Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Improv FO

When I first began knitting, I bought some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky to make into men's dress scarves from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Well, I made two and then got bored with them. So, the yarn has been sitting in a drawer ever since. Lately, since I like the yarn and like the Anthropologie Inspired Capelet I decided to try to combine the two as some others on Ravelry have done. As I knitted, I decided to change the ribbing, knit in stocking stitch and add some cables down the front.

I had this pretty pin for the collar.

I'm really happy with it! One could use this pattern as a template over and over and come up with all sorts of unique designs!

Friday, September 25, 2009

2 Be or Not 2 Be Random

I am trying variegated yarn on a sizable project for the first time. Looking at pictures of self striping yarn projects, it looks like sometimes the skeins were chosen at random. For example the right front and left front of a cardigan or each sleeve start with different shades on the bottom trim. Other times, it looks like there was some planning and the trim starts with the same shade on each side.

Do knitters obsess with starting from exactly the same place in the variegated sequence? Or if you pick the same shade to start and you aren't quite in the same part of the sequence do you keep on going?

None of the pictures in the books show the backs of cardigans, so I'm not sure what they do with those. Do they have narrow stripes compared to the fronts because you are knitting a wider piece? Or has the knitter used two skeins and made the stripes closer to those on the fronts.

I know, SO many questions. Once again, knitting is proving NOT to be a relaxing experience for me!

Despite all my questions and issues with the colors, I have to say I love watching the colors change and the Noro yarn I'm using is lovely. It is Noro Silk Garden Chunky in colorway 11, which is pink-purple-green-tan.

I am working on a shrug from the book called Noro Designer Mini Knits Two.

I am starting sections of the shrug with roughly the same color, though I discovered after I got going that I wasn't always in the same part of the sequence. I have not frogged.

For the back, I am knitting from two skeins and trying to make the back stripes closer in width to those on the front, but it is hard not to interrupt the soft transitions between the colors when doing this. I think maybe I am having a harder time as this is my first variegated project and I am learning as I go. I am hoping these lessons will make my next Noro project in the queue much easier! I have frogged and reknit sections of the back too many times, only to feel that the first time was the best after all...aarrgh! Here is what I'm sticking with now.

Here are a couple of pictures showing how the side seam areas are looking/lining up.
I can live with it! Now, I only have to worry about size. Somehow, despite the fact it is pretty much filling up the knitting needles, it is looking small to me. Knitting usually grows though, so hopefully it will all work out. We'll see...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

FO: Serenity

Here's another project that's been on the cusp of doneness for awhile. It's Serenity from Rowan Studio 15, another lovely pattern by Sarah Hatton.

Sarah Hatton is one of my favorite designers. On the Sarah Hatton Ravelry group forum earlier today, I read that she is leaving Rowan to work for Sublime!

FO: Lull

Finally, I got around to weaving in the last 6 ends and tacking down the v of the neckline today. I'd be embarrassed to say how long it's been sitting here nearly done! Lull is a comfortable tunic from the Rowan Studio 15 booklet.

Detail of how I did the neckline and underarm shaping.

This is a fun stitch pattern. I was amused that it looks a bit like crochet.

I really like Rowan summer tweed and have actually gotten used to working with it. It doesn't seem to bother my fingers so much anymore.

FO: Little Silk Shrug

The Little Silk Shrug is a cute, quick knit from the book Lace Style. I've had the book for awhile, so I was happy to finally make something from it!

I used beautiful Louisa Harding yarn called Mariposa for it, made it wider and the sleeves longer. It's fun to have a wearable piece of clothing made from a simple rectangle!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

*Really* Done Now

I couldn't just let Mermaid be!
On a trip to Michael's I found some pretty beads...

And some lining material!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

FO: Mermaid Bag

I used every scrap of flotsam yarn I had! I would have liked to have a bit more yarn to make a longer twisted cord for around the middle and some additional ones to hang over the handles as shown in the pattern book. Maybe I will make some more cords from other yarns and mix and match a little.

It is done, but I may add a lining at some point. I plan to get out the sewing machine and do a bunch of linings all at once, but I need to find some more fabric first.

Yarn Crawl

Girl's Days Out with Debby are causing the rapid expansion of my yarn collection! I would have to admit I have a 'stash' now, but I am happy that nearly every skein is earmarked for a specific project.

Tuesday, we visited two shops in CT: Saybrook Yarn and Yarns Down Under.

At Saybrook Yarn, I found great handles for the Louisa Harding "Mermaid" bag I was still just planning to make at that point.

At Yarns Down Under, I added two books to my Louisa Harding library!

And, I bought her Mulberry yarn in black to make this pretty tee which I saw knitted up as a shop sample.

