as I am to get there!

So how do you like the shawl? My sis loves it. πŸ™‚

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Sunburst shawlette

The Ashton shawlette that I knit for my mom was made with some beautiful self-striping yarn. I’d originally bought the yarn to make a sweater for me, but switched to a shawl because my mom loved the colors. After the mom-project, I still had two skeins of the yarn left, so I thought I could knit a shawlette for myself, if not a sweater.

So I took short breaks from my do-over pullover, and tried knitting some stacked triangles using short rows, and…

Sunburst shawlette, everyone!

Sunburst shawlette

Sunburst shawlette

I like that it has stripes as well as some texture, and that stripes and texture don’t compete against each other — they work well together. This is just how I wanted it to turn out. I made the textured part using slipped stitches, like so:

RS: *sl, p1*

WS: *p*

Guess you can tell I’ve been practicing pattern writing… πŸ˜‰ I ended up using some irregular calculations for the triangles in this shawlette, though, so I probably won’t attempt a pattern for this. It would have been a great first pattern to practice with otherwise.

I knit the shawlette with larger gauge needles so it wouldn’t turn out super-warm. I love that it turned out light and reasonably airy after blocking. Perfect for chilly mornings or evenings!

Sunburst shawlette

I used just one skein of the yarn for this shawlette, and I still have one left! Maybe a hat?

Ashton shawlette (or Happy Mother’s Day!)

I finished the Ashton shawlette for my mom a couple of weeks ago, and eagerly awaited her return from a vacation to surprise her with it. And was it a pleasant surprise or what! She loves the colors and the lace in the shawl. πŸ™‚ It’s not as drapey as I would like, but it’s definitely pretty cozy. My mom thinks she’ll use it to keep warm during her next vacation. πŸ™‚ Though today is not the day she received the shawl, I’m writing about it today, so I’ll consider it my Mother’s Day gift. πŸ˜‰ (Alright, alright, I presented it to her on the eve of my parents’ wedding anniversary, so it did end up as a gift, albeit for a different occasion. And today, we gave her handmade cards.)

Ashton shawlette

I spent quite some time blocking the shawl, and the lace opened up really well, but the points are still not to my satisfaction. (Remember that I had the same problem, but much more intensely annoying, with the Lemony shawl? These points are definitely much better than the almost-non-existent ones of the Lemony shawl.) I used the super-stretchy bind-off described in the pattern, and I used larger-sized needles for it. It looked fine while blocking, but did I need to knit the bind-off stitches still looser? I’m thinking of blocking again, because the edge has slightly curled up. (My mom keeps insisting it’s fine.) Maybe that’ll help?

The pattern definitely has been a good learning experience with different lace stitches. I’m more confident with lacy patterns now, and managed to designe a pattern of my own for a top that my sis asked me to make! Yay! It required a lot of testing to get right, but I did it, I designed a lacy pattern. So yeah, yay! πŸ™‚ (I’ll upload photos when I click them.)

Now to tame those pesky points…

Bubblewrap

Yeah, that’s what I’m gonna call the cardigan that I knit for my friend, KG. Did I mention it’s done? ^_^ I gave the cardigan to her this week, and she likes it, hurrah! [Sigh of relief] The colors look nice together, don’t they?

Bubblewrap cardigan

In the past few weeks, I managed to knit quite a bit, spurred on by the fact (or fear? πŸ™‚ ) that KG’s vacation is fast approaching, and that I’d promised to knit her this sweater for the vacation… I finally cast off this Sunday, blocked the garment and weaved in the ends. KG had no idea how the cardigan would look, and I was hoping it wouldn’t be a shock to her when she finally saw it. This whole secrecy was a first for me too, because I usually make my ‘customers’ (my mom and my sis so far — and of course, yours truly too πŸ˜‰ ) wear the project-in-progress now and then to check that things are fine, and course-correct if necessary. It was only when my course corrections reduced to almost-zero levels that I decided to knit one for KG. (She’d been pestering me for a while.) Still, I was apprehensive until the very end about how it would fit her and whether she would like it, and it really was a huge relief that it looks okay and more importantly, that she seems happy with it. And I too am happy that my stranded knitting has improved much.

Bubblewrap cardigan

Thanks, KG, for lending me this photo! πŸ™‚

Now that this sweater’s done, I’m back on the shawl that I started for my mom, and it’s coming along nicely. I’m following the Ashton shawlette pattern — this pattern has a few types of lace designs, and it’s helped me understand the workings of lace a bit more. Alright! The next pattern I come up with will be a lacy pattern! πŸ˜› (And I made a stitch marker for this project! I made quite a few of them actually, and I’ll talk about them in my jewelry blog soon, but here’s this marker hard at work. πŸ˜‰ )

Ashton shawlette with Stitch marker

The next step for me is writing a pattern. I’ve been thinking and talking about it, but haven’t really done anything on it that I can call progress. I’ve seen a lot of patterns by now, and I’m pretty sure I can come up with one.

Lemony shawl

It’s Lemony because of the beautiful bright-yellow color of the yarn. I started this project because I wanted something different to do while I was trying to finish other projects. πŸ˜€ Some of those other projects are still not done, but this wrap finished up pretty quickly.

