Tag Archives: lace

On The Needles – April 2017

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What’s on my needles right now!

How is it March already?!? I have several projects nearly completion and even more lined up next in the queue.  Luckily I seem to have caught finish-itis so maybe some of these will get done!

  • Diadem– I’m so close to being done with this it’s silly its not done – all that’s left is the knitted on border.  Unfortunately, I need to knit it at home, in good light, with minimal distraction. And the border is slow going and fiddly.  Brief reminder – this is the shawl I’m knitting for my friend Patty in exchange for a pair of handknit socks.  Yarn is from Zen Garden (I think Serenity Silk – the light fingering weight one) and the pattern is Diadem by Ruth Greenwald. PS – the photo color doesn’t do it justice at all.  It’s actually a deep midnight blue with a lot of sheen.

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  • Chromatic Cowl– Remember I mentioned learning brioche knitting at the Knitting Pipeline retreat? This is the pattern we used for the class.  I’m now through color number four with two more to go (blue and green).  Now that I have the brioche “process” in my brain this is actually pretty brainless knitting.  I’m using a Chromatic Cowl kit from Knit Circus yarns and the pattern is Chromatic Cowl by Amy Detjen (it is free on Ravelry).

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  • Alpaca Cape – A big, heavy, warm, snuggly cape, that’s what I want(ed).  My yarny Christmas present to myself was several skeins of Cascade Yarn Baby Alpaca Chunky for a cape, which I promptly started over the Christmas holiday.  And I knit on it A LOT in January.  Then it got warm in February and my interest waned.  I still plan to finish it (and before the fall) but it’s just not my “hot project” right now.  I don’t have a pattern for it – I’m just knitting it like a top down raglan without ever dividing off for sleeves.  I plan to knit until I’m into the last skein and then stop to do a nice wide button band.  The yarn is amazing and squishy – and very warm!

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  • Starry Whovian Socks – I am still loving knitting on this tiny circular needle.  I’ve made just a bit of progress since the last time I posted, mostly because I don’t work on it very often.  It’s become my current “brainless knitting” project that I can do anywhere, anytime.  These are plain socks with ribbing across the top, knit toe-up with an after-thought heel.  I’m using Quaere Fibre Sparkle Sock in the colorway Dr. Who Vincent and the Doctor.

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  • Caprica Socks – More socks.  This has gone into hibernation.  I might pull them out after my Whovian socks and keep knitting or I might rip them out.  Yarn is Knit Picks Felici, a super soft merino/nylon blend, in the colorway Caprica.

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Knitting Pattern Release: Sybil Ludington Shawl

I’m pleased to announce that I just released my a cozy new shawl for fall, The Sybil Ludington Shawl!  It features a crescent shape with long wings, perfect to wrap around you., and uses just under two 100 gram skeins of fingering weight yarn.  Each row of the shawl is worked across different sections: mesh, a cable panel, lace, another cable panel and then mesh again.   I’m sure you’ll enjoy curling up to knit, and wear, this shawl.

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You can buy it and read more about it on Ravelry (you don’t have to be a member!).  Click here!

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The stitch patterns for the cable and the lace are provided in a chart, as well as written out, and percentages of yarn used are also provided if you wish to modify the size of your shawl.  The pattern has been test knitted and tech edited.

Who is Sybil Ludington? While Paul Revere is most commonly credited with riding to alert militia of approaching British forces, so did the young Sybil Ludington.  Her father headed the local militia during the American Revolution.  On April 26, 1777, at the age of 16, she left on a forty mile ride to warn her father’s militiamen that British troops were planning to attack Danbury, Connecticut.  Her ride lasted from 9 p.m. to dawn the next morning and one of her stops was to warn the people of Danbury.  While the British troops destroyed several buildings and homes in Danbury, there were few people killed, due in large part to Sybil’s warning.

