A New Project – Kashmiri Shawl

It’s time to fulfill my wish of knitting a lace shawl after the (un)fashionably delayed completion of my Amherst Sweater knit! Since my sister and I have still not zeroed in on a project for her, I started on a shawl for me (or for Mom if she likes it when I’m done.) I’m now working on the Kashmiri Shawl by Lana Jois, which I discovered in the Knitting Traditions, Fall 2017 magazine. It doesn’t really resemble actual Kashmiri shawls that I’ve seen, but it ticks the lace boxes, which is all that matters to me. And also, whats-in-a-name, and all that. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m using a denim-based yarn that I’ve already used in earlier projects and have frogged a couple of times now, since I didn’t really feel the magic of the yarn in those projects. But this project feels like it’s the one for the yarn. I like the way it works with the lace, and of course, the way it looks and feels so far.

Kashmiri Shawl - WIP

The project starts with a provisional cast on, and it’ll be knit on one side and then on the other. For possibly the first time in my knitting life, my gauge matches the recommended gauge of the pattern, so I didn’t have to recalculate a whole lot of stuff. But obviously, it’s not a project if I don’t make some changes to it ๐Ÿ˜‰ so I reduced the length of the shawl by omitting a repeat or two, and I changed the stockinette stitch to a seed stitch since it hides the inflexibility of this yarn better. (Stockinette stitches just don’t settle properly with this one.)

I’ve mostly gotten the hang of the diamond pattern – I have to pause only slightly at the beginning of every RS row to figure out the pattern for that row. ๐Ÿ™‚ This is maybe the second time ever that I’m trying out combination knitting, which helps with this project since there are many LLDs in it – they’re a bit easier with combination knitting. Can’t say they’re any neater, though. LLDs are my pet knitting peeve since I’ve not been able to make them look neat despite the things I’ve tried…

Anyway, I’m hoping this shawl makes a handy accessory to wear at work. How are your plans for your projects and your progress in them?

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WIP – Amherst Cardigan

(The title was a giveaway but…) It’s decided – the Amherst Pullover is going to be a cardigan in my hands. I’ve made the pattern modifications from pullover to cardigan, and have calculated the amount of yarn required with my gauge. And guess what, it looks like the yarn I have barely covers it. Not this again! Am I somehow ultra-efficient while purchasing yarn? Is this some annoying superpower?

So I’ve started the cardigan with a provisional cast on (the crochet cast on) for the body/sleeves split (or body/sleeves join, depending on how you look at it.) I’m knitting the yoke now. When that’s done, I’ll move on to the sleeves and knit them fully as calculated. I’ll then come back to the rest of the body below the armhole, so I can reduce an inch or two of its length if the yarn seems insufficient. Hope this plan works out well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Amherst Cardigan progress

The brioche doesn’t look like much right now, but my earlier swatchings assure me that it looks just as it should. (And I seem to have misplaced a stitch marker pair, so I’m just using the plastic ones for now everywhere, while I mull upon making more markers…)

After the thin yarn and tiny cables from my last project, this sweater feels like it’s knitting up pretty fast! (But not really, my pace is still slow as usual.) I’ve reached the 2-color brioche section of the yoke, and I’m referring to tutorials again to internalize the 2-stitch decreases required at the raglans going forward. (I love how those raglans look and feel! And I strive hard not to glance at the ugly LLDs right beside, which have never improved no matter what I try.)

I’ve not decided yet if I’m joining another SAL this year, so until I get bored or want to work on something else, this cardigan is my only WIP.

And what are you working on currently?

Ridged sideways hat

I had this beautiful skein of yarn that I wanted to make into a hat, highlighting its colors.

Yarn

I’ve made a lot of hats the usual way (knit round and round), quite a few with variegated yarn, and the colors finally look all mixed and splotchy. Of course, some color combinations look good that way, but I didn’t think this was one such combo. So I decided to knit a sideways hat.

A sideways hat is made by knitting to and fro, where every row runs from the bottom of the hat to its top. Well, not every row; some rows have to be short so the hat curves towards the top. ๐Ÿ™‚ And when I think short rows, I must mention TECHknitter’s short row tutorial. She describes not one, not two, but five different methods of making short rows! And her instructions are just divine! As if they’re not already easy to read, she also provides wonderfully clear illustrations that make your day! I don’t usually make consecutive exclamations, but there you go… ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve learned quite a bit of knitting techniques and tricks from TK, and not just short rows.

So anyway, I made a sideways hat with this skein. I started with a provisional cast on, with enough stitches to eventually span the required length. On every right-side row, I knit 4 stitches less than the previous row before wrapping and turning, until the last short row was about half the length of the hat. Then it was time for a full row on the right side, picking up and knitting the wraps. The next wrong-side row was full of knit stitches too, to give it those purly ridges on the right side. That completed one ‘wedge’. I repeated these steps until the hat was wide enough.

It was then time to join the last row on the needle with the first row (the provisional cast-on row.) For this, I grafted the two rows. Grafting helps join knit pieces seamlessly, or invisibly. The concept therein is to make another row between, and attached to, the two pieces to join; the yarn is threaded between the stitches of the two pieces, and it is threaded in just the manner it would lie if it were knit (or purled.) Since I needed to make the purly ridge for the join, I grafted in a purly manner. (I actually grafted in a knit manner from the wrong side — knit stitches just come easier while grafting.)

That completed the hat. I didn’t add an edging because it looks good as is. This is how it looks by itself —

Sideways hat

Sideways hat

And this is how it looks on a penguin doll —

Sideways hat, Penguin modelI’d originally intended for the ridges to be slanted, but in the course of figuring out the short rows, I forgot all about the slant. No matter, I love this version — how beautifully it shows the colors of the yarn. Penguin does too, evidently. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And you?