One of my favorite things to do in San Francisco is to go on urban hikes. San Francisco, like many major cities on the west coast, has a lot of green space to enjoy. This weekend we “conquered” Mount Davidson. As I learned from Bay Area Hiker, Mount Davidson is the highest natural point in the city.
The view from Mount Davidson was spectacular. We mainly stayed on the east side of the hill and took in the downtown skyline. The view made for a great backdrop to take some photos.
Also located on the mountain is a giant concrete cross. In 1997, the Armenian American Organization purchased the cross from the city and placed a plaque to honor those who were victims of the 1915 genocide.
The hike was not too strenuous, and when you combine the 1.5-mile walk from my apartment, it was a nice way to get some exercise. It has been steadily raining for the last two weeks so it was nice to be out and about.
In other news, I decided to re-open my Etsy shop. I have way too many FO piled around my apartment. I also plan on listing some patterns that I have created as well. If you have the chance please stop by and visit/favorite my shop.😀
What did you do this weekend?
Until Next Time,
Well another trial with stranded colorwork is complete. I am very much in love with this arrow motif. It has so much potential and so many options to try.
I have been trying to perfect the two-handed stranded colorwork technique. (This is basically holding one strand of yarn in each hand while you knit.) While making this hat I did a little test. I changed which hand I held the contrast color (or color B) in while knitting each row of arrows. Why you may ask? I wanted to see how different my stitch tension was between my left and right hands. Conclusion? My left had a looser tension, which translated into the contrast stitches looking more pronounced. Since I am a pretty tight knitter this was good to know. Often times my contrast stitches look like they are being swallowed by the main color. Case in point check out the pulling in the first (bottom) row. This was completed with the white yarn in my right hand.
The color work came out lovely, but the hat is snug for an adult head. I think I may try this design again, but with larger needles.
Did you get to finish a project today?
Until Next Time,
Sometimes “bleh” finished objects (FO) happen to good knitters. It does not matter how good the pattern is written, how fantastic one’s needles are, or how beautiful the yarn is sometimes the execution just does not pan out. This is what occurred when I completed the Seashell Shawl. Francoise Danoy is currently one of my favorite knitwear designers. Her designs are so up my ally. They incorporate basic structures with texture changes, or interesting color work, and/or lace detailing. I hate to even have her name in a blog post with the word unimpressive. However, I believe I should be transparent about my knitting adventures.
I started this project during one of the many road trips I took over the winter holidays. I used some of the teal alpaca yarn I bought in Peru a couple of summers ago. This yarn is so soft against the skin I knew it would make a lovely shawl.
The Seashell Shawl pattern is very knitter friendly. The directions are clear and straight forward and there is an option for making a thicker shell border if desired. I loved how pretty the shells came out. The are very unique looking and such a delicate touch to the ends of the shawl.
So what is the problem? The short row shaping came out so terrible that I think the whole shawl looks well… bleh. Looking back at the directions, and others comments on Ravelry, I realized I wrapped the yarn when working the short rows. That was not what the instructions stated. 😞 I was too focused on creating my beautiful shawl that I didn’t take care to pay attention to the details. I think the wraps created a really sloppy look to the finished object. I tried to straighten it out a bit by aggressively blocking the piece, but it did not seem to help.
I love this pattern and the design, but my execution was unimpressive. I may go back and frog the body of the shawl to get a neater overall look. In the meantime, I have my eye on this lovely piece.
Has “bleh” crafting ever happened to you?
Until Next Time,
At the beginning of the month, I got an awesome email. I had won a free skein of yarn! Woot woot! This thank you is delayed, but THANK YOU Talya at Atlantis Yarns.
I received a lovely skein of fingering weight yarn in Seafoam (100 grams). It is a combination of superwash merino, silk, and silver poly. I love the little pop of sparkle that the silver poly gives it. The yarn feels soft (even my husband wanted to pet it haha) and I can’t wait to get it on the needles.
Now all I need is the perfect pattern. I am thinking a shawl to really show off the sparkle and beautiful sheen of the silk. Any suggestions?
Until Next Time,
Hello! It is Friday (finally!) and I have a very pretty FO to show you. Meet my Purple Jaywalker Socks!
A couple of summers ago I made these Green Jaywalker socks from Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine. The yarn had great stitch definition, however, it was not very stretchy.
This time around I used Cascade Heritage Paints in Mulled. I think I am a bigger fan of using a variegated yarn with this pattern over a solid color. Yes, there was some color pooling, but I really like how much more pronounced the zig zags look.
