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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:

not your average crochet -  arlequin shawl

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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new (to me) yarn shops to try!

Don’t you love it when you find an online store with gorgeous yarns that you just have to try?  I’ve got a few on my list to try, have you purchased from any of these?  If so, what do you think of the yarn?

  • Lily Neige – the gradients in particular are lovely!
  • We Love Knitting – the shop is updated frequently because the yarns almost always sell out!  I’ve purchased their 100% Extra Fine Merino 4-Ply Fingering base in the colorway Strawberries and Cream:
Strawberries and Cream yarn from We Love Knitting -- and they sent a free tote bag with my order!

Strawberries and Cream yarn from We Love Knitting — and they sent a free tote bag with my order!

  • Norah George – no, I don’t just love this brand because of all the Harry Potter themed yarn colorways (although that doesn’t hurt)!  I want to try the Molly Weasley colorway.
  • Miss Babs – OK so this isn’t quite new but I’ve only tried one yarn and I’d love to try more!  I used 1 skein of Keira in the colorway Blooming Pansies for my Snapdragon Stitch Cowl (free pattern)!
Snapdragon Stitch Cowl - Not Your Average Crochet

Snapdragon Stitch Cowl

  • Gregoria Fibers – this is another shop that updates regularly due to selling out quickly, and it’s not hard to see why!
  • Hedgehog Fibres – the linked website is just one seller of this brand.  I really love the speckled & variegated colorways!
  • Julie Asselin – these gorgeous yarns are nice — I’ve purchased their Leizu DK yarn in Shiitake from one of Skeincocaine’s weekly Instagram auctions:
Leizu DK

Julie Asselin Leizu DK in Shiitake

So what yarn shops have you recently discovered?  I’d love to visit them and discover new favorites, just leave a comment below!

I’ve got some project updates coming up soon, so stay tuned!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Fino Circle Scarf: ta-da & Kippen Cardigan: begin!

Here’s a knitted FO; I busted through the last bit just because I’m so eager to start the crochet Kippen Cardigan and I’ve limited my # of WIPs.

IMG_5899

This Fino Circle Scarf took 980 yds of my Malabrigo Yarn Sock in colorway 121 – Marte (about 2.3 skeins), and it also took a little over 6 months to complete.  I jokingly used the hashtag #milesofstockinette on Instagram but it really is over half a mile of yarn!  I was so glad to be done that I didn’t even bother blocking it; the edges might curl but I can block it later if it bothers me too much.

This yarn is really gorgeous even if all the colors don’t show through on camera — it’s got purples, browns, reds, oranges, blues, teals, lavenders, & greys in it when you look closely.  I love it!

So now on to the crochet Kippen Cardigan!  The 11 Scheepjes Stone Washed balls in Rose Quartz arrived today:

scheepjes stone washed

I cannot WAIT to get started!  It’ll be the first crochet sweater/cardigan I’ve ever made (at least, that I’ll actually wear — I made a crochet Filigree Cardigan in 2012 but I used Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool and it was too scratchy and didn’t quite fit right, anyway, so I never wore it).  The yarn is soft and shouldn’t be too hot for living in the south since it’s cotton & acrylic.

Well that’s all for now.  Can’t wait to share crochet progress with you, but it’s midnight now and I’ve got to go to bed.  Aww, I still have to shower…  See you next time!

post-giveaway expectations

I’ve been putting off posting about anything for the past few days, even though I’ve got stuff to share, because I’ve been worried that my new lovely subscribers won’t want to see knitting, and that’s what I’ve been doing lately.  Ya’ll got me all nervous and wanting to make a good first impression!  Guess I shouldn’t make assumptions though, and there will be crochet stuff  quite soon so I might as well go ahead and share the knitting stuff.

 

split back tank

My split back tank is over halfway done!  I swear though, I don’t know how all you knitters fly through those drapey lace cardigans with tiny needles.  Even with 5.5mm needles (US 9) this seems to be slow (although maybe I’m just excited to finish, so it seems slower than it really is).  Again I’m using Lindy Chain in Hollyberry for this, because I just had enough of this color lying around.  Since I plan on using it as a swimsuit coverup and my swimsuit is blue, it’ll be fine, even though I would have preferred a lighter color.  I’ll pair it with light denim cutoffs and it’ll be cute!

