Swallowtail Shawl, finally!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been working on a Swallowtail Shawl (click here for PDF of pattern) on and off for the past several months, using Knit Picks Shadow Tonal yarn in the Deep Waters colorway. It kept getting put aside in favor of more pressing projects, or out of boredom with the repeating lace.

Finally, I’ve had the drive to finish it, and last night I did!I have to admit, despite my trepidation after reading accounts from people on Ravelry, I didn’t find the nupps difficult at all, and they came out very pretty.

I’m extra excited about this project because it’s the first full lace I’ve done, and my first large-scale blocking.

It took me about an hour to get the pinning done right, but part of that was probably because I’d never pinned anything out to block before. Oh, and my room smelled like wet sheep all night, because I forgot to put any sort of wool wash in the water. Oops. That was definitely a lesson learned.

One thing I did learn was that, when pinning out lace, you can’t just stick the pins in straight up and down, because the lace will pull up and bend the pin forward. I figured out that if I stuck the pins into the mat at an angle, so that the pin was almost flat and was stuck through the mat for most of the pin length, it held much better. I used a 48″ x 96″ x 0.5″ portable foam fitness floor as my blocking mat.

Unfortunately, I forgot to measure it pre-blocking, but while blocking it’s about 53 inches by about 31 inches. I used up just under a full 50-gram skein of the Shadow Tonal.

Without further ado, here she is – my Swallowtail!

Before blocking:

During blocking:

After blocking!

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My shawl is coming along nicely!

I started this shawl last year, got distracted, and stopped working on it, but I finally started again and look at how far I’ve come!

Just in time mittens

I made this mittens just in time for the snow!

I recently finished a pair of mittens just in time for the snow, using the Celtic Moonrise pattern from Ravelry.

Modifications:

Instead of using the thumb in the pattern, I began a thumb gusset at row 15 of my second cable chart repeat, so that it ended at row 9 of my third chart repeat, putting the thumb opening at the same spot as in the pattern. I started the thumb gusset in the second chart repeat so that I’d have a longer mitten.

I wanted to have my cables continue and meet for an end, so I began decreasing on a row 1 of the chart repeat, using the following odd-numbered rows:

1) k1, ssk, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, p4, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, k2 from cable needle, p4, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, k2tog, k1

3) k1, ssk, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, k2tog, k1

5) k1, ssk, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, p4, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, k2tog, k1

7) k1, ssk, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, k2tog, k1

A yoga dilemma

Okay, I’ve got a problem that isn’t a problem.

yoga bag in progress

This is my bag in progress, don’t the colors look nice together? 🙂

I’ve recently started yoga classes at a local studio, and I’m really enjoying it. Not wanting my mat to unroll everywhere, I decided to knit myself a yoga bag. I found a great pattern (Knitty link) on Ravelry (Rav pattern link), and started knitting in in some Sugar ‘N Cream, with a nice purple and blue contrast.

At first, I was going to make it wider than the pattern, in order to accommodate a block and strap. I quickly realized this was unnecessary, as the block would fit into the bag as the pattern was written.

So, now, my issue is this: I can’t decide whether to knit the bag an extra foot or so to accommodate the block, or knit a second, smaller bag in the same color scheme that can hook in with the bag’s strap onto the bigger mat bag.

What do you think I should do? Any yogis out there with some advice?

Classy Cabled Gloves

I am proud to announce my first pattern for sale on Ravelry! It is the pattern for my new Classy Cabled Gloves.

Classy Cabled Gloves

These gloves are a relatively simple knit that I came up with to match a neckwarmer and hat I had made myself. The cables twist in opposite directions to give the cables a little personality without getting complicated. They are a quick knit and look great with a variety of types of hats and scarves. The gloves are knit in a worsted weight yarn on small needles to produce a tightly knit fabric that is good for warmth.

Lucky Hearts Hat

Heart Hat

I wanted to come up with a lace heart pattern to put on a hat, so I designed this simple pattern. I called it Lucky Hearts because there are 7 repeats of the heart pattern, and 7 is supposed to be a lucky number.

Link to PDF version.

