FOFri #43: Kelp-y Kelpie Shawl

I am finally getting around to posting FO pics for this project, begun at the beginning of 2014.

FOFri #43: Kelp-y Kelpie Shawl

Gotta love the bikes in the background… Click for project page.

I’m a huge fan of Jared Flood’s Brooklyn Tweed designs, and this Kelpie Shawl was no exception. As soon as a I saw it, I wanted to knit it, and I knew I wanted to use the BT Loft yarn called for (in Sweatshirt). I agonized over color choices for the contrasting stripes, but in the end decided to use a gradient set I had just received as a gift (Black Trillium Fibre Pebble Sock in Pease). The shawl is constructed in a Shetland style, with the center garter stitch triangle knit first and YO holes along the edges picked up to knit the border afterwards.

Because this is a BT pattern and they love their finishing, there’s also a bit of picking up stitches and adding a garter stitch border to the top of the shawl once complete. This is fiddly but not difficult (although it did prevent me from finishing in time for Rhinebeck). The pattern is well-written and easy to follow. My shawl stalled out for so many months because I used the wrong color to pick up the 180+ edge stitches the first time (I used a contrast color when you were supposed to continue with the main color) and just severely procrastinated ripping out and starting again. The only complaint I have about the pattern is that all that garter stitch in the edging is made by PURLING EVERY STITCH instead of knitting. WTF, Jared? Whatever possessed you to think that was a good idea? By the time I realized what was happening, I was too far in. If I make this again, I’ll throw in a plain knit row somewhere to get on a ‘knit every row’ pattern for the garter stitch ridges.

FOFri #43: Kelp-y Kelpie Shawl | Woolen Diversions

Blocking took all my pins!

The yarn is… different. It is very high on the fluff and squish factor, and very low on the drape and smooth factor, because it is a woolen-spun yarn. Woolen yarns are spun with fibers going every-which-way so that they trap more air and provide more warmth. This also makes them slightly less strong and slightly more prone to pilling than worsted-spun yarns, where the fibers are aligned in the same direction. The Loft is very elastic and has lots of bounce, so the finished garment sort of perches around my neck, rather than drapes. And to be honest, purling hundreds of stitches of this fuzzy yarn with point needles was a tad torturous. It makes a shawl I associate with words like “workhorse” and “cozy” rather than “elegant” and “dressy”. The triangular shawl shape makes it a tad less easy to wear kerchief-style than if it were crescent-shaped due to the shorter wingspan, but it’s still a generous enough size to wrap around my large frame.

All told, I’m glad I knit with Loft, I love the gradient in the stripes, and I’m happily working away on a coordinating hat, so I’m sure this shawl will get a lot of use. Have you knit with a woolen spun yarn before? How did you like the results?

Planning (Way) Ahead

You know what I realized the other day? Rhinebeck is only 4 months away. FOUR MONTHS! That might sound like a whole lot of time, and not even the most dedicated knitter is wishing for fall so soon into summer, but if I want to actually finish a garment before the festival, I need to start plotting now.

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Twisted, colorway Grimm Green

I have three skeins of BMFA Twisted, about 1680 yards of worsted/aran weight wool yarn, waiting to become a sweater. This is the same yarn I used for my Overdyed Cypress vest and I know it will make a delightful garment. I’m picturing a button-up cardigan with cables or texture and a thick, cozy shawl collar. However, that vest took me 6 months start-to-finish, so I need to get crackin’ sooner than later. Here are the three patterns on my short list.

Dark & Stormy:

Photo copyright Caro Sheridan. Click for pattern page.

Thea Coleman’s Dark and Stormy cardigan has such a gorgeous cable panel on the back, doesn’t it? It also features a generous shawl collar (which you can see in other photos on the pattern page). The stockinette will likely make the knitting go a little faster. I think this is knit top down with raglan sleeve shaping. My concern is that raglan shaping might not be the most flattering for my larger bust, and I’m wary of getting creative with modifications so early in my garment-knitting career.

Chocolate Stout:

Photo copyright BabyCocktails. Click for pattern page.

