4.15.2014

Easy Knitted Wrap

Have some yarn from a forgotten project? So did I. I found a skein of Fisherman’s Wool from Lion brand yarns, in Maple Tweed. Each skein has a hefty 465 yards or so and it is Worsted weight yarn. After some trolling around on Ravelry I found a super simple wrap, a rectangle with rows of knit on the top and bottom and k2, p2* until end of row for 2 rows  and then p2 k2 next row for 2 rows, repeat until you are ready to end it, and then knit your heart out for the ending rows. See the photo in the link here, it is the Shawl by Melanie on Ravelry.
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I used needles size 13 US, also cast on 132 stitches instead of the 110 called for. I just knitted until my skein was over. Then couldn’t decide if I needed another one. There is a fine line between wrap so big you don’t want to take it anywhere, and wrap just right. So I stopped at one skein, I like the longer length, I can wrap it over my shoulder to stay on, or wrap it backwards. It can also be used as a cowl/doubled scarf, due to the open knit smoochy quality of it. I have been exploring acrylic/wool  blends lately, but I have to say, you just can’t beat 100% wool for warmth and coziness!
Here I am in Gatlinburg at a cozy cabin, I’m test knitting some Red Heart soft, in some placemats.
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I have used this yarn numerous times! It is easy to find, price is great, I usually get mine at Joann's for about 8.49$ to $10.99, use those 40% off coupons, and get it even cheaper. It is 465 yards per skein 8 oz., tweeds are in 6 oz. skeins, aran weight yarn.is made of undyed pure virgin wool with natural lanolin oil. Color availability is natural type colors, neutral, beige, browns, tan etc.. Tweeds are also all natural/neutrals. While the yarn does feel a bit scratchy, I think the tweed yarns are scratchier. I find that after washing, it is reasonably soft, (I add some hair conditioner to the rinse water). Long lasting and so warm. If I was making a sweater or anything to wear next to my skin I would not use this yarn. This yarn is suitable for felting also. It does have a low twist. The skein I had was in my stash for a time so it was made in the USA. I believe it is now made in China. I think the brown label on the yarn are the Made in China ones.
Two other yarns similar to it are Cascade 220, also 100% virgin wool  (average $8 to 9.00 for 220 yards full price, but Cascade has a plethora of colors to choose from and a slightly tighter twist, and softer, This is a good yarn. It is my go-to yarn when I’m looking for a reasonably 100% wool.  Another similar wool is KnitPicks Wool of the Andes,100% Peruvian Highland Wool worsted weight. this yarn has 100 colors and is $2.69 per 50 gm. ball at 110 yards. Wool of the Andes does have a better feel and twist to it. Price is actually very comparable at $10.76 for 440 yards (4 balls) I can’t say anything bad about KnitPicks Wool of the Andes except you have to purchase it online and I can’t pick it up and feel it.
See links below for other knitted wrap patterns.
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I’m going to include some other fast, easy, free knitted wraps, suitable for spring temps!
-Ruana or wrap knitted pattern by Barbara Breiter
-Easy reversible thermal wrap pattern by Esther Bozak
-Wild Ride by Lila Agnew
-Four Seasons Wrap by Cynthia Cushing
-Wrapped in a Hug Stole by Grace Stark

4.07.2014

LaLa Shawl

Knitting always sooths me, I was stressed and needed a small project, out of town with little resources. I had one knitting book and found a Joanns store. After much looking around and dithering, some yarn was found that I fell in love with a wool, mohair, acrylic mix!  Patons North America Lace,I decided to buy two balls, because, well who knows what it would become?
Only having one knitting book gave me few options, Greetings from the Knit CafĂ©, so I picked out the Lale shawl and started in. The pattern is super simple and goes fast due to the yo’s and then drop them the next row! This would be a good first shawl for a beginning knitter! Love how the yarn is giving the color change and lacy look with a slight halo.
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Pattern is very easy to follow, once you knit one repetition of it, you can go on auto pilot with it.I knitted most of it during visiting friends for a music festival. So little attention to detail, and lots of talking involved. I’m always surprised at how many knitters I meet when sitting and knitting at a social gathering.
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The only part of the pattern that gave me pause was the ruffle, I had never seen one made in this manner. After reading several knitters struggles and modifications with the ruffle on Ravelry, I was initially going to omit it. But after doing so, I frogged it back and decided I could figure it out. The ruffle really adds what made this shawl stand out and make me want to knit it. After a few tries I set off and it did take some time to finish the ruffle, but I did it while watching Netflix, and I think it was worth it.
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I love the feel of this yarn against my neck, it is the perfect size and weight to wear under my winter coat and give it a pop of color. Warm and yet weightless. It makes me feel girly.
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I would definitely make this pattern again, and use this yarn! See yarn info above, the color repeats are quite long, and I like the look it gives.
Although this pattern was in a book, below are some very similar free shawl patterns:
-Lala’s Simple Shawl by Laura Linneman
-One skein summer shawl by Kat Oliver
-Impossibly Large, Impossibly Simple Shawl by Miranda DiStanfo
-Matter and Void by Julia Mueller
-143-13 Raspberry Shawl by Drops design
Happy Knitting