May 25, 2014

MadMay 2014: Setting Goals

Do not underestimate the power of setting goals for yourself.  As I get older this belief has proven to be true again and again.  Even when it comes to knitting!  This month I joined the MadMay group on Ravelry.  For those of you unaware of this glorious group let me explain.  Basically it means that for the month of May you commit to knitting a pattern(s) with Madelinetosh Yarn.  Last May I knit two items:  my version of Happy Street in Madelinetosh Sock.
Happy Street

And Arbutus in a pretty colourway called Cove.
Arbutus in Tosh DK

This year I challenged myself to knit a seamed cardigan called the Jackson Creek Cardigan using Tosh DK in Silver Fox.  For some knitters completing a cardigan in a month would be no big deal.  For me it is a different story.  Although I am a highly enthusiastic knitter I am not the quickest knitter and so completing a sweater while working full time is challenging.  However, once I committed to doing this I am proud to say that it looks like I am going to get it done by the deadline of May 30th.

The pattern I chose is written by a Canadian from Hamilton named Glenna C. who has written many beautiful patterns including the Northside Pullover, Dundurn and Queen St. Mitts (which I knit some time ago).  I have almost finished this cardigan because I have been knitting like a mad woman.  This pattern was clearly written and easy to follow.  I am really hoping this cardigan will fit me properly as I have a habit of knitting sweaters that are too big.  Madelinetosh DK has grown considerably in other patterns I have knit so hopefully I picked the right size and needles.  Yes I did do a gauge swatch but I am still nervous.

Here is a picture of where it was a week ago.
Jackson Creek Cardigan
I had the fronts and the back done and was working on the sleeves.  Now I am happy to tell you that everything but the sleeves are finished.  The sleeves need to be seamed and then attached to the sweater and I will be done.  Done!

I really must set some more goals for myself.  It works!

p.s. I have yet to try it on so whether it will fit well or not is another story.
p.p.s.  I will show you the finished sweater next weekend.
Have a great week.

May 11, 2014

So Pretty: Line Break Shawl

Remember this yarn?

Well I am pleased to announce that I finished my Line Break Shawl by Veera Valimaki in Malabrigo Sock and I couldn't be happier with it.  You know the feeling, knitters, when the yarn and the pattern feel just right together.  That's how I felt when knitting this shawl.  When choosing this pattern I was looking for something that would show off the beauty of the yarn and not compete with it.  This pattern allowed the colour to be the star of the show.  Line Break was very calming to work on but not boring, especially when knitting with such a variegated colourway.  I never knew what colour was coming next.  This piece blocked out quite nicely. The preblocking measurement was 55 x 17 inches to 74 x 21 after blocking.  The result was an airy large shawl perfect for the this time of year.
Line Break Shawl

I am really becoming a fan of Malabrigo yarn.  The combination of colours in their yarns are quite beautiful.

May 4, 2014

Sea Stones: Melissa Schaschwary

I love the patterns by Melissa Schaschwary....a.k.a. Dandiliongirl Designs.  Her designs are beautiful to look at, true classics.  I have many of her clearly written patterns in my queue, Heathered and Cattails to name just two.  I just recently finished knitting her Sea Stones.  This is the second pattern I have knit by her, the first being my Fallow Mitts.  My version of Sea Stones took me way longer than it should to complete, as I was working on other patterns at the same time, and I was frustrated with my yarn choice, Rowan Creative Focus Worsted, a 75%, 25% alpaca blend.  I love the colour of the yarn but as I mentioned in a previous post it splits very easily and is very difficult to rip out.  However, I am happy with how it looks finished.  It is a lofty and warm wool blend that will be great to wear in the winter.

Sea Stones

Lovely yarn colour

I only made a couple modifications.  I changed the ribbing portion of my sweater to ptbl twice and then knitting twice.  Also I had trouble knitting into the purl bumps along the bottom part of the body with this yarn and just omitted it.

Hopefully it will be too warm to wear this sweater for some time.  But when the weather starts getting cooler this will be one of the first items I will choose to put on.