Another lovely pattern by Thea Coleman (that woman is a wizard with cables) is Chocolate Stout. This one looks deliciously grandpa-ish, with it  deep pockets, cuffs, and overall texture. It is knit bottom up with a drop shoulder sleeve treatment. Drop shoulders are the same as those on the vest I’ve already made and they were simple enough to work.

Little Wave:

Photo copyright Jared Flood, click for pattern page.

I’m also very much in love with the Little Wave cardi, designed by Gudrun Johnston. I really love the little zig zag/texture stitch and the garter stitch details. It has a less cushy shawl collar than I was picturing, but it still has the same spirit. This one is knit bottom up with a saddle shoulder. I have no idea what my opinion on saddle shoulders might be.

Three gorgeous sweaters with very similar looks, but different constructions. Which would you choose? Why?

Singles or 2-ply? I’m biased.

After (finally) finishing my Malabrigo Nube yarn last Friday, my wheel was taunting me with its alluringly empty bobbins. “C’mon, what are you going to spin next? I’m ready!” Not counting all the new stuff in the Spinzilla pack from Louet, my fiber stash has somehow blossomed to about 60 lots of fiber… I was overwhelmed by choice.

Single or 2-ply? I'm Biased. | Woolen Diversions

Bee Mice Elf BFL/Silk, colorway Eggplant in Ashes.

I eventually settled on some fiber from Bee Mice Elf that was part of the co-op custom order organized on the Completely Twisted and Arbitrary spinning board last year. I have two 4 oz. braids of the lovely stuff and wanted to spin something special… but what?

Singles in progress

Singles in progress

My first thought for this fiber was a lovely, thick, fluffy singles yarn. I chose the largest whorl of the regular flyer and got going. The single wasn’t very thick at all, it was about a light fingering weight thickness, so I plied it into a 2-ply to compare.

Singles yarn (left) and 2-ply (right)

Singles yarn (left) and 2-ply (right)

In truth, I loved the look and feel of the 2-ply a bit better, but  I always gravitate towards thick cushy yarns and have plenty of that in stash already. Many people on Instagram voted for the singles so I decided to swatch to get a better feel for the yarns.

I cast on with size US 6 needles (16 sts for 2-ply, 20 for singles) and knit small stockinette swatches for both yarns. A charming thing happened with the unblocked singles swatch: it biased! This happens in stockinette fabric when there is too much twist in the yarn (it has something to do with the physics of all knit stitches on one side and all purl stitches on the other). To balance an overtwisted yarn, one could:

  • ply the yarn
  • run it back through the wheel in the opposite direction to remove some twist
  • knit a balanced stitch pattern (like garter, ribbing, or seed stitch)
  • block the dickens out of the finished piece to even things out

Or, one could embrace the bias and use it as a design element, as in the new Bias Stripe Wrap pattern from Purl Soho:

Photo copyright Purl Soho. Click for pattern page.

This wrap alternates sections of stockinette and reverse stockinette stitch to highlight the bias in an overtwisted yarn and create the interesting chevron effect with very simple knitting. So now I’m tempted to spin the rest of my singles up in this overtwisted fashion and knit a simple, striking wrap. What would you do?

WIPWed #83: All About the Art

For a while, I was like “Art yarn? But… why? What can you do with it?” And while I have yet to answer the second part of that question, I think I’ve finally understood the why.

I’ve been reading Jacey Boggs’ excellent book, Spin Art, and I’ve finally understood that people spin art yarn because it’s fun, beautiful, and offers endless opportunities for experimentation and discovery. Jacey is an incredible spinner and provides clear instructions and gorgeously inspirational photos, to boot. There’s also a DVD that I have yet to watch, but I’m already brimming with ideas for the techniques I’d like to try. My only wish is that she would have included photos of swatches knit with her lovely yarns, but perhaps she’s leaving that as incentive for us curious spinners to try things out for ourselves.

WIPWed #83: All About the Art | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Rockin’ Whorl Club Masham wool, colorway Indigo Dreams. Click for handspun page.

I am currently giving what seemed to be the most straightforward technique, thick-and-thin spinning, a try. I am spinning on the second whorl of my bulky flyer. This wool is easy to draft and it’s going pretty well but this certainly won’t be my prettiest yarn ever. I’m planning to keep this yarn as a singles, although there are additional art yarns one could create by plying or corespinning with it. Since I’m just dipping my toe in, though, I’m keeping it simple for now, and just enjoying the process.

