Friday, September 21, 2012

FO Friday: Vacation Edition

I took five projects with me to Kansas City; four FO's returned with me, and I started the fifth project on the train back to Chicago!

I was halfway to the heel on sock #2 for the Jelly Beans Sock KAL before leaving for KC; about halfway through the train ride down, I realized I'd left the instructions at home. Genius! Luckily, I had sock #1 to use at a reference. I'm not terribly experienced with short-row heels, but I have to pat myself on the back and say I did a pretty good job with reverse-engineering sock #2, which was completed sans instructions. I can't tell which one is the off-book sock, can you?

One note about the yarn (Spinnery Sock Art - Forest in Natural Gray): it bloomed quite nicely once I blocked it with a little Eucalan.  I'll have to give some of their hand-dyed colorways a try next!

I know I shared a photo of my finished Tarragon Swan Cowl earlier this week, but I wanted to share a photo with an actual humanoid (even if it is just me after a post-run shower). Working with this yarn, I was surprised by how different it was from other bulky yarns I've knit with; it had several plies that were actually themselves plied yarn, creating a really smooth and springy yarn that was also quite structured and substantial. This cowl will definitely keep my neck warm when the wind howls, and I love the green color.

If you've never knit with anything from Swan's Island, you're in for a treat: it's spun from certified organic merino (yes, certified) and dyed with all-natural dyes. Because it's minimally processed, it is super soft with the added benefit that it won't irritate those with sensitive skin because there aren't nasty chemicals and petroleum products used to process and spin the yarn.

Actualy, this is also the case for the Green Mountain Spinnery sock yarn used for the  Jelly Beans Socks above. I didn't even realize that this was the theme of my projects! The Green Mountain Spinnery is a worker-owned cooperative in Vermont that processes all of their yarns in the most environmentally-friendly way possible. Nearly all of their yarns are made with fleeces grown in the USA (and they do their best to source locally first). They have a really cool story that you can read here!

On my last day in KC, I cast on for the Antelope Hat, a free pattern by Kelly McClure, using one of the skeins of Manos Wool Clasica I'd purchased recently via Craftsy Deals. For some reason, I had a hard time following the pattern as written. I have no idea why, the pattern itself was well-done and quite celar, yet I found myself adding a few rows here and removing a few rows there. Nevertheless, I whipped this up in two days, completing the bulk of the work on the 7-hour train ride back to Chicago. The colorway is called Olivewood; I love how autumnal it is! Can you tell I'm ready for fall to be here?

Now for the moment we've all been waiting for (or maybe just me): the sad, sad tale of my Rockefeller Shawl! After many weeks of ignoring its existence, I decided that  the only way it would get done would be for me to take it on the trip. However, the thought of schlepping two balls of yarn and a mostly-finished shawl around didn't sound too appealing, so about four days before we left town, I decided I should go for broke and try to finish this thing once and for all.

All work on other projects halted and I somehow managed to meet that goal - I still don't know how! There I was, the morning of our trip, knitting like a maniac on my Rockefeller Shawl. I bound off and blocked it so that it could dry while I was out of town, and here it is....finished at last. As far as shawls go, I think it's lovely, though not what I would normally choose to make for myself. I do like the yarn/color combination I used (Malabrigo Sock in Alcaucil and Anzula Cloud in Denim) and will certainly find many occasions to wear it. All of that intarsia was a pain when it came to weaving in ends; I'm sooo glad I spend some time during the KAL weaving in the lion's share, or this post probably wouldn't happen til next year!


  1. Such lovely projects! The shawl is especially stunning. Love how modern it looks. Great choice of colors, too.

    1. Thanks! I'm sooo glad I finished it, even if it took me an extra month!