Ginger Made: Textured Shawl

Hi, everyone!  I wanted to share with you this shawl that I made for my mother-in-law for Christmas.  I’m really excited about this one– if you knit, you should really consider this pattern!  It’s very simple and easy to do, but yields lovely results (in my humble opinion).  It’s one of those things that looks way more complicated than it really is (or maybe I’m just easily impressed by simple, simple things… sigh)!

So soft and glorious!

This is the textured shawl recipe from orlane– it’s another free Ravelry download (love ’em!)!  The photo above is an accurate representation of the color– it was kinda tough to photograph!  It’s folded a bit here… how do you guys usually photograph shawls?

As the author states, this isn’t really a pattern, so to speak, but a set of notes about how she made her scarf.  If you’re new to knitting, you may want to read over a few of the other users’ project notes for clarification.  I had never knit a shawl before (or anything else triangular), so I was a bit confused about how to start off (the notes just instruct you to use your favorite set-up for a triangular shawl).  I referenced yorkiegirl’s notes— she just tells you to CO 7 stitches and then increase as instructed on every RS row.  So yeah, not complicated at all… I just get nervous that I’m going to screw something up!

I used the Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino yarn, just like the example (I even used the same colorway, the sort of smoky lavender color).  An unimaginative choice, I know, but it was just too pretty to pass up and that color is perfect for my m-i-l.  It’s soft as can be and really looks up lovely, but it is a bit sheddy (I kept finding purple fuzz on everything– yuck!).

What’s on your to-make list these days?  I was a little bit bad and used Sunni’s 15% discount code at Victory Patterns to buy the Chloe dress (I know, I don’t have any willpower!  Although I really wanted them ALL, so maybe I have a LITTLE willpower).  It’s so cute!  I really want to make it, but I don’t have any fabric that works in my stash, so I’ll have to hold off.  There was a little issue with the code not working at the pattern website, but the owner, Kristiann, couldn’t have been nicer or more accommodating.  Yay indie pattern designers!  [edit: The discount code is valid through Jan. 19th!  Get it here!]

I'm not hoarding patterns-- I'm supporting small businesses! (The Chloe dress; image courtesy of Victory Patterns)

In other blogiverse news, I found this great 7-part series, Never Fear Knits, on Dixie DIY– check it out!  It’s so nice to read advice for working with stretch fabrics from a fellow sewist.  Thanks, Dixie!  And if you’re looking for inspiration, check out this gorgeous red jacket on sallieoh!  She has been working on this for quite a while and it’s truly amazing!  That girl’s got what we call in the business world “mad skillz”!

How about you guys?  What’s inspiring you these days?

Ginger Made: Vancouver Fog Scarf

Hi, friends!  Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!  I hope you have a moment today to reflect on Dr. King’s life and legacy… I’m so glad we have a day designated to do just that.  Sadly, I’m not just celebrating today– I headed back to work for the first time in over two weeks (I can’t complain… but I really want to).  So, to brighten up my day, I’ll share another me-made Christmas gift!

Here’s the backstory for this guy– I gave my mom a ball of yarn for Christmas (the insanely soft and lovely Madelinetosh Tosh Merino in Cove) with the idea that she could choose an accessory for me to make her.  She asked for a narrow scarf that she could wear inside and out, and liked the idea of cables.  So I decided to use the cable pattern from the Vancouver Fog Mitts on Ravelry (a free download, btw!) and sandwich it between garter edges to make a cute little scarf!

I cast on 20 stitches and knit 4 rows of garter stitch, then I knit a 3-stitch garter tab, worked the 14-stitch cable pattern, and knit another 3 stitches in garter.  I basically knit until I ran out of yarn, knit another 4 rows of garter, and cast off.  Easy as could be!  It was super satisfying to knit, because with only 20 stitches in a row, it seems to leap magically off your needles!

Look at her-- she can't hide her dark side! You know she'd cut a man for lookin' at her cross-eyed!

I blocked this the night before I had to drive back to NYC, so snapped these pics of my poor ma modelling it at 6:30am (hence the awesome purple bathrobe).  She wanted to model, though, and was a good sport about it.  I should have shot some closeups, but it was dark and we were running around packing the car like lunatics and just couldn’t spare the time.

