My trip to Boston over Veteran’s Day Weekend in a nutshell: history, heights, and Hocus Pocus.

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Photos of one of my current projects, a scarf commissioned by my friend, Rebekah, for her sister Abigail.  She gave me free reign on a pattern, telling me that all her sister said she wanted was something “wooly” and “pretty.”  When I asked what color she wanted, Rebekah said to go with a neutral, and I immediately though of this Patons worsted weight yarn.  It’s an off-white color with specks of blue and brown throughout.

I really like the heart lace motif, although I wish I had started it after the ribbing. It curls the slightest amount, but it’s not enough to bother me TOO much.

Hoping to finish this tonight and send it off to her tomorrow!

Elisa McLaughlin’s Reversible Smocked Hat is such a beautiful pattern.  I started it about two weeks ago, then put it down to finish some other projects.  When I picked it back up last night to do some late night knitting, I couldn’t help but wonder why I hadn’t wanted to finish it right then and there two weeks ago.  I’m looking forward to finishing this today, and then wearing it in Boston this weekend when I drive up to visit one of my best friends, Hannah.

I’m using Rowan Creative Focus Worsted, a wool & alpaca blend, in the colorway Lavender Heather.  You can slightly see the color variations in the photo, but the yarn is multi-ply with mostly lavender, but also some deep pinks and blues.  It really is a beautiful combination of shades, and it’s knitting up really nicely.

The yarn itself tends to shed – which, in my experience, is typical of alpaca and alpaca-blend yarns – so I’ll look down to my lap while knitting, and it’s as if I just rolled around on the floor with an alpaca.  The multiple plies of the yarn can also sometimes cause the ever-annoying split stitches situation when you accidentally knit between the plies.  (Is there an actual name for this?  Is it just escaping me right now?)  BUT, I love the color and softness of the yarn, so I’m ignoring all of this, which I’ve realized I’ve been doing a lot of lately.  For me, as long as the end product looks wonderful, I’m okay with a few annoyances here and there while knitting it.  (Though, I don’t think I can say the same for many other knitters!)

The designer suggested a single-ply merino as the best yarn choice for the hat, and with the smocking and tight stitches that come with it, I can understand why.  But when I bought this yarn at one of my local yarn shops a few months ago, it screamed HAT to me – though, honestly, that’s not saying much, since pretty much every yarn does that when I go yarn shopping – but I couldn’t find one I liked enough.  After buying this pattern and shuffling through my huge stash, I knew that this yarn was the one.  Fate!

Introducing the Knit-a-Long pattern winners!  After some input from people who wanted to participate, I decided on these four patterns:

  1. Blue Bell Hill Scarf by Jocelyn Tunney – This chevron style scarf with alternating garter and stockinette stitch sections is extremely versatile and customizable, while also being simple but interesting enough to look like it took a lot more effort than it actually did!  Win-win! (I also suggest that you look through some of the other patterns available on the O-Wool website – they’re fantastic!)
  2. Great Weekend Mitts by Thea Eschliman – Another easily customizable knit.  Get creative with different color stripes, make it a solid color, use a variegated or self striping yarn, and add your own touch with buttons (or no buttons at all).  They can also be made longer or shorter, depending on your preference.  Knit in the round or on straight needles and seamed at the end.
  3. Rye by tincanknits – These DK or worsted weight socks are knit with garter stitch on the top of the foot.  Because they are knit with thicker yarn than typical socks, they are sure to be a quick project.  And the pattern is available in a variety of sizes!
  4. Graham Hat by Jennifer Adams – This hat is simple but fun enough to keep your interest, and can easily be customized to suit your preferences!  Plus, it’s apparently reversible, so that’s an added bonus.

Super basic guidelines:

  1. You can knit one, or you can knit all of them.  It’s completely up to you.  Once you’ve joined by sending me an official “I’m joining the knit-a-long!” message, you can let me know which one you’re planning on knitting, but you don’t have to stick to it.
  2. End date is January 31, but that’s obviously a very fluid deadline.  Knit at your own pace, and I’d love to see your progress/end result!
  3. Speaking of seeing progress, I’ve set up a sub-blog at knitalongwithme.tumblr.com.  If you’re knitting with us and would like to be a member, just ask!
  4. Tag anything you post with the tag #knitalongwithme so we can keep up with each other!

If anyone has any questions – whether they’re about the KAL, or you need help with any of the patterns – please feel free to get in touch with me!

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m really excited about this.  Can’t wait to see all of your knits!

I also wouldn’t mind if some of you reblogged this to give it a signal boost.  Just saying. 🙂 Thanks!

Finished! Finito! Fertig!  And I couldn’t be happier.

This is (I think) my 6th Great Divide Shawl, and I can’t recommend this pattern enough to shawl lovers.  I’m pretty sure it’s available only on Ravelry, so that’s where that link will lead, but it was most definitely $5 well spent.  It’s served me well, so thanks, Michele, for the wonderful pattern!  I’m sure there will be more to come.