WIP: Find Your Fade

Find Your Fade

Okay, so this isn’t really a WIP. Yet. But I’m excited that I “found my fade” for the Find Your Fade shawl.

I know you don’t have to use a single dyer or base, but I ended up selecting six hanks of Madelinetosh Euro Sock, which is a plied, 100% merino fingering-weight yarn. From left to right, the colors are: Joshua Tree, Cactus, Burnished, Crudo, Havana (Minimal / Optic), and Antler.

Find Your Fade

I have to finish a couple projects before I start this, but I suspect I’ll cast on before the end of the month.

WIP: Palmyre

My Palmyre shawl has grown quite a bit since I started it at 23:30 on 29 April. I’ve just about reached the end of my first hank of yarn, and I’ve knit 20 of the 26 increases. Knitting DK yarn on US 8 needles certainly speeds up the process, but I also really like the way Farm Twist feels in my hands, so I keep picking the project up.


It’s also fun watching the fabric develop. Up to this point, I had appreciated the speckled yarn trend from afar, without really feeling the impulse to play around with it myself. But now that I’m knitting with it, I get it. The unpredictability of the fabric is fun: not knowing where the splashes and flecks of color will be. And I think the plain stockinette body of the Palmyre shawl is a particularly good canvas for the yarn.

Pattern: Palmyre
Yarn: Madelinetosh Farm Twist (Oeste)
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WIP Summary: April 2017

April was kind of a busy month. What with all of the madness at work, I completely forgot that I had made those steek swatches! And it took me two weeks to finally make it over to my LYS to pick up the yarn they special ordered for my Fusion cardi! (And truthfully, I brought it home this past Tuesday and haven’t had a moment to even line the hanks up and confirm that my colorway looks how I pictured it would.)

But I also completed a few projects and — naturally — I started some new ones.

Pattern: Coloring
Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Wensleydale Gems DK (Jet)

This pattern is written for sport-weight yarn, and this West Yorkshire Spinners yarn is supposed to be DK, but it seems more like something that fluctuates between fingering and sport. So I decided to take a chance and cast on a Coloring cardi. This is probably one of those times I should have swatched, but I didn’t. Because I almost never do. So fingers are crossed for this project. Right now, I’m working the sleeves two-at-a-time, then I’ll finish the body. If I have enough yarn left, I’ll probably work a vertical button band.

Gull Island
Pattern: Gull Island
Yarn: Mirasol Yarn Llama Una (Black Dahlia)

This was the project I had in mind when I purchased the West Yorkshire Spinners yarn, but it’s definitely the wrong weight for this pattern. Since I’m between sizes, I’m knitting one of the sleeves first, and from that I’ll determine my gauge and figure out how many stitches to cast on for the body. The Llama Una is very soft, which makes me worry about pilling, and it also feels light and airy too. The fabric is quite nice, but I do wonder how it’ll wear.

Pattern: Palmyre
Yarn: Madelinetosh Farm Twist (Oeste)

And, because I’m rarely without a quick and easy shawl project, last night I cast on Palmyre with some Farm Twist that I just got in the mail the other day. I’m curious to see how this yarn looks as it turns into shawl.

Seasmoke is also still on my needles (and still unphotographed) but I don’t think I’ve touched it in a month and a half. I’d like to move it back into my active WIP rotation in May. This also reminds me that I have a few 2016 WIPs languishing on my needles — a couple since last July — and I need to make some finish-or-frog decisions.

FO: French Cancan

French Cancan
French Cancan
Pattern: French Cancan
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK (Mineral)
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French Cancan has been in my Ravelry queue since July of last year and in my mental queue for even longer than that. I usually try to have an easy shawl going, especially when I’m working on fingering- or sport-weight projects, and the French Cancan’s mindless garter stitch and DK yarn was a good choice. The body of the shawl knits up very quickly, and the chart is easily memorized. Once I turned my attention to the border, it was completed in just a couple days.

I weighed my yarn as I knit, hoping to use up as much of it as possible. I started with 241g and knit the body until I had 103g left, approximately 42%. The pattern suggests leaving 40% for the applied lace edging, but I decided to err on the side of caution and avoid a game of yarn chicken. I still had 8g of yarn left when I completed the shawl, so I probably could have done a few more rows on the body.

