Sunday, April 26, 2015

FO: Kuura

Blocking lace always amazes me. Intellectually, I know how it works - how a short bath and some stretching and pinning can drastically change knitted fabric. But I really wasn't expecting my nice, thick, cushy polwarth/silk blend handspun to transform from this:

into this:

The drape! Clearly the silk is doing its job here. I had been envisioning a cozy neck warmer and wasn't expecting this slinky little piece to come off the blocking wires.

The striping in the handspun works really well with this pattern. (Note to self for future handspun projects).

Pattern: Kuura
Yarn: polwarth/silk 2-ply handspun (418 yards/4oz). I used all but maybe a yard of the skein.
Needles: size 6
Mods: Kuura comes with two lace charts - a simple base for the shawl body and a lacier version for the edging. Using this project as inspiration, I had planned to flip the charts (using the edging chart for the body and the body chart for the edging). But I ran out of yarn before I was ready to work an edging section so I just stopped after an eyelet row and worked the lacier chart throughout. I had been debating whether I had enough yarn to work an extra row and then use a sewn bind-off but didn't want to chance it. Instead I used k2tog through the back of the loop bind-off and it came out just fine.

I loved knitting this one (the handspun was a dream to work with). Now for the real test: will I wear it? It's not exactly office appropriate. And it's a bit too delicate for weekend wear (I have two small kids, after all). Who knows, maybe Tadpole will put in a request for it next fall. She was having fun with it during our photo shoot.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Yellow and Green

Yellow is a big hit in our household - it's Tadpole's favorite color. So it was no surprise that when she and I were looking at yarn a few months ago for a new sweater for her, she automatically picked a bright yellow for her Wee Wildflower. The last sweater I knit her was a dud (I don't think she's worn it voluntarily). But to say this one's a hit would be the understatement of the year.

(I think that's supposed to be a pirate face.)

For starters, she stayed relatively still and looked in the general direction of the camera while wearing it, which almost never happens. And she wears it all the time. Voluntarily!

I used Quince & Co. Finch for this one (three skeins and a little bit for a size 4/6 hybrid). My gauge was a bit looser than the recommended yarn so I was able to follow the size 4 directions to get a roughly size 6 sweater. I think it'll still fit this fall (fingers crossed).

The pockets come in handy! I asked her the other day whether she wanted another sweater and the response was "Yes, please. In bright yellow." I have my eye on this pattern (maybe even matching sweaters for the girls). Yarn thoughts? I'm tempted to go with another Quince yarn but am all ears for suggestions.

I've also started my KAL sweater. This was my swatch:

I had read a blog post a few weeks ago mentioning not just knitting a sleeve as a swatch but dunking the whole thing (needles and all) to see how the fabric changes after wet blocking and thought that would be perfect for this sweater. (In case you're wondering, Addi lace needles do just fine getting dropped in the sink.)

By this point in my sleeve/swatch, I was pretty sure that I'd need to frog the whole thing and start over. The ribbing at the bottom wasn't as tidy as I wanted. The tubular cast-on edge looked a bit loose and wonky. And the color work section seemed to be pulling in too much to maintain the even tension I needed.

But I hadn't realized what miracles wet blocking would work on this yarn.

After a soak in the sink, the yarn fulled ever so slightly to create a beautiful, soft fabric. All of a sudden my ribbing looked cleaner (not perfect, but something I can live with). The cast on edge looked tighter. And I was able to gently massage the color work section into roughly the the same gauge as the stockinette portion.  (Look at the right edge of the sleeve in the picture above - the increases on the left make it difficult to judge the line).

Dare I say I'm hoping the weather stays cool enough I'll get to wear this one at least once this spring?