Monday, June 30, 2008

Pretty in Pink Linen

Happy Fourth.Cristi was over and she is such a perfect model, so I grabbed her. She is wearing my latest FO which has received raves everywhere I go. It is lovely thanks to Euroflax's marvelous linen yarn and Monika Eckert's wonderful design.
The reason this capelet is receiving so much attention is the way it drapes. It elegantly flows as you move in it. Again, thank Monika. This piece is shaped to fall this way and you shouldn't settle for less. Human bodies are never rectangular and never have straight lines. Neither will my knitting.
The sawtooth border is called Narrow Dice Edging and is found in Barbara Walker, book 2, p. 368. It's almost a leaf edge; I love leaves. I just knit to size and sewed it on.
The pin has celtic braid on it; found it on ebay long ago. I like how it fits the piece.

Here are some details.

Yarn: 2 skeins of Euroflax Geneva (worsted wt 100% linen) 380 yards
Size 9 needle.
Only steam blocked this--wanted a bouncy feel.
Pattern: Dem Fischer sin Fru by Monika Eckert

My camp in Colorado is planning to address shawls and shaping will be my main interest. Then I get to design.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

So much yarn . . .

It's Yarn Swap time at Charlotte Yarn!!!!!! Time to destash and hopefully not to spend too much helping others do the same. I'm getting ready.

Most of this stays. There is a skein of Koigu for Cristi to recycle.
Felting wools, but will I ever use them?
These go. Some great superwash in manly colors.
I'm not sure how to sort these.
Yes, Aimee, that is roving. Foxfire Cotton and a cone of black mohair.
More cones, chenille and cotton. Mostly cottons of lace weight size. Can I let any of it go?

At least the exercise of going through it has produced new interest in some of the yarns. I have 5 projects under consideration, all from the stash. I feel noble.

Goddess Knits Anniversary Shawl

Back in the day, when I was a humble (hah) teacher of our nation's youth, I made them call me the English goddess if I had done something to amaze or shock them. Or if I cut them some slack. Usually the latter.

It is only fit that I explore a mystery shawl from someone named Goddess Knits. Renee also has a cafe press store from which I'm contemplating a black T shirt.

Above is her logo which I find really lovely. (Hope she doesn't mind that I snitched the photo.)

Anyway I bring it up to you because you can still join this mystery event until June 30. The designer is using EZ's Pi shawl as the base. Hardly a mystery. But she has sort of turned the tables. Each clue gives you four different lace charts. The knitter chooses one to follow for that section of the shawl. So far there are three clues available. The mystery design depends on the knitter's choices -- No, I haven't started it yet; that would require serious ball winding.

I think it is very fascinating to look at the pictures of works in progress. This really is an online lace class. Watching how each shared piece unfolds can help you decide what you'd like to knit if you aren't willing to take that stab in the dark. You'll also learn some things about putting different lace patterns together.

This is like a huge group design project and I commend Renee of Goddess Knits for thinking it up. It's a Yahoo Group so go here and join. You won't be sorry.

Oh yeah. You might want to opt to get email in digest or just special notices from Renee and then read the rest online. This is a chatty bunch.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Diamond Patch Finished

I have made this sweater before and know how it stretches. This time, I chose a size to just fit my hips and then I altered for waist and bust and, especially, the shoulders.
I knit the horizontal row option in the pattern and liked it much better than the diagonal because I could try it on as I went. As usual, I used short row shaping to extend the cap into a real sleeve.
Thanks to Carol Hurt, I had a needle plan. I started with size 7 needles for the first row. I then switched to 6's for the next two rows and finished with a size 4. The smaller needles control both fit and the stretchiness of cotton yarn. I love it.
I took the pics myself and in every one of them I had a goofy look on my face from jumping in front of the camera. In this last pic, I just went with it.
Pattern: Diamond Patch Sweater by Jill Vosburg at Just One More Row.
Yarn: Classic Elite Provence--the best all cotton yarn in my book. 4 skeins.
Needles: 7--4

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A sock pattern that everyone has written

This is my latest sock pattern. I used a Faux Baby Cable and extended it down onto the heel flap. I really liked it and looked forward to sharing it. Then it started. I would net surf on blogs or pattern sites and Voila! There was my pattern. Different name, yarn, designer, but still my pattern (except for the heel). One or two that I saw were for sale. Shucks.
I still love mine. The cuffs came out well and Steve loves the way they fit him. They hug his dainty ankles. :)
I did some linen stitch on the arch area of the foot for another hug.
The cables should strengthen the heel flap.

Star toe is becoming a standard for me.

Yarn is Misty Mountain Farm Blue Ridge Jubilee in colorway Waterfall. Bought it at Charlotte Yarn. Steve selected this skein for himself and I love the greys. Size one needles 60 sts.

I'll eventually get the pattern up on, but just look around--this pattern is everywhere.

Socken Kreativ Liste pattern -- Esther

This pattern was designed by Stephanie van der Linden who is the ringleader of a German yahoo group named Sockenkreativliste. Chat is mostly German, with an occasional English post, but all patterns are produced in both German and English. Stephanie is so very talented and has some of the best designs I've seen in years.
I don't often knit lace socks, because I like to knit a fairly mindless sock that I can work on anywhere. This had a 24 row pattern repeat, so I only knit it at home alone. I changed the heel and toe to my favorites.
The gorgeous yarn is Fleece Artist Nova Sock yarn given to me by Cristi. (She can't bear to watch old women stand and salivate and deny themselves.) I used my usual size 1 Addi Lace circ and knit magic loop.
The picot edge on the cuff is easy and just a bit more girlie for this sock.
Bottom of the foot is worked in stockinette.

