Dotted Rays for Days

Typically I like to keep my knitting projects planned and orderly. This project, however, sprang from the sheer impulse to join the Dotted Rays KAL on Instagram. Not wise. But who wants to be wise ALL the time?

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I started the Dotted Rays shawl (pattern by West Knits) with the naivete that I would use only yarn from my stash (below). Tosh DK in Citrus would segment my double wedges, and all would be perfect. Right? Not quite.

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The beginning was quick and fun, and the rays sprouted like weeds as I moved from one color to the next–even though I had decided to knit two rays/wedges per color. From the center out (below) the yarns are Tosh DK in Citrus and The Flying Kettle Blimp DK in the colorways Ice Faerie, Dobby and Bees Knees. I then added The Flying Kettle Pokeberry but had to blend in some Tosh DK Lepidoptera, as the former was a mini skein.

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The wedges continued to knit up quickly, and a friend even complimented the shawl so sweetly that I told her she could have it. So the shawl became a gift for Karen MaCall–a master knitter, designer and spinner also known as @karenmacalldesigns on Instagram. She quickly decided she’d knit me a shawl as well, so we agreed upon a shawl exchange. Fun! Little did I know, Karen would throw together one of her beautiful shawl designs in what seemed like minutes and ship it my way in a flash, along with some of her delicious homespun yarn and several Agate stitch markers that she also made. (Seriously, my jaw dropped when I opened the package.) In the meantime, I tried to knit furiously on her Dotted Rays. Coffee helps! Below I have added Tosh DK in Modern Fair Isle blended with some Malabrigo Worsted in Natural, followed by Tosk DK Fathom and Mare, which I had to blend together as well.

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Finally I reached the final color (the last two wedges of the pattern), which ended up using over two-and-a-half skeins of yarn! The colors are Tosh Vintage Glass Bottom Boat blended with Havirland Lexington DK Butterfly Garden. These last two wedges were VAST, and then there was a 10-mile I-cord bind-off, so I had to grab some more GBB and Citrus.

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But at last, here we are! All EIGHT FEET of this massive shawl–the Dotted Rays for Days, as I’ve named her–blocked and finished and glowing in the afternoon clouds. Alas, there was no sun but enough light to see the well-placed holes. Kudos to my husband Andy for climbing trees and threading rope through the branches, just so the holes could be displayed properly.

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Now she’s on her way to Karen’s house, where she can be enjoyed as a shawl or blanket. As with all West Knits patterns, it was an incredible journey.

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Flying Kettle Jelly Roll Socks

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Yet another perfect pattern by Mara Catherine Bryner, these Jelly Roll socks are gorgeous! My husband says they’re my most attractive socks to date, but he always says that so who knows.

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I started these Jelly Rolls as I do all my socks: two at a time. For the yarn I chose a mini skein set by The Flying Kettle. This set seemed destined for this project–not just because it contained precisely four colorways but also because the colorways complement each other so nicely. From left to right the colorways are California Dreaming, Lunar Moth, FunDaMental and Violet. Joyce Hethcox, the dyer behind The Flying Kettle shop, has some major talent, that’s for sure.

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The pic above shows my progress just past the halfway point. These socks may have been the most fun of any socks I’ve made because the pattern allows for a great deal of creativity. You can add another color or knit solid pretty much anywhere, and it even shows you how to add additional rolls. I especially love how the top roll gives the illusion of lining the whole sock, rather than being merely an extension of the cuff.

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If my love for these socks isn’t proof enough, be aware that one of my cats went absolutely berserk over them. Perhaps Joyce slipped some catnip into her dye? Har har.

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