FO – Echo Flowers Shawl

I am so delighted to be finished with the Echo Flowers Shawl. I always understood that lace pretty much looks like crap until it’s blocked, but I guess that since this is my second true lace project, that fact really hadn’t solidified in my head yet. With my Girasole, the pattern always stood out and didn’t change much after blocking. So, during the entire time I was knitting Girasole, I kept oohing and ahhing as the pattern turned out.

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This shawl wasn’t like that. I knew it would look a hundred percent better after blocking, but I like to kind of see the pattern stand out as I work. The shawl turned out a weird honeycomb pattern, instead of those lovely “buds” that you see in the finished product. But I persevered, and the day came when I could block and I was not disappointed.

IMG_4600Much better!

Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in the colorway Sunset

Needles: US 4

Finished size: Shawl

Started: June 5, 2013

Finished: July 16th, 2013

I really enjoyed the pattern, but I found personally that some of the directions were hard to understand. I am in the beginning stages of really delving into lace and need things spelled out for me and I felt that some instructions weren’t articulated efficiently.  If you’re a lace veteran then you shouldn’t have a problem and the charts were not a problem at all. The pattern also allows for extra repeats of the Echo Flowers chart. so if you foresee that you will have lots of yarn left over definitely do more repeats. I did one extra, but could have gotten away with fifteen repeats versus the thirteen suggested in the pattern.

I used Malabrigo Lace from my stash and now looking back, I wish I had reconsidered. The yarn felts a lot as you work with it and carry it around, so much so that the only reason why my dropped stitches didn’t ladder down was because the stitch was felted to its neighbor. I’m sure all this felting inhibits a nice blocking in the end, but I’m not sure. The yarn is also tremendously splitty, so if you split a stitch then your work is barely hanging on by a few fibers which made me so worried for weak spots in the shawl. I will say though, the yarn made for a lightweight and airy shawl. I used around one and a half skeins of the lace yarn.

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All in all I am happy happy happy

FO & Pattern Review – Seamless Baby Kimono

I have a feeling that there are other people like me who have anxiety on purchasing patterns. I know that there are those who will be quick to push that purchase button, but I’m skeptical. I mean, other than the FO, what do you really know about the pattern? You can’t see the pattern of course until you purchase and what if it’s terribly written and you just can’t stand it?

I heard about baby kimono sweaters on a podcast and decided to research it on Ravelry. My friend had just found out two days prior that she was pregnant, so it was perfect timing! I came across the Seamless Infant Kimono by Carina Spencer. I thought the pattern was perfect and would probably appeal to a non-knitter.

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft (Because Mommy is so not a knitter)

Needles: Size US 8 and 6

Finished Size: 0-6 months

Started: June 24, 2010

Finished: June 29, 2010

 

So what details can we see from the Ravelry pattern page?

Pattern price – You know, I have a hard time with this. Though I liked the pattern and the finished product, I felt that $9.00 was a considerable amount. I think that after I saw what all went into this super simple sweater, it was too much. I don’t know what a designer goes through and how much they truly should be compensated, but I have seen more complicated patterns for less.

Sizes – The sweater can be worked into 0-6 mo, 6-12 mo, 12-18 mo, and 18-24 mo sizes. The pattern also has suggestions for three different sleeve styles.

Yarn choice – Worsted weight yarn, so the sweater knits up fast.

Pattern construction – Wordy, but it has to be since it is such a simple sweater. Accompanied with big clear pictures.

Pattern Review!

The good things? The pattern is for an advanced beginner, and I agree. The pattern is a good starter project if you want to understand the technique of seamless sweater knitting. I had never tackled a sweater before and this helped instill some confidence in me. Though it is simple, you get three different sleeve styles so it can add some variety for future knits. Notes are added through the pattern as friendly suggestions.

The bad things? I can’t complain on much other than the price.  There are some added tutorials, but you have to go to Ms. Spencer’s site to access them. The pattern will only have links, but you can print the other tutorials as PDFs. I found this to be a little inconvienient. Also, you are instructed to pick up virtually every stitch for the border, but other knitters found this to produce a puckered border. 

Overall, I think the pattern is clear and concise, and the finished product is modern and cute. If the price doesn’t make you leery, then I say go for it and knit for the new little one in your life!

Some of my favorites from other knitters on Ravelry?

Marchstarz Infant Kimono

Clementine’s Infant Kimono with different ties! 

Kitscha’s Infant Kimono 

 

For more info on Carina Spencer or to see her other designs, check out her site!

FO – Eva

So I’m still pushing through the Girasole. There’s charts A-G, and I am on E. The chart has to be done three times and I’m beginning the third time. Then there is chart F, and chart G that has to be repeated twice. Then the edging and I’m all done.

It’s really not a lot but I’m slow and have a terrible attention span.

So, in need of an FO since the Girasole is going slow for me, I finished Eva’s Shawl. I actually finished this in July but I finally got around to taking pictures!

Pattern: Eva’s Shawl [PDF]
Yarn: Pink Lady laceweight from Knitty Dirty Girl’s Etsy
Hook: Size H
Completion Time: June 20, 2009 – July 26, 2009

This was originally for me as a way to add some color to my wardrobe but my mother saw the colors and the word COVET shot out of her eyes. Which is fine since I’m not big on pink, especially hot hot hot pink like this.

So when she’s at work I’m going to surprise her.

This is the first thing I have ever blocked for real. I am definitely buying some lace blocking wires.

The pattern was easy but I think it turns out a great FO. And I’m glad I added the border.

Hopefully my next FO will be the Girasole. Which I hope to finish by my parents anniversary or our trip to Portland, OR.

And it’s been rainy here in the Houston area. It is the lovely dreary rain not the FULLY BLOWN SUSHINE rain. It’s so nice to have a day where I don’t sweat buckets.

Come on Texas, it’s September! Can there be a year where we have normal seasons?