Crescent FAN Shawl update

Designs sometimes have a forward/backward two-step dance to them. First step forward was knitting the blue and then gold bands for the shawl. When I realized that this crescent shawl shape was too curly, I ripped back. Yes, a large step backwards. Moving forward, I fixed it and I really like the overall shape.

Once I had it this far along, I decided that the V shapes where too small. I wanted to knit more texture stitches across the rows.

So I ripped the gold out one more time. Yes, one more time stepping back. I made the texture stitch shapes larger at the base. Now, after knitting this section again, I finally have it just like I want it. The shapes are like FANs so I changed the name of the pattern. Why not? Nothing is written in stone yet.

The gold yarn is 80/20 fingering by Shelridge.com and stood up really well to three knits. Yay.

I’m knitting the last band of colour as you read this. There is no stopping me now!

The pattern is off to the testknitters and I’m contemplating knitting another one. Hmm, what to choose this time? DK weight? Yeah, that would work.

Cheers, Deb

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Sometimes frogging has to be done

I didn’t block my shawl, I just put it on a really long cable and … it’s definitely too curvy.

So here we go. Rip, rip, rip. Turn away if this is too painful!

While I was merrily ripping away, I decided to take the stripes out too. More ripping but now it’s done.

I thought about the adjustment and here we go again. It’s so difficult to knit with your fingers crossed!

I’m liking the sharp colour change and I’m happy with the curve now. Totally worth the frogging. But … I would like wider wedges. I’d like more texture knitting and a little less garter stitch. So back to ripping again. Let’s see if this yarn can take it. Onward.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Shawl knitting time

I have been thinking about knitted shawls for about a month but had projects to finish first. Knitting a shawl was the carrot in front of my nose, to keep going. Now that they are done I can indulge myself and start a shawl.

I have been teaching knitting for decades and thought I would take one of my shawl workshops and move it a little sideways. I need a challenge and taking something that is working and pushing it in a slightly different direction is fun, as well as frustrating when it doesn’t work out as expected, but that is still fun, believe it or not.

So here I go, a crescent shaped shawl beginning with a garter tab.

This shawl is worked in 2 or 3 parts. The first part is easy to work in garter stitch.

The experimenting starts with the second part of the shawl. I am working  different textured patterns. You can’t see them, of course, since the needle is too short to spread it out. You’ll have to take my word for it for now.

I’m not sure about the general shape. My concern at the moment is that it might be too curvy. I need to block it even though it’s only half done. When the needle comes out, all will be revealed. Yikes, this makes me kinda nervous.

Cheers,  Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Did you get value from your pattern?

Did you ever buy a pattern and wondered what you paid for? What makes this pattern special?

I’m knitting the Lanterns shawl by Softsweater (Sylvia McFadden).

The leaf pattern is gorgeous. I worked it with the twisted knits and twisted purls (don’t worry, there is an untwisted version). This was a challenge. The trick, I found, is to work the twisted knit row on the loose side so the twisted purls on the next row are easier to work. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of this. The final blocking will really show this off.

The leaf section is done. But that’s not the special part for me.

The edge stitches are really well thought out and charted. I’m quite sure the beginning and end of the rows took time to develop. She even did a video of a different stitch she used. That’s customer service. But that’s still not ‘it’ for me either.

What I paid for, and it was a very small amount of $ but I won’t go into how much patterns are undervalued in our industry, was the 10 or so rows right here.

This is the transition from the leaf pattern to the chevron pattern. It’s elegant, don’t you think? It’s a thing of beauty. I’ve stopped knitting here so I can just appreciate how she made these patterns flow, one into the other.

As far as I’m concerned this is what I paid for. A little bit of knitting elegance. When I pick it up tomorrow I am starting with a smile of appreciation on my face. Thanks Sylvia.

Cheers and happy knitting, Deb

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Symmetry vs Asymmetry

How attached are you to symmetry? When I try to work asymmetry into my own designs they seem to work hard to revert to something symmetrical. I’m trying to work against this tendency. Sometimes it works.

The other factor in favour of asymmetry is that my mind and maybe yours, is restless and easily distracted. The thought of working too much of the same thing is not appealing right now.

So I’m working on a scarf or shawl in 3 sections where I, and eventually you, will be able to change it up.