Lemony shawl

I first started with the top-down approach without any pattern in mind, working short rows coupled with increases until I reached a decent height, and bound off, only to realize that the yarn is pretty heavy, and it stretched the shawl so much that it looked like I was wearing a python. :-/ So I frogged it and started afresh, this time quite narrower.

I still wanted to stick to the top-down construction, and started off with a simple lace pattern at the top. This time, I thought of looking for some inspiration for a lacy bottom edging that I could play with. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not great at designing with eyelets and laces, and I thought I could practice a bit now. I came across the Annis shawl pattern by Susanna IC on Ravelry. The instructions were for a bottom-up shawl, though, so I thought this is my chance to try to convert it to a top-down one and see if it looks the same. I tried and tried with quite a few combinations of yo, k2tog and ssk, but it never really looked the same. Sigh! I’d had enough of searching and experimenting, and just picked the best-looking one from amongst my tries — I had already made much of the shawl and didn’t want to frog it all over again to restart it bottom-up.

Though it doesn’t look anything like the Annis shawl πŸ˜€ I’m still happy because (a) it doesn’t look half-bad, and (b) I learned quite a lot about eyelets from those experiments. It’s at least got me interested in experimenting with more lacy patterns to understand them better. There’s also more to pointy ends than I have read about — they didn’t come up right even after blocking, and have receded back into the body now…

Meanwhile…

My friend KG has asked me to knit a sweater for her. I’ve not worked on a large project for someone who’s not immediate family, but thought I could see how it goes. I haven’t blogged about the sweater’s progress, though, and KG checked with me last week about it. She’s given me a deadline, you see… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ Now that most of the difficult initial work — thinking of a pattern, swatching, designing parts from reference measurements — is done, the actual knitting is coming along… slowly. I don’t do things for long periods these days because my eyes feel the strain and fatigue at times — my day job also involves staring at a computer screen most of the time.

I like the color of KG’s choice of yarn. (Lavender? Lilac? I’ll just call it some kind of blue.) There’s also one ball of white yarn for some stranded colorwork. And hello, the background polka dots in the picture are also blue-on-white… Coincidence? πŸ™‚

Lavender cardigan

I don’t want to post too many photos of this sweater and spoil the surprise (or shock?) for KG, though, so I still won’t be blogging much about it until she’s seen it. Take note, KG! πŸ˜›

Horizontal cables

I’ve been working on this unnamed cardigan lately — a simple stockinette one, with its redeeming feature being a horizontal cabled strip running around the chest. (That’s right, I just cannot knit a sweater with only stockinette stitches. πŸ˜› )
Horizontal cabled cardigan For this cardigan, I first knit the cabled strip — it is about 7cm (2.75″) wide. I calculated it for a length of chest circumference minus border. I then used stockinette gauge to pick up the required number of stitches from its longer edges, and have continued with plain stockinette stitches for the top and bottom parts. I’m shaping the neck, armhole and waist as necessary.

I’d abandoned this project for quite a while due to reduced knitting time / inclination — I got busy with other creative projects decorating my room, and knitting took a backseat. Now that I feel like knitting again, I’m hoping to finish this one soon. I just love the soft pink color! ❀

Speaking of abandoning, there was another project that I’d started, not knowing if I’d like it. A shawl using some fingering weight yarn. (Also pink, heh. Was it an unconscious “girly” decision? πŸ˜› ) My original thought was to make a lacy one, but I don’t do super-lacy, so I did something different using short rows.
Shawl from fingering weight yarn I liked how it looked when I started it, but now I really cringe seeing how it’s coming along. I know I’ve spent some time on it, but I’m thinking if I should frog it. My sister was aghast when I told her this. (To tell the truth, I myself was aghast when I thought of frogging.) But then, instead of spending more time and energy into something that I don’t like, it’s better to let it RIP. (See what I did there? πŸ˜› ) I’ll leave it in my project cupboard for a few more days before finally deciding whether to tear out the needles from it.

Maybe I should do super-lacy…

Textured shawl inspiration

Textured Shawl

I knit this shawl inspired by the notes jotted down in the Textured Shawl pattern by Orlane Designs. I think this was the first shawl that I ever knit (but it remained on the needles for a long while.) The notes vary the number of pattern rows, whereas I kept it constant, and I introduced two plain stockinette rows after every two pattern rows. Also, my shawl has a seed stitch border.

This shawl made me realize that triangular shawls aren’t my favorite. πŸ™‚ Not because they result in way too many stitches per row as the project progresses — it’s because they grow too long without getting wide enough. I’ve tried the common method of doubling the increases on the edges (i.e. increase every row on edges, but only every right-side row at the center) but I didn’t really like the slightly curved shape that the edge takes on.Β Kristen Hanley Cardozo mentions quite a few methods of shawl-shaping in her Craftsy post, but being the experiment-crazy person that I am, I’ve now started on a shawl that is mostly triangular-shawl-like in its increases, but I’ll work a lot of short rows in so it gets wider without growing long enough to reach my knees. It uses the fingering weight yarn that I mentioned earlier, so it’s going to be a long while before it’s done. Wish me luck! πŸ™‚