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Christmas was a whirlwind, but I’m slowly recovering.  And I promised that I’d be able to show you my Vine Yoke Cardigan soon and here it is.

Pattern: Vine Yoke Cardigan (ravelry)

Source: Twist Collective Fall 2009

Yarn: Madelinetosh, Tosh Worsted

Needles: US 8

Started: September 16, 2009

Finished: November 26, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

The second this pattern was released I knew I wanted to make it.  But I could also tell from the get go that the bell effect created by the vine lace edging on the sleeves and hem just wasn’t for me.  So I decided I’d make it but with some mods to the cuff and hem.  I went ahead and ordered a boat load of Tosh Worsted and set out scheming.  At first I thought maybe I’d put ribbing on the cuffs and hem, to give the sweater more of a close fit, but then I decided that plan was likely to screw the whole thing up.  So I came up with the idea to use perpendicular garter bands as a sleeve and hem edging.

I did this by simply leaving off the vine lace edging when I worked the sweater and picking up around the edges at the end.  The pattern is worked back and forth from the neckline to the bottom of the sweater, creating the vertical garter stitch.  The vine lace edging is worked at the end of the rightside rows.  For sizes 30-42 the edging is worked over 10 stitches.  So the stitches had to be accounted for in the length of each row.  When I cast on, I cast on 10 fewer stitches than I was instructed to and continued to work 10 fewer stitches throughout the sweater, including when casting on later for the sleeves. I worked in garter stitch right up to the bottom edge, since I had eliminated the edging.  Then after knitting the whole sweater but before seaming i picked up stitches around the bottom of each sleeve and the bottom of the body, one stitch for each garter ridge.  I worked in garter stitch until each band measure about 1 1/2″ and then bound off.  It was actually quite simple and gives the sweater a sleeker look that I think suits me better than the original.

I’m incredibly pleased with the result, thanks in no small part to the yarn.  This was my first time working with Tosh Worsted and I often felt like I might never need to knit with any other yarn again.  Of course I’m far too fickle to ever truly devote myself to one yarn, but it is seriously beautiful stuff.  The colors are of course to die for.  This one is copper penny, which I bought as the perfect Fall color and am now wearing as a way to spice up the slightly dreary winter world.  And the yarn feels great in your hands.  and creates an incredibly soft, sleek and smooth garment.  My only complaint is that during blocking, despite being incredibly well supported it grew like crazy after being pulled from the water.  I had to push the sweater back in on itself while on my blocking mats to keep it from turning out 8 sizes too large.  In the end it dried in it’s original size, having gotten only a little longer.  Which I actually think was a blessing in disguise.

After blocking, I waited for some time for buttons to arrive from Beijing.  They were slow, so it sat round for a few weeks.  But I wore it for the first time to Thanksgiving dinner and I’ve been wearing it loads since.  It gets loads of compliments, which certainly makes a girl feel good.  So my first truly successful sweater is truly a success.  Yay!

Fear not faithful readers (if indeed there are any of you left)!  Finals are over!  I’m back in DC for a month!  And I have plenty of free time!  Which means my little blog will get a decent helping of the attention it deserves.  So stay tuned I’ve got plenty to show you.

Socktoberfest is long over, and these socks have been finished with for a month, but I’m still so pleased with the results that I can’t help but want to show them to you.  So here are this years Mystery Socks from Through the Loops.

Pattern: Mystery Sock ’09 (ravelry)

Source: Through the Loops

Yarn: Sundara Sock

Needles: US 1

Started: October 1, 2009

Finished: November 14, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

I know I mentioned in passing that Kirsten was doing another Socktober Mystery KAL this year.  I of course could not even live with the idea of not knitting-a-long.  Just like last year,this years KAL was a real blast.  So many people participated again this year.  There are currently 575 projects listed for the pattern on Ravelry and I think most of those were at least started during Socktoberfest.  I know I’ve said before that I just love a good KAL.  And my thoughts on the matter have always been the more the merrier.  This might have something to do with the fact that photos are my most favorite parts of KALs, I love to see what everyone is doing, and the more folks involved the more version you get to see.  What could be better?

The pattern itself is awesome, of course.  Kirsten hit another home run with this one.  Super fun to work on and brilliant end results for just about every version I’ve seen.  I love the change in direction from leg to foot.  The way the pattern extends down the back of the heel flap is another especially nice detail.  The chevron cuff is so much more interesting than plain old ribbing and the way the toe looks like flower petals is so sweet.  Here take a peak:

This was actually my first time using Sundara Sock.  Compared to some other sock bases I’ve been working with lately it was a hair stiff for my taste. It feels perfectly soft once knit up and blocked, but it could be a bit softer running through the fingers.  Thats said the colors are so lovely.  And her yarns do seem to yield gorgeous end results every time.

