I have realized when I get stressed out, I like to start new knitting projects. About two weeks ago, a project I was doing didn’t work out. I had to unravel a shawl I had been working on for months. I was very upset and I ended up casting on 2 easy short projects to make myself feel better. I had just finished casting off the Herbivore shawl. The first thing I noticed after I cast off was that it came out a lot smaller than I wanted it to. At that moment, I put it on a shelf, tried not to think about it and hoped that blocking would help. I went to look at it again an hour later and realized that several stitches on the cast off edge has came loose. I tried to fix it but I couldn’t see how I could fix it without the stitches being much looser than the rest of the shawl. I decided to unravel it. At that time, I was heartbroken. I stuffed the shawl somewhere I wouldn’t see it because I didn’t even want to look at it.
Right after I cast off the shawl , I cast on a washcloth I had been planning for to make for my mom. I had been planning for this to be my next project for a while. The plan had been to start holiday knitting as soon as I finished a project. Then I was so upset over having to unravel that shawl I also found myself casting on a hat to make myself feel better. Hats for me are a comfort zone. I have wanted to make myself a hat out of my odd bits of wool scrap yarn. The idea of a hat out of bright colors appealed to me and I wanted a short easy project to make me feel better. I worked on both projects for most of the weekend after my shawl disaster and they have been a good stress reliever. I still don’t want to look at that shawl or much less finish unraveling it yet. However the hat I am making out of bright colors cheers me up. Also, having a short easy project on hand to knit a few rows to relax made me feel better. I have finished the washcloth and am almost done with the hat.
I fell out of posting for the last few weeks because I was stressed out and wasn’t feeling well so I wanted to give an update what I have been working on since I published my last blog post. I will start with my knitting and crochet projects. I finished my Green Gable pullover, I just need to block it. I am very happy with how it turned out. The success from this project inspires me to work on more garments. I have already started knitting another sweater.
I am still plugging away on the Herbivore Shawl.I haven’t been working on it that much because I have mainly been working on the sweater I just finished.
As far as crochet projects, I am still working on my blanket. I am hoping to finish it soon. I am almost done crocheting the squares. This blanket design is a series of diamond shapes within a square. It is pictured above and is achieved by sewing together 4 squares with the same color scheme. I have been making the squares in groups of 4 and then sewing them together as I go. When I finish crocheting the last few squares and sew them together I will need to sew the sets of 4 squares together into one blanket.
I am also crocheting a tote bag using a pattern called the Lacy V Shopping Bag. I am using a lilac cotton blend yarn I got on clearance and some light blue cotton polyester yarn that is leftover from another project. I may add a section of white using either a dk acrylic or a worsted weight cotton because I am not sure I will have enough of the lilac and blue yarns to finish the bag but I haven’t decided which one I will use yet.
I recently completed a shawl class by Stephen West. I was hoping it would give me the knowledge I needed to design shawl patterns. After the class, I felt a lot more familiar with basic shawl shapes and the techniques used most often in Shawl making. For one of my next knitting projects, I want to design a triangle shawl and this class gave me more confidence that could design my own. It made me want to knit his shawl patterns. When I had finished the class, I put several of his shawls into my Ravelry queue. I found out about his Herbavore Shawl Pattern from this class and I started knitting it.
Before I started the class, I had already done a garter tab cast on and made a triangle shawl. The first part of the class covered the garter tab cast on, the triangle shawl shape, make one increases, and yarn over increases. That part was a review for me. Then he went over how to use increases to make new shapes and how to distribute increases. The last part of the class covered binding off, blocking and color and texture. I learned some new cast off methods and new ways to increase and decrease to get different shapes. Stephen West is so upbeat that watching these videos brightened my day. I could tell that he is incredibly creative. When he was talking about how he designed the Herbavore shawl, he said that he was doing a triangle shawl and got bored so he added new increase sections. Overall, I enjoyed the class and learned something.
Since I recently wrote about the blanket I made, I wanted to write about other projects I have been making. I just finished making slipper socks. This pattern is the Ribby Slipper Socks pattern by Cathy Carron. I made this project because I needed a pair of slippers and was looking for an easy, relaxing knitting pattern. I decided to make slippers instead of buying them. I had some navy bulky weight yarn in my stash that I wasn’t sure how to use. I realized this pattern would be a good fit for the yarn. I rarely make the same pattern twice but this is the third time making these slippers. In the past, I had used this pattern to make my dad a pair of slippers for Christmas one year and I made myself a pair that wore out.
I also just finished this string bag. I am hoping to use the bag when I visit to farmers markets. The yarn is Martha Stewart brand yarn I got on clearance one summer and never could figure out how to use. I finally decided to do this bag pattern. It is an easy pattern and a good use for this yarn. I am trying to decide if I want to make a second bag.
As far as current works in progress, I am working on the blanket I wrote about earlier. I have also been working on the Herbavore shawl. I found out about it when I did Stephen West’s Craftsy class on shawl design. The pattern uses increases in a novel way and I wanted to see how he did it. I am using Manos del Uraguay Allegria yarn in the Atlantico colorway. The yarn was an impulse buy. I saw this yarn and had to buy it because I loved the colors. I have been trying to use up my older stash but I was excited about using this yarn with the pattern. Starting this pattern has been harder than I thought. I had to use several stitch markers to separate the increases and there is no resting purl row. I kept having to rip it out and start over I had to keep careful count of the stitches. Eventually saw how many stitches I needed to use between each set of stitch markers and was able to get the hang of it by carefully counting the stitches. I was about to give up when I got it. I love working with this yarn; I love the colors and once I got past the first few rows, the pattern isn’t that difficult.
Last week I participated in the 5shawls 5 Days Challenge by Aroha Knits. It is a challenge where you knit 5 basic shawl shapes, 1 shape each day. When you join the challenge you get access to a private Facebook group. The group is very supportive and active. I have learned a lot and am inspired to work on more shawls and maybe try my hand at designing a shawl.
The shape for day 1 was a Triangle and the second Day was the 3/4 shawl. The third day was a crescent shawl, the fourth day was the swirl shawl and day 5 was the asymmetrical shawl. Three of those shapes used a garter tab cast on. It can be fiddly but I am really starting to like it. A lot of shawl patterns use this cast on. Here is a tutorial in case you are curious. With the crescent shawl, I had to do a yarn over on the purl side and I struggled with that but once I found a tutorial I enjoyed seeing the shape come together. Day 4 was a swirl shawl. I really struggled with that shape. It called for using double pointed needles and I am not very comfortable with the technique at all. I tried to do it several times but could never get past the first row so I ended up skipping that day. That is why the photos only show 4 shapes. I think I need more practice on double pointed needles before I try to make that shape again.
The challenge also had the hashtag #5shawls5days on Instagram. When I looked at the hashtag, many people got creative with stitch patterns and used different cast offs. I now want to learn the picot cast off. The host, did a bonus lesson where she shows how to incorporate stitch patterns into the shapes. I haven’t watched it yet but I plan to this week. I may try experimenting with incorporating a stitch pattern into the triangle shawl shape.