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The shawl parade continues!  This time I’ve got my own version of the lovely Textured Shawl Recipe in the Merino/Yak yarn I got from School products.

Pattern: Textured Shawl Recipe

Source: Orlane’s Ravelry Downloads

Yarn: School Products, Yak Merino Worsted

Needles: US 8

Started: April 1, 2009

Finished: July 8, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

This is less of a pattern and more of a formula, but it yields beautiful results.  I’ve yet to see an example I didn’t like (I dare you to look at the Ravelry Project Gallery if you don’t believe me).  And I’m similarly very pleased with my own version.  It looks lovely and will be incredibly cuddly once Fall begins.

This was a great yarn choice for this pattern.  Because of the complex kind of color, I wanted to do something simple and focus on showing off the yarn.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with School Products, most of their worsted weight yarns, this one included, are really very fine strand run, but not plied, together.  In this particular application, the textured stitch makes that construction really visible and it’s an effect I’m quite fond of.  It’s also insanely soft post blocking and is sure to be super warm.

I decided to use slightly different row counts of the different stitch patterns than the original.  Mine went like this:

20 rows stockinette
16 rows texture pattern
20 rows stockinette
16 row texture pattern
20 rows stockinette
6 rows texture pattern
26 rows garter stitch

I expect you’ll see other warmer, heavier shawls from me in the future.  I’ve been thinking I might just wear this type of shawl instead of scarves this Fall and Winter and have a few more in mind.  They’ll have to wait a bit though, as the classic hot & sticky DC Summer has finally set in.  In the meantime, I’ll try & finish a non-shawl project to show you for once.  But if I were you I wouldn’t hold my breath.

My addiction to snagging a little something from indie dyer updates goes on.  The newest score, some Troika Worsted from Mama Blue!

Yarn: Troika Worsted, Mama Blue Knitting Goods

Color: Kelp

Dye Lot:

Amount:1 skein at 185 yds

Purchased at: Mama Blue esty shop

stashed on ravelry here

This yarn looked amazing on the site, but is a million times more beautiful in person.  It’s so sproingy feeling and the color is so rich.  The yarn feels amazing.  All the Troika yarns (it comes in three weights) are Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blends and it feels like pure heaven.  This little skein is going to make one very luxurious accessory.

Awhile back I promised to do a Best of DC series over the summer leading up to my move.  I’ve gotten to a slow start, but I’m finally ready to begin.  I’m calling it Pretty Picks in DC not because every spot is necessary pretty, but because I, here at Knitting Pretty in DC am the one doing the picking.  So I refuse to take the blame if a spot isn’t pretty enough for you.  They’re my favorite places & I think they are worth checking out!

First on the agenda is my absolute favorite DC bar, The Red Derby.  The Derby is in my opinion the best of a genre that’s popular with a certain crowd in the District, the not too divey-dive bar.  It’s still got that low key dive bar feel and those dive bar drink prices, but it’s in pretty good shape.  Don’t get me wrong, the decor is nothing too fancy, but it’s also far from dingy.  What makes the derby great is good, cheap drinks, a neighborhood feel and a sense that you can hang out for hours (and believe me, we’ve been known to).

The selection of board games is what clinches the coveted favorite bar spot for the the Derby.  Sometimes simple conversation is enough, but other times you just need more.  That’s where the games come in.  What better way to enjoy your $4 drink than by challenging your friends to Sorry, Scrabble, Battleship or our current favorite Yahtzee?

Even if you’re not playing games it’s easy to hang out all night.  I’ve spent many an evening knitting at the Derby while chatting or watching whatever movie they happen to be projecting on the wall that evening.  And there’s fantastic bar food to soak up all that cheap booze.  So really what reason do you have to leave?

The Red Derby

3718 14th St NW (at Spring Rd)

WDC

The entries are in, I’ve read all about anniversaries and marking occasions of all kind and it’s time to announce the winner of the Knitting Pretty in DC Blogiversary Giveway!

That’s right the winner is comment number 16, Kitten With a Whiplash!  Congrats!  You’ve got the yarn prize pack plus a surprise coming you’re way!  To see the whole process of selection documented click through on the photo above.

And thanks everyone for sharing all your stories.  They were all really great and some were very touching.  It’s just a reminder that marking an occasion of any kind can be such a special experience.  And that anniversaries are a way to mix something significant in with the day to day.  It might just be another date to every one else, but it’s an important day to you.  So here’s to celebrating!

