Thursday, February 28, 2008

Anticipation-Coming Attractions....

I have finished the front and back and am well underway with the first sleeve. So my question at this point is put out to you out there in the knitting universe. Do any of you want me to attempt to publish this pattern in more than one size (that is the size that fits me.. a medium 37 inch bust, finished to about 40 inches). I could do it with small, medium and large (to fit 34, 37 and 40 inch bust, with a usual, not too tight fit)??? I would love feedback on this, as I finish up the sweater, and start to gather all the pertinent pattern details... Still anticipate publishing on Sunday March 2. Email me, or leave a comment (even without registration - I will get it!).

In other news, one of our StG&CC Knitters has had a bad fall and broken her arm and has been put on the injured reserve list... SHE CAN'T KNIT! It breaks my heart and makes me wonder.... if it were me, could I somehow figure out how to duct tape a needle onto the cast and work the yarn with one hand. Hmmm. Let's hope I never have to find out. Let's all have thoughts of quick recovery and return to the needles and yarn for our friend in stitches, Brenda!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Me Knitting, Me on the Phone, Me Knitting on the Phone!

I like to knit. I like to knit while I watch TV. I like to knit while I chat with friends. Ask my Tuesday Knitting Group,

they can't shut me up, yet I don'e miss a stitch. I like to knit while I read. (yes read). I like to talk on the phone with my sister, we giggle together for an hour at a time, and until recently, the only regret was the lost knitting time....
So here is me knitting.... (above)

and here is me talking to Kim on the phone. (below)

Notice the similarities? Clever me, I found a headset for my phone (love technology), and last night managed 2 inches of sweater front while catching up on all things in Kim's world!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

More Dying this Weekend

Quiet weekends call for yarn dying. I had some balls of Cashsoft Baby DK, from Rowan, and it is a yarn I LOVE in a colour I HATE. It was a sort of pinky beige, neither rose or tan, but kind of yuck. Of course the price was amazing and on the website it looked like a rose, but in person, meh. So I finally skeined the 7 balls on the swift and dyed the lot a wine and denim colour, and this is what it looks like now. I like it now, and will have to decide what to knit with it....

Here also is the photo of the sock yarn from last week, in the dried state.

Our Golf Club Knitters are reviewing some books (fiction) about knitting. There is the Knitting Circle, the Friday Night Knitting Club and Knitting under the influence. I will keep you posted as to how many needles up or down they are rated!

I have also joined the HUGE community of Ravelry, and enjoying the groups, reading what everyone else is knitting and the photos of all the wonderful finished projects. What a great site.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Silk Garden with Cables

This is the newest project. I had 5 balls of Silk Garden Lite(Noro), and decided to mix them with Superwash Double Knit in black (Emu). I got the Silk Garden from Ram Wool, and the Black DK from the LYS, Kismet Wool Shop in St. Catharines. The pattern is what you see, stocking stitch, with a cable at the junction of the colour change. Nice so far. The pattern will follow when I have finished the sweater.... Pullover with round neck I think, but I will wait to see what the yarn tells me to do! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fleece Artist Lace Shawl, Free Pattern!

This is the amazing yarn that appeared under my tree last Christmas, a thoughtful gift from my Dad and Barbara, who live in Nova Scotia (aka; home of Fleece Artist and Hand Maiden yarns). They took a trip to Gaspereau yarns, and found this shawl pack, two yarns twisted together, one a mohair lace weight and the other a boucle lace weight, both hand dyed in the purple-blue colour. I decided to make a simple triangle shawl, light as air and easy to knit. It uses broad stripes of one yarn, then the other.

Yarn: Lace weight mohair mixes (one type or two or more!)
Needles: 4.5mm circular needle (the bigger the better-I use Denise needles, so I can make it bigger as needed!)
Gauge: not needed to be too accurate, but mine is 10 sts = 4 inches.

Starting at the center back neck: cast on 9 sts. K3, K1, place marker, k1(center st),K1, k3
Row 2 and all wrong side rows, k3, purl to last 3 sts (slipping marker as you pass it), k3
The first and last 3 stitches for the whole thing will be k3 (garter stitch edging).
Next row: K3, Yarn Over, K to marker, YO, K1(center st), YO, K to last 3 sts, YO, K3

Repeat last 2 rows, increasing with a Yarn Over, inside the edgings and each side of the center stitch. (4 increases every right side row), and Purling these yarn overs on the wrong side. this makes a row of lacey holes at the edge and at the center, which you can see in the photo at the bottom....
If you have more than one yarn, change yarns at the edge every 4 inches (or whenever you want). End with 6 rows of garter stitch (knit every row) then cast off all stitches.
Weave in loose ends.

