Scarves and more scarves

Thank you all for you wonderful comments about the Swedish Cardi, and your answers… we knitters are a predictable bunch – more yarn, more projects, more happy!

I realized today (after casting on another scarf) that I never got around to taking pictures of the last scarf!

Alpaca lace scarf, knit for my mom for Mother’s Day.

Pattern is Tiennie‘s Old Shale Scarf, one repeat narrower.

Yarn is kinda special… The fleece came from an alpaca named Franchesca, I dyed, carded, and spun 30 gms into a 2 ply laceweight to knit this little scarf. Franchesca’s micron count for this fleece is 18.8, this stuff makes the Super Kid/Silk feel like sandpaper. Swoon…

And the deliciously soft, but comparatively sandpaper-y, SuperKid/Silk Springscape. It’s coming along nicely, as long as there is enough quiet to concentrate on the charts. If the kids are around (always) and distracting me (always, they’re kids!) I can be distinctly short-tempered with both my knitting and them.

So I cast on something else, of course!

The Swiss Cheese Scarf, unstretched.

Honestly, this will probably never get finished. And if it does get finished, would anyone actually use it?

But it makes me laugh, it makes other people laugh, it’s brainless, and completely charming. Winner!

What do you do when your WIPs don’t suit your lifestyle? Do you steer around unsuitable projects?


Worth the Wait

After only 6 months on the needles the Swedish Cardi is finally finally done. Another sweater knit entirely from stash, WOO HOO!

Ok, it’s being held closed with a safety pin. I haven’t had a chance to so shopping for some nice clasps, soon.

I blogged about this thing so much at the beginning I feel like there’s nothing left to say except: It’s done, and I love it!

There are lots and lots more pictures on Flickr, and you can read more about it in earlier posts here, here, and here, or check it out on Ravelry.

I’ve already cast on a little “reward” project. Ironically, though it’s beautiful, this might be another 6 month project.  Seascape from the new Knitty, in a springscape yarn. This is yarn I won last summer in a blog contest over at Knititch, thank you so much Merete!

How do you celebrate FO happy endings?

FO: Noro and Tweed

I just couldn’t resist giving you a little teaser yesterday. I’m utterly charmed by this little creation. It is a perfect shape for the flat-chested among us. Ahem. Here on Ravelry.

credit where credit is due – Nikolai, age 5, was my wonderful photographer today. Thanks sweetie!

Greatly inspired by Klaralund and the Portland Sweater… with a few changes…

Yarn: Green Tweed is a 2-ply sport weight handspun inherited from my aunt, about 6 ounces. Stripes is Noro Kureyon Sock, colorway S185, less than 100 gms. Knit entirely from stash, woo hoo!

Needles and Gauge: US sz. 4 / 3.5 mm yielding 4.5 sts per inch after blocking and wear. The gauge is very loose for the Kureyon sock making this very drapy. The Tweed is a much harsher/rustic yarn and it kind of holds everything together.

Sizing: The chest blocked to 38″ but has stretched to about 40″ during a day’s wear. On me this is 8-9 inches of positive ease.

I thought I wanted long sleeves but I wasted a lot of yarn to make the sleeve stripes match. Really, the short sleeves are now my favorite thing about this sweater. It feels somewhere between kimono and Jedi… Proving once again that mistake and design can be synonymous.

I thinking about putting a cute button on the back to hold it together a bit. Opinions?

Guess what? It’s seamless too.

After knitting the body to the armpits I put 50% of the stitches -from center front to center back- on a piece of yarn and slowly knitted the remaining body stitches into the sleeve.

Cast-on 35% at the center front, connect it to the center back like a strap, and slowly work outward using seamless saddle shoulder decreases. After about 4-5 inches start decreasing the sleeve at the top. Slowly decrease by 8%. When only 8% of the body stitches remain, begin knitting around and down the the desired sleeve length.

Clear as mud?

I like both sides of the fabric equally – I even wore it both ways today. I kept taking it off and turning it inside out, I can’t decided which I like better!

