There’s No Reason Not To

Last week, I wrote that I didn’t want to spend any money on yarn through the month of January. Well, I really have no reason to.

One evening, I took time and got organized. I sorted yarns and projects together into project bags, and I have four, yes four, different projects I could start at any time.

What’s in the bags, you might ask?

Well, one bag has five skeins of sock yarn along with the pattern for So Faded by Andrea Mowry.

Bag #2 has three skeins of Berroco Weekend that I got on clearance from a LYS as this lovely yarn has been discontinued. This yarn is destined to become the Magna Flora (RAV LINK) sweater by Alisa Hartzel. Three skeins should easily make the short sleeved version.

Next up are three skeins of Cascade Heritage Sock and three skeins of Koigu KPPPM which are paired with Sides and Stripes (RAV LINK) by Veera Välimäki.

Finally, the last bag has a skein of Nerds with Needles Nerdy Sock, and I’m envisioning it becoming the Every Bit Cowl from designer Stephanie Lotven.

The only hurdle left was getting the skeins wound, but by the time I got my stash and patterns organized, I was done for the evening, but I managed to get the Nerds with Needles and one skein of the berroco wound over the weekend. That’s two of the four ready for cast on.

So, with four projects organized, and a shawl, a sweater, and two pairs of socks in the WIP pile, I have no real reason to buy yarn. Right?

Finished Birthday Socks

A few weeks ago, I shared socks for which the plans changed once I finished the cuff. Well, the pair is now finished and gifted, so I can post about them!

The yarn was hand dyed using some kool-aid packages, which created this interesting swirling effect.

The pattern was super simple:

Rounds 1-3: Knit
Round 4: *YO, K2Tog, K6* rep to end
Rounds 5-7: Knit
Round 8: *K2, YO, K2Tog, K2* rep to end

I had originally thought of making a pair with a textured pattern, different knits and purls forming the design, but the swirling of the colour lent itself better to a design that would let the colours shine.

Happy knitting!

From Shawl to Cowl

Recently, in trying to decide what to make next, I turned to my stash for inspiration.

Almost two years ago, I bought this skein from a museum gift shop:

It’s 100 grams of 50% Merino, 25% Alpaca, 25% Nylon. I stared at it. No inspriation.

I wound it into a cake. No inspiration.

I spent, what was likely, hours on Ravelry. No inspiration.

Then, I remembered, the Museum had a few self published patterns, including
12 Days of Shawlmas

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, then you’ll know, I love me a good bandana cowl. A shawl, like the pattern as written, I’m not very likely to wear, but make that shawl a cowl, and finally, I had the inspiration I needed!

The pattern was written in a way that encourages the knitter to work 12 rows each day, and by Day 12, you have a finished shawl. First, let me assure you, I did NOT make the 12 rows/day goal. I saw that as more of a guideline…

I followed the instructions for the shawl (working RS / WS) until the end of Day 6 / Row 72. I worked Row 73 as written, but, when I got to the end of the row, I knit that last stitch together with the first stitch in the row, essentially joining in the round. Standard for triangular shawls, there were increases at both sides and at the centre, four stitches increased at the end of the RS row. Once it was joined in the round, I continued to increase at the centre, but I stopped with the increases at the now-back of the cowl. I did, however, keep the garter ridge detail that was started with the border, and I continued with YOs before and after those garter stitches, but every YO was counteracted with either a K2Tog or SSK.

One detail of the pattern that I ADORED was the centre – where most shawls/cowls have that centre stitch, this pattern had two that you were working as a Right Twist (essentially a 1×1 cable achieved by k2tog, leaving stitches on LH needle, then k the first stitch again, and slip the stitches off the LH needle). It gives a lovely twist detail on a part of a garment which is often overly simple.

Turning this shawl into a cowl required a little thinking and counting when you got to sections that had textured details, like the lace section, or the RT sections, but simply counting, and double counting for good measure, kept me on track and was easy enough to accommodate for.

Simple Addition

Oh, I adore this shirt.

I have loved every pattern I’ve made by designer Stephanie Lotven, and, so far, I’ve made a few. My latest is Simple Addition, a simple sweater with lots of ribbing. This is the same sweater I finished two weeks ago but realized I wanted longer, so I frogged my work back and started again. It now measures about 14 inches from below the arm holes and sits just at my hips, a perfect length.

Ripping back how I did meant I could maximize the yardage in the skeins. I ripped back and kept track of which yarn was from the sleeve ribbing, from the front left, from the back, etc. Those yardages wouldn’t change drastically between the two versions, so I used up what was the left over yarn for the body (save a few grams, just in case), and then used the yarns I carefully labelled as each section.

I didn’t aggressively block the sweater, and I’m not sure how the cotton would have taken to being blocked aggressively. I like how the ribbing means the shirt is a little more form fitted than the pattern calls for with less ease. And that’s ok.

I chose this pattern because I had three skeins of Berroco’s Weekend, and the yardage all worked out. The fact that it was a Stephanie Lotven pattern gave me even more reasons to buy and cast on. She has a variety of patterns available, including a number (and a book, actually) all about different ways to use self-striping yarn. She also has a number of really fun colourwork cowls. If you haven’t tried one of her patterns before, please check her out! Safe to say, I’m a fan.

Sunny Baby Blanket

New finished item!

The pattern was Sunny Baby Blanket by Lucie Sinkler. It was so simple but engaging with the 12 rows of knits and purls forming the pattern. I used what might be my favourite, yet sadly discontinued yarn, Berroco Weekend. A LYS is slowly selling their remaining stock of this yarn, and I’ve been quite liberal with my purchasing of it! Six skeins went into this blanket, and it ended up being quite sizable!

It’s a gift, so it was knit with a timeframe. Once I cast off, I had that feeling of ‘What Now,’ as if I don’t already have two sweaters and two socks on the go. I also want to cast on another pair of “Michele’s Mittens” (RAV LINK) by Sarah H Arnold because I lost one while out on a walk. That one still stings…

But, this beautiful blanket, which occupied my mind for just over a month, is now finished and will soon be gifted to the mom-to-be. Very exciting indeed.