Finished: Les Abeilles

Well, it’s been quite a while since I’ve had a finished knit around here! Glancing back through past posts, I’ve really fallen behind where I used to be in knitting productivity. Thank goodness I started going to knit night; it’s been a great help in keeping me moving forward–even to finishing up those final little details like weaving in ends. The light is so good there that I don’t have the excuse of needing to wait for later (weekend daytime).
Of course, even with knit night, it’s been a looooong process to finish–finally–les Abeilles:

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I had it nearly finished over a year ago, but nearing the final stitches I realized that it was much smaller than the pattern states. Rip! The second time around, I actually checked my gauge (good), knit off-and-on, and was just about to break the yarn for the grafting of the last few stitches (at the center neck) when I realized the count was off. One too many stitches on one half of the shawl. The others at knit night tried to talk me into fudging the finish–especially as it took some time to find just where, exactly, the mistake had happened.

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Can you see it? It’s tricky. But there on the edge I had inadvertently added two rows to one repeat of the edging. Whoops!

At knit night I did fudge. Knit two together, make the count work…and didn’t break the yarn. Not just yet; switch to the other project.

I let it sit a few days and finally decided I couldn’t live with the mistake I knew about. Rip back again. At least this time, I only had to go partway. And once that decision was made, it was a quick ways to the end. I wove in the ends at knit night (Okay, I’m now saving weaving in of ends for knit night. The light’s just so bright.), and blocked the shawl the following weekend. (Turns out, the incentive of showing off a finished object at knit night gets me to block more quickly. Why didn’t I start going earlier?)

So despite all the drama, I’m very happy to have this little shawl finished. It’s still a bit smaller than the pattern size, but it was suggested that this was due to yarn variations–the pattern was knit in a slipperier yarn, which allowed the shawl to stretch more. But, I’m done, I’m happy, and now I have another little neck scarf for when the weather isn’t too cold.

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Pattern: les Abeilles by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Knitting Notions Classic Merino Bamboo, Colorway “Ironstone” (1 skein)
Needles: US 3 (3 25 mm)

In Search of the Next Thing

I had this dreadful thought yesterday – I have no idea what the “next” project is going to be!

Now, based on my recent project completion rate, and that I’m currently in the middle of two knitting projects, plus the miscellany, you mightn’t think this would be a problem. However. It has the potential.

Despite my absence around here of late (how is it mid-September? – I’m quite sure it must be only July!) I have been working on things. And, more to the point of my next-project panic, I’ve actually started (well, okay, just once so far, but I have plans) to go to a Wednesday night knitting group. Which means I must have knitting for Wednesdays!

This week–and until it’s finished, but once I conquer the problem of the too-tight cast-on, it will fly–the knitting will be the monkey bread hat for my mom. I’ve started and ripped out twice, plagued not by gauge so much as the cast on. Well, the first attempt was also slightly too small of gauge, but the second attempt would have been perfect (I went up one needle size), but the cast-on was tighter than the ribbed brim. All these years of knitting too loose, and now I can’t manage a cast-on!

les Abeilles in progress

The other knitting still in process is my Les Abeilles. Also attempt two. I had a moment of panic this week, where it seemed that it was still too small, even though I had gone up a needle size. But the lace edging measures the correct depth, and I did a quick gauge “square” in the middle of my knitting and I’m dead on, so it may just be my mind playing tricks on me. Regardless, I decided that whatever size it comes out I will use, so full steam ahead. The blocking will tell in the end.

But as far as actual on-the-needles knitting, that’s it. And no plans for what’s ahead. It looks like I may have to spend some quality time with my Ravelry “favorites” this week. (I don’t really keep a “queue” as I did for a while and it became both ridiculous and inaccurate.) And maybe a stash dive. That usually proves inspirational!

On the Needles – les Abeilles

I’ve spent some of my spare moments the past week running through my head what I should post on next here, when it dawned on me, les Abeilles!

Les abeilles shawl in progress

I didn’t even manage to have a photo on my Ravelry project page until just now, and I really didn’t want this to turn into a “forgotten” project. Not that it really could be forgotten–it’s been my go-to project lately–but I do like to have at least one progress photo for each project.

Abeilles started with the yarn–some fingering weight Classic Bamboo Merino I bought from Knitting Notions a couple years ago at the local wool & fiber show. I love her bamboo merino blend (although–thanks to the bamboo content I sometimes have to be careful not to split the yarn). It has such a lovely sheen thanks to the bamboo, and unlike a 100% non-superwash merino, I can’t accidentally felt it under my hands while knitting. (A problem I sometimes have…) I only had the one skein, 490 yards, so I decided to search for a one-skein neck shawl type project. Les Abeilles is…maybe that project. It’s another Anne Hanson pattern, and she offers it in three sizes: using 275, 550, and 800 yards. I didn’t want to use the smallest size because that would leave so much leftover, so I threw caution to the wind and cast on for the 550 yard-size. Yep, I’m banking on Anne having allowed extra yardage for safety. I went down a needle size, too (and have never actually measured my gauge because…well, I never do for lace…troublemaker, that’s me). Looking at it now, I actually think I’m going to have enough yarn. And if I don’t, I’ll rip back the garter stitch section and change the decrease rate (which I accidentally did when I started that section, so…).

This has also been a well-traveled knit. A few weeks back, a group of coworkers and I had to go out for a field measuring visit to three sites in West Virginia. We spent something like 7 hours in the car (which was more drive time than we spent actually working), so I decided to take my knitting with me. Shh…don’t tell anyone, but I was paid to knit! 😉 It was either that or stare at the landscape and try not to fall asleep. I don’t think anyone minded.

I’m nearing the finish-line though, and looking over my other on-the-needles projects, it may be time to start planning the next thing. Which yarn might call to me next?