Tuesday, December 25, 2012

My Christmas Knitting Inspired My 2013 Knitting Goals

1.   Knit Socks.  You know those fruit-of-the-month clubs?  Every month you get a shipment appropriate to the season, maybe for three months or six or even twelve.  I gave my son-in-law Ian a membership in my sock-of-the-month club.

For the next three months, he will receive a pair of socks appropriate to the season.  Above are the December socks.  The pattern is Nancy Bush's Knot Socks;  the yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy.

Here's what I have planned:  January's socks will be in Lorna's Laces Solemate, a blend of superwash Merino, nylon, and the better-living-through-chemistry Outlast.   February will be Dream in Color Smooshy with (a dusting of) Cashmere.  March will be bamboo.

2.  Knit Icelandic.  I'm going to work my way through Donna Druchunas' Ethnic Knitting Exploration: Lithuania, Iceland, and Ireland.  Above is an Icelandic capelet, my first footstep along this path.  I knit it in Unspun Icelandic, very warm and pretty but a wispy pain to knit with. It was a Christmas knit for my older daughter.

3.  Knit More Sweaters.   If only all of them could be as quick and fun as Owls, my Christmas knit for my younger daughter.   Owls went from yarn to sweater in five days!  It was my first sweater knit in the round.  Joining the sleeves to the body confused me.  Here's what I finally understood:  the 4 underarm stitches on hold and the 4 sleeve stitches on hold on each side get grafted together at the very end of the sweater.  The very end, as in the neck ribbing is done and those owl button eyes are sewn on and then you graft.    

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lillia Hyrna Shawl

Iceland is hot in the knitting world just now.  Franklin Habit went to Iceland and knit.Brooklyn Tweed went to Iceland and knit.   Cookie A and so many other famous knitting designers and teachers are traveling to Iceland these days.  Info on knitting tours to Iceland,as well as (free!) patterns can be found at The Icelandic Knitter  and Knitting Iceland.

Who wouldn't love to go!  Until that opportunity presents itself, here's my attempt at Lillia Hyrna by Sheila January, an Icelandic-style shawl.  I bought the yarn during an art studios tour last October.  There were the Peaceable Acres alpacas grazing in the sun-dappled field and over, there, the spinning studio with handspun for sale.  This shawl is made from undyed fibers.  The brown and cream are barenaked shades of alpaca.

I cast on right away.  Over the course of many months, I picked up and put down the project.  Maybe it was the early sighting of a flock of Canadian geese flying morth.  Maybe it was just a perverse reaction to hot August days.  Something had piqued my interest again in this shawl.

It's light but warm as toast.

Friday, August 03, 2012

What I Knit This Summer

You'd think that the hot, dry summer wouldn't bring out the knitter in a person.  Au contraire.   It's been much more like ...

The beastly heat keeps us inside as much as possible.  Might as well knit.  Here's the tally from June and July:

One Cornelia Mee design from 1846, updated as a beach bag in Lilly Pulitzer-y colors.  The yarn is Rowan Amy Butler Belle Organic Aran (50% Wool, 50% Cotton).  Easy, fun, quick, and the yarn's composition keeps it from being too heavy but with the hand of cotton.

One Bermuda Scarf, a great way to practice short rows.  The yarn is Handmaiden Swiss Mountain Sea Sock, a heavenly mix of 51% Silk, 29% Superwash Merino, 20% Seacell.  

One Kysmik Vest in dark blue Mmmmmmalabrigo, hold the runes, Viking good luck symbol instead.

Two pairs of Crowley socks by Socktopus, my new favorite sock pattern for summer mansocks.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Actually, Yellow Is My Favorite Color

Although you might not guess it. I have three new FOs to show you, all of them blue.
Click any photo to make bigger.

Blue FO #1 is a hat.  Currently, an awful lot of knitting patterns carry high-fallutin' names.  A pattern for a plain ol' vanilla garter stitch dish rag will be called Windswept or Althea or Capri.  Not this hat.  It's just "Scandinavian Hat" and it's from the book Knit Local.  In the spirit of the title, I did knit local, almost micro-local:  Kimmet Croft Fat Fairyhare (sportweight, 60% Merino, 40% Angora).  The yarn is primarily known nationally from kits for the Bohus designs in Poems of Color.  It is very special, with its angora halo and gentle colors.

This is what my vest looks like on Buff Helen
A vest is Blue FO #2.  I knit it as my response to The Loopy Ewe's Second Quarter Challenge :  a vest or adult sock in a cotton or cotton-blend yarn.  I made Janna's Tunic, as plainly and to-the-point named as Scandinavian Hat.  The yarn is Kollage Riveting, recycled from blue jeans(sportweight, 95% Cotton, 5% other).  It's not stiff like jeans but soft and drapey.  It's also economical.  The total yarn cost for this vest came to a grand total of $32.

Some knitters report lengthwise shrinkage when a Riveting item is washed.  Fingers, toes, and eyes crossed that this doesn't happen!  It hasn't yet.

Keeping things both blue and minimalist is  FO #3, Florina.  The pattern consists primarily of a diagram, with written directions kept to a handful of sentences.  The designer, Darlene Cook, explains her system on her website.  After 3 minutes of furrowing your brow, all becomes crystal clear.  I now prefer this system of pattern notation.

The yarn is Habu Textiles N-46 Cotton Nerimaki Slub, a thick-and-thin (as in thread-thin in places) yarn. Only a handful of online retailers carry Habu.  I ordered mine from The Websters.  Their service, communication, and shipping were everything anyone could want.

Today I cast on for a lace shawl.  Yep, it's blue.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Envelope, Please

Handwash cycle on the machine, line dry.  

Favorite sock yarn:   Boo Fly Sock Yarn (60% Superwash Merino, 30% Bamboo, 10% Nylon, 435 yards). Beautiful colors, comfortable on the feet, wears like iron.

Best online deal for sock yarn:  Grab bags from Little Knits

Most of these socks are from Little Knits grab bag skeins

Favorite online yarn time-suck vortex:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock

Favorite sock needles:  Bamboo, #2 dpns

Favorite book of sock patterns: 

Favorite sock pattern for variegated yarn:  we have a tie between Cedar Creek Socks and Hickory

Most fun-to-knit sock pattern:  Cascade Locks

Most knit sock pattern:  Conwy.  I've probably made six pairs

Most recently-knit socks: 
Embossed Leaves in Chameleon Colorworks Twinkletoes (70% Merino, 30% Tencel)

Monday, February 13, 2012

February Is

Thomasina in Flambé One Skein Shawl in Handmaiden Sea Silk

  • garden catalogs
  • knitting

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Is Jack the Beagle Feeling the Sweater Love?

Jack in his DROPS 102-42 dog sweater in madeline tosh DK 
"Are you ready to knit 12 sweaters in 2012?" was the gauntlet thrown smack! down at ravelry.com. Twelve sweaters ... why, that's one a month...

 The rules of engagement:
"A “sweater” can consist of a pullover, cardigan, vest, shrug, bolero, etc. Basically any kind of clothing for the upper body. It can be any size- adult, child, baby, or pet sized. Unfinished objects count too, so pull out that half-knitted sweater that’s been at the back of your closet for ages! Sweaters can be knit at your own pace; they don’t have to be finished by the last day of the month."

Sweater #1 is a for my daughter's wedding trip this summer.  This is Sweater #2:

I have been eyeing this pattern for awhile.  Its largest size is cocker spaniel.  Beagles are generally larger than cockers and Jack is no exception, particularly his chest.  To size up the sweater, I went from the recommended #4 needle to a #7.  That worked just fine.

Two down. Will there be more sweaters this year?