Jobo Designs

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13. March 2010 16:48
by Jobo
11 Comments

Another 198 Yds of Heaven... in Patons SWS

13. March 2010 16:48 by Jobo | 11 Comments

teresas shawl 6

Having worked this pattern before... I knew exactly what I was getting into as far as the actual knitting part goes.  I had not had the occasion to knit with Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes) before though... so that was a pretty new experience.

SWS Yarn 

Basically, this yarn is like a big soft wooly single - a big fat worsted weight yarn.  I can see why people use it for felting.  When it is first knit it does show pretty nice stitch definition for a single-type yarn, but I can imagine that it would felt nicely into a fuzzy wooly felt without too much trouble.  I discovered near the end of the shawl just how easy it was to wet-felt splice the end of a ball together with the new strand... just by splitting apart the ends, feathering them together, wetting them, and rolling between my hands I was able to make some pretty solid joins!  Unfortunately, I didn't realize this until I had already had to weave in half a dozen ends... oh well :)

 

Just knowing the high Feltability (is that a word?) of the yarn, I will have to be sure and educate the eventual owner of this shawl that it should be washed with cold water only and with very little (no) agitation... or this shawl may become a felted mess!

The reason I chose this yarn is a little convoluted.  I had gone into a yarn store looking for something a) in a blue/grey/black, b) something worsted weight-ish, c) something that was made of natural fiber and warm.  The original 198 yds. of Heaven pattern used a worsted weight wool, so I thought I would take my chances on this.  I used the entirety of 4 balls... there are 5-6 very short pieces left and that is it.  I even ended up splicing a few pieces to complete the cast off.  It was close... I thought I would have to rip back a row and cast off again it was *so* close.

teresas shawl 2

Before blocking, I wasn't sure if the shawl would be large enough.  The Recipient wanted it to be large, wooly and thick.  When it came off the needles, it measured 56 x 24 inches, but after a soak, stretch and rest the finished shawl blocked to 66 x 36 inches.  Perfect size! 

  teresas shawl 10

 

The final texture was a nice mix of thick warm stockinette panels and lacy open YOs.  The Arrowhead pattern really stands out pleasingly from the garter stitch bars and ladders of Yarn-Overs.  This lace pattern would be a good one for anyone who wants to get more comfortable with lace stitches, because it uses a good mix of stitches but does so in a predictable and easy to follow pattern of those stitches.  It is easy to see what the next "move" is and where the patter is going.

 

When I started out on this pattern I had test-driven a couple needle sizes to see the possible fabric textures... I settled on the 6mm circulars for the perfect mix of solid/lace.

 

The last time I knit this pattern I ran out of yarn before I was able to complete the border charts... I really liked the way the border completed the shawl.  The "points" turned out perfect!  I am a complete sucker for the finished curves and points on a shawl :)

 

 

 

teresas shawl 11

Here is a photo to give you an idea of the finished size... it stretches most of the way across my sofa!  aaaaand it matches my living room decor!?  how weird is that?

teresas shawl 13

More gratuitous post blocking photos!  There are the lovely points again!  For the first stitch of each row I slipped a stitch "purlwise" with yarn in back and then continued on.  I learned this technique on another shawl, and have translated it into many other projects.  The resulting edge has a nice "finished" look... almost braided.

teresas shawl 4

And here she is all ready for pickup!  All in all, I was very pleased with this project, and I hope Teresa likes it too :)

15. January 2010 08:00
by Jobo
1 Comments

Shawl-la-la!

15. January 2010 08:00 by Jobo | 1 Comments

Here is a sneak peek of a shawl I've been working on the last week or so... getting ready to finish it up soon!

