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Girasole

January 11

Girasole. One of my favorite patterns to make – ever. It’s really quite easy to knit – it only looks complicated.  Mine is the blanket size, about 67″ across.

Girasole, blanket, Jared Flood, brooklyn tweed, lace, Cascade Pastaza

Girasole, blanket, Jared Flood, brooklyn tweed, lace, Cascade Pastaza

Girasole, blanket, Jared Flood, brooklyn tweed, lace, Cascade Pastaza

Girasole, blanket, Jared Flood, brooklyn tweed, lace, Cascade Pastaza

I used Cascade Pastazafor this project. It’s pretty hefty stuff, with 50% llama and 50% wool, but that’s just right for a large lacey blanket. If you’re considering using Pastaza, be forewarned – mine bled when I soaked it. You’ll want to use vinegar in your soak to set the dye.

Thanks, Jared, for another fantastic pattern!

Girasole’s Seventh Inning Stretch

July 13

Last time you saw Girasole, it had just been started.

 

My, how it has grown!

If I had to write another one of those “What Does Summer Mean To You” essays for grade school, I’d now say baseball and knitting blankets.

Blankets?

I know, the last thing on most knitters’ list of summer projects is a big heavy blanket.  (And trust me, Pastaza makes for a heavy blanket). But happily, we’re under the Pacific Ocean’s influence, which gives us cool evenings.

As a matter of fact, my poor neighbors planned a fantastic Fourth of July party one year. They knocked themselves out getting their yard ready for dinner and dancing outside under the stars. Dinner was catered. The band was the best you could hire… We knew we were in trouble when we all donned overcoats and sweaters at 6:00 in the evening, just for the drive over. By 8:00, everyone, bundled up as we were, was shivering and heading for home. I felt so bad for our hosts! You just never know about California. 

But I digress…

My husband loves watching baseball, and I love to keep him company and pretend I love watching baseball too. A big project like the Girasole blanket is just right for long innings. And it’s warmth is welcome by the time the cool evenings come around. Its repetitive nature offers enough serenity to counteract errors, foul balls and disconcerting calls by umpires.

As with my Mitered Square Afghan , the goal is to complete the blanket by the end of the World Series.

Brooklyn Tweed Projects

December 1

Toward the end of November I found myself  home in California (finally!) long enough to take two classes from Jared Flood, also known in the knitting community as Brooklyn Tweed. Besides Thanksgiving, Jared was one of the reasons I came back from Ohio at all. (Don’t tell him that – he’ll think I’m stalking him or something.) Jared was hosted by the fabulous Santa Barbara yarn and tea shop called Loop & Leaf.

The first class I took included  colorwork instruction using the Beaumont Tam/Beanie as the project. This is a lovely stranded pattern from Jared’s book Made in Brooklyn. Using Classic Elite’s Fresco, it has a slightly fuzzy look thanks to the yarn’s bit-of-angora mix. All I can say is that I feel like “AudKnits, Home of the Wonky Stitches” every time I knit stranded patterns. Including my own. I have to have faith that blocking will work its usual magic on my tam. Despite this photo’s depiction, the hat pattern is gorgeous – you can check it out in the book or among the projects on Ravelry.

Beaumont-Cropped-2

The second class was based on Jared’s pattern Girasole. Described as “A traditional lace shawl”, the pattern is stunning and can be made up as a blanket, rather than a shawl, by using worsted yarn. I’m trying it in Cascade Pastaza. Jared explained that the llama content in Pastaza will make this a heavy blanket. (Sounds just right for Ohio winters.)  I’m making it in a rust color I never would have chosen except for a certain friend who (correctly) chastised me for being so predictable in always going for greens and blues. So there.

The coolest technique I learned in the Girasole class was the circular center cast on for Girasole. That and the various ways to put a lifeline into the work.

Girasole-Beginning-2

This thing is going to be huge when it grows up! It looks square now just because it hasn’t graduated to circular needles yet. Do you think I should aim for the next World Series as a completion date? Knitting blankets while my husband watches baseball seems to be a tradition now.

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