FO: Laramidia Cowl

On Saturday, I finished another summer cowl. This project used the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Color May color and pattern. The pattern was Laramidia, a shawl, and I adapted it slightly to turn it into a cowl. The color is mellow, a delightful mix of yellows, greys, and greens/blues. And the yarn is TFA’s red label, which I love ever so much. It’s so soft; it’s like wearing a kitten around your neck.

IMG_2013 IMG_2009 IMG_2011 IMG_2013 IMG_2018 IMG_2019For more details, see my project page here.

 

FO: Suncrest Shawl

While the Winter Olympics have been playing out in Sochi, Russia, I have been participating in the Ravellenic Games-the knitting/crocheting/spinning equivalent of the sporting games.

This year, I only competed for one team and only worked on one project. (I’ve done more in other years, but this year, I chose to be realistic.) My project was Tanis Lavalee’s Suncrest Shawl, and I knit it up using a skein of Tanis’s red label silk/wool/cashmere blend from a One of a Kind Update in her Etsy shop back on Boxing Day. The color was (rightfully) named sugarplum. The finished result is divine. It’s soft and beautiful. And I have a feeling this baby is going to get a lot of use in my wardrobe.

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Pattern Release: Marlow

The character of Andrew Marlow from Elizabeth Kostova’s novel, The Swan Thieves, inspired this cowl. Marlow is a simple but intricately worked pattern designed to reflect the contrast between Andrew’s simple exterior and complicated interior.

IMG_1826 IMG_1827 IMG_1828 IMG_1829 IMG_1834Andrew Marlow, the narrator of The Swan Thieves, is probably one of my favorite characters in the book, and so creating this design was a great joy for me. I can’t wait to see other cowls knit up.

This pattern is truly unique in this collection. I have envisioned each of the other characters through shawls, but I’ve always known that Andrew was not a shawl person. And when this cowl came to me, I knew that it was perfect. Using either aran or bulky weight yarn, it is the heaviest weight project of the collection, which is why a December release is perfectly timed. But I think it is beautiful, and I love it.

You can purchase the pattern here.

ETA: The “feliznavidad” promotion can be applied towards a purchase of Marlow or of the entire Swan Thieves collection.

The Beatrice Shawl

About two months ago, I released the first of my five patterns inspired by Elizabeth Kostova’s The Swan Thieves: A Novel. Today, I am releasing the second pattern of that set, Beatrice. IMG_1648 IMG_1649 The character of Beatrice de Clerval from Elizabeth Kostova’s novel, The Swan Thieves, inspired this shawl. Beatrice is a half-circle shawl worked top-down in garter stitch with alternating colors and concluding in a simple lace pattern. It is designed to reflect Beatrice’s delicate but resilient grace.IMG_1652 IMG_1653 IMG_1656 IMG_1657 IMG_1663 IMG_1664 IMG_1667 IMG_1668 IMG_1669 IMG_1670

Beatrice was written for two different colors of yarn. I used Tanis Fiber Arts blue label fingering weight for the sample. You will need a whole skein (420 yds) of the main color (sand in the sample) and a bit more than half a skein (~250 yds) of the secondary color.

Pattern here.

Raveled here.

FO: Royale

The following post comes to you after three years of wishing, dreaming, and knitting.

In May of 2010, Glenna published the Royale pattern. I immediately fell in love with it and added it to my Ravelry queue. There was only one problem.

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The problem was simple. I was not a good enough of a knitter (yet) to make this sweater. To make it, I would have to be able to cable without a cable needle, follow two (reasonably complex) cable charts, and a few other things. In 2010, there was no way I could have made this sweater. IMG_1542 So I queued it and bided my time. Then, last summer, I decided that my skill level had caught up to the sweater. I bought the pattern. In October, I bought seven skeins of Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label in the shadow colorway. And on a snow day in January, I finally started the sweater. IMG_1543It took me five months and two days to get from that snow day to the sweater I’m wearing in these pictures. It also took me 5.2 skeins of yarn.
IMG_1545 But regardless, the sweater is done. It fits like a dream. The cables are gorgeous. As you’ll see in the following pictures, I had fun playing with it in the backyard. (It was 84 degrees Fahrenheit when I took these pictures.) IMG_1547 IMG_1549 IMG_1550 IMG_1552 So I met my challenge. I completed the sweater after three years of dreaming. And I love it. IMG_1553

Next, I’m going to learn how to do colorwork.

Pattern: Royale

Yarn: TFA Green Label (Aran weight) 

Raveled here

FO: Aerie Shawl

As a Christmas present to myself, I joined the TFA Year in Colour Club for 2013.

The first pattern of the year was the Aerie Scarf by the very talented Julie Crawford. Now, my first thought on opening the pattern back in January was that it was very beautiful, but it was soooo not my style. I liked the lace pattern. I adored the yarn. But the scarf is just not my style. So I put everything for it aside and began ruminating about how to turn this into something that I loved.