Materials:

  • about 85-100 yards worsted weight yarn
  • size 8 16″ bamboo circular needle
  • size 8 dpns
  • tapestry needle

Directions:

CO 91 stitches, join for working in the round, and place stitch marker for beginning of round.

work in k4, p3 rib for about an inch and a half.

knit 6 rows in stockinette, then work full lace pattern once.

Lace Pattern:

Row 1 – k5, m1 (use whatever increase method you prefer, for the example picture I did a kfb on the 5th stitch) , k2tog, k6

Row 2 and all even rows – k all stitches

Row 3 – k4, k2tog, k1, yo, k1, ssk, m1,k3

Row 5 – k3, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k3

Row 7 – k2, k2tog, yo, k5, yo, ssk, k2

Row 9 – k1, k2tog, yo, k7, yo, ssk, k1

Row 11 – repeat row 9

Row 13 – k1, k2tog, yo, k2, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k1

Row 15 – k2, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, yo, ssk, k2

lace heart

knit in stockinette for 6 rounds, then begin decreases.

Decreases:

k11, k2tog around (84 sts)

k around

k10, k2tog around (77 sts)

k9, k2tog around (70 sts)

k8, k2tog around (63 sts)

k7, k2tog around (56 sts)

k6, k2tog around (49 sts)

k5, k2tog around (42 sts)

k4, k2tog around (35 sts)

k3, k2tog around (28 sts)

k2, k2tog around (21 sts)

k1, k2tog around (14 sts)

k2tog around (7 sts)

cut yarn and use tapestry needle to draw through remaining 7 stitches. Pull through to the inside and weave in ends.

Bouncing Bubbles Hat

bouncing bubbles hat

I came up with the design for this hat while knitting at work when I forgot the pattern for the hat I originally intended to make, and I think it came out pretty well. 🙂

Link to PDF version

Materials:

  • about 100 yards of worsted weight MC
  • small amount of worsted weight CC
  • size 8 16″ circular needle
  • size 8 dpns
  • tapestry needle

Directions:

CO 96 stitches with MC, join for working in the round, and place a stitch marker for the beginning of the round

work in k4, p2 rib for about an inch and a half

work in stockinette for 6 rounds

work the following chart 4 times, starting in the lower right corner. White = MC, black = CC

bubble hat design

work in stockinette in MC for 6 rounds, then begin decreases

Decreases:

k14, k2tog around (90 sts)

k around

k13, k2tog around (84 sts)

k around

k12, k2tog around (78 sts)

k around

k11, k2tog around (72 sts)

k around

k10, k2tog around (66 sts)

k9, k2tog around (60 sts)

k8, k2tog around (54 sts)

k7, k2tog around (48 sts)

k6, k2tog around (42 sts)

k5, k2tog around (36 sts)

k4, k2tog around (30 sts)

k3, k2tog around (24 sts)

k2, k2tog around (18 sts)

k1, k2tog around (12 sts)

k2tog around (6 sts)

cut yarn and use tapestry needle to draw through remaining 6 stitches. Pull through to the inside and weave in ends.

Swirls and Stars Hat

swirl hat

This hat is a nice project for an afternoon or evening that looks complicated, but is fairly simple.

Link to PDF verison

Materials:

  • about 100 yards of worsted weight MC
  • small amount of worsted weight CC
  • size 8 16″ circular needle
  • size 8 dpns
  • tapestry needle

Directions:

CO 96 stitches in MC, join for working in the round and place stitch marker to mark beginning of a round

work in k1, p1 rib for an inch and a half

work in stockinette for 4 rounds

work the following chart twice for each round, starting in the bottom right. white = MC, black = CC

hat design

work in stockinette for 4 rounds before beginning decreases

Decreases:

k14, k2tog around (90 sts)

k around

k13, k2tog around (84 sts)

k around

k12, k2tog around (78 sts)

k around

k11, k2tog around (72 sts)

k around

k10, k2tog around (66 sts)

k9, k2tog around (60 sts)

k8, k2tog around (54 sts)

k7, k2tog around (48 sts)

k6, k2tog around (42 sts)

k5, k2tog around (36 sts)

k4, k2tog around (30 sts)

k3, k2tog around (24 sts)

k2, k2tog around (18 sts)

k1, k2tog around (12 sts)

k2tog around (6 sts)

cut yarn and use tapestry needle to draw through remaining 6 stitches. Pull through to the inside and weave in ends.

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