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Good news everyone! I’ve finally gotten through the testing/proofing stage of my most recent design, the Arrowhead Lace Shawl (and yes, I’m still working on Leah).

US $5.00

Ravel it!

The Arrowhead Lace Shrug is the perfect layering piece for cool summer nights or over-air conditioned office buildings. The lace pattern will work with dressy and casual outfits and it stays on better than a shawl!

Sizes
Upper arm circumference of 10.5” (12.5, 14, 16, 18.5, 20) (Length is customized to fit) (Size shown is 10.5”)

Yarn
1 (2, 2, 2, 2) skeins Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks Naturally Dyed Merino Sock or approx. 380 (440, 480, 520, 580) yards fingering weight yarn

Needles
US 6/4 mm dpns or circular for Magic Loop

Notions
Tapestry needle
Stitch marker
4mm crochet hook (if desired)

Gauge
5 spi in Arrowhead lace, slightly stretched, row gauge not especially important.

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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).

So… I sort of fell of the NaBloPoMo bandwagon. Well, I tried anyway. And I did pretty well, I think. I posted most days, and I would have posted more often but I had trouble getting photos during the daylight, especially over Thanksgiving break.

Anyway, the third item of my OliviaGoddess WWFY trade finished drying over break and I finally mailed everything off:

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Pattern: Cloud Bolero
Yarn: Claudia Handpainted and CEY Jil Eaton Minnow Merino
Needles: Big. Whatever the pattern calls for.
Mods: None. Made the XS.

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This came out well but HOLY HELL is the pattern difficult to follow. It’s confusing and jumbled and really difficult to decipher. I’m pretty sure the only reason I could do it was because I made Liesl first (which is very similar). I considered just making a shrug out of Liesl, but OliviaGoddess said Cloud, so Cloud I made.

As for the yarn: The Claudia Handpainted (the variagated) is lovely, wonderful, dense merino. Like the best handspun and also gorgeous. LOVE. It’s hella expensive and it will never grace my fingers again, but damn is it pretty. The other stuff, the Classic Elite on the bottom, is okay. It’s a pretty basic wool single, though a bit too fuzzy for my taste.

So yeah. So much for NaBloPoMo. BUT: The future: more shark mittens (three more pairs by Friday), maybe some socks, HOPEFULLY a sweater for the boyfriend for Christmas.

Christ. It’s finals week next week and I have a ton of knitting to do. Good thing I only have two finals.

I currently have two wips in progress for a WWFY trade. As I mentioned before, the trade was for three items. I finished the Aviatrix hat, which I showed you the other day. I started the second item yesterday:

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A Cloud Bolero in Claudia Handpainted Chunky. Unfortunately, the yarn sent wasn’t quite enough–I am about three rows after the sleeve bind off with no more yarn. Fortunately, OliviaGoddess is sending a coordinating yarn to finish the bolero with.

I just today started the third item, a pair of Improvisation fingerless mittens:

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I’m using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and knitting them two at a time. I split the ball in two using my wonderful new scale. : ) Yay.

Welcome to Raglan month (well, April apparently was) and NaKniSweMoDo number six!

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Pattern: Featherweight, mostly for the cast on number and divisions.
Yarn: Regia Silk sock yarn, two skeins in a lovely pale blue
Needles: US 5/3.75 mm
Mods: Clearly, shorter body and shorter sleeves and thicker yarn.

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Okay, it looks a little funny on Elizabeth because her wide shoulders and tiny tiny waist make her distinctly apple shaped, but my proportions are more balanced, so it looks a lot better on me. I like it a lot, I have worn it a couple times already. I usually wear it open, like the first picture, though I often pin the bottom closed with a bobby pin or something. It’s a great layer over tanks and tubes (I’m awkwardly uncomfortable in tube tops even though I have a ton of them). The only problem is that the back section is a little too wide, and if I use this pattern again, I’ll cast on fewer stitches for the back section. I certainly don’t intend to knit Featherweight in lace weight again (oh god), but I could maybe use another little shrug like this ones. It’s totally casual–throw on and go–and that’s great.

Also: the yarn. It gets a bad rap on Ravelry for being pilly, and I wouldn’t make it into socks because of that, but as a shrug, this yarn is wonderful. It was such a joy to work with cause it’s SO SOFT. Plus, Regia is a pretty great company. So yes. Yarn love here.

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(sorry for the crappy pictures. It’s snowing, and February in Virginia is not shrug-modeling weather)

Pattern: Two-Tone Ribbed Shrug by Stephanie Japel (from Fitted Knits)
Yarn: Cascade 220
Needles: US 8/5 mm
Mods: Moved the pfb to the RS. I’m not even sure why she doesn’t use regular raglan increases. Probably did shorter sleeves and whatnot.

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So I’m a big fan of this shrug. It’s cute, it’s a neutral color, and it fits well. And Cascade 220 is pretty soft, so I can wear it comfortably next to skin (I mean, I have a high tolerance for itchy wool next to my skin, but still). I think I will get a lot of wear out of it. Also, this sweater makes number two for NaKniSweMo. 1/6 of the way done! Whoo!

As for the pattern: It’s pretty simple, and it’s easy and leads to a lovely finished object. I’ll almost definitely be making more in other colors. I also might adapt the pattern somewhat to make one in a lighter weight. Or maybe I’ll just use a different pattern.

In non-craft news, little Fredericksburg is apparently supposed to be hit with up to 30 inches of snow over the next couple of days, so don;t worry too much if you don’t hear from me for a bit. There’s a chance the power could go out, which I hope it doesn’t cause then we’ll have no heat, which would suck. This also means that my photos might suck for a while cause I’m not about to go outside in a little sweater or whatever when there’s two feet of snow on the ground.

In other crafty news, I’m doing some more swapping, including a sewing project that gave me hell, which I’ll tell you about probably Sunday or Monday or something. Stay tuned!

In the last days of the final semester of my freshman year of college, I whipped out a little white shrug, partly to use up yarn, partly because I’d been meaning to make that particular pattern, and mostly because I felt I needed a shrug to wear over strapless dresses and tank tops.

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Specs:

Pattern: Minisweater by Stephanie Japel
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Needles: US 9/5.5 mm Circular (The very annoying Susan Bates one)
Modifications: Scrapped the puffy sleeves and did regular raglan increases til the sleeves fit. Also scrapped the edging. I’m not sure what’s up with that. Has anyone actually knitted the edging on that sweater?

Anyway, the fit is fantastic and the Simply Soft actually works quite well in this pattern. I wouldn’t knit a whole sweater out of it because I imagine it would sag like hell, but it works for a little shrug. I think I will wear it a lot. : )