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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.

Finished Object Knitting

Bryant Shawlette: Pattern Review and FO

March 17, 2018
Pattern Review and FO Bryant

Hello again! It’s been a while. Between the new job training and a nasty little bug I caught I’ve been out of commission for a while. My reading lists have been on hold for a while too(literally) as I’ve waited months for my books to become available at the library. While I’m not totally back to full health, I can’t put off blogging any longer. I have to share my latest FO with you. 

Meet the Bryant Shawlette! 

Bryant Shawlette

The Pattern:

Bryant Shawlette is a petite shawl by Lavanya Patricella featuring lace and brioche. It’s a perfect kerchief sized shawl and I’ve been wearing it non-stop since I finished it. Despite being such a small project, Bryant took me a long time to complete. I actually started it last year, before I got distracted by my Weekender Sweater. I got a little bogged down with it during the brioche sections.

In short, I am not a clever lady. The Bryant Shawlette is designed to feature two different colors in the brioche section of the shawlette. Since I had made two-color brioche one of my 2018 goals, you’d think I would have used this as an opportunity to try it. You would be wrong. I did the two color brioche section with one color. I knit it like you would knit two colors, but I only used one color, pulling from the inside and outside of the same ball of yarn. This is not smart! I do not recommend, especially if you haven’t done two color brioche before. 

Bryant Shawlette

In terms of finished product, though? Gorgeous. I love it. It’s the perfect size, not too heavy, and amazingly comfortable. The increases in the brioche section give it just enough curve to drape around your shoulders. It’s definitely meant to be worn like a scarf or kerchief, but I usually wear my shawls that way anyways. The only downside is trying to explain what a “shawlette” is to non-knitters. 

Bryant Shawlette

The Yarn:

I used some of the yarn that I won in the 2017 DFW Yarn Crawl for this project. If you remember, I won two particularly large skeins of beautiful Twisted Owl Yarn. Twisted Owl is a small fiber studio from the good ol’ state of Texas. Their Lux Sock is a 80/10/10 Merino, Cashmere, and Nylon blend and comes in an extremely generous 600 yarn skein! I was able to make all of my Bryant Shawlette with one skein and I still have plenty left over.

Bryant Shawlette

The color of this Twisted Owl Lux Sock is just amazing. It’s not something that I would have picked out for myself, but now that I’ve knit with it, I really love it. The color is called Koi Pond. I just love the image it evokes. The bright flashes of orange and gold on that blueish green base really do seem like koi in a pond. 

The other thing that struck me about this yarn is how soft it is. Not just in the finished product. Twisted Own Lux Sock feels amazing to knit with. I mean, duh, cashmere. But I was still pleasantly surprised at how smooth and soft it felt in my hands as I knit with it. If have a chance to get your hands on some Twisted Owl yarn, definitely do it! I’ve been really impressed by it.

What have you been working on lately? I’ve got some baby knits to finish up. My new office is going to keep me busy. Two pregnancy announcements already! Somebody send me some new suggestions for baby knits!

Finished Object Knitting

Weekender Sweater Pattern Review and FO

February 16, 2018
Weekender Pattern Review and FO

Hello Everyone! I hinted earlier this year that I was making scary progress on my New Years Resolutions. It’s been almost a week now so I can safely say: I got a new job!  I’ve been looking for a change for over a year now so I’m super excited about this. The best part? My commute is down to 5 minutes! Such freedom!

Has anyone else made progress on their new year’s resolutions? I know at McKinney Knittery I’ve been hearing a lot of “year of the sweater” talk. Some knitters are tackling their first ever sweaters this year! If you’re looking for an easy first sweater, allow me to recommend the Weekender Sweater by Andrea Mowry. I just finished mine in a few short weeks and it was a joy to make.

The Pattern

Weekender Pattern Review and FO

Weekender by Andrea Mowry is a casual pullover with a few special features. Weekender is worked in stockinette, worn purl side out, with a slip stitched detail down the center front and center back. To add an extra layer of quality, Weekender features tubular cast ons (and cast offs) throughout the project. I was hesitant about the tubular cast on and off, since it seemed like an awful lot of fuss, but now that I see the finished project, I find that it adds a lot to the sweater.

In terms of difficulty, I found Weekender to be incredibly easy. Even though it’s worn purl side out, you don’t have to purl a whole sweater (thank GOODNESS!). Instead, you work the majority of the sweater inside out. Save for the little slipped stitch every other row, it’s just pure knitting in the round. Plus, the minimal shaping means that you’re less likely to suffer if you don’t get your gauge quite right. I am not exaggerating when I say that out of all my handknit sweaters, my Weekender fits me the best.

Weekender Pattern Review and FO

The pattern is amazing without modifications, but I did make a few modifications to the pattern. I changed the sleeves to make them tighter and shorter. When picking up the sleeves, I picked up 54 stitched, and decreased at the beginning and end of each round every 6th round until I had 42 stitches. I then worked the sleeves straight until they were 10 inches long. I switched to K1 P1 rib for 3.5 inches and finished the sleeves with a tubular bind off. 

I’m very happy with how my Weekender sweater turned out. The fit is amazing and it’s really easy and comfortable to wear. Sometimes I find that the neck rides up a little high for my taste, and I wonder if changing the short row shoulder shaping would make a difference in that. Despite that, I’ve still been dreaming of making another Weekender in another color and yarn. Maybe a nice millennial pink? I’ll keep you posted.

The Yarn

Weekender Pattern Review and FO

Okay. You are going to laugh. I used Paton’s Classic Wool for this sweater. They have a few marled colors and it was buy 2 get 1 free and I just couldn’t wait. I did it and I don’t regret it. I only used 4 skeins of the light gray marl so this was a really cheap sweater. Sure it’s a little more itchy than I would normally like, but I wear a tank top under mine.

The Paton’s actually performed really well in this project. I had no issues with consistency and the finished project doesn’t look cheap at all. It does shed a little bit. That may improve over time. Because I knew I was dealing with a cheaper yarn, I used this project as an opportunity to try Eucalan for the first time! I figured that I nice soak, something I can neglect in my FOs, might add some softness to the rougher yarn. So I filled the sink with water and a few teaspoons of Eucalan and let it soak for an hour or so. After blocking, my Weekender is nice and smooth and comfortable to wear against the skin (though still very wooly). I will definitely use this product again to wash this sweater and others.

Weekender Pattern Review and FO

So there’s my first sweater of 2018. Do you have a sweater on the needles this year? Is one planned for later. I’ve got my eye on a few patterns. I’d love to see what you’re looking at as well.