Randomly

A collection of knitterly things that I want to do (relatively soon).

1. Take better pictures of my finished socks, preferably on sock blockers.

2. Double knit a pair of socks i.e. two at a time, one inside the other. It’s a little bit of knitting magic! This Knitty article has a great explanation of the process.

3. Knit My Heaven shawl.

4. Attend a fibre festival. (Check! I’ll be heading to the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter’s Fair this weekend).

5. Spin my own yarn. Now that the weather should be cooling down, I’ll be more inclined to pick up some fibre. Clammy hands don’t lend well to spinning.

6. Try Cat Borhdi’s Sweet Tomato Heel

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Number 1

Since I’ve now become a Yarn Club aficionado, I thought I’d share my latest yarn club find. Thanks to the internet and Ravelry, there are endless options to choose from when it comes to picking a yarn club. Some clubs focus on colour, others focus on the pattern; some clubs distribute a variety of yarn weights, while others will only use one, like lace or sock yarn clubs. So far, the most interesting club I’ve come across is the Art Walk Sock Club by Zen Yarn Garden. My art history background may make me a bit biased, but hear me out.

Every month the dyer chooses a work of art and then dyes yarn to capture the colours in the piece. It’s really quite amazing. Some of the yarns are spot on.

Jackson Pollock’s Number 1 was this month’s art work.

Which was interpreted into this yarn:

So far, it’s been turned into this:

I always find it a challenge to match variegated yarn to a pattern, but I this one does a good job of breaking up the colour, and while ensuring the pattern stands out.

A little piece of heaven

Last month I received my first ever yarn club shipment, and as of last weekend, I finished my first yarn club project with an exclusive one-of-a-kind skein of yarn!

As per my previous post, I’ve been working on Jared Flood’s Guernsey Triangle using Tanis Fiber Arts Red Label yarn in a soft grey colourway: smoke. Because it’s Red Label it’s a blend of merino, cashmere, silk. Translation: this yarn is so incredibly soft. So soft that I didn’t want this project to end.

Textural Pattern
The pattern and the yarn are so perfectly paired. Because the yarn is just a single strand it really makes the textural pattern pop, but gives it a very soft look.

As I progressed through the pattern it was clear I wasn’t going to use up all the yarn so I made a few modifications. I added another 11 rows to the end of the pattern in the alternate textural band. I wanted to make sure I used as much of the yarn as possible, and I can safely say I was successful!

Leftover yarn
That tiny skein is all that was leftover from 385m: less than 1 gram of yarn.

I bound off after just one welted edge instead of two, as the pattern called for. For the bind off I used the suspended bind off method, which isn’t quite as tight as a traditional bind off.
Guernsey Triangle

The finished shawl was just so squishy and soft that I couldn’t even wait to block it before I showed it off.

I can see more of this pattern in my future!

I’ve done it. …

I’ve done it. I’ve broken my unspoken rule to try and only buy yarn for projects I have in mind. But only a little bit. I suppose this makes me a Knitter; that’s knitter with a capital. The crazy dedicated type of knitter. The kind that doesn’t just pick it up on a whim every now and then. I heard the term from the Yarn Harlot and it was always something I sort of aspired to. And now, since I’m buying yarn with no regard for an actual finished project, I may have crossed the threshold.

Partly to blame is the Purple Purl. They had their Inventory Sale, and how could I resist such a feast of fibery treats? All things considering (the $2 and $5 dollar bins specifically), I think I did rather well. I picked up a few fabulous yarns. And really, only one of them has no specific future.

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These delicate skeins are destined to become Love on the Edge, a delicate lace shawl that I can’t resist. It’s the heart border that really sweeps me off my feet.

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This combo will of course become a pair of stripey socks. I learned of this striped yarn sensation from Crazy Knitting Lady’s post.

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And the real culprit that puts me into the Knitter category, 7 skeins of Manos Serena. I have no idea what I’ll be making with this. I just know that I loved knitting with the yarn on my Seaglass Shell (despite the disaster it turned out to be), and many of the patterns I seem to be drawn to are knit in this yarn. I’m sure I’ll come up with something!

