Friday, January 25, 2013

I have decided to open an etsy shop and would love it if you would have a peak once in a while!  Today I put up the first of the felted hats.  You can link through to them HERE, and I will be posting some lovely scarves and a HUGE project that is almost done.  One of my COATS!!!! These are most precious to me, as they represent some loving hours and hours of work, and they still surprise me as to how lovely they are when they finish.  I will attempt to do them justice with photos, but as always they are WAY better in the touchy feely world of "in person"!
If nothing else, enjoy the photos of the hats, and the others to come and use them as inspiration to get your hands wet (and soapy) in the felting crafts.
Cheers, chris

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Round 'n Round the Mulberry Silk (sweater)

I purchased a bag full of Louisa Harding Mulberry at The Needle Emporium last summer.  I imagined a soft easy fit pullover, and finally got to it after Christmas.  I wanted to do a knit in the round, to reduce seaming, and the name Mulberry and round and round, brought to mind the childhood song.  Round and round the mulberry bush the monkey chased the weasel.  The monkey thought it was all in fun. POP goes the weasel! That was the version I sang, there are others if you hit the link.  Isn't the internet wonderful?  I know you are all singing this in your heads now.  Hopefully with a grin.

 Here I am modelling it with Aspen on my shoulder, and a felted scarf added in the second photo.
 Just a basic tee shape...
 Details of the seed stitch, and eyelet bands.
This pattern is for knitters with some experience!  Beginners could knit the sweater using just stocking stitch throughout and have a fairly easy time (as long as they are ok on double pointed needles).


Round ‘n Round the Mulberry Silk (sweater)
Sizes:  Small (finished bust 36”), medium (39”), large (43”), x-large(47”)  *** the intended fit is loose and drapy, especially if you use this silk yarn, but you can pick the size that is close to your own true measurement, and it will be more snug fitting.  I made the medium, and my true measurement is 36, so 3 inches of “ease” creates the fit you see in the photos.  Your choice.
Yarn: Louisa Harding Mulberry 50 gms,  136 yards (124m) 100% silk in red,   10, 11, 12, 13 balls (small, med, large, xl)
Needles: 3.5mm (US5) circular needles, with longer cable for the body (slightly less than body measurement), and less than 18” short cable (for the top of sleeve).  Also 3.5mm double pointed needles for the lower part of sleeve that will be too small for ANY cable length.  (option of using straight needles if you decide to do the sleeves flat and sew up the under sleeve seam)
Stitch markers.
Gauge:   21 sts and 28 rows = 4 inches in stocking stitch on 3.5mm (US 5) needles. Do a swatch test… any substitute yarn must match the gauge for good results in sizing!  WARNING: If you do NOT do this, make sure you have a variety of close friends who are a bit bigger and a bit smaller than you, so that you have a lovely gift for them next birthday!!!
Note:  the first number in the knitting instructions will be for the small size, and the other three will be in brackets like this….   Small [medium, large, x-large ]…  if there is only one number or instruction, it will be good for ALL sizes. 

Pattern:  With the large circular needle, Cast on 170 [184, 202, 222] sts.  Join without twisting and work a K1, P1 ribbing for 2.5 inches.  On the last round, increase 18 [20, 22, 26] sts evenly around the circle.  Place a marker to indicate the start of the row.
Change to stocking stitch, knit 4 rows.
Seed Stitch Band:  (10 rows total)…. Row 1, 3, 5, 7, 9: [ K1. P1 ] repeat around the row.    Row 2, 4, 6, 8, 10: [P1, K1] repeat around the row.     You are making a 10 row band of seed stitch. 
Eyelet Band: (6 rows total) : Row 1 and 2:  Knit around the circle.  Row 3: [K2, yarn over, K2 together] repeat to end of row.  Row 4, 5, 6:  Knit around the circle.
Repeat the Seed Stitch Band, then the Eyelet Band, alternating as you go… until the body measures: 13.5 [15, 16, 16.5] inches from the beginning.
Divide for front and back: ***** Make sure you are on an odd number row as your next row**** Bind off 4 stitches at the start of the round,  Work in whichever pattern you are doing across 90 [98, 108, 120] stitches.  Place these 90 [98, 108, 120} stitches on a holder… Bind off nest 4 stitches and continue to work remaining stitches in pattern (should be 90[98, 108, 120] remaining). This is the back of your sweater.  Work the pattern now back and forth as established, obviously working the wrong side in purl stitches for the eyelet rows, and making seed stitches in the seed stitch band by knitting the purls and purling the knits.
Work in pattern with no shaping, until the length is 9 [10, 11, 11] inches from split (armhole), then Bind off all stitches.
Front: pick up stitches from holder **** and start working from the wrong side of the front**** work in the pattern where you left off , the even row that comes next.  Continue to work as for the back, until the front measures 6 [7, 8, 8] inches from the armhole split. 
Shape neckline:  (right side facing you)   Work 35[39, 44, 48] sts, attach second ball of yarn, bind off 20 stitches, work remaining 35 [39, 44, 48] sts.  Next row work across all stitches, working both sides at the same time with separate balls of yarn.
Bind off 2 stitches at the neck edge, twice , on each side of front, as you work the next four rows.
On the next right side rows: knit 2 together at each neck edge 7[6, 6, 7] times…. You should have 24 [ 29, 34, 39] stitches left on each shoulder…  continue in patterns (if eyelets get too close to the edges, just stocking stitch instead) until the length from armhole split matches the back… then bind off all stitches on shoulders.  Sew shoulder seam.
Sleeves:   With 3.5mm double point needles, cast on 42[44, 44, 44] sts.  Join carefully and work in k1, p1, ribbing for 2.5 inches.   On last row increase 6[ 8. 8. 8] sts evenly around the row.  Place marker (safety pin in the  row below – moving up regularly).
Start with four rows of stocking stitch.
On next and every fourth row, increase by knitting in the front and back of the stitch before the marker AND the stitch after the marker (2 increases every fourth row)….  **** and at the same time**** establish the pattern of 10 seed stitch rows and 6 eyelet rows.  You will find that the increases mean you cannot necessarily start the eyelet pattern row with 2knits, you will need to try to line up the yarn overs when you can with the eyelets below.  When in doubt, start that row with a few knits, and try to place the first yarn over above the line of holes below.  Then you can work the rest of that row as usual, and you may need to add a few knits rather than end with a yarn-over and NO knit 2 together.  Hope you get that, sorry for the wordy explanation.
When the number of stitches become too many for double point needles, carefully knit onto the small cable needle, and work in the round on that.  Keep to pattern (as best you can) and keep increasing every fourth row until the total number of stitches on your needles are 92[104, 114, 116].  Bind off all stitches.
Carefully pin and sew sleeve into the sleeve opening, keeping the place where you had the marker and the increases at the underarm side .
Neckline:  Using the small circular needle,  Pick up 88 stitches around the neck opening, join and work K1, P1 ribbing in the round for 1 inch (or up to 8 inches or more for a cowl/ turtleneck).  Bind off LOOSELY.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Felting Workshop

