Morticia Lace Knitted Shawl – Mystery Knit Along Experience

If you’ve been following my crochet/knit blog, you might of noticed I went MIA for awhile. That was a cross between working on my other blog, The Oolong Owl and getting caught up with various crafting projects. I also have been meaning to move the Awkward Soul Designs blog to my own host from a free blog hosting – and less content to move, the easier (gosh, it was a nightmare moving Oolong Owl, I lost pictures!). Anyways, here is one of the projects I worked on during my knitting blog MIA time.

Morticia Lace Knitted Shawl

awkward soul - morticia shawl (9)

Pattern: Boo Knits’ MORTICIA

Awkward Soul’s Morticia Ravelry Project Page

awkward soul - morticia shawl (5)

This shawl was a Mystery Knit Along (MKAL). How a MKAL works, at least how Boo Knits did it, was first there was lots of well deserved hype that there was a mystery lace knitting pattern coming out. The pattern was released in small parts each week, with no pictures of the finished product to be found (unless you looked at the spoilers). Fellow knitters on the Boo Knits group on Ravelry would knit the shawl together, talk about it and post progress pics of each “clue”. It was quite fun in that aspect of you don’t know what you are making and there are others making the same thing to help you out if needed. Before the pattern was posted, the material list was available – so everyone knew how much yarn they needed and number of beads. Lots of beads!

This was my first MKAL – to me the concept is cool, but I am also a bit of a control perfectionist freak when it comes to my crochet/knitting/drawings so making something I had no idea what it would look like in the end was pretty scary to me.

BUT, I trusted Boo Knits, as I’ve made 4 of her patterns, for the finished lace shawl to be gorgeous no matter what.

For yarn, I had a couple balls of elann Peruvian Baby Lace Merino in my stash, and I purchased some smokey black seed beads. Since I’ve worked with Boo Knits patterns before using the same yarn, I knew what needle size to use.

awkwardsoul - morticia (1)

The first clue was released early October 2013. I managed to start the same time when the first “clue” was release and finished it just before the second clue arrived.

awkwardsoul - morticia (2)

It took me almost 2 weeks to finish clue 2, so I was behind a week – the shawl was turning up quite large and longer to make with the lace being throughout the entire shawl and the beading time consuming. If you make a mistake on bead placement or an error in the lace knitting near a bead, it looks quite weird but also was a pain in the butt to go back and fix. Sometimes when I make small mistakes in lace knitting I just fake it, but when there’s beads in the mix that can’t be done unless you can live with the beading being out of place.

Unfortunately, Pokemon XY came out and I got caught up playing that and put down the shawl. To keep the shawl a mystery I downloaded each clue and AVOIDED Ravelry’s pattern page and Boo Knits related things until I was done.

I picked up the shawl again when I went on a 15 day cruise to Hawaii (so lovely!) in January and hammered out a few rows, getting clue 3 done.

morticia - awkward soul (1)

As the shawl progressed, there was even more beading involved, sometimes every other stitch! It looks fantastic though!

morticia - awkward soul (3)

 

 

morticia - awkward soul (2)

After another short break, I was determined to get my morticia shawl done!  After a month of working on my shawl, I finished in May 2014. Thankfully, the blocking wasn’t too difficult.

awkward soul - morticia shawl (1)

In the end, I love how this shawl turned out! It is very large – 7 FEET WIDE, 22″ tall.

awkward soul - morticia shawl (8)

 

It has amazing drape due to the weight of the beads. The lace pattern is gorgeous and the beads add sparkle throughout the piece.

awkward soul - morticia shawl (4)

As a knitter, the subtle transition of the lace pattern was a fun knit – difficultly wise (not counting beads) it wasn’t bad as every wrong side row was purled.

awkward soul - morticia shawl (6)

I love the dramatic picot bind off. This bind off also had beads on the tips, making an already time consuming bind off even more intense to make.

awkward soul - morticia shawl (7)

For the Mystery Knit Along aspect, I don’t think I’d do one again. Though, I always wanted to make a purple shawl, even having the yarn in my stash before making this lace shawl, if I were to make this shawl again I would do it in a cool light colour. I think the detail, drape and the dramatically spiky border would of made a gorgeous light grey ghostly shawl. I would of also not of used beads – they look great, but ramped up the difficulty and time to knit the shawl. Hmmm, maybe I’ll make another one…


Lichen Knitted Shawl – Finished!

