Success! My first lace scarf is complete!

Whoo hoo! In just two short weeks I started and finished my first lace scarf!

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This is the very same pattern I attempted over the summer, but failed miserably. I learned that hard way that if you use a “life-line” when working with lace patterns, it will save you from having to frog (undo) all of your hard work back to the beginning.

As a refresher, a “life-line” is a scrap piece of yarn threaded through one row in your project. It acts as a safety net if you make a mistake. If you do make a mistake, you just insert you needle along the life-line and undo all the stitches up to that row. You will still lose some of your work, but at least you don’t have to start back at the beginning. Plus, if you put in a life-line every couple of rows you won’t lose that much.

But of course, I didn’t use any life-lines last June. I was more than halfway finished with the pattern and made one mistake and had to start over. At that time I was so dis-heartened that I never attempted this pattern again until now.

imageSo it is with pride that I show off my beautiful new spring scarf, just in time for upcoming birthday parties and Easter events! This scarf is made with the gorgeous lace yarn I picked out in the beginning of March along with a new set of Knitter’s Pride Dreamz knitting needles (size 11). The yarn is a washable sport-weight merino wool from Lorna’s Laces called “Passion” and  was awesome to work with. This was the first time I worked with expensive yarn and absolutely love the results! The yarn was well worth the moo-la$$ I dished out for it and recommend it to anyone.

In case you are curious about  the pattern I used, it is titled “One Row Lace Scarf” by Truvid which can be found on Ravelry. For your convenience here is link to the pattern in case you want to try this one out for yourself:

One Row Lace Scarf Pattern by Truvid

The pattern worked up fairly fast (at least for me – most knitters are much faster) and  I only made one mistake along the way. This was a record for me! Lucky for me, I was pretty adamant in putting life-lines every couple of rows 🙂

Anyway, I wanted to make this scarf extra long, so I knitted the pattern until the scarf measure 80 inches unblocked.image To add some nice detailing to the edges, I took the extra time to cut 48 strands of yarn (one for each stitch on both sides) and added coordinating glass beads to the ends of the strands. I then folded each strand in half and tied through each stitch on both ends.

Since this was my first time using premium yarn, I took extra care to properly block my finished garment. Blocking was something I avoided in the past and never really had to do since I primarily worked with acrylic yarn. To insure I did this right, I scoured the net and found many resources that explained the blocking process.

With towels, t-pins and no-rinse wool wash, I was ready to block my lovely scarf. I followed the instructions on the no-rinse wool wash and soaked my scarf for 15 minutes. I was careful not to handle the scarf too much so I wouldn’t damage the fibers.

After draining the water, I gently squeezed excess water from the garment and laid it on a towel rolled it up and stepped on it (no kidding). I then carefully stretched the scarf on the long towels I had laid out on the floor in my living room  and began measuring and pinning it along the sides. I measured along the way to make sure I didn’t over-stretch the scarf. The measured width of my scarf ended up being 6 inches x 108 inches long blocked (without the tails). I let my scarf dry overnight and into the next day to insure it was completely dry.

I un-pinned my scarf last night and took pictures just as the sun was setting. Ah! How wonderful! This was a very rewarding project and I can’t wait to wear it this upcoming weekend! Thanks for taking the time to read this post and feel free to leave comments or ask questions. Until next project…

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Springtime Placemats Complete, plus a sneak peak into my next project…

Happy Monday everyone! Today I am feeling good about the progress I made over the weekend. I spring cleaned around the house. Washed blankets, sheets, fluffed pillows, cleaned closets; you name it, we probably did it.

Along with all that spring cleaning, I finally put the finishing touches on my Springtime placemats. Yeah!

In case I didn’t say so before, these mats were inspired by these two cute little owls you see pictured above. Owls are all the rage these days and am definitely in love with these two. Aren’t they adorable?

Anyway, I technically finished these on Friday, but I didn’t get around to washing and blocking these until Saturday. Sunday they were freshly laid out on the table in all their glory!

Now that my Springtime placemats are done now I can finally (without guilt) start on my lace scarf I had waiting in the wings. Here is a sneak peek at what I have accomplished last night…

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Gorgeous, isn’t it? Well, I will post more details about this scarf when complete so I will just have to keep you in suspense about the awesome yarn this is made with and the pattern I chose.

In the meantime, happy knitting!

Until next time…

Success! Green Shawl is done!

imageHey everybody! Exciting news (at least for me). After nearly one year and some very slow knitting, I have finally finished my lovely green shawl! Several posts ago, I mentioned that I pulled this project out of deep hibernation and finally put myself to the task of finishing this little green monster.

I think I also eluded previously that this shawl pattern normally zooms right by, but I think this type of yarn was making it more difficult for me to add a lace border.

Despite all the frogging and re-knitting I did on this shawl, I absolutely love the results! It light enough for spring-like weather, but warm enough to ward off the seemingly never-ending winter chill. Here is some photos of me wearing my shawl in honor of St. Patrick’s Day yesterday:

In case you want to try this shawl for yourself, here is a video of the basic pattern without the border:

Thank you for everyone that encouraged me to finish this. Now it’s time to finish up those springtime placemats!

Stay tuned…

Finished another custom order

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This is just a quick update folks. Just wanted to share that I completed my fifth custom order this past week. This time the order consisted of two more basic cowls in black. This is ironic twist of fate since I just completed a single custom order that was also a basic black cowl for the same customer. It seems lately that no sooner when I finish one custom order, another one is surprisingly waiting in the wings. By no means am I complaining. Getting some compensatioin to feed my knitting hobby is always a nice bonus. Plus, I am very flattered that my fellow coworkers and friends think my work is good enough to give away as gifts or to wear themselves.

On another quick update, I keep working on my green shawl that I started last March before I put it in cold storage.
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Working on the shawl lace border has been both relaxing and frustrating experience at the same time. Unlike my very first knitted shawl that I also completed with a lace border, this one is giving me some problems. Either my first shawl was a complete fluke where I never had to frog any sections, or the yarn I chose for the second shawl project could be culprit. Either way I keep hacking at it; one little section at a time.

On the bright side, I learned my lesson with my attempted lace scarf over the summer. All lace work needs life lines installed in several intervals. Now that I know this, frogging sections have become less of a heartache since I only have to frog back so far.

Well, time to get back to knitting…