Sunday, February 27, 2011

Psychedelic scarf!

Remember the Noro Kureyon that I spoke about here.. I made the Noro Striped scarf out of 4 skeins of Noro Kureyon and here it is all finished in a jiffy. I call it the Psychedelic scarf..as it was fun watching the colors change.. It is an 'un-put-downable' scarf with no boring moments although it is a simple 1 X 1 rib stitch.


The yarn has a lovely texture.. I do not mind the thick and thin nature of the yarn. My only beef with the yarn was the un-spun part of the yarn. There were only 2 knots in the skein, one each in 2 skeins and thankfully, there were no abrupt color changes with the knots. The colors are vibrant and it makes for a fun and feminine scarf..


I reversed the yarns knitting from outside of the skeins when I crossed the half-way mark hoping that the colors reverse symmetrically.. and, I think I got lucky..Can you see how similar the color transitions are in both the halves of the scarf?


The scarf is hypnotic to knit..to see the color changes happen. There were times when I was at work craving to get back home to work on this scarf. truly hypnotic! This is my favorite color transition in the scarf..


The slipped selvedge is magical and hides all the yarn changes. Makes for a nice finish.. The scarf is 78 inches long and 7 inches wide. I started with 41 stitches but, felt that the scarf was too narrow. So, I increased the stitches to 45 and I like this width.


As you can see, I went camera-crazy with this scarf. I did block the scarf but, not very aggressively as I wanted it to look like a stockinette stitch scarf. The weather in Bangalore is getting hotter by the day and I am not sure when I will get to use this scarf in the future.


Stats:
Started: Feb 12,2011
Completed: Feb 27,2011
Yarn: Noro Kureyon ; 4 skeins in 2 colorways
Needles: 4.5 mm (US#7)
Ravelry project: Psychedelic scarf!

And, as the tradition goes, I cast on for another shawl.. a Whippoorwill in a self-striping yarn in my fave colors. I think I am getting addicted to self-striping yarn and my knitting style has changed a bit too. I want the yarn to do the magic rather than my knitting..as evident from my psychedelic scarf.. Whippoorwill is a simple stockinette stitch shawl perfect for showing off gorgeous yarns.. I hope mine turns out nice like the other projects I see on Ravelry in this pattern. Here is the progress so far.


I hope all my readers are fine and your crafty life going in full steam as mine. Take care and be safe.

-Josie

Friday, February 18, 2011

Love at first sight!

Do you believe in love at first sight?! I am not sure if I believe in the human kind of love at first sight.. but, I definitely believe in a knitter's love at the first sight of a pattern. That is what happened to me when I saw the pattern for Aase's shawl and me being myself, I went ahead and bought the pattern right away. This happened in July 2010. And, did the love succeed? Did the knitter meet the finished shawl?! All these questions are going to be answered in this post. That sounded like the trailer of a cheesy romance novel!  Yes. The love did succeed and the knitter has a lovely shawl to drape around. :-) I finished the shawl this week and here it is..


The shawl looked like a frumpy mess when it came off the needles and it bloomed after blocking. The wingspan of this shawl is 6ft! I've been wanting a shawl which will drape around me nicely and this will do nicely. It uses approximately 600 yards of lace weight yarn and I used 1.5 skeins of Knitpicks Shadow Lace yarn. The yarn was a RAK from Sue aka bandersnatch on Ravelry. Its very difficult to capture the color of the yarn but it is green with flecks of blue in it.


Do you want to see the ugly duckling before the shawl was blocked? The sea foam stitch looked messy and the lace border looked hopeful of looking dignified.


I blocked it on my guest bed and the shawl spanned the entire bed.. more than 6 feet of it. :-) and it took just 3 hrs for it to dry. Was that fast or what?! Here it is blocking on the bed..


I like the look of lace against the light..to see the light filtering through the eyelets. So, here are a few pics of the lace against the light.. you can see the view from my balcony through the shawl! ;-)


The body of the shawl is the simple garter-based sea foam stitch. The stitches opened up after blocking.I like the waves the pattern makes.


The shawl pattern comes in 5 sizes and I made the largest one available as I knew I have enough yardage to make the shawl in XL size. The body of the shawl makes for excellent TV knitting and it gets a while to get used to lace border. I found an easy trick to keep track of the lace pattern. I made sure that my sk2po stitches are falling in line one above the other. This helped me a lot in avoiding mistakes. I did NOT use a life-line in the entire shawl and I am proud of it. I did have to 'tink' one row of the body to correct a mistake but, other than that, it was a smooth and uneventful lace knitting journey. And, for the close-up of the lace border and scalloped edging.


Blocking was easy for this shawl. I threaded a waste yarn through the straight edge and tied the ends of the yarn to the bed posts on my guest bed. This helped me get a straight edge at the top. There are 25 scallops along the lace edge so, I was able to easily block it symmetrically. 


This is by far the biggest lace project I've undertaken and I am glad I finished it although it hibernated for more than 5 months during my move from Hyderabad to Bangalore. I am yet to take glamor shots of the shawl on me. Hubster said he will click some snaps for me over the weekend. I hope to get good pics then.

Here are the stats:

Pattern: Aase's Shawl (Aase pronounced as 'oh-say')
Yarn: Knitpicks Shadow Lace
Needle: 3.25mm for body and 4mm for the lace border, 6mm for bind off.
Started: July 20,2010
Completed: February 15,2011
Ravelry project: Love at first sight!