02a Detail

  • Yarn
    • Approximately 720 yards fingering weight yarn. Shown in Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 (70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon, 400 yards, 3.53oz) in the colorway Black Cherry.   Other suggested yarns include Cascade Heritage Silk, Dream in Color Smooshy, or Plucky Primo Fingering.
  • Needle
    • Size US 4 (3.5mm) circular needle in a length of 32″/81 cm, or size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Other Materials
    • 4 stitch markers
    •  Tapestry needle
    •  Cable needle
    •  Blocking pins
    •  Optional: additional stitch markers for marking lace repeats

01b Arm

  • Finished Measurements
    • After Blocking
      • 35.5″ wide
      • 38.5″ height (or depth)

The shawl is blocked aggressively width-wise. Meeting exact gauge is not crucial but may affect the final dimensions. 

04a front

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Knitting Pattern Release: Landsford Canal Cowl

I’m pleased to announce I just released a new cowl pattern!  It uses one 100 gram skein of fingering weight yarn and is called Landsford Canal Cowl.  It features a lacey V pattern, cables and beads. Cables, lace and beads, OH MY!

Hanging

You can buy it and read more about it on Ravelry (you don’t have to be a member!).  Click here!

Bench

The Landsford Canal Cowl is knit in the round with a repeating cable and lace pattern and beads.  It uses one skein of sock yarn, perfect for that single skein you can’t decide how to use.  You can wear your cowl double looped as a casual mid-chest cowl or triple looped for a snugly neck warmer. The stitch pattern is provided in a chart, as well as written out, and percentages of yarn used are also provided if you wish to modify the size of your cowl. Also included is a checklist version of the pattern.  Detailed instructions are included for adding the beads, making this a great pattern if you’re new to knitting with beads.  The pattern has been test knitted and tech edited.

Model

  • Yarn
    • Approximately 420 yards fingering weight yarn. Shown in One Twisted Tree Prime (75% superwash merino & 25% nylon, 460 yards, 3.53oz/ 100g) in the colorway Miss Fisher’s Pearl Handled Pistol.  Other suggested yarns include Cascade Heritage, Dream in Color Smooshy, Knit Picks Stroll or Madelinetosh Twist Light.  You can visit and buy One Twisted Tree yarn here.
  • Needle
    • Size US 5 (3.5mm) circular needle in a length of 24″/60 cm or 32″/81 cm, or size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Other Materials
    • Crochet hook – Size US 13 (0.90mm)
    • 15 grams or 224 size 6/0 seed beads
    • At least 1 stitch marker
    • Cable needed
    • Tapestry needle
    • Blocking pins
  • Finished Measurements
    • After Blocking
      • 70″ circumference
      • 7.5″ height
  • Gauge (all over 4”/10cm)
    • After Blocking:
      • Pattern: 16 stitches & 36 rounds

Closeup

The cowl is blocked aggressively width-wise. Meeting exact gauge is not crucial but may affect the final dimensions. Stockinette gauge is provided to assist with determining an appropriate needle size for you.

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On The Needles – August 2016

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What’s on my needles right now!

A lot of my recent knitting time I’ve been spending on new designs for the fall.  I’ll talk briefly about those, and the other knitting projects I hope to get back to.

  • Lansford Canal Cowl – This is a new design I just finished the sample for.  It has cables, lace and beads and is knit out of One Twisted Tree Prime in the Miss Fisher’s Pearl Handled Pistol colorway (FYI – One Twisted Tree yarns are dyed by Danie of the Prairie Girls Knit and Spin podcast – which I highly recommend).  The pattern is with test knitters and the tech editor right now and I’m hoping to release around August 23 or so.

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  • A yet un-named shawl for fall – This is a new design I’m just starting.  It has two cable panels, a lace panel and mesh on the outside edges.  It is knit out of Zen Yarn Garden’s Serenity, which feels heavenly to touch.  Like I could just sit and pet it.

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  • On the Road – I’m just starting this one and it will function as my Stitches Midwest knitting when I need something easy to work on.  Yarn is superwash merino from A Good Yarn, which is local dyer,  and the pattern is On the Road by Janina Kallio.