Did you hear that? Little miss goal-oriented product-coveter is just enjoying the process. I swear, spinning has changed me. I don’t even care if I ever knit with this stuff, I just had to make it.

The Fiasco came across an interesting video about art yesterday. (Note: the guy in it is not an actual professor, he ‘teaches’ for a website that calls itself a university, but is not, and he only has a BA, not a MFA or PhD. So its legitimacy is suspect, but I’m sharing it anyway.) It features an artist who is criticizing modern art for it lack of skill, expertise, meaning, and style. It’s an interesting perspective and raises a series of questions: Does art have to be “good” to be art? Does it have to be “beautiful”? Who determines the standards? I am not versed in art history at all but I’ve often wandered the halls of modern art museums wondering why a blank canvas with one red stripe across it can be called “art” and feeling unsure as to what the point really is in pieces like that. What do you think?

As for other works-in-progress, here’s what I’ve been doing this week.

Garnet Tonic:

WIPWed #83: All About the Art | Woolen Diversions

VG Zaftig, colorway Kiss of Cabernet. Click for project page.

My Tonic Water cowl is coming along nicely. I’m 6 repeats in and have just about 1/8 of the 2nd skein left to work. It’s getting close to cowl-sized, but I’m thinking I’ll need to break into the 3rd skein soon.

Alchemy:

WIPWed #83: All About the Art | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Socks That Rock Heavyweight, colorway Tea & Alchemy. Click for project page.

Even though I gave in to my impulses and cast on a shawl for Malabrigo March, I have not completely forsaken my other knits. My dear Fiasco has been waiting patiently for this second sock and I’ve now safely turned the heel and am cruising down the foot. Soon, soon.

MalMarch Sundry:

WIPWed #83: All About the Art | Woolen Diversions

Malabrigo Yarns Dos, colorway Turquesa. Click for project page.

And about that Sundry shawl that I impulsively cast on for Malabrigo March? I regret nothing. Dos is such a delight to work with and I needed a little bit more garter stitch in my life. The swoop-y shape the shawl is forming is pretty fun, too.

Linking up with Small Things and Gracey’s Goodies this week. Yay for WIPs!

IS #86: Simple Socks That Rock

Today’s post is inspired by my favorite sock yarn of all time: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock. It will involve spoiler photos for the first shipment of the 10th Anniversay Rockin’ Sock Club, so I suggest you click away if you don’t want to see the color.

icon

Spoiler protection photo.

The first shipment is in the sport weight base (called Mediumweight) and the colorway is Feelin’ Groovy. It reminds me of tropical Starburst candies and its brightness is a welcome contrast to the white snow-covered world outside. I love STR because it is unlike most of the other sock yarns out there. Many of the typical, indie-dyed sock yarns are made up of a 2-ply superwash Merino/nylon base. The other common sock yarn base is a loosely-plied 3-ply with Merino/chasmere/nylon. In contrast, STR is a very tightly-plied 3-ply yarn that is composed entirely of superwash Merino wool. This gives it lots of energy while knitting and makes a really snug, plump fabric with excellent stitch definition.

IS #86: Simple Socks That Rock

January shipment of the 2015 RSC.

The shipment came with a couple of fun little Floops stitch markers. I can’t access the accompanying pattern just yet because my dear mom signed up as herself when she bought the membership for me as a gift, and the passwords aren’t working. However, you can peruse other people’s projects here. It’s a basic, toe-up sock pattern knit in rib and modified linen stitch. Its simple stitch combination makes good use of the frequent and relatively short color changes in the yarn. It has inspired me to highlight some other good, simple sock patterns that would work well for the crazy variegated colorways so lovingly dyed by BMFA. (It turns out I’ve discussed sock inspiration before, click here for some sock patterns I’d been dreaming about (and still need to knit!) and here for details about my own free, simple sock pattern.)

Photo copyright dutchcolorqueen. Click for pattern page.