On a side note, I am closing my Etsy shop and taking a break from it. I've been thinking of closing it for a while now as crafting for business was interfering with my crafting for pleasure. Then, RBI and Paypal made their policies difficult for Paypal users in India. So, this gave me the push to take the break. I do not regret this decision  though. I enjoyed it while it lasted.. and, who knows.. I might even reopen the store.. but, for the moment my store is closed. It was a a road less taken for me and I would not have ventured into it without the support from my Hubster and my crafting friends. So, thank you all for supporting me with words and sales while I tested the waters.

On a happy note, the Paypal policy change made me change my for-sale pattern into a free one. So, now both my scarf patterns are available as free downloads. You can find them on the left pane on this page. :-) Do share with me if you decide to knit one of my patterns. I would love to see what you make.

-Josie

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Yarn P0rn!

Its not a secret that I live in India and it is known for its acrylic yarn. I would've been a content knitter knitting with the scratchy acrylic yarn that is available in abundance here, but for Ravelry. Ravelry opened the door to the wonderful world of exotic yarns and fiber. When I see the beautiful yarns that are available in yarny countries, I wish I wasn't living in the yarn-starved India. Anyways, yarn will not be a valid argument if I were to convince the Hubster to move out of this country. ;-) Oh.. don't get me wrong. I do not want to leave this country.. not even for yarn. ;-) I am content with buying yarn online and depending on the fragile postal system to deliver it to me at my doorstep and thankful for the occasional kindness from a fellow-Raveler who might send me some yarn my way. Did you notice the title of this post?!? You must be wondering where is the yarn p0rn.. So, without much ado, let me share my recent yarn purchase of NORO KUREYON!




8 skeins of gorgeous colors.. I've always been fascinated by the colors in Noro yarns and when I saw Sue de-stashing some Noro on Ravelry, I had to have some of it. I bought 4 skeins each in 2 colorways. You  might wonder why I am head over heel about Noro. Its mainly because I never thought I will get to meet this yarn in person. I like the 'rustic' look of it and the colors are to dye die for.. Here is one bunch of 'em..


Have you seen the Noro striped scarf by Jared Flood?! I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and now I have a chance to knit it. I am excited about how my scarf will turn out. I am resisting casting on this scarf till I finish my Aase's shawl which is in the final stages. I hope to get it completed by this week.

                                                   Image © Jared Flood

Here is the second colorway. I hope the two colorways complement each other in the scarf. I think that is the beauty of the yarn. The unexpectedness of the color changes will make you feel like you are on a treasure hunt.. ;-) The yarn does feel rough as mentioned by many. But, I think I can live with it. :-)




It is worth noting that I bought this yarn in July 2010 and I finally met it yesterday. For the curious cats who are wondering why the delay, I shipped it to a dear friend in the US and he brought it for me into India during his recent visit. Thank you, Lancie for the help. So, I waited 6 months to meet this yarn and hence you must understand why I am this excited about this yarn.  Even my Hubster thinks that I have gone bonkers seeing the way I was gushing over the yarn. Don't the colors look cheerful to you?! I am thinking of making the below picture my desktop background. Good idea?! 





So, what is your most recent yarn purchase that you are tickled about? Share with me in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

-Josie

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Scarf overload!

I am on a scarf knitting spree..and, my closet is overflowing with knitted scarves. The recent one I finished is a simple feather and fan lace scarf also called as Old Shale scarf. Remember the yarn I got as a Christmas gift from Cathy.. I couldn't resist knitting with it..so, I cast on for this scarf as soon as I got back from my Christmas vacation and finally finished it two days back.. The yarn is Madeline Tosh merino light in a colorway called Lichen. I love the colors in it.


It is a mindless pattern and a perfect T.V. knitting material although, I must say that I do not get much T.V. time, thanks to the preschooler in my home. The scarf did look like lichen when it was unblocked. For my non-yarny friends, let me explain blocking in a few words. Blocking is a process of soaking the knitted or crocheted item in water for some time and then letting it dry flat in the shape required. Blocking helps the natural fibers keep the shape its blocked in, evens out the stitches and improves the drape of the finished object(FO). So, if you don't believe the change blocking brings about to an FO, here is visible proof of it.. Here is the "Before" shot of the scarf looking as if a dead wood gathered moss and lichen on it..


And, for the gratuitous "After" shot.. Ta da!


A picture is worth a thousand words,eh?! Blocking really opened up the stitches and the lace. The scarf grew by 10 inches in length after blocking. Yarn Harlot has an excellent tutorial on blocking, for the uninitiated. I am more of a process knitter than a product knitter and blocking is a process I enjoy the most in lace knitting. Its like a fairy tale of the ugly duckling turning into a swan.. And since I like the look of lace against the light , here is a shot of the scarf against the light. And, that's the view from my balcony two days back.


Here are the stats:
Pattern: Old Shale Scarf by Tienne
Yarn: Madeline Tosh merino light; 1 skein
Needle: 4mm
Started: January 5 2011
Completed: January 29 2011
Raveled here: Lichen on Shale!

Incidentally, this scarf is my first knitted FO in year 2011. I hope this is a good start  for a year filled with crafts and hobbies.

Peace and love,
Josie
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