FO: Red Leaf Top

The series of simple summer cotton tops continues! I discovered the Leaf Top on Ravelry on day in June and knew I had to make it. It was simple with with some intricate details. 

The Leaf Top is a seamless top- down piece. The yoke was pretty easy to work despite others (as per online reviews) finding it tricky. I will say the yoke did come out a little big. The eyelets fall a little low on my chest so I have to wear a tank top underneath. I defiantly could have gone a needle size smaller.

This pattern calls for worsted weight yarn so it made for a super quick knit. I used Rico Creative Cotton in Red. I bought this yarn from the Love Knitting website. It was super affordable and had lots of colors to choose from.  This cotton was pretty soft when knitting, however it was quite loosely spun. I had to frog back to some sections where I didn’t catch all of the fibers in one swoop. 

I plan on rocking this top quite a bit as it has been SO HOT and humid here on the east coast. I like that this top is versatile enough to wear casually (with jean shorts) or with something a little more dressed up.

Until Next Time

-Whit-

WIP: The Calais Shawl

For the last few months, I have been on a little bit of a yarn buying binge. Half of the reason is that I cleaned out my stash before I moved. Out with the old and in with the new right?  The other half of the reason is my having a little bit of a fear of not having yarn right away in China. Yes, I know China will have yarn, but I wanted to be prepared until I found a reliable retailer.

Lucky for me locating yarn on my travels has not been an issue at all. Just the other day I was walking down the street in Vineyard Haven, MA (I am back in Martha’s Vineyard) and saw some yarn in the window. Well, I took a detour to just check it out and ended up with two pretty balls of Crystal Palace Sausalito in Mediterranean. I was very much drawn to the two tone ply and I loved the colors. Plus this yarn was super soft and squishy (80% Merino Wool/20% Nylon).

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At first, I thought I would craft a pair of sock for myself. Then I remembered the Calais Shawl . This shawl has been on my to-make list for a long long while. I have to say I was a little nervous to use this yarn as it has a lot of color going on and the pattern is predominantly lace. However, a Ravelry search inspired me to go with it as several others have used variegated yarn and their shawls look amazing.

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Everything is looking good so far. Knitting anything lace is always deceptive as it bunches up quite a bit as you knit. Have you ever went against your “editing eye” and taken a knitting risk?

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Great Pattern, Not So Great Yarn

In May,  I was asked to test knit a sweater for Life is Cozy. I just happened to have 5 skeins of hot pink alpaca yarn (from my trip in Ecuador) that needed to be knitted up, so I said yes. I have test knit for this designer before and love her designs. They are simple constructions with interesting and delicate details. The Forever April Sweater was no exception. The design elements that caught my eye were the shaped waistline and the off the shoulder neckline.

The Forever April Sweater is a top down raglan sweater with bell shaped sleeves. I did bump up a needle size (US size 2 and 4) as my yarn was a little thicker than the recommended yarn. I didn’t want the piece to be too dense. The only other modification I made was to shorten the length of the sweater as the recipient is on the petite side. I ended up keeping all of the waist shaping increases and decreases and just began the ribbing 3 inches before my desired end length. 

So why does my title contain the words “not so good yarn”? Well this yarn was by far the worst yarn I have ever worked with. It shed EVERYWHERE! Anytime I worked on this sweater I would end up having a layer of hot pink fuzz covering me. This yarn was was also not very tightly wound. I have a pretty tight knitting tension so at one point I broke the yarn 4 times in one row 😫. To make matters worse I tried it on and it was SO itchy. Ugh! This “not so good yarn” made finishing this project a pain. 

Despite my dislike for the yarn, the sweater came out quite lovely. I made sure to give it a long soak and it doesn’t seem as itchy.  Buster (my “fur brother”) seemed to approve.

