The Week July 31-August 6

Last week:

  • Carry on with Aranami.
    Done. I even tried doing the last row pattern, which is short rows, on one wedge to make sure it will work with the stripes I’m doing. I’m either on the next to last row or I’ve got this row + 5 more to do – I haven’t decided yet.
  • Consider casting on for another summer top using the yarn I adopted from Vanessa at Wednesday knitting.
    Yes, I considered it and decided that now isn’t the right time. I decided to focus more on spinning & embroidery, with Aranami as my faithful knitting project.
  • Carry on with daytime embroidery; my lighting isn’t bright enough to do it enjoyably at night.
    I started the greens & blues in the design, the last remaining colors. I really wish this was done already so I could move on to doing my own freehand stuff. I did order 6″ and 8″ wooden embroidery hoops in anticipation of the fox pillow being done and being free to do what I like.
  • Finish spinning the last batt for TdF.
    Done. I also started on a blue green cormo batt that was in my etsy shop and am already more than halfway through it. The two TdF batts were less than an ounce each, but the blue green was over 3 ounces, so it seems like it’s taking forever.
last of the TdF yarn
My last Tour de Fleece skein (left)
with a bonus skein (right). Both are under 1 oz of fingering weight that will probably become a hat.
  • Go to TKD.
    Once, but I passed my orange belt pre-test. Testing is this Thursday-Friday.
  • In my quest to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life now that the boys are older and 2/3 of them are partially out of the nest, look into what Loudoun Arts Council requires to apply to be in the Arts in the Village Gallery and actually visit the gallery to see what it’s like & if any of my stuff would fit in.
    I’d have to join LAC ($35/year), submit an application (with Artist Statement, something I hadn’t considered) & fee ($25). So there, I did most of this – I did talk with someone at my Wednesday knitting group who’s been to the gallery; she was very encouraging and excited at the prospect of me doing this.

Also, the woman who commissioned the Wonder Woman Wrap received it and absolutely loves it! She was sweet and gave me/The Yarn Office a boost on social media also. I’m so glad she likes it! What a relief!

This week:

    • Carry on with Aranami.
    • Embroidery: finish the top half of the fox pillow design.
Fox Embroidery
The fox pillow embroidery project, design by Sublime Stitching
  • Spinning: carry on.
  • Go to TKD at least once to practice before testing, go Thurs or Fri to test. Practice form right before test to warm up.
  • Go to the gallery. Take Ky or Becky, but go.
  • Decide on next step for gallery/artist thing and stuff down all that doubt.

Wonder Woman Wrap Wrap Up

An old college friend spotted this KnitHacker post about Carissa Browning’s Wonder Woman Wrap and asked me if I could knit it for her. I explained how I would price it (yarn cost + yarn shipping + $0.25/yard of yarn + project shipping = cost) and she agreed! She even used etsy and The Yarn Office to do the transaction to give it a boost.

I ordered the yarn that very day, July 5. Lazy Cat Yarn didn’t have the called for yarn (Opulence, 70% merino, 20% silk, 10% cashmere) in stock in the right red color (102 Sweet Dreams), so I ordered another yarn in the right color (Elemental, 100% superwash merino). I found Hedgehog Fibres sock yarn in pollen at The Knitting Bee and realized later that Elemental actually matches this yarn better than Opulence since the Hedgehog Fibres sock yarn is 100% superwash merino. Although Lazy Cat Yarns recommends hand washing, I did run the finished shawl through the washer on delicate with no problems.

By July 10 – just five days later – I had both yarns and began the shawl, which is worked from the bottom up. The finished shawl looks complex, but all the shaping and colorwork are done using increases, decreases, and short rows. Each row (or short row) is a single color, so there’s no tricky intarsia or stranding. Browning’s instructions and the shawl construction are broken into clear sections; she even provides an illustration of the finished shawl with the section you’re working on highlighted. It’s rare to see such a well-written pattern much less a free well-written pattern.

Wonder Woman Wrap
The in-process wrap
I confess I did make a few mistakes in the early sections before I figured out where I was in the pattern. I often find that when I start a project, I’m knitting blind, just following directions without fully understanding where I am in relation to the finished object. My internal concept of the project hasn’t formed yet and even with stitch markers it’s difficult for me to break stitches on my needle into understandable sections or to even distinguish the front from the back. Using stitch markers helps and this pattern relies heavily on them, and placing a removable marker on the front/public side of the work helps me also. Still, it took me until somewhere in the second section to fully comprehend the construction, the function of the stitch markers, and the so-called rules (like “End each row with an increase in the second to last stitch.”) I made noticeable mistakes because my stitch counts were off, but I doubt that my friend will ever notice them in the finished shawl.

Wonder Woman Wrap

Overall, I’m happy with how it turned out. I wish, though, that I had matched the cast on (long tail, as called for in the pattern) with the cast off (Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off). The cast on is firm and mostly unyielding, to the point that the bottom section spills over it if given a chance, while the cast off is so stretchy it’s almost disconcerting. On the positive side for both, at least there’s give in the part of the shawl that will be handled the most, the top, and I won’t worry about the recipient tearing or ripping it accidentally.

The only other thing I might change is the overall length. Tip to tip, the shawl is more than adequate but IMO it’s out of proportion with the top to bottom length. I did accidentally add extra rows to the final section (another mistake) but even so I wonder how observers will see and identify the WW pattern if the wrap is going to be functional. Of course, functionality isn’t the only purpose of any garment – they serve a decorative purpose as well. I just personally lean more towards functionality and utilitarianism over decoration, if that makes sense. To be clear: the wrap is functional, but it could be even more functional with additional length.

I would make this again and might make it again without any modification to the pattern. Perusing the finished projects on Ravelry, I saw lots of different color combinations, like this one which (to me) matches the Wonder Woman movie perfectly. Carrissa Browning herself posted different color combination ideas on Instagram and part of me wants to go questing for the perfect yarn in the perfect color (yes, I’m a perfectionist).

If you’re a WW fan – either old school or of the new movie (which I loved, BTW, go see it in theaters before it’s gone) – you need this wrap. It’s a relatively quick and easy knit thanks to Browning’s clever design.

The Week July 24-July 30

Last week:

  • Carry on with the commissioned shawl.
    I finished it and mailed it off this morning! I’m going to write a post just about the shawl for tomorrow, so keep an eye out if you’re a Wonder Woman fan.
  • Spin for Tour de Fleece every day, even today, a rest day.
    I’m calling this done even though I did end up taking a rest day last Wednesday. I finished the yarn I was spinning, which unexpectedly turned out 100% more purple than I anticipated, which is pretty neat!
Untitled
Spunky Eclectic bump and the yarn I spun from it, side by side. I did not anticipate so much purple; it’s magical!
(Well, optical blending, which is still magical.)
  • Go to TKD.
    I went Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Pre-testing is coming up!
  • Stay hydrated.
  • KISS. (Keep it simple, stupid/silly.)

I also picked up Aranami and my embroidery again after I finished Wonder Woman on Saturday.

This week:

  • Carry on with Aranami.
  • Consider casting on for another summer top using the yarn I adopted from Vanessa at Wednesday knitting.
  • Carry on with daytime embroidery; my lighting isn’t bright enough to do it enjoyably at night.
  • Finish spinning the last batt for TdF.
  • Go to TKD.
  • In my quest to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life now that the boys are older and 2/3 of them are partially out of the nest, look into what Loudoun Arts Council requires to apply to be in the Arts in the Village Gallery and actually visit the gallery to see what it’s like & if any of my stuff would fit in.