Askews Me, My Dears!

It all started here.

img_24355 skeins of Spun Right Round DK. Add in the encouragement of my buddies in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group and the brioche-along we decided we to embark on and I was casting-on an Askews Me Shawl.

img_2454Things were going very well…

img_2473I got to about here and then it started to get warm outside and our time outside picked up and the shawl was kind of warm and bulky to drag along with me. So I set it down. And it sat, boy how it sat, until well into autumn. When I finally decided to pick it back up, despite remembering otherwise I found I had taken rather shoddy notes and I wasn’t quite sure where I’d left off. I ripped it back and started over and this time carried on through until the end.

img_5300It’s really so, so pretty and was such a big squishy soft knit. And it was truly excellent to work on in November when there was a chill in the air.

I don’t have the best photos courtesy of the loads of rain and grey skies we’ve been having, but I did the best I could with what I have.

askews-me3It’s a whole lot more wild than my usual projects.

askewsme4Once in a while though, isn’t wild kind of fun?

askews-me2One side is the light pink/orange to medium blue to yellow and the other is light blue/grey to medium blue to dark blue (broken a bit with a yellow stripe). And I used the dark blue for the icord bind-off that it 100% awesome.

askews-meI’ll keep looking for an opportunity to get better photos as I know these are sub-optimal. I just couldn’t wait any longer to share as it’s better sitting here finished for at least a month.

I have to say, brioche is a different pace that non-brioche knitting, but if you give it time there is definitely a wonderful rhythm to it. I found the Askews Me pattern to be very well written, too. There are a couple increases and decreases to learn, but I was impressed in that they were very well explained and easy to execute. The resulting fabric is fantastic, too — especially when paired with the a super soft yarn such as the Spun Right Round DK. Beyond the bright colors and bold combinations, this shawl is by far the squishiest, coziest, craziest, most fun shawl I’ve ever made. Three cheers for my Askews Me Shawl , Spun just the Right way Round.

Snow, Yarn, Mud, Snow, Fiber, Mud, Snow

With the arrival of March, so starts the dance between winter & spring here. It snows. It’s warm and the snow melts. It snows. It’s warm and the snow melts. Physically, this is one of the hardest times of year for me. Preceding every¬† weather & pressure change, there are always aches and pains that really assault my poor hip and make it a delicate balance between needing to stay active & limber and needing to rest. Even with the two respectable snowfalls this week, the kiddos and I have soldiered on with our daily walks. We also took a very beautiful (and brisk!) walk with Mr. Knitting Sarah on his day off.

img_2441I simply love the stark colors. Through a wood and alongside a fast-moving, spring meltwater fueled river, it looked like a warm-ish spring day. In reality, the wind seemed to be sucking up the cold from the snow and the water and throwing it not just directly at us, but through us. Brrrrrrrr. It was still nice to be out and about though and we were rewarded with the songs of a few Chickadees and glimpse at an adorable Brown Creeper.

On my needles, I made a slightly manic dash into my brioche project, the Askews Me Shawl in Spun Right Round Squish DK. I was a little nervous about my planned color changes, so I really pushed through to the first one.

img_2473I have no idea what I was nervous about. This project is exceeding all my expectations. Period.

On my wheel, I had a really nice stretch during one of Mr Knitting Sarah’s days off where he took over the kids’ school day and I was able to spin.

img_2475And this morning I finished up my 4oz braid of Three Waters Farm Dirty Girl Redux. It took a little while to really get a good feel for the silk blend as I just haven’t done much with blends lately, but I definitely regained my comfort level before long. I’m constantly aware that I’m mighty short on time for the combo spin I have planned for this month, so I’ve been trying to squeeze in extra time for this project whenever I can. I’ll be prepping and hopefully starting the next 4oz after I shovel our latest snowfall. I could have the kids do the shoveling — they’d gladly handle it, but it’s Saturday and I’m just letting them play.

It was a pretty sweet week for yarn & fiber mail, too. First, I received my Three Waters Farm Top of the Month installment.

img_2447A gorgeous braid of Falkland in a colorway named “Spring Spirit”, I snapped a photo and then closed the box because I need to focus on my current spin in progress. You can bet your life that I’m thinking about this one though. I also just changed over my subscription to the Top of the Month from the wools to the wool-silk blends. Since the colors each month are pretty of-the-moment, I think the spring & summer colorways will pair nicely with some lighter, silk-blend spinning. The idea is to switch back to pure wools when autumn rolls back around. Plans are subject to change, but in my head at this moment it seems like solid planning.