There is knitting happening in addition to shopping! I am working on the finishing of Jeff's Appersett sweater (the shoulder seams are bothering me, I've done the neck and sewn in the sleeves though, so I don't want to frog all that to fuss with the shoulders...not sure what the 'right' way would have been to do the shoulders...) and the lace trim and finishing details of my Mallow shrug which is going smoothly. Yesterday, I knitted the Mermaid bag and now just need to seam and make the twisted cords and find some beads or other ornament for it.

You can see, I am cutting it very close with the yarn. That is all I have left from 2 balls. I hope it is enough for at least one twisted cord!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rainy Day Yarn Shopping

With yarn practically knitting itself around here lately, I felt the need to stock up with some more! (Do you think the dogs and cat have taken up knitting? I can just picture all three of them working away when I'm not looking, LOL!)

So, it was back to Knitting Corner in Middletown, which is (dangerously) close by. I got another 8 skeins of Thalia, this time in a purple hue. There are three or four tops I'd like to make with it, so it is good to have enough for two at this point. It will be easier to choose which ones to do. But how will I choose the color for each?!

I found some companions for the lonely ball of Glisten I had: 2 balls of Grace and 1 ball of Impression to make the Victoria Fingerless Mittens from Knitting Little Luxuries.

Two balls of Flotsam for a Louisa Harding Mermaid Bag.

I got another skein of the Sari Ribbon I'm using for Periwinkle, so I won't be short. Somehow I ended up getting these gold ones too, maybe for a clutch purse, like the one shown in The Elegant Knitter, but I am not decided yet. It could end up being roping on my mini Christmas tree when the time comes, LOL!

I am definitely on a Louisa Harding binge at the moment. That seems to be how I knit, finding a designer and sticking with them. Of course, sales have been a factor too!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lace Trim Preview

I've done about 14 inches of lace trim for Mallow and spent a bit of time trying to figure out how to attach it to the body with slip stitch. I think I have it correct now!

Edited to add: Oops...I've changed it to this:

Better! I think. It's hard to tell!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Fast Knitting

I cast on my Louisa Harding shrug on Sunday and have made good progress so far. I love size 9 needles! The flotsam yarn is enjoyable to work with too.

Next, I have to work on the lace trim for the body and sleeves. It is worked separately and then slip stitched onto the main pieces.

(Edited to add: The pattern is "Mallow" from Swallowtail by Louisa Harding. Book cover and pattern collection is shown here.)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Update to Today's Earlier Post

I went back to the Louisa Harding wall at The Knitting Corner this afternoon to get Debby a spare ball of kimono ribbon, but also to look for a few more things for me that I'd mentioned I was thinking about in the earlier post.

First, I changed out the glisten yarn with another kimono ribbon in a complimentary color. The difference in width won't be a problem for a shawl. So, here's the current selection for my version of Periwinkle.

The lonely sari ribbon now has company...enough yarns to do another Periwinkle. I am not sure whether to use the gray fauve shown in the group shot...

or this blue one. I'm leaning toward the gray for now. I guess I could end up using the blue as well, if I alternated it with the rows that would be done in gray.

Amazingly, I found just the right amount of flotsam for the shrug in Swallowtail that caught my eye. It was exactly the color I was looking for and on sale for 40% off! What luck!

The shrug shown in Swallowtail.

I have ended up with one ball of glisten without a project in mind, so I'll have to look for ideas for it on Ravelry. Maybe I can use it for a trim on something eventually. Any ideas?

Haven't I done well shopping? And everything is arranged in little 'kits' except for the glisten and maybe the blue fauve.

Squirreling Yarn for Winter?!

Tuesday, Debby came over to RI and we went out to The Knitting Corner in Middletown and Bella Yarns in Warren. We were both looking for Louisa Harding yarn and really lucked out when we found the exact yarn we wanted on sale for 40% off! This is Thalia, for one of several tops I like...I'm not sure which one I'm going to settle on yet.

I got two books, including the Beachcomber Bay accessories one with the pretty scarf on the front.

Here are the yarns I think I'm going to use to make it! I may look for a turquoise without silver in it as I'm not sure I want to mix gold and silver...isn't that taboo? I am not sure yet if I will do the fringe, but it would be easier than weaving in the ends!

This is one random skein that was just too pretty to leave behind. It might be for another version of the above...

It is fun to put together 'kits' for upcoming projects. I may plan a couple more before I stop my yarn buying binge. For example, I'd like to find the yarn for a Louisa Harding shrug in the Swallowtail book.

I am trying hard to finish Jeff's sweater before I cast on something new. I actually need the same needles I'm using for the sweater for the next items and only have the one pair in that size, so that's helping to keep me focused on the sweater for now!