My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Color Shifting Shawl


     I don't own a ball winder, usually finding the task peaceful (Hand Wind A Ball Of Yarn); but I ordered the Color Shifting Hawthorne Value Pack with 5 skeins of fingering Hawthorne yarn, plus I ordered 1 of Hawthorne Tonal Hand Paint in the color Sweet Home so I had lots of balls to wind.  But I set up my tablet on two pillows, wrapped the skein around the pillow and I happily wrapped and read.  Not only is it a peaceful process and I get to read, but also I get to delight in the colors unfolding.  A skein can be pretty, but the colors are in blocks and I like seeing how it wraps into a ball, the colors mixing together, getting a totally different effect.  It's like celebrating your yarn before you knit with it.

     Now that I'm knitting my Color Shifting Shawl I'm also enjoying how the colors unfold and work together.  It's a great pattern, easy, with lots of contrast, texture, and variety.  I'm knitting now with Arleta which reminds me of raspberry swirl ice cream.  Especially in the striped section.  An intense raspberry color.  Next, I get to add Eugene, a very dark plum.  Every third section of stripes a new color is added and at the end of this section, the older one is cut off.  In this way, the colors are flowingly introduced.  Plum and raspberry divine.  After Eugene, I'm entering Sweet Home in, instead of the MC Burlingame.  I'll add Burlingame for another repeat at the end.

     My The Bulky Blue sweater has an arm and soon another one.

     My listening to a great audio always helps me knit along.  "The Woman Left Behind" by Linda Howard is a great book to listen to.  A young geek working in a department of a paramilitary organization to fight terrorists Stateside is picked with 10 others to join a secret paramilitary group.  They had unwittingly played a game set-up in the break room, not realizing it was a test, one she always bested the rest of the guys in.  The plan is to insert one tech for a drone in each "Go" team that goes into hotspots internationally.  They will help aid surveillance and protect the team.  First, they need to train to be up to speed with the group, especially if something happens.  So Jina, whose not into sweaty pursuits, must push to pass the grueling training.  I find this an interesting part, her work to overcome and push, regardless.  Meanwhile, there's an attraction mounting between the leader and herself, one which they both are fighting.  I know eventually, she'll be left alone (hence the title) and she has to pull all of what she's learned to survive. Awesome!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Finally the Hem Done!


      I've mentioned I'm a perfectionist.  I will rip and redo till it's right, but sometimes I feel like I'm ripping more than knitting.  But in my mind, it's got to be just right, perfect.  I knit away on my The Bulky Blue and I wanted it long so I went beyond the recommended length thinking it'll give it a nicer long silhouette. Wrong!  It didn't work, just too huge and it made me look like a little girl in an adult sweater.  Also, the recommended hem was just too thick and the rib too big itself.  (Pattern The Easy Bulky One)

      So the second plan, I ripped out to recommended length and tried a hem with two levels.  A thin one in front and a longer one in the back, with a split in the side.  I also went down from an 11 size needle to 10.5.  The front hem looked perfect, but I didn't like the way both hems looked and I longed for the original look.  Unfortunately, since I didn't want the slits in the side, all of it had to be ripped out.  Rip, back to 16 3/4" from shoulder underarm (recommended length).  Been here, done this too many times, but usually, the last one is the perfect one and it is.

     I again used my 10.5 needles to do just 4 rounds of 1 X 1 rib.  Unfortunately, I only have them in two sets of straight needles, one set very long, and no circulars.  So it took forever to do a side, switch all the stitches on the other side around on a needle with the point towards me (while stitches dropped from the other side).  I despaired of getting it done, but I finally did it and it looks alright.  But yarn is so forgiving.  Off the needles, last night and it looks just right.  Sigh, finally!  Now, I'm off to work on the sleeves, with changing tones of blues going down the lengths.

     Even though it was a bit of a journey to get back to how I did finish, I think it was worth it to arrive where I did, with a perfect finish to the bottom.  Sometimes the long, more difficult route is worth it since you discover exactly how you want something and how to achieve it in the end.

