My current work in progress:

1. Mighty Mini, designed by Rachel Henry, knit from Socks That Rock Worthy in the "Tanzanite" and "The Green That Sings" colorways on a 3.0 mm needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Almost Time

First off, the winner of a copy of Anna Dalvi’s lovely eBook Mystic Shawls is Kendra Struthers, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and told me which design is your favorite.

Next up, look what I finished!

Array062214 240x225 Almost Time

Yes, I finally finished my Array Cowl!

Array062214a 168x240 Almost Time

This was knit from madelinetosh pashminia, in the water lily and malachite colorways, using a U.S. size 6 needle.

Actually, I finished it a week ago. I’ve been working on a stealth project since then. The sample for this:

2014Mystery 240x240 Almost Time

Yes! It is almost time for me to announce my Summer Mystery Shawl KAL! Watch this space!

As you can see, the excitement here is palpable.

Loki062214 240x195 Almost Time

Mystic Shawls

Last week I got a review copy of Mystic Shawls, a pattern collection by Anna Dalvi. right now it is available as an eBook only — hard copies will be shipping later this month.

MysticShawlscover 174x240 Mystic Shawls

Anna Dalvi is a prolific designer — if you look on Ravelry, you will find that she has 103 pattern posted there. This book is a collection of 14 lace shawls that were all originally part of knit-alongs (KALs). I pause to contemplate this: Anna Dalvo has hosted 14 shawl KALs.

These 14 shawls are Anna’s “Mystic” Collection — all have Mystic in their name. And they are all drool-worthy. I say this as someone who is extremely picky about lace patterns: one little thing that seems “off” to me can ruin a whole pattern and I won’t consider it. so this is amazing: a book with 14 patterns and not a dog in the bunch. (Apologies to all the dogs out there. I am a cat person.)

The shawls are in several shapes: triangle, rectangle, square, circle, semi-circle, and crescent, so there is something for everyone. Most of the patterns are knit from laceweight yarns, with a few written for fingering weight and one for sport weight. The lace motifs are all charted (I can’t even begin to imagine the proofreading nightmare that would ensue if they were written out line by line) and the charts are large and clear. The designs are beautifully photographed by Caro Sheridan and there are multiple views of each design so you can really see what each one looks like.

You can see all the patterns on Ravelry, here.

I’ve had a hard time picking my favorites. Mystic Embers jumped out at me immediately:

MysticEmbers 240x160 Mystic Shawls

I love how the diamond-shaped motif is placed into the rectangular shawl — so different!

I also love Mystic Roses:

MysticRoses 160x240 Mystic Shawls

Such a lovely large shawl!

And Mystic Delight is . . . well . . . a delight!

MysticDelight 160x240 Mystic Shawls

I love the mixture of color and lace here.

Go see all the designs on Ravelry! Which are your favorites?

You can purchase the eBook via Ravelry from the above link. You can also purchase a copy from the publisher, Cooperative Press.

You can also enter my contest to try to win a copy of the eBook. icon smile Mystic Shawls

To enter the contest, please leave a comment on this post telling which of the 14 shawls from Mystic Shawls is your favorite. To be eligible for the draw, leave your comment by 11:00 am Eastern time on Sunday, June 22, 2014. At that time the Random Number Generator will choose a winner.

Must dash — Loki and I have lots to do today!

Loki061514 240x207 Mystic Shawls

Nymphalidea Completed

I actually finished Nymphalidea on Sunday afternoon.

Nympho061114a 137x240 Nymphalidea Completed

My mods:

Once I got to 18 repeats of Wedge D, I started decreasing at the top edge to dramatically slow down the rate of increase.

I worked until I had 36 repeats of Wedge D, then I worked two rows of the solid color so that I was back at the top edge, then picked up and knit stitches long the top edge. When I had 2 stitches remaining, I slipped those 2, picked up 1 at the beginning of the top edge, and passed the 2 slipped stitches over — decreasing 2 stitches. This was to lessen the “corner” at the junction of the top edge and the live stitches on the needle. Then I continued picking up stitches along the top edge until I had picked up all the way back to the start.

I then turned and worked a 3-stitch applied i-cord along the top edge, attaching to the shawl by working the third stitch together with a live stitch from the stitches picked up along the top edge.

Important tip: Miles of applied i-cord goes much faster when you have a little helper.

Helper061114 208x240 Nymphalidea Completed

When I got to the junction of top edge and lives stitches, I once again decreased 2 stitches in the same manner as above, as I continued to work the applied i-cord. This pretty much gave me a straight edge, no corner at all!

To block I steamed the piece carefully with my steam iron, opening up the lace wedges as I worked. The finished shawl is about 88” along the top edge — nice and long!

Nympho061114 240x140 Nymphalidea Completed

Loki Sez:

Loki061114 240x211 Nymphalidea Completed

“After helping Momma with all that i-cord, I am exhausted!”

Notes From Camp

My Camp Loopy project is coming along very nicely.

WIP060814 240x131 Notes From Camp

Here it is, spread out on my dining room table, which is 48″ across. For a shawl that is 60″ along the top edge, the pattern directs you to knit Wedge D a total of 28 times. I currently have 35 repeats of Wedge D. I think it is pretty close to how large I want it, so I plan to start knitting an applied i-cord edging along the live stitches and across the top edge soon, using the solid color.

And Loki is still cute. icon smile Notes From Camp

Loki060814 240x186 Notes From Camp

That is all.

Nymphalidea

I will confess to you that in my head, I am calling this project “Nympho.” Much easier to remember and to spell.

I think that it is interesting that when I Googled the word “Nymphalidea,” rather than get hits about butterflies (in the pattern description the designer explains that Nymphalidea is named for one of the largest families of butterflies, with varieties found in every corner of the world), the first page of hits were all for the shawl.

Anyway . . .

I am making nice progress on this piece. The pattern is easy to memorize and fun to knit . . .a win-win situation!

WIP060414 240x134 Nymphalidea

As I usually do when knitting a pattern that is not my own design, I hopped on Ravelry to check out the gallery for the pattern. This pattern has 707 projects listed in Ravelry! I filtered the projects by the ones that have helpful notes, and read all the notes. One project offered a very useful suggestion:

The main complaint appeared to be that the original shape, particularly the ‘peak’ on the top edge, made it difficult to wear. Therefore, after knitting Wedge D for the 18th time, I changed the welt rows and knitted them as follows:
Row 1: P2, P2tog, P to end
Row 2: as per pattern
Row 3: K2, K2tog, K to end
Row 4: as per pattern

So after my 18th time knitting Wedge D, I am doing the welt decreases as she describes.

I am thinking that when I finish, I’ll work an applied i-cord along the top edge to give it a nice finished look. I’ll have plenty of the solid welt yarn leftover, as the pattern uses double the amount of yarn for the wedges as for the welts.

Today, June 4, is “Hug Your Cat Day.” And I think I will do just that!

Loki060414 240x158 Nymphalidea