Post PostStitch: The Finished Mares’ Tails Shawl

As you may recall, last month I was given the chance to try out a a PostStitch box.

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The project was Mares’ Tails by Katie Rempe using a skein of Anzula’s Breeze. I really enjoyed the project a lot — knitting with this silk/linen blend was definitely a treat — a real taste of summer — and the pattern was one that was simply very enjoyable to knit. It was one of those projects that once you start it…

IMG_9244You just don’t want to put it down…

IMG_9279-0At all.

IMG_9349The whole idea of PostStitch is that these ‘projects in a box’ are manageable month-long projects and I thought it was pretty perfect as far as timing went, even in a busy month like May. I wrapped up my shawl just before the Memorial Day weekend and then it ended up sitting for a while before I had a chance to block it. And then it took a bit before I could photograph it, but today I finally have the FO pictures for you!

First,I want to point out a detail that is probably overlooked by many…

marestails2The textured body. This design element is very simple, but I think it adds authenticity to the shawl and really is a vital part of what makes it unique and special.

Next, the more obvious lace panel.

marestailsThis panel was really fun to knit — interesting & very pretty, but not too difficult.

I added a couple repeats to my shawl, so it is very, very large and I really did not have the proper space for blocking (hence the slightly not straight edge), but I did my best with the space I had and really, once it’s being worn it couldn’t be more perfect.

IMG_9574Here I am at Governor Dodge State Park after a 2mile hike in to see this waterfall. I thought it’d be a nice spot for an FO photo. You can definitely see the generous size here even though I’m technically holding the shawl upside down (whoops!). Really, it’s gorgeous no matter which way you hold or wear it. If I’d completed the scalloped edge that the pattern calls for this wouldn’t have been an issue, but I opted instead for a clean finished edge by way of a simple lace bind-off. I am a very active lady and I manage to routinely get my belt-loops hooked on things (true story), so as pretty as a scalloped edge would be here it just wasn’t practical for me.

IMG_9575After hiking in with this shawl gently folded in my bag, I actually hiked out wearing it. It was a cooler coverup than my button-down shirt and — well, let’s just say it — even tramping through the woods a lady likes pretty things.

This project is still available via the PostStitch website if you’re looking for a nice big, beautiful summer shawl. Or, if you’ve got some stash yarn screaming to take on Mares’ Tails, you can get the pattern here. Either way, you can’t go wrong here. Many thanks (again) to the PostStitch folks for a great project!

And the winner is…

I’ve got just two and a half repeats left on my Mares’ Tails project…

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That doesn’t sound like much, but when I actually sat there and did some math (because I like to torture myself like that) that’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,500 stitches. That feels like a lot because despite how fun and relaxing this knit has been I’m at the point when I’m just really excited to — you know — be wearing this shawl.

In any case, being so close to finishing up this project it’s only fitting that I get to announce the winner of the PostStitch *GIVEAWAY* today.

The winner of a $60 coupon code to use toward their choice of PostStitch offering is…

Word Lily

Congratulations!

Please contact me via email at  knittingsarah[at]gmail[dot]com at your earliest convenience and we will get that code delivered to you!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered and especially to PostStitch for letting me try out this month’s project & host this fun giveaway!

Catching Frogs and Other Shenanigans

It was beautiful on Horicon Marsh this morning. The sun shone and the wind blew the way it can only on the ocean and the prairie. And we were fortunate enough to have time for a family hike on one of our favorite trails.

The Two Hawks trail is perfect this time of year — it’s cool enough that the open prairie isn’t blistering hot under the summer sun and the strong breeze keeps the bugs at bay. Most excitingly, though, the bobolinks are back and this trail is an excellent place to view them. I hadn’t ever seen these birds until we moved here and I was instantly transfixed. Partly because I think they look a little like Dennis Rodman if he were a bird and partly because their call reminds me of an ’80s video game I might have pretended to play at our local Pizza Hut when I was a kid, but mostly they are just unique in how they fly up out of the tall grass and kind of float/fly about. I could watch them all day.

This trail also can be very wet in spring which is great for the kids who love to catch frogs.

