Rebel Two Shawl

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At the beginning of the year Lesley Anne Robinson released her Rebel shawl pattern in honor of Princess Leia, a beloved Star Wars character played by actress Carrie Fisher, whose death late last year shook the world. It was not until I was exiting the theater with my family after viewing Rogue One for the first time that I learned of her death. Having just watched her on the big screen–a dear and familiar character playing in a fresh story line–I was quite impacted by the news. I was devastated. Needless to say, I added Lesley’s Rebel shawl to my queue immediately following its release.

The original Rebel shawl is a one-color brioche project (which I would have added to my queue regardless of its association with Carrie Fisher), but soon after Lesley started posting teasers of a gorgeous two-color version (Rebel Two) to be released in May. I was more than a little anxious to knit this version and started it promptly after it became available. Both versions can be purchased here.

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I selected yarns from my stash for this project: Hedgehog Fibres Sock in colorway “Bramble” for the main color and Old Rusted Chair 2 Ply Sock in colorway “Strange Magic” for the contrast color.  I had been saving my skein of Bramble for something special–something not socks because I find that the Hedgehog Sock yarn has too little twist for my liking in socks. The Old Rusted Chair yarn is more versatile and would have been suited just fine for socks, but it paired and contrasted so nicely with the Bramble that I declared these two a combo and set to work.

Below is a video I originally posted on Instagram demonstrating the Twisted German Cast-On, which is the method called for in the Rebel shawl pattern.

Progress…

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One of the best things, if not the best thing, about two-color brioche is the automatic reversibility you get with such a project (see above). With reversibility comes flexibility. Do I want to wear a mostly pale-toned shawl today, or do I want a nice dark one to stand out against an already pale ensemble? Choices are good!

Lesley Anne Robinson (aka Knit Graffiti Designs) never ceases to amaze me with her creativity and excellent pattern writing. Of all brioche projects I have knit, hers are the most clearly written, so if you are new to brioche and want to give it a go I highly recommend choosing one of Lesley’s patterns. To view all of her designs visit her Ravelry page here.

Many thanks to my patient daughter for modeling my completed Rebel Two shawl!

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Caswell Bay Fingerless Mitts

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In October my daughter started asking for another pair of fingerless mitts, so her mitts were at the top of my 2017 knitting agenda. I had decided I would do the mitts in DK weight yarn because I knit the last few with fingering (it was like I was knitting socks), and I didn’t have the patience to do that immediately again. Sophie had also asked if she could pick out her own yarn online, and reluctantly I agreed. After looking through all of my favorite Etsy sellers and favorite big brands, she decided on Hedgehog Fibres Merino DK in the colorway “Shiver.” I’m not gonna lie and pretend I wasn’t thrilled at the opportunity to work with Hedgehog again. I have quite a bit in my stash, which I hoard like a greedy troll, but for me this stuff is not easy to come by. At one time I had joined a Hedgehog sock of the month club, but otherwise I get all my sock and DK Hedgehog from Simply Socks Yarn Company.

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Since there are a ton of nice fingerless mitt patterns out there, settling on a pattern was no easy task. However, I ended up picking the Caswell Bay pattern, which is part of a travel-inspired compilation by Fiona Alice called Take Heart: A Transatlantic Knitting Journey (pictured above). I had purchased this book a year or so ago, but with all the spur of the moment KAL’s and gifts, I only now gave myself the chance to make something from it.

The pattern is available in two sizes, so naturally I went with the smaller one, which even then I knew would be a tad big for my daughter. As I was selecting this pattern I had worried the speckled yarn might not be best suited for showcasing the beautiful arrow- or heart-like shapes on the top of the hand, but that doubt is long gone. They turned out great!

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Look at that twisted rib! It seems like each time I knit it I’m like, “Oh, hello old friend!” The definition, the twist–it elevates the rib and renders the shapes and colors more eye-catching than they would otherwise be. Perfect for my Sophie!

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Blended Rollers

Over the past year I have seen several versions of the Rose City Rollers pattern floating around on Instagram. Whether knit in a solid color, with speckled, striped or pooling yarn, or with several yarns blended together, these socks are spunky!

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Naturally I went with the blended–arguably most difficult–route. Diving headlong into my stash I pulled out House of A La Mode Fancy Fingering in ‘O’de to Anthro,’ Hedgehog Fibres Sock in ‘Banana Legs,’ Spun Right Round SW Sock in ‘Chirpy’ and Madelinetosh TML in ‘Mandala’ (arranged in order from left to right, below).

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I had witnessed the blended technique mostly in the rollers knit by Mara Catherine Bryner, the pattern’s author. Attempting to mimic her technique, I slowly faded the four colors from ankle to toe. It was a little tedious but well worth it. Now I have a work of art! (Even with one yarn, though, these would be a work of art…)

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