Skylark Stole

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Introducing my latest finished project: Skylark Stole from the book, Custom Knits Accessaries, by Wendy Bernard. It was knit with four skeins of Frog Tree Meriboo MW yarn in purple (7511).

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My friend T visited me from Portland a few months ago, and brought with her four skeins of lovely, 70% merino wool / 30% bamboo blend from her neighborhood yarn shop called Dublin Bay Knitting Shop for my birthday. The awesomeness was two-fold: I’ve never worked with these soft blends before and I was dying to try; and this wonderful gift came from a non-knitter! How cool is this? Someone who’s never knit got me one of the softest and lovelies yarns I’ve ever owned!

She told me that staff at the shop who recommended this yarn was confident that I would love it. They were absolutely correct about that!

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Blocking an intricate lace is such a treat. I love watching the design come to life simply with a pull of the blocking wires. This is when you realize your time and energy spent knitting this garment was totally worth it. (It can also be a major heartbreak, however, when you discover a mistake or two you didn’t notice until now … eek!)  By the way, I folded the stole in half to block because I didn’t have enough room to stretch out the entire thing flat.

As for the knitting, I have to confess that I got confused by the pattern at first. Looking back, I’m a bit embarrassed to even admit this since Wendy’s patterns are always, always impeccable, and this one was no exception. I just didn’t read the direction carefully enough. Mea culpa.

My confusion was from the eyelet pattern repeats. I needed to add this 4-sitch eyelet repeat before each, 21-stitch chevron pattern plus one at the end  (for a total of four times) and not just at the beginning and the end of each RS row I incorrectly interpreted. Because of this, I had eight wandering stitches that I just could not find a home for!  Once I figured it out, knitting this stole was a breeeeeeeze.

The pattern is simple but interesting enough that kept me engaged throughout the entire project. I think placing markers after each pattern is key. I recommend that you utilize those little rings as much as possible. I even put one after two garter stitches at the beginning and end of rows for good measure!

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I had to think of an interesting way to photograph the finished stole. I thought about just laying it flat on the floor to showcase the design but I was afraid that my two year old will get to it and rip it out before my eyes (and she will)! So I decided to just hold it against the white wall.  I hope you can see the lovely lace pattern from these photos.

Here are other ways that I’ll be enjoying this stole.  It’s so versatile, I can wear it as a stole or a scarf.  I have a feeling that I’ll get a good use out of this garment all year long!

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Infinity Scarf = Infinite Possibilities

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This lace pattern will most likely go down as one of the most frequently knit patterns in my knitting history book. I don’t know how many of these scarves I’ve knit in the last few years but the surprising thing is that I’m never sick of it. It’s simple but interesting enough that it keeps me intrigued even after many repetitions.

I knit up a few more over the last weeks for the holidays (I have another green one, a black one, and a grey one that are not pictured). Some were made into an infinity scarf by binding the ends together, while the other ones (the wider ones) remained a shawl. A few went to my friends who will give them away as Christmas gifts, and the others will be gifted to my own friends.

It’s amazing how many different ways you can wear an infinity scarf and a shawl. I tried a few, but I know there are so many more.

Infinity Scarves:

scarf 1

Cascade 200 Sport in Lemon (4147)

scarf 2

Cascade 220 Sport in Cerise (7802)

scarf 3

Cascade 220 Sport in Como Blue

Shawls:

scarf 4

Cascade 220 Sport in Cerise (7802)

scarf 6

Cascade 220 Sport in Primevera (8903)

One Trick Pony

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I’m all about repurposing a pattern. I just change up a few things here (widen the width) and there (lengthen the length) and turn the same one pattern into several different garments – like converting a lace scarf into a poncho, shawl, cowl, shrug, blanket, or whatever. This is an infinity scarf I knit, using Debbie Bliss’ Lazy Scarf pattern. I mattress stitched the ends to make a one big loop.

I’m not only cheap financially, but I’m also stingy with exerting effort. Am I lazy? Yes. Am I a one trick pony? Perhaps. But who cares if the one trick I know is really really cute.

