Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

Hello, I'm back again! I don't know how long this posting more than once a week business is going to hold up, but I really want to get through some of this backlog of projects. Also, I have made some progress on that yarn that I dyed last week that didn't quite turn out as expected. This next project goes along with the falling leaves hat. When I was done with the hat I had a ball of yarn left over and thought I should make something to go along with the hat. Someone from the knitting group at my local yarn store (Black Sheep) was making some fingerless mittens that I really liked. The lace pattern doesn't match the hat, but the yarn does and I think they look just fine together.


They are surprisingly warm considering the amount of holes in them. The pattern is called "Mericash wrist warmers" by Jean Gray and is free on Ravelry. (By the way, I'm crystalcrafts on Ravelry if anyone out there wants to check out my project pages.)

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On another note, remember that roving from last week? I spun it and plied it into this:

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I was not such a fan of the colors. I decided to make up a dye pot of dark blue (Wiltons royal with a little black) and throw it in. After round 1 of dye it looked like this (sorry for the bad picture):


I still wanted it darker so I added more dark blue and put the yarn back in. Here's what it looks like now:

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It's weird, but I can't decide if I like it. I definitely like it more now then how it was. I just don't know. Although, after getting a great response from my knitting group yesterday I'm feeling a little better about it. You just never know what you're gonna get when dying yarn.

Summer Flies

The latest pattern I have finished is a shawl called Summer Flies. It started as some pink Picco Accaurdi roving from Paradise Fibers. I spun it up then plied it. Unfortunately I forgot to take a before picture of the roving, but there were different shades of pink spread throughout the wool. Once spun it looked like this:

I have been wanting to make this shawl for a long time and I thought this yarn was the perfect color. I ended up adding a few extra pattern repeats to make up for the yarn being a lighter weight than the yarn suggested in the pattern.

As usual, blocking was like magic with this shawl. Before I blocked it, there were lots of curled up edges and it just wasn't very good-looking.

I was kind of excited that it was finally done and forgot to take pictures of the actual blocking process. Anyway, the shawl is done! Since it is called Summer Flies I thought it would be fun to get some pictures out in the sun. I have been waiting for the perfect day to take pictures. Today I  happened to notice that one of the trees in our apartment complex had bloomed. I decided to take advantage of this along with the fact that it is so sunny and warm outside today.

I asked my very kind husband to come outside with me, my camera, and the shawl and take some pictures. I can't decide which pictures to show so I'm just going to show you a bunch of them.


We also found a bunny out in the grass, but he wasn't so amused at the idea of having his picture taken...


I'm so excited I finally have something finished to show you! I think that this is my favorite knit projects so far, and also the biggest lace project I have completed. It all started with some roving that I showed you earlier.

Then, the roving was spun up into yarn on my handy spinning wheel.

All along I knew that I had the perfect plan for this yarn. It was to become a Haruni Shawl. This is a pattern that I found on and have been dying to make. Once the yarn was done, washed and dried, the knitting needles came out. Here it is soon after I started:

A little later...

And finally, off the needles:

This is where you have to keep in mind that lace needs to be blocked. So, I took the shawl, soaked it in some cool water and pinned it out to dry on some foam mats. It always amazes me how much blocking really makes a difference. It opens up all of the lace and really makes it pop. Check it out:

Once it was completely dry, I un-pinned it from the foam.

Here you can see the difference. The picture on top is before blocking and the one below is after blocking:

(The real color is darker blue than the top picture but not as dark as the bottom. Lighting wasn't cooperating very well...)

I really don't wear shawls, but this one was so much fun to make that I might have to start wearing them. I am seeing more in my knitting future. :)


Amazing Lace

Welcome back! I have some new stuff to show you this week. First of all, I'm sure you have already noticed the new theme. I decided I liked the colors and layout better. Secondly, I now have my own domain (thanks, Jason!). You can access my blog the way you have been, or also by going to and my shop can be found at Now on to the fun stuff. I always love learning new knit and crochet techniques and lately it has been all about the lace. It has always looked so complicated to me that I have been afraid to try, but I gave it a shot. I just finished my first lace scarf and it was easier that I thought it would be. Now I want to try more lace projects!

I started off trying to make the One Row Lace Scarf (

While I really love this pattern, I decided that I wanted to go in another direction. I was using my hand-spun cashmere yarn after all and wanted something a little nicer looking. So, back to the ravelry pattern finder I went and came up with the Leafy Lace Scarf pattern (

The interesting thin about this pattern is that you knit each half of the scarf separately, then use the kitchner stitch to sew them together. The kitchner stitch uses a regular yarn needle to sew stitches together in a way that looks like it is knit. To do this, I first had to line up both halves of the scarf. At this point all the stitches are still on the knitting needles:

Then I got out the yarn needle and started sewing the two halves together:

Once it's done it's hard to even tell where the seam is:

One of the most important steps in the lace knitting process is blocking. Blocking involves soaking the scarf in cold water then pining it out so that the lace pattern can open up. It stays pinned until it is completely dry. I got 2 towels out on the ground and covered then with a black sheet (for pictures). Then I started pinning...


I left it out for a few days to make sure it was completely dry, then took all the pins back out. Below you can see the before and after pictures from blocking.


And it's done! As you can see, blocking really does make an amazing difference!