Candle Light Shawl

This is the Candle Light Shawl, pattern written by Lucy Robson. It was one of my very first small shawl projects. I still think it’s pretty. I have such happy memories of the first time I wore it. It was a cold day in very late fall, and I visited a beautiful garden.

I think a lot of knitters go through an intense small shawl phase. It’s very tempting. Many of the shawls take only one skein of yarn, so you can buy some of your very first fancy yarn and learn which ones you like best. You’re learning new techniques, watching lace or interesting textures form in your hands, and it’s done in a relatively short amount of time. I had to stop, I had so many shawls, but now that I’m talking about it, I want to make some more.

How in the world do you wear a shawl in 2020? I’ve always used them as scarves in cold weather, with the point in front and tucked into my coat. I like how there’s volume in the front so I can be extra cozy.

I caught my first whiff of fall outside yesterday, so I’m thinking about these things.

I knitted this shawl in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, the shade is called Dusk. I think this color is discontinued, but there are some current options which are peachy-pinky-beige and would make great substitutes.

Swallowtail Shawl

The Swallowtail Shawl pattern, written by Evelyn A. Clark, has been a favorite of mine to knit. I find it particularly soothing and meditative. The bonus is that it has nupps, which I love everything about: knitting them, looking at them from a distance, inspecting them up close where I can see the subtle variations of color in each component strand of yarn, and feeling the texture when the piece is finished. I’ve made three of these shawls so far, maybe more? I’m not entirely sure, because I give things away.

This is the version I kept. I wanted it to be more cozy and homey, so I knitted the pattern differently in a way I saw some people on Ravelry doing it, with a stockinette top portion, rather than the lace as written. I used a heavier weight of yarn, and didn’t pull the points out when I blocked it, so edges are more rounded, less defined. One of the other versions I made was in a silver-colored pure silk laceweight yarn, with the lacy top as written. That was gorgeous. It’s just a great pattern.

I knitted my shawl in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, one of my very favorite yarns. It’s a fingering-weight hand-dyed merino wool, single-ply, which is always my preference. It only took one skein, and the shade is called Vintage Frame. I think this color is discontinued now, which is a pity. They have so many other colors, though, that it’s almost maddening to try to choose one. I guess that explains all the shawls.

Featherweight Cardigan

I’m still going through my older finished projects and posting photos. This one is the Featherweight Cardigan, pattern written by Hannah Fettig. It’s a classic for a reason.

This cardigan was one of my very first knitted garment projects. I was so excited to be making it, and so nervous about whether it would turn out to be wearable!

It is very wearable. It’s a light but warm wooly layer for transitional weather. I’m thinking of making another, and it’s not often I knit a pattern twice. There are so many great designs, and I feel I could keep trying new patterns infinitely and never make all the everything I’d like to. I think this one is worth it though. It’s versatile and easy to wear.

And, it’s an easy and well-written pattern. I love the concept of knitting a sweater in laceweight yarn for a couple reasons. Firstly, the garment is delicate. Secondly, when you buy laceweight yarn, you get more yardage for your money. It just makes sense. The required gauge for this sweater is not terribly small, which means I only needed one skein of yarn for the whole thing. I got an entire cardigan made of great quality hand-dyed merino wool for a materials cost of $24. I think that’s a great deal! Since the garment is basic and not oversized, I didn’t find it took long to make, even in laceweight.

If you have a look at the finished projects on Ravelry, you’ll see some people have made the sweater in heavier weights of yarn, which I wouldn’t mind trying. Also, it’s so plain and basic it would be fun to add interest to the hem or neckline, as you can see some people have done, and it’s easy to vary the sleeve length or the length of the entire garment.

I knitted my sweater in Madelinetosh Tosh Lace, which has been discontinued. Don’t worry, Prairie is still available, and that’s a beautiful yarn. I always prefer single-ply anyway, which I didn’t learn until I had been knitting for a while. I used the shade Kale, which may also be discontinued. It was this funny-sounding combination of a purple-maroon color and pale green. I don’t think it looks funny, though. I love it, although I can’t seem to get the camera to pick up the color very well.

