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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

black bean festival

When I announced to Paul and our friend Andrea that I was going to the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair this past weekend, they were stunned. Yeah... it turns out that regular people think of dietary fiber, not wool, when they hear "fiber." Paul then unofficially proclaimed it the Black Bean Festival. Muggles!

One of the highlights...
So cute! I went with a few girls from my knitting circle, and a great time was had by all, especially at the Briar Rose booth... talk about swoon-worthy fiber.
(L) Sea Pearl (merino/tencel), (R) Celebration (merino/bamboo), plus the After Hours Shawl pattern
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Kylie's in love with my now-complete Hap Blanket. See how she's cuddling up to it?
I've even seen her burrow under it and hide behind it. I haven't washed and blocked it yet, since I'm wondering if that's some of the cat appeal, and I'm enjoying the show too much.

Pattern: Hap Blanket, by Ysolda Teague (from Whimsical Little Knits)
Yarn: Cascade Ecological Wool, Natural (1.25 skeins) and Coffee (.25 skeins)
Needles: Clover US 11 bamboo circs

Notes:
Hmmm... I wish I liked this better. The yarn is great -- very lofty and soft, marvelous price and yardage, wonderful natural colors. I usually love Ysolda's patterns, but this one isn't my favorite. There are serious errata. Row 5 should be P (not K); more significantly, the last page of the pattern doesn't seem to be necessary and was ceremoniously disregarded by me. The written-out instructions are rather annoying -- they often refer back to other rows that themselves refer back to yet more rows.

Feather and fan is usually my absolute favorite stitch pattern to knit, but here it's a pain. Switching colors after YOs is nearly impossible to do well. I don't like knitting F&F in the round on those big needles, either.

The blanket is an odd size. It would make a great (if slightly large) baby blanket, but I knit it up in hand-wash-only wool. It kind of covers your lap. It would work best as a decorative item over the back of a chair. Or as a cat blanket, apparently.
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Finishing up the Hap Blanket (as well as a scarf that I'll save for another post) sparked a bout of cast-on-itis! First up, a Milkweed Shawl:
I'm using Impulse of Delight's Superwash Merino/Silk in "Aubergine." Ashley used this yarn for a beautiful Ishbel a while back, and I couldn't resist the allure of those gorgeous inky blues. Yes, yes... usually aubergine means purple, but the color makes me so happy that I won't complain. It has a lovely sheen, and it's a nice, springy 2-ply. I have found a few odd spots in this skein though.
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Also, since my friends are procreating at an alarming rate, a raglan baby sweater in Cashmerino, inspired by Lolly's two cute versions.
This needs to be done for an early August baby shower, which I don't think will be a problem. I'm subbing YO raglan increases:

knit to within 1 st of marker, YO, K1, slip marker, K1, YO

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