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  • Diadem– I’m hoping to return to focusing on this next.  Unfortunately, I need to knit it at home, in good light, with minimal distraction. Brief reminder – this is the shawl I’m knitting for my friend Patty in exchange for a pair of handknit socks.  And she’s making good progress on the socks so I better hurry this up! Yarn is from Zen Garden (I think Serenity Silk – the light fingering weight one) and the pattern is Diadem by Ruth Greenwald.

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  • Starry Whovian Socks – I am still loving knitting on this tiny circular needle.  I was actually farther along but really didn’t like where I’d started the ribbing I out ripped back a bit and started that ribbing earlier.  It’s become my current “brainless knitting” project that I can do anywhere, anytime.  These are plain socks with ribbing across the top, knit toe-up with an after-thought heel.  I’m using Quaere Fibre Sparkle Sock in the colorway Dr. Who Vincent and the Doctor.

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  • Radiance Shawl– This one is actually “off” the needles now because I ripped it out.  I was really struggling with the splitty-ness of the yarn and decided at this point in time I couldn’t do “frustrating knittng.”

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  • Caprica Socks – More socks.  This has gone into hibernation.  I might pull them out after my Whovian socks and keep knitting or I might rip them out.  Yarn is Knit Picks Felici, a super soft merino/nylon blend, in the colorway Caprica.

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Knitting Pattern Release: Elizabeth Blackwell Stole

I’m pleased to announce that I just released my new beaded stole for summer!  It uses 100 grams of lace weight yarn and is called the Elizabeth Blackwell Stole.  It features a rectangular shape and a geometric lace design with beads.

Side view

You can buy it and read more about it on Ravelry (you don’t have to be a member!).  Click here!

Close Up

The Elizabeth Blackwell Shawl is a rectangular shawl (frequently called a stole) knit flat with a repeating lace pattern and beads. It uses 100 grams of lace yarn, creating a lightweight airy fabric perfect for summer nights. The stitch pattern is provided in a chart, as well as written out, and percentages of yarn used are also provided if you wish to modify the size of your shawl. Also included is a checklist version of the pattern that allows you to step line-by-line through the pattern, checking off rows as they are completed. The pattern has been test knitted and tech edited.

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States.  Her impetus for pursing medicine was a friend who suffered from a terminal disease that wished for a female physician.  Blackwell later opened clinics and infirmaries for treating women and children and created a medical school for women.

Back

  • Yarn
    • Approximately 800 yards/ 732 meters lace weight yarn. Shown in Malabrigo Silkpaca (70% alpaca/ 30% silk, 420 yards/384 meters, 50g) in the colorway Solis.  Other suggested yarns include Malabrigo Lace, Alpaca with a Twist Fino, Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace, Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud, or Cascade Yarns Alpaca Lace.
  • Needle
    • Size US 4 (3.5 mm), or size needed to obtain gauge, circular needle in a length of 24″/60 cm or longer.
  • Other Materials
    • Crochet hook – Size US 10 (0.75 mm)
    • 10 grams or 328 size 8/0 beads
    • 5 stitch markers
    • Tapestry needle
    • Blocking pins

Hanging off Bench

  • Finished Measurements
    • After Blocking
      • 57″/145 cm width
      • 22″/56 cm height

The stole is blocked aggressively. Meeting exact gauge is not crucial but may affect the final dimensions. Gauge is provided to assist with determining an appropriate needle size for you.

Wide Open

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Lace Circular Knitting Needle Comparison Part 2

Needle Pile

Last week I introduced you to some top metal circular knitting needles that all work well for lace. This week we’ll look at three specific characteristics of those needles – the tips, joins and cables.

