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Find Your Fade: Pattern Review and FO

December 7, 2017
Find Your Fade: Pattern Review and FO

I finished my Find your Fade Shawl! After much agonizing over color choices, much knitting, and a last minute change the shawl is complete! As predicted, it’s huge. It’s also really really pretty. Let us discuss.

The Pattern

Find Your Fade: Pattern Review and FO

Find Your Fade is perhaps the most famous of Andrea Mowry’s patterns, and for good reason. It’s accessible to knitters of all levels, extremely versatile, and incredibly fun to knit. The shawl utilizes a creative shaping technique involving a center decrease line.

In the first half of the shawl, the center decrease is paired with increases on either side. Once the shawl reaches the halfway point, it changes to double increases on one side, and a dropped yarn over on the other. It’s a really interesting construction, and I didn’t really see how it was going to work until the very end.  On top of the shaping, Find Your Fade features lace sections and color changes.

I found the pattern to be fairly easy once you got going, though a bit intimidating with my planned deviations. I liked the garter stitch, which made for ideal travel knitting. The lace really only needed concentration around the center decrease line, and I’ll admit that it fudged that part throughout the whole pattern. What I liked about Find Your Fade it that there’s always something going on, whether its a new color to appreciate or a lace section. 

My Modifications

Find Your Fade: Pattern Review and FO

I made modifications to construction of the shawl because I chose to only increase to 223 stitches before switching to the 2nd half of the shaping. This made it very slightly smaller than the original. 

I modified the lace section, because I got rid of the double yarn over, and just did a regular yarn over instead.

The colors were modified as well, because I chose to only use 5 colors rather than the full 7 (cheaper this way).  I did this by combining colors B and C, along with combining colors D and E. There was just barely enough using one skein of Malabrigo sock to finish colors D and E. My other modifications helped sneak it by, but it was a close call. 

The Yarns

Find Your Fade: Pattern Review and FO

Listed as shown from left to right:

Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Thunderhead – Great, affordable fingering weight yarn. Not as soft as the others, but sturdy and consistent. The color worked well for this project. 

Primrose Yarn Co. Adelaide in Cosmos – I discovered this yarn at StevenBe in Minneapolis. The dye job on this skein is just amazing. The colors are complex and incredible. It’s a single ply and very soft. It seemed pretty sturdy for a single ply as well. If my swift can’t break it, it will probably stand up to whatever you can throw at it. I would love to work with this yarn again.

Malabrigo Sock in Candombe – What can I say about Malabrigo that hasn’t been said already? It’s amazing. Candombe is one of my all time favorite colors as well. It looks like oil on water or a black feather when the sun hits it just right. I was worried that it wouldn’t mesh well with the rest of the fade because it has more of a cooler tone, which the rest of the colors are warmer, but I think it does pretty well.

Dream in Color Jilly in Cabaret – I picked this yarn up during the DFW yarn crawl. I especially loved watching the color changes on this. I’ve been wanting to try Dream in Color for a while and the colors did not disappoint!It is a single ply as well, and though I never had issues with breakage, there were a few sections where the yarn got a little thicker or had a bit of a bump. It was pretty rare, but it happened at least twice in my knitting. 

Dream in Color Smooshy in Wineberry – This was a last minute game change. I was going to use a golden yarn to tie into some of the yellows if the Dream in Color Jilly, but once I got a few rows in, the yellow looked too green. We were visiting a few yarn stores in San Francisco, and I picked this skein up at one of those. My only complaint is that it’s very heavy of a fingering. It’s really more like a DK. Luckily it isn’t too noticeable a transition in the pattern, but everyone who saw me using it was surprised to hear it was a fingering weight.

Find Your Fade: Pattern Review and FO

What do you think? Inspired to try your own fade shawl? I’m extremely happy with mine, and since we’ve got a cold snap coming through Dallas, I’m going to need it! I’d love to see your favorite color combos for a fade. Who knows, maybe I’ll knit another someday!

Finished Object Knitting

Bearly Bonnet: Pattern Review and FO

November 9, 2017
Bearly Bonnet

Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a good week. This week we have reached “it finally feels like fall” weather. Somehow we have also reached “Halloween’s over so let’s go straight to Christmas” with everything else. Come on, people! Respect Thanksgiving! If we extend the Christmas season too long, it won’t feel special. Speaking of seasons, I’m currently in the Everyone is Pregnant (but me) season of my life. Old coworkers, new coworkers, college friends, that girl you used to talk to a few years ago before she moved away. Everyone is preggers. The one perk to the everyone is preggo season, is that it allows for lots of cute baby knits. Like the Bearly Bonnet.

I swear, I tried to resist the Bearly Bonnet. It’s knit on size 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 needles, which is obnoxiously small. But it’s also obnoxiously cute. Look at those ears! Plus it’s a great unisex baby pattern, for those people who don’t know what they’re having. (Maybe it’s a pterodactyl! I hope so…)

The Pattern

Bearly Bonnet

First of all, the adorable Bearly Bonnet by Pure Stitches pattern is free. Score! I love not paying for patterns! (Like, freely given. I don’t steal them…) In terms of good free baby patterns, this one is going in my archives as a solid pattern. I will be making this again. Possible with leftovers from every section of my fade shawl, because it’s that cute.

Like I mentioned before, the Bearly Bonnet pattery is knit on ridiculously small needles. I used some mystery double pointed needles (DNPs) with no markings whatsoever for the ribbing. I have no clue what size they were, but they were smaller than my size 3 circular needles. Then I switched to the size 3 circulars for the rest of the hat.

