Star Light, Star Bright

August 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
Wish I may, wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight

The enormity and magnificence of space has always struck me right to the core of my being. From the time I was a little girl, I remember looking up at the night sky with a tremendous sense of wonder and awe. Back then, the space program was in full swing, and Sally Ride was an astronaut, and it didn’t seem completely impossible that maybe someday I could fly among the stars. Then I grew up, and dreamed different dreams, and wished different wishes, and settled into my life on Earth…but I still get a tingle when I look up into the night sky.

My favorite of all the constellations is Cassiopeia…the beautiful but vain Aethiopian queen who incurred the wrath of Poseidon and was punished by being tied to her throne for eternity, placed in the heavens in such a position that for half the year she is sitting upside down. This shawlette is based on the shape of her constellation, an asymmetrical “W”. The garter lace of the main body forms tiny star shapes between the eyelets, and the lace border on the bottom edge evokes the shooting stars that are traditionally wished upon even after the first star of the night has passed.

Wish I May is now available on Ravelry.

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Sneak Peek

August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Remember that bit of knitting I showed you a couple weeks ago? Well, the pattern’s all ready to publish. Unfortunately, the pics of the full sized piece didn’t come out quite as well as I’d like, and it’s a pretty enough piece that it deserves photos that show that off. So this weekend, I’ll have another photoshoot and if all goes well, you will all have a lovely new pattern to knit by Sunday evening. Until then, here’s a little sneak peek:

Sparkly!

I can’t wait to show you the whole thing in it’s full glory!

Sprung!

May 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Pretty!

To give my hands and arms a rest from the massive amounts of knitting I’ve been doing lately, I decided a little crochet was in order. Something quick and easy and fun and Spring-y was just what I needed. When I came across Veronica O’Neil’s Bird of Prey I knew I’d found my project.

Obviously for Spring I didn’t want to do it in plain black (though I am definitely going to in the future — I could use a plain black shawl and this one is so easy!) and I happened to have some Hometown USA in Dallas Grey handy. I really didn’t want just plain grey, though, so I thought I’d add some colorful fringe. One ball of Monterey Lime later, there were some pretty green accents around my shawl, and it was starting to feel downright vernal. It still wasn’t quite enough, though…those long green fringes seemed to evoke stems, so I hunted up an easy flower pattern and grabbed some random bright bits and bobs and set to.

I ended up alternating green and grey fringe — all green was just way too much — and the flowers are 8 different colors. I had originally thought to put some flowers in the middle of the shawl as well, but decided I was done making flowers like it just fine like this. A couple of notes on the flowers: I found it much easier to end up in the right spot if I joined the petal color somewhere other than the beginning/end of the flower center, and I only did a single petal on each flower rather than the double given in the pattern (I just didn’t do the second repeat).

If this doesn’t say Spring, I don’t know what does.

The flowers actually took two or three times longer than the shawl, which only took me about 3 hours. 3. Hours. I know, right?!?! Because I am super slow and this was superfast. Now you see why I’m going to make one in black, too. Heck, I might make one in every single color of Hometown USA.

I apologize for the low quality phone pics…I forgot to grab my camera and I’m trying to be really good abotu not letting lack of awesome photos keep me from posting. Because that way lies Procrastination with a capital “P”. Hopefully someday there will be both regular posting AND awesome photos.

FREE Pattern! Sangria Swirl

December 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

The other day, I came upon this delicious, unlabeled yarn. The colors were beautiful, the yarn was nice and chunky so I knew it would work up fast, and it felt just lovely in my hands. I did some measuring and weighing and figured out that I had about 450yds total. Perfect for a scarfy-shawl-thingie! What I wanted was another Clapotis but I knew it wasn’t nearly enough yarn for that. Then I thought maybe I’d just do another drop-wrap shawl, but I didn’t really want another big triangle, and so I thought I could do a rectangular one. And then…then I thought about doing a rectangle on the bias, similar to how the Clapotis is shaped.

So I sat down, cast on a couple stitches, and started to play with it.  Love. It. It spirals and stretches and you don’t really have to think much about what you’re doing. It can be worn as a scarf (doubled — it’s really long) or stretched out and worn as a wrap. Best of all, even for slow knitter me it was a crazy fast knit. I think it took me <20 hours all told, and I was figuring out the pattern as I went. Without further ado, I give you the Sangria Swirl:

It's a shawl!

No, wait! It's a scarf!

