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When you can knit but can’ t count

22 Aug

Carefully considering the appropriate cast on for the 7 Crescent Shawl by Lisa Barnes, I quickly put 232 stitches on a 24″ size 7 needle the night before our Montreal road trip. By the end of the weekend, the lace portion was complete.

“What long rows,” I thought.

Alanna Nelson knits shawl in New England

Never mind, the rest of the Crescent Shawl was stockinette st short rows… perfect for our sailing vacation which began two days later. I plugged away, enjoying the mindless knitting while watching waves, wind and lightning. Eventually it occurred to me that this shawl was asymmetrical.

Crescent Shawl knit while sailing

The #7 Crescent Shawl with a long tail


I’d cast on 332 stitches, not 232! All scrunched up on the short needle, I couldn’t really tell.

Do I finish, I wondered? What if I worked 12 st past the join on the long side, so I would finish up at the same time on both ends? What the heck, it may be just fine. It’s still mindless knitting.

Well, it’s really not. Once finished, no way did I want it to do on my present shelf. Really, the lace pattern is a bit disjointed. Actually, there’s so much going on in the yarn that I really couldn’t see the pattern anyway. But the Noro Mirai yarn is quite soft. I like the yarn, I like the idea of a crescent shawl, but something with lacey, easy to knit holes, something soft and buttery, with light layers would be a better mix for this cotton/silk/viscose yarn.

Rather than rip out and knit again, I think I’m going to write my own crescent shawl pattern. Stay tuned!

My mods on Plymouth #2865 Girl Tunic

18 Aug

Bags of Plymouth Dreambaby DK Paintpot arrived last month at Janet’s. In my usual Wednesday afternoon procrastination, I offered to knit up a shop sample of the Plymouth Girl’s Tunic with this machine washable blend.

Alanna Nelson knit modification Plymouth pattern

Cute kid! Plymouth #2865 Girl’s tunic

The yarn was pleasant to knit, but one look at the pattern, I knew things had to change. Why on earth would I want to knit this and sew it together? This is a perfect candidate for knitting in the round! And a picot hem but a ribbed neckline and armholes? Of course, picot edging all round!

Alanna Nelson knit baby clothes Boston

No baby here, so teddy was my model!

It didn’t take long to knit, but it took weeks for me to finally post the modifications. If you pick up the pattern at Sit and Knit, you’ll get a print out if you’d like to follow what I did. Or else, just download these Plymouth Girl Tunic modifications for your own personal use. You’ll need to purchase the pattern, and perhaps these mods will be obvious to you as well, but I thought I’d share!

Alanna Nelson knitwear designer Textilfilia

Picot edging is worked for a no sew hem!

Alanna Nelson knits picot edging on Plymouth Girl Tuni

Picot bind off worked at armhole and neck edge.

Kleam Kerchief in Rowan Cotton Lustre

25 Mar

When Janet invited us when the Rowan yarn rep stopped by in February, I had no idea I would fall for their new bulky weight ribbon yarn called Cotton Lustre. When Jess first showed the ball of ribbon yarn, we were all a bit “Eh.” When she showed us the knit swatch, we all said “Ah.”

The first bags of Cotton Lustre arrived without the pattern books, so it was time to take matters into my own hands. Thus, with 2 skeins of Lustre, I whipped up any airy kerchief in a lace mesh pattern, which I share here with you!

Kleam Kerchief free pattern