It starts with triangles that begin small and get larger and larger, worked join-as-you-go to your desired depth of scarf, in this case about 8″/20cm deep.20200517_091914

Then there is a straight centre section worked on the bias. This is a simple 2 row repeat so you will be able to play. I tried 3 different stitch patterns: stripes, eyelets and the daisy stitch. Do you have some other favourite stitch patterns that could work?

I didn’t do this for long as you can see. I made the first section very long. I was afraid if I kept going I would have to wind this scarf around my neck several times as if I was a giraffe. But hey, if that’s a good look for you, go for it. I took the scissors to my prototype, snip, snip, first two triangles are gone and now it’s a much better shape for me.

Then for the final section I worked a scalloped edge which can go on forever, OK not forever but certainly until you run out of yarn, stitches or patience.20200517_092104

 After surgery, my scarf is 66″/168cm long and weighs 125g.20200517_110131

What do you think? Would you like the option to make both ends match? Where do you stand on the symmetry/asymmetry question?

Deb

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Gauge-Free FREE beginner scarf

Does this idea of Gauge-Free really seem weird to you? What do you mean you can just pick out some yarn and start with no stitch counts and no idea of a gauge you need to get? How can you knit the correct size? Any yarn at all? Any needle I think is reasonable? How can that be?!

If you are knitting at home more than usual during this time and want a stash diving  project, give this a try: Gauge-Free Triangles Scarf/Shawl. This is one of the workshops I teach and I’m offering it Free here for the duration. Knit GAUGE-FREE or, as I call it, knitting without a safety net!

The trick to knitting Gauge-Free is getting started in the right spot. You need to start where you can get to the size you need, regardless of your gauge, and measure it with a ruler (tape measure).triangle workshop height measurement

 

Here’s a beginner project, the GAUGE-FREE TRIANGLES SCARF/Shawl that totally works because it starts at the corner of the first triangle.

gauge-free triangle scarf workshop

It’s a modular, join-as-you-go project. You can use any yarn with any needle you think is reasonable. You can knit a scarf with all your odd balls or have a more thought-out plan of two colours. You can knit every triangle a different colour or knit stripes (as soon as you work stripes you have a right side and wrong side, keep that in mind). You can knit this as a large rectangular shawl (or is it called a stole?) if you make ‘Triangle I’ about 12″-14″/30-36cm deep or even deeper and then go on from there for as long as you need it to be. Add a stitch pattern or two?

If you make many scarves you can sew them together into a blanket.triangle scarf blanket

The options are endless.

Enjoy,

Deb

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Mosaic Shawl for retreat

We’re getting ready to Retreat. We are Elizabeth, Lyn and myself, all finishing up our shawl samples for our Cabin Fever Retreat. It’s coming up at the Fern Resort really soon. So this is my last shawl sample. I had a student in one of my classes say that there should be a sign on the wall by the classroom door saying, “This can be addictive, Beware”. Shawls have been that for me.

Here’s a snapshot of the shawls and samples going to the retreat:

Asymmetric Shawls by Elizabeth, don’t they look like fun? 

Lyn’s still working on her Crescent shawls. She has a really great crescent cast on edge to show everyone.CF retreat crescent shawl

My adventures into Triangle Shawls has taken me far and wide.

The last one is using Mosaic knitting. Mosaic knitting is worked with 1 colour (variegated) across 2 rows working knits or purls and slipped stitches. Another 2 rows are worked with a second colour (black) in stockinette stitch or garter stitch.

My first foray into mosaic shawl knitting was to work (RS) [K1, Slip 1] with the variegated colour and (WS) [K1 (variegated, Slip 1 (black)]. The black is worked in 2 rows of stockinette stitch. The variegated colour is bumpy against the black stockinette stitch.20191013_154400

Next I tried working the variegated as (RS) [K2, Slip 2] and (WS) [P2 (variegated), Slip 2] so that the coloured yarn is now in stockinette stitch. I worked the black in garter stitch this time (knit on RS and knit on WS). The colour becomes recessed and although it looks OK up close the colour seems to get lost against the black.20191013_154429

Onward. This time I worked the colour as [K2, Slip 2] again but on the WS I worked [K2 (variegated), Slip 2] making the colour bumpy against the garter stitch black. Much better don’t you think? I’m very happy with this and will continue until I run out of black, which is soon.20191013_154442

Can you see the changes?20191013_154655

We’re excited to get going. There are still spaces available if you want to join us at the Fern Resort on October 25.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

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One Little Change

I find it amazing that sometimes one little change, that you think is insignificant, can make a big impact.

