Summer was definitely my season of shawls. They make the perfect light-weight project, and I think I needed a break from socks after my spring sock spree.
First, I participated in Wendy Knit’s Summer Mystery Shawl KAL. It was one of those KAL’s where every week you get the next part of the pattern, so it’s a complete mystery what it would come out as. I started using some Malabrigo Sock (yummy!) in Candombe, which alternates between a rich purple and a striking lime green (yummy-er!). The shawl pattern was actually what I call a ‘reverse triangle,’ so you cast on for the long sides and then decrease the whole shawl. It’s pretty fun because your rows are actually getting shorter, not longer, so it’s the fun beginning where it seems like every row takes forever, not the end. Unfortunately, this means you can’t just keep knitting until you run out of yarn. For some reason, this made my shawl much more shawlette-like, which was totally fine with me. My style doesn’t really fit with big shawls, but I can incorporate smaller ones pretty easily. Plus, I had enough yarn left for a pair of socks (nutkins, see below).
The second shawl was pretty much my own creation. I wanted something for my sick aunt that was special and unique. First, I picked up a skein of Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock Yarn (50% Alpaca, 30% Merino, 10% Silk, 10% Nylon). The halo from the alpaca content would ensure a beautiful, warm shawl, and the colors (the colorway is called Blues in the Night, so it’s a bunch of shades of blue) really fit her style palette (is that the right way to describe it???). I picked out two stitch patterns from one of my stitch dictionaries and followed a basic shawl recipe: yo’s on the spine and at the sides. After some heavy blocking, I think it comes out great. And judging by the fact that whenever I see her she’s wearing it, I think my aunt enjoys it, too!
As you may remember, I spent lots of time this fall making hats. Well, not lots of time, but I did make lots of quick hats! My favorite is probably my Lolita hat, made from Alpaca with a Twist Temptation (80% Alpaca 20% Silk) in a grey color, using the Lotus Hat pattern from Uptown Purl. Even though I added extra pattern repeats to make it bigger, it’s still on the small side, making it a more fashionable than practical accessory. Still, I wear it a lot more than I would have expected, even considering the dropped stitch that I found on the ribbing!
The other accessory that happened A LOT this fall was socks. I think I probably had two favorite fall socks. First, my nutkins. I used my leftover Malabrigo Sock from the shawl and the Nutkin Pattern on these anklets. They’re just a tad small, and the folded over hem on the top doesn’t do much as far as stretch. Still, I love the fake cable stitch pattern. It was a pretty addictive knit and looks really great on!
No recap of my year would be complete without my Gansey Socks. I love these socks so much that I am actually wearing them right now! First, I want to talk about the yarn- Spud and Chloe Fine (80% Wool, 20% Silk) in a light green color. The silk content gives it a definite sheen, and something about it makes it very, very hardy. As I wash it, it does the opposite of felting and seems to get tougher. While I might not enjoy that quality in, say, mittens, its definitely a plus with my heavily used socks. The definition really shows off the Diamond Gansey Pattern (from Wendy Knit’s Socks from the Toe Up), and the fact that it came in a 60g skein (instead of the normal 50g) means that I can make a pretty substantial pair using one skein without a contrasting color on the toes and heels. Sometimes having midget feet really comes in handy!
Tune in Sunday for the rest of my knitting review and some goals for the new year!