New Pattern, New Designer

I spent the latter part of last week trying new projects and reluctantly ripping apart anything I started.  For some reason, I just couldn’t keep any of my knitting on track and was not pleased with any of the results, which made me very frustrated.  I hate feeling this way, especially with a craft that normally brings me so much joy.  On a positive note, the Tanis Fiber Arts yarn holds up extremely well under pressure.  I frogged two projects between twelve and fifteen times total and the yarn held its shape/elasticity perfectly.

On Saturday, I spent a good part of the day browsing Ravelry for a pattern that I would like/use and a pattern that would suit the Blue Label “shadow” yarn in my stash.  Since I’m absolutely horrible at knitting socks (and will probably not cast on for a pair of socks for a very long time!) and somehow couldn’t figure out the provisional cast on (again, a skill that I intend on putting off for a very long time!), I finally discovered a beautiful pattern by Vanessa Smith, the creator of Knit Rhapsody:  The Sarai Shawl.  I’m in love with this pattern and how well it is written.

So far, I’ve only knit through 25% of this pattern, but I love how easily and quickly this shawl is coming together.  And, the pattern comes with 3 different border options once the body of the shawl is knit.  I’ve already decided which border I’ll be knitting plus adding a slight modification, but I will talk more about this once the shawl is complete.

Knit Rhapsody is such a cool website; I suggest all knitters take a peek through the patterns listed there.  I’ve already picked a couple more shawls I plan on knitting this summer (in TanisFiber Arts yarn, of course!) and don’t forget to check out those sweater patterns, which are just gorgeous.  It’s designers like Vanessa that make me wish I had more time in my week for knitting.  🙂

FO: The Midnight Scarf

PatternThe Ericka Scarf by Gina House (from the book:  Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders)

YarnTanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in “Midnight”

Modifications?  Yes, I re-gauged this pattern since my gauge was off and re-configured the amount of stitches I would need to cast on to maintain the garter stitch border and the pattern stitch.  (Thank you, Wendy Bernard!)  I also knit a length of about 41-42″ instead of the recommended 55″.  I didn’t need a very long scarf since it’s spring here in Maine, but I did want something to keep my neck warm on those cool mornings and evenings.

Ravelry Link:  Find more pictures & information here!

 

Long Weekend

I’ve been sick as a dog the past 3 weeks.  I caught a nasty cold bug that quickly turned into bronchitis, which is something that I’ve never experienced before and never want to experience again.  I’m just now starting to feel better but still have a bad cough.  And to make matters worse, I bruised a rib on my left side from coughing so often and so violently.  This is definitely something that I never want to face again in my lifetime.

On the bright side, I took some much needed time off from work and have really been able to tackle my Midnight Scarf.  I’m down to the last 9” of scarf to knit and I’m hoping to complete (and wear!) this project by next weekend.  After examining my stash, I’ve also come to the conclusion that I need to finish some projects and “clean out” the piles of yarn that I’ve hoarded over the past few years.  So, in an attempt to justify any future knitting purchases (i.e. the French Braid Cardigan + yarn), I’ve made a knitter’s goal list:

  • Finish the Midnight Scarf
  • Finish the Ladybug Lace Cardigan (which is 2 years in the making….)
  • Start & complete the In The Alpha’s Shadow socks
  • Sort through stashed yarn & advertise skeins/balls for sale on Ravelry
  • Re-organize remaining stash yarn with obvious room for future yarn purchases

I will feel much better purchasing and starting the French Braid cardigan once the above 5 goals are met.  Call me crazy, but my love for knitting and yarn has gotten a little out of control of the past few years and needs a serious overhaul.

I’m lucky enough to be blessed with a 3 day weekend (thank you Maine for still taking part in Patriot’s Day!) and as an added bonus, our temperatures are expected to be in the 70s and 80s.  Front porch knitting, here I come!

Works In Progress

March has been crazy, super busy for me and I’m so thankful it’s finally over.  I had big plans for releasing my cabled warmth cowl this month, but seeing as how “spring has sprung” and my pattern is designed for the cold, snowy days of winter, I’ve decided to wait and release the pattern in the fall.  That doesn’t mean I can’t get FO pictures (finally!) of the pattern at some point in April and post them on here.  =)

I’m finally in my last month of college (yay!!) and will have a much anticipated Bachelor of Science degree in my hot little hands come May.  It has been five, very long years tediously working away at this degree part-time while working a full-time job and for anyone out there just starting college fresh from high school, I highly advise you to pick some sort of major and get that degree while life is still relatively easy.  Once you’re out in the workforce, it can be difficult to find the time, let alone the energy, to start and finish a college degree program, especially when you have so many hobbies, like knitting, to distract you.  *smile*

Speaking of knitting, I’m currently working on two projects:  The Midnight Scarf (featuring TFA Blue Label in “Midnight” – stash yarn) and the Petal Soft Cable/Lace Kimono (featuring Quince & Co. Lark in “Petal”).  I am in love with both yarns, their color, and how they are working up into beautiful knitted pieces.  The Midnight Scarf was inspired by my recent purchase of the American Eagle jeans jacket.  As always, I was rummaging through my wardrobe and decided I needed a new spring jacket and once purchased, began rummaging through my yarn stash to find a color that would compliment it.  The “midnight” color-way is absolutely gorgeous, with shades of black, navy and bright blue throughout, and once knitted up, the colors remind me of cool river water.  I’m hoping to complete this project by mid-April.

I started the Petal Soft Cable/Lace Kimono at the beginning of March and it has been very slow going ever since.  The pattern is worked in pieces and I’ve almost completed the back portion (which I’m guessing will be the largest piece, I hope) and still need to knit both front pieces and the sleeves.  I was a bit reluctant to purchase the “petal” color-way, but am so glad I did.  It’s a light, warm pink, almost peach color, and looks fabulous knit up in the lace and cable design of the kimono.  I’m hoping to have this garment finished by the first of June, which will be perfect timing forMaine’s cool-ish spring/summer weather.

 

Have you checked out the TFA blog lately?!?  Tanis will be releasing a new pattern soon (the French Braid cardigan) and I’m definitely considering a knitter splurge!  This cardigan is so simple and elegant in design and, I think, will look lovely in the “spearmint” color-way listed on her website.  Visions of lazy summer days knitting on the porch are dancing through my head right now.  =)