Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Finally, some serious knitting going on 'round here!

I've FINALLY finished the albatross Diamond Fantasy Shawl! Whew, I never thought I'd get here!

I started this shawl February 5th and this project has been on my needles longer than ANY OTHER! And it's a very easy lace pattern so that's no excuse! I love the yarn, the pattern was just interesting enough....but I finally figured out what was bothering me. The shawl is a gift for my Mom for Mother's Day and altho I know that a cotton shawl in these colors will be perfect for her, the truth is she almost never wears the things I knit for her. When I've asked her about this she says "Oh, I didn't think about your (sweater, shawl, poncho....) I know she "doesn't want to ruin it" and I believe she genuinely loves the stuff I've made her but it's pretty disheartening to never see the garments get any use. Any suggestions for coercing reluctant hand knit recipients? Anyway, for better or worse, here she is:



Specs:

Diamond Fantasy Shawl designed by Sivia Harding.

Size US #4 Addi Natura 40" circ.

About 700 yards Blue Heron Mercerized Cotton in the colorway Flax

I worked 10 pattern repeats as recommended by the pattern for a shawl

Mods: I worked my left slanting decreases as a Knit 2 together thru the back loop (K2togtbl) as I feel it more closely resembles the K2tog for the right leaning decrease. I also changed the center stitch from the recommended left leaning S2KP to a centered double decrease (slip 2 as if to knit, K1, pass slipped stitches over)

I heartily recommend this well written, intuitive pattern to anyone as a beginning lace pattern and will probably make this shawl again myself someday!

I also finished my manly GGH Marathon Socks! Didn't they come out great?


Specs:

GGH Marathon Sock Yarn

Size #1 (2.5mm) addi turbo circ

Magic Loop method. My own pattern, basic stockinette sock.

The yarn was a bit scratchy while knitting but it softened up beautifully when washed. Unfortunately, this hard wearing, manly yarn has been discontinued! I have a few more skeins in the stash and I'm sharing a few with a reader who's fancy they tickled, right
Lolly? Keep an eye on your mailbox!

I also started a new sock:


These are knit in Sockotta. To be honest I was gifted this yarn by another knit blogger and when I saw it my first thought was "That is the UGLIEST sock yarn EVER!!" But the joke is on me because I've wanted to knit cotton-y socks for the FK Dad and finding a cotton blend yarn that could pass the "nothing fancy please" wishes of FK Dad while keeping FK Deb at least mildly interested was no easy task! Enter "ugly" Sockotta....Done in a nice, stretchy mistake stitch rib, they are cool and crisp and perfect for Mr. Conservative FK Dad!

Also in the new beginnings category.....
Remember
this post about my planned next project?

I decided a long sleeved, lacey cotton sweater was not very practical no matter how pretty the design. I love the yarn but wanted to find a pattern that I would actually use so I chose this instead. Enter the Mock Pocket Top!

Here's my WIP so far....


It's a pattern from K1C2 and the yarn is Second Time Cotton in the colorway Valencia. It's a soft, 8 plyed cotton with a bit of acrylic for lightness. It knits up beautifully with great stitch definition and I love the color! I had a few false starts because I thought I would try a tubular cast on but HATED how it looked with the seed stitch. Then, despite a pretty large swatch, my gauge was completely different when actually knitting the sweater. It seems I knit cotton very loosely no matter what type needles I use! The gauge called for is 5 sts/inch on a US #8. The fabric I liked best was 5.5 sts/inch on a US#6 addi turbo so I did the math and I discovered I could knit the pattern as written but 2 sizes up to get the dimensions of the schematic. Unfortunately, as usually happens with me and cotton, when I'm actually knitting along on the sweater, my gauge loosened and the size would have been HUGE! So, take 3, I've used a much prettier german twisted cast on and went back to the size I originally planned to knit and things are clipping along famously!


Since my original long sleeved sweater called for more yarn than this sleeveless one does, I'm thinking of using the additional skeins to make a matching shawlette to throw over my shoulders in the frigid South Florida A/C. Of course I might be good and sick of cotton by then.....all these cotton projects makes me miss my wool!! So we'll see but I do think a matching "twinset" might be very cute!

Last but not least, my studly, cat-porn starring handsome P-Man......


Being this adorable is hard work you know! Have a great week everyone!

30 comments:

heather said...

Wow, lots of great stuff! Love that shawl Debi, you did a most excellent job on it.
I have the same issue with my mother never using or wearing the items I make for her. It doesn't bother me much though. I just want someone to knit for I guess!
I bet your mom will love it.
Boy that Pumpkin--what a cutie! I got the biggest kick out of the previous post. :)

Alison said...

Lots of cool stuff. Beautiful shawl. As for wearing, I've told my mother if she doesn't wear (use) what I give her, she won't get anything else. I've also told her that she's going to pick out some yarn at the MD S&W for me to make socks for her. She'd better wear them!

Norma said...

Crikey, there's a WHOLE LOTTA knittin' goin' on! Well done, Deb, well done!

margene said...

That is a fabulous colorway for DFS. Very, very nice knitting!
The top is darling and should be more suitable for your weather. The idea of a little wrap is perfect.

Olive Oyl/Pensguys said...

LOVE the shawl!!!

The top is so cute! I think that will be a good project for me!

Carol said...

Beautiful shawl Debi! Tell your mom knitted items are like good china, they have to be used, or, the fiber it's made with will morph into something creepy if she she doesn't wear it.
I'm making faces at my WIP. I think I better cast on something a little more impressive before 5/18 :o
I see you're doing a top down sock?
Do you prefer those to toe ups? Any recommends for a new knitter on socks?