This pattern, Intrepid Traveller by Gail Marracci, was part of the Rockin’ Sock Club the last time I was in it in 2011. Its straightforward ribbed design with the elongated stitch detail is perfectly-suited to very colorful yarns. It was written for Lightweight (fingering) but could easily be modified for thicker yarns, as well, and might be what I end up using for my shipment.

Photo copyright Sarah Ronchetti. Click for pattern page.

The strong vertical lines of the Scott Base pattern, designed by Sarah Ronchetti, look lovely in a semi-solid but would work nicely in a multi-colored yarn as well. You might lose some of the stitch detail, but the texture would add an interesting effect to a striping or pooling yarn.

Photo copyright Laura Kicey. Click for pattern page.

The Monkey socks, designed by Cookie A, are another pattern that look wonderful in both semi-solid and variegated yarns. The lace is simple and bold enough that it still shines through a colorful yarn, and the lace stitches slightly change the angle of the fabric which gives an interesting chevron effect to any stripe details.

Photo copyright Hunter Hammersen. Click for pattern page.

And finally, Marooned by Hunter Hammersen is another example of good use of slipped/elongated stitches with multi-color yarn. I love the way the vertical columns and horizontal slipped stitches play with color, it really can’t be beat.

So, in sum, any pattern with all-over repeated texture, a chevron-like effect on the fabric, strong vertical lines, or regularly slipped stitches will likely work well with highly variegated yarns like Socks That Rock. Do you have a favorite simple, fun sock pattern that would work well in colorful yarn? Share with us in the comments below!

IS

IS #83: Bulky Cowls

‘Tis the season… for bulky handknits! Not only are they on trend at the moment, but they’re also a knitter’s best friend when it’s 12 days ’til Christmas and gifts still need to be made. Not that I’m in that situation, because I said I wasn’t going to knit any gifts this year…

Woolen Diversions

Malabrigo Mecha, colorway Whales Road

Except for one (there’s always one). There’s a young lady on my gift list who wants accessories for Christmas and no store-bought, machine-made cowl is going to befoul her pretty little neck while she’s related to me. So a bulky cowl in the yarn pictured above, it will be. But which pattern?

Casu Cowl:

Photo copyright Galia Lael. Click for pattern page.

I’ve had my eye on this lace-and-texture cowl for quite some time. It’s a free pattern that is written for worsted weight yarn but is easy to scale up. Knitted end-to-end (like a scarf) and then grafted together, you can make it pretty much any size you need.

State Street Cowl:

Photo copyright Carrie Bostick Hoge. Click for pattern page.

I’m such a sucker for lace-writ-large, and this cowl does not disappoint. The stitch pattern looks a lot like the one used on the ever-popular Monkey Socks and the size and shape make it seem so cozy.

Drop Stitch Cowl:

Photo copyright Abi Gregorio. Click for pattern page.

I’ve seen this cowl turn up quite a bit on blogs and project pages. I’m pretty sure it couldn’t be simpler, and would look best in super bulky yarn (as shown) vs. my tiny-in-comparison regular bulky yarn. I would especially love this drop stitch pattern knit in colorful yarn.

Shawl Collared Cowl:

Photo copyright nevernotknitting. Click for pattern page.

This cowl is just hands-down, super classy. The thing I hate about some short cowls is that they’re never QUITE close enough to the neck! They tend to just hang there like pretty knitted jewelry, too short to wrap twice around for snugness but long enough that they let too much air in around the neck. The shawl collar here fixes that with double thick garter stitch coziness right where you need it! I probably won’t knit this for the pre-teen gift I’m planning right now but I’ve certainly talked myself into making one for me ASAP!

Voluminosa:

Photo copyright Katja Ottosson. Click for pattern page.

This cabled gorgeousness would be right up my stylish giftee’s alley. It’s lush and dramatic and a little bit sassy, plus it looks totally snuggle-able.

I’m not yet sure what I’ll end up knitting, I have been kicking a few ideas around for a design so I might end up going with one of those if I can get my swatches in order. Do you have a favorite quick gift pattern? Any great bulky cowls you’ve seen lately? Share with us in the comments below!

IS

IS #81: Worsted Weight Shawls

Now that I’ve finished my Lucy Hat, I’m on the hunt for the perfect worsted weight shawl pattern to knit with the rest of this delectable wine-colored yarn.

