Kelley and I are really enjoying Joji Locatelli's Starting Point Mystery Knit-Along. It's a large stole that uses 5 skeins of sock yarn (a great stash buster!), and the "clues," which are sections of the pattern, are doled out a week at a time. Here's Kelley's progress, through clue 2.
Starting Point has you knit two identical sections for each clue. I'm assuming you graft it together at some point to finish, but it's a mystery at this point! (See what I did there?)
And to add to the mystery, this beauty starts off with a knitting technique called a garter tab. What is this little rectangle, and how does it work?
Here's a closeup of my garter tab
The garter tab is a method for starting a shawl that's knit from the top down, or in this instance, from side to side, that is constructed by increasing on the top edge and in the middle. For Starting Point, three stitches are cast on, and then six rows knitted. You can see the three garter ridges in the photo above.
You knit the tab and then pick up three stitches down the side and three stitches along the cast-on edge. With the three live stitches, that's nine stitches total, emerging from three sides.
These nine stitches represent the entire shawl. The side of the tab with no stitches picked up is the top of the shawl, the longer side is the center of the shawl where the center increases will be, and the sides are where the side increases will be. Here's a schematic for the Starting Point Shawl:
So this little tab is a really cool tool to start a shawl! Mystery solved.
Here's my progress on Starting Point; I'm almost done with clue 2:
I'll start clue three tonight. But I'm only on my first half, so Kelley is totally winning!
I'm using Blue Moon Socks that Rock in mauve, Jojoland Ballad in color 533 (dark brown), Blue Moon Socks that Rock in Little Bunny Foo Foo, Knit Picks Stroll in Carnation, and Malabrigo Mechita in Sand Bank.
Unless I can score another ball of Stroll somewhere, I'm going to have to switch out the pink. My alternate is Fibra Natura Whisper Lace in Blossom, at right. It's quite a bit lighter than the Stroll Carnation, but I think it'll be pretty. It's also lighter in weight—lace-weight instead of fingering—so I may have to double it. Swatching must be done.
My plan is to weigh my Stroll and use half of it on my first piece and then switch to the Whisper Lace. I'll use the other half of the Stroll to at the beginning of the other half of the stole, so the lighter pink will appear more in the middle of the finished stole than in the ends. It'll probably turn out just great. (But if you happen to have a ball of Stroll in Carnation, let me know if you can part with it!)
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I discovered the Norrland Hat pattern on Ravelry and decided to take on the challenge. I love the trees and snowflakes, and I have never done colorwork and cables at the same time. Since I love learning new things, I bought the pattern immediately and cast on.
I made some modifications, including turning the hat into a slouch instead of a beanie, and I wanted to explain those in case you want to modify your project, too.
Hats are the knitting trifecta: small projects that are useful and make great gifts. You can most hats done in a short time, and many are one-skein wonders.
Here is a variety of free hat patterns, from beanies to slouches to earflap hats, that are guaranteed to suit your gift-knitting needs this season and for years to come.
We're often asked what the difference is between llamas and alpacas. Both llamas and alpacas are south american camelids and they are related but definitely not the same.
Here are 5 quick ways to tell the difference between an Alpaca and a Llama.
Note: Please use the following sizing chart for general reference only. Sizes between different vendors and manufacturers may vary. Please match your measurements to those in the size chart below.