Malabrigo with a Twist

I am not a yarnie – that is, I don’t look for all the cool and new yarns, and have to hunt them down on Etsy or other sites. I am pretty happy with what’s available at my local LYS – this one and this one too.

So, when the new Malabrigo Twist became available, it was pretty unusual for me to leap on the bandwagon so quickly. But the favorite colorway was available, so I scooped up two skeins – one for a cowl, and the other will be for a hat.

My feelings about this yarn: it has all the wonderful squishiness and softness of the Malabrigo brand. It is advertised as a subtle thick and thin buiky yarn. I beg to differ, based on the skein that I knitting. It seems more like an Aran-weight yarn, and there wasn’t much thick-and-thin in my skein.

The cowl pattern (Birthday Cowl – a free pattern) worked quite well with the yarn, although I adjusted the stitch count for my gauge.

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I will definitely be knitting with this yarn again. Brandy seems to approve as well!
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Cutting It Close

I just cast-off my lovely Argante Shawl.

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As I was knitting, I realized that this is one of those project where it might be wise to weigh it as you get close to what you hope is the half-way point, so you know to begin to finish the second half. I don’t own a postal scale (Christmas present this year?), so I judged it by eye.

I began to do the decreases, and kept thinking to myself “Do I have enough yarn to finish this? I know I do…maybe I don’t. I don’t know!” But I kept on knitting anyway. After all, it isn’t that complicated a project, and I could always rip it out. But I hoped, very hard that I wouldn’t.

As I got down to the very last part, I really wasn’t sure. And by the last 10 rows, I knew I had plenty of yarn. See how much I had left when I cast-off?

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Talk about cutting it close!

(Yes, this is the same indiecita colorway that I knit the cowl in.)

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A Wonderful Spindle Tool

Fleegle found this tool, so I got one too – it’s lovely and multifunctional for the spindler.

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I’m using it in a pretty basic way at the moment, but Fleegle shows all the possibilities.  And the result – I’m back to spinning.  Yay!

BTW – the downloads of the shawl pattern are pretty amazing!  Thanks! The Stash Hat pattern will be finished soon – I’m awaiting a couple of final tweeks, and it’ll be ready to go.

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Pattern: Lacy Prayer Shawl (free)

I am on a board of women clergy types that I’ve now known for 15 years. Fifteen years! They’ve seen me through a lot of ups and downs along the way, and hopefully I’ve done the same.
Isabelle is dealing with a move and surgery at the same time, plus a loss of income while she is recovering. I’ve knit other prayer shawls in the past, but this time, I wanted to do something a little different. As I am want to do, I just cast-on, and created my own little lace pattern.

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I’m pretty happy with it – it has a nice rounded look which works well with the Malabrrriiiggo (Malabrigo) merino worsted yarn. It only took two skeins, so you get a lovely shawl for about $20 – what a deal! It has an option crocheted border, which I think works well, and gives structure to the edging. You don’t have to do the crochet, but it’s only single crochet for three rows, so why not learn a new skill?

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The shawl pattern is free, and contains both written and charted directions. Go here to download, or save to your Ravelry library.
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Edited to add: There was an error in the Written Directions in Row 1. The revised row reads:

Row 1: Slip first stitch purlwise, k3, * k2tog, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, ssk * repeat ,* repeat between * * to final 4 stitiches, k4.

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Magical Blocking (FO: More than 198 Yards)

The whole blocking thing is simply amazing every time that I do it.

This is the “198 yards of Heaven” pattern, using a lace weight yarn – 6 1/2 repeats in Misti Alpaca yarn – only one skein used here. In it’s pre-blocking state, it looks rumpled, but you can see the pattern.

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After a wet-mist blocking using my blocking wires (bought long ago), the difference is amazing:

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This is a Christmas present for my mom, who lives in Southern California, and rarely needs something very warm. Lace-weight is about the only thing she’ll need.

I do have a quibble with the pattern itself- the edging chart as written does not match up with the lace pattern in the body. So I finagled my own version to get those yarnovers to nicely match up in my version. There’s a variation in the projects on Ravelry that does a similar thing for those who have a bit of fear of doing this themselves.

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