Monthly Archives: September 2012

If you can believe it, I am a relative newbie to shawl knitting.

It really wasn’t until early last year, when I started to listen to Knitting Pipeline, my very first knitting podcast. (See, this is what happens if you’ve been knitting for a very long time like me — you have missed the last 5 years of knitting boom. It has been simply amazing!) She spoke about the Kaellingesjal shawl, which is a recreation of a 1897 shawl from the Vendsyssel Museum in Denmark. It’s a working woman’s shawl, with a tie that wraps around the body. I was so enthralled by Paula  — but was a bit reticent to cast on a big project. So I cast on Summer Flies as a “test” (I highly recommend, if you’ve never knit a shawl, to try this free pattern. It’s an amazingly fun knit), and I finished it in ….a DAY. I cast on for Kaellingesjal the next day. You can check it out on my Ravelry project page. I started the shawl on 2/14/11 (Happy Valentine’s Day!!) and finished it on 3/20/11.

I kept on listening to Paula, and the next shawl she mentioned was Brandywine. This was my first Romi Hill shawl. I put this shawl on my needles on 3/20/11 (sense the start of what may be happening here already!?!?), and finished it in a couple of weeks. And I was hooked. Since then, I have knit 43 shawls (so 47 in total), of which 15 are Romi’s designs.

OK. These numbers are scaring me a little. I sound like a woman obsessed.

Oh well. I guess I will just own the fact that I love to knit shawls. You don’t have to worry about sizing, they are wonderful gifts, and you just can’t have too many. So….the reason why I’m posting today. My Shawl Number Twenty Six for 2012. Meet Romi Hill’s Carson, knit out of stash Rowan tweedy wooly yarn!

I participate in the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup (HPKCHC) on Ravelry, where I am a member of Slytherin House. As we near the end of each month, I put on the jets to finish the projects that I intend to finish for the monthly classes.

My goal this term is to hand in at least one sweater a month, and for the longer term projects (O.W.L. and Order of the Phoenix), I am also doing sweaters. My rationale is that instead of knitting small projects and handing in many classes, I should try to maximize the bonus points (while I don’t know how bonus points are calculated, I know there are bonus points for yardage). I have been told, after all, that I am a fast knitter and I think that in the end, perhaps I will end up amassing more points than I would have had I handed in small projects.

That…and of course, my secret goal this year of knitting 12 sweaters, 12 pairs of socks and 12 shawls this year. I’ll update you on my Secret Project Crazypants some other time. (Mostly because I am not giving up on S.P.C. just yet.)

This term, I have already handed in two items so far. My Levenwick sweater, and the SSSSpiral Cowl.

I’m working on two more things that I hope to complete by Sunday.

First, Romi Hill’s Carson. Carson is the first in this year’s Small Shawls Collection. I got this shawl on the needles as soon as I cast off Rosa Flora. When I saw the pattern, I knew I wanted to knit mine in something tweedy. Being totally virtuous on this project, I decided to use Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4-ply that I have had in my stash since either 2004 or 2005 (since the yarn has been discontinued since then, I’m pretty sure it’s that old!). I have oodles of this stuff, but the trick was to find the colors that I have enough of and would work in a multi-color shawl. As you can see from the photo, I’m just a few rows away from binding off. I am probably going to have to introduce another color for the last few rows so that will be a bit tricky. I think I will be able to finish knitting this shawl, block it, and photograph it by the end of the weekend.

Second, I am also in pretty good shape on Cookie A’s Conic. I’m knitting this out of Wollmeise 100% in Ruby Thursday. This sweater is such a fun knit. At first, I wasn’t sure about knitting this. I fell in love, though, when I read Cookie A’s blog post about this shrug. I think it is genius how versatile this shrug is, and how great it looks on so many body types. I think I can throw this on over a shift and be completely work-worthy!!! I’m on sleeve #2, but after I finish that (the total beauty of the construction….you decrease 20 stitches every 9 rows. It gets smaller and faster!!!), I have to pick up >450 stitches and knit 2×2 rib for 3 inches so I will likely be cutting it relatively close on finishing this by Sunday.

Of course, if I finish with time to spare, I will be working on my O.W.L. sweater, or Waterfall.

I know. I’ve not told you what my O.W.L. sweater is. I will. Soon.

Any deadline knitting on your needles?

