Friday, June 29, 2012

FO Friday # 49 - A if for Affection


Happy Friday everyone!

Sorry I've been AWOL for a little while. School's out and our summer schedule is kicking my butt! In fact, today I am in very hot Toronto for a girl's weekend away. This is the first time I've been away from my kids for more than overnight... ever!

While it is smok'in hot here, I was happy to enjoy my love new FO yesterday, on the plane. I even finished it in time to be part of the Alphabeti-Kal at my LYS "The Loop".

My gorgeous Color Affection shawl is so soft and squishy. I'm thrilled with how the colours worked out. I'm glad I stretched out of my comfort zone with the yellow. It is going to fit in perfectly at my beach house. (You know, the imaginary one that lives entirely in my mind.)


Pattern: Color Affection Shawl
By: Veera Valimaki
4000 Ravelers can't be wrong. Easy and fun. Starting the short rows and the start of the 3-colour section really does give you the will to knit on.



Yarn:
SweetGeorgia Cashlux Fine in lemon curd and tumbled stone
Handmaiden Casbah Sock in Saltspray
A mix east and west coat yarns. Both gorgeous and so dreamy to knit with.


Needles: 
4.0mm on a 40" circular

Modifications:
I did the "highly controversial" yarn over between the first two stitches and both end of the row. I'm glad I did. My shawl edges and always tight. Even with it, this shawl has good structure and a curvy shape.
I also accidentally read the lace weight instructions for the 3-colour striping and had done an extra 18 rows before I realized. I couldn't bear to rip it out so instead I have made an "extra-large" version ; )



Well that's it from me. Happy Canada weekend to all the Canadians out there!

Cheers, Nikki

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WIP Wednesday #65 - Affected


Happy Wednesday everyone!

I have had a productive week in knitting. (Like my positive way of saying the weather has been crappy?)
I finished my secret project and was all ready to start the shawl for my Great Aunt (thanks to everyone who voted!) when I found myself... infected afflicted addicted  affected.


I fell in love with the Color Affection shawl when it first came out. Even before it took off like wildfire. I tried, without success, to order one of the Plucky Knitter kits in December before the start of my yarn diet. I promised myself that as soon as the diet was over, I could treat myself to some fancy yarn to make one with. But, I kept putting off because I knew I had some priorities I had to finish first.

Then, I walked into Urban Yarns while we were in Vancouver a couple weeks ago. I had left my husband with two tired children, in the car, in the poring rain. I knew I had exactly five minutes to shop. Maybe I should shop like this more often. There was no time for indecision. I left with this:

sweetgeorgia cashluxe fine in lemon curd & tumbled stone
handmaiden casbah in saltspray
I love that this shawl will be mixture of BC and Nova Scotia (just like my children ; ). I love that I'm stepping wayyyyy out of my comfort zone with the yellow. I love that this shawl will always remind me of a fun weekend trip back home. I really love I am finally knitting the shawl I've been dreaming about for months.

I am decidedly ignoring the fact I'm supposed to be knitting something else.

I can't wait to start the stripes!!

It's not my fault. I'm infected addicted afflicted affected.

Cheers, Nikki

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Friday, June 1, 2012

FO Friday #48 - Epic


Happy Friday everyone.

Today's FO has been a long time in coming. I started this blanket at the end of January for a baby due in May. Well, the baby got here a week before the blanket did!



Pattern:
Baby Chalice Blanket by Karen S. Lauger

I really enjoyed knitting this pattern. It only took so long to finish because it kept getting bumped by other priorities and because I could only knit it at a time when I could pay attention to the chart. Which pretty much eliminated any part of the day when my children were awake.

This a wonderful free pattern that includes both written and chart instructions. I personally go for the chart every time so I can't vouch for the written ones.


Modifications:
  • Cast on 123 stitches to increase the size of the blanket (pattern calls for 83)
  • Changed the edging to seed stitch instead of garter
  • Used a sewn bind off (this was actually bind off # 3 - the first one was too tight, the second too loose but the third one did the trick... just call me Goldilocks)

Post Blocking




Pre-block. You can see the "too loose" 2nd bind off here.
















Yarn:
70% Alpaca / 30% Merino
Used 3.8 skeins

This yarn is a gorgeous organic undyed blend of baby alpaca and merino. It is as soft as butter. I would normally never use anything but superwash for a baby gift but this yarn was impossible to resist. The baby's mother is a knitter so I'm sure she will look after it. 


Tools:
5.5mm Knit Picks Nickel Options circular
Blocking wires & pins
Knit Picks Chart holder
Row counter


This was a good project to block with wires. It was so pig I has to use the mattress in the spare room instead of my mats. Pre Blocking the blanket measured about 70 cm x 90 cm.
Finished dimensions are 78 cm x 99 cm. 
I definitely could have blocked it even bigger.

So there it is, the end of an epic project. It will be in the post to it's new owners in Nova Scotia by Monday. It feels so good that it's done... and that I can totally cast on something new guilt free!

Best wishes for a weekend filled with bright days and good company.

Cheers, Nikki



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