Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wild Ivy Shawl

I've finally got my Wild Ivy Shawl pattern up for sale on Ravelry! The details: this is a top down "panel" shawl with both chart & written directions AND directions for both fingering & lace weight versions.  The pattern available for $5.00 as a pdf download.  Use coupon code "WILDIVY" to receive 20% off the pattern from now until Dec 7th, 2011!

I've really really really loved designing this shawl.  After I finished my first shawl design, Chincoteague Shawl, I became obsessed with these "leaf" stitch motifs.  I couldn't find one in any of my stitch books that was what I envisioned in my head, so I set about trying to chart out my own leaf design.  It turns out that it is somewhat difficult to chart exactly what you want or at least it was for me.  I didn't give up right away, but I soon became frustrated and decided that I should give it a rest for a bit.  I'm glad that I did take a break from it because it gave me the chance to design En Fuego Shawl as well as knit some other shawls.  

Then one day I'm flipping through stitch pattern books and come across a lace panel motif that is almost exactly what I had in mind for leaves.  I was smitten.  After a couple of false starts, I was able to adapt the stitch pattern to fit how I wanted to look in a shawl.  Then I set about figuring out how to set up the cast-on for a shawl with a panel section which took a little trial and error.  Once I had the cast-on figured out the rest was fairly straight forward (especially compared to my start).  


The shawl was initially written for fingering weight yarn but after being asked if a larger version/option would be available, I decided to knit a larger version using lace weight yarn.  I'm glad that I decided to add this option because I think it gives the knitter more options.  I'm really happy with how it turned out :o) 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Finishing things up

I've been in a finishing up mode lately or at least that is what it feels like.  In the last 30 or 45 days I've finished up the following:

Entrelac scarf
Wild Ivy Shawl with lace weight yarn
Wild Ivy Shawl with fingering weight yarn
Brushed Suri Loop Scarf
It feels good to finish things up.  Now, I'm starting to feel the itch to simultaneously cast-on a million projects.  Though at the same time I have no idea what to knit next.  I have a new shawl idea in the works, so that is something I'm definitely going to be starting.  I had to put it on hold a little bit so that I could knit the lace weight Wild Ivy Shawl, so I'm definitely itching to get that project going.  Oh! I just realized that I didn't ever post about the Seedling hat.  Well this calls for pictures!

Seedling Hat
Brush Suri Loop Scarf
Lace weight Wild Ivy Shawl

Friday, November 18, 2011


This color reminds me of bubblegum.  Then I turn around and it reminds me of salmon.  Either way I love it the more I knit with it.  I haven't yet posted about a new shawl pattern I have in the works, but I will soon.  This is a second version I'm knitting - a larger version.  I'm a lot further along then this photo suggests.  In fact, that yarn cake in the photo is completely depleted and I'm about to start the second one.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


My yarn is talking to me.  I swear it is. "Knit with me, knit with me" it chants.  Only I can't figure out what to knit with any of it!  Crazy, right?!? Normally I have about a gazillion projects I want to knit and not enough time, yarn, or hands to knit them.  I don't know what's wrong with me.  Maybe I should check my temperature.  Okay, I confess that I do know what the problem is.  The problem is that I feel right now like I'm in limbo.  I have a pattern being test knit, but I might need to knit a modified version of this pattern and I want to be prepared to knit this modified pattern.  What if I tie up the needles that I need to knit?  What yarn would I use?  What if I commit the yarn I want to use to another project and then have to find other yarn!  Mr. SpiderKate tried to help me out of this quandary.  The conversation went something like this:

Me: I don't know what to knit right now.
Mr. SpiderKate: What's the problem?
Me: I might need to knit a modified pattern of the pattern I'm having test knit right now.
Mr. SpiderKate: Well, how long will it take you to knit that pattern?
Me: Not very long, I think easily less than a week.
Mr. SpiderKate: Okay, well will you have enough notice? Is it even decided yet if you need to knit this modified pattern?
Me: Well, it's not decided yet and yeah I'll have enough time.
Mr. SpiderKate: So, what's the problem?
Me: I don't even know what yarn I'll use for the pattern.  I need to go to the yarn store tomorrow.
Mr. SpiderKate: You need to go to the yarn store to pick out yarn for a pattern you don't even know if you need to knit yet?
Me: Finally, you get it!