I found a lovely shawl on Ravelry last month that was ruffley with interesting shaping that I had to make.

Lichen by Larissa Brown turned out an easy, magical knit. Perfect if you are new to knitting lace! It uses a thicker yarn than usual, an Aran weight (though DK version is available). The pattern is written out, and is simply knit, purls and yarnovers – nothing crazy.

I wanted to start this shawl so bad, but I had no blockable yarn in that amount. I decided to give Elann a try and ordered a couple balls of their Peruvian Highland Wool. This yarn is a heathered gray (colorway 1068) – I love the flickers of blue and purple off the gray base!

Awkwardsoul Lichen Knitted Shawl (2)

Starting the shawl I had mixed up the slip edging directions, so I had to frog and start over – but once I got the hang of the pattern, it was very easy of a knit to require not too much attention, but enough things going on to keep it interesting.

Awkwardsoul Lichen Knitted Shawl (1)

2 weeks of knitting while watching movies or listening to podcasts, I had a finished shawl! This puppy finishes very quickly – I’m sure if I worked on it more, it could of been done in a week or less.

I had also added 3 extra repeats as it turned out I had extra yarn, despite the yardage that was suggested in the pattern. Before blocking I got the length to 51″.

Awkwardsoul Lichen Knitted Shawl (3)

Despite the pattern being pretty easy, block WAS NOT EASY.

All the other shawls I’ve done were a “U”, rectangle or triangle shape, so pinning wasn’t too bad for those – this Lichen shawl was on a different level of crazyness! You have to pin open the ruffles, so the shawl bends into a spiral, requiring you to pin ontop of your existing work.

Awkwardsoul Lichen Knitted Shawl (7)

What helped me with blocking this shawl: (taken from my Lichen Ravelry project page)

  1. Have lots of pins – I used 211 and probably could of used more so I didn’t have pointy ruffle bits.
  2. Start pinning the tip of the shawl in the middle of your blocking mat.
  3. Pin the first ruffle to a basic shape, but don’t go overboard on pins
  4. Roughly pin the next ruffle
  5. Redo the first initial ruffle, with max pins. I found once you got to the second ruffle, it created slack, thus having to repin the first one no matter what.
  6. When the shawl starts to spiral in itself, thus you have to pin ontop – it is really easy to mix up what pins go where. Either change pin colours – or when in doubt, just add another pin without removing any old pins.

After all that – over 45 minutes of pinning and sore, soggy pruney fingers from the wet yarn. This shawl also took awhile to dry too since it was layered on its self.

Awkwardsoul Lichen Knitted Shawl (6)

Kind of looks like a ninja star, doesn’t it?

Awkwardsoul Lichen Knitted Shawl (8)

Unpinning was easier, but again, over 200 pins hurts the thumbs after awhile plus accidental pin stabs!

The result? WOW! The shawl stretched out to over 60″ (and hard to measure because of the ruffles).

Awkwardsoul Lichen Knitted Shawl (10)

Love the colour of the yarn!

Awkwardsoul Lichen Knitted Shawl (9)

Awkwardsoul Lichen Knitted Shawl (11)

I had some spikey ends on the ruffles, but some smoothing helped a little. Next time, MORE pins!

Awkwardsoul Lichen Knitted Shawl (12)

I love how the shawl turned out! This one is supposed to be for me, though if I were to make it again for myself, I would add maybe 2 rows to the ruffles to make it wider.

Bonus: Benson thinks 100% wool is tasty to lick. I had to pry him off the shawl, so no bunny knitware modelling for him!

Awkwardsoul Lichen Knitted Shawl (5)


Evil Ruffle Yarn Scarf!

I saw this cool ruffle yarn awhile back and started working on a scarf back in Jan 2012.

There are many kinds and styles out there, but the one I used is from Red Heart, called Sashay.

sashay yarn red heart

This yarn is quite mind blowing – it’s wide and lacey. You knit or crochet along the top edge of the strand, skipping every other bar, to create a bunched up effect. The pattern is similar to knitting other novelty yarn scarves – Cast on the width you want and knit every row until the ball is finished or to desired length. Easy enough right?

