Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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I’m a champion!

I finished up some knitting projects recently, and have a great announcement about a shawl I’ve been working on since 2015.

I finished the Nouveau Beaded Lace shawl I’ve been working on in black Baruffa Cashwool with silver beads:

2017-04-16 12.50.02I took it to the Clark County Fair and Rodeo, which was April 12-16. When  I got there on Easter Sunday, I made a beeline for the Fine Arts building, where I proceeded to search around for my shawl…

I found it! With a big blue ribbon for Best in Class (best hand knitting) and a big purple ribbon for CHAMPION! It took the best in its section, including all other needle arts.

I’m not sure there’s a Best in Division. If so, probably one of the beautiful quilts got that– as it was, I had a point docked for “presentation” because I didn’t turn it in inside a bag.

I’ll post a few more knitting projects later today. It’s been Finish Up month here at my house, with socks, gloves, scarves, and a sweater all reaching completion!

Finished a Few Things

I finished knitting a couple of things this week!

First, I took a hand-dyed “sock blank” from Knit Picks (dyed around Easter) and transformed it from this:

2015-04-03 09.37.08

Into these:

2016-01-06 08.37.56

The pattern is Twisted, from Knitty.

The sock blank was harder to work with than I realized. I had thought, for some brainless reason, that you could unravel the blank from either end. But in fact, you can’t– one edge gets tangled if you do that. So I had to wind a ball for the second sock, which was not a huge imposition, but it meant I was no longer knitting from a knitted thing to a knitted thing.

I also have smallish feet, so the full sock blank was too wide and too long before I’d get down to the bright red part. I wanted to gradually blend from the cuff to the heel, merging into that vibrant red and yellow for the toes. Instead, I had to cut about 3″ out of the middle to skip to the more reddish part as I went into the heels. It worked out, but there are a couple of woven-in ends. Fortunately, I can’t even feel them.

Then, I reclaimed a pair of socks that I’d knit for a friend of mine. These were finished in July 2014. He has worn them so much, he wore out the toes in a year and a half!

TobySock

Fortunately, he has big feet and when I knitted these originally, I needed to use a second yarn for the toes. What a blessing! They were easy to replace.

I cut the toes off, pulled out/frogged back to just before the stripy yarn, put the stitched back on my needles, and used a strand of thread and a strand of the same sock yarn held together to re-knit a reinforced toe.

2016-01-07 15.29.03

Next project: I have no idea. I have another hand-dyed (all natural dye) project I’m working on, doing a basic feather and fan scarf. It’s kind of my new “desk project” for when I need to do something with my hands during meetings.

2015-11-23 20.02.20

Handspun maple leaf shawl of comfort

Recently on Google+, a group of us decided to knit and crochet the Maple Leaf Shawl as a Fiber-A-Long in December. People went about getting their yarn and needles together throughout October and November, and wrapping up any loose ends of crafting before the month started.

I started on December 1st and finished by the 15th. I used a bunch of handspun I’ve had for a while– some of it is silk, some is superwash, and the bulk is a purple and yellow wool/mohair blend. I’ve used all this yarn before, in making myself a sweater. Somehow, my handspun is either far too much for whatever I want to make, or not nearly enough. It’s never quite “just right.”

2015-12-15 07.27.08

In the process of knitting this, I realized that, while I was enjoying the process of knitting it, I wasn’t in love with the end result. It’s gorgeous– don’t get me wrong! But it’s just not me.

2015-12-15 07.26.21

Unfortunately, during this month, my best friend’s grandmother passed away. His mother, a lifelong knitter herself, is hurting pretty badly over the loss of her mother, and even though we haven’t met yet, I tucked the shawl in a gift bag with a note and sent it as a comfort shawl to her.

2015-12-15 07.25.50

Nothing replaces her mother, of course, but I hope a little thing of beauty helps comfort her in her grief.

Dragon Knitting

I’m following along with Kim Harrison’s dragon knit-along! This weekend’s homework was to knit 5 pieces of a wing:

2015-07-26 19.33.35

There are increases and decreases in these pieces, some of which are a little weird. I’ll be honest– Harrison could use a good technical editor (there are common guidelines she isn’t sticking to, and she has a huge typo in her pattern and stitch instructions), although she is really clear at the beginning that the pattern hasn’t been professionally edited.

Anyway, this week’s assignment is a bunch of icord wing bones. That’s fun… but it means I am now a little stuck because I didn’t get pipe cleaners yet! I can fix this by using floral wire (as long as it’s not expected to show), or I can wait to cast on until I have the pipe cleaners.

Pretty Teal Shawl

I started knitting this shawlravelry-round in February, using yarn I bought during San Diego Comic Con last year. The pattern is Dianna, and the yarn is a discontinued colorway of Zitron Filigran– long color repeats that were exactly what I wanted for this entrelac lace shawl.

For the record, I have had this shawl in my queue for about 5 years. I have also tried to start it several times before giving up.

I finished it yesterday!

2015-07-23 16.43.53

I added a modified feather-and-fan border to “pull it together” and finished with about 5 yards of yarn to spare.

It’s a lovely blue-teal, which will go very nicely with the blue infinity dress I made last month:

2015-06-23 17.11.46

More details about the pattern, needles, progress photos, etc. are in the Ravelry link above.

Next up: the Kim Harrison dragon knit-along and a traveling project for Indiana.

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