Woolen Diversions

Verdant Gryphon Zaftig, colorway Kiss of Cabernet

So I’ve rounded up a bunch of my favorites.

Woolen Diversions

My own photo. Click for project page.

I knit this shawl (Springtime Bandit by Kate Gagnon Osborn) way back in 2010 and I still wear it every season. Worked in Malabrigo Worsted, it is exceptionally cozy. It’s not a super wide shawl (with extra repeats mine blocked to 58″ wingspan) so when I wear it kerchief-style I like to secure the ends with a fun shawl pin (the wiggle one is my favorite), especially since thicker fabric doesn’t drape the same way as lightweight fabric does. I’m talking myself into knitting this one again… but let’s see what else is out there!

Woolen Diversions

Photo copyright CatReading. Click for pattern page.

This one, Flourish designed by Rose Beck, has a very similar feel to the previous shawl, while being just a little bit lacier and more dramatic. It’s conveniently already shown in a deep wine color, too, so I have a pretty good idea of how my finished shawl would look! I’m really liking this one.

Woolen Diversions

Photo copyright KnitJaneKnit. Click for pattern page.

The Dane Shawl, designed by Jane Tanner, is a free pattern that has been in my queue for a long time. I queued it because its simple pattern repeat allows for modification in any weight of yarn, just choose an appropriate needle size and knit smaller or larger as needed! I would also like to give this more curved, shoulder-hugging shawl shape (vs. the traditional triangle) a try.

Woolen Diversions

Photo copyright tincanknits. Click for pattern page.

A similar-but-still-different shawl is Rosebud, designed by Tin Can Knits. The sample was knit in fingering weight yarn, but like the previous shawl, the entire shawl consists of one simple lace repeat that would be easy enough to size up or down for different weights of yarn. I think the rose motif would be especially striking in my wine-colored yarn.

Woolen Diversions

Photo copyright Owlish. Click for pattern page.

And now for something completely different! This beautiful shawl (Loie designed by Beth Kling) is asymmetrically knit from side to side in a textured rib that ends in a lovely cable and lace edging.

Woolen Diversions

Border closeup. Photo copyright Owlish.

Isn’t that border a gorgeous piece of work? It’s knit in DK weight yarn, but just up the needle size a bit and grab an extra skein for yardage insurance and I think it would work wonderfully in worsted. I would likely use some Codex yarn for this, rather than the Zaftig I have, because I like the way I imagine the silk blend would make the stitches shine.

And I can’t leave this post without mentioned this brand-spanking-new bit of loveliness:

Photo copyright Hunter Hammersen. Click for pattern page.

This worsted weight shawl is Nacarat, designed by Hunter Hammersen. It’s part of her new collection, Curls, an entire book full of asymmetrical wraps/shawls. The book was put up for pre-order today (at a discount!) and the first 250 people to order get a little goody bag as well, so you know I’ve already bought mine. I can’t seem to NOT buy one of Hunter’s books anyway. There are a whole slew of patterns that I love but I’ll wait until I actually hold the book in my hands before a blab about it any more.

Do you have a favorite worsted weight shawl pattern, or do you prefer lighter weight accessories? What’s been inspiring you lately? Share with us in the comments below!

IS

FOFri #34: Double Whammy

You know it’s been a good week when you get to Friday and realize you have crossed off everything on your to-do list. THAT NEVER HAPPENS, GUYS. I’ve even finished things that weren’t on the list! Which is why I have not one but two finished objects to show off today. Although I apologize in advance for the quality of these photos: mornings are dark, the lighting is terrible, and it’s crazy hard to focus a DSLR when it’s on a tripod and you’re a few feet away. (Still learning with my new toy, obviously.)

Wine-y Lucy Hat:

Woolen Diversions

Blurr-tastic! Click for project page.

This hat is my faaaaaaaaaaavorite. Seriously. I love the yarn, the shape, the style, the fit… everything. The pattern is Lucy Hat by Carina Spencer. I really admire Carina’s designs. Her aesthetic aligns perfectly with what I actually want to wear, and her patterns are well-written and usually fun to knit. I’ve made her Regina hat, Whippoorwhill Shawl (which was a bit of a slog because it involved so many stitches but the shape is perfect and I wear it constantly), and no fewer than three Zuzu’s Petals cowls (and I’ve been itching to make another recently).

