Thursday, August 30, 2012

High Hopes

Hi Knitters,
It has truly been one of those weeks.... 

I know everyone is busy at this time of year so I won't go into detail. It's just all of that regular old end of summer, beginning of the school year kind of stuff.

However, in the midst of the chaos, I am pleased to say that I did finish blocking one of the most stunning items I have ever knit. The perfect yarn for the perfect pattern has happened with this knit.

Here is the information for this incredibly beautiful shawl:
Pattern: My Hope by Laura Linneman
Yarn: 1 skein of Cakewalk Yarns in Footsie (463 yards of fingering weight), in the Smirk colorway, I had plenty left over at the end.
Beads: 2 tubes of size 6/0 from JoAnn's in the Amber colorway
Needles: US size 5, 32-inch circulars 

I held the stitches on the cable needle to the front instead of the back. I found this easier to handle.
I did a yarn over after the first stitch and before the last stitch on the odd rows, and then dropped the yarn over on the even rows. This makes for a stretchier top edge.
I blocked the shawl with a straight edge at the top instead of the recommended crescent shape. I wanted as much length as possible. I used a straight blocking wire for the top edge. I also blocked the rest of the shawl quite vigorously, stretching it as far as it would go and then used pins to make the small points on the bottom edge.

I feel like every aspect of this shawl is absolutely beautiful. The beads, the yarn, the open cable crossed stitches.... perfection.

Thank you, Laura, for an amazing design that has done so much good for the Make a Wish charity.

I have to say at the end of nearly every cable cross row, I never ended up with the right number of stitches. I never counted the stitches once after I cast on. I found this amusing and just kept going. I simply crossed whatever stitches I had remaining at the end of the row. It is supposed to be a 3 by 3 cable cross. I had many 2 by 2 and 1 by 2 at the end of the rows. You can't tell a bit, honestly. The fact that I got to freely knit this without any worries about stitch counts makes me love it even more. It worked out great.


The shawl is light as air and the beads add the perfect amount of heft at the edge.

Beautiful, simple garter stitch in between open cable crosses... Laura is a genius. Those flecks of color sprinkled into the shades of gray added such an element of fun. Cakewalk Yarn is so dreamy. I wish you all could try it at some point. It is a special treat to knit. Rose, the dyer, is a true talent in the industry. 

I used all of my blocking pins, every one. I pinned out each point, stretched to the limit.

Above, you can see the shawl blocking. See those empty tins that hold my blocking pins? I pinned along the top blocking wire to hold it in place as I stretched and stretched the yarn to the limits. I love doing this process of blocking and pinning. It is so exciting.

The mittens that snuck into the lower corner are for a new pattern coming up. More on those later. Aren't they cute?

I recommend the My Hope shawl to anyone interested. I loved everything about this pattern and I love the finished shawl even more. The cable crosses are not difficult and I got way better at them by the end of the shawl. I was really quite fast at the crossing of the extended stitches by the time I got to the edge. You can do it!

I need a long weekend and I am sure you do, too. I'll see you on the other side, Knitters. Take care of yourselves.
best, susie
p.s. I just got invited to a super cool knitting retreat in another country and I am going! The hosts are posting about it next week so I can share at that time. I am so honored and excited and I can't wait to tell you all about it.


Charles said...

Absolutely stunning...Now I can't decide which shawl to make! I'll just keep mulling and looking at yours...Have a good weekend.

Lucy Chen said...

Beautiful, Susan! Especially love the beads!

annealden said...

Can't wait to see which country?? I know it will be fabulous, and you will have a great time!!

Corrie B said...

So, so gorgeous. I love it. The beads are amazing, I love the colours you've added.

I've done a Follow Friday style blog-post today, and I've featured your blog on it. You're at the top with number one! I'd love it if you could recommend three blogs to me that you love to read, but if you don't have time that's no problem at all. (The blog is if you want to check it out.)

Thank you for being a source of inspiration to me!

Corrie xx

Susan B. Anderson said...

CorrieB - thanks for the kind words.

Three blogs that I read are:

amanda soule -
the purlbee -
betz white -

Brandi Schoch said...

wow that is lovely!

