Finished Objects

Chroma Lollipop Haruni Shawl

You may recall that I purchased some Knit Picks Chroma yarn in Lollipop to make a Haruni shawl. Well here it is!

Chroma Lollipop Haruni Shawl

I got the idea to use the yarn for this pattern after seeing one created by a Ravelry user. It’s a fantastic way to take advantage of the gradually transitioning colors – just look at the neat ripples it makes on the edging!

Chroma Lollipop Haruni Shawl

I had a lot of trouble keeping my center stitches even in this pattern. I thought it might just be because of the varying thicknesses found in the yarn, but I had the same problem with the one I made with my Comfy yarn.

IMG_5428

There are two edging options for this project – a crocheted edging and a knit I-cord edging. For the sake of trying something new, I went with the I-cord edging. Now that I’m done, I think I would have preferred the daintier crocheted edging option. Oh well – now I know! Practice makes perfect, and I still need a lot of practice. 🙂

Chroma Lollipop Haruni Shawl

See this project on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/BabycakesCreates/haruni

Yarns

In My Stash: Yarn Bee Soft Secret

Here’s another acrylic yarn, because, let’s face it – not every yarn purchase can be a splurge. In this exciting episode, I once again prove that I have a problematic addiction to anything the turquoise/teal family. 🙂 This particular manifestation? Yarn Bee Soft Secret in Teal.

Yarn Bee Soft Secret

This yarn has a noticeable sheen to it, and is also very smooth to the touch. It is similar to Caron SimplySoft, which some people don’t like because it feels too “plastic-y.”

Yarn Bee Soft Secret

I personally really like this “shiny” characteristic, however. Soft Secret comes many jewel-tone shades that beckon from the Hobby Lobby shelf…

Yarn Bee Soft Secret

I have five or six skeins of this colorway. I keep changing my mind about what pattern I want to use it for – any thoughts?

Yarns

In My Stash: Stroll Tonal Sock Yarn

Have I mentioned that I love cable knitting? Because I love cable knitting. So when I saw the Nennir cowl pattern, I knew I wanted to give it a try.

Such a beautiful Celtic cable pattern called for a gorgeous yarn to match. Specifically, I wanted a variegated green to complement the cables in the pattern. I found exactly what I was looking for when I bought Stroll Tonal Sock Yarn in Canopy.

stroll tonal sock yarn canopy

I’m actually using this yarn to make a full-length scarf in the Nennir pattern, instead of just a cowl. As I near the halfway point of the scarf, I’m very happy with how the project is going. As always, I promise pictures when I’m done. 🙂

stroll tonal sock yarn canopy

I would absolutely use this yarn again. The only odd thing? It has a very noticeable (chemical? dye?) smell. I’m optimistic that it will go away when I wash it, though. Has anyone else noticed it with this yarn? I haven’t experienced it with other Knit Picks yarns.

Yarns

In My Stash: Araucania Nuble

Update: Click here to see what I made with this yarn.

One of the highlights of our trip to St. Louis was a stop at Knitorious. I’m lucky to have a couple of nice yarn shops nearby, but that store ruined me for many other shops. It’s amazing. My favorite part is that they have lots of skeins of each colorway on the shelves. I know many stores will order more skeins for you, but there’s something comforting about seeing all of the skeins you’ll need in-stock.

My favorite purchase from this store was three skeins of Araucania Nuble yarn (you can buy it online here). It was a bit of a splurge for me, but I loved the colors and – hey – it was vacation. 🙂

araucania nuble yarn

I was initially drawn in by the colors (Colorway 06) – pink, blue, and purple have been my favorites since I was little. A girly-girl forever. These turquoise, violet, and fuschia jewel-tone shades were just too beautiful to pass up.

araucania nuble yarn

Texture is also a big factor for me – my precious princess skin is sensitive to some wool blends. I suspect I have a mild allergy, which is rather inconvenient for this hobby. In any case, this yarn is no problem for me: 75% Extra Fine Merino, 25% Silk.

araucania nuble yarn

The plan for the yarn at this point is to use it for the Glitz at the Ritz shawl. I bought a package of Bead Treasures Beach Party mix to use on this project.

I’m really, really excited to get started. So many queued projects, so little time. My current project? Even more cable knitting, my most ambitious one yet. Can’t wait to share it!

Fun Stuff, Yarns

Weekend Update

“What is a weekend?” Oh Dowager Countess, how I love your quips. I hope your own weekend is going well! Mine is going splendidly.

Today I went on a little shopping spree. My first stop was Knit Picks. I swear I do not work for them – I’m just a fan. 🙂 Anyway, they’re having a pretty fun and fantastic sale. Lots of their orange and black (random aside: any Orange is the New Black fans?) yarns are on sale. I scored a few skeins of a yarn I have been wanting for 40% off. Procrastination paid off, and my stash runneth over.

I also took the opportunity to pick up a skein of the new Curio crochet thread. Has anyone tried this yet? There are some fun colors – I chose Victorian. Pictures to come.

Next, my grandma and I hit the town to check out a local yarn shop I haven’t been to yet. It was great, and full of ladies working on projects and chatting. Can’t wait to visit again!

After an amazing lunch (buffalo chicken mac and cheese so good it should be illegal), we checked out a consignment shop. I scored a serving tray that came with a folding stand, which will be perfect as a portable work surface. It was $6. Six. Dollars. Can’t beat that. I think I’ll paint it, but I haven’t decided yet.

