Sunday, March 19, 2017

Must Make Now!

You know how sometimes you see a project or pattern that you just have to make RIGHT NOW? This one was one of those for me. I saw Johanna's Lost in Time on Ravelry, and immediately started planning a trip to the yarn store to get the yarns for it. Like, leaving work early and getting to a yarn store a.s.a.p. Well, somewhat fortunately, I was too busy at work and wasn't able to do that, forcing me to think about it for at least a few hours before I rushed to buy more yarn.

I have a sizable stash. Like, there is yarn in every room of the house. Well maybe not the boys' rooms or the bathrooms. But every other room, for sure. A friend once commented that my house is so cozy because there is yarn everywhere. :) (Thank you Ruth! I agree! ) Anyway, I did not need to go and buy yarn for this! After all, it is the perfect left-over yarn project, with almost every row being made in a different color. So I searched high and low in the house for all the yarns that might work for this and piled them on a table, and started playing with color combinations. Like Johanna, I too wanted a vintage feel to the color scheme. These soft creams, browns, greens, and yellows to me achieved that:

I don't care for knitting with cotton much, so I didn't have hardly any cotton in my stash. Instead, these are various fingering weight wools and alpacas. Because my yarn is much thinner than the pattern, I'm using a 3.5 mm hook instead of the recommended 4 mm. But this being a triangular top-to-bottom shawl with a 14-row repeat that you can keep repeating as long as you have the size you want, gauge really doesn't matter much.

After each repeat I'm pausing to think through the color combo for the next repeat. So much fun!! I think I may need to make more than one of these...

Pattern: Lost in Time
Yarn: various fingering weight yarns, including Isager Hojlandsgarn, Elann Pure Fine Alpaca, Kauni, Tukuwool, and others.
Hook: 3.5 mm

A word of caution about the pattern: this is not a beginner project by any means. In addition to the pattern including some advanced stitch patterns, it is also a little challenging to follow, particularly with the color selections being on a separate web page, given in "code." But fear not--if you are patient and plan your colors in advance, you shall emerge victorious! :) Also, it is a free pattern, so I will take what is given. Had I paid money for it, my expectations would be that much higher.

Sunday, March 05, 2017


Last night I finally got to finishing my latest scarf (shawl? where's the line between a scarf and a shawl?) in the works.

The yarn is Caterpillargreen Yarns Merino twist fingering in color Weekend, classic striping. (Love it!!!) It looks like the company just changed their name from Caterpillargreen to Gauge Dye Works. They make their yarns in three different striping patterns: classic strips, accent skeins, and shawl stripes. The shawl stripes skeins are specifically dyed for triangular shawls so that the sizes of the stripes remain the same even though the rows get longer. Ingenious! However, for my plan the classic stripes worked better since I wasn't going to make a triangular shawl. (You should check out their website. It looks like the colors are smaller batches, so they tend to run out, but they also have gorgeous shawl kits that you can pre-order to make sure you get the colorway you want.)

I'm not using a pattern, I just made up the short-row sections as I went along with a mental image of what I wanted the shawl to look like. I wanted a sea of undulating colors that grows sort of organically without too much symmetry. I was quite pleased when it worked out without too much ripping back.

I knew I wanted an edging with more of the YO-k2tog holes that I had used throughout the shawl to accentuate the sections. I had used this edge from Aestlight in two shawls already:

It's one of my favorite edgings, relatively simple and fast and works particularly well for shawls that utilize garter stitch. And it makes for a pretty, wavy edge. This time I wanted a few more holes, though.

I experimented with a couple of different size triangles for the edge, and also tried making the triangle in the reverse direction. The triangles can either be made by increasing one stitch on every other row and then casting off on the last row of the triangle, or by casting on at first, and then binding off one stitch at a time. It turns out the latter is slower, the cast on edge is sloppy, and the bind off edge is bumpy. So no good. The first option is faster to make and looks neater.

The idea is to increase one stitch on every other row to shape the triangle. If I wanted more holes, I needed to pair up each YO with a k2tog, except for one that would be the increasing YO. Depending on how you want it to look, you could place the extra YO (the increasing YO) at the beginning of the row or at the end. I decided to place it at the end, and then leave a two-stitch garter edge. Here's what my little triangles look like:

(Turns out that when you have a table made out of reclaimed barn wood, you can pin your knitting directly to the table. Handy!)

Lacy Triangle Edge pattern:

Set-up row A: With shawl stitches on the needle, cast on 3 stitches by backwards loop CO. Turn.
Set-up row B: k2, k2tog.

Row 1: s1wyib (slip 1 with yarn in back), YO, k2.
Row 2: k3, k2tog.
Row 3: s1wyib, k1, YO, k2.
Row 4: k4, k2tog.
Row 5: s1wyib, YO, k2tog, YO, k2.
Row 6: k5, k2tog.
Row 7: s1wyib, k1, YO, k2tog, YO, k2.
Row 8: k6, k2tog.
Row 9: s1wyib, (YO, k2tog) twice, YO, k2.
Row 10: k7, k2tog.
Row 11: s1wyib, k1, (YO, k2tog) twice, YO, k2.
Row 12: k8, k2tog.
Row 13: s1wyib, k to end.
Row 14: bind off 6, k1, k2tog. (To get a pointier tip, I knit the first bind-off stitch rather than slipping it)

Each triangle casts off 7 stitches of the shawl edge. You can easily make the triangle bigger or smaller by adding rows. Note that I had a row of YO-k2tog holes at the edge of the shawl before I added the triangle edging, so those holes are not part of the edge pattern.

What is your favorite shawl edge pattern?