So, I started this scarf in January 2012 and I finished it in April 2013 – what was the hold up?

THIS YARN WAS DEMON SPAWN EVIL

Seriously?

Yes! First, I tried to crochet my scarf and figured knitting was easier for me as the stitches were easier to spot on the needle vs hook. I’m a seasoned knitter – I can do cables and lace. This yarn had me bashing my face on the desk in annoyance.

The instructions on the pattern were a little “HUH???” for casting on and knitting the yarn – so video tutorials helped a lot! There’s plenty of tutorials, but this one shows how to bind off and hide ends.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnPMhVk3zGY]

Despite the pattern being “Knit every stitch”, the “flow” of knitting this beast yarn was slowly and clunky. I found for each stitch I needed to stretch it and hand place the “laddery loop” in order to knit, whereas with other yarns you can knit away, letting the yarn flow through your fingers. It was slippery, and I made sure to use non-slippery needles, so I had a few close calls with my work falling off. With that said, I had to pay attention to what I was doing, which was really boring compared to knitting lace.

If you are knitting right off the ball, it gets twisted up fast and this ruffle yarn works best already splayed out  wrapped around cardboard. The yarn likes to slip off the needles, and can tangle up quick around your needles if you place the project in a bag. I’d take the scarf with me and car trips, banging out a few rows when I can – though my patience only lasted only a few rows at a time!

I also was pretty ambitious with this scarf. I did 12 base stitches and used 2 skeins for a wide and long scarf.

The result?

Freaking gorgeous scarf!

Evil Ruffle Yarn Scarf by Awkward Soul (1)

I love the colour and the ruffles!

Evil Ruffle Yarn Scarf by Awkward Soul (2)

Hiding the ends kind of sucked. I hate the look of the ends of this yarn, so I did my best to weave them in the “spine” of the scarf. Thankfully since there is so much crazyness going on, the ends also blend in a bit.

Evil Ruffle Yarn Scarf by Awkward Soul (3)

I’m happy with the result, but not sure if I’ll keep the scarf or give it away. I do feel kinda bad if I give it away – this was made with frustration and hate! I wish it was made with love. ALL HATE!

I was thinking this yarn would be awesome to make a wide rectangular shawl with! Yeah, someone else can knit that.

Sadly, I have another 2 skeins – so one day I will have to knit this thing again. UGGGG! I could also see me buying more of this ruffle yarn if I see a really cool colours and regret each stitch as I knit it. The result is really fantastic, making it… not so much. Overall, there is a learning curve to learn how to use ruffle yarn, it takes a bit of attention and care to use, but really pretty results!


Knitted ornaments – teeny sweaters and mittens!

AGAIN! Just like last year, I made christmas gifts, but could not show them off here (or anywhere for that matter) as my family and friends would see them. I can’t do a “IF YOU ARE RELATED TO ME, STOP READING” post, as my family would be “SCORE!” and keep reading. Especially my husband. He’s not into surprises.

So I made my first knitted sweater.

Sweater ornamentIsn’t that nice? Sweaters are hard work! It’s for my husband and is in nice manly colours!

Does it fit?

hand sweaterIt fits my hand, kind of.

I used a free pattern from  Knitpicks called Tiny Holiday Sweater Ornament Pattern. I was too lazy to do the cable down the front. In retrospect, I should of done a cable just to show off I can freaking cable. This was also hard to work on as I had to work on it when my husband wasn’t around, which was tricky and annoying. Often I was thinking “OMG I want to work on my sweater!” but can’t because he’s around. Sigh.

How about some mittens?

mitten ornaments

The pattern for these is Mini Mitten Ornaments on Ravelry – free as of this time. Actually, it’s a pretty good pattern – the mittens are made just like regular mittens, but much smaller.  These guys fit on the tip of a finger. I made a lot of these mittens – they are easy, very cute and fast to make – less than an hour.

For all the items I used leftover sock yarn with 2.25mm circular needles. I usually used the magic circle technique and it worked out well. Really neat is the yarns are variegated, but since on a small scale the item turned out striped.