What are you guys up to today/this week?  Anything fun on the horizon?  I finally got all my fabric prewashed, rolled, and organized– whew!  I feel SO MUCH BETTER!  I’ll share some photos with you guys when I finally get everything taken care of.

Ginger Made: Camp Out Mitts

Hi, guys!  I hope you’re well!  I’m really glad that you guys are interested in the stuff I’m giving away– I can’t wait to draw names!

OK, so I want to show you a couple of the Christmas gifts I made!  These are Camp Out Fingerless Mitts, and they’re super fun (and a free download, to boot!)!  I made this pair for my sister:

And this one for my brother’s girlfriend:

I used Noro Kureyon, and each pair takes just under one skein.  That makes for a pretty affordable gift!  This was the first time that I’ve used Noro, and I like the vibrant colors, although it’s a little stiffer and scratchier than the yarn I usually use.  It’s also a little uneven to knit with– it would suddenly get thicker or thinner, which was a little annoying.

These are really quick to knit– just a few hours for each mitt!  Construction is super simple– the top of the mitt is knit in garter stitch and seamed to form a tube (I used a provisional cast on so I could just use a three-needle bind-off to join the tube), then you pick up stitches for the stockinette lower portion.  Easy as pie! I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off for the first time, and I really liked it!

Is all this knitting talk boring you guys??  What are you up to these days?  Working on anything fun this weekend?

Ginger Made: Baby Kina

Ooh, baby!  Hope you guys had lovely weekends!  Mine was packed with family festivities, including a baby shower for my cousin!  It’s her first baby, a little girl due on Christmas Day, but in one of those unpredictable baby surprises, Miss A decided to come 7 weeks early!  Both the ladies are doing well, although we didn’t get to see the wee one (she can’t be in contact with other people for 2 months).

I knitted a little sweater for the lady:

The pattern is Baby Kina, and I used Debbie Bliss Ecobaby Fair Trade yarn.  It was a quick and easy knit (and not just because it’s so tiny!).  It’s simple to do, although the instructions are fairly minimal and assume that you have a fair amount of experience, so if this is one of your first projects you may need to have a beginner’s knitting manual nearby.

I discovered a lovely yarn store in my hometown that’s popped up since I moved away, Sheep’s Clothing, and was pleasantly surprised by their massive selection of yarn, needles, and patterns.  I picked up the buttons there– aren’t they sweet?

How many of you guys are knitters?  If you’re not, is it something you’re at all interested in?

How are your projects coming along?  Diving into your holiday gift-making yet?

Ginger Made: Twenty Ten Cardigan

This sweater makes me so happy!  It was tons ‘o’ fun to make, and I’m sure I’ll be wearing it A LOT.  In case you didn’t know it already, Veera Välimäki is a genius.  Her designs are always modern, chic, wearable, and a pleasure to construct!  The Twenty Ten Cardigan is no exception.  It’s constructed bottom-up in moss stitch with a diagonal button band and a little pocket.

The Twenty Ten Cardigan. I’m only one year late!

This came together like a dream!  The shoulder fronts and backs are worked separately and joined using a three-needle bindoff.  So easy!  I really liked working the sleeves with short rows– they’re perfectly shaped and look very neat and tidy.  I started knitting a size small, but it seemed like it was going to be tight, and that thing where your buttons gap cause your shirt’s a bit too small is one of my pet peeves.  The easy solution was to increase four stitches two times under the chest, so it’s a medium on top and a small on the bottom.  This fits perfectly… I guess I’m a size smedium!  Increasing on top also lessened the sweater’s A-line shape, so I’m really happy about that (trapeze tops don’t usually flatter my figure).

Swirly buttons!

I finished this up a couple of days ago, but the buttons didn’t arrive until yesterday.  These are vintage buttons from Lillian Olive‘s Etsy shop– she’s my go-to girl for buttons!

Maybe Doug needs a matching sweater!

In other news, I currently have a visitor from outer space!  Doug the Pug is hanging out with us while his family takes a beach vacation.  Don’t feel bad– it’s probably for the best that Doug doesn’t go to the beach.  He might be mistaken for a walrus, and all kinds of mayhem could break loose!