Thursday, May 28, 2009

::Finished:: Little House

I finished one of my personal projects...I knitted this shawl on 7.5 circular bamboo needles. It was my first project with circular needles, and it was my first project with yarn-over increases. I have tried to cast-on to circular needles before, but I found it...annoying. The cast-on stitches would roll and swirl and get all jacked up and I'm sure a more experienced knitter would laugh at my confusion, but I just never did get the hang of it.

This simple shawl started with a three stitch cast-on. At the beginning of each and every row, I made a yarn-over increase (which made this sweet little scallop all along the edge). This was nice for me, because the first three stitches sat right on my little stumpy needles, and by the time I had increased enough to move the stitches out onto the nylon attachment, there were enough rows that it stabilized the whole project and kept it from twisting around on itself. Very helpful!

That's it, by the way. Cast-on 3, knit every row, yo increase for the first stitch of each row. I thought I was following a pattern I read on a blog I like (Eyes of Wonder, in the side bar), but I misunderstood that pattern and when I re-read it, after getting half-way through this shawl, I now see that I have no idea what the original pattern is asking me to do. So, you know, these things have a way of working out.

I had this project out-and-about and on the needles this last weekend. It was blustery and overcast on Sunday, but it really wasn't rainy. So I'm not sure how, but the corner of my shawl got wet. Erik was all, "Ugh, gross! That smells like goat! I never want to smell it again!" And I agreed, it did have a rather...distinct....smell when it got wet. But I was all, "Yay! It smells like the 'fair'! I'm so happy! I love it!" The yarn was a gift from my mom from their vacation to Wyoming. I had been holding onto it since last summer, and I am happily convinced that I've found just the perfect project for this perfect, perfect yarn.

I cast off at one point, and the shawl wasn't long enough ~ to comfortably drape across my shoulders ~ or to reach my waist. Harumph. I ended up UN-casting-off and continuing on for another 20 or 25 rows. It seems right now!

Do you want to hear a secret? I made this little cape because I wanted a reason to use a shawl pin. Could you just swoon? Edging ever-closer to my Little House daydream!


  1. Beautiful shawl Mia!! You sound like Kelly when you said, "it smelled like the fair". Are you two related? Once she told me to smell a bag of woolbecause it smelled sooo good. All I could smell was dirty sheep. Ugh

  2. Love the shawl, Mia! If you love the smell of the fair, but don't want to wear it ;-) you can wash the shawl. Forgive me if you already know this, but you can wash wool without shrinkage and it will make all the stitches cozy up to one another and settle in. It will probably also make it softer.

    Fill the empty sink with very hot water and shampoo. Put the shawl in and swish gently a few times to make sure it is completely wet, but don't agitate! Let it sit for a few minutes (not long enough for the water to cool). Take it out of the water and squeeze gently to get some water out. Fill the sink with clear hot water and a glug of vinegar. Put shawl back in and let soak awhile. Take out and squeeze gently, wrap in a towel and step on it a couple times to get most water out. Lay flat to dry. If you don't agitate, pour water onto it, wring it, or put cold water on a hot shawl, it won't shrink.

    To get even closer to Little House on the Prairie your next shawl can have longer side points that wrap around the front and tie in back. You wear this while feeding the chickens and goats and while picking veggies!

  3. Miss Susan ~ Thanks you!!! (and thanks for the wine suggestions, too, it was a smashing success!)

    Betty ~ Ha!!! I told Erik this and he was cracking up, too. We both agreed on what we smelled (dirty goats, him, dirty sheep, me) but we just couldn't come together on our *assessment* of the smell! haha! Nothing smells better than sweaty farm animals! lol

    Kelly ~ Thank you! I did not know any of this (I guess I worried about 'felting' too), but will be putting the shawl through the entire process this weekend! I love the idea of an even longer shawl (and wrapped around? oh my!)...I was just thinking as I finished this project, how one of the things I LOVE about knitting, is the clickety-click of the needles as you go along. But one of the things that's really hard for me to get used to, is how much *longer* it takes to make something, as compared to crochet! I'll practice some patience (fortified by the fact that I'll be wearing my NEW shawl!) and cast on for the next BIGGER project....soon! :)