Saturday, September 29, 2007

So much knitting, so little time

I went crazy last week and decided to join the Halloween Mystery Shawl KAL. It's a group that knits the same pattern at the same time. It's called a mystery shawl because the person knitting it receives a clue (part of the pattern) each week for six weeks and no one will know what the finished shawl looks like until, well, it's finished (except the designer, of course).
The first clue was released this morning. Yay! Here is my swatch.
I'm making it in Knit Pick's Alpaca Cloud in Smoke Heather. It's very soft and soooo pretty.

I finished the Sun Ray shawl. I think it turned out well. It's very toasty and so nice to cuddle into that I think I'm in love. Don't tell Hubbie!

Also, I finally finished my first hat (and immediately started a second). It's for my friend, Karen. Just to let her know I care.
It's Coronet from Knitty, knit in Lion Brand Cotton-Ease. I say finally finished, because I've been working on it for nearly a month. I knit the band easily but then ran into trouble with the body of the hat. Then Hubbie gave me an awesome present for my birthday. The Knitting Workshop DVD by Elizabeth Zimmermann. The first project she covers is a hat and she made it seem so simple, that I picked Karen's hat back up and was finished with it in no time at all. Hooray for EZ!

Now, I can't go without mentioning the joy of having pets (please note the sarcasm). So I stumble out of bed early Saturday morning, fully intending to return as soon as I see which cat was into what. And of course I can't find them anywhere, and since nothing seemed out of place, I stumble back to bed.
And discover just why it is that I can't find the cats. They were apparently in cahoots with the dogs to keep me up. Yawn... sadly, it worked. (Please forgive Buster, it IS a candid shot.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Shawls, shawls, and more shawls

I've been on a serious shawl knitting kick lately. Ok, I may say kick, but what I really mean is obsession. I've knit three shawls in less than two weeks.
The first is made of Lion Brand Homespun (Fiesta colorway). The pattern is free on their website. It's the Easy Triangular Shawl. It was, indeed, very easy to make. With the large yarn size and huge needles, the knitting time went super fast.
The second shawl was made from Bernat's new acrylic/alpaca blend (Sky). Now, I'll tell you, it's a beautiful yarn. But... it sheds like crazy! I had hair everywhere, on my shirt, my pants, my chair. I even managed to shed on the poor kitties! I had to shake it for half an hour to remove most of the excess hair. (And it still sheds some!) I considered giving it to someone I really didn't like, but couldn't think of anyone I disliked that much. Instead I offered it to one of the people I like most, my sister Gigi. And she said that she would be perfectly happy to give the hairy, itchy thing a home. How sweet!
You'll notice that it's also made with the Easy Triangular Shawl pattern. I'm pleased to say that the world didn't explode when I used Bernat yarn for a Lion Brand pattern (Ok, so, I was a bit concerned when it rained frogs, but I'm sure that didn't have anything to do with me.)

The third shawl, for those of you who aren't asleep yet, was made of Bernat's new Bamboo yarn (Rosehip, Dill, and Water). I love this yarn. The shawl is warm, but not too warm. It's shiny, pretty, and oh so soft! I have decided that I love bamboo yarn more than silk yarn. I never thought that anything would surpass my love of silk, but there it is. Or here it is, I should say.

The pattern was a variation of the LB pattern above. Did I mention it was a VERY easy triangular shawl. I'm definitely keeping this one.

That, however, wasn't the end of my obsession. Not by far. In between knitting (and school, dang knitting interruption that it is) I've surfed the web looking for shawl patterns. Let me tell you that there are some seriously gorgeous ones out there. As I surfed I came across the glorious Sun Ray shawl at elann. It was so fabulous, I had to make one of my own.

I'm three and a half pattern repeats (of six) into it and only on my second ball of Lion Brand wool (Ocean Blues) . There are three balls left, so it's going to be a while until it's done. The pattern is fairly easy though, and I'm having a great deal of fun knitting it. Besides it's already beautiful.

Tea really wants to help me with this one. He has such good taste.