So you have until the end of tomorrow to enter the giveaway, but in the meantime I have something to show you.  Another real live FO!  More shawls of course, I seem to be obsessed (me & the rest of the knitting world).  I’ve actually been doing pretty well with my power through and finish goal.  And as a result I’ve got my Shetland Triangle for your viewing pleasure.

Pattern: Shetland Triangle (ravelry)

Source: WrapStyle

Yarn: Sundara, Fingering Silky Merino

Needles: US 5

Started: May 29, 2009

Finished: July 5, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

Oh my goodness did this shawl turn out beautifully.  I can’t really take much credit though, it’s all about the yarn.  I do truly understand why people pay the money for Sundara FSM.  It is well worth the splurge.  It definitely ranks high in the Quality of Yarns I’ve Worked With hierarchy.  The combo of silk and merino make it amazingly soft, and yet it isn’t the slightest bit splitty, unlike some other silk/merino blends I’ve worked with.  The sheen of the yarn is incredible.  It captures light in ways my eyes barely even believe.  If I had done nothing besides wave it around in the sunlight all day yesterday I would have been happy (fabulously, I got to do that and have a lovely day off!).

I’m sure plenty of you reading have already made a Shetland Triangle, since it’s so popular, but I’ll share my thoughts anyhow.  It’s a nice simple lace pattern.  Unlike most lace (at least for me) it’s chit chat friendly.  I can knit this pattern and talk as well as listen.  This is because, while the chart looks slightly different, most of the repeat is the same two rows.  And it’s a short repeat.  So once you quickly get the hang of it, you just keep going.  No brainer.  In fact, I never even xeroxed the pattern out of the book.  I just looked at the book the first night & memorized it and walked around with no pattern.  Even the edging chart was so easy that after doing the first half of the edging chart at home with the book I took off for work and finished the edging chartless.

I made the shawl considerably larger than the pattern called for.  Sundara FSM packs a hefty 500 yard wallop & and I wanted to make a significant dent in it.  I ended up doing 13 pattern repeats, which gave me a pretty sizable shawl.  It measured around a 68″ wingspan while blocking and post blocking it’s about 62″x30″.  It’s definitely enough shawl to wrap around a decent amount.  I used about 85% of the yarn and I’m left musing about what to do with the 70 yards I have left.

And what’s even more exciting than how beautifully this shawl turned out, is that I have a new toy which helped me show you how beautiful it is.  My parents gave me my birthday present early this year since they’re leaving to spend the next two weeks in Italy.  I unwrapped a beautiful blue & green box to find my very own Nikon D60!  How did they know?  It’s possible I might have dropped some hints.  I have had the most fun playing with my new camera & I couldn’t be more pleased with the photos I’m getting as a result!

This week was my one year blogiversary!  (Tuesday to be exact).  I missed posting on the day because of a massive sunburn I picked up at the beach.  But since I had a little something planned I didn’t want to let it go by unnoticed.

When I first started knitting pretty in dc, I just wanted a way to show all my non-knitting friends what I was up to.  But as I worked on it, I really began to enjoy the project and wanted to put more time into it.  The positive feedback from people I didn’t even know was a pleasant surprise and only helped boost my momentum more.  This lead to a desire to publish designs and use the blog as a creative outlet of more than one kind.  And eventually this helped launched me into some of the life changes I’ve been mentioning lately.  Who knew something that started so small, could become so major.  And so much of it is due to all of you, who check in with me here whether I’m posting every other day or every other week.  It is lovely to know you enjoy my work, and I love sharing it with you all.  So, as a way to say thank you to all of you who have checked in with my little blog in the last year I’ve got the second official knitting pretty in dc blog giveaway!

Here’s what I’ve got for you: 3 skeins of yarn, the highlight of which is a skein of one of Three Irish Girls limited edition Sock Yarnista colorways called Icing Blue on the Kinsale Merino Tencel base (stashed here).  This is a lovely bright robin’s egg blue sock yarn with a ton of shine from the tencel.  It’s only available to club members, so it’s not one you’ll find in the regular Three Irish Girls line up.

Also included in the prize pack: a skein of Koigu KPM in color 2200, a lovely bright reddish orange, and a skein of Berocco Ultra Alpaca Light in 4828, sometimes called Plum mix (stashed here & here), plus a few little surprise goodies.

So here’s how it works.  Leave me a comment about a memorable anniversary of some kind.  It can be any kind of anniversary, a great birthday (it is after all the anniversary of your birth), a anniversary with an SO, the anniversary of an important event, or of a great job.  Any memory you have of a marking of some kind of anniversary.  From the comments I will select a winner via random number generator (one comment per person please!) and I will alert you all of the winner a week from today (next Thursday).  Good luck!