Apr 10, 2014

#Oneskeinchallenge

Ever since I rummaged through my stash and found a huge number of single skeins, I've been sort of obsessed with matching up my pretties with patterns that meet the challenge's criteria (which, of course, is simple ... limited yardage).  It's been a ton of fun thinking about the various cowls and shawls that will be filling my knitting basket in the coming months.

In fact, I was so inspired about my one-skein challenge that I started a hash tag on instagram (yes, #oneskeinchallenge), and a knitalong over at the Project: Stash Ravelry group. I'd love it if you joined along.

So, how am I doing with my challenge? I'm finishing up Martina Behm's 22 Little Clouds in the gorgeous skein pictured below and am still enjoying my original design that I'm knitting in Glissade.

Cephalopod Bugga
Ball and Skein Glissade
But I couldn't resist and cast on yet another one-skein project, a pattern that I've been wanting to knit for such a long time, and that has already been knit over 14,000 times (whoa, that's amazing!).


Dream in Color Smooshy in Lipstick Lava

Can you guess which pattern I've got on my needles?

Apr 7, 2014

One Skein Challenge

In my last post, I lamented about having a stash of one skeins and wondered about how to find the right projects for each of them. I thought a lot about this conundrum all weekend long with one particular skein in mind.  A couple of years ago ~ yes, I said a couple of years ago ~ I bought a skein of Ball and Skein's Glissade in a lovely blue-purple colorway at the Massachusetts Sheep & Wool Fair. It was hard to resist indulging in this beautiful mix of 50% merino and 50% silk, but what you should know is that I had never knit with such a blend before and I actually found the yarn ... well ... troublesome.  I cast on several projects in an attempt to find the right stitch pattern for the fabric it created but each time, I was disappointed. 

This skein was one of the first I came across last week and my immediate thought was to cast on the Elder Tree Shawl which I've admired for a long time.  I love the leafy lace details and the type of drape this shawl calls for fit the silkiness of this yarn perfectly.  But, try as I might, after knitting chart B the first time, I kept getting derailed in repeating it.  I don't easily give up and I swear I cast on and frogged this project at least five times before calling it a day.


In my search for a compatible pattern, I found nothing that really excited me so I turned to my trusty stitch dictionaries and knitting magazines and came up with an original design that is happily humming along.


I'm playing with this design as it evolves on the needles so only time will tell if this one skein has found its mission.  Stay tuned.

FYI  ~ I've called this post One Skein Challenge as I've decided to do my best to knit down my one skein stash this spring.  It should be interesting ...

Apr 1, 2014

Revisiting Shawls


I spent the winter knitting sweaters and socks, projects which were deeply satisfying and gave me the chance to knit down my stash.  But then there lies my new problem ... a stash of single skeins.  As I went stash diving the other day to get inspired for a new project, I couldn't help but feel a little frustrated ~ don't get me wrong, I love the yarns I've bought or been gifted over the years but it can be tough to find patterns for a mere 220 yards of this or 300 yards of that.



I came across this beautiful skein of Cephalopod Bugga in the Sharpshooter Leafhopper colorway, and I got all excited about its possibilities.  I've been thinking about knitting a Martina Behm design and have my eye on this little pretty thing.  Now that we're finally experiencing some spring-like weather, I think some shawl knitting is in order.  

If you have a favorite one-skein shawl pattern to suggest, I'd love to start firing up my queue!

P.S.  I just hopped down the instagram rabbit hole ... what an adventure! 

Mar 17, 2014

The Anatomy of a Sock

With each sock that I knit, I feel more and more accomplished as a knitter.  Even though they're fairly small projects, I've learned that socks test a whole slew of different knitting muscles and help me hone my knitting skills.  I'm one of those strange knitters who loves double-pointed needles, but I know that many of you swear by circular needles, some even knit socks two-at-a-time.  Maybe one day I'll get there but for now, DPNs are my friends.



You may remember that when I first started this pair of socks in mid-February, I opted for the cuff-down method. That didn't go so well, and as I loved this yarn so much, there was no question about frogging it back and starting over, this time with my preferred toe-up construction.  One thing I didn't realize was how frustrating it would be to rip back slipped stitches ~ ugh, it was the worse and took forever (have you ever done that?) ~ but it was worth it in the end.



So, let's get to why I've called today's post the anatomy of a sock.  First, there's the toe-up ... toe. The top of the foot was knit in the pinstripe pattern while the sole was knit in plain stockinette.  I put in a rip-cord for the afterthought heel and when I got to the desired length of the leg, I topped it off with a 2x2 rib.  I bound off with Ysolda Teague's tutorial of Jenny's Stretchy Bind-Off which is fantastic and oh-so-clever.

I love everything about these socks ~ the colorful stripes, the soft yarn, the easy afterthought heel, and the great fit.  That's a wrap!