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.

Falling behind already

In my last post I told you about the Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl KAL . I was  am really excited about it. The pattern was sent out in the wee hours of June 20th. I was so excited that after opening the new pattern, I had to do this before I went to work:

That’s 277 stitches quickly cast on.

I have to say I think it was the most efficient I’ve ever been when casting on.  Normally I cast on, get frustratingly close to the final number and then run out of yarn (the long-tail cast on is my normal method of choice).  Usually – after re-casting on with a better estimate of yardage necessary to finish the job – I’ll count, re-count and then count again until I’m fairly certain I have the right number of stitches on the needles.

Not this time. I was determined to get it done right the first time, so that when I came home from work my knitting would be right there waiting for me, all ready to go. I made generous estimates for how much yarn the tail should be; I counted deliberately and placed stitch markers every 50 stitches and voilà! 277 stitches cast on in 15 min or so. (The impressive part is I made it to work on time).

All day at work the lace-y pattern was in the back of my mind. My fingers itched to get at it. Nupps, no problem, I’ve got my method worked out.

Then something happened.

Something wonderful, indulgent and expensive.

I crossed the threshold into the Apple store. (It was sort of on my way home…).

I’ve been thinking about making this purchase for a while. However, I managed to talk myself out of it since it was originally released. (Being a student with a limited budget really “helped” talk me out of it).

Student no longer, I bit the expensive bullet and purchased an iPad.

Almost immediately my need to knit my shawl melted away.

I will get to it tomorrow. I’ve promised myself.

Summer Solstice

Summer knitting should be light and airy; something to give a little warmth on cooler nights and not be too warm when while you’re knitting it. A shawl is the perfect solution.

Despite having a few other things on the go, I’ve decided to take part in Wendy Knits’ Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl KAL (knit-a-long). The pattern is a ‘mystery’ because it’s released in five increments over the next month. Rather than seeing the final product at the get go, the pattern unfolds as you go along.

The yarn I’ve chosen to use is Cascade Heritage Silk, 85% merino, 15%s silk.

The initial package includes a materials list, techniques and a swatch pattern, which I’ve knit up.

The pattern also calls for nupps or beads, but after the Advent KAL, I’ve had my fill of beads, so nupps it is. The pattern includes detailed instructions for making nupps, but I thought they came out more bobble-like than a nupp. I much prefer Nancy Bush’s technique, best demonstrated in the video below.

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The first pattern increment will be released tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Advent Scarf Day 20

There seems to be a trend of the days getting shorter, which is making this process easier as we come to the end.

I found today’s pattern similar to Day 10 with the same triangle/diamond motif is there. I guess there’s bound to be some overlap knitting 24 different patterns!

As always, if you’re interested in following along, the pattern is here.
A new pattern is uploaded every day.

Advent Scarf Day 19

Sometimes I have to just stop and think, “holy crap” I’m actually keeping up with the scarf! It’s a pretty daunting task when you think about it as each day takes about 3 hours.

To get this scarf done I find that I have to just keep going. I’m afraid that if I miss one day it will quickly become a slippery slope and I’ll fall farther and farther behind. Each day I start as soon as it’s posted (unless I have something I have to take care of) and I knit until it’s done, much (I’m sure) to the displeasure of M. If I didn’t, I think that I would easily start late, or not at all, telling myself that I’d get to it tomorrow. One thing would lead to another and I’d be left with no scarf come Christmas!. So although it really has taken over my life, or at least my evenings, it’s the only way I can guarantee that I’ll get through.

Day 19 turned out a little dreary looking, a reflection of the dreary “Green Christmas” weather we’ve been having.

Only a five days left! What are you going to do with your evenings after this is over?

Advent Scarf Day 18

Another day down. I didn’t really “get” today’s pattern. I can’t seem to pick out the pattern. It looks like a bit of a jumbled mess to me. However, considering the number of patterns that I really love, having only one or two that I’m not crazy about is pretty good.

As always, if you’re interested in following along, the pattern is here.
A new pattern is uploaded every day.

Advent Scarf Day 17

I think we have a winner! Or at least a new favourite.

Today’s stitch is a version of an Estonian Star stitch. Once I understood the instructions for the stitch it was quite simple. It basically makes 5 stitches out of one, but instead of making those five out of just one stitch, you knit five stitches together to make that one. It sounds rather complicated, but I assure you once you have the knitting in your hand it’s not that bad.

Posting photos everyday has made it quite evident to me that I really don’t have any photography skills. The photos are never quite as crisp as I hope. I usually wait until I have some decent sunlight and take the photo by the window to avoid the flash. But even that is starting to do weird things with my knitting, as if it looks almost like plastic.

This photo was done with my usual point and shoot camera and I just wasn’t pleased with the result. The colours look more saturated and there is a weird sheen to it. So I took today’s “official” photo with a fancier camera that I forgot we had. I think it’s a bit better. The colour is at least more true.

Sadly, there is just not enough time for me to devote to another hobby. My mediocre photos will have to suffice for now!

As always, if you’re interested in following along, the pattern is here.
A new pattern is uploaded every day.