I am a little bummed that my yarn choice was a let down, however, The Forever April Sweater is a great pattern. It makes a lovely sweater for the spring or chilly summer nights. I highly recommend you head to Life is Cozy and download this free pattern.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

FO: Zinone Top

It is officially summer and I am excited for the much needed vacation time ahead. In preparation for the hot weather, I have been knitting up some cute cotton tops. One pattern that I have had my eye on was the Zinone top by Andi Satterlund. I love love love the lace detail along the back of the top. I will say I think my lace got a little off center. I am choosing to consider it a “design modification” (hahah)

Zinone is a great pattern as it has several options to make the top of your dreams. This top can be made as a crop top or full length. You can also make a partial or full lace back (depending on how ambitious you are feeling). I went with partial lace back and more of the crop length. 

As with most of Andi’s patterns, the top is made from the top down and includes waist shaping. The best part…minimal end weaving as the body is made in the round. Woot woot! 

I tried a new yarn that I found in my LYS. It is called Bio Sesia 5 and it is 100% organic cotton. This yarn was one of the best cotton yarns I have knit with. It is soft on the fingers, pretty tightly wound (for a cotton yarn), and creates a well-defined garment. I have worn the top a couple of times now and I am happy to report no pilling! 

Zinone is another great pattern from Andi! I can’t wait to get some more wear out of it. I tried to wear this top on my trip to Martha’s Vineyard to model for you, however, it started downporing and my lovely new top got soaking wet ☹️. Follow me on Instagram (@knitsbywhitsf) for some dry photos in the coming days. 

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

The Burgandy Shawl

Burgandy is my favorite color to wear. It looks really great against my skin tone in any season so I tend to gravitate toward it. So when I “accidentally” bought too much yarn for my Rosina Pullover I knew I would get to create a couple of great burgundy pieces.

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Here is the latest item off my needles the Burgandy Shawl.

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This shawl is a triangle shawl that can be worn around the neck like a bandana or over the shoulders as a shawl. I used Cascade 220 in Burgundy and the accent stripe is one of my favorites Knitting Fever’s Painted Desert in Brick. I modeled this shawl after the Dovetail Wrap from Purl Soho. I added an eyelet border and also an eyelet row every 12 rows. In addition to the mesh panel, I adorned the edge with gold beads. The beading is not as prominent as I would have liked, but I think it adds a delicate touch. 

For more photos, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

The Sock Scarf

In 2015/2016 I went on a sock craze. I was making about a pair every month. As a result, I ended up with quite a bit of leftover sock yarn. What to do what to do with this lovely yarn? Well, I started to paw through my stitch dictionary (A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barabara Walker) and go an idea. What if I used some of my sock yarn and created a cowl of swatches? 

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The yellow came from my Business Casual Socks. The yarn is Cascade Heritage Solid in Mustard. The stitch is Roman Rib Stitch.IMG_3430[1].JPG

The blue is from my Warm Up Socks using Anzula Squishy in Chiva. The stitch is Slip-Stitch Honeycomb.

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The green was used in my Green Jaywalker Socks. The yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in Seedling Mix. The stitch is Vertical Lace Trellis.

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The red was not used for a pair of socks, but a cowl. It is Knitting Fever’s Painted Desert in Autumn.  The stitch is English Mesh Lace.

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I tried to balance the textured stitch patterns with lacy stitch patterns to give the scarf a little variety. I love how it came out! I love the bold colors combined with the variety of stitches.

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Check out more photos of the scarf in my Etsy Shop. I am also having a Spring Clearance Sale (30% off) using the code: SpringSF17. The sale includes patterns 😊

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

What’s On The Needles

I am currently designing a shawl pattern. I am using Knit Picks Comfy Sport and Shine Sport. These cotton blends are super soft to work with and the colors are fantastic.  While creating my pattern, I noticed the increases were making the shawl way bigger than I liked. After much internal struggle I ended up frogging back 20 inches. 

6:30 AM

8:00 AM 😫

I hated every inch of that. However, I had a certain shape in mind and I knew that if I fudged it I would be unhappy with the result. 

I am also working on this baby hat using some of my scrap yarn. I think the red orange color is from the Valley Yarns line. I hope the blue wool softens a little bit during blocking as it is a bit rough on the hands. 

What are you working on this Wednesday?

Until Next Time, 

-Whit-