It’s been a good couples days around here. Yesterday I finished 3 knitting projects, and today it was finally nice enough to get a few pictures, including all the skirts I made a few weeks ago. It’s all on Flickr.  Cheers!

Noro and Tweed: Blocking

This is kind of a surprise project…

I wasn’t sure about the yarn combo – now I love it.

I wasn’t sure about the style – now I love it.

I wasn’t sure about the techniques – they worked like a charm.

I wasn’t sure about the sleeves – they are charming in a Jedi sort of way.

I have nothing to wear it with – but I love it anyway!!

I can’t wait to show you this as soon as it’s dry!

Whooo’s there?

It’s amazing how fast life catches up with you, isn’t it?

First and foremost I want to thank everyone who purchased my pattern – you guys rock! I hope you enjoy knitting it as much as I enjoyed designing it!

Anyway, my boys and I went away for a simple weekend, and it’s taken me nearly 3 weeks to pull myself back together. I always tell myself “I’ll blog about this project, as soon as I get good pics.” Well by the time the daylight photo-op arrives I’m already engrossed in a new project and too busy to take pictures of FOs. Does that ever happen to you?

There was the new spinning wheel… five new skirts… a February sweater… dying and spinning… all un-photographed.

Finally though I took some pictures of the latest FO: an Owl Cardigan for Gabriel

This is the most rewarding thing I’ve knit in a long time, probably because Gabriel is a perfect recipient – he loves him some woolies. And he’ll ham for the camera, that’s always nice.

This morning we walked to Jo-ann together to buy the zipper, and I could not sew it in fast enough when we got home!

Knitterly details:

Pattern: I knit this off an old Owl Cardigan knit by my grandmother close on 30 years ago. You can see the original here.

Gabriel loved the little owl sweater so much that I took the pattern from the original and made him a new one. Most likely I’ll be making another in a few years. Anyway…

Yarn is Silky Wool, 2 less than skeins each blue and brown, less than 1 white. Stripes because I’m on a major yarn diet (did I mention the new spinning wheel?) US sz. 6 needles, I didn’t check gauge.

Construction: The original was knit in pieces and seamed together. I knit this one back-and-forth seamlessly. I tried to stay as close to the original as possible: raglan shoulder shaping, folded over ribbed collar, zipper.

Verdict: I would try to make the ribbing match next time, the brown collar is ok, but I wish it could have matched. However, Gabriel loves it – I finished it at 10am and he didn’t take it off until bedtime. That’s a winner in my book.

Later dudes.

Ocean Waves

Happily Introducing: The Ocean Waves Pullover

I designed this for a little boy who loves sea turtles. After designing the cables I was so charmed by the result that the turtle no longer seemed necessary!

The pattern is for sale now for $5.00 through Paypal. Click the link in the right hand column to purchase the PDF.  Now available to Ravelry members in my Ravelry Shop.

The focus of this pattern is the cable waves chart, as lateral cables are pretty unique. The pattern also includes basic instructions for a seamless pullover in multiple sizes and gauges- from baby to large adult.

The cable can be adapted to any size or application – sophisticated at finer gauges, whimsical in chunky yarns. The Wave cables sit atop a “sea” of reverse stockinette, above is a smooth stockinette “sky.”

Serious knitting has been put on temporary standby – I’ve been a little distracted with all the other fibery pursuits…

There has been spinning – 2 skeins of Merino, in varying weights.

There’s been carding and more spinning.  I was playing around with blending colors in the carder. This is fiber from a black alpaca – IttyBit, and a white alpaca – Franchesca.  The black fiber was very hair-like, and the white very downy so I hoped they would balance each other out.

The resulting yarn is very fuzzy, but quite soft.  I spun the single very gently, then added lots of twist during plying.  The final product is very strong and dense, and like most 100% alpaca yarns, rather heavy for it’s diameter.

Still not sure what I’ll do with this stuff. The black is not soft enough to wear on the skin, but it could make a sturdy outerwear fabric.

And finally there’s been dyeing. KnitPicks Bare fingering weight, handdyed in the Crockpot.  Love how this came out.

Knitting next time.