Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cotton is for...

...every item I've made since this summer apparently. Not complaining about the outcomes. I mean, the Moderne in Mission Falls 1824 cotton will always be close to my heart. I enjoyed how, what was to be a hooded baby blanket, turned into an impromptu traveling cap and neck warmer for a good friend. In fact, this most recent entry picks up where the erstwhile hooded blanket fell off - right down to the colors I'd already picked out.

I used the Mason-Dixon Knitting kimono pattern (pg. 23) as inspiration for this sweater, primarily with regard to shape and one-piece construction. Understand that I crochet with much less direction in mind than I have when I knit. What may have started as a crochet translation of this cute little knit with the crossover fronts and a side tie became a boyish pullover with a slit front. The only thing remaining vaguely the same? The number of cast on stitches and the shape and relative length of the sleeves.

FO: Cole's crochet sweater
There's a viking helmet hat to match but I gave that to the boy's parents as my sort of promissory note to deliver on the rest of the ensemble. At just a little over 1 month old, this outfit is definitely one he'll have to grow into.

Aspen yarn with 5 small grey and black glass buttonsMy turn? You betcha! I've been working on some sketches for a neck warmer that would be the perfect fate for 3 skeins of steel grey Aspen, the bulky wool / alpaca blend from Classic Elite Yarns. I've got 150 yards in total which should be plenty to knit something warm and attractive. Plus, I can finally press these grey and black glass buttons from Moving Mud into service. These came home with me more than two years ago. They make a nice feminine counterpoint to the bulkiness of the yarn.

In case you're wondering, even with all these Mission Falls projects, I've only begun to make a dent in my 1824 Cotton collection. The seller was going out of business and they made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Right now though, it's time for the warm and cozy yarns.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Herd Instinct

I don't know what possessed me. I must've gotten caught up in the enthusiastic swells surrounding the desire to knit a sweater along with other Ravelry Loopy Groupies. The easy part of the deal was the choice of yarn: Dream In Color. I selected "Nightwatch" in the worsted weight, Classy. For some reason, the yarn photographed several shades lighter than it actually is. My camera is being futzy on auto, I suppose.

Ah, but which sweater to knit? Originally, there was to be a list and then a vote selecting the sweaters to choose from. But that was too much pressure, considering that group members taste and needs vary as widely as the Grand Canyon. Besides, there are literally hundreds of patterns in the Ravelry library alone, making the winnowing process nearly impossible.

So far, it looks like I'm the only one knitting Laura Chau's Lucy In The Sky cardigan. It's basically knit in one piece, with a simple diamond patterned body that won't fight with the light variegation that Dream In Color is known for. The sweater fits close to the body and is sized up to a 50" bust. I looked through the various versions of the cardigan on Ravelry and it seems to work on a variety of body types - including those on the fluffier side like me.

In the end, the sensible ties that bind us in this KAL are the yarn and the June completion date. What do we get for our trouble? At the very least, a new sweater and, quite possibly, a whole bunch of Loopy Ewe loot should we win the randomly selected grand prize. Keep those hooves crossed for me. Baa.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Noro, My Love

WIP: Noro Silk Garden Cardigan
Just think. Twenty skeins of Noro Silk Garden (color 224) have been sitting in my stash ever since Stitches Midwest 2006. I seem to recall elbowing my way past a gaggle of stitchers looking for a half-price bargain in two giant bins of Noro. When I came up for air, I had two 10-packs of this yarn that I'd heard about but never touched. Once I finally did feel one of the skeins, I was left thinking, "All that effort, for this rough, veg matter laden yarn?"

So it sat for a year and a half while I toyed with other, softer fibers. Then came the cold, snowy one-two punch of January winter and, along with it, a bright idea for a warm, simple cardigan. Top, down raglan with long sleeves. Something I could wrap around my shoulders when I didn't feel like increasing my monthly donation to ComEd.

I changed my mind about the yarn as it began to form fabric. It seemed to soften in a way that was not at all apparent on the skein. My Noro had found its special purpose.

After knitting almost to the shoulders, I toyed around with the collar - just to cut the boredom at bit. Should it be plain old ribbed or something more exotic with pattern and multiple colors? I picked up stitches at least four times, trying a variety of things. I came back to earth and settled on ribbing with iridescent beads and the slightest of ruffled edging. Not too little, not too much. I think even Goldilocks would be pleased.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Green Chic

Green sock yarnI do love my greens - both the kind you eat and the kind you knit with. In the spirit of the Green Sock KAL, I decided to do a little more stash spelunking in search of said sock yarn greens. The results?

* A deep forest blue-tinged green from Fearless Fibers
* A melange of sprightly green moss from Yarn All Over
* Louet Gems Willow (Fern's brighter cousin)

Since I've got 2 skeins of the Yarn All Over, I'm really thinking of knitting up my first pair of knee socks. Any suggestions on a pattern suitable for stout calves? I know I'm in for some shaping madness, but beyond that, I'm open.

Ribby PulliNow the "Chic" part of today's entry comes direct from Bonne Marie's ChicKnits catalog. ChicKnits now offers hard copy versions of some of her most popular patterns. Now, the one I chose is a new take on an old fave: The Ribby Pulli.

Bonne Marie worked with Scout to develop some custom colorways for the model sweater. Beautiful, but too spendy for me as I'm fairly dedicated to shopping in my home-based yarn store. I found 5 skeins of Lorna's Laces worsted in the Ice House colorway and paired it with Web's house brand Valley Yarns Amherst for the swatch you see here.

I'm going to do the long-sleeve version, though the pattern includes short-sleeve and hoodie versions as well. Love the blues and greens of my new-found yarns. Even knitting up the swatch made me happy in the dead of winter!

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Action Figure!

Every now and then, I get to see the recipients of my handknits modeling their gifts. Today I bring you my neighbor's little girl, AnAn, in her fetching pink action mode sweater with matching bonnet:

So different seeing it in 3D. And so much more satisfying -- especially because little ones still believe they can fly!

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