Woolen Diversions

Pre-finished, but shows the colors well.

I am really happy with my yarn choice for this project, too. I used Verdant Gryphon’s Zaftig (worsted weight 70% superwash Merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon), which is a nice round yarn with a soft hand from the cashmere content. The main color is Russian Sage, a nearly-neutral pale lilac, and the contrast is Kiss of Cabernet, a perfect wine color that I’ve been really digging lately. I was imagining the main color as more of a khaki tan, but I think the lilac is light enough to still be worn with a brown-ish outfit without screaming HEY GUYS, LOOK AT MY CLASHING PURPLE HAT, and it coordinates perfectly with outfits on the grey end of the spectrum. (Yes, I really do debate this much over whether or not things match. It’s important! Or OCD.) I will likely knit another of these someday in a different combo, probably involving teal.

Sweet Codex Shawl:

Woolen Diversions

Fringe-tastic! Click for project page.

These perfect skeins of silver Sanguine Gryphon Codex have been waiting to become a shawl for a long time… since 2012!  I waited and waited, changing my mind about a million times, wanting to use it for an intricate lace masterpiece (but having no time to actually knit such a thing). Finally, the need for a grey accessory became overwhelming and I cast on for a simple shawl that I had made before and knew that I loved.

Woolen Diversions

Makes a nice couch cover, too!

The pattern is Sweet November Knit Shawl by Caryl Pierre and it is the ultimate in stylish simplicity. It’s really nothing more than YOs, k2tog, and ssk’s combined with a fun little fringe. It’s epically wearable and looks great in both solid and variegated colorways. It can be knit with basically any weight and amount of yarn. I knit mine on US 10 needles (a bit smaller than called for since Codex is sort of in between DK and worsted weight and is rather slinky from the silk) and continued until I had 223 stitches on the needle (instead of the 171 called for) using less than 460 yards. I bound off on the WS with the recommended stretchy bindoff and added 33 fringes of 4 strands each. The shawl measures 66″ across (I like ’em big!) and 26″ down the center spine, not counting fringe.

Here are some horrible photos of me wearing it. I promise, it looks way better IRL.

I think that taking a little break from my NaKniSweMo project to finish these two accessories was totally worth it, don’t you? Plus, I have a road trip ahead of me this weekend so there should be plenty of knitting time to make up for my non-monogamous transgression (this is why I suck at KALs, y’all). I hope your weeks have been productive, as well, and Happy Friday!

IS #79: Worsted Weight Wonders

It has been quite a while since my last Inspiration Saturday post, but it’s also been some time since I’ve had a chance to really sink my teeth into a pattern search. Many of these posts are born of a burning need to find just the right pattern for just the right yarn and lately I haven’t had any pattern-matching conundrums. However, I’ve just discovered that The Verdant Gryphon has brought back one of my favorite yarn bases (Zaftig Bugga, a worsted weight MCN blend) and well, I had to know how many skeins to buy for my next project, didn’t I? Let the luxurious, worsted-weight-accessory-pattern curating commence!

The Millwater cowl by Beth Kling is one I’ve had queued for Zaftig for quite some time.

Copyright Beth Kling. Click for pattern page.

I knit this pattern out of Malabrigo Twist a while back and really enjoyed it. The knitting is simple and soothing, just garter stitch with a ribbed cable that is knit flat and then seamed. I think the finished piece is striking and versatile and looks lovely in semi-solids and variegated yarns.

Another simple-but-striking cabled pattern is the Tidal Flats hat by Melissa Thomson.

Copyright Alexa Ludeman. Click for pattern page.

This hat is part of the Cascadia collection, which contains many lovely accessory and sweater patterns. This hat would work best in a semi-solid, so as not to obscure all that smooth reverse stockinette.

I’ve been enamored with this Bosc scarf by Robin Ulrich for ages:

Copyright Robin Ulrich. Click for pattern page.

It’s just so dang elegant, and knit in worsted weight it would be cozy, beautiful, and fairly quick to knit.