I also got a special treat for Louet this week…

img_2464Louet is always so good to me! They asked if I’d have interest in working on any designs from their new Spring 2016 Collection and — of course — I could not resist the chance to work up a new piece in the lovely Euroflax yarn. It was actually a really hard choice for me, but in the end I decided on the Veleta tunic by Susanna IC. I’ve been a fan of Susanna’s work for years and it’s been far too long since I’ve knit one of her designs. Plus, look at how cute & unique that tunic is! I opted to knit it in Heron Grey — partly because I have a thing for colors named for birds, but mostly because I have a thing for a good steely blue-grey. The basic Cream will be the lace detail. I have to get through a couple bits and bobs before I can start this, but I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be a fabulous addition to my summer wardrobe.

Well, the kiddos are happily playing outside, so I’d better get out there and finish up our shoveling. I’ve got a lot of chores to finish up today, but here’s hoping I can make some time to get some fiber prepped and knitting done, too. I hope you can find some time for your fiber arts project this lovely Saturday, too!

A WIP Wednesday

Wednesdays are usually very busy family days for me so I rarely get to post up a standard WIP Wednesday like other bloggers do, but this week our schedule is a little different and I thought it’d be fun to participate and share my current works in progress.

First, on my needles I’ve been clicking away at my Riverbend cardigan.

img_2361I’m knitting it in Brooklyn Tweed Quarry in the Slate colorway. I’ve had a lot of concerns about the fit of this sweater. When considering the recommended ease, I’m very much in between sizes. In the end, I opted to go with the smaller size. With a recommended positive ease of 4-7″, I decided I’d rather have 2.5-3″ of positive ease instead of 7+”. With this design, I had a bad feeling that going beyond the recommended ease would leave me with a sweater that was constantly falling off my shoulders which would make me crazy. Of course, this means I fret a bit while I’m working on it — trying to eyeball the sizing as I go. I started the sleeves last night, though, so I shouldn’t have long to wait and see how the final fit goes. I’ll also have some words to share on the much debated ‘unspun’ quality of Quarry as well so stay tuned.

On my wheel, I’m plying my Completely Twisted and Arbitrary SAL “Color Music” BFL.

img_2358These colors — dyed by Three Waters Farm — are truly rich & lovely. I noticed someone else in the Ravelry group who didn’t barberpole the colors, but kept the colors true and I had just a teeny tiny pang of regret that I hadn’t done the same. No matter, though, this yarn will be lovely.

Do you count the projects you’re organizing in your head as WIPs? I definitely do! Especially as I near the end of a current project my mind definitely is already locating yarn for the next project and making plans. In this case, I’ve been searching for the perfect pattern for this skein that arrived on my doorstep on Saturday.

img_2346Meet Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts latest base, Reinvent in the Kismet colorway. Reinvent is a super unique yarn, made with the environmentally conscious crafter in mind as it’s made from reclaimed new fibers. It’s a nice big 437yard skein of wool/mohair/nylon/acrylic/silk blend and at first touch it has a very BFL or BFL/silk type feel to it. I’m kind of leaning toward knitting up a shawl with it, but we shall see. I’m going to keep looking for a couple days to make sure I find the pattern.

I also pulled out my yarn for some brioche!

img_2362I got this yarn last year after being inspired by Renee of Spun Right Round‘s start on a scrappy Askews Me Shawl. And then recently in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group I noticed quite a few knitters chiming in on the One Plus One Plus One Project making ‘learn brioche’ one of their goals. We got to talking and decided to have a little informal Brioche-Along. We’ll be starting March 1st and while everyone can pick their own yarns & patterns, we’ll be there to share our brioche journeys and help each other out along the way. Anyone is welcome to join — from the newbie brioche knitter to skilled hands with the technique.

Of course, there’s a braid of fiber or two on deck and I’m definitely flirting with winding yarn for another quick sweater. That could be said for me almost any day of the year though if I’m being honest. I’ll stop here for today though — for my sake as well as yours!

Happy WIP Wednesday to you — may your needles fly & your dreams be big!