Mmmm… Fuzzy…

June 22, 2011

My grandma’s 90th birthday celebration was a success and I think she really liked the beaded shawl. It was great to spend some time up at the cabin and the long drive gave me a lot of time to knit. I worked on my Stripe Study shawl on the way up and then spent a good chunk of time knitting some Skew socks.

Remember this post from back in March? Well, I finally finished the Phèdre mittens I’ve been working on for my friend Julie. They are based on the Kushiel series of books by Jacqueline Carey. I love how they turned out but they were a major pain to knit. The two dark-ish yarns required knitting under a bright light and almost driving myself mad from constantly making mistakes and ripping back (at least on the first one). I really enjoyed the blocking with these because I was able to beat my frustration out of them with a wooden spoon (no really, it’s called whapping – I didn’t make that up).

Phedre Mittens

Some time ago, I purchased some lovely Blue Sky Alpacas “Brushed Suri” (alpaca, bamboo, and merino blend) on the cheap from a very strange lady on craigslist. I’ve been trying to find the perfect pattern for ages and I finally settled on the Summer Shawlette pattern.

Summer Shawl

I went up a needle size and added some extra length. The entire time I was knitting it I questioned whether it was the right pattern for the yarn and almost frogged it numerous times. I’m glad I didn’t because it turned out to be a really lovely shawl.

Summer Shawl

The yarn has a beautiful halo and is so amazingly soft, fuzzy, and lightweight. The color is called “Snow Cone” and is somewhere between white and a very pale blue. I didn’t even need to block it.

Summer Shawl

After we returned from the cabin I finally went out to a laundromat and felted some slippers I made ages ago. Last night they were finally dry. I can’t wait to go home and take some pictures!


Beads, beads, and more beads…

June 7, 2011

Next week my grandma turns 90 and to celebrate the occasion I knitted her a beaded shawl. I chose the Haruni (it means “Grandmother” in Tolkien’s elven language), which I’ve made before, but this time I knitted it with over 1,050 size 8/0 TOHO silver-lined crystal beads. I used this tutorial to learn how to knit the beads into this. To call this project tedious would be an understatement. I started it back in March and took a LOT of breaks. One of those breaks was necessary due to breaking the tip off my size 16 crochet hook and taking some time to find a replacement.

Beaded Haruni Shawl

For the yarn I used KnitPicks Stroll Tonal (colorway = Blue Violet) because my grandma loves pastel colors. I did two extra repeats of “Chart B” to make a really generously sized shawl. As always, I’m awed by the magic of blocking.

Unblocked:

Beaded Haruni Shawl

Blocked:

Beaded Haruni Shawl

The most disappointing part was not being able to get a photo that really shows off the beads. I tried different lighting, different colored backgrounds, and different angles but they just don’t show up in photos the way they do in person. In person, they catch the light and they really sparkle. I couldn’t stop looking at this for the first week after I finished it.


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