Finished: Winter Set (Since It’s Spring…)

So….according to my notes, I first started what I’m calling my “winter set” back in November of 2011. And I finally finished the last piece, the scarf…in March of 2015. Two hard winters in a row, yet I didn’t get this finished until after the second one was over! The problem is that I can find scarves very long, tedious knitting projects. It was always so much easier to pick up something else. Until the cold hit at the start of this year. That plus my need for a project that I didn’t need to think about–pretty much all of 2015 this year has been busy work-wise, which has translated into less brainpower for the knitting–meant that suddenly the scarf seemed much more appealing. And even if I didn’t get to use it more than once or twice this year, there’s always next year. (Unless of course having a super-cozy scarf means the winter will be mild. A trade-off I would take!)

Monkeybread Scarf (1)

Monkeybread Scarf (2)

Monkeybread Scarf (3)

Pattern: Monkeybread Scarf by Anne Hanson (Ravelry)
Yarn: MinkYarn.com Chamonix, 70% Mink 30% Cashmere DK. 4 ply (+/- 2 skeins – whatever was left over after knitting a hat and mittens from the 4 skeins I purchased)
Needles: US7/ 4.5 mm

True to all reds, the color is hard to photograph. On my monitor, I’d say the color is really somewhere between the brighter red at the top and the “bluer” red at the bottom. It’s a nice rich red (which doesn’t seem to be available in this yarn any longer, pity.) Taking indoor photos probably didn’t help, but these are from when the weather was still iffy, and I must confess I’m too lazy to try for better!

I made the “infinity” version of the scarf and it’s only just long enough to wrap twice on a really cold day, so my row gauge is probably tighter than the pattern’s. If I recall correctly, I knit the number of repeats the pattern called for, and didn’t have enough yarn to knit any more. It wasn’t one of my more enjoyable knits–the super-wide cables, while fun to look at are a bit tricky to work with just a cable needle (retrospectively, I should have sought out a US7 DPN to make it easier). I also had a tricky time with the graft, because I was trying to keep the pattern (garter stitch edges, reverse stockinette between the cable sections). I finally had to take it off the needles so I could see the stitches clearly. (I also watched Anne’s free Craftsy video on grafting–the bit on textured stitches was very helpful.)  But it was the perfect winter project.

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Knits Ahead!

Eeep. It’s late-mid-May already?! I’m not sure how that happened! I’d say I also wasn’t sure how I’ve let so much time go by without posting, but as I was uploading photos to my computer a little bit ago, the answer was obvious: lack of fully functioning laptop since mid-February, up until about two weeks ago. (The hard drive died and it first took me a while to decide whether to replace or repair and then a good bit longer to get everything installed and updated.) I have a tablet I can use for a lot, but I like to resize (and sometimes touchup/crop) my photos before I upload them, and I can only do that on the laptop. So…anything involving photos has suffered. Including photo organization – that took some time!

Fortunately, the crafting has not suffered the same fate. All those cold days we had in January and February provided quite the incentive, and I’ve just kept going since. I’ve finished, repaired, and restarted. Perhaps not finishing up as quick as I’d like, but steady progress nonetheless.

But today is the Saturday before Memorial Day, which means, like most years, my mom and I went to the local fiber show, the Great Lakes Fiber Show, so I simply must share about that first.

I was restrained this year. Yesterday I took a look through my stash, to remind myself that I really do have quite enough already. (Unless I want to knit a sweater our of something other than Briar Rose Sea Pearl.) So I behaved – only one new skein of yarn:

Bare Naked Wools - fresh lace - naturalBare Naked Wool: fresh lace
Laceweight
65% silk /35% linen
(1) skein at 756 yards (4 oz./100 g)
Colorway: natural

I also purchased some wool wash, as I’m getting low–I’ve begun washing all my knits for the season. The sweaters/mitts/scarves are done, but due to space constraints, I can only wash (and reblock) one shawl at a time. So I’ve a ways to go–hopefully before summer’s end!

While I was taking pictures of the new yarn, I also took the opportunity to snap some pics of another yarn, from last…fall? Spring? I can’t remember now. Regardless, I bought it at an event at the Bare Naked Wools Boutique. It’s actually a Briar Rose Fibers yarn, but was leftover from one of Anne’s club offerings. I just couldn’t resist the rich purple. (And then got home and discovered a very similar laceweight from Briar Rose in my stash. Which is why I now take pictures of my stash with me. Ahem.)

Briar Rose Fibers - Stella lace weight - deep purpleBriar Rose Fibers: Stella
Laceweight
80% Merino, 20% Silk
(1) skein at 1100 yards (113 g)

I really don’t have any plans for either of these yarns…yet…but they are both so tempting in their own separate ways. Which may be a good thing – although I have two on-the-needles projects, it won’t be long before I’m looking for the next thing, and I’m really not sure what that is just yet. Time for pattern browsing…