During the opening ceremonies for the Olympic Summer Games I cast on the 242 stitches for a laceweight version of the Cowl Shell. It did not go well. In fact, I had to rip out and go back and cast on again the next night. I'm finally on track, but it was a very slow start.
Well, the Summer Olympic Games are about to begin and I have signed up for Ravelry's "Ravellenic Games". The purpose of which is to challenge yourself as a knitter while you watch and cheer along the Olympic athletes.
As you know I recently completed the Cowl Shell in Hempathy. That was my official training for my Ravellenic Entry into the Sweater Triathalon.
This time I will knit the Cowl Shell in BC Garn's Jaipur Silk Fino ( an internationally acquired yarn somehow seemed appropriate) and my goal is to start during the openning ceremonies and to have it completed before the closing ceremonies. There's a little math challenge in here as well, because I have to convert the pattern from a DK yarn to a 2-ply Laceweight.
I know it took me a little longer than 2 weeks to complete on my first try, but I'm optimistic that with the pressure on, I will be able to cross the finish line in plenty of time.
Anyone else joining in on the fun? What event are you participating in?
I have found three Free Christmas Ornament Knitting Patterns on line that I think are just adorable and I wanted to share them with you as this month's Christmas Knitting feature (can you believe it is only 5 months away?)
Well, after much market research (thank goodness knitters love to share their experiences) I have been assured that Misti Alpaca's Hand paint Pima silk and Misti Alpaca's Tonas Pima Silk Yarn are both excellent choices for a cardigan. This by knitters who have knit cardigans with these yarns, worn them, washed them, worn them again. I looked at people who had completed projects from at least a year ago. It takes time to know if a yarn will stand up and it is reported that these two do just that.
One knitter said there was a small amount of growth after several days of wearing but that the cotton shrunk up nicely again in the wash. This I can live with.
But, I'm getting ahead of myself. After I finished the Cowl Shell I got hunting for patterns for a cardigan to layer overtop of it (more on that later) and then that led me to hunting for a DK yarn that would have some multi-tone or variegated color with just a hint of the Blue Pine tone from the cowl.
A few people on a Ravelry forum suggested the Misti Alpaca yarns and so I took a peek at the color possibilities.
1. Misti Alpaca's Hand Paint Pima Silk yarn is a soft, DK weight yarn of high quality Peruvian Pima Cotton blended with silk. Our Pima Silk Hand Paint is a unique technique resulting in subtle blending of many many colors per hank. 83% Peruvian Pima Cotton/17% Silk
The color I chose is Jardin. It has all the colors from my color palette in here. I think I really love it and I think it would go great with the blue pine hempathy, don't you?
I was all ready to proceed to check out when I decided to just have a quick look at the other suggested yarn:
Tonos Pima Silk DK: The perfect blend of Pima Cotton and Silk in a DK weight. This collection is designed with a tone on tone hand paint technique. 83% Peruvian Pima Cotton/17% Silk
Bahamas is such a perfect color and so well named.
Sigh! Do you see the blue pine in there? Plus all the lovely teals and greens?
So what should I do? Which color would you choose to pair with this?
Please vote 1 or 2 in the comments and feel free to expound on the reason for your choice!
Modifications: I added .5" to the length before armhole decrease and 2.5" to the length of the armhole itself to compensate for the lack of growth in my yarn choice. I added 2 more increases (one stitch each side) for the cowl. The folds of the cowl don't sag as much as a bamboo or silk yarn might do, but I'm happy enough with it.
I don't crochet (yet) so I just picked up and knit 3 rows of stockinette around the armholes to give them a finished look.
Final Thoughts: This is a quick and mindless knit and I'm very pleased with the final product. It fits me well and I think it's fairly flattering. I may knit it again in a silk yarn.
I would definitely wear this shell "as is" on a summer's day (though not quite as hot a day as this one) but I knit it mainly to have as a first layering piece in my wardrobe. Now what I have to figure out is what I could knit to wear overtop of it. Any suggestions?
Well, my week away is over, but it was WONDERFUL and I thought I'd share a few more pictures with you of this lovely coastal town, Ogunquit.
The last few days I was joined by two of my dearest friends in all the world. One of these was my BKF so we made sure we got in a bit of yarn shopping.
This is the local yarn store (just a few miles outside of town) called "The Yarn Sellar". Not a huge choice for the wool free knitter (although I did pick up some Cascade Fixation Sock Yarn of which they had an excellent selection ) but it was worth a visit just to see all the beautiful yarn and knitting-related accessories they have in stock.
There are so many beautiful views in Ogunquit-- love this one at Perkins Cove.
We boarded a boat here to go out to see the lighthouse. This tour is not advised if you are prone to sea sickness as the water was very choppy, but it was worth it to get this photo!
I ate an awful lot of these guys -- there are so many ways to prepare lobster and they ALL taste yummy!
And my other dear friend helped to model my fingerless gloves -- I've got loads of great photos and now have to choose which one I'll use for the pattern (still to be written up in full). I love this shot, but there are some shadows so I don't think this will be "the one".
It was such a blessing to get to spend these days in this beautiful place with people I love.
The Hempathy Cowl Shell is now off the needles and awaiting finishing -- I'm thrilled with how it's turned out so far. Hope to have finished photos soon.
The flowers in my deck boxes are finally starting to fill out nicely. We've had so much rain that I worried the roots would rot, but they seem to have survived and now it's all I can do to keep them from burning up in the heat.
There's a new green knitted thing that is growing on my needles too. When my first planned project for my Elspeth Lavold Hempathy didn't pan out I put this yarn away. But the hot, humid weather this weekend made me reach for it again and a search of Ravelry patterns on Friday led me to the Cowl Shell.
My search also led me to Gypsy and I went back and forth between the two for some time before settling on the Cowl Shell. I really like the drapey neck and the waist shaping. What I forgot in the dizzying decision making was that it was the Gypsy tank that had projects done in Hempathy, not the Cowl Shell.
Hempathy has lovely drape, but it doesn't grow all that much and the Cowl Shell (I realized after purchasing the pattern and reading it in full) relies quite a bit on yarn growth. Ooops!
Unfortunately there's no schematic included in this printed pattern but I drew one of my own using the pattern numbers to help me figure out where I'd need to adjust.
I think the solution is to knit an extra .5" before the cast off for the armholes and then add another 2.5" to the armhole length. I will also add a few more increases to the cowl portion of the front for more drape. At least I HOPE that's the solution. I won't know for sure until I've knit it and tried it on.