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Project Note Logo 3

Project: Lacy Poncho
Pattern: Inspired by Lacy Scarf by Debbie Bliss
Recipient: My sister for her birthday
Yarn: Cascade 200 Sport (3 skeins)
Color: Azure8892, purchased at WEBS Yarn

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Here’s the pony gallery! I’ve knit so many of the same thing in the last year. Most of them were gifted or sold to friends.

Lacy scarf collage

Oh, and this lap blanket.

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A Love Affair with Scarves

I’ve been having a love affair with scarves lately.  I spend hours gazing through the Hermes website, drooling over its legendary collection of stunning (and expensive!) silk scarves, in hopes of one day be able to 1. afford them, and 2. become someone who can actually sport them without looking unmatched by their presence.  I was so close to purchasing one the other day but stopped, and decided to give myself time to grow into an Hermes-worthy person.

To me, a woman who is deserving of wrapping these silky luxury around her neck is someone who is poise, sophisticated, confident, and stylish, like many French women.  I’m not there yet – but hopeful that I’ll get there someday!

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the hand-knit wool kind like this lacy scarf  (this is a same one that I made for Maya last year but in a deep red color called Ginger) and learn all the creative ways to tie them around my neck.  And the best part?  Because these Cascade 200 Superwash Sport yarns were on sale for $4.69 / skein at WEBS, I whipped this up for less than $20 — compared to Hermes’ $410 (for 36″ x 36″)!  lol

Simple Slip Knot:  Double up your scarf and wrap it around the back of your neck. Then, slip both ends of the scarf into the loop.

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Double Loop Wrap:  Start with the middle of your scarf on the back of yourneck. Loop the ends of the scarf around and back to the front. Tie the two ends together with a simple tie to make the second layer. 

(From The Fashion Spot, 15 Chic and Creative Ways to Tie a Scarf). 

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I absolutely love that this scarf doubles as a shawl!

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pink lineGreen Smoothie Updatepink line

Day 2 — success!

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Peach Green Smoothie
(2 servings)

2 cups fresh spinach
1 large fresh kale leaf
1 cup coconut water
2 cups frozen peach

This one tasted a tad more “leafy” than the pineapple version from yesterday but the subtle sweetness from frozen peaches made the drink very easy to drink.

Better Late Than Never: Lacy Scarf

I finished the Lacy Scarf for Maya over the weekend.razz I started the project back in April and it sat there for a few months, but it’s finally finished and ready to be shipped to her for her birthday!

I’m thinking about making this for myself, maybe in a different color. I love how it fits around the neck. It’s not too heavy because it’s airy but it keeps the neck comfortably warm!  I’m glad Maya suggested to double the width from the original pattern.  I think I like this size much better than skinnier version.

Cooler weather and the urge to knit certainly go hand in hand. Now that the season has officially turned to fall, my love for knitting reignited in full force. I can’t stop thinking about what to knit next. My goal for the season is not to acquire any more new yarns and try to use up everything I already have. I have a few sock yarns that I purchased a while back so maybe it’s time to cast on my first sock soon.

Updated 12/26/12: Thanks, Maya, for sending me the picture! Here’s my BFF with the scarf! 🙂

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Lacy Scarf

Maya came to LA to spend some time with me, Kevin, and our little Pon Pon this week. It was wonderful spending stress-free two days with my best friend. Since she’s originally from here, there was no need to take her out sightseeing or anything, so we ended up spending most of the time inside the apartment, talking, eating (a lot) and being absolutely lazy. Some may wonder why we wasted away the precious time doing nothing, but this is how we roll, and we won’t have it any other way!

The last time Maya and I hung out (not including the wedding) was back in March, when we spent a fun-filled week in NYC. While spending time in the Big Apple, she forgot to pack her scarf so she ended up wearing my green hand knit lace scarf.  She liked it so much that I agreed to make her one! She picked out her favorite yarn at Purl SoHo and I promised her to have it ready by fall.

Well, I wasn’t able to finish it by the time she visited this week, but I’m making progress! I’m almost finished and I’m hoping to have it ready for her for her birthday at the end of the month. I’m thankful that Portland remains cold a little longer than Los Angeles, so she’ll get to enjoy this cozy scarf around her neck for a good few months!

Project Note:

I’m hoping to post the picture of Maya sporting this scarf very soon! 🙂

Update (November 19, 2012): YAY, I’m done! Check out the final product here!