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April 2018

Finished Object Knitting

Pattern Review and FO: Brioche Bandana

April 23, 2018
Brioche Bandana

You may have noticed it in my previous post about the Fiber Fest, but I have finished my Brioche Bandana! One of my goals for 2018 was to learn two color brioche. I had done regular one color brioche, which is about three steps easier. I had never tried two color brioche before this year. Now I can happily check that goal off my list! Aaah brioche…It’s only hard if you drop a stitch.

The Pattern

Brioche Bandana

I chose Lavanya Patricella’s Fingering Brioche Bandana Cowl for my first real foray into two color brioche. You’ll notice I say first real foray, since technically my Bryant Shawlette was two color brioche. But on that project I went rogue and only used one color. This time, I did things the right way.

In retrospect, the brioche bandana was pretty challenging for a first timer. The difficulty comes when you have to switch between circular and flat brioche. The bandana starts out as a tube with brioche in the round, but later switches to flat knitting to create the triangular bandana section. Like most stitch patterns, brioche is a bit different in the round vs. flat. For the record, I prefer in the round, since I’m always a little fiddly with edges. 

Brioche Bandana 2

I also found the decreases on the lower part of the bandana to be sorta tricky. They just weren’t very intuitive. To be honest, I’m still not sure that I did them right. But no one has said, “oh my gosh, what did you do on the bottom edge of your cowl?!” so I’m just going to roll with it. I had contemplated adding a different bottom edge,but it’s not really noticeable when worn, so I decided against it.

Despite the few hiccups I had with this pattern, I would totally knit this again. In fact, I intend to knit this again with some hedgehog fibers yarn that I have in the stash. It’s incredibly easy to throw on and wear. It looks cool and interesting, but doesn’t add a lot of bulk. I don’t like it when scarves and cowls restrict the movement of my head and neck, so this is perfect. It’s not too heavy either. In short, the brioche bandana and I are a match made in heaven.

The Yarn

Brioche Bandana 3

This technically used 2 different yarns,but I’m only going to talk about one. I was lucky enough to snag a skein of Dye For Knitting Merino Sock when I was in Tulsa last winter. It’s local to Oklahoma which made it extra special. And the colors are…to dye for! Seriously though, I loved the speckled blue yarn, and it took me a long time to figure out what to put with it in this cowl. In the end, I decided that a green would complement the yarn nicely. I had a partial skein of Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in green that worked well, so that’s what I went with. 

Brioche Bandana 4

The yarn itself is great. It’s consistent and the color is so saturated. I didn’t have any issues with the quality, no knots or pilling. It smells delightfully sheepy, even after a eucalan soak, which I love. I was sniffing it all weekend when I wore it to Austen. It smelled a heck of a lot better than our hotel room! The dye did bleed a little when I initially soaked the bandana, but the dye didn’t get onto the other color at all. 

I still have a bunch of this yarn leftover too. The brioche bandana really doesn’t take much. It’s great for leftovers. I can’t decide what to make with the leftovers of this one. Maybe a bright baby hat…As always, pattern recommendations are encouraged.

Knitting Local

DFW Fiber Fest 2018

April 16, 2018

Hello, everyone! I hope that you are all doing well and that the weather in your state has decided what season it wants to be in. Mine has not. But the bluebonnets are blooming and the Hubs and I are planning some adventures anyways.DFW Fiber Fest 4

Speaking of adventures, this month I got to experience the DFW Fiber Fest for the first time in several years! The last time I have attended the DFW Fiber Fest is was in a little old convention center. This year, the DFW Fiber Fest was held at the shiny new Irving Convention Center. The truly amazing thing though, was that the DFW Fiber Fest actually used up the whole convention floor!

To be fair, a lot of that area was a big sitting area, but for the DFW Fiber Fest, that was perfect. It meant that when you got tired of walking around to see all the vendors, you could sit and knit a little bit. There were lots of big groups  of knitters gathered there. I don’t know if they all came together or met there, but I thought it was wonderful. I didn’t take any of the classes because 1. money and 2. time, but I did get a good look at the vendors. Let me show you!

