Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rustling Leaves

This project has been done for a while.  I just, sort of, forgot that it was blocking on the table and left it there for two weeks neglected to show you.  It's Rustling Leaves Beret by Alana Dakos from the book Coastal Knits.  There are some seriously beautiful patterns in this book.  Peter, lucky dude that he is actually did some of the test knitting so he got an early sneak peak.  This cute little beret was the February knit-a-long at my LYS.

This is the hat pre-blocking when it had more of a beanie shape.

I used some yarn that I had spun from an Abstract Fibers roving.  The fiber was an alpaca/silk blend that spun very smoothly.  The colorway is called Mt. Hood Rose.  It really wanted to be a fingering weight yarn even though my original spinning plan was for it to be sport.  All for the good since this pattern calls for fingering.  

I made one tiny modification to the pattern based on the project notes of other people on Ravelry.  Many had complained that the brim of the hat was loose.  Since alpaca is known for stretching out, I really wanted to combat the possibility of a too-loose brim.  I used a smaller needle than called for for the brim ribbing a US 1 instead of a 2 and did a 1x1 twisted ribbing rather than a standard ribbing since twisting stitches tightens them up.  

I was stretching when my brother snapped this picture, it's not very flattering for me, but it shows the hat nicely.  Notice the beret-y shape now that it's been blocked.

As soon as I finished knitting I snapped a few quick pre-blocking photos then gave it a quick soak and stretched it around a dinner plate to block it into proper beret shape.  I set it out of the way where the cats wouldn't bother it then forgot about it became very busy.  When I rediscovered it a few weeks later  it was like getting a new hat for free.  I was happy.

So happy I put it on and took pictures right away, not even caring that it clearly did not match my shirt at all.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Glamor Shots

Oeste came off the blocking matts last week but the weather has been absolute crap--like 3 inches of rain in two days crap.  Today it finally got nice and I was able to get out and get some good picture taken.


It's extremely long.  It's easily much taller than me and I'm 5'8".  If you are a very short person you might want to make it a little smaller... I don't know how you would go about downsizing it though, it would probably take a lot of math.


It takes me a minute or two to put this on because it's so long and I'm weirdly anal about getting the points to lay where I want them.  It's worth it though because it looks pretty darn cute all wrapped up around my neck.


The yarn is the luscious Malabrigo Sock.  I've had some in my stash for quite a while but never used it.  The shawl club was the perfect opportunity to finally give it a try.  The colors were perfect together--I love Stephen West's color sense--and the pattern was unique and fun to try.  There are a million ends to weave in though.  You've been warned.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Yarn Crawl

The first weekend in March was the Rose City Yarn Crawl.  The crawl celebrated it's third year this year and was extremely fun.  Basically, 19 yarn shops in the Portland area (yeah, I am spoiled enough to live in a city with 19 yarn shops) go through a lot of trouble to make the weekend amazing.  There are special trunk shows and demos, most of the shops have yummy snacks, every shop designs a knitting pattern that you get free with purchase, and there is a drawing for a giant prize basket at every store.  Then there is a special drawing for the people who manage to make it to all 19 shops in one weekend.

I did not go to all 19 shops.  I went to 12.  In one day.  And Ryan came with me to all of them.  I know.  I am a bad girlfriend and he is an excellent boyfriend.  I did not buy something at every store, but I did walk away with quite a loot.


I seem to have focused either on blue/green or pink/purple.  Not surprising really as most of my stash fits one of those two categories.  Almost all of the yarns I got are yarns I've never tried before and don't already have in my stash.  (I may have gotten a skein of Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino Light.  I don't think I can be blamed for that, you try NOT buying TML, it's hard!)


In one store we ran into a Spectra that had been knit up using Zauberball and a black yarn for the border.  Ryan was extremely taken with it and questioned my ability to duplicate it.  Confident in my knitter-fu I boasted that I could absolutely duplicate the scarf if I had the same color of Zauberball.  Ryan snatched up the last ball of the same color and bought it for me.  The gauntlet has been thrown down.


That multi-colored ball (that's a "Zauberball") and the black are being transformed into Spectra as we speak.  I don't know how I'm going to keep up with shawl club, Spectra, and For Yarns Sake knit-a-longs.  At this point keeping up is probably impossible, I'll just have to try not to fall too far behind.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


So after starting the year off strong blogging every day for the whole month of January, I find myself backsliding into my old lazy-blogger ways.  Only wanting to post when I have a finished project to show off.  Well after a month-long absence, here I am.  And I've got something to show.

I've mentioned several times that for, Christmas and my birthday, Ryan signed me up for the Stephen West Westknits Shawl Club.  (This is reason number 792 that Ryan is awesome.)  Since December I have received an exclusive pattern plus yarn to complete the pattern in exclusive colors all designed by Stephen West, my favorite knitwear designer.

I've already shown you the December and January installments and I love and wear them both.  Neither of them compare to the February installation.  The yarn for this installment was Malabrigo Sock.  It's 100% merino awesomeness.  The colors were Chocolate Amargo

This is actually a Malabrigo color that anyone can buy, it's not exclusive to the club.  This pisses me off a little because the club was advertised as 100% exclusive.  9 exclusive skeins of yarn and 8 exclusive skeins + 1 non-exclusive skein are not the same thing.  The club membership definitely added a premium to what the standard cost for the yarn would be and that premium must be for the "exclusive" factor.  If you're only going to have 8 exclusive skeins, say 8, not 9.  

and Oeste


The pattern for February was the extremely unique Oeste (the yarn was named for the pattern.)   I love the look of this shawl!  I think it's so unique.  It's constructed by making 7 mini-shawls then making the body separately and attaching the mini-shawls to the body.  The instructions say to seam them in, but I attached them as I bound off the "steps" in a way similar to a three-needle bind-off.  

It's currently blocking.  I can't wait until its dry.  It came out extremely long--almost 7 feet tip to tip.


It's still wet, so the colors are a bit darker than they will be once it's dry.  I keep walking over to feel it and see how dry it is even though I just laid it out about 25 minutes ago.


It's a good thing I finished when I did.  I cast off last night.  This afternoon when I got back from the clinic I had this waiting for me in my mailbox:


Hello March package, it's nice to meet you.