Yarn Club

Yarn clubs are awesome. Every month (or two depending on the club), a wonderful treat arrives on your doorstep, in this case, a skein of yarn from Tanis Fiber Arts dyed in a colourway unique to the club and an exclusive pattern.

My first shipment included four skeins: three from the previous months and the yarn and pattern for July. July’s offerings were by far my favorite. The yarn, a merino, cashmere, silk single ply yarn is so soft!

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The pattern is a Guernsey shawl pattern, appropriately named Guernsey Triangle, by Jared Flood. What a treat! I love Jared Flood patterns. I’ve knit several including Rock Island Shawl and the Beaumont Tam. This one doesn’t disappoint.

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This is my first project in the guernsey style, which means the pattern is created entirely out of alternating knit and purl stitches. As I go along it’s amazing to see what interesting patterns can emerge from two simple stitches.

Another thing I’ve noticed, it’s much faster than lace!

I’ve made a huge mistake

Aside from watching a bit too much Arrested Development, I’ve been plugging away on my Seaglass Shell tank top. I haven’t mentioned it here yet because I wanted to make sure I had something to show off before I did a post. Unfortunately, I’m almost done and still don’t really have anything to show off.
Let me explain.

I originally saw this pattern while flipping through Interweave Knits. It was love at first sight.

Photo from Interweave knits.

I loved the back lace panel; it brings a bit of edge to the otherwise plain top. I (strangely) was drawn to the plain stockinette; I wanted some simple knitting I could do while re-watching all those Arrested Development episodes. I rushed out to pick up the recommended yarn (it was 25% off at my LYS, that had to be a sign right!?).

Like a good knitter, I swatched: three times, which is a big deal because I’m particularly averse to swatching. But I wanted it to turn out just right.

At first things seemed to be going well.


The lace pattern looked good. The yarn was a treat to knit with.

However, there were warning signs that things might go awry.

  1. The swatch grew. A LOT. But once it was dried it happily went back to the suggested gauge. So I soldiered on, trusting that swatches never lie. (Now I know they’re more like guidelines).
  2. Choosing a size. Clearly misguided about my own measurements, I cast on for the size 38. After all, the pattern stated the model was shown wearing 35 with slight ease. I didn’t want a skin-tight tank top, so I went up a size. Even though I know that I’m not close to a 38.
  3. While knitting I kept thinking to myself “man this seems big”. But I was confident that it would all block out to the schematic and I’d have my tank top with ‘slight ease’
  4. Blocking was a disaster. I should not, I repeat, should NOT have done a full wet block given how much the swatch grew. A light spray block likely would have been fine. As a result, the body pieces were so much bigger than the dimensions I didn’t even pin them out. I laid them flat and pleaded with them to “go back to your original size”, which thankfully they did once dry.

Despite these warnings, I carried on. I pinned out the back lace panel.

I even seamed the edges, but by now my feeling of dread was not dissipating.

After I seamed the second side I couldn’t put the dread out of my mind. I had to try it on.

Not good.

I was swimming in it.

That ‘slight ease’ I had hoped to achieve was more like a size or two.

I slowly took it off and placed it gingerly on the table. I haven’t been able to pick it up since. It just hurts too much.

This is my first real encounter with a non-wearable knitting project; a disaster in size. What really gets me is that it could have been prevented: I should have seen it coming. I should have made the smaller size. The signs were there. Now I know.

Time will tell if I’ll rip it all back and redo it. Right now it’s not looking good.

Promise Kept

Holding true to my promise, I made time for the Summer Solstice shawl yesterday. This section is only a 6 row repeat, but when each row is 277 stitches long those  6 rows can take a while!

The image doesn’t really do the colour any justice. It’s a lustrous plum colour. Hopefully one of these photos will capture the true colour.

I chose to do 5 stitch nupps, however they aren’t showing up very well. Once the shawl is blocked I think they’ll really pop.

Part 2 will be released next Tuesday.