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Gully : Pattern Review and FO

August 17, 2017
Gully Cowl: Pattern Review and FO

This week I’m excited to share a project of firsts with you. Gully is not only my first project with brioches lace, but my first project with Brooklyn Tweed’s new Vale lace weight yarn! I knit Gully as part of Brooklyn Tweed’s Summer of Lace Knit Along. It traveled with me to Minneapolis and back and I learned a lot about brioche along the way. One of my goals for this year was to get better at brioche and, while this pattern was a challenge, It was a good challenge and I’m delighted by how it turned out.

Gully Cowl: Pattern Review and FO

The Pattern

Gully is a small, brioche lace cowl that can be knit in less than on skein of Brooklyn Tweed’s Vale. This may have contributed to my decision to make it because I wanted to try Vale, but I’m on a budget, dangit! It produces a very light and lofty cowl, which is great, because sometimes bulky cowls in the winter make me want to strangle somebody. The loftyness is the result of the brioche stitch and it’s wonderful three dimensional texture and a very strong blocking. Seriously, this thing grew a LOT when I blocked it.

The pattern, like all Brooklyn Tweed patterns, is beautifully written. It is very clear in it’s instructions for the special techniques. The lace portion quickly becomes manageable after a little time of focus. I did have a bit of confusion on the top and botton ribbing of the cowl. The pattern said to repeat rows 1 and 2 14 times and I wasn’t sure if that meant 14 rows total or 28 rows total. I did 14, because I was impatient. I don’t think that was technically correct, but the cowl came out fine anyways.

The other thing that I would say about that pattern is that it does not make for good travel knitting. It is concentration knitting. It is not good “there was turbulence on the plane and crap I dropped a stitch” knitting. If you are prone to dropping stitches, a lifeline might be a good idea for this project, because dropped stitches in brioche suuuuuck. If you find that you have, in fact, dropped a stitch, I found this video to be particularly helpful:

Despite my travel struggles, I’m really happy with how this cowl turned out. Like all Brooklyn Tweed Patterns, it has the feel of an heirloom piece. It is classic, subtle and elegantly designed. Jared Flood is an elf among hobbits when it comes to design and it shows in Gully. I can’t wait for colder weather so I can wear it more often.

Gully Cowl: Pattern Review and FO

The Yarn

Gully was my first chance to try Brooklyn Tweed’s new Vale lace weight yarn. Vale prides itself on being 100% Rambouillet fleece, and Brooklyn Tweed’s softest yarn yet. The verdict? Vale is, in fact, soft. I can wear it close to my neck with no issues. That being said, it is still definitely a wooly yarn. It is a fairly smooth yarn and has a consistent texture, but it’s not really squishy smooshy soft. It’s like Knit Picks Pallete had an older sister who went to university and studied abroad and wears designer clothes. It’s refined, polished and effective at what it does. Still, you’re buying it for the color and consistency, not for the softness.

I can say that while this yarn feels super delicate, it can stand up to some decent abuse. Because brioche and planes don’t mix, I had to rip back this yarn…a few times (a lot). Some yarns tend to get a little frayed and fuzzy with this much frogging, but Vale handled it surprisingly well. So far, I’ve seen no pilling, and don’t think that I really will. This yarn was designed for “heirloom-quality lace projects,” and I firmly believe that it will stand up to that description. 

I would absolutely use Vale again. I love it’s range of colors, it’s warm and earthy feel and it’s polished finished appearance. While I don’t see myself taking any major lace projects on anytime soon, when I do, I know that I can rely on Vale to provide a consistent, easy to work with yarn.

 

Knitting Lifestyle

5 Shawls I Can’t Wait to Cast On

August 10, 2017
5 Shawls I Cant Wait to Cast On

Hello everyone! What at week it’s been! I was caught by surprised with a little stomach bug this weekend, and before I could get my schedule back on track we welcomed a new niece into the world! Oh, and we started Whole 30 (mostly) again. It’s been a whirlwind. Despite all that, I was finally able to finish up my Gully shawl and block it, so pictures will be coming soon! 

I’m approaching the tail end of my summer knitting list and my strength is waning. I’ve got cast-on-itis. Give me all the bright colors. Or all the neutral colors. Or literally anything other than what I’m supposed to be knitting. right. now… (Not that my current project is bad. It’s totally not it’s fault. I’m just not feeling it this week.) 

So of course, my eye has been wandering a little bit. I’m anxiously waiting for Fall, so shawls are on my mind. I’m slowly putting together a small fade (5 colors), but I’m 3 colors in and I’m stuck. I’ve also got a nice skein of gray tonal sock yarn that could become a lovely wardrobe stable. Of course, there’s always the option of new yarn, but I’m trying to save my pennies.  With this in mind, here are some of the patterns that have caught my eye lately:

Aperture  by Ambah O’Brien

Aperture - 5 Shawls I'm Itching to Cast On

Aperture represents my favorite style of shawl; light, symmetrical and polished. It looks airy enough for early fall and the lace means that you can get the most out of one skein on yarn. I could see myself wearing a shawl like this, either in gray, or in my leftover Quince and Co. Finch in Honey from my Tegna Sweater. It can be knit in two sizes (small shown) but since I’m limited on yarn I would probably stick to the smaller version.

