Sunday, February 23, 2014

Finished....barely!

Today is the last day of the Olympics and consequently it's the last day of the Ravellenics.  How did I do?  Not as well as I hoped to do, but I did cast off my Cirruncinus shawl today! So, short of some knitting miracle where I finish my MKAL today (hey, it's possible!), then I'm one for one.  I'm slightly disappointed I didn't get more done, but I just didn't have the knitting time like I thought I would.  Honestly, I'm okay with that!  
Copernicus never seems to be far from my knitting
This version of Cirruncinus is knitted with Araucania Husaco in colorway #05.  I'm generally not a fan of knitting lace with yarn as highly variegated in color like this one, but this yarn just spoke to me.  I had to have it and I HAD to knit my shawl pattern in it.  However, after I paid for the yarn and got it home, I started to have doubts.  What was I thinking getting a color this wild?  Had I looked at my wardrobe recently?? I'm not a wild person!  And! What if the color would pool???  And what if the color pooled and looked terrible??  Well, I talked myself through this temporary crisis with a "you need to step out of your knitting color comfort zone and not worry about color pooling" and it worked.  I put my doubts aside, wound my yarn and cast on.
My Starry Night bag seemed a fitting project bag for this knit
To say that I'm glad I stuck it out with this color is an understatement.  The more I knit with it, the more I fell in love with the color & yarn.  I forgot about all my worries about how it would turn out.  A pattern like Cirruncinus and other sideways knit shawls where the main body of the shawl is stockinette are very forgiving for variegated yarns.  


I worked the pattern as written with one modification - I added one extra repeat of the Cirruncinus Lace to the straight section.  That made it 13 repeats instead of 12.  I just wanted to use up as much of this gorgeous yarn as I could.  How did I figure out I could knit an extra repeat?  I weighed my yarn.  At the completion of 11 repeats I had 33 grams remaining.  At the completion of 12 repeats I had 29 grams of yarn remaining, therefore each repeat was using approximately 4 grams of yarn.  I knew I wanted to reserve 25 grams for the decrease sections, so I knew I could safely knit one more repeat.  However, for extra insurance I put in a lifeline after the 12 repeat.  This way, if my gamble didn't pay off, then I could just frog (rip) back to my lifeline and started the first decrease section there. 

Lifeline!!
My calculations worked out and in the end I had 5 grams of yarn at the end.  That means this version of the shawl used 428 yards (95 grams).   I don't have final measurements yet as I haven't finished blocking it, but I will get those posted next time - hopefully this week.  I've missed two weeks of blogging, which I plan to make up for this week :o)
Only 5 grams of yarn remained



Friday, February 7, 2014

Ravellenics 2014

This post is going to be short and sweet because I need to get back to my Ravellenics knitting!  This will be the second Olympics IN A ROW that I've participated in! I'm going to give myself a pat on the back for that one!  Though, to tell the truth, I've been thinking about chickening out and not participating.  Why you ask?? Well, I've been feeling slightly overwhelmed with the quantity of projects I'm "currently knitting".  How many projects you ask, well it's enough that I gave myself a goal of finishing up at least two of them by Thursday.  One project was my Olivia Cowl, which was the knit-along for Park Avenue Yarns (PAY) last month and the second project was my PAW Hat, which was the knit-along for PAY in December.  Yikes, why yes I had gotten behind!
Olivia Cowl in progress
I barely squeaked in finishing these projects!  I finished up my Olivia Cowl late Thursday evening and finished up the PAW Hat this afternoon.  And by finished I mean I wove in all the ends and seamed what need to be seamed.  No, I did not get to blocking, but I'm counting these as done anyway! 
 
Finished PAW Hat!!!

Not sure why these projects lingered as long as they did.  Okay, I do know why.  The PAW Hat lingered around because I was being lazy about the seaming.  Oh and all the ends that had to be woven in....that alone was a herculean event.  Seriously.  I don't know if I've had a project with that many ends to weave in!  Once I finished that I pretty much considered that project done.  Even though it was a hat that was knit flat and clearly not wearable without being seamed.  But, I digress and need to get back to my Ravellenics knitting.  More on that later.  
Copernicus is such a helper when it comes to photographing hand knits...NOT!
Oh and the Olivia Cowl.  Don't get me started on that.  Such a deceptively easy knit, I mean it's basketweave stitch!  It's only knits and purls! Well, I won't let something as simple as "only being knits and purls" deceive me again.  Turns out that basketweave stitch knit on the bias, yes folks that's right, ON THE BIAS, is a bit of a challenge.  It didn't help that I decided to knit with a very dark yarn either.  It took me awhile to wrap my head about knitting basketweave like that.  The pattern is a 16 row chart and you repeat those 16 rows 12 times total.  I'm not kidding when I say that it took me to almost my ninth pattern repeat before I finally into a rhythm and memorized the chart. 
Loved being able to wear this today!