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full length view of the shawl

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lace detail

And then, in early March, I was watching The Dark Knight Rises. Now, most of you probably didn’t notice this, but in TDKR, some of Bane’s henchmen wear these red (probably asymmetrical) scarves that remind me of something Martina Behm would design.  IMG_1414 And that’s where I started working. I grabbed the (gorgeous) mulberry silk in boysenberry and my size 4 needles. And I started building an asymmetrical garter stitch scarf. Then, about three feet into the garter stitch, I added three repeats of chart A of the lace charts from Julie’s pattern. I then put in about eight or nine more rows of garter stitch, three more repeats of chart A, eight or nine more rows of garter stitch, and three more repeats of chart A. I used up about 75% of the skein (around 415 yards, I think).IMG_1415 And I am thoroughly pleased with the result. I foresee this baby getting a lot of use this spring. IMG_1418And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to make myself a pair of Patina socks

FO: Another Hunter Street Cowl

Less than three weeks ago, I posted about my recently finished Hunter St. Cowl. It was purple and gorgeous, and I was in love. In fact, I was so in love that I turned around, picked my size 4 needles back up, grabbed another skein of fingering weight yarn, and set to work making a second Hunter St. Cowl.
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Yesterday, in the midst of a snow day, I finished my second Hunter St. Cowl. And I am still as in love as ever. I love the style, the pattern, everything. It’s stunning. Glenna has created a truly fabulous pattern.
IMG_1405 One of the great things about this pattern is that while it in and of itself is gorgeous, it allows you to showcase a fantastic yarn. And for me, that’s what this second cowl was about. Back in the fall, I purchased a skein of 75/25 fingering weight yarn from TanisEtsy shop. Now, I love TFA for their stunning colors. And I love their yarns. (Let’s not talk about how many projects I currently have on-needle that are using TFA yarns.) But this yarn was just a dream. It’s 75% merino wool and 25% silk. It’s soft and smooshy and cuddly and I’m pretty sure that it is somehow related to baby kittens. IMG_1406 And then there is the color. It’s a one-of-a-kind color, and I love it. While I was working on this project so many people commented on the color. The color is named “Green Sea” and my mom says that it looks exactly like seafoam should look. IMG_1407In short, I love this cowl. I foresee it getting used quite frequently especially once spring finally shows up. This really is a great spring color and style.

Project Details:

Pattern: Hunter Street Cowl by Glenna C.

Needle Size: US Size 4 (3.5mm)

Yarn: TFA 75/25 merino/silk fingering (green sea), an Etsy special from Tanis Fiber Arts

Miranda Headband and Cowl

 

Today, I have a great pleasure of announcing to y’all that I have finally finalized and published a knitting pattern that I started working on almost a year ago. IMG_1358 Back in February of 2012, I started working on a pattern for a headband and a cowl that I had decided to name after Miranda, Prospero’s lovely daughter in Shakespeare’s delightful, ethereal (and Caribbean) play The Tempest. It took me a year to get everything together, but at long last, it is my great pleasure to announce that the Miranda Cowl and Headband patterns are now available for sale on Ravelry. (Cowl pattern here, headband pattern here, both together here)IMG_1360Both projects require a US size 9 (5.5mm) needle and bulky weight yarn. I used Knit Picks Full Circle Bulky for the red sample and Dream in Color Groovy for the purple sample. The headband requires about 50-60 yards of yarn and the cowl requires about 110.
IMG_1361 If you’re wondering how I combined a play set in the Caribbean with winter, it all comes from the dictionary definition of a tempest, which is “a violent windstorm, especially one with rain, hail, or snow.” Well, Shakespeare’s tempest had more to do with rain, but I live in Michigan. And while last winter wasn’t too snowy, I’ve already had three snow days in the past three weeks. In Michigan, we know what a tempest is all right. We just know different tempests than say those known by the folks in say Jamaica.IMG_1370 I then looked at the way Miranda is described in The Tempest. And when I saw this particular line, I knew that I had found the name for this cowl and headband set.

…But you, O you,
So perfect and so peerless, are created
Of every creature’s best!

-The Tempest, Act III, Scene 1

IMG_1327 So inside or outside, this set is designed to keep you warm and protect you from any and all tempests. IMG_1329 But sadly, I do not get to keep either of the samples. The red one must go back to its rightful owner and the purple one will be mailed to Pennsylvania tomorrow. Mercifully, I have a few skeins of bulky weight yarn in my stash yet so I can make myself a set. I love these two sample sets and I can’t wait to have one of my own.

IMG_1334So hop on over to Ravelry and check out the pattern pages!

P.S. Scroll back through my various pictures to see if you can spot my cutest employee photobombing my photoshoot.

