I’m always looking for a good travel project. Cassie, the owner of the wonderful Ply Yarn in Wimberley Texas, had the perfect suggestion. The French Cancan shawl by Mademoiselle C starts out with a simple garter crescent. A braided cable edging is then worked perpendicularly to the body, attaching with a k2tog from one edge stitch and one body stitch as you go.
Anzula Cricket is a super yummy yarn that was just right for this little shawl. It’s mostly superwash wool, but has a bit of nylon that lends good stitch definition to the cables. Best of all is the touch of cashmere which makes the shawl comfy around my neck, and warm enough to be cozy on a chilly evening.
I thoroughly enjoyed making the Acer Cardigan designed by Amy Christoffers. With lovely yarnover and cable motifs, it kept my interest. As I learn nifty little tricks to add polish to my knitting, I love to incorporate them into knitting sweaters.
“Acer” knit up fairly quickly using worsted weight yarn. I chose Rowan’s Hemp Tweed in the teal color. The yarn’s tweedy-ness is subtle enough to enhance, rather than detract from, the stitch pattern. And while some tweed yarns feel like a bale of hay, Hemp Tweed has a nice hand and the sweater is just soft enough that I can wear it next to skin.
Since I’ve become so enamored with my fusion of Custom Fit and the kind of shaping used by Ysolda Teague in her Blank Canvas sweater pattern, I used my “hippy shaping” to create just the right fit for my Acer Cardigan. I created hourglass shaping on the front and back of the sweater, to give the illusion of an hourglass figure which my actual body certainly does not have. Then I forced the extra hip shaping to the sides of the sweater. It makes the hip shaping appear less severe.
I also altered the sweater by adding some length and adding short rows to the upper back. I used decreases in the corners where the back shoulder stitches meet the bound-off back to make the neck band lie flat. I explained this technique in detail in my blog post for the Drumlin sweater.
A new-to-me idea that I tried in setting in the sleeve was to very loosely sew the underarm seam with dental floss as a guide. It’s much easier to pull out errant dental floss than it is yarn if the sleeve stitches don’t line up with the body stitches. It was so easy to follow the floss with the seaming yarn – the columns of stitches lined up perfectly with each other!
Typically, when I wear my hand-knit sweaters buttoned up, the buttons pull out toward the outer edge of the buttonhole band, making them look off-center. A little trick I used on this sweater was to cheat the buttonhole one stitch toward the body of the sweater. If you look closely, you can see that the buttonhole is just a bit closer to the inside edge of the band. When buttoned, the button appears perfectly centered.
I just love to learn little techniques that add up to a sweater that I enjoy wearing!
If you’re not already a member of TKGA, I highly recommend it. I love Arenda Holladay’s articles on seaming, in the members-only section. I use her “Seams Part 3” article as a reminder every time I seam a sweater.
Taking a number of flights over a few weeks’ time, I was glad to have this very easy shawl to bring with me. I am easily entertained by color, so using some lovely variegated Madelinetosh Twist Light made the knitting fun. A small project like this is just right for air travel. The pattern is all garter stitch and eyelets, so it was also just right to work on while knitting in a group of friends – our joyous laughter didn’t cause me to lose my place.
While I have enough shawls to last a lifetime, I still enjoy making new ones. This will be just right for cool days when I want a bit of warmth around my neck and a little splash of color.
I wanted to make a bigger shawl than the pattern’s finished dimensions so I added extra rows to some of the sections and used about half an additional skein.
When I see some luscious variegated yarn, I love to make the Linen Stitch scarf from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues . One side ends up with a woven texture and the other bumpy, with tiny pops of color. Either side is pretty, no matter how the scarf is worn.
One of my favorite yarns to use with this pattern is Malabrigo Rios, this time in the Diana colorway. Like many hand-dyed yarns, different skeins of the same color can be vastly different. Here are the two balls of the Diana colorway that I used. You can see that one is predominantly green, while the other is predominantly red.
There are a couple of ways to handle the different colors. One is to carry both colors up the length of the scarf, alternating balls of yarn every two rows. That gives a homogeneous blend. For this scarf, though, I wanted each color to shine so I alternated balls about every 3″, giving a subtle striped effect.
Sure there were a bunch of tails to weave in, but it was easy to run them down the edge and was well worth the effort.
Rios is a great choice for scarves since it’s soft.
This scarf measures 7.5″ x 60″ and used two full skeins. I used US #10 needles, which gave a nice drape.
“Shading” Version for Fall
I recently participated in a KAL where the challenge was to use multiple colors of yarn to created a “fade” effect. I immediately thought of my pattern “Shading” from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues. Juniper Moon’s luscious alpaca yarn, Herriot was incredibly soft and nice to work with!
I used 8 different shades to “fade” from deep red to a subtle dark green. I’ll have plenty left over to make mittens and a hat. You can see the color progression here:
The garter stitch pattern paired with the lofty baby alpaca yarn makes for a very warm and inviting scarf. I love how soft it is around my neck!
The scarf is work lengthwise, with the yarn cut at the end of each row to use to make fringe. I cut the fringe to 7″ lengths – it looks balanced with the rest of the scarf.
What I rediscovered making this reversible scarf is that it is so versatile! It would be easy to make this for any season, using thicker or thinner yarn depending on the weather. It’s fun to choose colors that will blend the way you like and to adjust the number of rows you knit to create just the right width.