shawl

Texture, oh texture!

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Things have been a little hectic lately for many reasons; namely here wedding planning in full swing, various knits in progress, tour de fleece and a week-long vacation spent visiting my soon-to-be in-laws in Ohio. I won’t bore you with all the details, but let’s just say that it’s been a little hard to keep up with everything.

First thing first, I want to share with you all my happiness as I found a fellow knitter on Ravelry who was sweet enough to send me her Cascade Heritage’s leftovers so I could finish my Dessine-moi un mouton. Yay! I started working on the sleeves last week and should very soon have something interesting to share with you guys so stay tuned!

In other news, I also just recently finished test-knitting this gorgeous Call &Response Cowl for the lovely Sarah Schira and I am in love with it! This design hasn’t been published yet, but I’ll make sure to update this post with the link as soon as it is.

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The pattern was every shade of perfect;  it’s easy to follow, it’s fun and interesting to knit and it’s got lots of changes so it’s never boring. I also love the fact that the cowl is tapered off towards the top, creating a very flattering shape around the shoulders. Awesomeness!

Among other cool things, I’ve also been spinning along a little bit as the tour the fleece is progressing, but I must say that I have been making very, very little progress on the gorgeous Merino/Tencel roving I started. Since the tour is almost over already, I think it’s obvious by now that I won’t finish in time but I’m fine with that – a little spin is better than no spin at all, isn’t?

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On the personal front, we’ve been enjoying the summer weather and people’s company; hanging out with my honeybee’s family, going to the zoo & attending my very first Air Show at the Toledo airport on the 16th. Much much fun in very good company! 🙂

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Enough about me now, how’s been your summer so far yarnies?

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Fickle spring

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Last Monday was very cold, we even had a little bit of snow in the morning and a whole lot of rain. Since I was feeling a little chilly (and because Melanie Berg’s Any shawl KAL was going on), I decided to cast on a handspun, lace weight version of the Sunwalker. Even though it’s May, it seemed like a good idea at the time – but now, only one week later, I’m done with my shawl but it’s sunny out and the temperature rolls in the 80s so there’s just no need for a shawl anymore. Oh well.

Either way, here’s my Sunwalker Shawlette made out of my Rusted spaceship hanspun yarn, made last summer during the Tour de Fleece.

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I used every little bit of this scrumptious yarn down to the last 4 to 5 yards, and I am SO happy at how it turned out! The Sunwalker pattern is very versatile and easy to adapt to different gauge, weight yarn or yardage, and it allows you to showcase a yarn with both a lace and a texture section. I will definitely use this pattern again, and if you plan on starting a shawl this spring or summer I highly recommend you give this one a try.

Happy knitting all 🙂

When life gives you lemons…

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I know, I know – I haven’t blogged in a month. How shameful! But believe me Crafties, it’s not because I didn’t want to but because life had other plans for me the past few weeks, unfortunately.

I have been pretty busy at work lately working nights & weekends in addition to my regular day-time schedule, which is something that I generally never do. I couldn’t really help it, and I knew from the start this would limit my crafting/blogging time, but what I hadn’t anticipated was how much of a toll it would take on me. I got sick not once but TWICE in the last couple weeks, and I think it’s probably related to how stressed I have been. Lots of work, lots of stress, lots of sickness and not much time for anything else is what I ended up with.

As a result, I have been trying to find time to relax and take care of myself, and my Honeybee has been very helpful and very supportive in that aspect. I made very slow but steady progress on my knitting projects, which is why I’ve got only one FO to show you guys today, and that’s my Sidestep Poncho.

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It’s a test knit I’ve made for the lovely Nell from NellKnits using some Berroco Boboli Lace yarn I had in stash. Although I mistakenly twisted the stitches with the cable needle in the back instead of the front resulting in a slightly different lace texture, I am very, VERY happy about how this turned out! The instructions are clear and simple, and the pattern is easy to follow. I love every stitch of this lacy poncho, and I’m sure I will wear the heck out of it all summer. 🙂

And sometimes, magic happens!

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For the longest time, I’ve been wanting to make a project using some of the handspun yarns I have. I’ve been spinning for a couple years now and during this time I’ve made several yummy handspun additions to my stash.

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I must confess though that aside from my unsuccessful BlueSand Cardigan attempt currently wasting away in the slumber pile, I had yet to finish a project using any of those gorgeous handspuns, and I thought it was such a shame! But earlier this week, inspiration stroke as I was going through my friend’s activity feed on Ravelry, and noticed someone had made an Arika Cowl. The pattern immediately piqued my interest because I thought it would be a perfect match for my Cheshire Cat purple handspun; it was the right yarn weight and yardage combined with a fun and unusual construction for a cowl, with an amazing fringe as a bonus.

I got so excited that I immediately bought the pattern and cast-on on Monday. Tuesday, the body was done, and I still had a full skein left so I thought I could make a matching hat. Since I had decided at that point to make the cowl with buttons instead of a seam, I quickly went around the pattern database looking for a hat pattern with a button in about the same yarn weight, and found the (free!) Moss Stitch Hat pattern from Erin Anton. Just perfect!