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Left to right: Signature, AddiTurbo, HiyaHiya, Karbonz, Chiaogoo, Nova

The Tips:
The pointiest tips were those on the signature, followed by HiyaHiya tips, then the Chiaogoos. All had a very smooth tip and needle shaft. I was actually surprised by the HiyaHiya needles, to the point where I might order some more. I was also surprised that the AddiTurbo tips were blunter than the HiyaHiya and Chiaogoo. Don’t get me wrong, they are still pointy, but not as much. I was not impressed with the Nova Platina or Karbonz from Knitter’s Pride. Not only were the tips blunter, but on the Karbonz the join between the brass tip and carbon shaft was not smooth. Also, the Karbonz was not as tapered as the other needles.

 

Joins

Top to bottom: Signature, AddiTurbo, HiyaHiya, Karbonz, Chiaogoo, Nova

The Joins:
The join is the point where the needle shaft connects to the cable. It should be smooth and not catch the yarn when stitches are moved from the cable to the needle shaft. Most of the joins were smooth, although the Chiaogoo’s were better at not catching the yarn. That may be due to the stiffer cables. The noticeable exception to the smooth joins was the Signature needles. The yarn and stitches consistently got caught at the join. I also have concerns, as is with any interchangeable needle, that needle shaft could twist out of the cable.

The Cables:
Cables seem to be a matter of personal preference in terms of how stiff cables are. None of the cables had so much memory the cables kinked. The Signature, Karbonz and Nova needles all have what feels like a coated rubber cable that is very flexible, almost to the point of feeling flimsy. The HiyaHiya and AddiTurbo needles both have a very smooth plastic or nylon cable. The HiyaHiya cable is especially lightweight. The Chiaogoo cable is nylon coated steel so it feels more substantial but is also heavier. Personally, I like that because it feels like is supports the in-progress knitting better.

 

My Conclusion:

I rated each needle for its tips, joins and cable and noted each needle’s price.  Interestingly, I found the less expensive needles to be my favorites, and not just because of the price.  Prices are stated for the 32-inch circular with size US 5. These are my opinions and I recommend you try out different needles to see what you like best. My testing included working through a several rows of a swatch with each needle, including some commonly challenging lace stitches such as kfb (knit front and back) and k3tog (knit three together).

Table

My two favorite needles as a result of the comparison are the Chiaogoo and HiyaHiya, which also are the two cheapest needles.  The joins on the Signature needles are a major detractor – I really wish they still sold the true fixed circulars. That combined with the high price of the Signatures make those needles a no-go for me.  The Nova and Karbonz are both widely available in yarn shops but the price combined with the tips and cables, made these just “meh” for me. The AddiTurbo needles were comparable to the HiyaHiya and Chiaogoo needles, but the higher price made HiyaHiya and Chiaogoo the top two the winners.

 

 

Review Disclaimer: These items were not provided to me for review – they are ones I purchased independently. Although I accept free products for review, I do not guarantee a positive review and will share my honest opinions.  If you have a product you would like reviewed please contact me at floofymoose [at] gmail [dot] com.   

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Lace Circular Knitting Needle Comparison Part 1

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The ultimate goal of a lace knitter – pointy needle tips, sleek needles, a smooth join and a flexible cable.  I have six different fixed circular knitting needles, all size US 5.  All are metal except the Karbonz, although those have a metal tip.  I focused on metal needles because most knitters consider those to be the fastest for lace knitting.  While wood needles can be used for lace they tend to have duller points and are more “grabby,” which decreases speed.

I rated each needle for its tips, joins and cable and noted each needle’s price.  Interestingly, I found the less expensive needles to be my favorites, and not just because of the price.  Prices are stated for the 32-inch circular with size US 5.

Table

I will first introduce the needles in this point and compare them in part two (which will be available next week).

Addi TurboAddiTurbo Rockets (“Addi”)

These needles are made by Skacel and modeled after their popular sock circular needles.  They have a nickel plated finish and hollow brass tips.  They retail for approximately $17. Note: Addi also has a line of Turbo Lace circular needles.  I do have one pair but unfortunately the unplated brass is discolored, which I understand may be due to a reaction from my skin.  I didn’t have that problem with any of the other needles.

