Friday, March 25, 2011

FO Friday: Mara . . .

 . . . . or Why I've Grown to Like Knitting Wraps and Shawlettes

A few days ago I was rushing out of the house without having had enough time to pull myself together.  I had an old pair of khaki pants on, and a plain top, with some hand knit socks and a pair of clogs.  I hadn't taken time to do anything with my hair, much less put on makeup.  At the last minute, I wrapped my new Mara around my shoulders and neck.  My husband looked at me and said "You're looking stylish today."
Granted, this statement was coming from a guy who doesn't mind mixing stripes with plaid, but I do think the Mara shawl made all the difference.  Besides, according to the Problem Ladies, "Converting a shawl into a scarf takes off ten years and ten pounds."  Who am I to scoff at that kind of advice?

Pattern:  Mara by Madelinetosh
Source:  free download from the Madelinetosh website
Materials:  2 skeins of madelinetosh pashmina in "fig", and US size 6 needles
Modifications:  After taking a poll, I decided to add extra stitches to the ruffle by increasing to a (k3, p2) ribbing after the first couple of inches.  I'm happy with how it came out!

Last but not least, a knitter working on a shawl doesn't have to worry quite as much about gauge, fit, or even finishing work such as seams!  I have a number of gift knitting projects I need to work on, but I don't think it will be long before I am casting on for another shawl such as Daybreak or Whippoorwill!  

P.S.  Do you blog for comments?  If so, join the FO Friday party over at Tami's Amis!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Contest Winner and an FO

Thank you to everyone who took part in my contest to spread the word about p/hop.  With all of the news from Japan, there is all the more reason to knit a p/hop pattern.  When you pay your pennies per hour of pleasure, you will in turn support Doctors Without Borders, one of the many organizations that is trying to help.  That being said, the winner of the Becoming Art Cielo Fingering yarn is wrchili!  I will be contacting you soon for your mailing address so that I can send off your yarn.

Meanwhile I'd like to tempt you all a bit more to knit a p/hop pattern by showing off my finished Trinity Shawlette.  It blocked beautifully, and as it was my birthday yesterday, it was easier than usual to corral my husband into taking some pictures for me:

Pattern:  Trinity Shawlette by Anni Design
Source:  p/hop, of course!
Materials:  1 skein of Malabrigo Sock yarn in "Aguas", and US size 5 needles
Modifications:  I went down 1 needle size and added an extra lace panel.  Details are here on Ravelry.

And now I am off to find my heaviest wool sweater, and my largest umbrella to take along with me while I  keep score at our son's morning baseball tournament, which we were told is going ahead despite the wind and rain!  When I come back I will see what everyone else is up to on this FO Friday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Trinity Shawl - a p/hop pattern

It's Wednesday again, the day of the week on which my Ravelry favorites list grows and grows as I read about lovely and interesting works-in-progress on Tami's WIPW list!

Today I'm showing you a somewhat finished object that will still be a surprise on Friday because blocking will make all the difference.   Here is my version of the Trinity Shawl:
I almost don't want to block it out of it's butterfly shape!

By the way, tomorrow is the last day to hop on over to p/hop, and come back to my contest post to tell me which is your favorite "pennies per hour of pleasure" pattern, for a chance to win a skein of Becoming Art Cielo Fingering yarn!  Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday - Trinity Shawl, and a contest reminder!

I think I have a bit of Spring Fever!  Between working outside and attending school baseball it has been hard to find time to post.  But I have been knitting still, so I am using WIP Wednesday as motivation to get back to the blog.  Thanks Tami!

I'm actually working on a second version of my Trinity Shawlette, after deciding to rip out the first version when I was only about 2 rows away from finishing it.    Have you ever done that with a project before?  
When I cast on originally, I liked both the yarn and the pattern, so I kept knitting on and on, pretending that they were a good match.  But the larger the shawl became, the more difficult I found it to deny that the relationship was doomed.  

I knew I wanted to knit the Trinity pattern in a more solid color, so I thought to myself, "Why wait?"  I went stash diving for more appropriate fare and came up with some Malabrigo sock yarn in a blue-green shade perfect for the leaves in the Trinity Shawlette . . . .

I bought this yarn with a solemn vow to get some Malabrigo socks on my feet.
Oh darn, I guess I will have to buy more Malabrigo yarn for those socks!

 . . . . . and cast on again.  I actually don't mind knitting it again, as it is an addictive lace repeat.  Having a second go at it I decided to modify it and add an extra lace panel which means instead of a half circle it's more like a pie with a slice missing.

If you missed my last post, you might not know that the Trinity Shawlette was designed by Anni Design and generously donated to the p/hop (pennies per hour of pleasure) pattern collection to help raise funds for Doctors Without Borders.

 If you would like to win yarn for your own Trinity Shawlette (or another pattern), check out p/hop and leave me a comment on my contest post by Thursday, March 17th.    (Thanks to those of you that already commented to help me decide how to finish my Mara shawl.  You are already entered in the contest, but can still gain an extra entry by telling me what your favorite p/hop pattern is!)

My Mara shawl is being blocked for FO Friday.  Until then, I hope you will check out p/hop and also check out some more WIP Wednesday posts.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

How Much Would You Like To Pay For That Pattern? - a Contest!

That is the question posed to you when you knit a pattern from p/hop.  The "pennies per hour of pleasure" website is the source of my latest knitting project.  More importantly, it is a knitting fundraiser for Medecins Sans Frontieres (or Doctors Without Borders here in the US).

Here is an explanation of how it works from their own website:

"Incredibly generous designers donate their time and knitting patterns to p/hop. These patterns are then available for you to download here. The idea is you donate based on how many hours of pleasure you’ll get from knitting your p/hop pattern. There is no set price for a pattern; you can donate 50p or £50. It’s entirely up to you – P/HOP = PENNIES PER HOUR OF PLEASURE!"

I just love this whole idea and have been wanting to knit one of their patterns for some time.  I finally picked one and cast on recently.  I am knitting the Trinity Shawlette (p/hop link, Ravelry link) with some pretty Handmaiden Casbah sock yarn:

I paid a bit extra because I will probably knit the pattern again in a solid color.  When I made my donation I saw that they are close to their fundraising goal.  I thought I would see what I could do to get them a little closer.  Here is where the contest comes in . . . .

Go visit the p/hop pattern page and choose a favorite.  Come back here, by midnight on Thursday, March 17th, and leave me a comment to tell me which pattern(s) you like.  Everyone who comments will earn an entry to win a prize that I brought home from Stitches West.  I will draw a winner at random before I write my post for FO Friday on March 18th!

A skein of Becoming Art Cielo Fingering yarn in the colorway "Sunlit Amber":
Isn't it pretty?  And at 437 yds., it would be plenty of yarn to make your own Trinity Shawlette!

I will announce the winner on Friday, March 18th.  My goal is to finish my Trinity Shawlette in time for that FO Friday on March 18th so that I can show you my finished version in the same post.  I hope you enjoy looking at the p/hop patterns!