I followed the same format I did with the green socks (starting with the smallest size and increased one size up after the cuff). The intended recipient has wide feet so I wanted to make sure that the socks slipped over her feet with ease. This yarn also was much stretchier than the Berroco Ultra Fine Alpaca, so I don’t think there will be any fit problems.
The only other modification I made was that I skipped the textured heel flap. It was an editing thing. The yarn was competing too much with the texture. I like to keep things simple so I used a basic stockinette stitch.
My love for the Cascade Heritage line (Paints and Prints) has grown exponentially. The color saturation of the yarn is stunning, it is wonderful to work with, and the stitch definition is awesome!
Until Next Time,
Over the holidays, I had some extra time to get back to practicing with my drop spindle. I have to say it is a lot easier to keep the spindle going now. I managed to spin these little wooly delights in a little over two hours.
I am still working on keeping the yarn strand uniform in size. As you can see there are sections that are thicker and sections that are thinner. Hopefully, with more practice, my handspun yarn will look more uniform.
I also had time to finally upcycle some old jeans. I had two pairs that had some serious crotch holes. Rather than patching them up, I decided to create some denim yarn. I used this tutorial from Wool and the Gang. Essentially you cut across the pant leg of the jeans until right before the inside seam. DON’T cut all the way across the pant leg. If you do, your result won’t turn out to be a continuous strand. From my two pairs of jeans, I ended up with 4 balls of denim yarn.
I plan on crocheting a small area rug for my kitchen. Fingers crossed I have enough material.
Have you ever made your own yarn? If so…from what material?
Until Next Time
I have been knitting for about 17 years and it probably wasn’t until I started this blog that I become interested in designing knitwear. By no means do I think of myself as a full-fledged designer, however, I like to dabble. You can check out my Free Patterns page for some of the designs I have created.
Overall, I consider myself pretty new to the whole design world. Due to this, I have been doing quite a bit of research via design books and Ravelry. Two groups that I have found super helpful on Ravelry are the Budding Designers Group and The Testing Pool. The Designers group is a great way to announce new patterns, get questions answered, and gain feedback from other knitters/designers. The Testing Pool is a great forum to get others to test out your patterns prior to putting together your final copy for sale.
Today I posted a thread looking for volunteer knitters to test my newest pattern the Stacks Hat. The hat is a unisex classic style beanie with the added element of a twisted rib stitch. This hat is a simple and modern design that beginners and advanced knitters will enjoy. If you are interested and willing please follow this link and sign up to be a test knitter. Alternatively, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you the test pattern.
Until Next Time,
Whew! She is done. Actually, she has been completed since mid-December, but I procrastinated on photographing her. The Rosina Pullover has been something in my Ravelry queue for quite a while. Originally, the lacework sleeves caught my eye. I loved how elegant and feminine they looked. I immediately clicked add to queue and there the pattern sat until 3 months ago.
I have to admit this sweater took a long while to make. Two and a half months to be exact. The fingering weight yarn (Cascade 220 Fingering in Burgundy) and size US 2 needles made this project a slow burn. The stockinette section made for great TV/knitting group work, however, the lace portions required some significant concentration. There was many a time when some frogging action occurred. Looking back I should have worked a sleeve, then the body, and then the last sleeve. It would have given my mind a little break…and I also could have better binge watched Game of Thrones (haha).
Construction/ Pattern: The good thing about this pattern is all of the different sizing options. There are 10 different sizes one can choose from. As a knitter who hates math, this was perfect for me. I loved not having to rework the pattern calculations too much to ensure a proper fit. On the other hand, the number of sizing options made reading the pattern quite a challenge. I had to go through the whole pattern about 5 times and highlight the directions for my size to make sure I didn’t get off track. Once I got that worked out, the pattern was fairly easy to read.
Modifications: I did make some modifications to the original pattern. I skipped the lace section at the bottom and the flared sleeves and just replicated the neckline’s 1×1 ribbing. Both the flared sleeves and the lace bottom were a little too fussy for me.
Fit: I was a little worried about the fit of this sweater. If you look at the pattern pictures the sweater is intended to fit on the snug side. I pretty consistently have issues with armholes. My shoulders and upper arms like to have lots of space so usually, I knit an extra 1/4 to 1/2 inches under the arm. This pattern was ideal for checking the fit as it is a top-down construction. I tried it on as a knit to make sure I had room to move.
Since finishing I have worn this sweater twice and people are amazed that I made it. To me, that is always a sign of a handmade sweater that has hit the mark!
Until Next Time,
P.S. I decided to devote an Instagram account specifically to the blog :). Follow me at knitsbywhitsf