The Vendor Hall

Just like at any convention, the vendor hall is the main attraction for me. It’s even better when it’s knitting. Since knitting has had such an explosive growth through the online community, it can be difficult to see certain items in person. Events like the DFW Fiber Fest make this a possibility. Not only did the DFW Fiber Fest have lots of yarn to shop with, they had yarn tasting!

DFW Fiber Fest

If you’ve never done yarn tasting before, I think it’s a great idea. The DFW Fiber Fest had balls of all sorts of different yarns from different vendors available for you to test knit. They were all congregated in a nice open area with tables and there were so many nice options to test! My favorite was the Independence Wool, which contains mohair grown (raised?) in Texas. It was so soft! Their booth was easily one of the cutest too.

DFW Fiber Fest

The only issue I had with the yarn tasting was that the only needles available to use were super flimsy plastic ones. Like they were bending while you tried to knit with them. As serious knitter know, it takes both yarn and needles to make a sublime knitting experience. So, I wish that the needle options hadn’t been so dismal at the yarn tasting. That being said, I get it, needles aren’t cheap for something like that. I can’t really blame them for picking the more affordable option.

My Top Picks

In terms of actual vendors selling yarn, I’m pretty sure I circled the hall several times. All I know is that my feet hurt. Out of everything that I saw, there were a few vendors that stood out to me.

DFW Fiber Fest - October House

October House

October House took the cake for me when it came to consistency of artistic vision. They know how to work a color palette! The muted pastels were so lovely. The whole booth reminded me of a china shop. All of their branding was just so in line with what I like. The pinks and mints and watercolor signs got me. I actually bought some October House this past weekend when I found it in Austin. A repeat appearance was too good to pass up!

DFW Fiber Fest - Independence Wool

Independence Wool

I already mentioned Independence Wool earlier, but like I said before, they booth was seriously the cutest. They had a whole roof and exterior on their booth, like a little house! Like I mentioned before, Independence Wool specializes in a lot of mohair, but not the mohair that you are used to. It’s silky and shiny and curly! The rest of their yarns are beautifully rustic as well. I also enjoyed their bin of samples – little bits and not quite skeins that they were selling for $3.50 each.

DFW Fiber Fest -Olive Yarn Dye Co

Olive Yarn Dye Co.

Olive Yarn Dye Co. was part of the Park Avenue booth, but I wanted to give the yarn itself a shout out, because it’s *gasp* the only thing I bought at the DFW Fiber Fest (because 1. money). I had come to the DFW Fiber Fest on a mission to buy some DK weight yarn for a wrap sweater. I was leaning towards a nice gray or a total millennial pink. You know that pink that not quite taupe, and not super bubble gum pink? If it doesn’t look like a color Lauren Conrad would wear, I don’t want it. Olive Yarn Dye Co. had the perfect pink. In DK, no less! (By the way, looking for DK at the Fiber Fest was like going to the State Fair looking for health food. You’ll find it, but it’s in short supply.) They were so nice and sweet both times I came into the booth. I can’t wait to show you what I make with their yarn!

DFW Fiber Fest -McKinney Knittery

McKinney Knittery

Of course you know I’ve gotta rep my local yarn store! McKinney Knittery had a great set up at the DFW Fiber Fest. They had the largest selection of both Yoth Yarns and Magpie Fibers. They also had an amazing array of samples. I could have dressed myself for a week out of the sample they had available. I was especially interested in a cute and comfy looking pair of shorts out of the new Magpie Solstice. They are totally going on my list for the summer. McKinney Knittery also wins for having the cutest shirts. I am personally saving up for a “Gettin’ Knit Done!” shirt!

Did anyone else attend the DFW Fiber Fest? What was your experience? Did you find anything you couldn’t live without? I want to hear about it!