Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Legends of the Shetland Seas Shawl

As you can see, Mother’s shawl is finally blocked and finished. This was my first time blocking any knitted items with wires. The method worked so beautifully. All the irregularities are gone and the shawl looks truly magnificent. The only difficulty was to find a large enough space to spread this thing out. It measures 72” long and 25” wide even though the pattern says the width is 18”. No wonder I used up more yarn than expected. No matter. Mother will be happy with more fuzzy warmth around her.

Here is the end panel.

And the center panel.

I had to use four large bath towels underneath the shawl when blocking. Even then, my comforter was kind of damp when all was finished. My DH says I should have used a plastic sheet under the towels. Looks like I need to go to a garden center when I knit this beauty next time.

Next is Father’s cardigan. Their gold anniversary is in March and I should have enough time for a cardigan.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Scrappy Hats and Cowl

I’ve been knitting this pattern called Scrappy Hat by Folknits multiple times this year. The pattern was available on their website for free early this year, but I am unable to find it now. So far, I’ve knitted three of them. First one was knitted with Noro Silk Garden 245, 2 balls, with 4.5mm needles. I cast on 65 stitches for my large head, about 23". I used up the two balls completely and it looked just fine as a hat initially. However, Silk Garden became very soft rather quickly and the hat became too large. It is now turned into a wonderful cowl.

Second one was done with Noro Silk Garden Lite 2027, 2 and 1/4 balls, with 4 mm needles. I saw a version knitted by a Knitsmith, Nancy, and I fell in love. The colors in 2027 are just gorgeous and I had to do one myself. I cast on 90 stitches and did 174 rows, or 29 repeats of 6 pattern rows. When turned up once, it is a rather slouchy hat, while turned up twice, it is a regular hat as photographed below. I am afraid this one may become slouchy no matter what. BTW, the color 2027 is discontinued now and I am so glad that I picked up some more balls for a matching scarf or another hat. In order to prevent stretching out, I’m thinking of knitting it with a strand of firm yarn, such as Kidsilk Haze.

The third one is knitted with Noro Kureyon 148, again discontinued, 2.5 balls. I used 4.5 mm needles and cast on 70 stitches. This is one of the Kureyon colors I just adore. It has all my favorite shades, chocolate, raspberry, toffee, etc. As Kureyon is more stable and bouncier than Silk Garden, I hope it will keep the original dimension. I did 27 repeats of 6 pattern rows, and it is turned up once only.

Addendum: A fellow Knitsmith member, Amber, pointed me to Scrappy hat pattern. Thank you, Amber!