Yes folks, it is another "198 yds of Heaven" Shawl but this time not made from handspun.  I decided to try a commercial yarn to make this one, but still wanted the yarn to have a unique feel.  I originally went out looking for Malabrigo Worsted, and the only color that I could find was a butter yellow - which would have been ok if the shawl was for myself, but the person I am making it for isn't a yellow person.  So instead I ended up with Patons Soy Wool Stripes (SWS) in color "Natural Denim".  The ball band says it is Medium Weight (4) but I think it's likely a little bit bigger around than a standard worsted weight yarn.  That's ok for a project like a shawl though, where gauge isn't really crucial in the end.  The only thing that really matters size-wise here is that it has a decent wingspan, and the intended recipient wants to be able to wrap herself up for warmth as well as fashionability.  The yarn itself is pretty soft and silky... and the fact that it is a "singles" style yarn is resulting in excellent stitch definition.  I particularly like the way that the bars of garter stitch are showing up between the arrowhead lace panels, as you can see below.  I also really love the way the YO's are resulting in nice big open eyelets :)

Seeing as how Sock Wars V begins tomorrow evening, this may be the last shawl type cast on you will see for a week or so... depending on how long it takes me to polish of my target ;)

Sws 198 Yds pins Sws 198 Yds  

Sws 198 Yds sexy YOs Sws 198 Yds closeup

1. Testing out my progress... shawl pinned to faux suede couch cushion.  2. Sample of the lace pattern close up... showing denim color fading to pewter grey.  3. "eyelets" formed by the rows of YO's... I especially like the twisty laddders.  4.  Another view of the lace panel and the graduated colors as they stripe in the finished product.

4. January 2010 11:00
by Jobo
22 Comments

Finished "198 yds of Heaven" Handspun Shawl

4. January 2010 11:00 by Jobo | 22 Comments

It sure didn't take long once I had started to finish up this quick knit shawl... I like to refer to it as my "Survival Knitting"

Knitting gifts is fun in it's own way.  I really enjoy choosing special patterns, and then hunting for the perfect yarns and trying to create gifts that the recipients will adore and find very useful... but the knitting itself can be a lot of work.  I am a pretty fickle knitter, and generally flit from one project to the next, finishing and starting things with gusto, but not in any particular order.  So for me, finishing projects on a schedule can be a bit of a chore.  This year in particular, I let my holiday gift knitting get a little behind calendar-wise, so I had to really push myself coming on the end.

This shawl, on the otherhand, was a purely selfish and fun knit.  I wasn't sure what I would do with it when it was completed... I wasn't even sure if I had enough yarn to finish the shawl in the first place!  Working on it was frivolous and fun, which is exactly what a knitter needs after a few months of forced creativity :)  I had a hard time this year getting into the holiday spirit and was really dreading the shopping, wrapping and decorating.  The stolen moments working on this shawl were really a godsend, and helped me keep my cool when I was feeling overwhelmed by the tasks at hand.  And then, when all of the chores were finished and the fun part of the holiday finally began, working on the shawl helped me to pass the time waiting to go out visiting and passing out gifts, and then it came with me for numerous turkey dinners and snuggled with me on the couch well into the evening on Christmas Day.  I'm rather in love with it, I must say!

unblocked Unblocked

Here she is, laying on the beautiful muslin quilt my Mom made us as a wedding gift!  I was afraid that the shawl wouldn't be big enough in the end, especially since the finished wingspan was only about 36 inches... but we all know that blocking is magic sometimes, so I was holding out for some major stretching.  I figured that if it didn't grow enough, worst case scenario I could give it away to someone who had a small child (wouldn't any little girl like blue and green butterfly wings to play with and wrap around her?  heck... I'm a BIG girl and I still want it to be big enough so I can play with it!)

pointcome right to the point

I think I am getting more efficient at blocking with the wires now... it didn't take near as long as it usually does for me to soak, lay out the finished piece, thread in the wires, and pin them out on the spare bed.  I think my favorite part is always the bottom point of any scalloped shawl... pretty little point :)

198 yards blocking

As you can see in the picture (as the shawl is pinned out on a queen sized bed...)  the growing process was satisfactory and the finished wingspan is more like 48 inches... which wraps nicely around my shoulders.  The silk blend is very smooth, perfect for an item that might be worn draped around shoulders or around my neck.  I am very pleased with the blended greens and blues and the way they flow into each other.  The shawl was finally dry on Christmas Morning, and I wove in the ends just in time to wear it out on Christmas day for the festivities.  Lately it seems I get a chill quite easily, so I wore it all day either over the shoulders or tousled around my neck.  I'm not sure how fashionable this stuff is considered now, but it is certainly comfortable and utilitarian.

December 09 035 on the wing

So here are some final finished shots:  Sorry it took so long to post the finishing ;)

198yardsfinished

  198yardsfinished3

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