Pop Rocket Shawl

Pop Rocket Shawl knit in grey yarn with bursts of yellow-blue areas. On top of the shawl is a skein of Wonderland Yarns Mary Ann in the colorway Dandelion in a sidewalk crack.

There’s nothing new about color burst yarns, they’ve been around for a while and I’ve even worked with them before. That being said, I’ve never done anything special to manipulate the burst in favor of letting the pop of color be just that. In fact, I think I’ve only ever tried to control pooling once (the Pool & Conquer shawl by Martina Behm).

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of controlled pooling, the idea is that you’re manipulating the yarn to create an effect. This can be done by stacking the color with a specific number of stitches or working a specific stitch whenever you hit a color burst. The Pop Rocket Shawl (free), for example, has you use yarnovers to manipulate the color bursts and accent them further. Other forced pooling projects can be found by searching “pooling” on Ravelry, I have my eye on a few by Dawn Barker.

I highly enjoyed working on the pop rocket shawl. It was simple with just enough of something to do every so often that I never lost interest in knitting it. Definitely has me thinking about what else I should work on that plays around with forced pooling and the colors of Dandelion in a sidewalk crack by Wonderland Yarns goes with almost everything in my wardrobe. The shawl also grew a LOT when I blocked it, which was a pleasant surprise. If I were to knit this pattern again, I think I would manipulate the pattern to use two skeins instead of one for a larger shawl.

Use the discount YARNVIP for 15% off your total purchase from Wonderland Yarns (discount not eligible on sale items, with other discounts, or on yarn clubs) :]

A woman in a black shirt and light green skirt wearing the Pop Rocket Shawl knit in grey yarn with bursts of yellow-blue areas.

Into the Cave of Wonders Sock Pattern

One of the most memorable scenes, for me, in Aladdin is when he’s first entered the Cave of Wonders and is slowly making his way down hundreds of steps. Down and down and down until he’s surrounded by treasure, instructed to touch nothing but the lamp. This is an interesting proposition to make when you take into account that a handful of literally anything in the room would change Aladdin’s life forever. “Touch nothing but the lamp” is an interesting way of saying “don’t be greedy”.

When I designed Into the Cave of Wonders for Wonderland Yarn’s deSTITCHnation, this is the scene that came to mind. Smock stitches are meant to illustrate steps working their way down your leg to heels and toes that are made extra colorful by the yarn being held double. The way the stitches provide an extra throw of the color makes me happy.

You can grab a skein of Cave of Wonders from Wonderland Yarns this month!

Into The Cave of Wonders knit in wonderland yarns Cheshire Cat.

Baby Messenger Henley

Teal baby sweater with yellow stripes across the yoke and sleeves. Three purl snaps are used to keep the henley neckline closed.

Let me start by saying a few things:

1) I probably should have done a gauge swatch because I would have learned the correct needle size to use. Using a size 5 instead of a size 4 has left me with a size ~12 months instead of ~6 months.

2) You can’t tell, but I put the outie of the snaps on the wrong part (I prefer the outie to attach to the pearl snap side). That being said, this was my first time attaching snaps to a handknit and I have to say I’m a fan.

3) I cannot get enough of this blue yarn, seriously it’s gorgeous and reminds me of jumping in a cool brook on a hot summer day.

4) Where is this sweater in my size? Do I dare seek out a sweater’s quantity of Mad Hatter in Glow Worm for myself?

When thinking about baby sweaters, blue and yellow are such a classic combination. That being said, I love the depth that Glow Worm adds to the sweater — in fact, it was very difficult to choose which color to make the contrast color and which to make the main color. If one had a really hard time choosing or second-guesses the choice they made, there should be just enough yardage to make two inverse sweaters.

The other thing that I’ve learned to like about any baby top is the ability to create a large opening at the neckline. Pre-baby, this was because babies have large heads. Post-baby, this is because it takes a while for babies to be ok having garments go over their heads and a large head hole makes it quick and easy (and you can take it off by sliding it along their body if you’re not brave enough to go back over their head.

I’m tempted to knit this sweater again using the leftover yarn (this would mean a yellow sweater with blue stripes) for my new nephew, but there’s a crochet baby sweater I’m tempted to try. After all, why not keep working on my crochet skills this summer?

