Finished Object Friday

I did it. I got through the short rows and finished my Pendant Purls Shawl earlier this week.

Happy Friday!

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Get off my needles, or the tale of the never ending shawl

I’ve hit that moment of a project. You know the one, that moment where you’ve been working on a project for what feels like forever, you think you’re getting close to casting off, but the project just keeps going and going.

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Meet my Pendant Purls Shawl (the yarn: Shelridge Yarns Soft Touch Ultra Solid in Peacock colourway). I started it on New Year’s Day, and I’ve worked on it sporadically since then.  The first few rows went rather quickly, then I hit Chart A: 32 of rows of lace work, knitting and purling through the back loops, and different increases and decreases. It could only hold my attention for a few rows at a time, but then a few weeks ago, I got determined and have been working diligently away, finishing Chart A last week. Chart B was a series of knit and purl stitches over 8 rows, and they flew by in a few afternoons. Chart C, four rows repeated, and the end was in sight, or so I thought. The shawl is shaped through short rows, and these short rows are the four rows repeated a total of 10 times, increasing after every chart repeat; so it the nature of short rows. I felt so close to the finish by the time I started Chart C, but it just keeps going.

I’m stubborn and determined. This shawl will be finished before the end of the week. That is if the short rows don’t get the better of me.

Stay tuned…

 

Sontag 2 – The Return of the Bosom Friend

Remember that time I knit a wrap from an 1860s pattern? It was called a Sontag. Sontag, you say? What a strange name! Well, I looked into the history of this garment here.  And this is my finished Sontag:

Well, my needles have been busy for the past few weeks, making a Sontag for a co-worker. The beauty of making a project a second time, especially if that second time is a commission, is that you have the chance to improve upon what you did the first time around. I’m very happy with my Sontag and it has kept me warm when I’ve needed a few extra layers with my costume for work, but I also knew there were things I would change if I was to ever make it again. This is my chance.

Firstly, the basket weave.  The Sontag’s fabric is a 5×5 basket weave made up of alternating knits and purls, increasing one stitch at the beginning of each row, or, as Godey directs:

Cast on thirty-five stitches, knit five stitches forwards and five backwards, thus forming the blocks; knit five lines in this way, widening one stitch at the commencement of each line. Knit the second row of blocks alternate with the first.

Don’t you love 19th century patterns.

When I knit this the first time, I worked my increases the same as the stitches before it, like so:

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The basket weave looks off by the sides of the wrap. Only when you’re really looking at it can you see, and perhaps it’s me being picky, but this has always been something I would change about my Sontag. For Sontag 2, I did.

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Look at those new stitches, worked opposite to the ones beside them, continuing with the established basket weave pattern. Much happier.

When making the Sontag, the back is made first, and then the fronts, one side at a time. Again, the pattern wasn’t overly clear on how to go about the decreases:

…Knit up one front, narrowing one stitch on the inside every fourth line for six blocks; narrow every other line for the next six blocks; then narrow every line till you come to a point.

Clear as mud, right.

When I made my the first time, I narrowed every fourth line for 200 rows.  I kept measuring the length of the front against myself, and once I determined it was long enough to wrap around me, I narrowed every other row until 4 stitches remained, using those 4 stitches to make an i-cord 20″ long. The fronts are certainly long enough, wrapping all the way around to the middle of my back. The way I worked the decreases was another thing I would change if I was to make another Sontag, so change I did.

This time, I decreased every 4 row for 120 rows, then decreased every other row until only 4 stitches remain, and again made a 20″ i-cord using those stitches.  Measuring against myself again, this time the fronts come to their ‘point’ around my sides, which I think will make a more attractive wrap.

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My first Sontag, underneath, and the new Sontag on top; note the length difference and shape difference because of the different decreases. Also note the prominence of the coffee mug. Important stuff when knitting.

Front number 1 is done, and I’m 5 rows into the second front. I’ll have this completed in the next few weeks, and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to revisit this pattern and improve upon what I’ve done.

Want to make your own Sontag? Awesome! Check out the pattern on Ravelry! Or, here’s a copy of the pattern from the January 1860 Godey’s Ladies Book.

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Originally from Godey’s; image from http://katedaviesdesigns.com/2013/06/28/sontag/

Row by Row, the Rose Garden (Shawl) Grows

I am not known for my patience. I don’t like waiting, and I love working on short, simple projects because of the immediate satisfaction that comes from finishing the THING. I also love simple knit, purl, garter or stockinette projects because you can turn the brain off and just knit. This is not to say though that I dislike lace, cables, large projects, or complicated patterns – there is a different satisfaction that comes from completing the TRICKY THING. Oh, how wonderful it is to cast off and block that tricky, challenging, and consuming project. I’ve been knitting like a fiend to get to that point with my latest project.

Blogging world: meet the (in progress) Rose Garden Shawl.

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I bought this beautiful cotton yarn at the 2016 Knitter’s Frolic from the Mississauga dyer Dye Version, and it is giving a lovely weight to this project.

But, oh, how it has tried my patience.

Fifteen lace panels; five lace pattern repeats.

A good deal of my long weekend was spent on this shawl. I’m now at the point of knitting the top garter ridge short rows, and it should HOPEFULLY be ready for casting off later this evening. Once it’s finished, I’ll share a picture.

Stash Busters

How do you use up your left overs? You know what I’m talking about: those little part balls, left over from that pair of socks or sweater you finished months ago.

I’m very much a Type A personality (or as a friend says, Type A++), and I’m super organized, so having these odds and ends kicking about my very precious yarn storage space drives me nuts.  When you have a quarter of a skein left, what do you do? It’s not enough to make anything of true substance… but sometimes it’s just enough.

I’ve been on a stash busting kick, trying to clear away those part skeins and odds and ends.

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A few odd balls of DK acrylic are quickly becoming a simple triangle shawl. I may need to buy one more ball to make it a good, proper shawl length.

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The left over Diamond Tradition from the Soper Creek Yarn Challenge are becoming a quick seed stitch cowl.

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Finally, those odd sock ends are becoming squares for a sock yarn blanket. I am ultimately pondering if I make it a true sock yarn memory blanket and only make one square with the yarn, or do I keep busting that stash and just make as many little squares with the yarn that I can. Decisions, decisions.

Happy knitting!

In The Works, Knit-Wise and Blog-Wise

I’m being a bad blogger.  I have two posts – TWO – that are in the works, and I’m plain dragging my feet on researching and writing them.  I’m super excited to share them once they’re ready because they are both related to my latest historical knit. But, laying it out there, I’ve been hit with a bad case of procrastination.  They’re on their way readers!

In the mean time, my laziness is prevailing over this post as well. As uninspired as I’m feeling right now to write a proper post, I’ve been itching to cast on as many projects as I can.  This isn’t my style. I’m more of a ‘knit one or two things at a time’ kind of knitter, but right now, this is me:

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I finished a lovely pair of mitten for my sister:

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I finished my Weasley Rib Socks:

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I finished a simple shawl using the yarn I hand-dyed:

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I’m also knitting up a storm for a friend who’s expecting, making a hat which will match sister’s mittens, the aforementioned historical pattern, a pair of socks for my mother, and I’m itching to make a big old slouchy hat for myself (I think the sockhead pattern will do the trick for this).

Perhaps I’m having too much fun knitting my fingers off to sit and properly write the historic posts!

They are on their way…