Even though it seems like I am forever working on one project or another, I occasionally do feel like I get some of them done. This last week has seen the completion of two projects. Here are their stories.
The “Gypsy Shawl” started out as a yarn bomb. What do I mean by that? Well, when the Woolie Ewe received a shipment from Feza Yarns there were several bags of Alp Oriental. This yarn is wound like a traditional ball and has fringe attached to one end. It reminds me of those little black bombs that you sometimes see in movies and cartoons so I started calling them ‘yarn bombs’. These yarn bombs have a mixed fiber content and are meant to be a total surprise as you work with it. I chose the one I did because everyone kept telling me that the color of the first yarn matched my hair…shallow I realize, but eh, I was trying some different.
I actually had to borrow some circular needles as I don’t actually have needles in the size suggested for the yarn. Once I sat down to play with the yarn it evolved into what I dubbed the “Butterfly Shawl”. I was actually really pleased with the design (my decreases made the shawl curve like wings around the front), however I didn’t use all of the yarn and that bothered me. I realized by the time I was half-way through the ball that the fringe that was attached represented the different fibers that were present, the only thing you didn’t know was the order in which they would come together.
As I said, I was happy with the design outcome but not the idea that I had yarn left over. So two days later I ripped the entire shawl back, reattached the remaining yarn and started from scratch. When I was done a few hours later (It took an afternoon from start to finish.) I had something that reminded me of gypsies so I dubbed it my “Gypsy Shawl”.
Now here’s the kicker – both shawls are made from essentially the same pattern. I just adjusted some things.
The “Butterfly Shawl” was made top down and I mixed up the way I did the decreases.
The “Gypsy Shawl” was made bottom up with what essentially amounts to regular increases. I like the way both of the shawls turned out, but I much prefer the “Gypsy Shawl” due to its versatility in which you can wear it.
Specs: Yarn – Feza Yarns Alp Oriental ($52.00), Needles – 12mm circulars, Pattern – Alp Oriental Rounded Shawl
The second project I finished taught me a new stitch AND was a stash buster project for me. Several years ago I purchased (or rather a friend purchased) some yarn that we intended to turn into a purse. However the yarn ended up not being suitable and my friend simply purchased another purse. She gifted me the yarn telling me to create something awesome out of it. So this yarn has been sitting in my stash waiting.
A month or so ago I came across a pattern for a cowl. It looked amazing. It required a rather bulky yarn and guess what? The yarn I had was just the right weight. I jumped at the chance to work on something that was essentially a quick finish project and would use yarn I already had in my stash.
The pattern used a stitch called “Twisted Purl Stitch”. The designer did such a wonderful job of explaining how to do the stitch that I absolutely fell in love with it. (I used it later in a design of my own!) In no time at all I had finished the cowl. All that it needed was buttons. This was took the longest actually. Finding the right buttons. The Woolie Ewe just got some new buttons and I was allowed “first crack” at them.
Even before I had the buttons sewn on several people asked me about the cowl. Some even asked if I could teach them the pattern. It was really flattering. When I finally had the buttons sewed on and did a show and tell at the Woolie Ewe, I was asked again (and several were very insistent!) if I would teach them in a class setting. In truth I would love to teach it, but there are things that need to be done first before it can even be considered. I have taken the first steps to seeing if it would be possible though.
I love the way this cowl turned out. The yarn shows off the stitches beautifully and I love the versatility in which you can wear it. (Are you sensing a theme yet?) Yesterday was the first real cold snap of the Fall and I actually got to wear it out. (In Texas no less! Who would have thought?) It’s so cozy and looked really sophisticated under my wool coat.
As an added bonus I think I might have enough left over to make a smaller version of the cowl if not another one of the same size. Woot!
Specs: Yarn – Cascade Magnum ($18.00 at the time), Needle – 15mm, Pattern – Phydeaux Twist Cowl