French Quilt Shawl Part 2

Today I started the third octagon for the French Quilt Shawl.  Since this is the third of three I figured it was about time I went stash diving for the next color.

I dug around but didn’t find anything appropriate in the right amount of yarn.  You’d think with a stash the size of mine it would be easy but nope.  So then I turned to my “to be dyed” stash and came up with these:


I’ll dye the blue to purple and the whitish to something blue-green/teal which will be for the connecting bits and the border.  I’m hoping to have enough of the blue turned purple for the edging. (There’s more of both of these yarns.)

Here’s my terrible, a two-year-old could do better, quick drawing of the colors of the finished shawl.


Pathetic, isn’t it? Drawing is not one of my skills.

Anyway, there will be 3 octagons in each color, arranged checkerboard fashion.  The connecting bits in the middle are squares and all of these pieces are sewn together.  There are triangle bits to fill in the edges except for the corners which are left unfilled. Then there’s a border which is sewn on and an edging as well, also sewn on.  I may or may not alter one or both of those to be knitted on.

Now these octagon have turned out bigger than expected as well as used more yarn than expected.  I know from experience that borders and edgings take more yarn than you’d think.  I may end up leaving off the edging, depending on how much yarn is left.


These are the two finished and blocked octagons.  Badly and unevenly blocked.  Mostly I just wanted to make it easier to sew together/pick up stitches.  And get an idea of what size they will be.  It’ll all get blocked again once finished.

They are about 15 inches across.  So two wide is 30 inches and 3 long is 45 inches.  I can expect to add another 8-10 inches per side with the border and edging.  So 50 inches wide and 65 inches long.  So much for not making a blanket.  It’ll at least be lapghan sized.

I’ll probably dye the yarn tomorrow.  It’ll take me most of the week (4 days on average so far) to knit the third octagon.  By then the dyed yarn will be dry and I can start the next three.

In other news, there was sweater knitting over the weekend.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to run out of yarn before the body is finished.  Not to worry.  That just means I need to spin and dye more.  I have plenty of the fiber.  When I have to set that sweater aside to wait for yarn, I’ll start the colorwork sweater.  And maybe one of the other sweaters I have planned.  Colorwork may not be good tv knitting.


Hap Style Shawl Released



I finally got around to it.  The Hap Style Shawl is live on Ravelry.

Plus I’m having a 25% off sale on all my patterns.

Start date November 14, 2017 at 12:00 central time
End date November 16, 2017 at 23:59 central time.
No code needed.

My Ravelry Store

Tomorrow (I hope) will be an update on my first sweater.  It’s going well so far.

Design fail

It was going so well.  I’ve been working hard on the Dwarrow stocking design.  The leg looks good.  The heel flap and heel are okay but the foot…the foot is a disaster.


The gusset need some sort of design to ease the decrease line.  The foot design is way too big. This is just halfway through the chart.  If I finish it, it’ll be longer than the leg.  The stripes are acting as ribbing.  While some of that would block out, this is acrylic, so it would still be weird.  Despite my best efforts, it seems like my floats are too short, pulling the blue line of stitches apart to show the float beneath.  I don’t understand that since the floats make big annoying loops while it’s bunched up to knit.

It’s time to admit that this design is a fail and frog it.  On the plus side, the leg design will make a pretty cowl.  So it’s not a total loss.

I still need to release the Hap style shawl.  I’ll get around to it one of these days.  In the mean time, this stocking gets frogged and then I can use the needle to start a sweater (which is not my design.  I’ve never knit a sweater so there’s no way I could design one.)

Designing a Dwarrow Shawl Part 2

This pattern is going to drive me insane.

I got the written instructions done over the weekend and yesterday I cast on.  The beginning went well.  I can show you that without giving much away.


It’s pretty and interesting and I think I need to play with this as an all over design in the future.

After that I started the lace motif that I had designed.  I was right. Those purl side decreases just suck.  They’re overly complicated and I don’t like knitting them.  My number one rule of knitting is that it should be fun and/or interesting.  If certain stitches irritate me, I won’t knit it.

I’ve knitted enough lace to know I don’t like purl decreases beyond p2tog so I should have avoided them from the beginning.  So back to the chart to fix things.  I fiddled with adding plain purl rows but that stretched things out terribly.  I soon realized that I had to do a complete redesign, except for the beginning part I showed above.  I got the basic design re-done last night before my brain screamed no more.

