Saturday, May 29, 2010

Simple Things Shawlette...

This was a quick little knit. It was great to watch the colors ebb and flow. I don't mind the pooling a bit. I think this colorway is called Sophie, but I would have called it "think spring!" My handy helper is always ready to help with the drying and blocking process- she loves it.

It's probably time to buy some blocking wires and maybe a board- but the bed works for now. I just have to ensure it's dry by bedtime! (Oh, and I have to keep my furry friend off the bed as well during these drying times.)

This photo shows my only modification of the pattern, I added more rows of garter stitch at the end to use up the yarn. I didn't have enough left for another repeat of the eyelet section, but I wanted to finish the skein. Plus, I thought the extra rows would be additional anti-roll protection : )

The fabric has a nice drape- it seems like I will get use out of this when the weather gets chilly. I suppose time will tell, but The Truth Is.....I just like seeing it around the house. To further my knowledge of how yarns are dyed- this one is very short runs of colors- like 3 inches each.

Pattern: Simple Things Shawlette
Yarn: Socks that Rock, Lightweight, 100% merino
Needles: size 6
mods: added a few extra garter rows at the end

Thursday, May 27, 2010

So, the scarf saga continues....

Well, as I said before, my favorite little scarf is starting to show it's age : ( There are pinpoint holes, and the ends are beginning to fray.

I started searching around Italy to see if I could find a similar scarf at one of the markets. What I learned about myself is that I really had no idea what actual specific colors were in the scarf- so I started taking it everywhere I went to try and find something similar. I didn't have any luck- and then I had an idea. I had heard of custom-dyed yarns, so I could send it off and see if someone could re-create the colorway with yarn. Then I had another idea....surely this colorway already exists....somewhere.

So, I headed to the Blue Moon Fiber Arts website to have a look. Their colors are amazing and wonderful! I decided to give myself a little Mother's Day present and I splurged on 4 skeins!

After I made Azzu's Shawl with merino, it was a little itchy. I had an "OH NO!" moment, when I imagined the Socks that Rock Lightweight yarn might be itchy as well- but that was, alas and unfounded fear. Three out of the four colorways listed were an attempt to match up and one is clearly just for fun- who am I kidding, they're all fun! The colorways are- Sophie, Peaseblossom, Goody Goody and Pink Granite.

Here's the scarf- the black lines are not on the scarf, that's the back of the chair coming through.

Here's how they lined up.

And here's the winner....maybe? Now, off to knit like the wind. I am knitting several small shawls to see which pattern is my favorite. Then I will use the Peaseblossom yarn. At first I thought I wanted something with some open work, and then I thought I might like something more solid. Hmmmm, decisions, decisions.

This new shawl knititng has blossomed into a new love! I am forcing myself to knit the three patterns I purchased before purchasing any additional patterns : ) Oh, I won't even mention the new yarn- hey, it was a gift certificate, so it doesn't count, right?

Once, when My Man and I were chatting about spending money, I mentioned that although I am not a "shopper" per se, I do buy yarn. And he said, "Well that doesn't really count because you make useful things with it." Yep, he's wonderful!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Smooshy.....roll-y knits

From what I can tell, my current shawlette/scarf passion started for two reasons:

1.) a giant "leftover" ball of fairly expensive yarn
2.) my current favorite scarf is showing some serious signs of wear

These 2 factors have converged and my knitting craze has aggrandized.

I never paid much attention to shawls because I have never worn one draped over my shoulders in the traditional sense. I do, however, wear little scarves around my neck frequently when I have a little chill. So a small shawlette would be perfect.

The leftover yarn was a ball of Dream in Color Smooshy. I made fingerless mitts out of this yarn and still had a ginormous amount leftover. I should check the yardage on the skein- it must be like 1,000 yards : ) Anyway, this extra ball of yarn was hanging out downstairs on the table daring me to use it in some way.

I'll save the discussion about my ancient scarf and it's signs of wear for another time perhaps.

So, off to Ravelry I went to find a pattern- and I came up with this one. This free pattern seemed like a good place to launch my new fad. I knitted along quickly, and although I was concerned about the "rolling" of all the stockinette portions of the shawl, I knitted on.

The featured picture on the pattern showed eyelets along the edges. Being new to shawl knitting, I figured they must be added at the end to deter the roll. Knitting, knitting, knitting along until I reached the bind off- and there was no more information forthcoming about the eyelets. I researched a new bind off for lace and chose the k1, k1, then k2tog for this one.

The next thing I knew, I was being told to block it. There were no directions about the edging, and my shawl did not look like the one in the pattern. I figured I must have done something wrong, and reviewed my work and that of others on Ravelry. Nope, I think I did it according to the pattern, but a few shawls looked different. I e-mailed the designer who informed me that the featured picture had some modifications that were not in the pattern- but she assured me that in her experience the shawl did not roll.

What a new experience, to knit something, follow the pattern, and have it not match the picture on the pattern. I will say it was irksome. Oh well, it was a free pattern after all. Knit at your own risk, so to speak.

It rolls like crazy from both ends, but it doesn't matter much as I wear it bunched up around my neck anyway.

This shawl has also started me thinking about color options in yarn. I haven't worked with yarns of color all that much. So, this coloring was kind of like a "smattering" of color here and there and resulted in patchy colored bits. It's okay, it's just a hint of color.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Finally finished.....

