Friday, November 15, 2013

FO Friday: 2 Projects - 1 Year In The Making!

I actually have 2 finished items to share today! These are both very exciting items because they have been in the making for at least a year each, lol. I know that sounds crazy long, but both of these were for me and I would just set them aside when I needed to make a gift or something else more pressing, so they have been worked on little by little in between other projects.

Without further ado, here is my finished Cambridge Scarf! I started this on July 20, 2012 (don't you just love Ravelry for remembering things like that?) and it is the second project from the Knit Lab class on Craftsy. This is technically my 5th ever knitting project.
I remember it being very difficult to wrap my head around seed stitch as an English knitter. I kept creating a zillion yarn overs, lol. It wasn't until I looked up a youtube video for English Knitters that I corrected the mistake and got this project going. It's a really simple scarf and it is really just altering between regular seed stitch, 2 by 2 seed stitch and 4 by 4 seed stitch. It creates this wonderful basket weave texture throughout and I absolutely love it!
Sorry for the goofy squinting face, lol - it was bright out. Every time I worked on this scarf, people remarked on how much they liked it. It's nice that such a simple project looks so impressive.
I knit this using Caron Simply Soft in Gray Heather. At the time I just grabbed this yarn because I had half a skein or so on hand from before my knitting days. I ended up buying another skein (thankfully this yarn has no dye lots). The whole thing took about 1.3 skeins total, but this sucker is 90" long! I just kept knitting until I liked the length of it when I tied it my favorite way (like in the photo). The 1x1 seed stitch is only on the ends and the main section alternates between 2x2 and 4x4.
I absolutely love this scarf! It's super long and a nice neutral color so I know I will get lots of wear out of it. Also, I finished it just in time for the little bit of cold we get here in Florida, so I will actually get to wear it!
The second item I finished is the Hope Shawlette by Stefanie Japel. I bought this yarn and pattern as a kit through Craftsy in October 2012. They had a special promotion that donated a nice chunk of the proceeds to Breast Cancer Research, so I decided I might as well try out my first "expensive yarn" and help a good cause at the same time.
This is my first experience with a shawl as well as with a large scale lace pattern. The bulk of the shawl was very easy, but the lace section was a whole different animal. I would get to the lace section, start knitting it according to the pattern, then realize there was a mistake somewhere because it wasn't lining up right. At the time, I hadn't knitted long enough to know any better, so after pulling back several times, I would just set it aside for months at a time. I looked into the pattern notes of others on Ravelry and it turned out everyone was having this same problem - there were errors in the lace chart that were never fixed. So I waited and one day I noticed another Ravelry user (shirleykaiser) posted a corrected lace chart. I am seriously forever indebted to this kind person! Apparently she is friends with a knitting type editor for Leisure Arts and that friend was able to fix the problems and she was kind enough to post the changes in her project on the site. So, if you do get this pattern, you can go here, click projects and look for shirleykaiser's project and find the real directions there.
I'm thrilled that this is finally finished! I started it November 12, 2012 and I finished it November 10, 2013 - just 2 days shy of a full year, lol. In spite of the problems I had with the pattern originally, I really do like the design an dI may even make another one day. This is made using Lorna's Laces Sole Mate in the Flamingo Stripe colorway. This is the most expensive yarn I have even bought (even now), and I will say it was nice to work with. It has a lovely drape and it's so soft and silky.
The lace section is designed to look like hearts. It's a little hard to see in the photos because of the white background, but they are there :) This was also my first ever experience with wet blocking. I soaked it in warm water with Eucalan for 30 minutes, wrapped it in a towel and stepped on it to remove excess water, then pinned it to the carpet in the only room in my house that I can keep the dog and cat out of, lol.
This is how the shawl looks pre-blocking. It measures about 21" wide and 18" tall. Thank heavens I have a zillion quilting pins! 
I laid a ruler out and pulled the edges until it measured 46" wide and 21" tall. I pinned the corners first to make it straight and then stretched out the lace little by little and pinned wherever looked wavy. I easily used over 100 pins and I pinned it right to the carpet. I left it all night and all day and it was dry the following night, so I removed the pins and it looks great :)

Anyway, I don't have any photos of me wearing it yet, but I just couldn't wait any longer to share :) I'm so excited to have it finished and be able to wear it this winter. I've never worn a shawl before, so we will see what my preferred method is. After all the gifts I've devoted most of my time to the last year, it's nice to have something I can enjoy for myself.

So that's my excitement for my projects this week :) To see what others have made, check out Tami's Amis' Blog!


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