     I'm still reading Linda Lael Miller and I'm reading a 3 book series called The McKettricks of Texas.  I finished Tate  and I'm onto Garret and I'll soon be onto Austin.  They're all good books.  Sweet and engaging.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Yarns - Batwing Shawl

     I impulsively joined a KAL last week - Bat-Tastic KAL.  A post was made in my facebook group Resistance Knitters about an opportunity to knit for Moms of families going through difficulties.  From the first look at the pattern, I could immediately envision the yarn I could use.  I also love the idea of being able to have something up on needles that's for someone else, especially in need.  The To the Batcave! Shawl pattern gives part of the proceeds from the pattern and yarn also made for the shawl to the Colten Cowell Foundation.  The shawls can also be donated to moms of families impacted by significant life challenges.
“ ‘To the Batcave!’ “ is a pattern inspired by, first and foremost, the crime- fighting superhero himself, and at the heart, by the many brave children and their families whose lives are impacted by significant life challenges.“"

     The pattern is very simple, an increase of three stitches on each side, every other row.  That's it for the beginning.  It's a peaceful knit and it's going up fast for a fingering weight shawl.  I'm using a very nice soft and squishy yarn - Stroll Tonal Sock Yarn from KnitPicks in Orbit (there are also other colors in this yarn that would look really nice done up as a "To the Batcave" shawl - Raven, Inverness, Train Station, Cordial, and Malbec).  Orbit was a yarn I got for another "Just Knit It" shawl (which I can do later), it just seemed the perfect color of dark blue and black for a bat.  So I ripped out the bit I did and started again.  I'm naming my shawl the "Batwing Shawl" (My Ravelry Project page).

     I'm on the bottom rows of my The Bulky Blue sweater.  Into the darkest smokey blue yarn I dyed (Feeling the Blues - Dyeing with Black Beans).  I'm thinking of adding a few more inches because I don't want a boxy look and I like my tops long to cover leggings. (Pattern - The Easy Bulky One).


     Yup, I'm still stuck on Linda Lael Miller's Romantic Westerns.  I just love them!  I finished Once a Rancher: A Western Romance (The Carsons of Mustang Creek) Book 1 and Always a Cowboy (The Carsons of Mustang Creek) Book 2 and I loved both.  The third book - Forever a Hero: A Western Romance Novel has a really exciting start.  Now I'm reading an older book of hers - At Home in Stone Creek (A Stone Creek Novel) and I'm really enjoying this one!  But I think I think that of all her books while I'm reading them. (Goodreads summaries and reviews of Linda Lael Miller's books - Goodreads).

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Bulky Blue and the Color Shifting Shawl


     The Bulky Blue is growing so fast (for me, a slow knitter).  I'm impressed with how fast and easy this is, even after I ripped the whole thing out last week.  I've pushed to catch up and I'm onto the 4th shade of blue from Dyeing with Black Beans, a really nice dark gunmetal blue.  It's going to be so comfy and still at a size M it's plenty big!  (Pattern - The Easy Bulky One).

A little pinkier and lighter than true color, it's more vibrant, with different orange to magenta shades.

 Color Shifting Hawthorne  (KnitPicks Pic)

     Today I got a big box of goodies from KnitPicks!  I ordered the kit - Color Shifting Hawthorne Value Pack, on sale too!  I'm making the Color Shifting Shawl, which looks like an easy knit, but it's the colors of the yarns that caught my eye, incredible!  I also bought Hawthorne Tonal Hand Paint in Sweet Home, because I just love that color and I knew it look good with the others, it does! (M - Shifting Colors Shawly Ravelry Project page

      On the book front, I'm still reading Linda Lael Miller's Westerns and I have a pile of lovely books from Book of the Month I need to get my hands on.  But the Romantic Westerns are warm and cozy and just feel just right, right now.  I just finished Montana Creeds: Tyler and I loved it!  This three-book series is really good - The Montana Creeds Logan #1, Dylan #2, Tyler #3.

     I'm really excited about an Audible I just downloaded.  It's a new Linda Howard - The Woman Left Behind By: Linda Howard.  It sounds massively exciting and I'll let you know about it next week. (GoodReads - The Woman Left Behind).

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