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So I finished that sweater I’d been working on. It went pretty quickly, actually, and I’m super pleased with the result.

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Pattern: None, I made it up as I went.
Yarn: Recycled hand dyed (by me) merino. About a sport or dk weight.
Needles: US 6/4 mm

For those playing along at home, this is my third sweater in my yearly sweater a month challenge. I’m a month behind, but seeing as I don’t actually need twelve sweaters, that’s okay.

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I do quite like this sweater though. I’ve worn it every day since I finished it. It’s really comfortable and fits really well. There are a couple of things I’d do differently a second time around (which there won’t be, but you know). I’d do more plain rounds before starting the yoke. The pattern is kind of in my armpit and if I don’t lay it just right, it cuts me right across the nipple line, which I think is super unflattering.

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Someone will probably ask, so no, I can’t write up the pattern. It’s a really simple round yoked pattern with a lace bit. The lace is Roman Arches from the Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns, but it’s basically just an arrowhead pattern without the rest rows. no special yoke shaping, just work three repeats then k1, k2tog around, repeat three times. Plus I fudged the numbers after each decrease row.

I have since started another sweater, the Sakura Tee from the summer 2012 Interweave Knits. I’m challenging myself to finish it by Saturday so I can wear it to Maryland Sheep and Wool this weekend. It’s gonna be close but I think I can do it.

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What’s this? Knitting? Indeed it is! I finished a languishing knitting project, a vest I designed. This is also my second sweater type object of the year. Whoo!

Pattern: none, and I basically made it up as I went, though I did start from a design sketch.
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fine
Needles: US 4/6 mm

I had originally designed this to be a pullover with sleeves and I even started one, but I ended up ripping it. The arm hole came out too big and the sleeve was really baggy. Putting in ribbing tightened it up, and now I have a functional vest/tank top.

I have it styled as a vest in the pictures and I’d like to wear it that way, but it won’t look nearly as good on me as it does on Elizabeth. I will probably wear it as a tank over a cami. I’m going to take it to Florida, so maybe I’ll get some pictures I can add to the ravelry page.

I actually ended up wearing it out like this and it worked okay. Like I said, not as good on me as on Elizabeth.

I actually do have a picture of the vest as I will usually wear it. It’s a WIP picture from before I added the sleeve and then took it off again. So the ribbing hasn’t been added, but you can get the general idea.

In life news: I have made it down the Florida and its spotty internet connection, so posting will happen probably not that often. I was trying to root my phone (an Evo 4G LTE) so I could tether it to my laptop and managed to fuck it all up, so I can’t post from my phone like I usual would. I’m still trying to fix it. Pretty sure I can, but it’ll take some finagling.

So I didn’t do a lot of knitting at the beach, but I did make enough progress on my Multnomah that I finished it up on Saturday afternoon.

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Pattern: Multnomah
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Silkie in Nodding Violets
Needles: US 4/3.75 mm KP options circ
Mods: Only eight feather and fan repeats cause I ran out of yarn

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So this is the prettiest shawl ever and you should be jealous. Also, it was super nice to make and the pattern in really easy. Also, this yarn is fantastic–soft and shiny and silky and slinky. Delightful.

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I hit the shawl with some steam to open it up a bit. I used a smaller needle that I usually would with a fingering weight shawl, so the garter stitch is squooshy and dense. LOVE. Can’t wait until it’s cooler so I can actually wear it cause I would wear it all the time. : )

I finished my Great Gatsby Dress! It was a super fast knit (I think I finished it in about a a week), and I’m utterly thrilled with the finished object.

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Also, I got about a foot of hair chopped off. It’s delightfully short and I donated about 10 inches to locks of love. Anyway, back to the knitting.

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(The bottom’s not uneven, I just don’t stand straight and that bulge is the dress underneath, which is empire waisted)

Pattern: Great Gatsby Dress, from the Summer 2009 Interweave Knits
Yarn: Recycled Linen/Cotton blend, navajo plied and dyed with Dylon Dye
Needle: Mostly US 5/3.75 cause I couldn’t find my 6/4mm KP tips
Mods: Um, a lot. My gauge was like, waaay off (cause you know I don’t swatch), so I did as many repeats of the Fern Lace pattern to get the right width and then modified from there. Also, I left off the picot bind off and just did garter edges.

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Like I said, I am so utterly delighted with this dress. I’d been searching for the right yarn in thrift shops for a while, knowing I’d have to recycle a large sweater to make the project affordable. It took some doing, but I finally found a lace-weight linen/cotton blend that was large enough. I frogged it, tripling the yarn as I wound it, and dyed it with about 3/4 a packet of Dylan dye. The dye job came out to the color wanted (dark grey) with some variation (but not enough to be obnoxious).