Wet with cold water, and block on towels, gently stretching the edges to lie flat and open the stitches. There, done.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What did Chris do on Family Day?

This being the first Family Day in Ontario history, I have an extra day off (two in a row instead of the usual one in a row...) Since it was a lousy rainy day out, the afternoon was spend dying sock yarn... I took 2 balls of sock it to me yarn from elann, in natural cream, and wound it onto my swift to make a loose skein. I attach the end of one ball with a knot to the other so that the skein is 100 gms and one skein will make 2 socks any size (usually I have some left over).

I got some liquid dyes and powder dyes, (Rit) to see which are easier and I think I like the liquid best, but it is harder to find the colours. I use plastic cups (left over from Christmas) and mix one tablespoon of powder or 2 tablespoons of liquid to about a quarter cup of fairly hot water in each cup. There are good instructions on the Rit site. I used 8 colours for this sock. After I soaked the yarn in very warm water, I wrung out most of the water, and laid it in a circle on a plastic bag (big garbage bag split open). Then I drizzeled the dyes at two or three spots randomly around the yarn, leaving a small white space between the dye spots. After using all the dyes, I covered the wet yarn with the sides of the plastic bag and let it sit for about 20 minutes. At the end, it looked very muddy, but upon rinsing the separate colours emerged and softened, and some mixing of colours where they met made many more than eight colours around the skein! I like it.
I know some kids would expect their mom's to be baking cookies on Family Day, and cooking a big meal or something, but my son, who was visiting from Toronto as he had a day off, looked at the yarn floating in the kitchen sink, then went for leftovers in the fridge. All was normal.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Silk Hand Maiden Wrap

The cabled silk wrap is done! I purchased 2 skeins of hand dyed Two Four Silk, from Ram Wools. The colourway is blackberry, and although both skeins are labeled that, you find with the hand dyed yarns, the skeins can be quite different. So if using this yarn, you must work with both skeins and alternate 2 rows from one, then 2 rows from the other, throughout the project.

Pattern for Silk Wrap.

Yarn: Two Four Silk, 100% silk, blackberry, 2 skeins, 400m, 200gm per skein.

Needles: 4.5mm

Gauge 20 sts = 4 inches (after blocking)

This yarn will have distinct cables while knitting, but will soften and relax after a cool wash and block.

Cable left: place next 3 stitches on cable needle and hold to front, knit 3 sts, then knit 3 sts from cable needle.

Pattern: With 4.5 mm needles, cast on 120 sts.

Row 1: (right side) p1,[k6, p1]17 times.

Row2: (wrong side) k1,[p6, k1] 17 times.

Row 3: as row 1,

Row 4: and all wrong side rows as row 2

Row 5: p1, k6, [p1, cable left, p1, k6] 8 times, p1

Row 7: as row 1.

Continue on the eight row repeat, work until the length of the piece is 21 inches.

Split for neck: Work across to middle block of 6 stocking stitches. Cast off these 6 stitches. Work now with only one side (put other 57 stitches on a holder.)

Continue in established pattern on 57 sts for 5 inches.

On next row 5, Increase into the center front edge stitch by knitting front and back of that stitch. Increase one stitch at every cable row on the center front edge only, until 7 stitches have been added, making them match the pattern (stocking stitch 6, with P1 edge). Continue even until same length as back. Bind off all sts.

Pick up held 57 sts, and work as for other half.

Wear it staight over the shoulder, or as I have in the photo with the wide part (back) over one shoulder and the two narrow parts thrown over each other over the other shoulder.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Chunky Bead and Medallion Necklace

I had a few emails asking about the necklace in this photo. The necklace is one of my designs, and is very easy to make and the beads are easy and inexpensive to get! The package of beads come from Walmart (yes, they have a great bead department), and all you need is the package of handmade aluminum beads with medallion, and complimenting glass or wooden beads. The small beads I chose for this one are metallic and irregular in shape and grey, black, and pearly in colour, and the aluminum chunky beads and medallion are grey metal, although you can get them in a copper colour too.

The photos show the stringing order, start in the center of beading wire, build outwards with three small beads in between the chunky ones until used up, then small only until length desired. The one in the photo is 15 inches total. Then mount the fastening claw and ring and pinch the crimping ring to secure. (packages usually have instructions) I use a package of fine Tigertail wire with crimp beads, that will make 2 or 3 necklaces, and always have some claws and rings in my beading stash.

And with the leftover beads, you can make earrings! You need hooks, pins and pliers.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Noro Silk Garden Mitered Pullover

One of my favourite sweaters in recent years has been this Noro Silk Garden, made from a free pattern I found on the net. It looks complicated, but you work one square at a time and 4 squares , plus a neck addition, makes the front. The back is the same, then the sleeves are knit straight. What a surprise mix of colours with the Noro yarn. I get comments everywhere I where it.