This Fission mitts by Annika Barranti would be quite cushy in Zaftig.

Copyright Vivian Aubrey. Click for pattern page.

I love the laced-up i-cord details, the cables, and the twisted stitches. You need a yarn with good stitch definition to really make these pop. The style is a little bit similar to my Berriboned Wrists pattern (lacing-wise, anyway):

Copyright Alicia Morandi. Click for pattern page.

The wristwarmers were initially designed with Zaftig, and are quite cozy as all get-out in the heavier weight yarn. (I’m wearing them as I type, in fact!)

To up the elegance ante, we have the Juneberry Shawl designed by Jared Flood.

Copyright Brooklyn Tweed. Click for pattern page.

I’ve adored this shawl for quite some time, but have been having internal debates over whether I want to knit it out of Zaftig or something a bit drapier with some silk content, like Codex or Mondegreen.

Lastly, and the pattern I will most likely knit first, is the Lucy Hat by Carina Spencer.

Copyright Knitscene. Click for pattern page.

I think the plump, tightly-twisted texture of Zaftig will lend great stability to this striking, structured cloche. I love the stitch definition in the photo, the possibility of amazing color combination, and that jaunty flipped brim. This hat needs to be rocked so hard, and I plan to rock it well.

Have you been inspired by anything in particular lately? What’s your favorite use for worsted weight yarn? Let us know in the comments below!

IS

IS #77: Seafoam Inspired

My sweet and wonderful FiascoHubs (do we like the new nickname? he will forever be a Fiasco… but now that he’s a husband rather than a fiance I’m wondering if it needs the ‘Hubs’ addition?) surprised me with ‘souvenir yarn’ over our wedding weekend.

IMG_6863

He apparently went into the local yarn store and said something along the lines of “she likes crazy fiber, wild stuff like ox and quiviut, and she loves blues and seafoam greens” and he left with three skeins of that gorgeousness above. The yarn is a laceweight 50/50 yak/silk blend and it is divine. My fella did very well, but now what to make?

Copyright LachesisandCo. Click for pattern page.

The first thing that jumped to mind was The Mermaid’s Gift shawl designed by Tori Gurbisz. I’ve had this one queued for quite a while and I think the whole look and feel of this pattern would be perfect with the seafoam color of the yarn. My only reservation is that it would only use up a mere 400 yards while I have over 1200 yards of the yarn, but it would certainly be a great use of a single skein of luxurious laceweight you might have hanging around.

Copyright knitlab. Click for pattern page.

The next beauty that jumped to mind was the Seascape Stole designed by Kieran Foley. I’ve long admired the sinuous shifting lines of this stole, and it’s a free pattern on Knitty so that’s always a plus. My big reservation with this one is that the charts are rather large and unwieldy and I had hoped to take this project along on our honeymoon as travel knitting, so it might not be the best choice.

Copyright Kieran Foley. Click for pattern page.

Interestingly, the same designer has another sea-inspired stole that I greatly admire: High Seas. It sounds like this one has wrong side patterning and it on the trickier side, so it also might not make great travel knitting (though it is lovely).

Copyright joelle. Click for pattern page.

Moving on from the sea theme, we have the Echo Flower Shawl by Jenny Johnson Johnen which is based on the Laminaria shawl designed by Elizabeth Freeman. This shawl is chock full of complex Estonian stitches but it is really, truly gorgeous. I imagine in my silky seafoam yarn it would be pretty incredible.

Copyright stebo79. Click for pattern page.

Even though the sample for Morgain by Stefanie Bolf is all ‘dark and moody’ I can’t help but picture it in my yarn and think it would be glorious. I love the way the lace patterning grows in length and width as it cascades across the shawl.

Copyright Strokkur. Click for pattern page.

This is a gorgeous variation (drapier yarn, larger needles, beads instead of nupps) of the Shallow Waters shawl designed by Mia Rinde. I imagine my version would look much like this one. The more I look at photos of this shawl, the higher it is creeping up my list! It incorporates the undulating lines I like so much with the almost gothic, peaked edging that I find very pretty on triangular shawls.

What would you knit with up to 1200 yards of yak/silk lusciousness? Do you have a favorite sea-inspired pattern? Please share in the comments below!

IS