Thursday, February 28, 2008

Holly's Einstein; Free patterns

Einstein Coat made of Noro Kureyon

This coat was mostly knit by my friend and knit student Holly. It was her first big project and has been on the needles about two years. Before the coat was finished, Holly developed some medical problems that have impaired her eyesight. She had invested so much time and treasure in this coat that I couldn't stand to see it unfinished. I volunteered to add the sleeves and collar and the final finishing. Well, what with two hand surgeries, it took me forever to get it done, but I was determined she would wear it this winter.

I finished it this week and all of us at Charlotte Yarn had great fun in seeing Holly try it on. She was very pleased with it and I was so proud of her. After she left, Anne handed me a card from Holly. Holly knew I wouldn't accept money from her, so she left some with Anne to give me after she left. Since I was stuck with it, I decided to do something special, something I had never done before. This morning I got online and sent the money to Hillary's campaign--hence the new avatar in the sidebar.

I haven't given up on Hillary's campaign nor on my dream to see a woman president in my lifetime.

Not all knitters are women--are they Dave, JP, Michael? But knitting has brought me into a special world of women of so many varieties. Powerful, humble, compassionate, creative--and all generous and giving. Women are wired differently from men. We can do anything a man can do and vice versa, but we will probably go at it from a different viewpoint. I think this country needs this viewpoint. I'm shocked at how much this election means to me. It is a physical thing; I can feel this great wish in the center of my chest. The only other time I felt like this was when I was 16 years old and went door to door campaigning for Carl Sanders for governor of Georgia. Carl won; I hope Hillary does too.

For the non-political out there, I wanted to share these two patterns I tripped across. The first is socks and the second is wonderfully weird.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New knits--Beaded Scarf

You're just going to have to rotate your head. I cannot get this to upload correctly and I am not in the mood to mess with it anymore. I'm not in a bad mood, but I just want this to go smoothly and then I want to knit on my new vest.

This is the Hydrangea Scarf pattern from Fiber Trends that I am using for my Beaded Scarf class coming up this month. The original pattern does not have beads, but I added them--a trick I will teach in the class.

More and more I am loving beads with lace. I'm not looking for bling, hence the bead choices are subtle. I'm looking at the way that the weight of the beads helps the fabric drape. Also the beads are a nice touch and you can take them quite wild if you want.

This yarn is Simply Shetland's Cashmere Silk blend. Charlotte Yarn has it in quite a few colors so I chose it for the class sample. It isn't buttery soft, but has a nice hand, much like raw silk. The yarn has enough texture that it holds the lace pattern open to view. It creates a very elegant casual look. Two skeins will make a 10" X 75" scarf--or longer.
I used a size 4 needle and a size 12 steel crochet hook to place the size 6/0 seed beads.

I bought the beads from Emilia Beadelia's Bead Shop on ebay. Jennifer has great prices and great products. Ordered new beads from her late Tuesday and received them today. Obviously great service. Highly recommend. Order size 6/0 to get a bead with a large enough hole to use with the crochet hook technique.

Error--wrong URL

On Thursday, Feb. 7, I posted a comment with a link to a photo of a mohair balaclava. WRONG! I inadvertently linked to a lovely Noro shawl knit by Ray Whiting. I had saved Ray's link to use to talk about a clever use of a yarn's dye pattern. I'm so glad Ray contacted me and allowerd me the opportunity to clear this matter up. From now on I will check my URLs.

The sarcastic dig about the mohair balaclava was meant to reference this link. Well, it was another picture by the same person. On ebay this knitter goes by mohairknitter and offers for sale catsuits for humans made of mohair. When I went there today, there were no items for sale. I did find this website.

Take a look at the sites, enjoy, and knit on.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Making Things: A Family Affair

While I've been knitting and nursing my hand this weekend, Steve has been busy building his new climbing bike. For the last few weeks parts have arrived from various locations. None of them weighed as much as the box they were shipped in. I know our postman wondered why we were having empty boxes shipped to us. He's delivered so much yarn that he knows we are a bit strange.

Don't you love the name of the company that made the frame. Fetish cycles. We knitters know that fetish is a perfectly acceptible word for describing yarn passion. I guess it works for cyclists too.

He took it for a long shakedown ride---what we would call blocking---and pronounced it perfect. Now to find some hills to climb.

My recovery is going well. I am knitting almost as much as I'd like. I've been swatching the new Iro. I think it will be a sideways vest, but still haven't settled on the stitch structure. I don't want it to be too stiff.

No projects finished this week. I just pile them around my chair and knit a bit on each one. Almost finished with a friend's Einstein coat and new sock pattern. I have the itch to do an elaborate fair isle piece, but I may just do a pillow or bag. I don't have the itch to do the shaping the way it should be done.

Enjoy President's day.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jake, Arm, Wow

This is Jake riding to Ga. in DGS's carseat. Just a pic to demonstrate real adorability to all the cat lovers I know. :)

Hand great; no pain; knit 2 rows last night.

I received a comment on Ravelry about my Dare to be Red scrumbled bag. It was from Prudence Mapstone herself. Wow! I was honored she took the time even to look.

All in all, it's been a great week.