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The pattern itself was pretty easy to follow for the most part, and I really like the effect picking up the skirt stitches on the wrong side has. The bodice was a little confusing, but that’s mostly because my stitch counts were way off. I just mirrored the armholes like the back, which I followed more closely to the pattern, and worked the neckline the way I’d make any scoop necked sweater. The effect: SUPER CUTE.

The only issue I have with the dress is that it’s a wee bit short, which means I have to wear something underneath it (I quite like it over this white dress, which is how I had planned to wear it). I could probably get away with just an underskirt as the top part is pretty opaque (though the stitching is pretty loose, so who knows). I was worried the bodice was going to be do tight, but I did some extra bust inscreases on the side, and it fits quite well.

Next on the knitting agenda is a reknit of my Leah vest. I frogged the longer version cause the shaping didn’t sit right and I plan to remake the shorter version so I can finish drafting the pattern and hopefully get it into testing this week. Cheers!

So the other day I finished and blocked my Haruni shawl, and I must say that it came out quite well!

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Pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/haruni”>Haruni
Yarn: Plymouth Baby Alpaca Lace
Needles: US 4/3.75 mm
Mods: None

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I really really love how this shawl came out. I want to drape it over myself and rub it on my face and snuggle up with it. Unfortunately, it is a hundred degrees outside (the thermometer said 104 yesterday), so alpaca, no matter how light, is just Too Warm for the season. It is delightfully soft though.

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The pattern was really easy to follow and the designer explains everything wonderfully, so you can see what’s going on. There are both charted and written directions, which is great when one or the other isn’t quite making sense. The crochet cast-off was incredibly fiddly but that’s not the designer’s fault and it is pretty (so it was worth it). It blocked pretty easily (I used steam and an iron) though I may reblock it when the weather gets colder before I wear it (I’ll probably wet block it next time).

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The yarn is absolutely delightful, as one would expect from a baby alpaca yarn. Super soft and cozy. I have another skein in red in the stash and while I thought about combining the two, I’m glad I went with this color for Haruni. It’s super pretty and I love it.

Currently on the needles is the Great Gatsby Dress from IK Summer 2009. I am desperately in love with it and will jabber about that later.

So I mentioned the other day (and possibly last week) that I was working on a lace shrug, and I finally finished knitting it and got it blocked and photographed.

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Pattern: My own, which I’m working on writing up. It’s currently unnamed, so if you’ve got a suggestion, send it along! There might be a free pattern in it for you. : )
Yarn: Abundant Dyeworks Naturally Dyed Merino Sock (one skein, Scarecrow)
Needles: US 6/4 mm

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So I originally meant to knit this on size four needles and then I grabbed the wrong ones to cast on, and now it’s on sixes. No matter, I rather like how the lace pattern opened up on the sixes. I think the shrug turned out pretty well-it was simple to knit but a really interesting looking result, and it will be a perfect layering piece for chilly summer nights or over-air conditioned office buildings. Stays on better than a shawl and looks cute to boot. : )

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I really like the yarn I chose for this (though I admit it was mostly out of necessity; I didn’t have a lot that would work). It’s a two-ply superwash merino (so I wasn’t going to use it for socks) that I got from a WWFY trade–for the Manly Aran socks, actually. It’s soft and looks like it’ll hold up pretty well, so I think I’m going to recommend it for use in the pattern. I don’t usually specify a yarn (and really, any fingering weight wool or cotton blend would work), but this one is not too difficult to obtain and I really like it. Plus, what will be the smallest size of the pattern (the one I knit) can be made with one skein of yarn. It was close, but I made it, crochet border and all.

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I’m going to list the pattern on Free Pattern Testers on Ravelry later today if you’d like to test. Or, I’ll announce here when the pattern is available.

In other knitting news, I recently cast on for a pair of shorts in Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton (it’s so soft). And no, knitted shorts are not weird. People think they are but they’re so comfortable. I wear the last pair I made all the time and they don’t sag or bunch at all. They’re super cute. This pair will be knit in pure cotton as opposed to cotton/acrylic, but we’ll see how it goes.

Oh, and in case you’re still wondering, I am still working on the Leah vest pattern. I don’t have the FO with me so I can’t measure length to finish it up, but I hope to get that written and out to testers within a week of my returning to Virginia Beach (I’m leaving DC on Thursday).

I finished the Lace Ribbon Scarf!

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Pattern: Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in Loro Barranquero, about a skein
Needles: US 4/3.5 mm
Mods: Took out a horizontal repeat to make it narrower.

