I have a new favourite pattern! Skoodlet (ravelry link), by Leethal, who makes various wonderful things. It's awesome, a hood/scarflet thing, it is absolutely delicious. I made a giant one (to accommodate my dreads and to make me look more mysterious) out of Nashua Handknits Granite, which is quite a lovely yarn. (ravelry link.)
The pattern is written to work with any yarn you want; you measure your gauge and put it into the formula. It's super easy to figure out, just simple multiplication and putting in numbers. I do recommend printing it out to write the numbers in - it's too confusing otherwise! Luckily, leethal has written the pattern so that only 2 pages actually need to be printed out. Suggestions for possible modifications are given in the pattern, so it was super easy to make it big enough for my overlarge hair. All the techniques she uses (including a figure-eight cast on I hadn't used before) are clearly explained at the start of the pattern. There were maybe a couple lines I had to read through a couple times, but for the most part everything was very clear. And of course, the skoodlet is absolutely ADORABLE, I wore it all day today and never wanted to take it off. EVER. It's sitting by my bed where I can reach it at a moment's notice.
5 stars for an awesome pattern!
The top and bottom buttons on it are ones I've drawn on - <3 drawing on buttons.
The yarn I used was Nashua Handknits Granite in "Deep Mix." I didn't have super high expectations of this yarn: the colours seemed nice, and I love slub yarn, but 70% wool, 30% acrylic doesn't tend to inspire blind confidence, simply because there's so much variation in the quality of both fibres. I was pleasantly surprised though, it's lovely and soft! All the thick sections are coloured, the thinner sections grey, so it has a really awesome texture when knitted. This is one of the few yarns I actually like better when it's knitted, I usually prefer the look of skeined yarn. It has a nice drape without being too heavy. While it doesn't reach the extremes of fabulousness some other yarns do, it's a very nice yarn indeed and I want more of it!
4.5 stars for great yarn!
A yarn I am less happy with is Twilleys of Stamford Freedom Spirit. I've used it before and it didn't seem so bad, but I guess I've acquired taste now. It's rather scratchy, and splits very easily. I bought it because I really like the colours as they appear on the ball, but they're muddy an disappointing when knitted up. I'd planned on using sections of reverse stockinette, but it ended up looking like such a mess that I had to use the other side. It might just be this colourway that's like this, I've used a different one before and it didn't have these problems...but I was crocheting....maybe I should just crochet with this yarn? But I'm halfway done a knitted hat! Anyway, I'm super disappointed with this.
2 stars for crappy yarn. Boo.
My other WIP is a purple lace dress, using Mari Lynn Patrick's Featherlight Lingerie Dress pattern from Lace Style.
The pattern is fine so far, even though it has some seaming, and picking up 450 stitches. I nearly went insane, and I'm only done the skirt part. I feel like this could have been designed to incorporate less seaming and picking up stitches, and if I'd thought about it I would probably have tried to do that myself. Too late now though. This project is on hold for a little, until I've gotten over picking up all those stitches.
3 stars for a decent pattern that could have been designed better.
The yarn I'm using is Maseru by Fleece Artist. I bought it for the gorgeous colour, bright vibrant purple! I got one skein of straight purple, and one matching varicolour skein, and I'm alternating every few rows (which is where that half-striped pattern is coming from). This yarn is soft but scratchy, which is not really surprising at 60% mohair, and it's very light and floaty - great for a dress! It's never going to be my favourite, I wouldn't be able to wear it against my skin, but the colours, floaty-ness, and price ($10 per 545 yard skein) make it a great choice for mohair projects.
4.5 stars for bright purple yarn!