 

 

 

Knitters Pride Nova

Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina (“Nova”)

The Nova needles are engineered from hollow brass pipes that are then plated with Chrome.  They retail for approximately $13.50.

 

 

 

 

 

Knitters Pride KarbonzKnitter’s Pride Karbonz (“Karbonz”)

The Karbonz needles are unique in that the needle shaft is made from carbon fiber, which is warmer to the touch and lighter.  The tips and joins are made of brass.  The Karbonz needles retail for approximately $15.

 

 

 

 

Chiaogoo

Chiaogoo Red Lace (“Chiaogoo”)

As I bias I will admit I’ve used the Chiaogoo needles for several years.  The needles are stainless steel and have a nylon coated steel cable.  It is important to make sure you get the Red needles labeled “Lace” as the regular red needles are nowhere near as sharp. The Chiaogoo needles retail for approximately $10.

 

 

 

 

Signature

Signature Convertible Circulars (“Signature”)

Signature needles are generally considered the “Cadillac” of knitting needles.  The true fixed circulars are no longer sold; they have been replaced with what Signature calls “convertible circulars.” The tips screw into cables that only fit into that size tips.  Tips are available into two different levels of “pointy-ness” – stiletto and middy.  I am comparing the stiletto tips.  The price is approximately $42 and they can only be ordered online.

 

 

 

Hiya HiyaHiyaHiya Sharp (“HiyaHiya”)

HiyaHiya’s sharps are made from stainless steel.  The fixed circular sharps are harder to find in yarn shops, but are available online.  They retail for approximately $8.50.

 

 

 

 

 

More next week on the tips, joins and cables!

 

Review Disclaimer: These items were not provided to me for review – they are ones I purchased independently. Although I accept free products for review, I do not guarantee a positive review and will share my honest opinions.  If you have a product you would like reviewed please contact me at floofymoose [at] gmail [dot] com.   

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On The Needles – May 2016

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What’s on my needles right now!

The good news is I have finish-itis right now.  Don’t worry, never lasts long.  I just finished my next shawl design (actually a stole with beads) and am going to primarily work on two other projects before starting the sample knitting for my next design.

  • Diadem– I’m hoping to return to focusing on this next.  Unfortunately, I need to knit it at home, in good light, with minimal distraction. Brief reminder – this is the shawl I’m knitting for my friend Patty in exchange for a pair of handknit socks.  And she’s making good progress on the socks so I better hurry this up! Yarn is from Zen Garden (I think Serenity Silk – the light fingering weight one) and the pattern is Diadem by Ruth Greenwald.

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  • Starry Whovian Socks – I am still loving knitting on this tiny circular needle.  I was actually farther along but really didn’t like where I’d started the ribbing I out ripped back a bit and started that ribbing earlier.  It’s become my current “brainless knitting” project that I can do anywhere, anytime.  These are plain socks with ribbing across the top, knit toe-up with an after-thought heel.  I’m using Quaere Fibre Sparkle Sock in the colorway Dr. Who Vincent and the Doctor.

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  • Radiance Shawl– If you follow me on Instagram you know this was one of the three contenders for my next shawl.  I like the pattern, love the feel and color of the yarn but its just so darn splitty.  And I just finished another large lace project so would like to knit something a little heavier next.  Yarn is from Skeindulous Ursula in the color Little Ray of Happiness and the pattern is Radiance Shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade.

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  • Caprica Socks – More socks.  This has gone into hibernation.  I might pull them out after my Whovian socks and keep knitting or I might rip them out.  Yarn is Knit Picks Felici, a super soft merino/nylon blend, in the colorway Caprica.

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  • Scarlet Capelet -Remember I said I was thinking of ripping this out? I did.  I’m going to knit another cape but one without a hood and with cables.  The yarn is Miss Babs Northumbria Aran in Vlads.

