Field trip

Went on a yarn field trip last week…needed some stuff to play with my newly developed obsession with two color brioche.

The dark purple bit of lovely is Shibui Knits’ Silk Cloud in Velvet.  The fluff in plastic is two disks of Lopi’s Plötulopi, one in white and one in purple, but I don’t see color names.  And the other goodness is Malabrigo’s Lace in Natural (white), Polar Morn (gray), Archangel (pink), and Whale’s Road (blue).

And no, they’re not all getting used together!  The Shibui is probably going with the light purple stuff I got from Martin’s Lab a few weeks ago (there’s a swatch of it if you look back a few posts).  The Malabrigo stuff will probably get paired off (not sure which with which just yet…there will be swatching).  And the Lopi I want to try doing brioche with…not sure how it will come out, but I’m interested to see.

But…that’s probably the most yarn I’ve bought in a day in…oh…years. So I thought it deserved a bit of stash flash!

Out of order

So some time very soon now, I’ll do the thing I’m supposed to do. I’ll show you the first swatch, and the second swatch, and the third swatch, and I’ll show you the yarn I bought, and I’ll tell you about my thoughts and plans.

That’s all the stuff I /should/ do before I show you this swatch.
But instead I’m showing you this one because I’m so stinking pleased with it I can’t bear to keep it to myself one moment longer and am basically accosting strangers on the internet and going ‘look what I made’ like some sort of deranged preschooler.
You should prepare yourselves for a fair bit of this if I’m being honest. You’ve been warned.

Avail (plus giveaway)

Do you ever get a mental block about something…you tell yourself it’s going to be hard, or fiddly, or you’re going to feel like an idiot while you try it?  Well I had that mental block about short rows…but then I had a hat in my head that just flat out required short rows…and then I decided to get over it.  Avail is the result!

Now if you’re where I was and thinking short rows are hard, here’s the part where I say that they’re not.  All you do (for this hat at least) is stop knitting in the round for a second and instead knit back and forth for a little while.  That’s it…that’s really all there is to it.  I’ve seen new knitters do that as a mistake…  I can do that, and you can do it too.

And if you’re one of those clever folks who got on the short row train a long time ago, then I’ll congratulate you.  And we can talk about how cute this is instead of how easy it is!  Because really, that’s sort of adorable.  I swear it’s just the right amount of slouchy (enough to be easy to wear…not so much as to look faintly ridiculous).  And the wavy hem has been super cute on everyone I’ve tried it on!

And if you’re still feeling timid, you can start with the cuffs instead of the hat.  You can’t be scared of anything that tiny.  Once you’ve done one and you see how nifty it is, you’ll be itching to tackle the hat.

And of course you’ll have all the fun that comes with picking yarns.  I used Swans Island’s Pure Blends Worsted for the background (it looks like they may have changed the name of this to Sterling since my tag was printed…that seems to be the same fiber content and yardage and structure, just different colors) and Shibui’s Silk Cloud (held double) for the contrast.  But this is super flexible (especially in what you use for the contrast yarn), and I suspect you’ve got something in your stash you can use.  And if not, I’ve got yarn to give away over on Instagram!

And for everyone I can’t send yarn to, I’ve got a coupon for Avail.  You can use the code AVAIL to get 10% off between now and Friday.  Just put Avail in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code AVAIL.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

So give it a shot.  Either you’re already a short row pro (in which case you’ll have fun and end up with some adorable pieces) or you’re a short row novice (in which case you’ll feel oh so much better about them when you’re done, plus have fun and end up with some adorable pieces).  There’s really no bad outcome here!

 

Two at a time

Cuff the second is well underway.  And it’s actually gotten seasonably cold around here, so I’m eager to have them done (and photographed…around here ‘done’ also includes ‘has had proper pattern photos taken’) so I can wear them.