Knotty but Nice Ugh

I didn’t even want to tell you the name of the pattern because I hate puns just that much, but it didn’t seem fair to the designer. Plus, it wouldn’t be consistent with my usual style of post, which would drive me nuts.

More nuts than a pun? I couldn’t decide with certainty. Provisionally, yes, so I have told you the name.

Here’s the link: click here

I found it difficult to get a good photo. Here are my two best efforts, one lit by a lamp, and one lit by the sun:

The pattern was well-written, the result is exactly as advertised, and I hate the fit. I can kind of make it look okay if I turn the front up and wear it a bit like a cloche. And, yes, I know it’s a men’s hat, which may well be why it doesn’t fit my non-man-sized head, but I didn’t originally make it for myself so I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got. None of the men in the house wanted it, you see. It’s not a bad hat, just not their style.

Anyway, there it is, and it’s done in Madelinetosh Tosh DK. The shade is Thunderstorm.

Oak Knot

Here’s another hat I finished a while ago. I know I posted it before, but I must have removed the post, so here it is again.

Oak Knot, by Juju Vail and Susan Cropper, originally published in Juju’s Loops, one of my very favorite knitting books.

I love this hat. I made it from Cascade 220. The shade is called Galaxy. I want to make at least one more in a softer yarn, but even this slightly itchy version is the hat I wear most often.

Opri

I’ve made so many things without documenting them here. I’m going to add what I can.

First, this hat. The pattern is called Opri. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry. Hooray!

I did my version in Cascade 220. It wasn’t difficult, and it has been a good hat.

Here are photos I took when I blocked it:

A pile of minutes

Here is my first attempt at Junko Okamoto’s Teru pattern. I finished it some time ago, and I’ve worn it a bunch. It’s massive and cozy, and, I think, beautiful.

It was my first attempt at color work, as well. I think it went alright.

Truly, it’s difficult to overstate the largeness of this garment. It could be a dress. In the cold of winter, it is such a wonderful sweater to own. Highly recommend.

Yet another 3 Min. dress. Perhaps you’re wondering if I intend to turn every bit of fabric I own into one. I wonder that, too. I’ve done, um, six? I think? They’re just the easiest thing to grab and wear.

In progress:

A cardigan for fall.

Finished:

This tunic/dress thing. Completely hand-stitched. Couldn’t resist a couple tiny, red details.

I pieced together most of my remaining bits of this fabric to get another garment out of it. I’ve already done two other dresses. I love the print.

Slump

These winter months are somehow so tiring. I guess most of us feel that way.

I am proud of myself for managing anything. Have I filed some papers? Good work, me! Made dinner? I have now exceeded expectations!

It’s nice to sit and work on quiet projects. I have a shawl-wrap thing in progress. I nose through my stashes of fabric and yarn, thread and other small things, making plans. It’s a good time to look through what I’ve already made and enjoy it.

I’ve been wearing this sweater constantly. It was a second version of Junko Okamoto’s wonderful Teru pattern. I didn’t do the color work in the pattern, instead adding bits of color as I wanted to here and there.

The day I took this photo I wore it with one of a bunch of tunic tops I’ve made, I think they’re from the pattern book Adult Couture Dress & Smock Blouse by Ryoko Tsukiori. I did them years ago and I can’t remember for sure. Some of my books have very similar patterns so it gets confusing sometimes.

March is the time for blue poppies to bloom in the greenhouse at Longwood Gardens. My son and I took a detour one day to visit them, and that felt really nice.

This week, I summoned the courage to use the last of this favorite printed fabric. Gabrielle, in this photo, was not convinced it was a good idea. That’s okay, because it’s not her fabric.

Making the cuts with scissors is a commitment. I’m making a Nani Iro pattern, this one-size tunic-dress.

The one-size garment patterns from Japanese designers are very compelling, I think, and I find myself reaching for those garments the most lately. They’re comfortable without being gym clothes, the lines are interesting and I love the details.