Ornament collectionI also made a toe up sock – however I tried 3 different patterns and were not happy with any of them, including that one. All of them did some crappy heel turnings, YO as toe increases, and no pick up stitches, so the heels had holes everywhere.

My rant: Yes, the item is an ornament. I get it doesn’t have to perfect. However, I  do not want holes in my work! This item is an ornament that will be on a tree for years, maybe even multiple generations! I do not want half-effort patterns, the item is small and quick to make anyways.

I also crocheted a squid, from my own Squidling pattern, but it was very last minute and was gifted before I could take a picture!

I predict next year I will have the same issue and post. Yeah… I’m sure other crochet/knitting bloggers feel the same.


Cloudy Tea Shawl

I’ve been MIA because of this project – All other crochet and knitting projects have been put aside in order to finish this shawl in time for my family gathering / wedding. I was trying to get this done for my civil ceremony, but completely failed, so I really pushed to get this done.. with 13 days to spare! YAY!

The pattern I used: Cloud Illusions by Boo Knits

Link to the Ravelry Project Details

I started this beast in February and finally finished in October of the same year! ARGG! I followed most of the pattern, using the large sized base, and lace pattern to row 55 (which I slightly modified to fit the lace border). I wanted a larger shawl, but I knew I didn’t have enough time to do the entire lace pattern. I used KnitPicks Shadow Lace Yarn in “Midnight Heather” with my amazing Harmony interchangeable circular needles.

I nicked named this shawl, “Shawl of Doom” because of the amount of time it took to finish. The longest parts were the base, adding beading and the picot edging. I don’t know why, but making the stockinette stitch body just took forever! It was also very very dull, I guess that is why I was very slow on it.

The picot bind off took around 8 hours to complete. It was very tiresome. However, the results are fantastic and I’d do a picot border again!

Beading wasn’t too bad, if I had more time I would of added more. I love the extra sparkle the beads added!

Beautiful lace pattern! The final measurements: 82” long, stretched out. 20” at the widest point.

The lace pattern was a good moderate difficulty – not boring but easy enough for me to pick up and remember. The lace border required some attention but was not difficult.

I’ve been really wanting to make my own lace pattern – I have a couple ideas but I still need to get some shaping theory down first. PHEW! Now this is done (and once the wedding is past) I can work on other things!


I love it when my nails match part 2 & knitted hats

Behold!

Well.. my nails almost match my project! Here I’m wearing Zoya Nail polish in “Kotori”. I should of been wearing Zoya’s “Jo” instead, I think it was a closer match, but I recently wore “Jo”. 😛 I love Zoya nail polish <3

What is the knitting project?

My periwinkle slouch hat, pattern by Tiny Owl Knits, which turned out pretty cute for my first attempt at bobbles and travelling stitches. Currently blocking it. The blasted thing took a long time to knit – mostly the cables being the most painful. I’d do it all again because I like the pain! HAHAHAHAH!

I am on a knitted hat obsession right now – one a christmas gift (who hasnt’ gotten it and I’m tired now of not being able to post it – oh well!).

This pink hat – very cute but pink really isn’t my colour. Hurray for my sister who wears pink!

Top view, nice detail on the crown

The Spring Beret pattern was pretty cool, however the crown drove me crazy with the K2togs which I found my tension went to shit on ;____;

Finally, I love this hat… and this is the one that started it all for me making hats

Star Crossed Slouchy Beret is the pattern and it was pretty easy and quick since it is on big needles.

Slouchy hats are awesome! I am working on an evil plot that includes a knitting pattern (can you guess what it is?).


Now that christmas is over…

Now that Christmas is over I can actually post and show off something I made without spoiling gifts! <3 Hurray!

First huge christmas gift I worked on was a Meandering Vines pattern I found on Ravelry. This one I harrassed my fiance on what colour his mother would wear and likes and after hours staring at swatches I finally got something I think would be look great.

Here is the shawl blocked:

This was my first time blocking something that large, so it went kind of weird. Also, I wasn’t home so I didn’t have my mats that I can use for blocking (that I also use to workout on too). I found blocking on towels to be painful, especially when I’m trying to widen the thing as the towels just smoosh back. My fiance was smart and piled some geeky books on the towels to help, but it still was a struggle to block it perfectly.