So there you are!  More FOs to come & much, much more.  Like a finished Vine Yoke Cardigan as soon as I get some good pictures.  See you soon.

So I promised an FO post and here I am actually delivering!  The first actual FO post in ages (although thankfully not the only FO in ages).  This is my version of the westknits pattern Daybreak.  As soon as I saw this pattern I knew I had to make one and now here it is.

Pattern: Daybreak (ravelry)

Source: westknits

Yarn: Sunshine Yarns, Soft Sock & Plymouth Yarn, Alpaca Prima

Needles: US 3

Started: September 1, 2009

Finished: October 24, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

This pattern is simple, but inspired.  It seems this combo is the trademark of Stephen West.  The arching stripes are instantly appealing and the segments created by the slip stitch pattern adds extra interest.  I made the medium, and it came out too large to wear as a scarf, so it’s gotta go around the shoulders.  The upside to this is that this shows off the stripes better.

Sunshine Yarns Soft Sock has recently been discontinued.  As I know I said when I first talked about this project, I had a lot of trouble figuring out what to do with yarn.  It was started in projects and then frogged numerous time.  But it’s so lovely that I never gave up.  This shawl turned out to be just the right thing for it.  And it really is a very nice yarn.  Now that I’ve used it successfully I’d like to work with it again, but I do wonder if others had trouble like I did.  The base is a bit unusual for a sock yarn, it’s very fuzzy for merino and soft in a squooshy way.  It has a nice halo to it.  I think those qualities made the base much better suited to a project like this one than the socks and such I originally tried to use it for.  The Alpaca Prima added a nice neutral backdrop from the lovely dark green, and upped the fuzz ante considerably.  It is certainly a cozy shawl.

So there’s one more fall shawl to add to my stack.  One more asset to my goal of avoiding wearing rectangular scarves all season.  I think I’m all set in that department, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping me.  I of course, have more shawls in the works.  And I have a few more things to show you, so stay tuned.

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.

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!

Look at me!  I have an FO & pictures so I can actually show it to you!  It’s been too long since my last FO post, but since I’m devoting June to finishing (mostly) I’m hoping to have even more to show you soon.  For now I’ve got my Ulmus shawl that I made for the Fans of Through the Loops group on ravelry.

Pattern: Ulmus (ravelry)

Source: Through the Loops

Yarn: Malabrigo, Sock & Claudia Hand Painted Yarns, Fingering

Needles: US 4

Started: May 10, 2009

Finished: June 9, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

Kirsten has come through with another great pattern for the Ulmus.  It’s a beautiful design and wonderfully written.  The main body of the shawl becomes good mindless knitting once you get the feel for it and then the lace spices things up a bit towards the end.  And it has good stashbusting potential for those of you who are into that kind of thing (not me, I of course bought more yarn for this project).

I did actually start out with a different color combination before I went with this one.  I had initially chosen two colors of Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce and Eggplant.  In the balls the colors looked lovely together, but in the pattern it was too much contrast for my taste.  I went hunting for other options and settled on these.  I’m so glad I did.  While it’s a rather unexpected color combination for me, I think it’s really beautiful and I love that I ended with a result that is unlike anything else I own.

The shawl comes in three sizes and I chose to make the Medium.  Before starting I did swatch & check gauge, but I must have loosened up as I went because once I blocked, the shawl came out to the dimensions listed for the Large.  It’s bigger than most of my shawls, but it’s been fun to play with how to wear it.  And I managed to work it in a few days before it started to get quite hot and humid around here.  Oh, and did I mention how great it feels to be finishing things?

I finished my Hemlock Ring Blanket back at the end of January, but was having trouble photographing it in a way I was happy with.  So I called in reinforcements.  Conveniently my favorite picnic partner also happens to be a fantastic photographer.  The results were so great this post will feature more photos than any other in knittingprettyindc history.  I love them all so much it’s just too hard to choose.

Pattern: Hemlock Ring Blanket (ravelry)

Source: Brooklyn Tweed

Yarn: Cascade, Eco Wool

Needles: US 9

Started: December 24, 2008

Finished: January 31, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

There are some knitting patterns that are so incredibly popular and seem to turn out so well so often that one can’t help but want to make it for oneself.  The Hemlock Ring was like that for me.  Every time I saw one I’d think “I need that for myself”.  So it became my post Christmas knitting reward project.

I balled the yarn and cast on Christmas Eve at my parents house.  I finished up the last day of January in a mad rush to get yards out in the KDAL I was participating in at the time.  It knits up very fast, and I might have finished sooner if not for all the traveling I did in January.  It’s not a great portable project.