My Knitting Group: the StCG&CC Knitters, often pool our talents to make afghans for charites. They end up on auction tables and have raised as much as $300 for charity. A couple of years ago we made one out of scraps from our stashes. We had lots of 2 main colours of worsted weight blues, a denim, and aqua. An we used lots of other colours, and made squares by holding one main colour with one odd ball colour. The result is many squares of many colours, but the underlying tone is the main colour, so it all flows together. We had a few squares left over after the bed size blanket was made, and I have just taken them out of stash to finish into a crib size blanket that will be a baby gift for our friend, Lori, at the club, who is expecting her first baby.

StashBusting Blanket - Pattern.

Any combo of worsted weight yarns!

Holding 2 yarns together, and using 6 mm needles, Cast on 30 sts. Work in seed stitch (K1, P1, across. Next row K the purls and P the knits. Repeat this last row) until 8 inches (square) is done, bind off.

Joining: Crochet an edge in black (or contrasting colour) around every square. Crochet together each square in a horizontal row, then all the vertical row. I finished with one row around the whole outside, then sew in all the ends. *the seed stitch will make it the same front and back, but other textured stitches can be used, or even stocking stitch, but you will have a front and back.*

Done at 10:30pm!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Silk V-neck Pullover

I found this bargain yarn at my fav' Elann, and decided to create a V-Neck, raglan pullover, with a slim, contoured fit. The yarn is a South West Trading Company 100% silk ribbon, knit on 4.5mm needles. I ordered it early in December, and it sat for a couple of weeks as I worked out the pattern, then whipped it up over the Christmas break. It is so comfy, light and cool as cotton, but a bit warmer for the winter months.

Yarn: Amerah, SWTC, 10 balls in vineyard
Needles: 4.5mm (US 6)
Size: 36" chest.
Gauge: 16 sts and 24 rows = 4 inches. (substitute with ribbon yarn that knits to this gauge)

Back: Cast on 69 sts. Rib : K1, P1 ribbingfor 15 rows, on row 16 increase by [rib 6, inc 1 in next st] 9 times, then rib last 6 sts (78 sts total now).
Change to stocking stitch (knit right side, purl wrong side) work body.
Decrease one stitch at each side on row 18 and 36, then increase one stitch on row 46 and 64. Continue until back measures 15inches.
Raglan Shaping: Bind off 8 sts each side. Dec 1 st each side every 2nd row 13 times. then Dec 1 st each side every 4th row 7 times.
Bind off remaining 22 sts.

Front: Work as for back including all shaping, AND when piece measures 15 inches, begin neck shaping. Wrok to center, attach another ball of yarn and complete row. Turn. Work both sides at once, Dec 1 sts at each neck edge every 4th row 11 times.
Continue shaping as for back. End with one stitch on each side of neck and bind off.

Sleeves: Cast on 31 sts. Work rib as for body for 15 rows. Increase on row 16: Rib 5 [increase one in next st, work 4, increase one in next st, work 5] once, [increase one in next sts, work 4] 3 times.
Change to stocking stitch, increase one st on each side every 7th row 12 times. Continue in st st until sleevemeasures 17.5 inches.
Cap Shaping: Bind off 8 sts each side. On the next right side row, dec 1 st each side, then dec 1 st each side every second row 11 times. Decrease 1 st each side every 4th row 8 times. Bind off last 4 sts. (make 2 sleeves)
Finishing: sew sleeves to yoke, seam sleeves and sides.

Neck finishing: With circular needles and right side facing, pick up 22 sts from back of neck, 46 sts from left neck edge, place marker at center, make a center stitch at base of V,pick up 46 up right neck edge. (115 sts)
Round 1: work in K1, P1 ribbing to within 2 sts of center marker, ssk, move marker, k1 in center, k2tog, work in K1, P1 rib to end.
Repeat this ribbing row for 1 inch, then bind off loosely in ribbing.

Monday, February 11, 2008

In the works...

The Silk Wrap is almost done, so I thought I might show photos of the coming attraction. This is a drapey wrap made from Hand Maiden Two Four Silk, 2 skeins, from Ram Wools. I splurged for these precious skeins during the 30% sale in January. The pattern is a simple 6 stocking stitch, 6 stitch cable vertical stripe. I will post the complete instructions in a few days when the whole thing is completed.

The next project has also been started, just 25% done so far, but here's a sneek peek...
Love it so far...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Where did these come from?

By now you may wonder how I have put up so many patterns so quickly. No I am not creating them that fast, but I have been making patterns for my yarn for a while and have been documenting the projects on ***paper***. Yes, I know how antiquated that sounds, but it is true. I have been journalling my knitting for the last 3 years, and I have used these notes to put to print most of the last entries. Here are photos of the journals and some samples of the entries (excuse the handwriting, at the time I only thought I would read them). One is the page where I had notes for the Chunky-Fur Zippered Vest. Note the patons pattern at the bottom left. I made that for my sister.