13 Goals for 2013

For the third year in the row, I’m giving myself a list of goals for the year. As it is 2013, I’m giving myself a list of 13 goals. Two years ago, I had 11 Goals for 2011, and last year, I had 12 goals for 2012. This format seems to work well for me. I seem to be a “list person” and the blog seems to provide me with a sense of accountability. Last year, I went so far as to do a couple of check-in posts as my goals were achieved and evolved.

So now, here are my 13 for 2013.

  1. To knit each of the patterns I receive in the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club
  2. To read Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady
  3. To read Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives
  4. To become a better cook
  5. To knit the Hunter Street Cowl, the Royale pullover, the Water Street Cardigan, and the Chatelaine cardigan
  6. To take a fun and exciting trip this summer
  7. To get some sewing done-probably over the summer
  8. To get my own place
  9. To do something truly memorable and delightful to celebrate my quarter-century in July
  10. To knit socks for myself
  11. To go somewhere I’ve never been before
  12. To develop a more regular exercise regime
  13. To do something that scares me.

So those are my goals. I think I have some other dreams and hopes up my sleeves, but those are other stories for other days.

But for now, Happy New Year!

Update on 2012 Goals-Round Two

We are more than 50% of the way through 2012, so I thought I’d update us all on how I’m doing towards accomplishing my twelve goals for 2012. So I’m copying and pasting the amended list here. Then I’ll mark what’s complete and what’s not. And I may even amend a few goals…again.

  1. Finish reading Middlemarch. It’s a carryover from last year, but this year I’m going to do it. Sorry, George Eliot, but you will not be on my 2013 list. Anthony Trollope will be replacing you. DONE!
  2. Make six shawls this year. I made four pairs of socks last year, and I’m determined to do something awesome this year. To be entirely honest, I don’t know why I’m so fixated on this, but I am. So, six shawls, here I come. (If you’re wondering why I switched from socks to shawls, it’s because I use sock yarn to make shawls, but I like shawls more because they’re accessories you can really show off to everyone…even if they don’t notice.) Done…and I’ll probably have more than six done by the time 2012 ends. 
  3. To find a real job-I think this is self-explanatory. Done! Praise the Lord!
  4. Take the GRE…Done, but I don’t think grad school is coming up as quickly as I once thought.
  5. Figure out which schools I want to apply to for grad school…and maybe apply this year? I might put that off another year. It depends on how a few other things play out. As previously stated, this goal is probably being postponed for quite some time…and I’m quite fine with that.
  6. Go to Iowa for a week and see The Hunger Games with Jenn. DONE! And I’m more than willing to tell you how much I loved The Hunger Games. I loved it. I laughed. I cried. It moved me, Bob
  7. Make Katie a sweater for her birthday…I know, I said I was going to do this last year, but I’m really going to do it this year.  She picked a pattern and a yarn today. It’s going to happen. And it’s now been postponed until 2013. I attempted to make her a sweater for her birthday but it died. Then, I was going to make her one for Christmas, but she wants pig mittens more than a sweater. So now, my goal is to make Katie pig mittens for Christmas…because she’s classy like that.
  8. I want to make myself six sweaters this year. And I want the Ravelympics Ravellenic Games to help me to this goal. (NB: These six sweaters do include the two cardigans I currently have on needle from 2011. They do not include the tunic I am frantically trying to finish right now or the two short sleeved shrugs I’m planning to make in the next week or so.) I have two done and two three on needle. The tunic died in the dryer but that’s another story. But I should have six sweaters done by the end of the year. The Ravellenic Games have helped in this a bit but I still have more knitting to do.
  9. I want to sew more of my own clothes. There’s something that I love about looking at a piece in my wardrobe and knowing that I created it. I value my homemade (both knit and sewn) wardrobe pieces more than I value store-bought stuff. Working on this…still working on it. I have a dress all cut out that I need to sew together and fabric for another dress that needs to be cut out and sewn together. Hmm…weekend projects, Cecilia? Hmm…
  10. I want to have an adventure this year. I’m not entirely sure what that means, and based on the amount of uncertainty in my life at this point, I’m fairly certain that some sort of adventure is inevitable. Life is an adventure. The further I’ve gone into 2012, the more I have realized that my life is an adventure and while I never know where I’m going next, I always end up where I’m supposed to be. 
  11. Spent more time praying…and actually finish reading both of Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth books; I’m thinking that I need to accept that having a cup of coffee with God in the morning or a mug of tea with him in the evening is actually acceptable-and good for me. I’ve finished both books and I loved them. 
  12. Last year, my final goal was to become more patient. This year, I have the same final goal but with a slightly different approach. I want to find some form of meditation that will help me to achieve some sort of peace/patience in my life. The prayer to St. Michael is helping me with this, interestingly enough. 
 And that’s all for now. I am making even more progress on these goals, and it is nice to see how I’m accomplishing things. And I can’t wait to see what sort of progress I make between now and my next update on these goals.