And that sums up my problem.  I need to go to the yarn store to pick out yarn for a pattern I don't even know if I need to knit yet.  If only life were always this simple.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Brushed Suri

This weekend was the one year anniversary of my local yarn store, Park Avenue Yarns.  This also happens to coincide with my one year anniversary of living in TX, so it's something that I'll probably always remember.  I am soo thankful that this store opened close to where I live!  They had a weekend long sale with specific yarn specials each day.  I stopped by on Saturday to have some goodies and to part take in the sale.  I also wanted to pick up the book Coastal Knits since I knew they had that as well.  On Saturday they happened to have all Blue Sky Alpacas yarn on the sale for 26% off.  I couldn't resist picking up some Brush Suri in a white-cream color.  I've been wanting to knit a Brushed Suri Loop Scarf by Merri Fomm ever since I saw my mom casting on for one when I visited with her in Forth Worth.  The yarn is very soft and yummy, but not so easy to cast-on with.  I ended up casting on some last night and finishing up today and I haven't been able to put the project down.  I'm going to force myself to put it down and work on my Einstein coat.  At least that is what I keep telling myself I'm going to do.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Entrelac Scarf

In October my friend Maxine taught Entrelac knitting at our Knitting Guild.  This is something I've long been wanting to learn and was excited when she told me she was going to be teaching it.  She actually told me she was going to teach it in October waaay back in March.  Yeah, it was a long wait but definitely worth the wait.  We used the pattern Watercolor Dreams by Mara Lloyd to learn the technique.  Mara's pattern very clearly lays out the steps to knitting an Entrelac scarf.  There is also a nice diagram that points out how the scarf is constructed.  Essentially the scarf is composed of a series of triangles & rectangles that you knit one at a time.  It starts with the base triangles (only knit at the beginning, thus why they are called the base triangles) and then follows right side triangle, left sloping rectangle, left side triangle, and finally right sloping rectangle

The first thing though is to cast-on.  Now with Entrelac, it's important to cast-on very loosely.  Just imagine what you consider to be a loose cast-on and then think even looser.  Maxine suggested using either a much larger needle OR to hold both of your needles together and cast-on using the long-tail cast-on.  I used the two needle held together method.  The cast-on was indeed loose and I was wondering if it was going to work out but decided to trust it.  The cast-on I did turned out to be just perfect though it could have been even looser, to tell the truth.

It's pretty interesting when you first start because you end up knitting it on faith since in the beginning it's hard to see that it's going to actually work.  You end up with what feels like unconnected triangles & rectangles (at least in the beginning) that don't look much like an Entrelac scarf.  But sure enough, as it goes on it all starts to come together.  I had my light bulb moment after going through the steps a couple of times.  I was hooked!  
I initially wanted to keep this project as my group knitting project, but I found I couldn't resist working on it at home.  It's a lot of fun knitting because there is a lot going on.  It really kept my interested whether waiting to see what colors were going to come up in the yarn or telling myself "just one more triangle/rectangle".  Of course it was never just one more.  One more led to one more and so on and so on.  

Project details: Cast-on 10/3/11; Cast-off 11/1/11; Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Lite from stash (2 skeins); Colors: browns, greens, & blues;  Size US 7 needles.  The only modification I did was to cast-on 16 stitches instead of 24 stitches.  This made a narrower scarf and accommodated for only having 2 skeins of Noro.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Belated Halloween!!!

Okay, I wanted to post this yesterday but I'm not sure what stopped me.  I made pumpkin cupcakes which were delicious!!!  Okay, they aren't cupcakes exactly, but I call them that when I make them in a muffin tin.  When I make them in a pan then I call them pumpkin bars.  I also made home made cream cheese frosting, which for the record is waaay better than store bought and super easy (I mixed it all by hand).  I even had toothpicks with pumpkins and owls on them to decorate them with and boy did they look cute!  Mr. SpiderKate ate two and I had one and I can't wait to have more today :o)