Pretty detail shot of the lace pattern:

I love knitting lace – I love using my Knitpicks Harmony needles and thin yarn (palette yarn) – which I also got off Knitpicks. Lace works up fast and when it’s blocked it looks very different! <3 love it!

LOL @ getting my man to pose with the project… it might be the last time I ask him the model as he gets too silly <3

With that said, this being my first huge lace project, I was geared and experienced to do another lace project right after, and this time a christmas present for me!! ME ME ME!

This was the project I mentioned in a previous post about my nails matching my yarn (lol). This Dragonfly Wing shawl came out beautifully <3

Worn:

blocking:
blocking
For this project the blocking went over better – I had those mat things and also control and accuracy. I don’t ever want to block with towels again (unless its a tiny project).

There’s one more item I should post.. but the recipient hasn’t gotten it yet! >__< GAH! Either way, more to come later <3


I love it when my nails match….

I love it when my nails match my crochet or knitting project. See below:

<3 <3 <3 I LOVE IT! <3 <3 <3

I've started making Dragon Fly Wings (ravelry link) for something to do on the skytrain or my work breaks. The last few days I was doing amigurumi, but I found it to be tedious as I’d lose parts, or my scissors, or need to put it down until I had access to my doll eyes and stuffing.
So far, the pattern is pretty straight forward (and good for a free pattern).

I found this wonderful yarn, Shadow Lace in “Foxtrot” from KnitPicks and I had to buy it. When I was in California with my fiance, he rolled the hanks into balls (his favourite job).

Oh.. and the amazing polish I’m wearing? Magnetic polish! <3

I snagged the Layla “Turquoise Wave” from London Drugs and the LCN “Iron Magic” and “Fushia Attraction” (which I’m wearing) with a star magnet from NailPolishCanada. Magnetic polish is overall pricey, but the end result is a neat effect.

Too bad I don’t have an amigurumi project I’m working on that is a lavendery purple. At the moment for amigurumi I’m in a “Mass production/ Orca breeding pit” mode.


3 months of socks

I’ve been working on these for almost 3 months:

IMG_9286

Phew, and now it is over! Here is the pattern I used via Lion’s Brand. The first time I did socks, well one sock, was back in university. I knit that sock non-stop during all my breaks and in class sometimes and it took a whole semester! This sock I just did on the skytrain commute and during slow times at work, thus at least 4-6 hours per week for almost 3 months. I’m guessing I’ve just gotten faster at knitting than yearsyearsyears ago.

More pics!

IMG_9287
IMG_9285

What’s the new projects I’m on? Top secret, with more ideas than time to create.


Here Kitty Kitty Hat

I always wanted to have a hat with ears, but everything looked too ugly or cheezy for me.

This pattern, http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=61208.0 (or ravelry http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kitty-hat-2 ) is ultra cute, but I made it and it turned out way to freaking small, holey gauge loose and icky. It didn’t help there was no gauge listed or nothing. The fail cat hat was promptly gifted to my roommate who has a smaller head than me, and doesn’t care if his hat covers his ears or not.

Determined, I redid the pattern and listed my gauge. The fail part was I don’t know what yarn I was using, I just remember it is a Bernat that is discontinued (I think). However, I did make another one with Bernat Haven and that turned out just as well.

kitty hat 3

gauge for 3” = 11 sts x 18 rows
Bulky yarn with 5.5mm needles

CO 40
K2, P2 ribbing for 5 rows
Work a Stockinette (Knit one side, purl the other) for 11.5” (not including ribbing)
P2, K2 ribbing for 5 rows (to ensure the rib continues on the backside of hat)

Bind off, weave in ends. Seamlessly sew up the sides, folding the hat in half and starting the stitches at the “ears”.

Kitty hat 1

It should look like this, very uninteresting and rectangular. Mine is kinda wide on the ends from me wearing it >__<

However, once you put it on, it takes on the kitty ears!

Kitty hat 2

I’ve actually made 3 of these now. One I did at work which I wear there (the clients think I’m either a cat or a horned creature) and the other I gave away before I could take a picture (a late xmas gift).

Most of the photos I took here I was lazy so I used my new webcam. Hehe, I don’t need to hold up a camera, yay!