And following this streak of sudden inspiration, magic happened…

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Oh, Lacy Sweetness

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Last week I finished a sweet little lace shawl that I have been dying to show you all, and I decided that today is the day. You might remember a progress shot I shared with you a couple months ago of this shawl in the making, as it was my “airplane knit” that I started while going to Nevada and Arizona for a short vacation earlier this year, in April.

estuaryWhat do you guys think? Isn’t this shawl pure lacy love? This pattern is called Estuary, from tincanknits, and it was knit using Confetti Superwash yarn by DGB. The pattern is entirely charted, very easy to understand and very easy to follow, the only change I made was to work the edge stitches in stockinette st instead of garter st. I simply LOVE the finished project!

The yarn was something I found on sale at a local yarn store about a year ago, it was a yarn I had never heard of or worked with it before but I sort of liked the color, and since it was cheap I decided to try it. Although I didn’t hate this yarn, far from it actually, I don’t think I will use it again once I have used the remaining skein I have. Don’t get me wrong, this yarn was nice to work with, it has a nice soft feel and it definitely blocks very well, but it simply wasn’t a love story between it and me. I guess what it comes down to is that it’s a good yarn, but just not a “wow” yarn to me. Know what I mean?

Anyways, I also got a pretty nice surprise a few weeks ago that I want to share with you – a new yarn store has just recently opened in my area, and I LOVE it! Yay for more yarn! This little store is cute and quaint, it’s friendly and cozy and it’s called Pompon Laine Café – if you’re in the Trois-Rivières area, you should definitely go check it out, it’s located at the intersection of Bonaventure and Saint-Denis. I went  to the store opening a few weeks ago and got a membership card, and -oh, suprise!- I won a basket full of goodies including stitch markers, natural hand cream and (plenty) of yarn. Look at all these beautifuls! Am I not the most lucky knitter ever?

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A little taste of summer!

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I just got back from a very warm, sunny, crazy week of vacation in Nevada and Arizona with my honeybee, my brother and his girlfriend.It was so much fun, I feel totally recharged! After so much snow, and rain, and cold weather here up north, a little sunshine was definitely more than welcomed. We first visited Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam, then saw the Grand Canyon and Sunset Crater Volcano, we drove through Sedona and the Tonto National Forest, hiked the Hayden Butte, and so much more! I definitely kept myself really busy, but it it was all worth it. All in all, I had an incredible vacation, and I really want to share a little bit of it with you guys, so here’s a few pictures I took – hope you like them!

FotorCreatedCanyon FotorCreatedSedona FotorCreatedSunsetCrater FotorCreatedVegas And of course, since I was going to spend a lot of time on a plane or at the airport on the way there and back, I had to start a little project to keep me busy, right? RIGHT? So I started the Estuary shawl, using some Confetti Superwash yarn from DGB I had in stash. Lucky me, a little bit of knitting here and there during the trip and some knitting time at the airport allowed me to reach the halfway mark in only a week. Yes! It’s a very easy pattern so far, very well explained with easy to follow charts and instructions.

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FO Friday – Obsidian Shawl

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I’m very happy today to show you the Obsidian Shawl I just finished last week-end! It’s a cute, simple lace scarf using FibraNatura Flax yarn in black, the pattern is called Lace Scarves – Challenging by OzYarn.

541580_10152773281887475_2218346746823617487_nI cannot express to you how excited I am that this shawl turned out the way it did, because I had been trying to find something to do with this yarn for such a long time that I was starting to get pretty desperate. There is quite a story to this yarn, and if you’ll allow me, I’d like to share my little experience with you.

I bought this yarn about 2 years ago and I was very excited to work with linen for the very first time in my life. Little did I know though that linen is very rough on the hands and tends to break and split a lot – I probably should have done some research before I made the purchase, but oh well! Either way, after ponding over it for some time, I decided to use it to knit the Jackson Square shawl since I had just bought the pattern and thought it was such a lovely design. It took me quite some time to get used to the pattern and the yarn, but I was able to pull it through in a couple months – and that’s where things went wrong. As I was weaving in the ends and tugging on the project gently to even out the stitches, I involuntarily got the yarn stuck on a piece of jewelry I was wearing and ripped up a big gaping hole through the top border, on the back of the neck – which turns out to be the very start of the project. I was completely horrified and did not know what to do with it or how to fix it so for the longest time, the damaged project just sat there, at the bottom of a bag in my living room.

A few months later, I finally picked it back up and resigned myself to frog the project, as I really couldn’t figure out how I could ever repair such a big gaping hole with so many broken threads. I said my goodbyes to the beautiful, delicate shawl design and decided to use the yarn to make a basic racer back tank top instead… That never saw the light of day either. Somehow, although I was very determined to get something done with this yarn, I just couldn’t find a tank top pattern that fit what I had in mind and when I tried to make one up myself it just didn’t turn out the way I hoped it would. So after much thought, I decided to frog again. A second time.

Well, as they say though, third time’s the charm and on my third try I decided to go for a pattern I have tried before (see my English Mesh Lace Scarf) and liked very, very much – and it turned out great. No ripping the yarn, no weird fitting issues and no pattern issues. Such a relief!

Have you guys ever had such experiences with a yarn frogged one too many times or a project that doesn’t turn out the way you hoped? What was your solution? Let me know in the comments down below.