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)

Taking Stock

So I’ve been poking around my project basket lately, and realized that I really needed to take stock of what was/wasn’t in it. And what I should really be trying to finish up.

The first two projects aren’t so much in my basket as they are adjacent to it. I’ve been working on the cross-stitch snowman forever, but it’s down to some backstich (mostly on the tree) and French knots. The Santa with a cat is a newer project, but I’ve had the kit as long as I’ve had the snowman kit. So it’s time to be done! Although I cross-stiched quite a bit this winter, I stopped to save them for when it’s too hot to knit. Which might include today–not that it’s so terribly hot, but it IS very humid.

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In the category, “isn’t this done already?,” there’s my Aeolian. Which is done. Exept for blocking. I’ve been on a roll of washing and blocking shawls lately, and I think I have enough room to block this if I double it, so there shouldn’t be any reason I can’t be completely finished with it by the times it’s cool enough to wear it.

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The sweater, Ondulé, whose seaming I’m avoiding. (And I need buttons. I’ve looked locally, but haven’t found anything yet.) There’s another sweater pattern I’d like to knit–and I even have the perfect yarn–but I think perhaps I should actually finish this first. Ahem. I just need to plan to sit down and do this some Saturday.

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So…I was almost finished with my Les Abeilles back in November. I was slightly concerned I might not have enough yarn, as I don’t have as much as the pattern calls for, but I made it to the last row with plenty yardage to spare. Too much! I could tell, just spreading it out a bit that it was going to be as small as the smallest pattern size, even though I knit the middle. Shoulda checked the gauge. Oops!

Les Abeilles - starting to unravel

So it looks like this now, after I ripped and restarted. I’m through the first chart. I’ll still have the yardage concern, so I’m going to add a lifeline in before I start the next section–if I run out, I’ll change the decrease rate in the gartar stitch portion. I’m not worried about finishing, as this has been my go-to project when I’ve been looking for something that doesn’t require any thinking lately.

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Then there’s this: my Girasole, finished several years back–and hurt. I don’t know what happened; likely I snagged it on something and tore the fragile cashmere. I have plenty of yarn so I can repair it, but it will take some thought to work out. So I’ve been avoiding it. For over a year. So, again, something to just plan to do some weekend. Before I want to wear it again next fall!

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Finally, something new! This is another Monkey Bread hat, this time for my mom. I think I need to restart, as the brim seems too tight. (Not sure if it’s just the cast on, or if I should go up a needle size as well. Regardless, I really want to get it finished for my mom by next winter. There’s no reason I can’t as long as I stick with it.

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But otherwise – nothing new! No new lace, and I’d like to have another project on the needles. I don’t know what yet–but I think perhaps that’s okay as I really should finish off some of these first. After all, I don’t have any good excuses not to!

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?

Finished, Boxleaf Shawl

Boxleaf Shawl overallBoxleaf Shawl tail detail Boxleaf Shawl join detail Boxleaf Shawl closeupPattern: Boxleaf Triangle by Anne Hanson (Ravelry)
Yarn: Brooklyn Handspun Soft Spun Plus, Colorway “Winter Wind,” (1) skeinNeedles: US5/ 3.75mm

I started this shawl back in February during the Sochi Olympics, and by the time I finally wove in the last end and remembered that I should actually block it for use, it was August. I have a problem remembering to block lace, it seems! Boxleaf proved the perfect TV knitting–not so complex that I couldn’t follow a show (or Olympic event as the case might be), but with just enough interest I didn’t get bored. I knit the “mini” size, but added one pattern repeat to maximize yarn usage. Actually the way the pattern is designed, sizing is practically irrelevant as the top edge and the body are knit at the same time and it has no special outer border–just knit as many repeats as you like. My one-skein version makes the perfect neck shawl to keep my shoulders from getting too cold on a chilly day.

Of course, now that I look this post over, I’m wondering why I didn’t get any closeups of the top edge–it’s a lovely little leaf that you can’t quite make out in my pictures. Sigh. Something to fix another day…