Want to make a Baby Messenger Henley of your own? Use the discount YARNVIP for 15% off your total purchase from Wonderland Yarns (discount not eligible on sale items, with other discounts, or on yarn clubs) :]

Other things I made during the 2022 “Make Good Stash Down”

This past winter, my Local Yarn Store held their second stash down knit along (KAL). The goal was simple, work through the yarn in your stash and finish projects on your needles. I actually knit most of my yarn! By the end of the KAL I only had two or three skeins left in my hatbox. During the KAL, I made (and have already mentioned) a Sorrel Mini, my Tic Tac Toe sweater, some quick knit cowls, a couple of gradient knits, and a hat for my husband. Since the KAL took place while I was patiently waiting for our little one to arrive as well as in the early days when I had to stay awake for long stretches of time, a lot more knitting took place! In addition to those projects, I also made:

Another pair of Flip-Top Mittens, this time in Blue Sky Fibers Extra. These are super handy for taking the dog out or for any day when a little extra dexterity is important. I believe this is the ninth time I’ve worked up this pattern? It’s a quick and easy gift that everyone seems to enjoy, so I’m sure it won’t be the last time I reach for the Red is Best pattern.

Socks, of course. Prior to this project, I had never worked with Urth Uneek Fingering and if I’m being honest it made for a crazy pair of socks! Part of me thinks it could have made a beautiful shawl as well, I’m thinking something that takes advantage of long color repeats. Since Hubs picked out the yarn specifically for the purpose of adding another pair of knit socks to his collection, I tried holding the yarn double when knitting the heel and toe. With any luck, this will add an extra layer of toughness and prevent holes just a little bit longer.

A baby cardigan, in Wonderland Yarns & Frabjous Fibers Mary Ann and Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok Light, held double. In my mind, I knit the larger size so that O could wear it longer… in practice, she won’t be able to wear it until the fall. Oh well!

The final project I was able to finish (just barely) was a woven scarf to match Hubs’ hat. The plaid is a little crazy, but I’m hoping the various fibers will keep him very warm next winter.

I still can’t believe how many projects I cranked out in the three-month period, and how quickly I refilled my stash when the KAL ended. My queue is long again, which is a fun place to be.

Looking to add some Wonderland Yarn to your stash? Use the discount YARNVIP for 15% off your total purchase from Wonderland Yarns (discount not eligible on sale items, with other discounts, or on yarn clubs) :]

Community Cardi

Young woman standing in front of a mirror wearing blue pants and a pink tank top under a grey cardigan.

It’s been a long time since I’ve made anything for myself in the realm of a garment. The reason for this has been twofold: 1) I didn’t want to make something that wouldn’t fit right and 2) I wanted to give myself the space to be patient with my ever-changing body.

Pregnancy is a crazy experience, the closest I can get to describing how you see yourself through the process would be to equate it to walking through a room filled with funhouse mirrors. Even as you accept what’s happening, you’re onto the next mirror which also brings dramatic changes. Then, just when you think it’s all over, you’re out the other side and you don’t really remember what the original mirror actually looked like. Sure, you can compare yourself to photos of what you used to look like, but you still have to come to terms with what you look like now — and even that continues to dramatically change over the next several weeks. I was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans by week 3, but my body still looked weird to me. They say 9 months in 9 months out, but as someone who has struggled with body dysmorphia all my life, I’m not sure exactly how long it will be until I feel as though I’ve truly stepped out of the funhouse.

At first, I thought my first knit sweater would be Puntilla due to its shapelessness. The hypothesis was that the forgiving design would give me time to adjust to my body and that it would fit as my body changes over the years. Then I rediscovered In Stillness and started daydreaming about how elegant it would look paired with one of my work outfits.

As this post is not called “Puntilla” or “In Stillness”, it’s safe to assume that those sweaters are still on my knit list. I have yarn set aside for both: Puntilla will be worked up in two colors of Wonderland Yarns and In Stillness will be worked up in Blue Sky Fibers. In fact, I was debating which sweater to cast on first (the yarn came in at the same time) when Alicia Plummer put out a test call for her Community Cardigan.

Community Cardi was inspired by exactly what the name suggests – the knitting community. The short version of the story is that Alicia was going to release a cardigan version of Justin’s Flannel, and discovered her design was too close to another that was recently released. Over the next few weeks, Alicia solicited opinions and feedback from her Instagram followers and the result is this sweater! Community Cardi is exactly the sweater I needed, something to be lived in day in and day out without fear of baby fluid. The pictures screamed knit me in a superwash and wear me every day, it was all I could do not to beg to be included in the test.

Real talk: the stitch pattern is so meditative I was actually bummed when it was over. I’ve already offered to make a matching cardigan for my husband and am thinking of attempting to make one in child size for our daughter. Usually when I work a pattern I need time before my brain can handle knitting it again. Like Justin’s Flannel, I see myself reaching for this pattern again and again. Surely one can have one of every color in their closet?

I did make some modifications to the pattern to ensure its everyday use: I ditched the pockets and buttons. I’m not a huge fan of buttoning my cardigans and didn’t want the (slight) additional bulk that the pockets would add. In hindsight, the pockets would have been fine, but I’m happy with the final sweater!

Young woman standing in front of a mirror wearing jeans and a blue tank top under a grey cardigan.