Surgery over! New yarn

be patient. i'm typing with one hand. my surgery went well this morning as expected. all the people at cmc-mercy are very kind and supportive. didn't know i had so many friends until today. toby not only took me and waited patiently, but even dressed me to come home. steve returned from his business trip to find me partying. hope the no pain thing continues. Thanks to all for the emails and well-wishes.

pre-surgery, one just needs a present. okay, that's a weak rationalization and I don't want to hear about no stinkin' stashalong resolutions. i needed comfort. the kind that only noro can bring. this is iro, color 54, lot a. i only bought 8 skeins; i could have bought more---if remi had had more. It will probably be a vest. maybe entrelac, maybe side-to-side.
Also bought this bag from knipicks. it's this darn chartreuse binge i'm on. someone please take away my credit card.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Slice and Dice

This is an older project designed by Jane Slicer-something. Her swingcoats are also wonderful, bright, sometimes downright loud. You need a big personality to wear some of them. Anyway, I pulled this out of the cedar chest and brought it to my newly created dressing room. It is made out of a great merino yarn that reminds me of Aurora8. No, I don't remember the brand. I bought this as a kit at the TKGA National Convention a few years ago. (When you travel with Pat Moore, be prepared to spend.)
I shortened the back by leaving out the bottom two rows of mitered squares which made the back pointed like a triangular shawl. I didn't put the buttonholes and buttons that the pattern calls for. It is double breasted and I like to fasten it with a short knittng needle, if at all. I put it on to wear out and. . . .
This is what I discovered.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't have any more of the yarn, and this involves 4-5 rows of corrugated ribbing. Guess I have a challenge. Any words of wisdom will be appreciated.
I think it comes to BAM Weds. night for group therapy.

It's Love----True Love!!

It's Malabrigo!
I don't wear wool. I don't wear worsted weight garments. Jet has lost her mind knitting a Clapotis out of that heavy wool. All words that I am now eating.
I finally succumbed to the lure of softness. I'd been looking at this yarn for years, but always had an excuse not to buy it. I thought of it as garment yarn and too hot for North Carolina. I never saw the sense in felting with it--what a waste of good yarn. Jet knocked me for a loop when I saw her finished Clapotis. It was gorgeous and you could feel the softness across the room. I just gave my second Clapotis to a friend for her birthday----well, it was just obvious that I was supposed to knit the third one (and the one I am going to keep for me) out of the Curacao colorway (I'm not a subtle person.)
I did the requisite Ravelry search and finally spoke to Jet about size. She knit hers exactly as written used 4 skeins. It was a go. It looks beautiful. I'll share a full pic when it is finished and blocked. Did I mention how much I love this yarn?

Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid. That's how I felt today when I was working on my Top Down Central Park Hoodie. I just discovered that I started the front cables at a different row. They are only a little off and I may just create a distracting front band to hide it. NO, I'm not showing you a picture. I'm hiding this goof as long as I can. I'll never fool turtlegirl76
but she cuts me slack for senility.

I cast on a new project--as if I needed it--using Louet Euroflax from my stash. I'm making the another KAL lace shawl (No, I still haven't blocked Swan Lake) designed by Monica Eckert. The shape is wonderful; not quite a circle, but close enough to stay on your shoulders. I can't post a picture yet because the pattern won't be released for about 6 weeks. I'm using worsted weight linen even though the pattern calls for lace weight. I'll probably just stop when it is the length I want and add a border. My main interest is in the shaping, but it looks very nice in the photos from people who are up to date on the clues.

Thanks to all of you who have rushed to sign up for my classes. Only one more opening in the Fair Isle class. I did take the sign up sheets to the shop Friday, so you should have no trouble with sign ups.

CPH update; New Classes

Not much further, but at least the back and front sort of match. I really like it but haven't had quiet time to get back to it. Top down, different gauge, move the cables---I have to have quiet to prevent brain sizzle.

Yes, there are many markers across this back row. They each say "Hey, Stupid, pay attention here." Much easier than fixing mistakes or even paying close attention.

New classes are up on my website . Take a look. Fair Isle spaces are going quickly. Several folks have requested an Intarsia class. If you would like to be included, let me know and I'll just add that in somewhere.

New Projects being considered:
a summer lace shawl in linen
socks, always socks (new pattern coming soon)
a top down design, probably sleeveless, to teach sweater fitting skills
handpainting yarn in my kitchen

Herbal socks

New sock pattern! Yarn is from Opal, the New Rainforest collection. It is #1616, called Pfau.
I love the long bands of color and just added texture to the cuff with a stitch I saw in Interweave Knits recently. I edited the st pattern and present to you St. John's Wort in the round. It shouldn't surprise you to know that I have three bushes of St. John's Wort in my backyard.
It's simple to knit and for those who don't want to wait for me to type out the official pattern (which could take until next June) here is the stitch pattern.

A repeat of six stitches.

Rnd 1: *sl1 pwise wyib, K2, psso, K3*
Rnd 2: *K1, yo, K4*
Rnd 3: *K3, sl1 pwise wyib, K2, psso*
Rnd 4: *K4, yo, K1*


This is the way I tweaked the gusset. I knit a K1tbl, P1 pattern on all the gusset stitches until I had decreased to the number I wanted for the foot. The twisted knit st adds a crisp texture and firms that section of the sock.
Extra pictures of the socks before I finished.

If you are new to socks, I'll get the pattern up on and Ravelry as soon as I can.

Freeform /Scrumbling

This is my Dare to Be Red bag made from red yarns I've collected over the years. I took it up to Charlotte Yarn today and Remi drooled over it. I hope she will sit in on the class.
This is a perfect long term project for a young mom. You knit in little bits and keep them all in a bag until you have a bunch. Notice all the clearly defined amounts in that sentence. Then you sew them together or onto something else.
Some things look great in three dimensions.
Others can be a nondescript shape
Bits shaped like a leaf are always perfect in my mind.

I posted this on Ravelry last week and got a comment from Prudence Mapstone who has revived this art. Google her and look at all the wonderfully bizarre things she and her students have made.