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So I’m pretty pleased with how this came out. It’s nice and long and the yarn holds the pattern quite well, even though I didn’t properly block it with water and whatnot. It’s also nice and long. The recipient of the scarf is knitter Jenarita, who I hope likes it. : )

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The pattern was pretty fun to knit. It was mostly mindless, but I had to pay attention to the double yarn overs on the purl back rows. So it was a pretty good balance. The yarn, by the way, was utterly fantastic. Man, the things people say about Malabrigo are totally true. It’s so frickin’ soft. And the colors mixed nicely, not pooling or anything. Nice. I have some black Mal lace in my stash for a Featherweight when I ever get around to it, but it was nice to try out the yarn before I begin that monster.

In other knitting news, I frogged back to the toes on the Dainty Anklets I was knitting. The pattern wasn’t coming out the way I wanted it to, so instead I started the Crocus Socks in the same book. I also started a pair of shark mittens on a commission through Etsy. But more on those later.

So I received in the mail today possibly the most awesome knitting-related thing ever:

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It’s a book of stuffed dinosaur patterns. AND THEY ARE AWESOME. It includes a pattern for a 15-inch high Parasaurolophus:

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I discovered the booklet while browsing for stuffed animal patterns to make for Sarah for her cousin. I put out a quick note on the ISO/Destash books forum and within a couple hours, I had a reply from someone who had a copy, so I bought it from them. And, to reiterate, it is AWESOME. Much dino knitting will be happening.

In other news, I’ve been knitting. As I mentioned before, I finished the first Lakeside sock:

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I also started another swap project, a Ribbon Lace Scarf in Malabrigo Lace (which is hella soft and wonderful):

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I’m also working on stuff for another swap, but I’ll tell you about that when it’s all finished. : )

First thing’s first:

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That’s right people, FEATHERWEIGHT IS DONE. My longest wip EVER (since October) is finally DONE. I settled for 3/4 length sleeves instead of the full length ones I originally planned for, BUT STILL. IT’S DONE. It’s currently laid out on my bed, drying after a soak and I can’t wait til it’s dry. It fits beautifully (before blocking at least), and I’m so pleased with it. AND, the thing I’m most pleased with is this:

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When I started Featherweight, I grabbed the pound cone of the yarn and hand-wound a ball of it that kind of looked like the 100 g of lace weight that the pattern calls for. I totally guessed, having only a 100g ball of worsted weight wool to compare it to. That little ball of yarn up there is all I had left of my original hand-wound ball after knitting THE ENTIRE SWEATER.

I’m so good.

Anyway, I’ll have a proper FO post of this sweater on Thursday probably.

Clearly April is raglan fever time (Featherweight and Seafoam plus…), cause I started a new sweater. It’s just going to be a little shrug, so it shouldn’t take that long and it will be perfect for wearing over tube tops (I always feel awkward in them). It looks like this so far:

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I’m using some Regia Silk sock yarn I got in a destash on Ravelry, and ohmigod, it’s SO SOFT. I love this stuff.

While I was soaking Featherweight earlier today, I got around to another craft project I’ve been meaning to do. I went from this:

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to this:

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A bit of scrapbook paper and some buttons make for a much prettier pencil cup than the plastic cup I’ve been using. It was super easy and took all of five minutes. AND because of where the paper joined, the seam is practically invisible:

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I mean, you can see it if you look up close, but if you’re just glancing, you can’t see it at all. : )

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Pattern: Ice Queen by Rosemary Hill
Yarn: Plymouth Baby Alpaca Lace
Needles: US 7/4.5 mm Knit Picks Options circ
Mods: Did stockinette lace but went down a needle size.

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It’s very pretty, but as you may be able to see, it’s a bit too short to actually do anything. Plus, because the yarn is so soft and thin and the pattern is a bit too wide, it mostly just does this:

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So I frogged it, and now it looks like this:

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The pattern was great, though, super easy to follow, I would just need more pattern repeats so it’s long enough to wear properly. The yarn I used, Plymouth Baby Alpaca Lace, is also great. Not really splitty, very soft, and great to work with. Definitely will use again (probably). It’s a great laceweight. : )

So, yeah. Frogged. It didn’t take that long and I knew I wasn’t going to wear it, so now I have a whole ball of alpaca lace. I’m thinking I’ll make Swallowtail again to replace the one I may or may not have lost (I can’t remember if I told you guys that or not–basically, I had it slung through my backpack strap and it fell out without my noticing). Oh, and by the way, frogging already-blocked alpaca lace sucks. It sucks a lot.