Anonymous said...

Your shawl is stunning. Absolutely stunning.
And I concur Rose and her Cakewalk Yarns are the best.
I love them.
Enjoy a much deserved weekend.

Anonymous said...

No problem at all, I love those three - especially Added to the list! :)

VickiMurphy said...

Your shawl is AMAZING! Can't wait for the mitten pattern!

Melissa Martinez said...

I love that you share the imperfections of your own knitting! So many knitters are worried about creating the "Perfect" product. (Not necessary unless you are knitting lace!) Even an extra stitch or 2 in a sweater will be undetectible. We knitters are aritsans, and like we teach our kids, art doesn't HAVE to be perfect!

Karen M said...

This shawl is absolutely stunning Susan! I bet you can't wait to proudly wear it. You are an inspiration. I want to add beads to my Juniper Lemon Shawl.

Bernie and Halla said...

Gorgeous!! Love the versatile color and the blocking emphasis the beauty of the work! Was going to make Quaker Ridge but now I am in a quandary!!

I have a question! Footsie comes in 460 yard skeins! Do you really need another skein just for the 3 yards??

Rav ID: Buzzette561

Susan B. Anderson said...

Bernie and Halla - no, I only used one skein of the Smirk and I had lots leftover. My label says 463 yards for some reason.

Rae Lynne said...

So many things to mention about this post...first - I completely get the end of summer/beginning of school - I feel pulled in so many directions at the moment.

Second - how awesome to be invited to a retreat in another country! Such an honor and I'm sure you will meet wonderful people and have a blast.

Third - I'm in love with your shawl. I hadn't decided yet if I liked the mix of the brighter colors with the dark gray...until I saw your finished shawl...and fell in love... I personally would love to see the same darker gray with pops of blue and a bit of yellow...that would have to come home with me...

And finally - seeing your finished shawl really wants me to knit my own...I received the pattern last week...after October, my plan is to knit this shawl.

Thank you for sharing this all with us today. Enjoy your long weekend with your family!

Rae Lynne

Susan B. Anderson said...

Rae Lynne - have you seen this Cakewalk yarns colorway?

I don't know if it has yellow but it might....

Kepanie said...

What an awesome outcome! It's fantastic.

Anonymous said...

I've bought the pattern and pre ordered the yarn, probably sent this comment twice too ( iPhone and fat finger syndrome lol) can't wait to start the Quaker ridge knit along but this will be the next project , it looks stunning :)

WildflowerWool said...

It turned out beautifully! Love the beads!

Rae Lynne said...

It's funny you mention that soon as I posted my comment I went to her shop to see what she had listed...this is pretty close to what I envisioned... :) There are a few other colors in there as well, but it's so pretty! :) Thanks for looking for me.

Rae Lynne

Daisy said...

Stunning is indeed the word. Thanks for the pictures and detailed explanations!

Anonymous said...



Jodi said...

Just amazing! That pattern is all new to me, and now I can't wait to try it.

Fruitful Fusion said...

It's so beautiful!!!

Vanessa Bryce said...

Susan, I just love everything you do and your choices of yarn! I have had some great projects and found some wonderful yarn through you...thank you! I know that when I sit down in the morning with my coffee and your blog, I'd better have my credit card ready to go!

I went to see about getting the same (surprise:) color and she is out for the moment but plans to dye more in Smirk...yay! I LOVE this color!!!

I have a question about your modifications. You say that you add YO's...on what row do you start with these? Row 1 or starting with the Open Work Section, Row 25?

Thank you!!!

Susan B. Anderson said...

vanessa - i just started the yo right away:) thanks for the nice note.

Z said...

love the color.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever heard of a catalogue called Annie? I received it in the mail a few days ago and recognized many familiar patterns without attribution, including at least one of yours.

idiosyncratic eye said...

Simply beautiful, I love the specks in the yarn. :)

Katy C said...

This shawl is just beautiful! I love the crosses and the bind off is lovely too. I did a beaded bind off on a little scarf when I was very new knitter and had no idea what I was doing. Might be time to try it again!