FO: To Wakanda, With Love

I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie Black Panther yet, but if you haven’t you should. It’s good. And I’m a Marvel movie fan (I adore Tony Stark/Ironman) but because this super hero and cast were mainly black it was this wonderful sight to see. A black superhero and black women warriors…if only this had existed when I was a kid (Remember when I told you representation matters? It’s true!). The movie is based in the fictional African nation of Wakanda and the colors were just so vibrant and bold – clearly I was obsessed. So when I started working on a knitting project the weekend after I saw the movie my husband pointed out that this was my Wakanda color palette. LOL and I just embraced it.
Wakanda Forever
I used the Malabrigo Rios in Diana I picked up while in Louisville and paired it with a leftover skein of Malabrigo Worsted in Green Apple from my hat and mitts. It’s a bold mix of orange, red, yellow and green and I love how it came out. First I decided to do a worsted weight version of the Madness Hat and I like the closer fit. It’s almost like I knit up a turban. The Madness Hat takes up small amounts of yardage for each color so I knew I’d make myself a Bandana Cowl too to match.
Wakanda Forever
I can’t stop with the brioche, ya’ll. It’s my favorite. Although brioche creates a reversible fabric I always seem to like the side where the variegated color is the dominant color.
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And this time with the Bandana Cowl I shorted the length before starting the decreases to start making the point. If I did it again I’d actually cut the stitch count too so it fits a bit closer to my neck. But it’s definitely been a nice piece to throw on especially after all this insane wind we’ve been having in the DC area.
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I just love the vibrancy of this color palette. It makes me so happy to throw on bright color. And if you did see the movie you might notice Nakia’s Infinity Scarf, it’s a hand knit! And the designer made the pattern available for free on Ravelry! I don’t see myself knitting this pattern up but I can definitely see myself going to see the movie again! Wakanda forever!!

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Stitching Status: Colorwork

After knitting so much last year, I’ve had a feeling that a slow down would hit me at some point. I love knitting and do it almost every day but sometimes I lose my mojo. I can already feel myself slipping as I’ve slowed and put my Kangarullover pullover to the side for a bit (it’s a lot of garter stitch and getting a bit awkward to manage) and the other night I was so mentally exhausted and frustrated that I didn’t knit at all. Usually it calms me down but on Friday night I just wanted to sleep. So I’m trying new things to reengage my brain.
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And I’m giving stranded knitting/colorwork a go! A while ago when Interweave had one of their 40% off sales (which is going on today – use code 48HOUR to get 40% off) I bought Alterknit Stitch Dictionary eBook: 200 Modern Knitting Motifs to finally force myself to give colorwork a try. I went through and bookmarked some of the patterns I liked when I first bought it and finally opened it back up last weekend to give it a go. My first try wasn’t too bad.
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My tension isn’t great and I’ve yet to figure out how to hold two balls of yarn that’s comfortable to me but that’s part of learning. But really, it wasn’t that bad. And I realized why I’ve been avoiding it for so long.

So Faux Cowl
So Faux Cowl via Ravelry

I learned to knit in 2011 and the spring of 2013 when Knitscene Accessories came out I was obsessed with knitting the So Faux Cowl. I hadn’t worked with fingering weight yarn, hadn’t done much with charts and had zero clue about stranded knitting. To say this project on tiny needles broke me is an understatement. I’m pretty sure that’s why colorwork has been so intimidating to me for so long. I got overly ambitious early on but now I know a lot more and although this would be a challenge, I don’t think it would break me.
Prism hat
Just swatching from that book brought we way more confidence and this weekend I knit my friend’s toddler a super simple colorwork hat! It was so neat and the floats on the inside were just beautiful. I’m so proud of what I was able to accomplish with just a small project and now I’m ready to tackle more stuff to get my skills better. I may not knit that cowl (I’ve got the yarn somewhere deep in my stash but I definitely see more colorwork in my future. So for those of you who do this often, any tips?

 

FO: Saddle Shoulder Striped Tee

I’m giddy.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
I love this top so much. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE IT. I finished my Saddle Shoulder Striped Tee and am already wearing it. So let’s get into the details on this project.

Here’s my initial inspiration sweater photo compared to what I actually made:
Comparing sweaters
I wanted the following:

  • A short sleeve tee for summer made using saddle shoulder construction.
  • I didn’t want a lot of ease and for it to be a fairly fitted crew neck (not too tight) so I can wear it with an a line or full skirt.
  • COLOR! You guys know me and know how much I love color and so I picked a bunch of Berroco Pima 100 in varying colors I liked and just went with it. I was surprised at how close I was to some of the colors in the original sweater.

In the end I think this was a great finished object. It’s not perfect (few knits are) but I think I did a solid job on this one without really knowing how this was going to all come together. Also the yarn worked up well and wasn’t hard on my hands like some other cotton yarns.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
For another saddle shoulder style sweater I would run a pattern like an open chevron lace on the saddle so I could carry it all the way down the arm of the sweater. That’s what makes it such a useful design technique. And in regards to how you construct it, thank my friend and reader Lavon for realizing it’s a lot like turning a heel on a sock.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
The saddle stitches are live and you pick up the stitches around the armhole. Add in some short row shaping for the sleeve cap and then you’ve got a sleeve to work with! It’s not a difficult technique at all. And I’d say the fit is more in line with a raglan style and not as close under the arm as a seamed sweater would be.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
So I’ve started off my summer staples knitting with a bang. I can’t wait to knock out more tops for myself and I’ve still got yarn leftover from this project so you may see these colors in a striped tank too! So what plans do you have for summer knitting? What projects are topping your list?