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?

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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˜›

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. πŸ™‚ 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… πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ˜‰ And you?

Multi-directional diagonal scarf

Now that I’ve gone back to a day job (bye bye breakie! πŸ˜₯ ), my yarn-time has reduced drastically. So much that I’ve started setting targets — like knitting at least an inch of material every day. And then I fall short of that target most days, either because I’m too tired (or sleepy) or because I have other things to do.

Since the lacy hearts cardigan is crawling along at snail’s pace, I’m showcasing a past project of mine — a multi-directional diagonal scarf.

Multi-directional diagonal scarf

Multi-directional diagonal scarf

See how the self-striping nature of the brown/orange/maroon yarn goes so beautifully well with the perpendicular-triangles pattern! This was one of the few projects that I didn’t want to end! πŸ˜€ But alas, a scarf can only be so long… (This one ended up pretty long, hehe…)

There are plenty of excellent tutorials now (there’s even a free Ravelry pattern) for a multi-directional diagonal scarf. I’d followed the one at Marty’s Fiber Musings, but I must admit I came up with the idea for this pattern before I decided to see if something like that already existed. I’d called it Perpendicular Scarf. πŸ™‚ I hadn’t known about short rows then, and was beginning to get very frustrated trying to figure out if I could get it to work without having to sew up small, independently-knit triangles. I was delighted, ecstatic even, to discover the existence of short rows. They are, I learned then, an integral part of knitting socks. I was not even mildly interested in sock-knitting until then. (Well, I still don’t knit socks. Bangalore has a pretty pleasant weather year-round, so socks get kinda irritating after a while.)

Anyway, back to the scarf. Who knew the simple garter stitch, when coupled with short rows, would turn into such a beautiful-looking scarf! Look how lovely the texture is!

Multi-directional diagonal scarf

I liked it so much that I made another scarf using the same pattern and a different stitch. The result delighted me. I’ll leave it, along with the discoveries I made then, for another post.

Now, will this be your next project? 🐻