My Berroco Vintage in Macaron arrived a few days ago from WEBS, and it’s even better than I expected!  This is probably one of my favorite yarns and this colorway is just gorgeous:

berroco vintage macaron

berroco vintage macaron

I guess my camera’s not quite good enough to clearly show the different colors in the yarn, but you can tell it’s heather-y.  I can’t wait to make this amazing yarn into the Maeve shrug (but I’m not starting until I finish a current WIP)!

Actually I did order some yarn for a crocheted sweater, too…

907411e8b6e6075f0766171b742416ea

It’s Scheepjes Stone Washed from Wool Warehouse in 820 – Rose Quartz.  I’ve been wanting to try it for ages!  If you’ve tried it before, can you give me some advice?  According to Craft Yarn Council it lies somewhere between sock weight & sport weight, and on different websites I’ve seen it called either one.  I got enough to crochet the Kippen Cardigan, which calls for sock weight yarn; do you think it will be OK?  Have you used this yarn for patterns that call for sock or sport weight?  If so, please let me know in the comments below, it would be very helpful!

I know the shrug and the cardigan are for the cooler seasons, but the tank will be my first-ever warm-weather item.  Are you making any summer garments now?  If so, what are your favorite designs?  If the split back tank is not too hot I might want to make some more summery clothes!

Well, that’s all for now, thanks for stopping by!  Hopefully next time my yarn for the crochet cardi will be here and I will have finished a WIP so I can get started!  See you soon!

 

giveaways & resolutions & new projects!

The giveaway is almost over!  It ends this Sunday at 6:00pm EST, so don’t forget to enter!

In other news, I finally broke one of my New Year’s Resolutions.  I bought some yarn for myself.  It’s for a specific project and the yarn was on sale and I didn’t know if the colorway (which is perfect) is one of those that gets phased out eventually, so I spent about $40 on 6 skeins of Berroco Vintage from yarn.com.  It’s in the colorway Macaron:

390T390

Isn’t it pretty?  If you look closely there are actually lots of different hues/tints in there, adding some lovely depth and interest, and the heathered soft effect is so pretty.  I’m going to make the Maeve shrug with it, and if you click on the link you’ll see that this Berroco Vintage yarn is the perfect substitute for the slightly more expensive yarn that is called for, and I know that this yarn will be great to wear because I love the first chunky circle scarf I made with it — it’s so great to wear, so soft and warm (and washable)!  The shrug will be great for work, where our air conditioner works way too well during the summer.

Anyway, even though I broke that resolution, I would have had to break it anyway because one of my other resolutions is to make Christmas ornaments as gifts for people this Holiday season and I need the crochet thread for that.  Silly me for contradicting myself with my resolutions.  However, my resolution to make more projects in 2016 than the 24 items of 2015 is going well — I’ve completed 13 so far.  My pattern writing is on hold for a bit, but I’m still working on that one, too.

I’ve been trying to cut down on my WIPs by just busting out FOs and while I have finished lots of projects, I’ve also started quite a few, so the number of WIPs is about the same.  I started the split back tank a few days ago (with yarn I already had in my stash) with the intention of finishing it before the middle of June — I’m going on a girls’ trip with my mom and aunt & cousins to Pensacola, FL & I’d like to use the tank as an airy swimsuit coverup on the beach.  I say airy because it’s made with sock weight yarn and size 5.5mm needles (that’s one reason I chose this pattern in particular out of lots of cute tanks — the large needles should mean a fast project).  I’m also using KnitPicks’ Lindy Chain, which is 70% linen, 30% cotton, so it should be perfect for summer.  I’ve never made a summer garment before, though, and I’m not sure it’ll be wearable in Florida — will it be too hot there for any hand knit items?  We shall see.  No photos of that yet, but I’ll take some soon once I have a bit more to show.

Well, that’s a pretty decent update.  In other life news my counseling is going well and I’m starting to remember to actually use mindfulness in day-to-day life, which is already beginning to help me.  Also we can finally use both the new side and the old-yet-renovated side of my work building, and now that everyone’s got more space and not falling on top of each other it’s much less stressful.  Other issues still persist but I think everything will work out.  🙂

That’s all for now, thanks so much for stopping by!  See you soon, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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