Zephyr MKAL is Almost Done!

Posted: 04/07/2014 in Knitting

There is just one clue left in the Zephyr MKAL on Ravelry! All that’s left on the little cardigan is sleeves and weaving in the ends, and it’ll be finished. I’m rather low on yarn, so I’ll be knitting the shortest available sleeve variation.

I also took the time to pick out some cute mis-matched buttons that match the blue and green flecks in the yarn. I happen to think they look quite cute, even if my camera decided to wash the colour out of the yarn in half the photos!

I think I’d have preferred a faster MKAL for this – I knit the baby size version as recommended so I could keep up with the MKAL, planning to use the final pattern to knit larger size cardigans for my nieces afterwards. But as it is, we’re already into Summer and it feels a bit late to start knitting gifts for Summer clothes, knowing they’ll get a month of wear of them and probably have grown out of them by next year. After all, we won’t even get the clue for the sleeves for this for another 10 days. If not a faster paced MKAL, perhaps it would have been good to start the MKAL earlier in the year, timed so it would finish in time for the cardigans to be ready to wear all Summer long.

That said, I enjoyed this pattern a lot – it’s got a simple enough pattern that it would make an easy introduction to lace for newer knitters, but is quick and satisfying enough not to get boring. It’s also easy to modify – I saw some knitters on the MKAL knit the lace pattern into the side panels rather than using garter stitch, to great effect, and I could see a similar triangle of lace used to enhance bell shaped sleeves working very well indeed.

I may have to experiment with some variations like that when I do finally get the chance to knit a version for my nieces later on.

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Fabulous Modelling by Boggle the Owl

Progress is going well on the Zephyr MKAL.  It’s a really easy pattern, and has the advantage of being incredibly quick to knit, as well.  We received clue 3 yesterday, which carries on past the lace portion until the sleeve stitches are slipped onto waste yarn.  I’ll be interested to see where we go from here – will their be shaping?  Is it going to be an open, drapey, triangle-shaped cardigan or something more close-fit?  Will there be pockets?  Will the simple lace be repeated on pockets and/or sleeves?  So far it’s been a very simple pattern and I’m eager to see where it goes.

DSCN0019Clue 3 also included optional shaping to raise the back, making for a more fitted neckline.  I’m always up for anything that will improve the fit of a pattern, and the shaping was so fast and simple that I couldn’t say no.  I’m very pleased with how it looks!

Now, on to the pattern request.

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So, as you know I recently finished spinning up some lovely laceweight merino fibre in my Piscean skein.  The yarn has been wound into a big ball for ease of knitting, and the only thing is I need to find something to knit with it!  It’s very difficult to choose a pattern, and I’d appreciate any suggestions people have.

So far, I’ve narrowed my choices down to:

Moth Kisses by Anne Hanson

I love decorative ruffle cuffs, and these lace-weight cuffs with an attractive design and scalloped hem look like just my sort of thing.  They use 150 yards of yarn, so I could conceivably knit 2 pairs with my Piscean and still have 100 yards or so left over.

 

Celeste by Silvia Harding

I love shawls and have been itching for the opportunity to try my hand at one in a light enough weight for Summer wear.  The Celeste uses 400 yards for the smallest size, and as I have about 405 of my yarn to play with I would HAVE to knit the small size, which might make it too small for me to wear (although I do have narrow shoulders for my size).  I love the beading, the ornate back and the pointed hem.

 

Morticia by Boo Knits

Now this one is tricky.  I am absolutely in love with it, with the beads and the very pointy hem and the loose, open lace that all comes together for an elegant but dishabille gothic look.  It would be my choice hands down.  But the shawl needs 840 yards of yarn, and I have a mere 400 and change.  To knit this, I’d need to either track down another 100g of fibre in the same colour as what I already have – a challenge as the supplier that blended it no longer exists – or track down a complimentary coloured fibre and knit the pattern striped, which may affect the overall look quite a lot.  I also wonder if I shouldn’t save this one for use with a more explicitly gothic coloured yarn.

Others I like include:

Cumulus Shawl

Creekwood

Plenocaris

Trufa

What do you think?  Should I knit the Moth Kisses, and make a spare pair?  Or the Celeste, and risk it being too small for me?  Or the Morticia, and start hunting for fibre?  Or can you think of another suitable pattern to make use of my Piscean yarn?  Offer your suggestions in the comments! (If suggesting something new, please note it needs to be for laceweight yarn, under 405 yards total, and for knitting rather than crochet).

Zephyr MKAL WIP

Posted: 26/05/2014 in Knitting
Tags: , , , ,
Spoilers!

Spoilers!