This tank top was seriously languishing in my project bin forever. I started it when I was knitting just about every project from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I heavily modified it to make it more wearable- I made the straps wider and added a little waist shaping. Then, when I had but a mere 20 minutes more work to do, I ignored it for a year or so : )

It turned out quite nicely. I am eager to wear it to see how the hemp behaves. This is the first time I knit with hemp- it was a bit rough on my hands.

When I washed it, there was not any color bleed, but the smell was very strange. I happen to have a very good sense of smell- most of the time, I wish I didn't! Nonetheless, when I was washing this tank top, it smelled kind of "chalky." There are some bugs that smell like that when they are smushed. It's a strange smell. The garment did not smell when it dried- thankfully!

I know it looks lumpy here, and I was in a hurry to get the picture, but it fits well. It's reversible- in other words, I can't really remember which side is the front and which side is the back- so, it must not matter : )

Pattern: Silk Camisole from the aforementioned Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Elisabeth Lavold Hempathy
Mods: widened straps

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Z's Driving Thru....

This is my favorite picture for the moment. Since there are 2 little gals in my life, there are frequently 2 very similar knitted items : )

I am so happy that she wound up choosing her own colors. Originally my little Z-bomb wanted the same color scheme as her sister. I was not intrigued by the idea of knitting 2 nearly identical sweaters, but I would have done so if needed, of course.

I think the swinging point came when I told her the name of the purplish colorway- yep, it's called Fairy Tale.

She loves it and so do I.

Pattern: Drive-Thru by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: Knitpicks: Wool of the Andes
Size: 6
Mods: Made the sleeve circumference larger

Monday, May 10, 2010

Storm Cloud Shawlette

This project was in the boot of the car for a long time. I had it stashed back there so I always had some knitting with me. As it turns out, it's an excellent idea for me- I was able to work on it quite a bit.

I had ordered this yarn a while back from Knitpicks. I got 2 different colors and I was going to make the chevron scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. But, once I started knitting, I didn't like how it looked, so this yarn has been hanging out in my stash for a while.

Even though I like these colors, I don't wear these colors and I don't think they look great on me. Since I realized this mid-knit, I only used one skein of the 2 I had. So, it's very short, which is fine since I don't wear shawls, but I do frequently wear little scarves.

It's the perfect size for a 4-year-old!

But would look ridiculous on me draped out like that. This photo brings me to the second thing that I don't love about this shawlette- it's too "holey." I suppose I should have used smaller needles- the stitch is a dropped garter stitch, so it's really stretchy and loose. This coupled with a too large needle= holey. You can see part of it was pulled out of shape- it's there on my shoulder. I think the dog's toe got stuck in it. This is the same principle that stops me from making lace baby blankets- because I can't bear to think of their little fingers tangled up in yarn. This has also stopped me from knitting the ever-popular Clapotis.

All this being said, I wear it here and there. It's a cute pattern and deserves another chance!

Yarn: Knitpicks Essential Multi
Needles: size 9
Pattern: Storm Cloud Shawlette
Rav link: Storm Cloud

Friday, May 07, 2010

Fonzie's Cowl...

Well, I was cold!

It seemed like a good idea- I mean I frequently wear a scarf inside!

It makes sense. It's practical.

Cowls are IN. It's a good use of small amounts of yarn.

It keeps me matter what the excuse, my friend Stacy put it best when she SHOUTED (in public), "IT'S A DICKEY!" followed by peals of laughter!

The good news is that my daughter H loves she'll happily wear it around the house. Fashion is so much more forgiving for a kid : ) Drat.

Specs: I don't think they matter much : P

Also, H thinks this also makes a perfect hat!!!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Happy-Girl Sweater....

These first pictures were right when the sweater was finished. As you can see, she is thrilled with it and for that I am happy. Otherwise, this sweater is not my favorite.

For whatever reason, the sleeves (the first time I finished the sweater) were too tight. I think fellow knitters had mentioned this on Ravelry, and although I had her try them on a couple of times, they were too small. After I knitted the yoke done is when I decided the sleeves were not going to work. At this point some of my kind and loving friends and family tried to convince me to weave in the ends and give it to my second daughter, then re-knit another for my oldest. But, well, the colors were those chosen by H and Z had picked out her own, and well, I just couldn't! So, I frogged and re-knit. Then I didn't like the yoke, which I changed around a few times and I still don't necessarily love it. I think the colors don't have enough contrast-but she LOVES it, and for that I am happy!

I picked up too many stitches for the bands, so it's a bit wavy. I was concerned about it pulling up too much from the bottom, so I over compensated. The buttons came from a place on line- I think it's called Cute as a Button. They have a wonderful selection, but I should have read the description better. I was very surprised to see that our chosen buttons were plastic! I thought they were going to be metal! But, my daughter said, "Oh Mom, they are like sparkly, shiny jewels down the front!" There you have it. She loves them, so for that I am happy.

The pattern was nice, except for the sleeve issue. I made the largest size sleeves for the 8-10 size sweater AND the 6-8 sweater I made for my second daughter. The yarn, Wool of the Andes from Knitpicks, was excellent. It was very forgiving even after being knit and re-knit several times! I like the colors and the feel of the yarn. I think it will hold up well.

Pattern: Drive Thru- Wendy Bernard
Size: 8-10
Mods: larger diameter sleeves- and I think I made the sleeves and the body longer
Yarn: Wool of the Andes

Rav link here