I am still working on a triangle shawl system for the class I’m running at the Cabin Fever Retreat at the Fern Resort on Oct 25-27. We’re presenting 3 shawl shapes: crescent, asymmetric and triangle.

I’m going to present a recipe for working triangles with long tails. There will be lots of room for knitters to add in their own ideas. No two will look alike. Here is one with lots of texture changes throughout: garter stitch, stockinette stitch, reverse stockinette stitch and floating seed stitch.20190930_091752

If you are a shawl knitter you know that the picture you have of the finished shawl doesn’t always look like that on the needles. Actually shawls usually look like a great big mess, even to knitters. So once again I pinned out the current colour block shawl I’m working on to have a peek.20190927_104537

These two shawls follow exactly the same recipe. You might notice that something went wonky with the centre line in the Colour Block one. It’s definitely leaning.

The shawl on the left has an increase before and after the centre marker in the usual way. The only change I made to the Colour Block was to work only one increase at the centre, before the centre marker. That’s it. Only one increase instead of two. It changed the shape of the shawl. It is no longer a triangle!

One absent increase has made this a totally different shape. Makes you think doesn’t it? What if you added an extra increase somewhere else, what would that do? What if you switched which side the centre increase was worked on, what would that do? What if …

Gotta go, my fingers are itching to cast on a new one. How about you?

Deb

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Colour Blocking a shawl

Intarsia knitting? Are you on board with it? I usually don’t work with blocks of colour where you drop a colour, pick up a new one twisting the colours around each other and then continue on with the new colour. It doesn’t lend itself to knitting in the round but knitting flat, well that’s a whole different story. And shawls are knit flat right? Hmm, yes, there’s an idea.

I have a couple of odd balls, ha, ha. OK, I have lots and lots of odd balls. Not enough to knit anything large with but 100g of this and 100g of that. They are perfect for stripes but also, it finally occurred to me, for blocks of colour.

I can use the centre increase line of the shawl to change colours for blocks of colour on the different sides of the shawl. That’s pretty straight forward and as you can see that  only lasted a couple of rows. Then I thought, why not add stripes? I wound a small ball of purple from the outside of the purple ball I was already using, and started using the gold and small ball for the stripes on the one side and the large ball of purple for the other side.20190922_143834

I can’t stop picking it up. This will be another sample for my Triangle Shawl class at the Cabin Fever Retreat in October.

I’m going for a big pop of colour to wear against my mostly navy wardrobe. Do you think this will do it?!

What are you doing with your odd balls?

Deb

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Wedges Shawl

It all began because I had an idea. I like shawls with long tails. A perfectly triangular shawl does not give me enough of a tail drape down in front of me to hold the shawl in place. I want to get the stapler out so that it doesn’t shift around.

I thought that adding wedges to a standard triangular shawl would do the trick.

Take a triangle shawl …triangle shawl

and add wedges to elongate the tails.triangle with wedges

Even after the first attempt I could see that it would work. So the Wedges Shawl soon became an obsession.DSC_0547

I moved the wedges closer to the centre line but otherwise the original concept was kept intact.20190801_094302Here is the worsted weight version. I used 100g of worsted weight wool by Twishandshoutfiberarts and 100g of Paton’s Classic Wool (purple).

 

I worked all of the Wedge Shawl Variations: (left to right on the photo below) Garter Wedge, Stockinette Wedge, Garter Ridges Wedge and Eyelet Wedge. It certainly made things interesting.20190806_152607.jpg

Then I progressed to double check with Fingering weight yarn out of my stash. The purple is Estelle Alpaca Merino Fine and the variegated is by Richard Devries. I worked the Garter Wedge, Garter Ridges, Garter Wedge again, Stockinette Wedge, Garter Wedge once more and Eyelet Wedge. I was running out of yarn by the end and my Eyelet Wedge was only 4 rows deep, sigh.DSC_0549

20190818_114320

Next I needed to work out the Eyelet Wedges to my satisfaction since they were not matchy, matchy ( Symmetrical or Not). This one is Eyelets all the way. I love it and not only because of the orange in all the wedges (although it is a factor).20190824_141054 - Copy

DSC_0552

And look at those tails … nice and long.

20190825_122429

So now you can give it a try:  Wedges Shawl is now on ravelry. I hope you enjoy knitting them. I sure did.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

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