|My Instagrammed photo of Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Plaid Blanket|
I realized the other day, as I was going through my stack of shawls, that I still had a bunch of FOs that I haven't blogged about yet. What kind of blogger am I? A lazy one, apparently! So I thought I would make it up to you by giving you a post about 3 FOs. Yes, that's right. Three.
Another reason why I'm showing you 3 all in one post - I haven't posted an FO since November when I had knit the Windschief hats!! Aiya! And Lovely doesn't really count since that was more about a pattern release than it was an FO post. So a three-fer it's going to be. Ready?
:: Pasha ::
I have a few of Jane's hat patterns in my queue and had a hard time trying to decide between Pasha and Jane. In the end it all came down to yarn. I had a skein of DK weight that I had bought specifically to knit a hat with all ready to go. Easy!
This project would have been a quick weekend knit but when I got to the crown decreases I wasn't sure if I should knit one more repeat or not. I hemmed and hawed over it for a few days before deciding to just knit the pattern as is and then try to block it out as much as I could. But then I did I what I seem to always do - I started second guessing myself. I have a pretty big head and Jane has such a nice, normal size noggin that I wasn't sure if the hat was going to look slouchy enough on me. So what did I do? I let the finished hat sit on the desk for months before I got some sound advice from my friend Liisa, who really is a hat person. The advice: block that bad boy out with a vengeance!
I searched high and low trying to find the perfect form in which to block my hat with. I didn't have a balloon and was too lazy to go buy one, so that was out of the question. Since gardening wasn't "in season" at the time, I couldn't find the right size planter, so that was out too. I didn't want to the brim to stretch out at all, so finding the perfect form that could stretch out the crown while barely allowing the brim to open up was key. I ended up channeling my inner MacGyver and created my own form by perching a medium sized mixing bowl atop of a large plastic cup (you could probably find my little get-up somewhere on my Instagram feed!).
The hat blocked out beautifully! But just as I feared, my head is way too large along the lines of Jupiter proportion that the hat doesn't look slouchy on me at all. Yet I really can't wear it as a fitted hat as there's a smidge of room at the crown and I think it just looks sloppy on my misshapen head. Ugh. I seriously curse my lollipop head!! Luckily I have a fair amount of yarn leftover, so I think I can rip back to the start of the crown decreases and knit an extra repeat or 2, and rescue this hat and still make it work. Now, If I can only find that ball of yarn...
:: Hat Details ::
Pattern: Pasha by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label DK Weight
Needles: Denise Interchangeable circular in 4mm (US 6)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits Pasha
:: Arbutus ::
Oh wow, look! My second FO is another Jane Richmond design! I'm sure a lot of you, if not all of you, have already seen this pattern knit up a million times already by various knitters. This here is the Arbutus cowl, it's the cowl featured in Jane's self-published book, ISLAND. I really wanted to cast on this pattern after seeing so many other knitters whip up one gorgeous version after another. I had to hold back though, not only did I have to finish up with a few time sensitive commitments, I also had no idea what yarn/colour I would use.
I tossed the stash several times, thought I found the perfect skein but then had to refrain once I discovered that said skein was part of a sweater quantity (I absolutely hate breaking up sweater quantities and completely refuse to do so, no matter how perfect the yarn may be for a one skein project). Totally unable to make a decision, I went online to see if I could get inspired (Note: looking at yarn online is NOT a good idea. Especially if you're goal is to knit from stash). That's when the idea of using a highly variegated yarn came to me. And if you know me at all, you'd know that I don't use highly variegated yarns on anything other than socks. Well, this time I thought I would give it a try since I find that garter stitch is pretty good at breaking up variegated colours, and the short row shaping throughout the pattern would help break it up even more. And you know what? I absolutely love how this colourway knitted up! I think this pattern was meant to be knit in variegated colours!
This cowl was quite the surprisingly quick knit for me, even though I had a few false starts. Once I finally got going I managed to knit this up in day (hence no blog post about it). For those of you who are planning to whip one up yourselves, be careful. I'll forewarn you that as easy peasy as this pattern is, you really do need to keep track of which row you are on. Definitely not a good project to take along to a knit night or social hour, unless you plan on being anti-social or don't care if your cowl comes out wonky (hey, it's a design feature!). I thought I was the only one that couldn't handle knitting this with distractions (ie. my kidlet) roaming around, but after conversing with some knitterly friends found out that I wasn't alone.
:: Cowl Details ::
Pattern: Arbutus by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK
Colour: Plaid Blanket
Needles: Knit Picks Harmony Wood Interchangeables in 5mm (US 8)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits Arbutus
:: Hitchhiker ::
And last, but not least, the Hitchhiker shawl. This was a project that I really wasn't in a hurry to finish. I had meant for this project to be one that I carried around in my handbag and would work on whenever I was out and about, or would work on when I needed a break from a bigger project. At the time I had no idea if I was going to keep this for myself or put it into the non-existant pile of knits that are meant to be gifted (this would be the first item...ahem...), and you know what? I still don't know if I want to give it away! I absolutely love the colours and every time I think about gifting it, I have a hard time releasing this shawl from my grips. Hmmm...maybe I should just knit another?
I can see why so many people have knit this pattern up several times. Not only is it an easy and very memorable pattern, but it's also "potato chip knitting". A few times I really did have a hard time putting it down because I kept thinking "just one more point...just one more point...".
And the best part about this pattern? You can knit and knit and knit until you are almost out of yarn, cause all you need in the end is enough to do the bind off. You don't really need a scale to figure that one out, and even if you do suck at guessing how much you need for the bind off, not to worry! You can simply do the crochet bind off (as shown by the Yarn Harlot), in which you don't even need yarn to do because you're just doing a crochet slip stitch all along the edge. Brilliant!
I think this shawl and this pattern would be perfect for gifting (I'm trying to talk myself into adding it to that so-called "to gift" pile), because depending on the yarn you use the end result could actually be easy to take care of. Especially if you gift it to a non-knitter. No special blocking equipment or instructions needed! Major qualities that I look for in a pattern when it comes to gifting hand knits to non-knitters.
:: Shawl Details ::
Pattern: Hitchhiker by Martina Behm
Yarn: Wollmeise "Pure" 100% Merino Superwash
Needles: Signature Needles Arts Circular in 3.5mm (US 4)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits Hitchhiker
Phew! Those were a long time coming, weren't they? I think I need to be more on the ball when it comes to taking photos of the FOs and to actually blog about them. But I promise, this month is the month that I make it all up to you guys! There's still some more FOs in my pile of knits that need their time in the bloggy limelight. I just need to get around to taking decent photos of them, and now that the weather is nice and it doesn't get dark until much later in the evening (yay for spring!), I think I can make it happen! So stay tuned!! ♥