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a slow start

2017 was all set to be productive and had gotten on a decent roll until I fractured a metacarpal in my right hand on Jan. 31.  They said 6-8 weeks was the healing time, and that’s over, and my hand feels normal.  Just a little pain if I hit it the wrong way on something hard (on accident, of course).  Of course that meant I had to take a break from pretty much everything for a little while, and I didn’t knit or crochet at all for over 2 months (with the exception of trying 1 time before I went to the doctor and found out the hand was fractured).

It’s been hard to get back going.  Ravelry hasn’t enthralled me as much or taken up nearly as much of my time, the projects sitting around haven’t been calling me to get to work.  I’ve bought yarn only once.

Finally the other day though a #widn tag on Instagram prompted me to drag myself out of my lethargy and actually DO something crafty.  I got to work more on my second Arlequin Shawl:

These Knit Pro Zing needles are awesome af for wool or stickier yarns (silk I’m sure would just slide right off).  I really want to get the new circular interchangeable set and the double point sets.  And I’m loving this pastel rainbow yarn from Devon Suns Yarns.  So gorgeous.

There’s crochet stuff to work on too, like my king size vintage pink chevron blanket, but I haven’t picked that back up yet.  Now that I know I’ll need to buy even more yarn and that it will take longer than I figured it has me a bit reluctant.

But at least I’ve got something started, and I wanna pick it up again tonight.  I’ll probably do a life update soon because, you know, life happens.

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

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hats & the arlequin shawl: ta-da!

I know I’ve been slack about posting lately, but I haven’t been slack with my crafting!  Admittedly it’s tapered off from my hat-every-other-day rate and I still have at least 5 Christmas gifts to make, but whatever.  I want to share with you my completed Arlequin Shawl!

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So first, I want to talk up this pattern.  Not only is it free, it’s easy to memorize but not too boring.  The asymmetrical shape was off-putting to me at first but it’s actually kind of fun to play with.

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Now I have to talk up this yarn.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  I’ve never worked with a fingering/sock weight yarn this soft before.  It’s Lily Neige Single Fingering Alpaga & Soie (alpaca & silk) in colorway Bonbon Harlequin.  This is the same colorway that the pattern calls for only I got the variegated version instead of the long gradient, and it is SO GORGEOUS.  It’s hard to capture just how pretty this yarn is worked up in the garter & stockinette stitches.  Oh and did I mention zero knots?

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I used 1.95 skeins (about 907 yds) and the wingspan was over 8′ during blocking.  I’m glad I made it slightly larger than recommended; it’s a good size for me and it’s actually pretty warm!  The drape is really nice too.  I can’t say how happy I am with this.  I’d definitely recommend the pattern & the yarn!

I also made myself a Sockhead Slouch hat; I felt out of the loop because it seems like everyone has made one of these!  I used exactly half a skein of Julie Asselin Fino (75% merino, 15% cashmere, 10% silk) — which is great because I definitely have enough yarn leftover for another hat — in the limited edition colorway Gina’s Dance Off.

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I LOVE this colorway.  The specked yarn trend is awesome, and this colorway really reminds me of the gorgeous yarns from We Love Knitting (only I didn’t have to pay crazy shipping prices).

The hat itself is a good fit, which I was really pleased with.  I didn’t have the required needle sizes at the time so I made this with US sizes 3 & 5, casting on 128 with the smaller needles & using them throughout the ribbing, then switching to the larger ones.  I was a little worried the size would be off but it’s a comfy fit!  It IS really slouchy but the brim can be rolled double or just once really far if I want to wear it as a regular beanie.  Best part of all, it matches my favorite comfy plaid shirt.

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Finally, here’s some crochet.  We were told we HAD to dress up for Halloween for work; I thought about doing something snarky, like writing in Sharpie on a white shirt “404: costume can not be found” or “Costume loading: approximately 8 hours remaining” (that last one was Dad’s idea).  In the end though I thought it might be best to actually put some effort into it so as not to antagonize my boss, but I didn’t have money to buy anything fancy, so what did I do?  Why, crocheted a cat hat, of course!

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I just used a little over 1 skein of Bernat Softee Chunky Solids in black from my local JoAnn’s along with this free Black Cat Slouch Hat pattern.  I didn’t make it a slouch — I did start with the 11″ foundation row as suggested but I didn’t add the border.  I think it looks good; the edge is neat & I like the beanie fit.  This was easy to make & worked up really quickly.  I added a handbell necklace (from my Dad) and attempted wing liner for a cat eye (and for my first try I think I did pretty well) and just wore black clothes.  I actually really love that sweater — it’s oversized & has cables & a silver thread running throughout, and I got it for free from the donations bin there at work (I don’t think it would fit any of the clients).  Actually that’s where I got that mint plaid shirt, too, funnily enough.

And I’ve also made 1 more Ribbed Waffle Hat (my 6th one) as a Christmas gift (yarn: KnitPicks Brava worsted in Fig):

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I really do love these — they’re easy, fast, and they’re stretchy enough to fit everyone comfortably.  Perfect gift, really.

I do have some WIPs that I’m really excited about but this post is already super long so I’ll save them for another time!  If you follow me on Instagram you’ve gotten peeks already!

Thanks so much for stopping by, see you soon!

Arlequin Shawl: begin!

Since I couldn’t decide what to do with that lovely sport weight yarn,  I started working on the Arlequin Shawl, a free downloadable knitting pattern.  I’m using the same brand of yarn called for in the pattern, Lily Neige, and even the same colorway, Bonbon Arlequin.  However, my yarn is not quite the same as the one in the pattern photos:

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It’s variegated, not a long gradient.  The long gradient version is lovely but it wasn’t in stock back when I ordered this.  This is Lily Neige Single Fingering Alpaga & Soie: 90% baby alpaca, 10% silk.  And oh. my. gosh.  This stuff is so soft!  It’s creating a delicious fabric:

not your average crochet -  arlequin shawl

My stitches look to be a little looser than the pattern sample, but I like it the way it is so I’m not bothering to go down a needle size.  The fabric is so soft and drapey, it’s incredible.  The yarn is starting to pool, as you can see, but I don’t even care about that, it just adds interest!  The texture is great too.  I’m just loving everything about it.  Here’s a closeup:

not your average crochet -  arlequin shawl

I’ve never knitted a shawl sideways like this before, but so far I’m enjoying it.  It’s working up quickly, although I suspect that will not be the case for much longer once the rows get wider.  It’s such a delight to knit, though, that I don’t think I’ll even mind that.  I got 2 skeins just in case, each being 425m/100g.  One might do the trick, but if not I’ll be able to make it exactly the size I want and still probably have enough leftover to make a cute hat or something!

Well, that’s all for now, thanks for stopping by!  See you soon!

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