Finished Summer Flies

Ok, it’s done!

Unblocked it was the size of a little neckerchief:

Unblocked Summer Flies

This is a phone pic in the bathroom! SO LiveJournal! Do you remember LiveJournal? The people (me included) in the knitting groups used to take the worst pics, usually showing off their messy bathrooms! We’ve come a long way since then…Well. Some days. Some days, I just can’t help but go in there and LJ it up!

Like last night, I was SO EXCITED to check another thing off the to do list, and to get this baby into the soak (literally, I used Soak Wash) and pinned out!

Here it is after blocking, on a professional model:

Summer Flies shawl in Madeline Tosh Pashmina on US7s

I mean, I knew that it’d be pretty, but Holy Cow!

Summer Flies Shawl in Madeline Tosh Pashmina on US7s

This yarn / pattern combo (Tosh Pashmina / Summer Flies) is a definite WIN.

It was quick, easy, and NOT boring to knit with those cute little slipped stitch Xs. LOVE it.

Someone’s getting married and I’m knitting her a shawl(ette)

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My friend Cindy is getting married in September, and I’m knitting her a little shawlette. She won’t be wearing it during the ceremony, but she may put it on later in the evening as she mingles at the reception.

I chose the yarn first, based on Cindy’s wedding color palette and the color of her (original) dress which was a light dove gray.

I’d never worked with a Madeline Tosh yarn before, so knew I wanted to try that, and while looking through the selection at Eat Sleep Knit, I decided on the Pashmina.

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I was really drawn to both the way the yarn took the color, giving it a lighter core with a darker halo, and of course by the fiber content. (I’m using the colorway “Tern” for this.) I’d never shopped at Eat Sleep Knit before, and I highly recommend them. I received a personal order confirmation, and my yarns arrived quickly and with a special little surprise inside the box. I love it that my purchases build up points toward a prize if I buy a certain amount. Overall great service.

So, I had the yarn but no pattern! In the current session of my Online Design Your Own Shawl class, we’re talking a lot about different types of shawl designs, and looking at the designs of past students to see what they’ve done. In the discussion, “Summer Flies” by Holly and Ella Knits came up. This design happens to have been created by Ella-B, the mother of Holly in my post below! Summer Flies is one of these new, hot, narrower-style shawls, not created using the triangle method that we discuss in class. (It’s a free download, so you can see for yourself how it’s constructed.)

I decided that it would be cool to knit this pattern, both because of my connection with Holly and because it’s a new style to learn! Holly has graciously given us permission to download the pattern and discuss it in class!

I’m using a wool yarn, and the pattern suggests a plant fiber…and I’m using a sock weight yarn while the pattern calls for worsted. BUT, I’m using a needle almost as large as that called for in the pattern, so I’m hoping for a similar size. I may end up with a little neck scarf…we’ll see! Either way, it’s going to be GORGEOUS!

SO…My multitasking skills finely honed, I’m knitting a gorgeous wrap for Cindy’s wedding day, using a new yarn that I’ve been wanting to try, ordered from a shop whose owner I’d met but had never shopped from, AND using the FO as a teaching example for my class and a learning process for myself.

I’m feeling much satisfaction as I finish the last few rows and prepare to bind off.

Are you a multi-tasker? Have you ever knit a project that had so many great purposes? What did you knit? What did you use it for?

Newborn Knits!

Detail
I’m working on a few little layette sets for New Baby! For Mazie, I knit a lot of 6-month things, but didn’t have anything for her to wear right away. So THIS time, I want to have at least a few things for her to wear when she gets home. It’ll be summery again in a few weeks, so our “Knits Window” is pretty small and closing.
Baby Layette
Each set has a sweater, hat, and socks (or will when I’m finished, at least!)
Crown decreases
Thanks to my knitting friend Stephanie for the heads up, I got in on a bunch of Lorna’s Laces Swirl DK at Jimmy Bean’s Wool for 50% off! I decided to use it to knit a few teeny baby sweater sets for my new little girl. (They still have lots of Lorna’s on sale, if you’re interested. I also recommend the Shepherd Sock, also on sale!)
Baby Layette
Curly toe sock
I think I’ll order some more Swirl to make something for Big Sister, too.

