I Love Many Forms of Afternoon Tea

I first saw the Afternoon Tea shawl pattern when I first realized that Knitty existed. At the time, shawls seemed like crazy, complicated projects that only the most extreme of knitters could successfully complete. My skills barely encompassed knitting and purling, and any time I caught a glimpse of a chart I was sure it was something I could never learn to decode. The stitch pattern and design of the shawl didn’t capture my attention as much as the name did–I love tea in general and especially formal afternoon tea at hotels or tea houses. I imagined myself wearing such a shawl, graceful as the heroines of the novels I’d grown up reading, sipping my tea and chatting blithely with other frilly maidens. Then I returned to my slow study of simpler projects.

In late July I thought often of shawls, having seen some particularly lovely patterns come up in the “Most Popular” selections on Ravelry. When I stopped into a yarn shop and ambled through the yarn (as my patient friend and husband lounged in the seating area clicking away on their phones), I was thinking of some of those shawl patterns. I spotted a pretty pale pinkish brown flecked with paler creamish tones and knew it would come home with me. I wasn’t sure which shawl pattern it would work out for, but I knew that shawls made of fingering yarn were common enough that I must have at least a few in mind ready for this yarn.

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WIP Wednesday: Striped Cranberry Socks

On my last yarn-purchasing excursion, I requested that my husband select a Zauberball or Crazy Zauberball from the shop’s selection. He’s always game for more socks, and I was really interested in working with a yarn that had the gentle colour changes that the aforementioned yarn is known for.

Zauberball SocksInitially I planned to knit a fingering-weight adaptation of the pattern Rye by Tin Can Knits. That’s what I had in mind when I cast on these socks and started with the ribbing. As the yarn started to transition into a darker colour, however, I didn’t feel at ease with my pattern choice. Even with the garter stitch section of the pattern (and I do adore garter stitch), I worried about being bored with the look of the socks. I browsed through a few patterns, specifically searching for those designed for or completed by people using Zauberball, and found the Magic Zauberball Stripe Socks by Tofutrulla. This pattern is not complicated or exacting, and the sock is stockinette, but the colour-changing stripes really appeal to me. I was just about finished with the ribbing on the sock I had begun, so there was no need to rip anything out, only to do something different going forward.

Magic Zauberball StripesI dragged out the scale, separated the yarn into two balls of equivalent size, and started striping…and I love it! I’m sure there will be an area where both stripes are almost the exact same colour, but hopefully that won’t really bother me. I feel like the stripes knit much faster than a plain sock; there’s something about being able to track the progress in terms of visual queues that helps avoid that sinking “endless project abyss” feeling that I dread. I’m curious to see how the pair looks when both socks are finished, since they won’t match in much more than spirit.

Hats and Hats and Hats

The green yarn that made the first green hat was ultimately enough for three green hats. I was really glad to use up all of that green yarn–for a little while it started to feel endless, as though I had miles upon miles of green yarn and would be knitting green yarn until I was old and gray. Not having that be the truth filled me with relief.

Another Green Hat Completed Yet Another Green Hat

After the hats I focused on a star-shaped blanket made of the yellow acrylic and the blue possibly-acrylic. I toyed with the thought of buying more yellow to make the center yellow star larger, but there was no real need to do so. It was more important to finish it before attending the party at which it would be a gift, so I hopped onto it with the navy blue and crocheted until the yarn was gone. I didn’t manage to get any pictures of it, because it wasn’t even 100% finished drying when we attended the party. Hopefully it will be dragged all over the place by the child who now owns it; that’s the best thing I could hope for a star-shaped blanket.

Slouchy Red Beehive HatAnd then, another hat. Hats forever, apparently. At least with this hat, the yarn that was given to me was officially used up~ It’s really lovely and soft, but the yarn was very weak and had been balled with numerous breaks in the yarn. I was constantly stopping and there were so many ends to weave in that I’m glad I did it while I was knitting, instead of waiting until the end. This hat and the green ones are going off to various causes where hats are wanted, but I’ve been delaying on dropping them off at the yarn shop to avoid the temptation of yarn. XD