I am attracted to shiny new things. New patterns that get published at the most inopportune times (curse you, Jared Flood, for publishing BT Fall 2012 THE DAY AFTER I swore off buying more patterns), fiber clubs that seem to pair the most incredible yarn with exclusive designs by Your Favorite Designers, and Ravelry, which is ever so helpful in serving up the prettiest garments to be knit.

I also know that I am a relatively fast knitter. ..

  • IF I were to knit on only one project, I can probably finish almost anything in a week.
  • That is, IF it isn’t an Alice Starmore sweater.
  • and IF it’s not socks.
  • and IF I’m not too jammed at work or otherwise in real life.
  • and of course, IF I am knitting with Good Mojo.

The above two do not combine very well. It results, generally, in the overestimation of my ability to finish garments. And that results in a not so small pile of projects that getss abandoned.

So on every Wednesday, I am going to put my shiny new projects aside and work on some of these poor abandoned projects.

First up: Waterfall Cardigan.

This is a cardigan I saw on the designer, Eric Robinson, at the Green Mountain Spinnery Spring Retreat in 2011. I loved it on her. I wanted it. I bugged her for the pattern — oh, a few times. I cast on as soon as it came out….but it was summer. I told myself over and over again that it would be PERFECT for the Fall, but it got put away.

Well? Guess what? I have dragged the project bag (THAT’s where my ISIS Three Bags Full bag is!) and have determined that it would be PERFECT for Fall, and it may be workworthy, perhaps over a shift.

I am knitting this sweater out of Louisa Harding Grace (silk & wool) in a chocolate brown (hmmmmm, why did I pick…BROWN??). I have 5.5″ left to go on the lace bottom part of the cardigan, which isn’t too much, and the top part is an interesting construction. (a nice way of saying, I have to read the pattern again!)

I’m hoping to get this done in time to enjoy it THIS fall!

….and yes, The Fourteen Year Old WIP of Doom (remember this?) will be making an appearance soon. Especially if Alice Starmore is coming to Vogue Knitting Live NY this year!!

When it comes to yarn, I’m pretty fickle.

My love for Sanguine Gryphon Gaia Lace has been pretty well documented. I still love it, and happily bring this yarn out of my stash for deserving patterns. In fact, I recently finished the Romi Hill shawl that I wrote about, in Gaia Lace in Owlets, which is a beautiful silver grey. I was a good girl — only modified the pattern slightly by beading the bind off. I have yet to wear this shawl, since the yarn and the beading combination makes this shawl pretty dressy.

My first foray into blogging about knitting was about Wollmeise so my partiality to Claudia’s beautiful colors is also no secret. I am about to cast on a project in Lacegarn, which I will talk about at some point…and I have Cookie A’s Conic on my needles right now in 100% Merino in Ruby Thursday, which is a really pretty red.

I think I may have a new favorite indie dyer. French Market Fibers. Of course, it appears that I have fallen in love with another dyer whose yarn is tough to get. I have two finished objects out of Margaret’s lovely yarn that I wanted to talk about…

First, the secret test knit I wrote about last time. You can see the shawl all crumpled up in the group photo. It’s BooKnits Almost Autumn. It’s a wonderful pattern, slightly different from Bev’s usual designs and it is lace all over. I made mine out of French Market Fibers Mohair Lace in Spanish Moss.  I was a bit of a rogue test knitter (!) and omitted the beads. I wanted this shawl to be ethereal and…well.. look like Spanish Moss. The photo doesn’t quite do justice to the beautiful and subtle colors in the yarn (look really closely — there are hints of pink, green, grey…) The shawl is about to board a transatlantic flight, to be worn by a friend at a wedding, in which she is a guest. I hope I get the shawl back!

The second project is a sweater that I just finished knitting and is currently being blocked. It’s Levenwick by Gudrun Johnston. It was part of Brooklyntweed’s Wool People I, and has been in my queue since it first came out. I made mine out of French Market Fibers Merino Worsted in Wrought Iron. I cannot wait to get this sweater off the blocking boards. I had originally ordered this yarn from Margaret with thoughts of making something else, but as soon as I opened my package, I knew that it would be perfect for this sweater. The body of the sweater is knit in reverse stockinette — which makes the fabric look woven. It’s really perfect for a subtly variegated yarn, I think. The color is sort of purply and grey and black and lovely. I ran out of yarn so I couldn’t make the pocket for this, but I think it keeps the lines simple and very work worthy. I plan on wearing this with a shawl pin to close at the neck until I see Jennie at Rhinebeck so she can make me the perfect buttons for the sweater.

What’s new on your needles, now that the weather is turning a bit more sweater-worthy?