FO: Scrappy Little Things

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You might be wondering what this is…such a tiny little finished object. Well when I finished knitting the neon pink toy dog the other day I had just the tiniest bit of yarn leftover from the skein. What to make with it? I’m often left with scraps that I put in a big glass bell jar and use for swatching.
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But this time I turned it into a tiny bandana cowl for Jellybean. She looks so regal here. LOL
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In the span of about 40 minutes I cast on 41 stitches and whipped this baby up. Even did some short row shaping to get a point. It’s similar to this style of cowl I’ve made for non-dogs and myself before. But really it’s because I’ve been watching the Short Row Shaping mini course on Craftsy (it’s free) to really understand short rows better and to be able to do more in my sweater knitting. I’ve got lots of ideas swirling around in my head and just need the time to learn and test knit a lot. So that’s what I spend my free time doing. What new techniques are you trying to learn?

FO: The Rain Outside Shawl

The Rain Outside shawl
In October, one of my aunts who lives in Memphis mentioned to me how much she liked the sweater I made my Auntie Helen for her 90th. My aunt is in her 80’s and very coyly said to me, “I don’t need a sweater but I do enjoy a good shawl to throw over my shoulders.” Oh I was so tickled so I knew I had to make her something special because she’s an absolutely special lady. Plus, if you’re over the age of 70 and you’re my family you’re allowed to make special requests. It took me months to find the right pattern but as soon as I saw the Rain Outside I knew I was going to make it for my aunt.
Blue Heron yarn in Chesapeake
The main yarn is Blue Heron in a metallic colorway called Chesapeake. I bought it last year when my husband took me to the Eastern Shore for my birthday. I thought it was pretty, it represented Maryland and it had 500 yards of dk weight and I figured I’d make something out of it. I wasn’t really sure what but when I saw the Rain Outside pattern and that it was in dk weight I immediately went to that skein of yarn. I also scanned my wall of yarn for another dk weight skein that would pair nicely and this Bernat Cotton-ish yarn was a deep charcoal and matte grey, which turned out to be a great contrast to the metallic.
The Rain Outside shawl
This pattern has cool lace short rows that we easy to follow and added such a lovely detail to the shawl. It’s a dk weight and the yarn is a rayon blend so it has this absolutely lovely drape to it and it looks so delicate.
The Rain Outside shawl
I had to include a close up of the lace panels. I want her to make more patterns incorporating this I love it so much.
The Rain Outside shawl
And then here’s the balance of the garter stitch side. Seriously this was a quick and easy shawl pattern. I already know I’m making it again for myself in green! The only thing I omitted was the edging because my yarn was so slippery and it just kept looking like it was clumping. So I bound off the normal way and called it a day – no need to fight with a project. My gauge is slightly smaller but this still draped over the shoulders nicely and for Memphis this will be a perfect little piece to wear all year.
The Rain Outside shawl
And I had to throw it on to show it off – excuse me for not having on a stitch of makeup. This was post dog walk on Saturday morning – this is me. LOL I definitely want to do more shawls to help use up some of my single skeins of yarn. I just saw this Ice Cream Shawl on my Instagram feed and I’m so in love! What other shawl patterns are your favorites? Please share!

FO: Wild One

This is not my first finished sweater for 2016 but this is my first sweater for myself for 2016 – #selfishknitting. I haven’t talked about the one I finished on January 1 yet because it was shipped to my cousin in Chicago last week and their postal system always has a delay.  She just got it last night and it fits her beautifully but I’m waiting for a selfie of her wearing to share. So until I get that how about I share this gem?
Cala Luna / Wild Thing sweater
Meet Wild One, also known by it’s original pattern name, Cala Luna. I’ve tried to really pick patterns of sweaters and tops I’d want to wear over and over again and this one is definitely going to be in heavy rotation with Mountain High and my Green Garter Raglan.
Cala Luna / Wild Thing sweater
A few things I should note about this pattern, my thoughts and my choices:

      • It’s pushed me out of my normal comfort zone of worsted/aran weight and bulky weight knitting. I used Miss Babs Yowza (the colorway is called Celebration) that I bought at Maryland Sheep and Wool festival and Neighborhood Fiber Co Studio Worsted (the colorway is called 1600 Pennsylvania Ave), which are light worsted/dk weight  yarns and I used size 5 and 7 needles – not my norm. I still finished it in 10 days, even with the stray dog keeping me from knitting. I have to stop limiting myself based on the yarn choice, I really do.
      • It’s a bottom up sweater with a seamed/set-in sleeve. After doing a fully seamed sweater I’ve realized I’ve gotten a lot more confidence in my projects. Plus, this construction was just like Togue Pond tank but with sleeves. I’m going to do my best to keep my confidence up and push myself to try things I’d typically shy away from because if I don’t I won’t have fun sweaters like this one.
      • I swapped out the standard short rows for German short rows and this technique is AH-MAZING!! Also, I love VeryPink Knits YouTube tutorials. My LYS suggested I try German short rows and now I wonder how I will ever not use them? I always get a funny whole when I pick up the purl side of short rows and this was so simple and so easy that I just knew it was going to be wonky and it wasn’t. You have to try this technique.

Cala Luna / Wild Thing sweater
Every time I knit something and put it on or see someone else put it on I’m still amazed. I made that and it fits and it looks good. I always feel so accomplished and wearing things I knit for myself makes me feel so good. I just love it. I’m addicted and my goal to have all my sweaters be hand knit sweaters doesn’t seem so lofty anymore.
Cala Luna / Wild Thing sweater
I’ve got a small test knit on my needles and I’m traveling this week so I think I’m going to knit a tie or two for a friend and my husband while I’m on a long flight. Then I’ve got a few baby knits I need to work on before these new baby girls make their way into the world. My 2016 knitting mantra/resolution is to stop being afraid to try something new, it’s all about learning! Can you tell I’m off to a great start so far this year?

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