Cast-on Monday: Pacific Marigold

As a reward for finishing my design project on time, I bought beads to match my Stroll Tonal (in Pacific) and cast on Marigold by Susanna IC (published in the Sock Report).

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FO Friday: AMS 2012 Olive Lace

This is my fourth year making the Anniversary Mystery Shawl — a free KAL put out annually by prolific lace designer Renee Leverington.

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Project: AMS 2012 Olive Lace

Pattern: Anniversary Mystery Shawl 2012

Designer: Renee Leverington

Available: soon

Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in #56 Olive

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I chose Malabrigo Lace as a backup plan, when a skein of lace from my stash turned out to be horribly cut up in many places.  (I’m STILL not happy about that!)  But, it turned out to be a great excuse to knit with Malabrigo Lace, which is so soft and wonderful.  It is a single-ply, which makes it a tad delicate, but definitely worth the extra effort.

After trying several colors, I settled on “Translucent Amber” beads with a “Rainbow” finish.  I love the warm neutral brown of the amber, and the translucence allows the bead to blend with the yarn better.  Finally, the rainbow finish makes each bead a bit different, again allowing for better blending.  At least that’s my theory!

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My favorite part of this shawl was the big leaf motif at the top!

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This shawl is a 4/6 hexagon.  You could block it as a square … but I vastly prefer the 4/6 hex shape.

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FO Friday: Silver Ribband

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Project: Silver Ribband

Pattern: Ribband

Designer: Laura Nelkin

Available: $5 on Ravelry, pattern kit with all accouterments was $21 retail

Yarn: Alpaca with a Twist Fino

I made this pretty and versatile knitted jewelry piece in just one day.  The kit came with all the fixings: beads, crystals, yarn, clasp, and even a special tool to help thread the beads onto the yarn.  For this pattern, the beads are all strung ahead of time, then popped into place as needed. What else can I say? Well-written and clear, this pattern was a pleasure to knit. The FO is another shop sample for the Hub Mills Store.

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CO Monday: Purple Hedgehog Hat, Berringbone Patch Socks, Bam Boo Branches Store Sample, Silver Ribband

Welcome to CO Monday, or (as it shall be known this week) “Have I Lost My Mind?”  I started four new projects this week, even though I already have multiple projects already actively in progress.  Perhaps I am crazy, and believe I have grown extra arms, and need even more projects to keep my extra arms busy.  I hope those extra arms already know how to knit.

I think the cause is simple: I’m getting near the end of many of those WIPs, and I’m anticipating the lull that follows — the panic that sets in when I don’t have enough projects! Eek!

So, here are the four newbies:

Purple Hedgehog Hat — I bought a skein of Mushishi as a courtesy purchase when I checked out Aunt Margaret’s Yarn Shop in Chelmsford, MA.  The main draw of this shop (for me) is that they carry a full line of Knit Picks needles, including interchangeable tips and cables! But, I didn’t need any needles on this visit, so I chose a big cushy skein of purpley yarn.  It has long color repeats, but they aren’t that different from each other.  I’m taking full advantage of the color repeats with the short-row bumps in this hat. I have two bumps done so far :).

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Next up: Berringbone Patch Socks.  I haven’t made a pair of socks in quite a while.  It was time.  I’ve had this skein of Stroll Hand-painted around for a while, earmarked for socks … I did change my mind about the socks I was going to make, though.  I’ve decided I really don’t like lacy sock patterns, because they don’t wear as well as more solid patterns. I’ve finish the cuff and gotten about four rows into the herringbone pattern.

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I also cast on for a store sample for Hub Mills of my upcoming CEY design, tentatively called Branches.  The pattern sample is in cranberry, but the store sample will be this gorgeous purple:

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I cast on for this project, because I had finished the cape I was making as a store sample.  The pattern book won’t be out until June, so I have plenty of time to work on it.  But, when I work in the shop, I can only knit on projects for the store — I wanted to make sure I had something to do with my hands if it turned out to be a slow day.  As it happened, it WAS a slow day … but I didn’t work on the purple project at all.  Instead, I cast on (and then finished) a Sliver Ribband for the store.  We recently got in several kits by Laura Nelkin, and I got to make this one:

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I stranded the beads and knit it up in a single day — the kit comes complete with the yarn, beads, clasp, pattern, and even a little threader to help put beads on the yarn. I give it high marks!

FO Friday: Summer Rain (AMS KAL 2011)

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For the third year in a row, I was a happy member of Renee Leverington’s “Anniversary Mystery Shawl” group.  The KAL began in May, but I made the project even bigger by doing four panels (instead of three) and adding beads throughout the shawl.  The last few rows were taking me 1-2 hours each, but the finished project is 100% worth the effort! I love the weight of a beaded shawl, and the click-clack the beads make as the shawl swings.

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Project: AMS 2011

Pattern: Summer Rain

Designer: Renee Leverington

Available: $6 at Renee’s shop

Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool-Silk in Blueberry — my first time knitting from a cone!

Beads: size 6 in “gunmetal iris”

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“Summer Rain” was another creative and flawless pattern, just as I’ve come to expect from Renee.  The pattern called for three triangles, blocked into a half-hexagon.  I decided I wanted more shoulder coverage and added a fourth panel and blocked it as a 2/3-hexagon.  I also went a little crazy with beads!  Near the top beading rows were few and far between, but I systematically increased the amount of beading until it was nearly every row on the final “clue” of this mystery shawl.

Did you know that beads are hard to photograph?

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This year four members of my knitting group worked on the mystery shawl. The first person to finish entered her shawl in a local ag fair and won 2nd place!  I’m the second person to finish — two more to go!

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I was surprised by how nicely the Zephyr lace yarn stretched out while knitting.  Silly me, I thought it “barely” needed blocking.  Here is a before shot — you can see how dense and crumpled it is compared to the blocked photos above.

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Here’s the pinned-out shawl! I used Knit Picks cables (from the interchangeable set) to block the top edges, and I pinned out points along the bottom edges.  The shawl dried super fast — completely done in just one afternoon.

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