La Cabeza Grande said...

Debi, what are you trying to do girl? Put the rest of us to shame with your crankin' out fine knitwear?

Looks fab, as usual!

La said...

I LOVE me some inside-out kitty!

That shawl turned out bee-you-tee-ful! Your mama's gonna love it!

Thanks for the interview advice on the phone tonight!

Leslie said...

So far I've been lucky in that everybody wears what I've made them (at least I THINK they do). And the recipient of the chemo cap you advised me on loves it - thank you! I have at least one more cap to make; she wants the Odessa "if it's not too much trouble."

P-man porn makes my Perry sit up and stare, so you better make sure that new door of yours locks. I caught her trying to book a bus ticket the other day :)

Ilona said...

That shawl is gorgeous!

Was that the one I had seen with the beading on the edges?

Beth said...

How about quoting some Yarn Harlot - one of her books talks about real love being 'big honkin' holes' worn into the knitwear. Then pout a little and ask in an about-to-be-crushed voice, don't you like what I knit for you???? Lay it on thick and see what you get.

lebraya said...

I knit two things for my mother. One that's ugly as sin (out of acrylic)for everyday use and another that's all fancy (that she can save so she doesn't "ruin it"). Once she gets desensitized to wearing the ugly one, she will wear the pretty one for special occassions!

Anonymous said...

I can sympathize - I think the Peacock Feathers Shawl I knitted for my Mom for Christmas is still wrapped in tissue paper in her dresser. I don't think she's worn it and doubt she will. I really don't know why, so I have no suggestions. But I keep knitting for her - go figure! I was at my sister's last weekend and while hanging up my coat spied an Aran knit cardigan that was to die for. Then I remembered that I knit it for her! I never see her wear it, so I had forgotten about it! I almost stole it back. Your projects are beautiful and I even like the ugly socks.
Dorothy (Missouri Star)

Chery said...

I hope your mom wears that shawl. It should make her happy! It is beautiful.

Shez75 said...

That is a beautiful shawl! Like your other commenters, I've yet to see my Mom wear what I've made her either, but, Mother's are like that (yeah, they are!) Maybe they think they're just too delicate to take out of the boxes/tissue paper they came in.
The P-man is one cute cat!
Sheri in GA

Christina said...

Your finished shawl is beautiful. I may have to try that project myself. It's just stunning.

Pam! said...

Send the shawl to me and I promise to wear it every day. Every single day.

Oh and am i the only one who clicked on the "full male frontal" link at another blog the other day thinking I was going somewhere else besides here? ROFL!

Rebekah said...

the shawl turned out beautifully. I've had the similary experience with knitting for others. I've finally come to the conclusion that the easiest way to handle it, is not knit for anyone unless I know for sure they'll use and/or appreciate it.

Although I have found that although that sounds simple, it's not so easy as I tend to want to knit for everyone.

Cathy said...

The shawl is gorgeous - I've been wanting to try lace - maybe I'll take up your suggestion and give it a go! The socks came out great and well, Pumpkin is just WAY TOO CUTE! but he knows that already doesn't he ? ;) Have a great day Debi

2monkeys_mom said...

Beautiful shawl and super snazzy socks! Sounds like you've got a good plan for the sweater too!

snowballinhell said...

I've got to admit I'm getting a wee bit bored with my DFS, but I keep trying to remind myself that I'm starting the Wedding Ring Shawl next, so I'd better enjoy the restful but repetitive DFS while I can!

Pumpkin is such a hunk!

Lolly said...

The shawl is a real beauty, Deb! Such a lovely pattern. Lace may in the cards for me someday...

LOVE the socks! Thank you for sending me a skein. Keep your eyes peeled (post Sheep and Wool!) for that special something in your mailbox as well!!

Best wishes,
Lolly

Jes said...

The shawl looks really wonderful. The colors are very nice. I have no idea how to get her to wear it, except to keep it at your house and lower the AC =)
The socks look awesome. Go speed knitter go!

Norah said...

That shawl is absolutely gorgeous. The pattern and the subtle colors...mmmmm. You did an awesome job. The socks are great too. Love your new project too. And Pumpkin.......awwwwww!!!! White kitty tummy!!! Soooo cute!

KnitNana said...

I just love your DFS! It's gorgeous and you're right, it's a great pattern! :) My DFS is still OTN but I would love to have it to wear this summer, so I'd best get crackin!
((((P-Man)))) That white fluffy belly looks soooo soft!

Kris said...

The shawl is gorgeous and thanks for the tip on that pattern being great as a project for a new lace knitter. (How's that for a run-on sentence!)

That being said....

You are being WAAAAAAAY too productive in the knitted objects department. The rest of us are starting to look bad, people are going to start talking........

Liz said...

the shawl is so pretty! The color especially. And I'm so glad you opted for the mock pocket top. I can't wait to see that one!

christine said...

Debi - Your diamond fantasy shawl is gorgeous! I keep seeing this FO in blogland, and I must knit this one!

Also, I don't think those socks are ugly! They are unique!!!!!

Lorette said...

Lovely shawl! Very nice work. And I don't think the socks are ugly, either. Nor is that cat; he is such a ham.

trish said...

What great pictures! Mr P-man in a wonderful catly pose (my Cleo assumes that position frequently, too). A be-yoo-tiful shawl for your mom. And what's this GGH Marathon is no more? I have some of that in my vast sock yarn stash. Will have to conserve it.

trish
www.randomthreads.com