I know most of my readers are too far away, but some may be interested in this. I am holding another felting workshop, in St. Catharines (Ontario, Canada) on January 27th.  It will be from 1pm to 5pm and we will be making scarves...

The first workshop was so much fun, I thought I would do it again.  Maximum of 5 felters, so email me right away if you can join the group.
Cost is $60 with me supplying everything you need to take home a scarf.  I also provide a printed version of instructions.  You could make more on your own!
  I have also been chatting with a gal who wants me to travel to Oakville to teach a workshop!  I like the idea, as long as the space will work.  We need enough large table space and access to hot water.
Think about it and let me know if you want to do this with me.... chris

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Yarns and Myrtle Beach

We had a quick trip to Myrtle Beach just after Christmas.  The first snow of winter came to us Boxing Day, and we started checking the weather and condos in Myrtle Beach.  Off we went and spent 7 days in lovely golf weather (like October at home).  We played 8 rounds, twice on New Years Day as it was 16C (61F).  The fairways were green and the rough winter dormant.  We stayed at the Myrtlewood Condos - pictured below from the golf course.

 We went to the beach and entered from a public parking area, along a bridged boardwalk.  When we arrived at the beach and decided which way to walk, I realized it may be hard to find OUR path to the car park, as they all look the same so Rick drew a huge arrow to the pathway in the sand.  Smart guy.
 Here is a photo of Rick hiking along the footbridge path from his set of tees at TPC Myrtle Beach.
 And of course, I went to the local yarn shop, Knit 'n Purl.  I always stop and say hi to the gals there, and find some yarn that is not available to me in Canada.  This time I chose some sock yarn, and two skeins of a sequined yarn that self stripes too. The sequins are tiny and spaced about every 8 inches.  The small sequins means it does not get scratchy, but is still sparkly.  Perfect for the shawl I have already cast on.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wet Felted Hats

I have spent the last three days making felt hats.  It involves a resist in the center, and working all sides at once.  It is so magical, I had to keep laying roving and fabrics and trying different shapes.  The first one is a purple and black hat with spikes and blue silk nuno-felted onto the surface. There is one off center spiral.

 The second one is green and taupe, with spotty chiffon fabric embedded in the roving, and spikes and a large spiral top with three folds at the top. 

 The close up show the fabric crinkled on the taupe and a button holding the fold up.
 The last is blue and purple, and silk fabric, some embedded (on the purple) and some a bit loose (on the band). Random wrinkles are pinned in the top until the whole hat dries, then the creases stay!

 Close up on the silk fabric wrinkled in the purple felt.
So much fun, but this would be a longer workshop than the scarves.  I can see a bunch of gals having fun with THIS workshop!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Scarf Felting Workshop

Here are the photos from my first group workshop.  Five gals is the maximum space I have in my workroom, and all these ladies were new to wet felting.  They all chose different colours, and different embellishments.

 Here are the dry scarves with all the neat stuff piled on the merino roving.
 Some have spikes on the ends, some on the bottom, one not at all...
 Here are the five scarves after wet felting.  They are cowl length with button and buttonhole details to hold in place.

 And the students modelling their efforts. The are good sports wearing them while still wet!  They will feel much lighter (and warmer) when dry!  I had a blast with you all... next workshop... shawls or coats!