The other is one of the pages for the Tagliateli Cardigan. I often took photos of works in progress, you will see a lot of my light grey carpet!
There are still more to come from the old journals, and I have 2 new projects on the go, to post patterns soon. One is a lacey mohair triangle shawl, and the other a warmer, silk wrap with cables.
Thank you for all the nice emails and comments, they are incredibly inspiring.

Friday, February 1, 2008

New glasses!

These are my newest specs! They are Roots 410 in Plum, with lacey cutout medium wide sides. (all the rage!) They are semi-rimless with fine nylon wire holding the bottom edge.Posted by Picasa

For other frames see Vera Wang 141, a nice tortoise plastic, and UY 509B a copper, purple metal.

Rowan Summer Tweed Vest

I found Rowan Summer Tweed at an amazing 50% off! The only downside was they only had one or two balls of each colour, so I had to jump in and choose some colours I like, and design a pattern to show them off! I picked one skein of each of 5 colours, and 2 skeins of the one I will use to edge the vest (main colour).

Yarns: Rowan Summer Tweed, 2 skeins of Red(Orient), One each of Rust(Torrid), Mauve(blueberry), Pink(Angel), Burgundy(Smoulder) and Denim(Denim).(or any combo' that strikes your fancy!) 50 gm skeins/108 m

Needles, 5.0 mm straights, and 4.5mm circular for finishing.
Notions, 6 buttons (multi-colour?)
Gauge: 16 sts and 23 rows = 4 inches
Finished measurements: 37 inch chest, length 23 inches from shoulder.
Seed stitch: row 1[K1, P1 ] repeat across row. row 2: P the K sts, K the P sts. Repeat these 2 rows.

Back: With 5.0 mm needles, and Red, cast on 68 sts, and work for 6 rows in seed stitch.
Change to Denim, and working in stocking stitch (K right side , P wrong side) work 20 rows.
work 6 rows Pink, then 16 rows Mauve, then 4 rows Burg, then 22 rows Red, then 4 rows Pink, then 14 rows Rust, then 10 rows Denim.

Armhole shaping: Change to Burg, Cast off 6 sts at start of next 2 rows, then 2 at start of next 2 rows, then one each side (50sts). Continue without decreasing until 20 rows of Burg (since start of this block of burg). Then 2 rows Mauve, 8 rows Rust, 4 rows red, and finally 14 rows mauve.

Shoulder: Cast off 12 sts at start of next 2 rows, put remaining sts on a holder and set aside...

Front left: With Red, and 5.0 mm needles cast on 32 sts. Work 6 rows in seed stitch, then change to Denim and stocking stitch. Work same sequence of colours as back, and end with Denim at the armhole shaping.
With Burg, Cast off 6 at start of next row, work return row even, then 2 off the start of next row, and return row even, then one more off. Continue Burg until 20 rows done, then 2 rows Mauve, and 8 rows Rust. *I changed the colour sequence here so the shoulder top would be 2 different colours at join*. Work 2 rows Pink, then 2 rows Red, then begin neck edge...

With Red work to center edge, then cast off 5 at neck edge, work even on return row, then cast off 2 at neck edge twice , and then 1at neck edge twice.(12 left). Work even until 16 Red rows from start of that block, then cast off remaining 12 sts of shoulder.

Right front: Copy left front, but reverse the shaping and copy the colour sequence.

Sew up the shoulder seams. With straight needles, pick up 14 sts across right neck, then sts from the back holder, then 14 sts down the left front.
Working in stocking stitch, work the colours as follows: 12 Red, 4 Burg, 8 Pink, 2 Denim, 16 Mauve, 6 Rust, 4 Burg, and 24 rows Red to finish, Bind off all sts.

Sew hood: Fold in half and stitch together with Red yarn.
Finishing: With circular needles and Red yarn; Pick up 75 sts up right front edge, 75 over hood, at edge, to other side, then 75 down left front edge. Work in seed stitch for 5 rows, and cast off 6th row.

If you would like buttons, place button holes as follows; on row 2 (right side) seed st 4, [yarn over, K2 together, seed 12 sts] five times, Yarn over, K2together once more, then seed stitch remaining hood and left side. Next row seed stitch , knitting or purling into the yarn overs to resume seed stitch. Complete remaining rows as above.

Armholes: With circular needles, (and Red) Pick up 50 sts around arm and seed stitch for 5 rows, cast off the 6th row.

Sew side seams. Sew buttons to left side of vest opposite button holes.

Ta da