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Knitting Pattern Release: Grace Fryer Shawl

I’m pleased to announce that I just released my new shawl!  It uses one 100 gram skein of fingering weight yarn and is called the Grace Fryer Shawl.  It features a semi-circle shape and different lace patterns in between increase rows.  What I’m most pleased about is the size of it given it only uses one skein of fingering weight yarn.

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You can buy it and read more about it on Ravelry (you don’t have to be a member!).  Click here!

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The Grace Fryer Shawl is a semi-circular shawl knit flat with sections of repeating lace patterns.  It uses one skein of sock (fingering weight) yarn, perfect for that single skein you can’t decide how to use.  The stitch patterns are provided in a chart, as well as written out, and percentages of yarn used are also provided if you wish to modify the size of your shawl.  I designed this pattern for my Lace Knitting 101 Class so its well suited to beginning lace knitters.  The pattern has been test knitted and tech edited.

Who is Grace Fryer? Grace Fryer, along with other “Radium Girls,” worked for U.S. Radium applying radium-laced paint to watch dials in the early 20th century.  At that time radium was widely believed to have health benefits and U.S. Radium encouraged the Radium Girls to use their lips and tongues to keep their paint brushes fine tipped.  Grace was the first of the Radium Girls to bring suit against U.S. Radium after incurring strange medical symptoms and ultimately the legal action paved the way for improvements in industrial and employee safety.

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  • Yarn
    • Approximately 370-400 yards/340-365 meters fingering weight yarn. Shown in Copper Centaur Sutdio Centaur Sock (80% superwash merino and 20% nylon, 400 yards/365 meters, 3.53oz/100g) in the colorway Caribbean Sea.   Other suggested yarns include Cascade Heritage Silk, Dream in Color Smooshy, Madelintosh Sock, or Plucky Primo Fingering.
  • Needle
    • Size US 6 (3.5mm) circular needle in a length of 24″/60 cm or 32″/81 cm, or size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Other Materials
    • At least 2 stitch markers (you may want more to mark pattern repeats)
    • Tapestry needle
    • Blocking pins

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  • Finished Measurements
    • After Blocking
      • 39.5″/100 cm wide
      • 21.5″/55 cm height (or depth)

The cowl is blocked aggressively width-wise. Meeting exact gauge is not crucial but may affect the final dimensions. Stockinette gauge is provided to assist with determining an appropriate needle size for you.

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Finished Object – Mansion House Shawl

Back

So happy for finishitis – the opposite of startitis for knitters.  I saw a sample of this shawl knit up in the Verdant Gryphon booth at Stitches Midwest last year and loved the shape and design.  Grinning Gargoyle yarns had some luxury yarn on sale in the needed weight and quantity.  A perfect match up.  I actually started this around Thanksgiving but set it down multiple times to work on some of my designs.  I feel like it was a close friend throughout the winter months and was almost sad to see the shawl end.   Enough about the backstory and onto the good details!

Blocked

My Rav project page is here.

Pattern – Mansion House (Ravelry pattern here) by Toby Roxane Designs.  Its worked top-down with a center triangle flanked by two longer, shallower triangles.  The lace pattern was a good level of challenging and the stockinette stitch in the long, shallow triangle provided a nice break.  The only thing I didn’t love about this pattern was the lack of border at the end. You finish a repeat of the chart and immediately bind off which means the bind off edge curls.  A seed stitch border might be nice?

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Yarn –  Grinning Gargoyle Primo.  Primo is a heavy DK weight blend of 80% merino, 10% cashmere  and 10% nylon. One skein is 4 ounces and 230 yards.  Super squishy  and soft with a medium amount of twist.  These stuff just feels like luxury and held up well.  The colorway for this is Signature Red, a deep, dark red color.  It bled a little bit when washed, which isn’t totally unexpected with a red.  One of the factors that drew me to the yarn from Grinning Gargoyle was the subtle tonal nature of the yarn.  I used three skeins and the resulting shawl is larger and perfect to snuggle up in.

Front

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