Layette
Tiny bobbles on the hat
Teeny bobbles on the sleeve

The yarn is wonderfully soft and feels great in the hand. The knits are definitely next-to-the-skin (even baby skin) soft. I love that these colors aren’t typically “Baby Girl.”

I had a couple of emails in my inbox from concerned readers…I tweeted / facebooked (by phone) at one point last week about being stuck in a snowstorm with no internet. We survived! We were actually all holed up at Nathan’s parents’ house in IA. We were comfortable, but without internet and going really mad from cabin fever. They had 20.8 inches of snow over like 3 days. Everything was shut down.

My baby is a big girl now!

I took Mazie to the park today. The last time we went, I had to go down the slide with her, and hold her hand while she walked around the jungle gym.

Me and Mazie on the slide

But THIS time…my brave girl did it all by herself!!

sliding!
sliding!
sliding!

I am a proud Mommy! :)

Mazie is growing up so fast that I was *also* encouraged to finish up the pattern for my Vestvember vest, Violet: a vest that grows with your child

Vestvember

Statistics:

Yarn:
2(2, 3) hanks Berocco Vintage: (50% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 10% Nylon; 3.5 oz / 100 g; 217 yds / 198 m; Machine wash. Lay flat to dry) Color: Lilacs # 5183
Gauge:
4.5 sts = 1″; 18 sts & 24 rows = 4″ (10cm)
Needle:
7 (US) / 4.5 mm (or size to obtain gauge) 16” circular needle, and either DPN, long needle for magic loop, or 2 circs for working neckline in the round.
Sizes: 12 mo.(2,4) / 16-20(20-24, 24-28)” chest measurement

Notes

This sweater is worked in the round from the top down with no seaming. Front and back are worked separately for a few inches after the sleeve caps are bound off.

The sweater is designed to grow with your child. As she grows, remove one or more of the under arm button bands to create a deeper armhole. Unhem l purl ridge at a time as you need more length at the bottom of the sweater.

The longer you knit the sweater, the more hem you have to play with, and the more your child can grow and still wear this garment. Be sure to cast on loosely so that the neckline will be stretchy enough to accommodate a growing head circumference, too! (Sizes 12 mo.(2, 4) will accommodate up to 21(23,23)” head circumference.)

Violet Schematic

The pattern can be purchased for $5 from my Ravelry shop.

We are just THRILLED that it is VESTVEMBER!

So…after talking several times with both Yahaira and Karen in recent days, I decided to cast on for a Vestvember project! (There are both Ravelry and Flickr groups for Vestvember…be sure to check them out!)

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I was at Unravel the other day, because I heard a rumor that they had ordered some Lorna’s Laces yarn and wanted to see that for myself. They didn’t have any Lorna’s, but they did have this interesting yarn from Berroco. I used to shy away from yarns with high acrylic content, but after successfully using Berroco’s Comfort for a big project for myself a few years ago:
sanpoku-front2
(it has held up GREAT!) I decided to give the Vintage a try.

It feels so nice in the hand, it’s soft, lofty, but still has that Cascade 220 (another fave of mine) feel of like, “ok, this is just plain, simple, old-fashioned YARN.” I *like* fluffy fancy high-end wools, but sometimes my knitting history calls from deep down inside and I just want YARN. BUT…this is more than “just yarn” … it’s MACHINE WASHABLE. And it feels GOOD! And the colors are FABULOUS! And…And…I knit my Vestvember project in TWO DAYS.

I decided to make a little vest for my Mazie.

Yahaira is doing a turtle / cowl, so I totally copied that. Well, let it sink into my brain until my brain said, “Hey! How about a turtle / cowl?” And I said, “Well, that would be GREAT! I wonder if Yahaira would think that would be cute?” (wink) Here is the start of my turtleneck on top of the cabinets that Nathan is refacing. (little peek into life at the New House.)

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THEN…I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if I could make this sweater for Mazie one year and have it still fit the NEXT year?” SO…I lengthened the armholes (in a decorative way) with the plan of adding little tabs at the side that I can move down as she gets bigger.
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I also did a little deco thing at the hem, so that I could fold the hem at any of the purl ridges and hem it…then LET IT DOWN as she needs more length!! I didn’t hem this one, but I *could.*

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Mazie likes it…I think.
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