It’s always nice to start the weekend with a few FO’s (finished objects), isn’t it? Makes me feel productive and organized, even if I’m still in my PJ’s past 11 AM…..
To me, FO’s includes more than just knitting, at least today. Check out these French Toast Scones from King Arthur Flour. They’re made from a mix, and good grief, are they delicious. Not at ALL good for you, but it is Saturday morning and you have to be bad once in a while. I don’t usually bake from mixes since I find that you can bake something from scratch that tastes as good in just about the same amount of time, but KAF was having a big sale on their mixes this week and I fell down. They were a breeze to make and baked perfectly in the allotted time, so I’d definitely recommend them for the odd weekend when you’re looking to indulge a bit.
Moving on to actual knitting FO’s, I finished and blocked my Trail Jacket by Hannah Fettig of Knitbot this week. I just need to buy some buttons during my next trip to Manhattan (an excuse to go to Tender Buttons, obviously) and she’ll be ready for a long season of wear before Spring returns.
(I’m more excited than I appear to be here, haha, honest. Must be my iPhone face.)
I made several modifications to the design because I was looking for more of a fitted, longer long-sleeve cardigan than a swingier, cropped jacket with bracelet-length sleeves. The pattern as originally written is beautiful and versatile (as well as error-free!), but I knew that the changes I made would suit my style a bit more. I used a tighter gauge, removed some of the lower body increases, lengthened the sleeves, and removed one of the buttonholes. For me, making a bunch of changes is sometimes a leap of faith, but happily, it came out exactly as I had imagined! Which is a good thing, because I intend to wear the heck out of this sweater.
The Fiberphile Super Squish Worsted yarn was a great choice for this project: it’s got great bounce and elasticity, and is definitely soft enough for next-to-the-skin wear. And the color saturation is fantastic – I don’t wear a lot of red, but this color with its complex combination of browns, reds, purples, and a smidge of orange jumped out at me. For once, I was smart enough to alternate skeins as I worked and I think it made a huge difference in the overall consistent look of the fabric. I’ll definitely work with this yarn again!
And in other knitting FO news, I’ve got another design in the works! It’s a simply textured triangular shawl/scarf pattern and it will come in two sizes. Below, the smaller size was finished and blocked this week and I LOVE how it came out.
Just look at all that squishy, merino-y, warm texture! swoooon The stitch pattern in the center of the shawl was another one of those things that would not shake out of my brain. Back in December, I knit a scarf for my dad using this stitch pattern and I fell in love with it immediately; it’s got a beautiful depth of texture on both the right and wrong sides of the fabric, and its simple lattice-like design is so visually appealing to me. So once I was able to pick up my needles again to start on a new design project, this one rudely pushed its way to the front of the line, begging to be knit! The edging, which is really just an echo of the central pattern, knit itself without me thinking about it; it was just the right fit.
I’m going to call it the Integral Shawl (no, not “integral” as in calculus, although I know that a lot of you just laughed out loud and thought that I’d actually named a design after one of my favorite calculus techniques. You know me too well.) No, the word “integral” in the sense of “basic” and “necessary,” because the simple shape and effortless texture are things that I think stand the test of time and are always in style, especially if you always have a cold neck like me :) I especially love the unisex feel of this; the crafting world is exploding with men who knit and crochet, and this is one of those designs that works equally well for men who are sporting the heavy neck scarf/bandanna look.
The sample pictured above is the smaller version of the pattern (with finished dimensions of 50″ x 16.5″), and it takes two skeins of Madelinetosh Chunky, a relatively new offering from MT. It’s not exactly a chunky-weight yarn, but more of an aran-weight, which makes it a perfect fit for size 9 needles (and you know what size 9 needles mean: fast knitting, people! Seriously fast knitting!). It’s 100% superwash merino, so you know that the finished product is warm, built to last, and gorgeously colorful. The sample above is knit in the “Luster” colorway, a blend of pale, pale grey and bone white that I thought was perfectly reminiscent of late winter skies.
I’m currently knitting the larger, three-skein, size that will also be included in the pattern, but I don’t have the final dimensions quite yet as I’m still trying to finish up the knitting. But here’s a sneak peek at the sample knit in the “Moorland” colorway – a deep, true, forest green, the kind of color that I’m always drawn to:
Look for this pattern to be released at some point next week, once I finish the second sample and get some modeling photos. It’s great to be self-publishing another design; I haven’t had the opportunity to do so since I published the Zuni Shawl in mid-October, and it’s been a wonderful experience. I’ve worked with two test knitters from Ravelry on this project, Jan and Melissa, and I can’t say enough about how energetic, helpful, and speedy they’ve been throughout the process. Thank you, ladies!!