This is our new puppy, whom we have christened Titus. Isn’t he adorable? He is very sweet. Except when I am trying to knit. Then he is not so cute. I am constantly trying to re-direct the chewing and putting him outside to do his thing, or pushing him off of me. I finally got the gumption to Kitchener the Bamboo Ewe shawl that has been finished for nearly a month and was seriously wishing I had done it as soon as the shawl was finished. (Pre-puppy in other words.) He was sleeping when I began to graft but of course did not stay that way. I thought I was doing very well, given the circumstances, but when I was maybe 8 stitches from being done, I discovered a stitch that had dropped clear back in the beginning. I got it fastened with a locking stitch marker so it wouldn’t run and when I was done I went back and stitched back up and picked it up when I wove in the end.
I defy anyone to find said stitch. I did a very good job of it, if I do say so myself. Now, the join itself is another story. Because of the dropped stitch I can see where I am clearly off in the lace where it joins, but I refuse to take it all out and re-do it. I also thought I was plenty loose, but it sure looks pretty tight now that it’s done. I’m hoping it will even out in the blocking. I did enjoy knitting the shawl. It was a very easy pattern to memorize with only a four row repeat, and the yarn is really very nice. I had a problem with splitting while grafting, but I cannot blame the yarn for that- that’s all me. I’ll get it blocked over the weekend and see if I can’t get it on Ravelry sometime soon.
Very stormy here so I think I’ll shut down the computer before I fry my beloved Mac!
Remember in an earlier post when I said that I would like to try the Bamboo Ewe from Stitch Nation for Debbie Stoller? I have casted on for the Morning Frost Shawl from the Stitch Nation- Collection 1 and have about 22″ done. That’s almost 50% finished. I tell you what, this is such an easy pattern it’s not funny. Four row repeat, two of which are pearling, the other two are the same with the exception of the first few stitches. I almost feel like I’m cheating it’s so simple. And yet it is just lovely.
As for the yarn… it is a four ply, soft to the touch, has a soft sheen compliments of the bamboo, and from what I can tell will block out very nicely. In short, I like it. I am using colorway 5510, Beach Glass (which is what the book calls for) and the soft green/blue is so calming at the end of the day. Another + for Red Heart.
I want to tell you just a bit more about the book, as well. It’s got 13 projects in it- two of which are crochet. There are two sweaters, and a car coat that I really like, in addition to the shawl. If I knew how to crochet I would already be making the Gardening at Night crochet bag because it is cute, cute, cute! Mind you, there are no mind-blowing new techniques, but that is not what this little book is all about. It has very do-able projects using simple lace, cables, and Fair Isle- all rated “Intermediate”. I would consider this a good next step type of book for someone looking for everyday type of knits. All in all, this is not a bad deal for $4.99.
Quick- finish this phrase without thinking: I say Red Heart, you say ______. You said Super Saver, didn’t you?! I know you did because that’s what Red Heart means to almost everyone. It always has to me, anyway.
I feel I must warn you that what I am about to say may offend some people, and please understand that this is not my intention. Before reading on, one must understand that I am a self proclaimed Yarn Snob. Notice the capital letters; this is on purpose. When I found out that we would be carrying Red Heart I could feel my nose begin to wrinkle and my lip involuntarily curled. I may have shuddered, but I’m not sure. This reaction comes from the immediate Red Heart – Super Saver connection. I am not a fan of Super Saver. There, I said it. I don’t like the feel or the look. I cannot imagine wearing it next to the skin or wrapping up in an afghan made from it. I realize that it certainly serves a purpose and fills a need, but as I said, I am a Yarn Snob. I thought that I would never, ever like a Red Heart yarn. Ever.
And then we got our first shipment of Red Heart product. Included in that shipment (in addition to the Super Saver) was Full O’ Sheep, Alpaca Love, and Bamboo Ewe, all from Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller. (Also included was Mystic, an Alpaca/Acrylic blend that is just lovely to the touch. I’ve not knitted with it yet so today I am going to focus on the Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller). I have to admit that my interest was piqued.
I immediately liked the Full O’ Sheep, a single ply 100% wool with a bit of a lofty feel to it. The colors are rich and bright, and have a slight sheen that you don’t usually see with wool. The Alpaca Love is a wool/alpaca blend that is also nice but not quite as soft to the touch. I like to felt, so I was curious as to how these would do, and I have finally put them to the test, by knitting a large swatch out of each.
I used a size US9 needle, could have stood a 10 I think. I must say I enjoyed knitting with both of these yarns. The Full O’ Sheep (darker pink) is a bit splitty (for me, anyway) but I liked it none the less. It’s like a younger cousin of Mauch Chunky from Kraemer Yarns, as it has the same loosely spun feel. I was very happy with the swatch, even being knit loosely; I could easily see myself knitting a garment out of this. The Alpaca love was a bit easier for me to knit with and I was happy with the way it turned out as well. This morning I threw them in the washer with some old t-shirts and a pair of sneakers to see how they would felt. I have a front loader, so it usually takes me some time to get the results I like.
I expected the Full O’ Sheep to felt pretty quickly, and it did felt down more than the Alpaca Love (which very definitely needed another go round). However, I didn’t have adequate time, as I needed to get to the shop so I will throw them in again this evening. I don’t think the Full O’ Sheep will take much longer. The pic posted is after felting for one cycle. I will post another after I give it another go.
Long story (very long story) short- I have to re-think my stance on Red Heart. Just because a yarn says Red Heart on the label does not mean that picky knitters/crocheters need avoid it. I plan on knitting something out of the Mystic because it really does feel wonderful. I will also try the Bamboo Ewe; I am interested to see how it holds up, etc.