I’m totally holding the green yarn (it’s Silk Cloud by Shibui) double as I work it.  That’s both to make it a bit more substantial (though really, it’s pretty darn sturdy even with just one layer, I love how these cuffs worked with just one strand came out) and to give me a bit more of that delightful halo you get with mohair/silk yarns like this.

I just pull from the inside and outside of the ball at the same time, and I don’t have any problems with that.  But a few folks have looked at this aghast and informed me the ensuing tangles will bring the whole world to an end.  So if you’re worried, you’re totally allowed to divide your ball in two and work it that way instead.

 

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Faith

No really…I totally know it looks funny.  I do.  But I’ve been trying it on and I have faith in the powers of blocking, and I am pretty darn confident it will work out.

I sort of love the way it sits on my hand.  I’m finding myself fond of asymmetry these days.

And I’m also sort of loving putting it on inside out and folding the top part back and giving it a bracelet feel.

And yes, it will look much better after I weave in the ends and block it properly.  But I totally think it’s going to work out!

 

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Chicken

So the hat needed some cuffs to go with it (this pretty much always feels like the go to move in my world…I love having matching head and hand things more than I can possibly explain).  But I knew I was rather short on yarn.  So I carefully carefully divided the yarn in half (if you don’t have a scale, do yourself a favor and get one, I have and love this one).  Then I cast on and distracted myself as I slogged through a tube of ribbing.

Then came the ever so much more entertaining swoopy bits.

And the gleeful realization that yes, indeed, I was totally going to win the game of yarn chicken…just barely.

Next up, green bits!

 

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So worth it

Done!  And all the ripping (yes, even of lace weight mohair) was totally worth it.  The wobbly lines wobble in an ever so much more pleasingly rounded way.

The whole thing has retained its endearing rocket ship vibe.

I expect it all to mellow out a fair bit with blocking.

And even the crown (admittedly less energetic than most of mine, but still satisfying) is amusing me.

Now, of course, I think we need some cuffs to match, don’t you?

 

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Version 2

So the good news is that last time’s mistakes mean I knew just what I wanted for this iteration.  The green was too pretty to use such narrow stripes, so those are wider.

And the curve wanted to be much more evenly rounded.

Decreases are underway, and the rest won’t take long at all.

 

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All’s well…until it’s not

Things had been going along swimmingly.  The green yarn came (Shibui Silk Cloud in Apple, and yummy stuff it is), wobbly bits continued to wobble, and all was well.

Until I took it off the needles and laid it down to really look at the shape of the curve.

At which point I decided the bottom was too flat and the top too pointy and had a bit of a sulk.

And then had a bit of a rip (anybody else think it looks like ramen when it’s ripped?).

And then shortly after that had a bit of a reknit, which you’ll see next time.  But allowing time for proper sulking really is vital, don’t forget that part.

 

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Chlorochrous & Shibui

I’m using the Curls preorder to introduce the patterns and yarns from the book. I’ll be featuring a new pair each day. Most of the yarn companies have donated lovely prizes, so come back every day to see what’s new!
 Chlorochrous in Staccato by Shibui 

14 shibui smallThere are days (I decline to say how many), when I need just a little extra help to get through the day — some sort of extra armor to keep me safe from the world (or just possibly to keep the world safe from me).  It has not escaped my notice that you can wear Curls as something rather closely resembling a superhero cape.  A stylish, modern superhero cape of course, but a superhero cape none the less.  Now of course you may not need a superhero cape, and if that’s the case, you can wear yours in a host of other ways.  But on the off chance you occasionally need a bit of extra armor too, I wanted to be sure you knew.

And I can totally see Shibui yarns having super powers.  The two used here are Staccato (that’s the main yarn) and Silk Cloud (that’s the accent yarn, held when you work the rows with the lovely floats.  Shibui does an amazing job of having interesting bases, dyed in the exact same colors, that play beautifully together.  It leads to all sorts of possible combinations.  Every time I see their yarns I have a whole host of new ideas.  I love how these two played together here!