 

I’m one of the lucky people who got a place in the Zephyr mystery knit-a-long over on Ravelry.  Zephyr is a children’s cardigan pattern with a circular yoke and lace sections, designed to work well in Summer cotton or Winter wool, and goes from sizes for 1 year old to 16.  People who complete the MKAL will get a copy of the pattern for free!

I’ve got two nieces, aged 9 and 10, so naturally I snapped up the chance to take part!  The MKAL is timed, with people needing to complete each clue on schedule in order to receive the next.  So, for peace of mind, I’m knitting a baby-size one for the MKAL that I’ll probably donate to a shelter or charity organisation needing baby clothes.  I plan to get started on a child-size sample for the nieces soon though, and I’ll post updates here as I go!

For now, here’s some pictures of the WIP.  Spoilers, for those of you following the MKAL!

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I’m trying to work my way through my fibre stash at the moment.  I’ve got a few bundles of fibre I haven’t used for much, and it’d be great to get them spun and cleared so the only fibre I have left to worry about is my ouessant fleeces.  The latest finished skein is from a little 100g bag of merino fibre – the last bit of fibre I was able to get from Forest Fibres before they closed up shop.  It’s the same blue blend as my very first spinning project – the bulky blue fibre plied with silk thread from a few years ago.

This time, I wanted to get as much out of the fibre as I could.  And, now I’m getting the hang of spinning very fine threads to ply, I decided to try my hand at a little laceweight.

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The finished fibre is lovely – Two skeins, one slightly larger than the other.  They total 105g of laceweight 2-ply, at 21 WPI and just a hair over 400 yards of yarn.  The original blend of colours is still visible running through the fibre, and I cannot wait to see how it knits up.  I’m hoping the varied colours will create little bands of subtle almost-stripes, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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The big question of course, is what am I going to knit with it?  400 yards of laceweight seems to be enough for a pair of fingerless gloves, or mitts, or a cowl or shawlette, based on my Ravelry search (yarn weight; lace, yardage; 300-450 yards, craft; knitting, has photo; yes, sort by; most projects).  As much as I love the fibre I’m not sure I’d wear something in this specific blend of blues, so I might have a look at some patterns for things I could knit as gifts – maybe something pretty for my bestie, or big sis-in-law, or maybe something cute for the nieces – I bet I can get a couple pairs of child-size accessories out of this!

 

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Sorry about the extended radio silence.  I’ve been doing LOTS of crafting, I just don’t seem to have had the time to post about it.  Well, hopefully that’s going to change and as part of that I’m going to share some of the projects I’ve been getting on with since… wow the end of October, huh?

First up, Spinning!

The ouessant fleece has hit a road block, since I’ve found it is simply not in good enough condition to spin without carding it first, and despite continuously searching I haven’t yet got ahold of any carders – I keep bidding on them on Ebay, but those things get way too expensive way too fast, for what is essentially two pieces of wood with carding fabric attached!  I now have another two fleeces in addition to the original two, with three more to come soon.  They’re getting washed as soon as I get them, but I am EAGER to get on with things, so if anyone knows somewhere I can pick up some second-hand carders for under £20 please let me know.

Fortunately, I have been working on other spinning.  First up, a lovely bit of spinning I did from some fibre my fiancé  bought me for my birthday.

This is a wonderfully soft blend of shetland, corriedale and merino that mixes a variety of greys, black and purple for an overall rich, plummy colour.  The fibre is 2-ply, around a light fingering weight after plying and for only 100g of fibre turned out to be quite a decent amount for knitting from.  I was able to create a lovely pair of beaded ruffle cuffs and still have about 100 yards left over – not quite enough for another pair of cuffs, but I plan to spin up or purchase a complimentary grey or black fibre and make something stripey with the two.

 

The pattern I used is the excellent, and economical Spring Frills pattern on Ravelry.  When I say economical, please note that this is an understatement.  My finished skein measured around 265 yards and I have about 100 left.  I got two very pretty frilly ruffle cuffs for just around 160 yards of fingering weight merino, which is frankly impressive.  I could’ve made extra-long cuffs on these with the fibre I had and probably not run out before I was done.  It’s a fantastic and very quick pattern, and it’d be a great go-to pattern for last minute gift knitting.

It’s really difficult to get pictures that show the colour variations accurately – the purple in the fibre is most on the red end of the spectrum, which can be difficult to photograph accurately.  I took some in-progress pictures of the whole thing, though, and overall I think you get a pretty accurate idea of the colour blends.  Of course, one of my cats had to make an appearance at some point.  I really love being able to make something from scratch to this degree – spinning up fibre and then knitting with the resulting yarn.  I get a real sense of achievement when I see the finished project at the end.