FO: Meadow Road

Meadow Road
Pattern: Meadow Road
Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo (Black)
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What a busy month! As a purchaser at a record store, I was swamped at work leading up to Record Store Day, so I wasn’t able to knit as much as I would have liked to this month, but 22 April has come and gone, and I was finally able to complete my Meadow Road pullover on 24 April! My goal was to finish it in time for the spring, and I’ve definitely accomplished that.

According to my Ravelry project page, I started this on 9 January, but I worked on it very sporadically at first. This pullover can definitely be knit in fewer than three months. The center pattern is incredibly intuitive and easy to memorize, and it’s otherwise just lots of stockinette. Lemon squeezy, as they say.

Meadow Road
Meadow Road

Meadow Road is the pattern that made me love twisted ribbing. I really like how it makes those columns of knits and purls so neat and tidy. The hem on the body is only twisted on the knit stitches, but when I worked the cuffs and the neckband, I twisted the purl stitches too.

And speaking of the cuffs and neckband, I made some changes to the original pattern, which called for gathered sleeves and reverse stockinette edging. I omitted both of these. Working the sleeves two-at-a-time, I continued decreasing to what seemed like an appropriate width, and then I added 8 rounds of ribbing before binding off loosely. For the neckband, I picked up either 132 or 134 stitches and again worked 8 rounds of ribbing. I didn’t change my needle size.

I’m very happy with how my Meadow Road turned out. In my experience, Arroyo grows in length and, to a lesser degree, width, and this ended up being the perfect size after blocking. It ends a couple inches below my hip and is has a comfortable / casual fit throughout the body and sleeves.

#stEEkal: Prompt #3: Snip Your Knits

So, this morning I snipped my swatches. I reinforced all of the soon-to-be edges with a fingering weight 100% wool yarn that was hanging out in my stash, and then I picked up my scissors and cut into my knitting. It was all rather straightforward and easy and not at all the anxiety-filled moment I thought it might be. Either I reinforced my stitches correctly, or I didn’t. Either my swatches would unravel, or they wouldn’t.

They didn’t.

#stEEkal - Steeked Swatches

I am, however, not entirely convinced that I did it correctly, because the entire process seemed too simple. Surely, it can not be that easy. I must have done something wrong. Except my swatches are intact. I tug on them, and everything (more or less) stays in place.

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This is the first of the two hand sewn swatches. I reviewed this tutorial before I got started. The steek stitches were knit in a checkerboard pattern, and I sewed down the center of the fourth and fifth stitches. I also cut between these stitches. Of the three swatches, the edges on this swatch seem least stable. The cut stitches seem like they could come loose quite easily. I do, however, like that the edges look neat.

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This is the second hand sewn swatch. This time, I reinforced the center of the third and sixth stitches while cutting between the fourth and fifth. The steek stitches were also knit in vertical stripes. I definitely prefer the vertical stripes, which were easier to see when I was sewing the back stitch. Initially, I didn’t think I liked the excess yarn ends, which result from moving the reinforced stitches further away from the cut line, but the edges seem more stable.

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Finally, here’s my swatch that uses the crocheted reinforcement, which follows Kate Davies’ tutorial. This would probably be the easiest of the two methods, except that I have two left hands once you put a crochet hook in one of them. The cut edges are definitely stretchiest using this approach, but I wonder what all of that stretch means for the snipped stitches over time.

I think I’m going to explore Kate Davies’ steek sandwich as a way of further reinforcing and hiding the cut edges. The Fusion cardigan — my end goal — has picked-up front button bands, but the steek sandwich could be too bulky for that application. I definitely have some more experimenting and swatching to do before I cast on for Fusion.

#stEEkal: Prompt #2: Preop

I finished knitting my #stEEkal swatches on Saturday afternoon. Since I work all day on Monday, I’ll be doing the reinforcement and snipping my knits on Tuesday, but here are my “preop” swatches.

The top left swatch uses the Fusion chart minus one background color. It has eight steek stitches, which are knitted in a checkerboard pattern. I’m planning to reinforce the edge stitches using the sewn method, since that’s what the Fusion pattern calls for. I’m planning to do the sewing by hand.

The bottom right uses a chart I made in Google Sheets moments before I began knitting the swatch. As I’m planning to try the crochet method of reinforcement, this swatch has five steek stitches.

The third swatch is also a chart I threw together in Google Sheets. It has eight steek stitches knitted in vertical stripes. I will again hand sew the fabric to reinforce the steeked edges. I made this swatch to see if there’s a difference between knitting the steek stitches in a checkerboard pattern vs. stripes.