IMG_9355They’ve gotten pretty good at it…

IMG_9354And sometimes we get a little silly about it…

IMG_9344In fact, there were a lot of shenanigans on the trail today…

IMG_9310And one someone was being quite the ham…

IMG_9353But of course there are always lessons to be learned…

IMG_9307Like dandelion greens are edible. Because school is always in session in one way or another at our house. As it should be.

With some adventures under our belts and our legs properly stretched by the lovely hike in the beautiful weather, I’ll be taking some time this afternoon to work on my PostStitch BigStitch May project, the Mares’ Tails shawl…

IMG_9349It looks small because it’s on a 24″ cable needle, but I assure you it is pretty substantial as I only have 4 repeats left in the pattern. True, each repeat increases by 12stitches so this baby is slowly down as I near the end, but I feel pretty confident that I’ll be wrapping it up sooner than later. It is really a joy to knit.

Remember that today is the final day to enter to win a $60 coupon code from PostStitch. If you haven’t already entered, go to the full review post here and follow the directions for how to enter. Entries close at 11:59 CST and I’ll announce the winner tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled!

PostStitch Review and *GIVEAWAY*

This month I’ve had the pleasure of trying out a box from the PostStitch. Sporting the very appropriate slogan “A project in a box,” this montly subscription-based knitting club does the legwork for you — compiling the yarn, pattern, and all the tools you need to complete the selected project — so that you can just open your box and knit. There are two subscription options to choose from — BigStitch and SockStitch, the former delivering a woman’s accessory project and the latter an adult woman’s sock project. Arriving at my door in early May was the current month’s BigStitch…

IMG_9220As I mentioned in an earlier post, there was no waiting for good light and a proper photo for me to tear into this box.

IMG_9241And I have to say, opening it was really fun. I love surprises!

IMG_9217This month’s project is Mares’ Tails by Katie Rempe, a big, beautiful linen/silk blend wrap. Shown here is a postcard that details the contents of the box — a feature that I think makes the whole project come together really nicely.

IMG_9242And as advertised the box came with everything I’d need to complete the project:

– a print copy of the Mares’ Tails pattern

– 1 skein of Breeze by Anzula, a beautiful lace linen/silk blend

– a set of ChiaoGoo needles

– stitch markers

– highlighter tape

– and a very fun extra, an alpaca beverage koozie

I had to delay my casting-on a couple days just to finish up my current WIP — it wasn’t easy with that pretty, pretty pink yarn waiting for me! In addition to the yarn, the designer and needles were new to me, so there was just a ton of anticipation on the front end of this project! Once I got going…

IMG_9244I was totally hooked…

mares tailsAnd I’ve been knitting away every since.

One more photo… a detail perhaps?

mares tails detailsThe needles, the yarn, the very fun pattern are all just tops with me. If you’re in love with this project — and really, who can blame you — you can still pick up a kit for yourself in any of the three beautiful colorways — it’s available here.

As an added bonus, the PostStitch folks are co-hosting a KAL for this month’s project in their Ravelry group with the designer herself. It’s been an awesome group, a great place to find support when questions arise and just a fun place to share progress. I think the coolest thing to see is that this PostStitch box has been the first foray into lace for a number of knitters and what a wonderful introduction they are having — complete with support from the designer. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Trying this month’s box out and touring the offerings, I can honestly say that I see a lot of great potential here. Whether you are a knitter looking to be challenged in a supported environment or perhaps you don’t have access to an LYS and crave a group knitting experience or maybe you are like me and you just like surprises, PostStitch is a really great option available to knitters all around the world.

As a special treat, Amy & Megan — the ladies behind PostStitch — have offered to do a *GIVEAWAY* here for you! One lucky reader will win a $60 coupon code to use toward a PostStitch subscription. This code can be used toward the BigStitch or SockStitch clubs in either a single or multiple month subscription — the winner gets to choose the club that suits him/her best!

To enter, just leave a comment below sharing which PostStitch subscription you’d like to try and why. It’s that easy!

Entries will be accepted through Monday, May18th, and 11:59CST and I’ll select and announce a winner Tuesday the 19th.

I’m going to get back to my Mares’ Tails knitting (because I’m addicted). Best of luck to you in the giveaway — I can’t wait to see who wins!