KAL Q&A

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dsc02586How many abbreviations can you use in a blog title? Thanks for all of the emails about the Girasole KAL. I’m happy that so many of you are jumping in! I thought I’d answer some of the questions that you all are emailing about, because I’m sure others are wondering the same things.

How do you pronounce that? I called it “Geer – a- sole” (hard G) for a long time, but the actual pronunciation is “Jeer-a-SO-lay”.  Or “jeed-a-SO-lay” as the online “listen to the pronunciation” guide states. As Heather mentioned in the comments on Wednesday, that is Italian for Sunflower. So hopefully we’ll have a whole field of different-sized, different-colored sunflowers by the fall!

dsc02589Is this pattern difficult? It does look like it might be, doesn’t it? Anything that beautiful when it’s done, surely must be intricate to knit up. The good news is that it is not hard. When I said that I thought of it as a perfect first lace project (or first chart-reading project), I meant it.  There aren’t very many different symbols per line on the charts. That’s always easy to handle. :-) Did you see Wendy’s blog post on chart reading this week? The first chart she shows reminds me of most of the Girasole charts. The second one she shows is much more complicated than the ones you’ll be doing on this KAL. And did I already mention that pretty much every other row is a plain ‘ol Knit row? Yep, a pretty easy knit. But we’re the only ones who have to know that. When you get yours done and are showing it around to people, you can totally let them believe that it was extremely difficult to produce.

dsc02580What length of circular needles will I need? I see on the Girasole Rav board that some people have used a 60″ needle for the worsted weight. There is a point on one chart where you go from 320 stitches to 640 stitches, and I knit it onto a 60″ cable for that, expecting to need the extra space. The cable was waaaay too long for my knitting. I switched it back and I think I did the whole thing on a 40″ or 47″ cable. (Now I can’t remember.) I DO like all of my stitches bunched up because I find it easier to scoot them along to knit. It was definitely FULL on that size cable, knitting with size 9 needles. If you like things more spread out, then maybe you’ll need the longer cable. If you’re doing a lace or fingering weight version, the 40″ length (with size 6-7 needles in that weight) should be fine.

I’d like to do it, but I have too many other things on the needles at the moment. Ok, so that wasn’t a question. But I do want to point out that you don’t need to finish this until Oct. 1st, so there is plenty of time to join in later, if you want to.

dsc02568I’m bad at starting and stopping projects. I’m not sure I’d stick with a project this big. Again, not a question, but I want to say that it is well documented that I’m the Queen of the Second Sock Syndrome. I probably have close to 40 single socks, with no matching partner. I also may be the Queen of UFO’s, because I’m constantly starting new things. (Of course I blame all of this on needing to try many different new/potential yarn lines here at The Loopy Ewe. I wonder what I’ll blame it on when I retire one day?) If I can stick with this pattern to the end AND want to cast on another one right away, doesn’t that say something? It really is fun to watch it unfold from your needles.

Does this have to be done in a solid/semi-solid? Not at all. In fact, the photo of Claire’s first Girasole is what made me decide to finally jump in and give this pattern a try, and she made it out of Araucania Aysen, a multi-colorway. It’s gorgeous.

I’d like to make a blanket-sized one that I can also toss in the washer. What yarn should I use? Dream in Color Classy is a worsted superwash that would be wonderful knit up in this pattern. (DC Smooshy and Starry would be beautiful for shawl-sized versions. We have a bunch more Smooshy going up early next week.) Keep in mind that you do need to block this pattern after you wash it, so a lot of people have knit it up in regular (non-superwash) worsted weight yarn – like Cascade 220 and Malabrigo. But for those who still want to throw it in the washer, even though they know they’ll have to lay it flat to dry, the DC Classy is an excellent choice.

Remember the offer – you can pick any yarn here at The Loopy Ewe that you want to use for this Girasole KAL, and we’ll give you that yarn for 20% off. (One discount per person, offer expires 6/15, and you must notate in the order notes that you are participating in the KAL and tell us which yarn in the order you will be using for your Girasole.)

I’m hoping to get my first one finished up over the weekend. Photos as soon as I can get it washed and blocked. I think that may end up being more difficult than the actual knitting…

Sheri whothinkssheepcanbekindofamottleybunch
buttheydoaddinteresttoanotherwisephoto-lessblogpost


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20 comments on “KAL Q&A

  1. ACK! You are being such a temptress and enabler Sheri :) I may just have to use some birthday money to get some Cascade 220 to knit it up. And here I was with just 3 projects on the needles.

