Sunday, March 20, 2016

Finally Time to Cast On!

I have been plotting and planning what to do for my ColourMart Lover's Spring Contest entry for a little while now.  I knew I wanted to knit another shawl, I knew I wanted to design my own and I knew that I wanted something other than the usual yarn over, knit one, yarn over spine.  But until a couple of weeks ago that was all I knew!

I swatched a couple of different stitch patterns, and swatched a couple of different shawl shapes.  Then I swatched a few more.

Then I charted and saved.

Changed a couple of things and charted again.

Yesterday I was awake at "oh-dark thirty" for no good reason.  I had nowhere I needed to be, nobody needed a ride anywhere so I opened the chart for one final glance before I would be able to cast on today.  Looking at a chart that I hadn't done much with for a few days gave me a different perspective on it, and I saw one small change that would make it a little smoother in the transition from one stitch pattern to the next.

Of course that one small change involved adding a row to a 14 row pattern repeat, fairly early in the piece.  That one row changed the way every single row from there on would line up.

Five hours later I closed the chart, declared I was done tinkering and took the kids shoe shopping!

Officially I could have cast on just a little after mid-night.  Having been up at "oh dark thirty" on Saturday I didn't cast on until just a few minutes ago!

Here is my (very exciting) cast on picture!  (It's a requirement for entry to the contest!)

And another just a couple of rows in.

The yarn is a mohair and merino blend in a subtle pink. I am knitting straight from the cone which  means there are still oils on the yarn to allow commercial companies to use it in knitting and weaving machines, so it doesn't feel as nice as it does once it has been given a really hot, soapy wash and several rinses. Once it has had a "spa treatment" this yarn really shines, just enough halo and softness to make a wonderfully cozy shawl.

I am double checking the chart and writing the pattern up as I go.  Unless I do more tinkering, by the end of the contest I should have a pattern that is ready for testing!

I made slow progress on my Margarita's Coverlet hexes.  I am working with purples right now and have 4 of the 7 hexes I need for the next "flower", then it will be back to cream to start making enough for the next spacer row.  I have been working two flowers in each color palate, one with either a stripey or varigated yarn as the petals and a solid as the center, the other in reverse.  So far I have finished up each version in pinks, blues, greens and beige/browns. 

I need one more set of colors and I will have enough flowers for four rows of three flowers.  What color palate would you pick to go with purples and greens?

More progress pics (of both projects)  to follow later in the week!

~M

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