Here's the sneak peak I promised you yesterday at progress on Drachenfels, which for those of you who haven't seen it, is a large, asymmetric shawl, knit side to side.


I've completed just about the first third of it here.  It's rather lovely just as it is, but I want the full large shawl to use on cold airplanes and winter nights.

This thought made me curious about the final dimensions, so I did a quick download of the pattern to check.  Apparently I was a little bit too quick, as I downloaded the French version, which tells me:

            Dimensions finales

            Châle triangulaire légèrement asymétrique de 83“ [210 cm] par 25.5“ [65 cm] (voir le schéma) 

It sounds so charming!  And I'm guessing, since I speak no French, that it's indicating my final version should be around 83" in length and 25.5" as the maximum height of the triangle.

One note about color placement.  If I were following the pattern as written, I would have only used the pink (The Plucky Knitter's Decorum Dictates) and the gray (The Plucky Knitter's Medieval).  The yellow/green (The Plucky Knitter's Good 'Ole Days) would have only come into play in the midsection stripes.  I wanted a bit more of a uniform feel, so I tucked two of the green stripes into this side, and will balance that with two stripes of the pink on the far side. 


A New Start & A Near Finish. And Something in Between.

In this week's knitting:

A new start.  The Forest Park Cowl in The Plucky Knitter's Primo Aran in Heirloom Green.  With all of its bonny cables, this pattern feels like it fell right off the pages of Outlander.  I've started this as an easy project to carry around, but plan on finishing a few in-the-works projects before I get serious about it.

image from images4.ravelrycache.com

An "almost there." Frostline is all done and just awaiting its lace edging.  And I'm in love!


Vodka Lemonade.  Will it ever end?


Just kidding Vodka Lemonade.  I really do love you.  The 7" of seed stitch in the collar on all 300+ stitches was sort of a bummer.  And then keeping the various columns of seed stitch and ribbing straight, along with the right side increases, as I worked from the top of the shoulders shoulders down to the point where the sleeve stitches can go on a holder and the body be worked alone was a bit of a challenge for me.  But I'm almost to that point, and it should be quite simple from here on out.  I'm looking forward to the lace bits at the bottom.

Fit is still a challenge for me with sweaters.  But I'm going to work on that.  In September I'm going to a knitting retreat and taking "Knit to Flatter" with Amy Herzog.  In the meantime, I'll give Vodka Lemonade my best effort, because I love the pattern, the yarn, and the color.


Nighttime Knitting. Or Not.

*If you are looking for the post about the Adventurous April Knitalong and the Yarn Giveaway, click here.


I had plans to start the final repeat of my Tipperary Shawl tonight.  I spread it out on my bed and went off to grab a few things I needed.  

My cats typically ignore my knitting, but apparently there is an exception for Plucky Snug yarn — perhaps it's the bit of Alpaca in it?  Whatever the reason, Harry, my Maine Coon Cat, decided there were more important things to do than knit tonight.  Like snuggle all the knitting.

I really wanted to knit, though.  There are so many stitches in each row now that it's going to take me a while to get through the final repeat of 20 rows and the cast off.  I really wanted to get started.  So I tried to gently shoo Harry away with promises of kitty treats later on.  But he got feisty.


I had to buy him off with promises of a knit toy if there were any leftovers. Not much knitting around here tonight.  Hopefully tomorrow!



Knitting A Sweater

Sweaters have always been a knitting nemesis for me, so let's just get it right out there.  I'm not a math geek.  It took me a long time to appreciate both stitch and row gauge.  I have a lot of bloopers in my knitting past (I'm thinking about you pint-sized Agnes that was meant for me and you Little Red, that looks to be turning out even smaller), although I've also had some successes.  Those were mostly despite myself or on baby sweaters.


So now we have Vodka Lemonade, the first of my post-self awareness about gauge sweaters.  Isn't it pretty?  That's the Plucky Knitter's Crew, a cotton and merino blend that feels great to knit with and that I'm convinced will be light enough for spring in Alabama. I've also become convinced that the color is a neutral, or at least it is for me since my wardrobe is mostly black and gray.

But, the question is going to be fit.



Here are the start of the raglan increases.  The pattern suggests about 30 of them in my size, and yes, I am good on gauge so far.  But since this is top down, I'm going to try to take advantage of the opportunity to try on, to measure me, measure the knitting, measure other sweaters that I like the fit of, and NAIL this one.  Or at least end up with a sweater that fits.

I am not a fast knitter at the best of times (plus the kids do seem to like having dinner on the table at night) and this yarn is a light dk weight.  So this sweater is, in some ways, going agonizingly slowly for me.  At the same time, it's a very pleasurable knit once you establish the rhythm of the border edges and the increase stitches on either side of the sleeves.  And I am apparently a freak of nature because I enjoy knitting seed stitch.  So I'm not in any hurry to finish, although I do want to wear the sweater this spring/summer.

I'll share my progress on this one with you over the next few weeks, although I plan to knit it along with Drachenfels, so expect slow but sure progress.  And please keep me in your thoughts on the issues of gauge and fit.  I'm going to need all the support I can get!


