Me Made May: Year 2

I participated in Me Made May again this year. My making has slowed down considerably in the last 6 months, so my goal was the same as last year: wear 1 handmade garment or accessory every day. It’s interesting to see how many garments were the same as last year, but also how many were different.

Garments:

Of course I wore my grey Alabama Chanin dress. This dress has become one of my go-tos: I feel good in it and I always get compliments. I also get a lot of wear out of my orange tunic-dress. It’s super comfortable and easy to wear for a lazy day at home.

I have 4 handmade sleeveless tops now: 2 self-drafted, and 2 Wiksten Tanks.

I don’t wear vests a lot, but when I do, they need huge awesome collars. Some handmade lace for a back cutout doesn’t hurt, either.

It’s debatable whether socks are garments or accessories, but I figure since they enclose a part of your body and have to fit, they should be included as garments. I wore my Slytherin socks and my Watermelon socks throughout the month.

Having handmade undergarments has been a real boon for those days when everything else was dirty or didn’t seem to go well together.

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Accessories:

My office is really cold. As in, ‘wear socks and shoes (not sandals) and a shawl and a sweater and fingerless gloves’ cold. So I wore shawls a fair amount this month. My Granny shawl drapes perfectly and stays on effortlessly, and I also wore my wedding shawl and my most recent pattern release, the Balai Shawl (free pattern here).

Some days I didn’t feel like going all out, so I accessorized with my Kumihimo necklace or a ribbon rose hair clip. Simple, but effective.

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New:

I’ve been working on several projects this month, but most of them aren’t finished yet (oh the life of a crafter). I did manage to finally finish my wool crepe vest, and I love how it turned out! It’s big and comfortable and the fabric is oh so lovely.

Easy as Pi

I don’t know about you, but this has been the hardest April I can remember. In fact, I dont think I’ve ever experienced such a difficult start to the year. In December I got a promotion at work. I was in a job I didn’t like, and now I have a job that I enjoy a lot. But the job comes with more responsibility, and with responsibility comes stress. Cue knitting to save my sanity.

A few months ago I finally bought the Knitter’s Almanac. I walked through Elizabeth Zimmermann’s fabulous “unventions” and sage advice, and decided that now was the time to cast on a Pi Shawl. Sometimes you start something and you’re not sure why, but it just seems like the right thing for the time. This shawl is what my brain and my heart have needed over the last few months. I sit down to work on it and it helps me to slow down and stop worrying. The yarns are beautiful and make this knitting a very tactile experience.

Earlier this month I got a call that my grandma was very ill and might not make it for much longer. I bought a plane ticket, packed a bag, and went to be with her. This shawl was such a comfort as I travelled and sat in waiting rooms. I showed it to her and she thought it was so beautiful. And then as she started to recover I knit on it in joy, so pleased that I was not knitting in mourning.

So often in my knitting I try to be smart. The easy solution or the obvious solution are not good enough, I have to do it the hard way. But sometimes I need something easy so that my brain can stop working on overdrive. That is what this shawl is for me.

New Free Pattern: The Balai Shawl

I am excited to tell you that I’ve just published a new pattern! And this time, just to change it up a little, it’s a crochet pattern!

broomstick lace shawl

Meet the Balai shawl, published in Knotions Magazine. This shawl is worked in Broomstick lace, which I learned from my husband’s grandmother. Now I am not a super-experienced crocheter, but that just means that the pattern is simple enough that anyone can do it. All it takes is a little practice. The shawl is worked by increasing every other row, so you can make it as big as you like. And, the pattern is written to work with virtually any yarn and hook (bulky, super bulky, and jumbo weight yarns are not suggested as they may not drape well). So what are you waiting for? Grab a hook, some yarn, and a dowel (Broomstick Lace requires a dowel or stick to hold your stitches open across the row…kind of like a giant knitting needle), and get started!

broomstick lace

For more information on Broomstick Lace and a free bracelet pattern, read this post.

Pattern Testers Needed!

Hey friends! One pattern has just been published, so that means it’s time to get the next into testing. My next pattern is quite different from normal for me, in that it is a crochet pattern. It all started on my vacation last October, when my husband’s grandma taught me how to crochet broomstick lace. I got an idea at that time, and now I’ve made it a reality: I made a Broomstick Lace Shawl!

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The beauty of this shawl is that it can be made any size, and with any weight yarn, so the possibilities really are endless. Mine is a shawlette, made with a skein of Miss Babs Yowza (Worsted, 560 yds/ 512 m).

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I’m looking for 6 pattern testers – 2 each to make a shawl in fingering, Sport or DK, and Worsted weight yarns. If you’re interested, all the details are here.

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Also, I need a name for this beauty. “Broomstick Lace Shawl” is descriptive, but not very evocative. What would you name this shawl? Leave a comment and include your Ravelry name. The person who comments with the best name will receive a free copy of my Ribless Hat as thanks.

My First Crocheted Finished Object!

I’ve been quiet recently about my Half Granny Shawl, but I’ve been working on it a lot and I am ecstatic to say it is done!

I love how it came out. In the skein the yarns reminded me of sunrise and sunset, but worked up they make me think of ripe peaches and plums in a woven basket sitting on a wooden table with dappled sunlight falling through leaves. Yummy!

It’s a little smaller than I would normally make a shawl, but it completely used up the 2 skeins of yarn I had (from stash!). Any extra yarn I put in the tassels. Perfect.

tassels

Yarn: Araucania Nuble – 2 skeins (273 yds each) – 75% merino/ 25% silk – Colours: Yellow-Peach-Grey and Sienna-Magenta-Purple

Hook: 4.5 mm

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In Progress

My Fibonacci blanket is getting too big to cart around. Thusly, I have barely looked at it recently. This square is going to be done soon, though.

blanket

My Crochet shawl continues apace. As a knitter this is surprisingly easy to work on and I am enchanted with the play of light and colour in these two yarns.

shawl

My Pink Floyd socks are close to being finished. I have a few more inches left on the foot and then the toe and afterthought heel. I’m hoping to finish them this weekend.

socks

And here’s a sneak peek of a project I’m just about finished with! I can’t wait to tell you more about it next week! (Look, it has a pocket!!!)

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Works in Progress

I have a lot of things I am actively working on. And a lot more things I want to start…. Here’s what’s in progress.

My Fibonacci Blanket: the 3rd square is almost done. It only gets bigger (much, much bigger) from here.

blanket

Pink Floyd Socks: One done. Now to start the 2nd…

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Raindrops and Wildflowers cowl: I’m 2/3 done knitting this. The pattern is written, but needs revision.

raindrops and wildflowers

Half Granny Shawl: I am surprised by how much I enjoy this and how easy it is to work on. It’s growing by the day.

granny

Rumplestiltskin yarn: My singles are spun, and I’m 1/3-1/2 done with plying. The main hurdle is stringing 63,871,688 beads. It’s so pretty, though, that it’s worth it. Pattern suggestions for when it’s done? I’m thinking a shawl.

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