simpatico wrap: a finished object

Y'all! Another finished object! It's been exciting times around here. 

So let's see, how to tell the story of this one? I don't remember exactly when I stumbled upon the Simpatico Wrap, but I know when I did, I was enchanted by its simplicity. I have an affinity for things that are basically wearable blankets and this one definitely fits into that category. I thought about it for a long while, knowing that I would need to find some truly perfect yarns for it, so I would just look at it on Ravelry every once in a while, dreaming of the day when I would find the perfect yarn match. 

Enter the 2017 DFW Fiber Fest in April. I went and explored and found a great solid Madeline Tosh and a speckled Hedgehog Fibres. The only problem? The vendor I bought the Hedgehog from didn't have the colorway I liked in a sock weight. I found 2 skeins of a DK weight and decided to just go with it and got 2 skeins of a DK Madeline Tosh as well. I almost immediately cast on. This was back in my injured arm days (I swear I really will post about this soon), so things were slow going, even though this is a super simple project.

My Hedgehog yarns, being hand-dyed, had some variations in the speckles and I had a hard time deciding which one to cast on with. I ended up ripping out and casting this one on several times! At one point I was alternating skeins but my stranded edge was getting too tight, so I ripped once more and in August I finally decided to just knit with one skein and then switch when I ran out. The variation in the speckling in noticeable only to me, I am sure. 

Soon after, I started treatment for my injury and was able to knit for long stretches again. I finished some other projects and then dedicated all of my energy to Simpatico! It is a very easy knit and it's so fun to see it increasing and then decreasing. This thing was quite the behemoth to block, but it definitely needed it. Mine ended up quite large- 48" square- but I love it and it is so cozy! I am so happy I decided to do DK weight. It's the perfect weight for me. My most-worn wrap is worsted weight, and while I love my sock-weight shawls and they are gorgeous, they just aren't the same as snuggling up in a swath of DK or worsted. This is the perfect project to use some of those special skeins of yarn that you love to look at and pet but aren't quite sure what to do with. It's an excellent showcase and use of a fave!

All the photos!

Specs!
Yarn: Hedgehog Fibers Merino DK in Monet, Madeline Tosh DK Twist in Uma's Thurman (obsessed with the name...unfortunately it's not on the Mad Tosh site), 2 skeins each
Pattern: Simpatico Wrap by Kristine Vejar 
Needle: size 9 Chiaogoo circulars, prob 40" length
I have no idea how many stitches I ended up with at the longest point...I knit with the Hedgehog first since it had less yardage than the Mad Tosh and I knit with it until I was no longer confident that I could get another row with it :) Prob a few hundred stitches. 
Ravelry link
Started April 9, 2017, ripped out several times, started for real in August 2017
Finished February 2, 2018. 

daybreak: a finished object

I am so excited to be able to share a finished object with you guys! I believe the last knitted FO I had was all the way back in February and was the cutest little baby sweater. As I have moaned and groaned about many times on this blog, I was injured for most of the year with a pretty nasty combo of radial tunnel syndrome and lateral epicondylitis (aka tennis elbow). I was in pain nearly everyday for the better part of 10 months and knitting was the number 1 aggravator of the pain, so this project was on hold for most of the year. 

I started this bad boy in January. It had originally began life as The Doodler by Stephen West but it just wasn't working for me. Stephen West is known for his out there designs and if you know me, you know I'm not a very out there person. The Doodler was way out of my comfort zone and I'm sure it would've looked rad, but I wanted something that I knew I would wear. Insert Daybreak by Stephen West. This is one of Stephen's earlier patterns and is not quite so zany. Very wearable and very striped, which is exactly what I wanted for these yarns.

Speaking of the yarns, I purchased them in September of 2016 at Stitches Texas from Steven Be. I knew they'd be perfect as stripes and boy was I right! 

In October I started physical therapy and saw results so quickly and was able to start knitting quite a bit again. I went from barely being able to complete a row on a small project to being able to knit for 2 hours at a time within just a few weeks!!! It has literally been life changing and I will write a (very) long post about my injury progress soon. About half of this project was completed from January to March and the rest of it was done in October and November. So let's just say it took 4 months and not 11 :) 

Without further ado, my Daybreak!

Specs:
Daybreak Shawl I made the large size. 
Hedgehog Fibres Sock in colors Fly, Zephyr, and Skinny Dip.
Size 4 needle
Pattern was very easy (suitable for a beginner with experience with increases, slipping stitches, and color changes at the beginning of a row). 
Yarn is gorgeously dyed but loosely plied- if you have to rip anything out, you will have to be careful to not split the strands when re-knitting. 
Ravelry link.
Towards the end of this project, 1 row was taking about 30 minutes to complete and it took me nearly an entire hour to bind off. I have been told I am a pretty fast knitter, so keep that in mind when gauging your own time commitments! 

Special thanks to my sweet friend Ana from Ana Eloise Photography for showing me the life changing magic of using a gallery to upload photos! This will make my blogging life so much easier! 

I hope to have another knitted FO for you all very soon!

i have this thing with shawls

As I was writing my previous post, I realized I should explain myself. 

I love shawls. I love knitting them, I love looking at them, and I love wearing them. If you look at my Ravelry favorites list, you know this to be true. Now, I know this may make me sound like a grandma, but I don't care. There are people out there who are sock knitters. I have long envied those people. It seemed so quaint and nice to have a little project that I could just whip out of my bag and work on anywhere. Plus there are all sorts of fun sock yarns available. But as we all know, I hate working with itty bitty yarn and needles. I have tried and failed to be a sock knitter. 

But shawls? I am there. Many shawl patterns do require the itty bitty yarn- but guess what?! Many require bigger (i.e.: size 4 or larger) needles and that is a trade-off I am on board with. 

The shawl obsession really took off during my senior year of college. I was taking a literature class called Victorian Gender and shawls were mentioned many times throughout the various novels we read. Plus there was Hey Porkchop. She has influenced my desire to knit shawls exponentially (and also my wish to be a sock knitter; also she has an amazing sense of color for everything but especially quilts). But those novels were full of images that stuck with me. A shawl waiting for the wearer, draped on the back of a chair. It was something she could grab quickly on her way out the door to throw on to ward off a chill. It was knitted by hand out of love and necessity, passed between mothers, sisters, and friends to warm. It was an experiment in making do and in trying your hand at a new stitch pattern. In a pinch they doubled as a little throw blanket and what is cozier than a blanket? And so I became a shawl knitter. They don't get a ton of use here in Texas, but looking at them reminds me of all the things I love about knitting them. 

I love the ease of knitting a shawl- the way I know that there will always be increases or decreases to achieve the shape, the long, long rows of stitches repeated over and over again, the way that I excitedly knit trying to get to the next part. I also love the difficulty of knitting a shawl- the hundreds and hundreds of live stitches on the needles, the intricate lace details, the counting and the miscounting. And then the moment when you bind off and admire the work, try it on, and envision it accompanying you on all sorts of grand (or not so grand) adventures.