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Measurements:

72″ x 12″

Materials:

  • App. 450 yds bulky yarn
  • Size 11(8mm) needles

Instructions:

CO 3.
Increase section:
Row 1: kfb, k to end
Row 2: purl
Row 3: kfb, k to end
Row 4: purl
Row 5: kfb, k to end
Row 6: purl, wrapping yarn twice around needle for each stitch (drop extra wrap when working next row)

Repeat these 6 rows a total of 14 times (84 rows, 45 stitches) Note: if you want to make your project wider, work more repeats of this section, and then work the same number of repeats of the decrease section, below

Work even section (no net increase or decrease):
Row 1: kfb, k to last 2, k2tog
Row 2: purl
Row 3: kfb, k to last 2, k2tog
Row 4: purl
Row 5: kfb, k to last 2, k2tog
Row 6: purl, wrapping yarn twice around needle for each stitch (drop extra wrap when working next row)

Repeat these 6 rows a total of 22 times (216 rows, 45 stitches) Note: if you want your project to be longer or shorter, work more or fewer repeats of this section

Decrease section:
Row 1: k to last 2, k2tog
Row 2: purl
Row 3: k to last 2, k2tog
Row 4: purl
Row 5: k to last 2, k2tog
Row 6: purl, wrapping yarn twice around needle for each stitch (drop extra wrap when working next row)

Repeat these 6 rows a total of 14 times (300 rows, 3 stitches)

Bind off remaining 3 sts. Weave in ends.

It’s a Real Live Knitted FO! For Serious!

November 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Looky what I made! Free pattern is Bicycle Wheels from Sew Knit Me, yarn is Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Charcoal. The pattern is very conversational, maybe a little more than I like, but there were no errors and I absolutely love the tip on merging down your purl stitches on the last row of rib. What a great, finished look that one extra little row gives! I also really like the way it fits after being pulled together in the back…nice and slouchy without that feeling that it’s going to fall off any second. Best part? As slow as I am, this hat only took be about two and half hours of actual knitting time to work up. I feel some Generic Winter Holiday gifts coming on…

Yes, there's also one from the front. Unfortunately, it is an incredibly unflattering picture of me (the hat still looks cute). So you'll have to settle for this one.

 

And this is what’s on my needles now:

I really wish I knew what this yarn is...it's got a great hand and just look how gorgeous the colors are!

It’s a little scarf-shawl, à la Clapotis…I’m hoping to have it done by the weekend for party-wearing (and also I have another project that I Absolutely Must be working on over the weekend, so it would be nice to have this off the needles). I started it Tuesday night just to play with the yarn (which is, naturally, unlabeled 😦 ) because it is pretty and soft, and like the way it’s turning out so well that I scribbled out the pattern and will publish it as a freebie as soon as I have the project finished.

Done, done, and done

May 5, 2011 § 2 Comments

Last weekend was one for finishing projects, apparently. I finished not one, not two, but three projects…and that’s not even counting the castle cake! I’m really pleased with all of them, but I think the one that pleased me the most was my Little Easy Shawl. The only change I made to the pattern was the yarn (I used Lion Organic Cotton in Cypress), and it really was a delight to make from start to finish. I even love the way the holes from the (unwrapped) short row ends make a great set of eyelets going across the ruffle. I went outside to take some pics, and discovered it’s even more versatile and adorable than I thought. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. (The other two projects will get their very own posts, coming soon!)

Shawl3

Neck wrap

Shawl2

Neck wrap, closeup

Shawl 1

Sideways wrap around the shoulders

Shawl4

Back view

I also got a little bloggy maintenance done…the Recipes page is fully functional now, and I’ve added the first pattern to the Patterns and Projects page. I hope to get all of my current patterns transitioned over in the next week, and that new hat pattern I promised is on its way!

The Little Easy (Shawl)

April 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

I decided after the frenzy of the past few weeks I needed something super simple on the needles. (You know, in addition to the 80 gajillion projects I already have going.) I came across this little shawl pattern when I was looking for a shawl to make for Fortunetide, and fell right in love with it. It’s super simple, just garter and stockinette stitch, with simple increases and short rows for shaping.

Shawl

Just getting started...not too exciting yet

I’m making it in Lion Organic yarn, and I finally understand why people who knit Continental style hate cotton — it’s a real pain to pull it through the stitches that way. I generally work garter or long patches of stockinette Continental style just because it’s a bit faster, so I’m a little disappointed that I won’t be able to do that on this one…but on the other hand, the yarn feels gorgeous in my hands so I’m not too upset about the extra time I’ll need to spend handling it.

This shawl strongly evokes New Orleans for me…I can just imagine being on Bourbon street on a sultry summer night in a little cotton tank top with this shawl to keep the drafts off in the watering holes and juke joints. New Orleans is high on the list of places I’ve always wanted to visit. Someday I’ll get there, and I’ll be wearing this shawl.

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