New Seaworthy in a Solid

This is the latest version of my new pattern. I used Misti Cotton from Misti International 2 skeins. It is a cotton/silk blend--very soft. Similar to Blue Sky cotton only better. Love that bit of silk. The brown ribbon needs to be replaced with a silk ribbon--but I like the brown.
The model is my other beautiful daughter. I had hoped she would rave about it and I could give it to her for her birthday, but she didn't. The body language doesn't reflect great joy at being my model.
This yarn is a big bigger that the Sea Song and hangs just a bit longer. I'm a 3/4 length sleeve girl anyway.
Close up of one of the laces.
Close up of the shoulder shaping.

Pattern is at my web site.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


This is a new book by Sasha Kagan. It's beautiful and filled with pretty designs--squares, motifs, flowers. etc.
I've been playing. (Book available through Charlotte libraries.)
Unblocked and made from leftover sock yarn, it's a thing. Actually it's a square with a pineapple stitch design. Stretched over a solid, contrasting color pillow, it should make a neat embellishment. Here's a closeup.
If you don't crochet, consider learning. As a knitter, I turn to my crochet hook for lots of quick help. Cast ons, bind offs, seam reinforcements, and great edgings are really easy.

Diamond Patch sweater has a neckline and one sleeve. I hope to finish it early this week. Central Park Hoodie, er, Vest is still in a bag. Lacy socks just need one foot and toe. Still working on the lace edging for the pink wrap. When I finish two of these projects, I'll start another. Something from my stash, but what?????

It's all about the shape.

Okay--I hate triangular shawls because they don't stay on. Bodies are curvy--even skinny ones. If the clothing is straight lines and angles , it doesn't fit!! I have been on the search for perfect shawl shaping.

This is one way that fits my requirements. It is simply the top 65 rows of Dem Fisher sin Fru by Monica Eckert which was one of my KALs recently.
Once the capelet was the length I want, I knit 2 rows of garter stitch and bound off. I added garter edges at the two front edges and began to look for an edging.
Okay--I'm a leaf freak. Could be worse. Can't find where I wrote the source of the edging. Will look for it and post later.
Here's a close up. I'll just sew it on. I may make some cute closing device. Inspiration still hasn't hit about that.

Diamond Patch UFO

I was knockin' around in the attic and look what I found. This is a partial Jill Vosburg Diamond Patch Sweater. Not the first one I have made, but this one is tweaked. I began with a size 8 needle for row one; switched to size 6 for rounds 2 and 3; ended with size 4. It fits. I know it will stretch because of the bias nature of the diamonds, so I have deliberately made it to fit tighter than I really want.
I used my favorite cotton--Classic Elite Provence, color #2690 (an earthy teal). I've finished all the diamonds. This time I knit in horizontal rows. I like this best because I could try it on as I went along.
Now to decide on the neckline and sleeves. I think I will knit the neck in a rib as per directions. Before I crocheted it. I haven't decided about sleeves. There will be some and they will be different than the pattern. I'm rather pleased with this effort.

I told friends that I just wanted to knit someone else's patterns for a while. Hope to wear this one soon.

Tubular Dream Scarf

Remi gave me a ball of Tahki Dream which looked like crochet thread, but turned out to be a wool nylon blend. "What would you do with this?" she asked. I swatched like crazy and this is what I came up with. I like it. It's fun; it bounces as you bop along. You can change the fabric or scarf you use for the insert. It is a no brainer to knit. Looks like a winner to me. Pattern below.

Tubular Dream Scarf

by Jane D. Prater

1 ball Tahki Dream (or a fingering weight yarn)

1 ball Debbie Bliss Astrakhan or other CC from your stash

1.5 yds 60” wide chiffon

#9 needles

With Dream, cast on 24 inches.

Knit in stockinette stitch (or garter or seed stitch) until scarf measures 65 inches or desired length. Bind off.

Bring the long sides of the scarf together and join with your Contrasting Color yarn. I used a single crochet seam, but sewing with a whip stitch or blanket stitch would work as well. You are trying to join the knitting into a tube and limit the lengthwise stretch at the same time.

Pick up 24 sts around one end of the scarf tube with the Contrasting Color.

Row 1—K1, (yo, K2tog), to end of row.

Row 2—Knit all.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 three times or until desired ruffle length. Bind off.

Repeat ruffle at other end of the scarf.

Insert chiffon into the tube. I gather the tube the same as I would when putting on pantyhose. Grab one corner of the cut end of the fabric and pull the fabric through the scarf. Allow a small amount of the fabric to hang below each ruffle.

Tie an overhand knot in each end of the scarf to secure the fabric and help the scarf drape nicely.

Note: You may knit the scarf in the round---but the sewing of the seam prevents excess stretching.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Learning to Break the Rules

I love teaching freeform knitting. People always amaze themselves at what they can do without a pattern. We giggle a lot and make spontaneous decisions and a few mistakes and it's all good. Sunday's class was just a hoot. Especially since we had told people that the class started at three different times!!

And it did. I told everyone that the repetition was just good pedagogy. What a great group.

Elizabeth ( a felting fool) poked through some of my samples while Joanne and Sally knit.
Linda was in the third arriving group and quickly caught up; Lynn is looking for a crochet hook. It was so great that several folks could crochet--and so we did.
I don't know why Sally was breaking up. Truth--I wanted a picture of that fun sweater she knit.
Cindy and Tiffany were the first arrivals and left first as well. Rumor was someone was cooking dinner for them. Look hard and you can see Jean at the cash register. Buying yarn, what else?

This class has been very popular and I love to teach it. I'll do another in the fall.