Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tropical Garden Shawl

In my previous post I went through my thought process when selecting colors for a shawl. I decided to go with Mums, but went with a darker green-black yarn from MadelineTosh. The color of this yarn is terra verte. This color really made the colors in Mums pop.

Here is the finished shawl.

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl.

Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits

Thursday, January 19, 2012

WestKnits January Shawl Pattern is Available

The January shawl pattern installment is available. I joined the shawl club as a means to use up some of my stash. I won't be starting this shawl right away as I already have a couple of projects underway. However, I do have some color ideas.

My first idea is to combine to use madelinetosh merino light in fig and filigree.

I love this color combination. It works because this particular skein of Filigree is gold dominant. If I don't use it here, I will use it in another colorwork shawl.

The club yarns include a black & white that is highly differentiated. I could choose a yarn that is pretty bold in its color changes. Here we have a couple of Abstract Fiber Super Sock yarns in Laurelhurst and Indigo:

I have several skeins of Laurelhurst and was hoping for a single project which shows off the yarn's lovely colors. My third choice is Miss Bags Yummy Sock in "Mum". This colorway has many lovely colors which could be paired with other yarns. In this color "wheel", starting from the top, I have Sundara Merino Cashmere in "Black Cherry", Madeline Tosh Sock in "Moorland", Madeline Tosh Sock in "Fig" and Madeline Tosh Sock in "Cloak".

Of these four combinations I am leaning towards Mum & Moorland or Mum and Black Cherry. I will need to pull out the yarns to make a final decision.

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl.

Arroway shawl photo, copyright WestKnits
Yarn photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Choosing Colors for a Simple Shawl.

The Westlake shawl is a single color shawl which takes advantage of the texture created by twisted stitches, stockinette and garter stitches. Nothing fancy, just blocks of texture.

Time to stash dive and decide which yarn I'm going to use. The pattern uses Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. Shepherd sock contains 430 yards per skein. I have some Shepherd sock in the stash, but nothing that fits this shawl. I am thinking of using madelinetosh sock even though a skein has 395 yards. I knit tight, so there is a good chance that a single skein will be sufficient. In any case, I will be weighing my yarn once I get close to the end to see how to best finish the shawl.

I am considering the following colors for this shawl: Composition Book Grey, Stovepipe, Thunderstorm, Georgia O'Keefe, and Kale.

Composition Book Grey Thunderstorm


I still have some time to decide. I'll wait until the pattern is available in PDF.

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl.

Westlake shawl photo, copyright WestKnits
Yarn photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chevron Shawl Experiment 2

The goal of my second experiment was to strengthen the back edge and have less stringy ends. This time i changed the cast on as follows: Cast on 3; knit 14 rows; turn pick up 7 stitches; turn pick up 3 stitches; for a total of 13 stitches. A row was started as follows: K3 YO K1 YO K1 *** M1R (K or P)center M1L *** K1 YO K1 YO K3. Unfortunately, the back edge did not have enough stretch when blocked and the 2 YO stitches next to the back edge caused a little puckering. In the end, I didn't gain any length across the back and the length along the center spine was too long.

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl

Friday, January 13, 2012

What you see isn't always what you get

I joined the Stephen West Shawl Club since I enjoy knitting his designs. The first pattern was "Sharktooth" and when I first saw it, I didn't like it. There really wasn't anything I liked about that pattern, so, when I chose my yarn I was looking for one with sufficient yardage whose colorway i wasn't fond of. I chose Malabrigo Sock in the Persia colorway. I love knitting Malabrigo sock, but i wasn't overly fond of the colorway. I began knitting along with others in my LYS (Green Planet Yarn). After a false start and a few ripped out rows, I completed the shawl. I still didn't like it. I blocked it and tried it on and what happened??? I loved it and want to knit it again.

Lesson learned: Sometimes its worth knitting a pattern whose merits aren't apparent at first.

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Knitting Goals for 2012

While I am not much into new years resolutions, it is still a good idea to identify some goals for the coming year.

  • Complete a shawl or scarf that is entirely composed of lace. (air = yarn) I have a collection of patterns in my Ravelry queue that will meet this goal.
  • Complete a shawl using lace weight yarn. I have been collecting a bit of lace weight yarn but haven't used any yet.
  • Complete a lace weight sweater.
  • Complete the central park hoodie or equivalent aran/worsted weight sweater.
  • Complete a pair of socks with an unusual construction. Socks such as the Skew Sock.
  • Complete a felted project, such as a bag or a pair of slippers.
  • Complete a pair of mitts.
  • Master the German twisted cast on. I have done it once, but I keep forgetting how to do it.
  • Understand short row shaping of sweater shoulders.
  • Create a sweater using a yarn other than a wool yarn.
  • Learn an invisible short row technique.
  • Learn the Icord bind off.
  • Complete a chevron shawl design and publish the pattern.
  • Complete something in the linen stitch.
  • Start a blog. This is not really a knitting goal, but I was asked if I had one, so I might as well start one. These goals are pretty generic in that they do not specify a specific pattern that I need to complete. This is because I prefer the flexibility to choosing a pattern based on my interests and needs of the moment. However, I do have one specific pattern goal and that is to complete a Summit wrap or shawl. This pattern has fascinated me for a while and I would really like to complete it.

    Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl

  • Monday, January 9, 2012

    Chevron Shawlette Experiment 1

    My first chevron shawl experiment, was completed in 2011. I created a shawl that had the chevron shape, but the ends were too stringy. The center bulk had been substantially reduced. The shawlette's shape actually works well when worn.
    The shawl was started by casting on 7 using the long tailed cast on.
    Row 1- K1 YO K1 YO K1 M1 K1 YO K1 YO K1;
    Row 2- K1 YO K1 YO K1 P* K1 YO K1 YO K1;
    Row 3- K1 YO K1 YO K1 K* M1 K1 M1 K* Y1 YO K1 YO K1;
    Row 4- K1 YO K1 YO K1 P* K1 YO K1 YO K1;
    Repeat rows 3 & 4 4 times total.
    Row 11- repeat row 3;
    Row 12- K1 YO K1 YO K1 k* K1 YO K1 YO K1.

    Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl

    Friday, January 6, 2012

    January in Illinois

    Deep Blue Flugel
    I've been in California now for almost 16 years, so I've become a bit thin skinned when comes to cold. Since I'll be making a trip back to Illinois in January, I have an opportunity to make use of some of my Bulky weight stash. I decided to make Hannah Fettig's Flugel Pullover.

    It was a reasonably quick knit that I made more difficult by using short rows to shape the shoulders. I didn't want to seam the shoulders, but rather use the Kitchener stitch to join them. Kitchener didn't work out - my stitch quality wasn't good enough. So instead, I did a 3-needle bind off to join the shoulder. Since the length of the arm fell at an odd place, I decided to add a ribbed cuff to complete the sweater.

    The sweater was made with Cascade 128, using US 10.5 and US 9 needles.

    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    Skinny Bugga! will be available again

    One of my favorite yarns, "Skinny Bugga!" will continue to be sold by Cephalopod Yarns. If you are on Ravelry, check out their group. They are taking suggestions for Bug related color waves.