Bearly Bonnet

 

I made a mistake on the pattern and didn’t join in the round as soon as I was supposed to, but I just sewed that section up at the end. The Bearly Bonnet pattern uses centimeters, rather than inches, so I just blazed through the section where it said to combine in the round. Whoops. The pattern is meant to fit like a bonnet, not like a beanie, so the brim is not a complete circle. Instead it has cute little tassels. 

The only criticism I have about the Bearly Bonnet pattern is that is was extremely vague about how to sew the ears onto the bonnet. I wish it had given a bit more detail about exactly where to put the ears, and maybe some help on the best type of stitch to use to sew them on. I used a whip stitch to attach them, but found that the edges were a little wonky that way. 

The Yarn

Bearly Bonnet

I used Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in the Thunderhead colorway. I used this color in section 1 of my fade shawl (still pending) and I had a lot left over. Some people have mentioned that this bonnet in gray has a tendency to look like a little mouse more than a little bear, but that doesn’t deter me. It’s still super cute. This would actually be really cute in any color. Maybe a bright red or a creamy white…You could even contrast the ears with the rest of the bonnet!

Bearly Bonnet

 

I like Stroll Tonal for this because it’s washable, and therefore good for babies. It’s not the softest yarn out there, but it’s not rough or scratchy either. It’s a fairly sturdy yarn and it gets the job done. I have noticed with Stroll Tonal that the texture is not always consistent between different skeins. I have a skein in green that feels much softer than this skein in gray. I’m not sure if the difference is in the color or when I bought the skein, but I believe that there is a bit of variation within Stroll. 

I would happily knit this pattern again, and in fact, I expect to! The whole thing took me maybe a weekend of casual knitting to finish, so it’s not a huge time commitment. I will probably consider buying circular needle in a size smaller than 3 for the ribbing on this. Doing it on DPNs was not the greatest decision. Once I get those, I’ll be unstoppable! Expect to see more Bearly Bonnets in the future, because it think it make the perfect baby knit!

Finished Object Knitting

Yoda Baby Hat and Lightsaber

October 19, 2017
Yoda Hat and Lightsaber

The observant among you will notice that I never shared the Yoda Hat from my Summer Knitting List. It was the last item of the Summer Knitting List that I had to share with you. I actually finished the hat a long time ago, but didn’t give it away until recently. The Hubs and I went to a baby shower this weekend where we were finally able to give the Yoda Hat to it’s recipient. But of course, I couldn’t stop with just the hat. We gave them a full Star Wars themed baby gift, complete with knitted lightsaber!

The Hat

 

I used this Yoda Hat pattern by Shinah Chang.  There are a LOT of other Yoda Hat designs out there, but this one seemed less floppy than the others. It was a fairly easy design to follow, and took maybe 2 days, tops. The ears were a little fiddly. They required a very tight gauge so they wouldn’t flop all over the place. They’re knit separate, and then sewn to the hat.I folded mine a little, like the pattern suggested, so that they would get that distinct Yoda curve. I think they turned out pretty well. 

Yoda Hat and Lightsaber

For the yarn, I used Cascade 220 Superwash Merino held double. I’m always stumped when it comes to yarn for baby projects, but I thought that a superwash wool seemed like a nice choice. I actually ended up really liking this yarn, and bought more to make a Veronika sweater out of it.  It’s very soft and smooth and easy to work with. I used color no. 11, which was the most olive toned of the green Cascade 220 options. Choosing a Yoda color was harder than I thought it would be, because he actually goes through a bit of color variation as he ages. This green is a little more Kermit than Yoda, but I still think it was the best choice.

The Lightsaber

 

Speaking of difficult color choices, did you realize that Luke goes through two different colored lightsabers? I wasn’t really aware of the fact until I went looking for reference pictures for my knitted lightsaber. He starts out with the blue lightsaber given to him by Uncle Ben/Obi-Wan Kenobi. This was the lightsaber originally constructed by Anakin and lost in Empire Strikes Back. This is the same lightsaber that Rey eventually uses in the most recent movies. Later, Luke constructs his own lightsaber (apparently using a synthetic lightsaber crystal, who knew?) and that one was green. Details…

Yoda Hat and Lightsaber

Eventually, I settled on making the blue lightsaber because:

  1. It match the pajamas we bought to go with it.
  2. It looked easier to knit.
  3. The Hubs said it would work better for a baby boy (I tend to get huffy about color coding babies, but sometimes you gotta go with the flow.).

 

I used mostly leftover acrylic trash yarn for the lightsaber. The silver and blue were both Vanna’s Choice, and the black was some Hobby Lobby yarn. I made up the pattern as I went. I am not sharing it here, because it is Not a Good Pattern. There was a lot of fudging going on. I wish I had stuffed the end product a little tighter, because it had a slight tendency to droop and look a little…suggestive… Still, I’m happy with how it turned out. For a baby toy, I think it will be fine.

We paired the two knitted gifts with a Star Wars pajama set and a little gold book about being a Jedi. I thought it was pretty cute. Themed gifts make things so much more fun. I’m on the lookout for new baby patterns now. I am currently in that All My Friend Are Making Babies (On Purpose) stage of life, so I need lots of baby knit ideas. What is your favorite baby knitting pattern? Got any suggestions for my next baby knits?