This morning I came back to finish it.  All was going well until I removed 3 rows that somehow accidentally got added to the beginning.  That screwed up things so that all my pattern rows were suddenly on purl rows.   NOOOOOOOO!!!  That’s what I was trying to afford in the first place.  So I decided to add a row to shift things back to the knit rows.  But that messes up my shaping increases.  I stared at it awhile before deciding that one row without increases wouldn’t really mess anything up.

Now I have to do the written pattern from this redesign.  Doing it the first time was a headache in places and I don’t anticipate this being any easier.  Maybe I should pay Stitch Fiddle for the month so I can do it automatically.  I’ll think about it for awhile.  I need a break before my head explodes.

Designing a Dwarrow shawl

Before I get into this post I want to let you know that I’ve started a Ravelry group. Kyla Lade Designs 

I’ve finished knitting the Hap Style shawl and it’s blocking.  It’ll be ready for test knitters some time in the next week.

I’ve started work on my next design, the first in hopefully a series of shawls based on Tolkien’s dwarrow (dwarves).  I’ve had the beginnings of a lace design charted out for while.  I’m currently transcribing it into written instructions.  While I can read charts, I’m very slow at it and I knit better from written instructions.

I use Stitch Fiddle for my charts and while I could (and someday, probably will) pay for the premium service that would automatically generate written instructions, it’s turning out to be a good thing that I’m doing this by hand.  What looks good in a chart is turning out to be very weird and possibly difficult in reality.  It’s lace on every row, which makes for some weird stitches as written.  I’ll probably have to go back and figure out alternative purl decreases.  I’m not sure if slip 2, p1, pass slipped stitches over will look the same as it does in knit or even be that easy to do.  Same for ssp instead of ssk.  I might even go back and eliminate the purl row lace.  This is why I have to swatch (even if my swatch will essentially be knitting the shawl.)

I’ve only got part of the shawl charted.  I’m hoping that I’ll get to the point where it’s basically knitting the same set of rows until you get the length and then I’ll have to figure out the ending.  I know what I want.  It’s just a matter of how to knit it.

I have another 20 or so rows to write out and then I have to decide on yarn and needle size.

Oh and I’m crossing my fingers that this lace looks good once knit.  Again, looking good in a chart is one thing, reality can be a whole different thing.

Designing a Hap Shawl Part Three


So the swatch didn’t lie as much as I thought.  The square is only a half inch wider than I estimated.  That’s not a big deal.

I’ve gone on to knit the border and now I’m almost 3/4 of the way through the edging.  It’s looking pretty good and should square up nicely when blocked.  I’m quite looking forward to getting to that point.

I’ve been working on writing the pattern when I need breaks from knitting and it’s coming along nicely.  Describing how to start and attach the edging gave me fits.  I lost count of how many times I tried describing it – editing, deleting, starting over – but I think I finally got it.

I do plan to find test knitters for this.  I estimate I’ll be done knitting in another week and I’ll probably get the pattern finished at the same time.  It really just needs pics and some final polishing and formatting.  Once that’s all done I’ll go looking for the test knitters. If you’re interested, contact me – dystini on Ravelry.  I’m looking at a 2 month or less time frame.  It’s taking me about a month to knit. I’m only providing the pattern and asking that you make a project page on Ravelry.  And maybe asking to feature your picture of the finished shawl on the pattern page.  I really should go look at some of the design groups on Rav for advice on test knitting.

Designing a Hap Shawl Part Two

I got the yarn dyed and dried over the weekend.  I cast on this morning.

Provisional cast on of 78 stitches.  Everything went smoothly and now I’ve knit 10 rows out of 156.  I decided to measure things.  10 rows still equals 1 inch.  That’s good.  But 78 stitches measures 21.5 inches, not the 18.5 that I estimated.

Now what do I do?  All of my calculations are based upon 78 stitches.  But it now appears that my center “square” will measure 21.5 X 15.6 inches – far from square.  Could blocking really help that out?  Does it have to be square?  Perhaps the border/edging will help things look more square.

The border will be 78 stitches per side.  So the inside of it has to be square.  It’s wavy so as it pulls on the center, the edges of the center would never look straight.  In theory, then the border would make the center look/be more square.  It’s a 6 inch difference between sides so I’m not sure how that theory would hold up in practice.

I guess that the only thing to do it to try it.  As long as I don’t cut any yarn, I can unravel and try again without any yarn loss.

Swatches lie.