What have you been up to?

Finished Objects

Crocheted Gingham Baby Blanket

Remember that contest I mentioned, and the post in which I promised more photos and descriptions? Well here I am, making good on that promise. 🙂 This first one is a crocheted baby blanket, which I made from granny squares.

Crochet gingham baby blanket

I loved the idea of creating a gingham pattern out of two shades of the same yarn color, plus white. I had also been (and still am, really) obsessed with the turquoise-white color combination. Hence, the inspiration for this afghan. This baby afghan pattern from Bernat served as the inspiration for the granny square color layout. But I wanted to use granny squares with  more interest and texture…

Crochet gingham baby blanket

..so I found three different granny square patterns that I liked, all by Aurora Suominen. The six-inch-wide square patterns were rather hard to find – many patterns are 12 inches wide, which would have made a HUGE blanket once I had created the gingham pattern I desired. But I loved the ones that I picked – all different from one another, yet bearing the similar textural hallmarks of the same designer.

Here are the squares I used:

Crochet gingham baby blanket

I didn’t win any awards on this one, but I’m quite happy with the result. The only hiccup? The centers of several of the flower squares unraveled horrifyingly in the wash. I thought the entire thing was a lost cause when I saw the damage, but the repairs turned out to be relatively easy. The photos you see here were taken after the washing mishap and subsequent fix-up.

See this project on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/BabycakesCreates/framing-a-flower-6-square

Yarns

In My Stash: Sea Foam KnitPicks Comfy Fingering Yarn

How, when, and why do you buy your yarn? Are most of your purchases spur-of-the-moment, without a particular project in mind? Or do you pick a pattern, then buy the yarn you will need? Like (I suspect) many people, I do some of each.

This particular yarn purchase – KnitPicks Comfy (Fingering) – was based simply on my love for its color. Plus, it’s inexpensive, lightweight, and (according to its description online) soft.

knit picks sea foam comfy

Based on these attributes, (and a need to meet my minimum “free” shipping purchase amount… online shopping logic 🙂 ) I decided to buy a few skeins. I thought that, if I like it, it could be good for bigger projects.

The verdict? Inconclusive. Since taking these photos of the yarn, I used it to make a small project. It is indeed very soft, but it probably wasn’t the best choice for the pattern. It’s hard to explain. The yarn is beautiful, the pattern is lovely, but this yarn + that pattern = something not quite right. Maybe it’s the “drape” of the fabric? Or just my newbie knitter status?

knit picks comfy seafoam

I’ll share some photos of that finished object later and let you judge for yourself. Chances are good that I’m just being overly critical of my own work (worsened by the fact that I plan to give the FO as a gift). I would certainly give this yarn another try – perhaps in a heavier weight, and for a light cardigan.

knit picks comfy sea foam

Inspiration

Picking a Yarn Color Palette

The KnitPicks blog published a post recently about color inspiration, and it struck a chord with me. Both my personal interests and professional life have, in various capacities, involved the use of color and the selection of color palettes.

Up until now, I haven’t really employed many of my favorite color selection techniques in my knitting and crochet projects. My choices often just come down to what combinations seem appealing to me while I’m standing in front of the yarn display. I decided to do a little exercise in color selection based on one of my favorite recent photos. This is one of my beloved floral closeups from my St. Louis trip.

lily pad inspiration photo

I picked one of the tools recommended in the post, the TinEye Labs website, to help me identify the key colors in the image. It’s incredibly easy to use – just upload an image from your computer and wait for the results. A screen capture of the results for my image is below. It shows the original image, a pixelated “color map,” and the color palette that the program puts together based on your upload.

Lily Pond TinEye Labs

From there, I selected a few appealing colors and matched them with shades of Palette yarn. They are (clockwise from upper left) Pumice Stone Heather, Lady Slipper, Bittersweet Heather, and Edamame. I really like how this little exercise turned out! I never would have combined these colors on my own. This color selection method would give you a fun way to pick a color palette for a memorable project.

paletteinspiration

Yarns

In My Stash: Lollipop Chroma Fingering by KnitPicks

Update: Psssssst… to check out what I made with this yarn, click here.

Update 2: Looking for this yarn? Click here to see what I found out about its availability.

I have been drooling over KnitPicks’ Chroma Fingering Yarn in Lollipop for a long time, because it’s so. pretty. I have never ordered yarn online before, and have been hesitant to do so because I like to see/touch it for myself. I finally pulled the trigger, and I’m so glad that I did. I mean, look at it…

KnitPicks Chroma Yarn

…it’s like a Lisa Frank explosion, in the best possible way. So nostalgic. It makes me want to search eBay for unicorn-and/or-baby-tiger-emblazoned Trapper Keepers.

Knit Picks Chroma Lollipop

I have seen quite a few people use this yarn for kids’ projects, but I think it’s perfect for kids at heart, too. 🙂 I actually have big plans for my skeins. They are destined to become a Haruni shawl. A fellow Raveler used this yarn for one, and it was amazing. I can’t wait.

Knit Picks Chroma Lollipop

I’m pretty picky about texture, and many wool yarns just don’t feel soft enough to me. I was pleasantly surprised by this blend – it’s much softer than I expected.

knitpicks chroma fingering yarn

I also love how the colors fade gradually into one another. That makes the color transitions show between rows instead of looking choppy as some variegated yarns do. Plus, it’s cat-approved. So there’s that.

Knitpicks Chroma