Cold Snap Hat. And It’s Just In Time.

Amy Miller's Cold Snap Hat was among the patterns released in in The Plucky Knitter's All Bundled Up Collection.  I started mine, with the leftovers from my Olivia wrap, the minute I cast off.  I couldn't wait because loved the yarn so much, with its beautiful teal green colorway, which seems to defy capture on film (particularly in late night hotel room photography).  And the weather forecast for Alabama was cold.  Very cold.

This is how my Cold Snap looked after that first bit of knitting.


If you look carefully, you'll notice the cables are wonky.  I misread the pattern and inserted two purls in place of two knit stitches throughout.  The mistake popped into focus for me as I was finishing the fourth cable repeat.  In my defense, I've been fighting the flu for the last week, and it doesn't seem to do a lot to improve my pattern reading skills.


So, I ripped out back to the ribbing to start over.  Yes, that fabulous background is me, wearing my husbands fleece pajama pants.  I'm not proud when I'm sick.


A lot of people who have knit Cold Snap mention that it is a quick knit. I thought that those comments must have come from knitters who are not like me — I am a slow but steady knitter, with lots of distraction in my life.  But they were absolutely right.  It's a stunningly quick knit. I've been listening to one of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami's, Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World on Audible (one of the guilty pleasures of being sick) and Cold Snap seems to be knitting itself.

You can follow my progress on my Ravelry Project Page for my "It's a Snap" version of Cold Snap.  I'll note needle sizes and other notes on the yarn and this project to help those who are starting out.  I'm going to sit back down and finish mine now.  It looks like I'm just in time!



Olivia At Last


I'm done with Olivia!  Despite some last minute, late night concerns about finishing the short rows and some early struggles with fisherman's rib, I'm finished and really very please with the result.


I like the color.  In case you've forgotten, since it's taken me months to do the knitting, this is the Plucky Knitter's Holloway colorway on her Primo Aran yarn.  Lovely.


Let's be candid.  Because we are all friends here.

There are mistakes in my Olivia.  Mistakes I did not fix.  I struggled to fix mistakes in the rib, so I finally decided that the two places with mistakes needed to stay.  And I needed to embrace them because, well, Olivia is not perfect and neither am I.  Good reminder of my limitations.


I love her despite, or perhaps even because of, her mistakes.  She's so warm and scrunchy, even though the yarn grew and softened with a good wet blocking.  I'm hoping my model will give her back to me at some point.  It's been hours, but she still shows no signs of returning Olivia to me.


I've got almost three-fourths of the last skein left, so I've cast on a hat to match.  I love the host of cables. Hopefully with a three day weekend, there will be some time to knit this up.


Knitting with Dragons. Color Choices. Why I Knit.

Drachenfels, which means Dragon Cliffs in German, is also a wonderful pattern by Melanie Berg for a multi-colored, knit shawl.


(c) Melanie Berg (with permission)

My plan is to knit it with sport-weight cashmere from The Plucky Knitter.

The issue?  Color selection.  I have some choices ahead.


Choice One: the blue color is Thank You Note, and truth be told, it is probably my all time favorite color.  The green is called Good Old Days, and the first time I saw it, I wondered who could possibly like it.  The answer is me.  I've got a hat on my needles in it, a sweater in a related shade in progress, and plans to do another sweater (because I want a pullover in this color in addition to the cardigan I'm knitting). I adore it, and although as a kid I was told I couldn't wear green, this one works for me.  And gray.  Because I love gray.


Choice Two: It's hard to capture the depth of this teal blue-green.  It's the same color as the Olivia I currently have in progress, which I've also been unable to get an accurate color photo of.


Choice Three: I am not a colorful person.  But I could be, especially if I knit Drachenfels up like this!


Choice Four: Ignore Thank You Note on the left, and focus on the delicious introduction of Cabernet, the red, with the pink (Decorum Dictates) and the light gray.  This one might be impossible to resist.


Choice Five: My original thought was to go with the two grays and the scummy green.  But the contrast wasn't high enough.  Then Decorum Dictates, the blush pink, dropped into my lap while they were out.  The three on the left — pink, gray, and green.


Choice Six: Another strong contender (ok, they are all strong contenders or we wouldn't be having this wishy-washy post), I originally thought about doing this is the red and grays combination, and this is the yarn I ordered for Drachenfels.  And I still love it.  I love them all.  I think they would all be splendid.  So, I'm having a hard time deciding.


Choice Seven: Finally, there is this lovely concoction of gray, blue, and red.  It will look good with black, which is a must in my wardrobe.  It is both unusual and familiarly comforting.  I like it a lot.  But then, as we have previously established, I like all of them.

So help me out.  Let me know what you like and why.  What would be practical.  What would be whimsical.  Help me decide on colors for my Drachenfels, and consider joining me! Drachenfels has been knit 511 times on Ravelry (as of this posting) and in such a wide variety of yarns!

This project pretty much sums up why I knit.  Beautiful colors.  Wonderful, soft fibers.  Texture.  The planning is as much fun as the knitting.  The finished project will be surreal.  Truly, I cannot wait!