Off the needles.

I confess that most of the sewing I’ve done recently has been of the boring but useful mending sort, like hemming pants.  Knitting is far more portable and therefore conducive to traveling or just occupying my hands while watching tv. Along the way, I’ve actually managed to finish some!

For years, Edie has wanted me to knit her a shawl. While she has long admired the beautiful lacy ones we see at the Fiber Festival every year, I’ve had to admit that knitting lace is slightly beyond my skill set. Additionally, I wanted to knit her something that she would actually wear, so when I found this pattern, Close to You on Ravelry, I knew it was the one. A little lace, a little funky – it could work as a wrap or a big scarf? Sold.

Knit out of a merino lace yarn from Knitting Notions -that I got at the Fiber Festival. (Spend some time looking at the gorgeous knits on their website if you want an idea of the sort of shawl my girl aspires me to knit her. ) The yarn is quite yummy to work with and the finished shawl is asymmetrical, long, narrow and very soft.

When I came across these two small hanks of yarn at the Fiber Festival a few years ago, I immediately knew I wanted to knit myself a shawl with it. Spun by Lagniappe Farm Alpacas, it was a one off, made up up fibers they were trying to use up. While I had to augment that yarn with some from the stash as well as a new ball I picked up from the $5 bin at Magpie Knits, I am ridiculously pleased with how it turned out. I may or may not have been seen wandering around the house wearing my old flannel nightgown with my shawl over my shoulders mumbling that I’m “living my best Little House on the Prairie life” to the dismay of my family.  Pretty sure they thought they had a few years before I did that.

In trying to make this shawl as large as I wanted, I ended up ripping out it out a few times. Enough that I figured out the trick of inserting your needle in the row you want to stop ripping out so that you don’t have to worry about dropping stitches. I’m quite pleased with myself for finally figuring that out. I’m now eyeballing other projects I’ve stalled on for whatever reason (size concerns, stitch count way off and so on and so forth) and contemplating doing the same with them.

The pattern is The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief on Ravelry. I altered the pattern a bit at the end as I wanted to use up all the yarn, so I just kept knitting until I got the point where I had just enough to cast off. Even with ripping it out several times for a slow knitter like myself, this was a quick and easy project, probably because I used larger needles than usual – 10.5 instead of my beloved 6. I easily finished it in just a few hours.

I do have finished one new sewing project – Betsy beagle got a new jacket for Christmas. Using the pattern I had used for last year’s cashmere sweater, this one was made of fleece. I didn’t extend the length of the front flaps like I did with the last one (and wish I had) and don’t look too closely at the binding along edge because it’s wonky, but hey, it’s a dog’s jacket and if Betsy isn’t bothered by it, why should I?

5 thoughts on “Off the needles.

    • Becky says:

      Shawls have to be increased every other row, so there is some mild playing attention to be done – but thankfully, that’s what stitch markers are for!

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