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Finished Object Knitting

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!

Holidays Lifestyle Seasonal Uncategorized

A Fantastic Halloween and How to Make it

November 2, 2017

Oh my goodness, it’s November already. October was such a whirlwind. I spent a lot of time putting together our fantastic Halloween costumes and trunk for my church’s annual Trunk or Treat, so October flew by. I’ve been super excited to share with you everything that we did for Halloween. With getting married last November,  I didn’t have a lot of time to think about Halloween last year. I was glad to get back to it again.

This year’s Halloween theme was from the  movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. If you haven’t seen the movie, you totally should. It’s not as good as Harry Potter (because what is?) but it’s still delightful and charming and cute. The Hubs immediately took to Newt Scamander, because he is a fellow Softie Towards Animals, and also because his clothes were cool. So we just took the theme and ran with it! 

Newt Scamander’s Costume

Fantastic Halloween 1

The Hub’s costume is made up of a LOT of parts, and we even skipped a few. In total, the costume included:

You have already seen the Hufflepuff Scarf, so you know that I made that. I also made the vest using the Butterick B6502 Pattern.  I say that I made it, but really my mom provided a lot of help. We simplified the pattern by not making real pockets, and we only did 4 button holes rather than 6 to give The Hubs a little wiggle room. The coat and bow tie are both by elope, which you can find either on Amazon or Ebay. The tweed pants were bought off Poshmark, and hemmed. The wand was also from Amazon. The suitcase was a gift from my Grandpa and I have been using it to store yarn. It made a great candy holder on Halloween

I mentioned skipping some parts of the costume, and that mainly refers to the suit jacket that Newt wears under his coat. Some fine sleuths online had discovered that the jacket is in fact NOT the same material as the pants(though still tweed) and we were worried that it would be too bulky under the coat. I also skipped a few embellishments on the vest, due to time constraints.

Porpentina Goldstein’s CostumeFantastic Halloween 2

My costume was much simpler to deal with. I chose to use Tina’s flapper look. To do so, I used:

The dress is an  Adrianna Papell beaded dress off Ebay. I added the signature strappy bits myself using a sequenced elastic that I folded in half and hot glued (because I’m classy light that!). The shoes were on sale at Payless a few weeks ago (and they’re 3 1’2″! Yikes!). The wig is the Skyelar Classic wig from Arda Wigs in Deep Brown. I paid one of my friends who used to be a hairdresser to trim the wig for me. The wand is make from a clearance knitting needle, clay and acrylic paint

The Trunk

Fantastic Halloween 3

Oh gosh the trunk. This is where my crazy really comes out. The trunk actually came out looking pretty close to my vision, and meshed elements of Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter. I spent about a month collecting paper towel and toilet paper rolls to make my floating candles a la this tutorial. They were a little precarious as first, but we found that taping the invisible thread to the sides of the candles helped to stabilize it. I was glad we had our candles, because as the night got darker, they helped us to see the balls for our little quiddich game.

Most Trunk or Treats recommend that you have a game for kids to play at your trunk. This is mostly to:

  1. entertain the children; and
  2.  slow the stream of candy.

We chose to make little quiddich hoops for the kids to throw balls into. I bought a three pack of bug nets and cut the nets off. We stuck the nets into tin flower pots filled with concrete. This worked out really well, since the bug nets could still telescope and we could vary the heights of the hoops. It would also work great for quiddich pong, which I’ve definitely never played. And yeah, we totally used ping pong balls for this game. They can be found at Dollar Tree.

Fantastic Halloween 4

Other trunk additions included in our trunk was a plush niffler on a pile of gold, and some silver occamy eggs.  I also made a bowtruckle using floral wire and tape (also from the dollar tree). The tutorial can be found here. Finally, I included a Monster Book of Monsters, which is more Harry Potter than Fanstastic Beasts, but it was fun to make. There’s lots of tutorials out there, but I used this one.  Most of the other embellishments to my trunk were printed from the internet. 

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?