New Mexico Shawl

I finished the turquoise and orange shawl and it’s now available in the Etsy shop. It reminds me of the desert southwest, New Mexico in particular.  As I was knitting it in public (at Panera, waiting rooms, etc.), a lot of people commented on the great colors, and mentioned New Mexico.  It was a favorite of the public!

I’m very happy with the colors (which will look great on almost anyone), the drape, the texture and the shape of this shawl.  It’s a winner, and I’m sure I’ll knit this pattern again very soon.  I have some KnitPicks Chroma that I plan to use on version 3 of this pattern.  You may remember version 1 was Noro Silver Thaw.

I almost hope no one buys this, as I wouldn’t mind at all if I get to keep it.  I seem to say that about a lot of my finished items!

Another Entrelac Scarf Finished

Cheryl has been a busy little bee lately.  Here’s her latest finished project, another large entrelac scarf.

It’s available in the Etsy shop here.  It would make a great gift for your favorite fashionista who loves color and texture.

This item is knit in Noro Kochoran, which is 50% Wool, 30% Angora, and 20% Silk.  This colorway is #59, which is purple, soft orange, green, brown and cream.  It’s very fuzzy and super soft to the touch (that’s the angora!).

Here’s a close up.

These are absolutely addictive to knit.  I think of them as potato chip projects, I can’t do just one.  Knitters, you have been warned!

Entrelac

I always thought entrelac would be a very difficult and advanced knitting technique.  Happy to know that I was completely wrong.  It’s actually quite easy, and a great way for me to practice something I really didn’t like – picking up stitches.  My pick up and knit/purl skills have quickly improved since beginning this project.

The pattern for this project is here and the yarn is Noro Kochoran, which is a bulky yarn.  It’s 50% wool, 30% angora, and 20% silk.  This scarf is very enjoyable to knit – simple pattern, easily understood (and almost memorized, but I do refer to pattern on one section), and the color changes make it easy to knit “one more row”.

The fat yarn makes this scarf very wide, more like a shawl or wrap than a scarf, it will be fabulous wrapped around my shoulders and held with my new sheep shawl pin (which looks super cute with any knitting).  The knitting peeks through the body of the sheep.  I’ve already received several positive comments from random citizens when I’ve worn it.

You can get one like it from the artist who makes these.  She has an Etsy shop, and also makes shawl pins shaped like kitties, doggies, mermaids, llamas, elephants, butterflies, cows, and sailboats.  I’ll bet she can do other shapes  too if you ask!  It was practically impossible to select just one, but I do love sheep, they are so calm and grounded.  Just seeing a picture of a sheep relaxes me!

I am conducting a poll about shawl pins and would love to know your answer.

I love this project so much I may keep it for myself or give to a family member.  I want to make more of these, maybe in thinner yarns, so watch for future posts on entrelac!

New Car

Over the course of the last several months it became increasingly clear that is was time to buy a new car.  The 2000 Ford Windstar served us well when we needed a van, but I don’t need car seats anymore since the kids are 17, 14 and 14 (almost 15), and the 17 year old has her own car.  I’m more interested in gas mileage, eco-friendliness and convenience now, so we decided to look at new cars.  When we started looking at mileage, hybrids caught our attention.

After some research (mostly talking to recent new car buyers, along with a bit of online investigation) and a test drive, we decided on a Toyota Prius.  Here’s a picture of our new baby.  Love that color, it’s called Sea Glass Pearl – I figured it would show dirt the least, as it’s sort of dusty, without being gray (the actual color of dirt).

I’m very happy to report that I did a few errands around town this morning and the dashboard display tells me that my mileage was 54.4, 54.6 and 56.6 MPG.  Can’t cry about that!  Well, maybe cry with joy…

I’m feeling a bit sad right now because it’s out in the rain.

Waves

Been working like a maniac on a very nice pattern, it’s the Wave Cowl. But, problems have reared their stinking, rotten, ugly heads.

1. Where the blasted hell are all my size US 10 needle tips? I buy needles like a maniac, but can never find any, so I have been using 1 set of 10’s and a set of 9’s. The size 9’s hold the stitches I knit into and the 10’s hold the newly created stitches. Sounds like a great plan, right? Except – the pattern calls for short rows, so I am turning and going back and forth over the same area a few times, meaning I need to keep moving needle tips. This is getting a bit like a Marx Brothers movie, so I’m going to just put it aside and borrow needle tips from Cheryl.

2. I clearly forgot to pick up three lousy wraps two repeats back, as evidenced by the big holes showing.

I’m going to have to rip out a lot of work, which made me so angry I could barely sleep last night.

Not touching this #*)&! thing again until I have those size 10 tips, then I will just bit the bullet and rip back, fix my screw ups and begin again.

All that being said, it’s a beautiful pattern, and this yarn (Rowan Colourscape Chunky in Heath colorway) is a perfect choice.  The short rows work amazingly well to highlight the color transitions.  It’s going to be divine!

Mesa Wingspan and Fingerless Gloves

I finished the latest Wingspan shawl, in KnitPicks Chroma Fingering weight yarn.  The colorway is Mesa.  I love the way it turned out, but I was absolutely on the edge of my seat as I finished, I was quite uncertain whether or not I’d have enough yarn.

Ravelry has a lot of these shawls made in the same yarn, with comments by the knitters about having 6 inches of yarn left.  I just can’t take that kind of stress!  I ended up with 3.3 yards of extra yarn.

Someone who loves the desert southwest would really enjoy this!  Many folks who saw me knitting this at Panera this week stated “that reminds me of New Mexico”.

I also put up a new Etsy listing this morning.  It’s a super snuggly pair of fingerless gloves.

The yarn is a wool, alpaca and silk blend, slightly nubbly.  Very toasty and soft, some lucky buyer will be very happy with them.

The entrelac scarf I put in the Etsy shop just the other day sold today to a lovely lady all the way in Australia!  I know she’ll really love it and treasure it for years. We are already planning another one in a different Noro yarn.  Cheryl likes doing entrelac and we both love the results (as do so many fashionistas).  I will be learning entrelac soon.  Stay tuned for that drama.

Renaissance Man

Craig was in the cast at the Fishers (IN) Renaissance Fair last weekend. Here’s a picture of him in his costume, looking thoughtful – very impressive.  As soon as he came home he shaved off most of that facial hair, it was driving him crazy!

The rest of the family did not attend, since it rained heavily for 24 hours before the opening, and we didn’t relish walking around a 45 degree mud field.  We’ll go next year.  We were sorry to miss the sword fight and the jousting!

I added another item to my Etsy shop yesterday.  This gorgeous Entrelac Wrap was knit by Cheryl in a fabulous Noro yarn; it’s made of wool, silk, cashmere, alpaca, angora, camel and kid mohair.  It’s super cuddly and really incredible to see and touch in person.  It would make a spectacular gift for a fashionista with a winter birthday or for Christmas.  It would also look brilliant on the back of a couch, ready to snuggle into when you are a bit chilly in the evening or on an early morning weekend (can you tell I’m a morning person?).

We have lots of fingerless gloves coming into the shop soon.  We sold out of these last year, so we are busy making more than we had in stock in 2011.  I remember one person bought several pairs and really wished we could make more in time.  So, this year, we are starting early!  I hope we can meet the demand.  Better go do some knitting…