    (scoots over to the shop to browse the colors)

    Kate

  2. Sheri, thank you for explaining why there are so many lovely sheep photos in your blog. I thought I was missing a hidden meaning. :)

    have a great weekend.
    martha

  3. Those sheep are so sweet. I liked the alpaca (?) on Wednesday’s post too. Have a good weekend. I’ll be venturing down to Charlotte to see WendyKnits and funfairiegirl tomorrow.

  4. The hardest thing with a project like this for me at least is deciding between a blanket size and a shawl size. I love the idea of having a big squooshy blanket, but it is just easier to wrap my mind around making the smaller size.

  5. I’m off to the Maine Fiber Frolic tomorrow and hope to take lots of cute sheep (and goat, and bunny and alpaca) photos!

    The Girasole reminds me of the pinwheel blanket I made a few years back for my niece. I used malabrigo and it pilled terribly, but my niece loves to snuggle up in it because it’s so soft.

  6. OK, feeling somewhat better now. I don’t have the 40 single socks, so my large pile of WIPs and UFOs no longer seems quite so large. That said, I’m trying to reduce that pile, so until I get a few things knocked out, trying not to start anything big. I do have two things almost done, so that should work well. THEN I can start it, but unfortunately, I suspect that it’ll be past the deadline on the deal.

    Like I said, it’s gorgeous, on my list of things to do, and I can’t wait to be inspired by everyone else’s pics! 8-)

  7. OCTOBER 1ST ???!!!!
    weeelllllllll….that changes everything !! ( I must have missed that info somehow !)
    I was thinking this was a 1 month project…
    must reconsider this KAL !!
    still not sure about the blanket size ….its so big and gorgeous…but a bit overwhelming ….maybe a shawl will do !!
    and definately a solid …to show off the beautiful sunflower !
    (also scoots over to browse colors …and yarn optiions ….)
    why is it so much more exciteing to start a new project than to finish one already on the needles ??????

  8. Very fun that you did the Girasole (and I did not pronounce it right unless I actually said Girasole eh?) I thought it was Jeer ah soul pronunciation so that was interesting to read… I love the pink blanket but love my blue Girasole shawl too – someday you can try it in sock weight !!! And totally agree that it is easy pattern – love that it is knit around on the WS and no purling!! YAY Jared. He is awesome. Have a beautiful day Sheri, thanks for the compliments on mine !! ;))))

  9. I’m really looking forward to this KAL!! I was looking at the pictures of completed Girasoles on Ravelry last night and feeling very motivated :-)

  10. i am so wanting to do this, lol already have the yarn sitting in my cart. I looked at the cascade 220 and picked a nice color but have had pilling on the hot water bottle cover i knit with the 220 (although it was a dream to knit with), i am looking at the dream in color (which i LOVE to knit with) just trying to talk myself into it…as i am now unemployed (a bit guilt conscience i think) I even picked a color i already have 1 skein of in my stash to help out. I started to check out with paypal but it wasn’t giving me an option to leave a note. Is it best to do this directly through your processor? Lol, if so can i get it by next fridays mail?? (so i can take it to canada with me and work on that week as i sit there and hubby works)

  11. I bought the pattern last night, and it does look like a fairly simple lace project….and the pattern has got a great lay-out, very easy to follow.
    I couldn’t resist the idea of this blanket in Dream in Color Classy, in that beautiful grey color. A bit of a splurge for me, but it’s for a wedding gift so why not!!

  12. Okay, I’m in for the KAL. I ordered the Cascade Eco Alpaca in Natural and I can’t wait to start this project. Thanks so much Sheri for a wonderful KAL.

    Karin

  13. Ah, anytime you need to know how something is pronounced in Italian, just call on me (as the song says)…I think they said “jeed-a-SOL-lay” because the Italian “r” is so much softer than the typical American “r”. But it’s beautiful no matter now you say it.

  14. I did my first one in fingering weight, and never needed longer than a 32″ circular. It is lovely as a shawl (done in merino/silk twist), and am looking forward to casting on my Eco-alpaca.

    The first one took less than a month, and was really very easy…

  15. I just have to say, that third sheep photo is wrenching my heart. I have such sheep lust! I want to take her home & cuddle that sweet white face, and slap a coat on her wool to keep the shmootz out. That little face is just killing me…oy!

    Back to your regularly scheduled programming…