For You by Julia Swart

For You - 5 Shawls I'm Itching to Cast On

This is where you can start to see my fade angst creeping in. For You is a shawl designed for the use of leftover yarn or mini skeins. I’m tempted to just put together a bundle of mini skeins to satisfy my loud and bright (and speckled!) cravings. I don’t really have a lot of bright scraps from my projects. (If anyone wants to swap leftovers, hit me up!) I like For You because it’s a manageable shawl size; not shlanket sized like Find Your Fade. It’s a simple, easy to interpret pattern that lends itself to multiple adaptations. I don’t know how long I can hold off my craving for brights, but For You is calling me…

Soft Sunday by Suvi Simola

Soft Sunday - 5 Shawls I'm Itching to Cast On

Aaand we’re back to neutrals! Soft Sunday looks exactly how it sounds. Soft, squishy and comforting. I love the imagery that the name give. It incorporates garter stitch, which I happen to love, and some lace for interest. I love it just as it’s shown in the picture, in a creamy neutral. I could see this working in a gray, mustard or muted blue as well. Honestly, it would look good in pretty much any of YOTH’s colorways. Soft Sunday would make a great late fall, early winter shawl. We’ll see if it makes it onto my knit list.

Nelia by Ambah O’Brien

Nelia - 5 Shawls I'm Itching to Cast On

Nelia might look like the same thing as Aperture and it’s by the same designer, but don’t be fooled! It’s is actually more parallelogram in shape than triangular. This shawl does not come to a point in the middle, but stays straight. This is SUPER appealing to me, because I usually wear my shawls as scarves and I have having to check to make sure my point in centered. This takes care of the problem. I’m also a sucker for that toffee color… Out of all the shawls featured today, this might be my favorite.

Stormy Sky Shawl by Life is Cozy

Stormy Sky - 5 Shawls I'm Itching to Cast On

Are you noticing a color trend yet?? I want it to be Fall already… I was drawn to Stormy Sky because of it’s tassels. Aren’t they the cutest? It’s a very Harry Potter vibe if you ask me. I think they add just the right touch to create interest in this shawl. Without the tassels, I don’t know that this shawl would really stand out. With tassels, it looks like it’s waiting for a nice window seat with a favorite book and a cup of tea (preferably while it rains outside). The Stormy Sky shawl seems very on trend with non knitting fashion as well. I could totally see a non knitter wearing this too.

 

 

 

Finished Object Knitting Lifestyle

Tegna Sweater : Pattern Review

July 13, 2017

Summer knitting is coming along nicely. How is everyone else doing with their projects? The first of two summer Knitalongs that I decided to participate in was the Tegna Sweater KAL with Caitlin Hunter (@boylandknitworks). KAL #2(The Summer of Lace KAL with Brooklyn Tweed) is currently kicking my butt, so we’re not going to talk about it…

Tegna Sweater

The Pattern

Tegna is a short, slightly dolman sleeved, cropped sweater with a lacy hem. The pattern itself is delightfully easy and totally manageable for a short summer knit. It’s knit up in a fingering weight yarn, which creates a very versatile weight. I often find that the worsted and bulky weight sweaters that fly off my needles never get work in the Texas heat. Fingers crossed that this fingering weight sweater can get a little bit more use!

Tegna Sweater

The focal feature of Tegna is the lace section along the hem. While is looks really difficult, I didn’t have a ton of trouble with it. You definitely have to keep track on your lace chart, because there’s not a lot of repeat from row to row. That being said, it’s pretty easy to read where the pattern is going. After the lace, the rest is  nothing but relaxing stockinette. For the neck hem, you have the option of binding off and picking up stitches, or placing neck stitches on a holder. I bound them off, but next time I think i would use a holder.

Tegna is really flexible when it comes to gauge. I used size 5 needles for most of it, but needle sizes can vary widely. I also made my Tegna pretty fitted, while other have done a more loose and drapey version. I love that the pattern can be so versatile and still look great! I would totally try knitting this again in a drapey linen or silk blend.

Tegna Sweater

The Yarn

I knit Tegna using 4 skeins of Quince and Co. Finch in the color Honey. I expected to use more than 4 skeins, so I preemptively ordered more, but I didn’t end up using them. Finch is a 100% wool fingering weight yarn. It is very consistent in texture and has great stitch definition. Some users have complained about pilling, but I haven’t noticed any issues so far. It did bleed a little bit of color in the wash, but otherwise I’ve had no issues with it. It’s an easy to knit with yarn and I enjoy the color palette.

The only issue I have with Quince and Co. is that their online stock doesn’t always update very quickly. If they run out of a color, it can be quite some time until they restock, which is why I was so skittish about running out of yarn. Despite this, I would use the yarn again, and would love to try out some different colors. I am in love with this honey color though…

Tegna Sweater

I’m hoping I get a lot of wear out of this Tegna sweater. I was fun to watch everyone knit it on instagram and the same time and it’s even more fun to see how everyone is styling their completed project! Did you participate in the Tegna KAL? I’d love to see your finished product! Thinking about making a Tegna for yourself? I’d love to hear what yarn you’re using!