Monday, March 30, 2015

Manic Monday - Darn it all!

So darning is one of those knitting-related activities I've wanted to learn but I've been hesitant to do so. I know it will be really handy to know, but the thought of darning socks holds no appeal for me.

But a couple of weeks ago one of my new friends from my yoga teacher training class--did I mention I'm learning to be a yoga teacher?--asked me if I could fix a hole in her sweater. It was one of Wendy's favourites and she really wanted to keep wearing it. Although I hadn't darned anything before (which I told her), I agreed to take a look at it because I know what sweater love is all about!

Wendy brought me the cardigan and some matching yarn. Fortunately the sweater was a chunky knit. Unfortunately the hole covered two colours in this four-colour sweater. But I knew this was the best chance I had to learn, so I took it. (Some of the yogic philosophy we are learning includes ideas that things happen for a reason and difficulties are opportunities to learn. So my two worlds collided over Wendy's much-loved cardigan.)

I searched Youtube for videos on darning and finally settled on one from KnitFreedom with Liat Gat. Man that was a great video! You should definitely check it out if you are at all interested in fixing holes in knitted items.

So, following KnitFreedom's instructions, here is how I went about fixing Wendy's cardigan.

Original hole and Liat Gat's video.

Setting the foundation for new rows.

New rows  and stitches in place.

I was thrilled with how it turned out for my first try! But more importantly, Wendy is happy with it: she is already wearing her cardigan.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Highlighter of my Life

Here's a close up of the Super Eyelet Shawl design by The Woolly Brew.

One of the ladies at my local "knit night" is an indie dyer known as "Yarn Enabler." You might have seen her yarns on her Etsy shop; she is known for her Fruity Feet and No. 2 Pencil sock yarn.

A couple of months ago, she posted about one of her yarns. I loved the colourway. It made me smile as it is so bright and cheery. She named it "Highlighter of My Life." I looked at it for several days then messaged her to see if it had been sold; it hadn't, so I told her I would buy it. She was happy. I was happy. And when she brought it with her to Knit Night, I fell in love all over again! It is 462yds of soft, fingering weight heaven! And because it's 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon, you can put it in the gentle cycle of the washer and dryer too. Bonus!

I brought it home and began going through patterns. Being a fingering weight, I had many patterns to choose from: socks, scarf, cowl, or shawl. I don't knit socks, so that wasn't happening. But I knew that whatever I made, it would be  a statement piece! The colours are so bright--like a hand full of highlighters. A scarf, cowl, or shawl would look great with a dark winter coat. Whatever I made would cheer up any day and brighten any outfit.

When I came across a pattern for a scarf called "Red Skies at Night," I knew it would make this yarn pop. So I started on it but just couldn't get going on it: too many other projects on the go. (You know what that's like! So I ripped it out and waited until I could really concentrate on it.

Then a FB post from Nova Scotia yarn store Baadeck Yarns linked to a pattern on Ravelry called Super Eyelet Shawl designed by The Woolly Brew. When I saw the picture, I knew it was the right shawl for this yarn.

I made a couple of attempts, ripping it out each time. Then I took a deep breath and read the pattern closely instead of skimming over it--a very bad habit I have!

Once I got into it, I got really excited about it: it worked up so beautifully. I could tell that it work well as the weather warms up and for the cooler evenings because it is so light weight.

It knit up rather quickly which made me really happy after the earlier frogging I did! It turned a little smaller because I used a sock weight and not a DK weight the pattern called for. It is more of a shawlette-type scarf. This suits me fine as I am keeping this one for myself!

And I still have about 46 gm left, so I may make another small shawl or a scarf.