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Weave and Spin

I was intrigued by Lion Brand’s Jumbo Alpaca as soon as I saw it. It comes in a hank of 62 yards. It’s gigantic and soft and kind of bizarre looking and I like things that are a little weird.

Jumbo alpaca

I worked on the knit Statement Scarf first and then set out to create a crochet design. I grabbed a jumbo hook and got going. After not even two full rows I realized I wasn’t going to be happy with the outcome. It was just way to chunky and messy for me.

So if it’s too bulky to crochet, but I needed to crochet, what was left to do? That’s when I pulled out WoolSpun (have a mentioned I love this yarn?) and started in on a mesh stitch to weave the Jumbo Alpaca through.

At first I wasn’t sure. It still looked like it might be messy. However, I learned a long time ago that some art (and crafts) look like total garbage in the process and amazing at the end. Actually, some of the best things look the worst in progress. I’ve learned the lesson, but it’s still a hard one to remember.

If you catch this post before February 8, 2018 then you can get the Weave and Spin crochet kit (2 balls of Woolspun, 1 hank Jumbo Alpaca, pattern PDF) on the Lion Brand website for 25% off. Currently the kit is the only way to get the pattern.

I had perhaps just as much fun modeling this one as I did designing it. Usually you all see my sister in design photos and I’m behind the camera. I switched it up this time tho! I’m not a very practiced model. Annalee was yelling at me the whole time that I was either moving too much or not enough. Haha 😆 You can tell we had some fun though!

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Make a Statement

I knew I wanted to knit this scarf the moment I saw the yarn. The texture and color and idea all made perfect sense together. Jumbo Alpaca is so soft you can pretty much curl up in it and be happy and sleepy and comfortable forever.

And the pompoms in this stuff! Oooo la la! 😍 They’re everybody’s favorite part.

Jumbo Alpaca has a somewhat rustic feel to it. I’m not sure how to even explain the texture. A ladder? It’s not a regular plied yarn and it’s not a single. It’s mostly natural fibers (43% baby alpaca and 43% wool) with 14% polyamide in there holding the fiber fluff together.

As you can see the scarf, which I named the Statement Scarf (because hello, you’re gonna get noticed!) is available in LionBrand.com as a kit (2 skeins if Jumbo Alpaca in the color of your choice and pattern). This, along with Weave and Spin, are my first designs published with Lion Brand.

Easy knit scarf kit

For reference, I am 5’6″ so this is one loooooong scarf!

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Cables and Ribs In Rhythm

I’m working to get you the next (#11) In Rhythm hat! Knitting is being done with Knit Picks City Tweed Aran/HW and US size 8 needles. The design is a series of cable twists worked over a ribbing. I’m thinking I will put a Pom on top, completely optional, of course. My current favorite hats, though, are all finished off with a good Pom. Who doesn’t love a Pom? (I know the answer is lots of people. Haha.)

Knit hat

Needles and Leaves (above) is my favorite hat to wear that I’ve ever made. Im actually wearing it right now! I’d take a selfie, but i don’t want to be “that person” on the train!

The current (as of yet unnamed) In Rhythm design kind of has a similar feel to Needles and Leaves with the cable rib type pattern and an Aran weight yarn.

We’re getting close to the end of this collection! Then we can move onward with some new things. I cannot wait to delve back into more shawls and I have gotten pretty hooked on doing more sweaters.

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Montgomery

Done and loaded! Pattern #10 from In Rhythm was released on Ravelry.

Montgomery is knit in Brava Sport from Knit Picks on US size 4 needles. Although it is a fairly heavily patterned design I found that it moved relatively quickly off my needles. That happens for me sometimes. Basic patterns seem to drag because of the monotony, but more complex designs move fast because I want to see what comes next.

This design was named for the song Angel from Montgomery after someone mentioned to me that the pattern panel looked like a snow angel. Completely an accident, but I’ll take it.

img_5144

There are 2 more designs coming from the In Rhythm collection. One is a multicolored striping thing using Knit Picks Swish DK and the other uses City Tweed Aran. Stay tuned! I’ll get them up as soon as I can.

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Train Knitting

Knitting on the train is very limiting. For me it is anyway. I was never one of those avid sock knitter types. I admit, I actually find knitting socks pretty boring. Even if they are highly patterned. And I never wear them. Nope. I’m all about the mass produced low ankle sport socks. But I digress.

Trying to knit or crochet on the train is difficult. The morning commute is a little easier. I take the 6:55. It’s slightly over an hour (presuming everything is running on schedule) and it’s sleepy and quiet. My stop is far enough east that there are still plenty of open seats. I can sit down and get all settled and set up with my project before I have someone sitting with me.

The ride home, however, is an entirely different beast. Leaving from Penn station at 6pm along with the masses of other people scrambling to get on a very busy branch… it’s chaotic and hot and noisy. People push to try and get a seat (the first stop isn’t for a very long 45 minutes if you’re standing) and often the aisles are packed with those unlucky enough to be at the back of the pack and miss even the worst of seats. Knitting anything very large or complex is impossible. And if you know my designs you know how I love shawls that lean toward the highly patterned.

With that being said, I am attempting this rather large project. It’s a simple top down raglan sweater using We Are Knitters “The Meri Wool” in Sprinkle Pink. In the morning I can usually work on it without issue. Much of the time it proves too large for the evening commute. It does fit the bill on simple, though.

When I first started commuting I wasn’t really knitting at all on the train. I tried and it was too much trouble. I’d take my project out and put it away. A ew Stitches here and there. Same project stalled on the needles for months. Now, though, I’m embracing the simpler designs and have begun utilizing my few hours a day on the train to play with yarn. And it’s so satisfying.

Simple doesn’t have to mean boring. Simple has its place. Lesson learned. I’ve also branched our to more crochet projects. Turns out crochet is fast and sometimes easier in cramped spaces. Yay crochet! However, knitting will always be my true yarn love.

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So Snuggly

knitting love

This yarn is way far out of my normal comfort zone, especially for a garment. Yup. I’m making a sweater out of this bright pink lumpy bumpy yarn. It will be a simple boxy pullover and I plan on pairing it with my pink plaid lounge pants for Netflix & Knit nights at home.

The yarn is new from Lion Brand and if you couldn’t take a guess, it’s marketed for babies. The name says it all: Baby Soft Boucle. It is indeed soft enough for a baby. There are some other colors that probably make more sense for a grown-ass adult, but go big or go home. Right?

Originally I thought about crocheting with this yarn, but that turned into a big NOPE. You can’t see your stitches in this at all. (Definitely not beginner friendly.) Knitting is working out just fine in plain old garter stitch on US size 11 needles. This also makes it a pretty speedy knit. For he moment the newness and novelty of the yarn is keeping me I retested enough to knit rectangles. Let’s hope my speed outlasts my boredom with repetition so I end up with a wearable snuggly sweater.