Pretty in Pink

My lace cardigan…it’s done, it’s blocked, it’s been modelled and photographed. Proper FO post to come when the pattern is launched, but for now just a sneak peek of it on the blocking board…

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The weather is finally turned nice and spring like, so there has been an explosion of pink in Toronto – mostly thanks to the cherry blossoms.

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My walks around the city now include a pretty excellent impromptu flower show, so while I wait for the official release of the pattern (hint: it may or may not be May 25th) to show you the cardigan in all it’s pink glory, have a picture of the bleeding hearts growing near Casa Loma:

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When I start to see flowers like these, I’m sure the snow is gone for good. While I enjoy a good cold winter, there is something absolutely glorious about the spring that comes after.

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FO: Leaf Cozy

With so little of my bulky yarn in mineral heather left, I thought I better measure it before committing to a pattern. 18.01 meters exactly. I decided to keep with the leaf theme I’ve got going with the blue leaf headband and the lacefield mitts and finish off the ball with a leaf cozy:

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Now I knew this project would be cutting it close. But I stuck to the pattern and began the leaves. Each one requires you to pick up stitches along the side of the previous on, with the idea that it will eventually be seamed back to itself. Starting the third leaf, my supply of yarn was looking dangerously low…

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It was clear I didn’t have enough to make a full sized fourth leaf, but I wasn’t about to turn back. In order for the pattern to work there must be an even number of leaves. For the fourth one, I picked up five stitches (instead of the required nine) and only did three increase rows instead of four. Here it is as I was decreasing – look how little yarn I have left!IMG_20141104_124215

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That was a close one! Literally mere centimetres left. After all the loose pieces were woven in (but before blocking, so it still looks a little wonky) I had this: IMG_20141105_082605

Luckily I left a 4″ tail at the beginning for seaming as instructed. Once seamed up, I took the opportunity presented by the smaller leaf to seam it to both the first leaf and part of the second leaf, making the cozy decidedly asymmetrical. I could go back, eliminate the final increase and decrease on each leaf and then all four might be more even, but I kind of like that it’s asymmetrical. I think it works.

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I blocked this guy in two stages. First, soaking wet in cold water, covered in a towel and flattened by a few textbooks. Then, when it was still slightly damp, I shaped it around a travel mug and left it to finish drying, so that it was the exact shape I wanted it to be. Because my gauge was larger than the pattern specified – due to using bulky yarn instead of the called for worsted weight – the final circumference is correct for a standard (large) cup of tea, despite the smaller final leaf.

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash Bulky in Mineral Heather, exactly 18.01 meters.

Pattern: Leaf Cup Cuddler by Knit ‘n Kaboodle. A+ pattern. The picture tutorial on how to pick up stitches between each leaf was very clear and saved what I’m sure would have been much frustration.

Needles: 6 mm, worked flat.

Skills Required: Knit, Purl, cast-on, bind-off, yo, ssk, k2tog, picking up stitches. Moderate difficulty, but very well presented instructions.

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Aggressive Blocking

I’m in a rather love/hate relationship with theses fingerless gloves. On the love side, the yarn is pretty and I managed to make the pair in less than 48 hours.

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Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

On the hate side is that fact that they don’t really fit my hands at all.

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I blame (a) having large hands, (b) the lack of a thumb gusset, and (c) gauge off…probably…knowing me.

I’m a big fan of the picot bind off that is both stretchy and kind of adorable looking… at least it would BE adorable looking if it bloody lay flat. Every time I’d smooth it out, it crumples right back up again. The bottom isn’t doing much better – the first eight rows have basically folded in on themselves.

I’m not particularly sure how well they are going to block with only a 30% wool content, which has lead to some drastic measures. After soaking them completely they’re able to be pulled flat momentarily. So I have drenched them in cold water, lain them out on a towel, and piled my four heftiest textbooks on them.

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Molecular Cell Biology, Biology of Microorganisms, Organic Chemistry and, of course the very foundation of my learning: Stewart’s Calculus (6th Edition). All very dense and loaded with knowledge. Also, just straight up dense. Putting my education to good use…

We shall see what happens when they dry. I’m going to leave them for 24 hours to contemplate their future. A perfectly flat and well behaved future, if they know what’s good for them.

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