Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving & Black Friday Sale!

Just a quick note to say Happy Thanksgiving to all!!  Also, I'm running a Black Friday sale starting today and ending Monday night.  Buy any pattern (or patterns) from my Ravelry shop and get 20% off the total order!  No coupon code needed!!  In other news I've created a Ravelry group for my designs.  Check out the group here: SpiderKateKnits Designs.  It's a small group, but hopefully we'll grow and have some fun along the way!

AND in case you missed it, I have a new pattern out: Merlyn.  I did blog a little about it here, but neglected to blog about it again when I released the pattern.  This shawl is a sideways knit shawl with a border that is knit on as the shawl is knit.  If you're looking for a quick last minute Christmas gift, then look no further!  In my post I talked about how much ripping and reknitting I did for this design, so I can attest to just how quickly it knits up.  The shawl was knit with Vice Paradigm on US 5 (3.75mm) needles.  A big thank you goes out to Lizzy Inman of Vice (Yarns) for her generous support!

This shawl design in particular holds a very special place in my heart because it's named after my cat.  Now, I know that it might be weird to name a shawl after a cat, but during the designing phase of this shawl my cat became ill and eventually had to be put to sleep.  It was a very sad time in the SpiderKate household, but we believe that he's gone on to a better place now.  We still miss having the little guy around (he loved turkey day!).  In my mind this shawl was always named for him and I believe it's fitting for this fantastic shawl to be named after such a great cat.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sleeve redo

I just might be crazy.  Today I ripped out the sleeve I completed in my Rocky Coast Cardigan.  Yes, you read that right.  I ripped it out.  It wasn't easy to rip out either - apparently EZ sewn bind off doesn't really rip out, you have to actually undo it.  Why did I rip it out?  I just wasn't happy with my decreases.  Essentially I was knitting along on the second sleeve and got to the point where I had to decide if I was going to follow what I did for the first sleeve or follow the pattern as written.  I looked at my first sleeve and realized that I really was unhappy with the decrease structure I did.  Basically, I had bunched all the decreases at the end of the sleeve, which just didn't look good. 

Newly ripped sleeve
The good news is that is was pretty easy to rip out and pick up the stitches.  Since I was in progress on the second sleeve and just coming up to the first decrease, I used that as a marker to figure out where to rip back to in the first sleeve.  I think that I got it pretty close to where it should be and if not, then it's close enough for me.  Now I have this crazy idea that maybe I can finish both sleeves by the end of the week....hmmmmm. Oh and perhaps knit a Christmas gift this week.  Actually, I'm pretty sure I am crazy.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


The shop is doing a KAL and the pattern is Stephen West's Daybreak shawl.  This is a pattern that I've had in my queue for awhile now, but haven't gotten around to knitting.  The hardest part of this pattern was picking out the yarn.  Let me tell you - I spent A LOT of time on Ravelry looking through all the Daybreak projects.  Probably more time than I should admit to.  Did all that research help? I'd like to say yes, but I think at the same time it just made me more confused about what colors I should do.  Or maybe I just need to knit a Daybreak shawl in every color combination!  Okay, that might be a little crazy.  In the end I decided to look through my stash to see if I had something I could use because at least that would help narrow down the color choices.  

So, I go looking in my stash and I see that I have two skeins of Ella Rae Lace Merino in a fuchsia color. Why do I have two skeins? Who knows!  But it was probably because I wanted it around for design purposes.  Well, since this yarn is actually a light fingering weight yarn and NOT a lace weight, I don't need to have two skeins around for design purposes.  Since I got this yarn from Park Avenue Yarns, I knew that I could find another color in Ella Rae Lace Merino to make my Daybreak.  After much debate and many color consultations, I ended up going with a grey color, which is more of a lavender/purple grey.  With my yarn picked out & wound, I was finally ready to start my shawl.

I finished the first section yesterday and got started on the stripes! Yay! I actually like the stripes part of the shawl better than the first part because the increases are really easy to follow - no counting involved!  I tried to use a marker in the first section to eliminate having to count to the halfway mark for the make one stitch, but it didn't really help out all that much.  I still had to count and check things even with the marker.  My plan right now is to knit the medium size, but I might be tempted to go for the large size...we'll see!

I'm doing one modification for this pattern.  I had to add a yarn over after the first two edge stitches (so before doing the first make one on the right side) AND I added the same yarn over before the last two edge stitches (on the right side).  Now, I can't take credit for this modification, but it's something that I came across in the research that I did when trying to decide on my shawl colors.  I didn't want to have to do this modification, but it was just too hard for me to complete the make one left on the wrong side without the yarn over there.  My edge was going to be waaaaaay to tight without it.  Okay, so what do you do with the yarn over on the wrong side? You drop the yarn over and then pick it back up according to which make one you are doing and then make that stitch.  It's really that easy and saves a lot of frustration when doing the make one left stitch on the WS where you need to purl through the back loop.

How would this instruction look in the pattern? It would look something like this:
All RS rows: K2, yo, M1L, (follow rest of instructions for this row until last two stitches), M1R, yo, k2.
All WS rows: K2, drop yo, M1L, (follow rest of instructions for this row until last two stitches), drop yo, M1R, k2.