The genius of the Hemlock Ring is it looks a lost harder than it really is.  Whenever a non-knitter sees it I receive endless compliments, but, as I explain to them,  in truth the pattern itself is not hard.  The most trying aspect for me was that towards the end all that feather and fan gets a bit tedious.

There were a few moments of incredible frustration, where after finding a mistake in one of the pattern rows that had gone unnoticed through the five rows of plain knitting, I was forced to rip back what had taken hours.  But thankfully not too many.

And for my trouble I have a lovely throw to decorate my couch and something to snuggle up under when it’s chilly.  And the Eco Wool is very warm.  No need for slippers when you’ve got this to tuck around your toes.

The blanket also made the perfect accompaniment for a picnic on a slightly chilly day.  It was much appreciated as we napped off our nibbles as the sun started to set and the breeze blew around us.

Oh and it makes quite an interesting play thing as well.  For a few photos of the pre-nap “ring toss” see here

I’ve slowly been making progress on a number of different projects lately, but due to a bout of endless grey days with brief sunny breaks I never seem to manage to take advantage of, I don’t have much to show you there. So instead I’ll show you and older FO that I finally was able to get decent pictures of.

Pattern: Give a Hoot (ravelry)

Source: Kelbourne Woolens

Yarn: Garthenor Organic Pure Wool, Organic Hebridean/Manx Blend Aran

Needles: US 4 & 6

Started: February 2, 2009

Finished: February 17, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

This has been a popular pattern lately and with good reason, it’s simple and sweet. It’s a very straightforward mitten pattern in a relatively heavy weight yarn that knits up fast. To keep things interesting it features the ever-loved owl and a unique thumb gusset. And the end result is great. I love wearing these mittens, because they are both cozy and adorable. Not to mention the response once people figure out they are owls. I wore them daily for that last batch of cold days we had and I know they’ll be featured regularly on my little mitts next winter.

I know I haven’t been updating here as often lately, but a lot has been going on in the steps towards what’s next department. Now that I’ve gotten through a few of those hurdles, I’m ready to show you the next Knitting Pretty in DC original pattern.

It All Comes Together Beret Pattern

Yarn: Yarn Love, Marianne Dashwood or other sport weight yarn

Gauge: 5.75 sts = 1″ in Sprinkle Stitch Pattern

Needle: US 4

Yardage: approx. 150 yds

It All Comes Together Beret Pattern

click above to download the PDF!

queue it here!

This beret uses a sprinkle stitch pattern at the bottom for texture, but through the decreases, the sprinkled purl stitches grow closer and closer together until you’re left with a circle of reverse stockinette at the crown. This design was born out of a desire for a simple beret with a little something for interest. But in addition to that the concept was inspired by my belief that things have a way of working out in the end. The pattern is a reminder that things do come together. It’s an especially great thing for me to keep in mind during this hectic year.

The beret knits up quickly and is definitely light enough for spring. It’s got a little slouch, but not too much. If you’d like more slouch you can work in pattern for longer before beginning the decreases, just make sure you do a full pattern repeat otherwise the purl stitches will be out of place. I hope you enjoy it. And let me know if you find any mistakes.

And thanks to all my test knitters, including Becky & Trisha!  And also Liz & Mom who are blogless!

I’m at home in bed and sick, but since I’ve been sleeping for a big chunk of the day I think I can muster the energy to talk about knitting for a little bit. Let me show you one of those backed up FOs I’ve been talking so much about lately.

I started this scarf last spring and was loving it for awhile, but two thirds of the way through I burnt out on it.  The lace pattern is very simple and 80″ is pretty long in fingering weight yarn.  The repetition just go to be too much.  But once I picked it up again a little while ago it felt new enough again that I could power through to then end.  So here it is…

Pattern: Lace Ribbon Scarf

Source: Knitty Spring 2008

Yarn: Louet, Gems Fingering Weight

Needles: US 2.5

Started: May 4, 2008

Finished: January 30, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

Although I did reach a point of burn out on this project there were long stretches of time when I found it very soothing.  The easy lace pattern made for good relaxation knitting and it had a flow that I generally don’t feel from scarf patterns.  I love scarves, but they tend not to be the most enjoyable knits.  It was only the length that made it hard to finish.  But with a break the soothing feeling was back and now ti’s done and spending a lot of time around my neck.

Another factor that made this scarf more manageable was the yarn.  Gems Fingering is a definite contender for my favorite yarn of all time.  I made my Pleated Skirt out of Gems Opal, a previous incarnation of basically the same yarn.  And as much as I love beautiful hand dyed yarns, Malabrigo and so many yarns out there, I love Gems for it’s feel and it’s versatility.  Gems is incredibly soft.  It feels just as good to work with as it does to wear.  It’s machine washable and dryable.  It comes in a wide range of lovely colors.  Variety is nice, but Gems is a yarn I know I can come back to again and again.