Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mini Knits, Maxi Fun.

Last year when Berroco published their free pattern for Minutia I got exited, but time never made itself available. Then this year I got the newsletter with Minutia 2008 and I was off and rolling....
I downloaded the patterns and after studying the notions I was horrified by the recommended needle size, 4.25mm. How can that be small and dainty? So I switched to size 2mm, used a lace weight homespun/silk, but kept the pattern directions. figured it would be small but in proportion. Worked great and I started to experiment with cables...That inspired me for the hats. It is wonderful how you can test a pattern in minutia, does not take long (1 1/2 hour), here is the Aran sweater in cashmere/silk.

Then tried with mohair spiderweb yarn and got me a cardigan...

And designed a Christmassy turtle neck...

I had the bug, and while surfing through the net for other patterns I found one for a "Baby Surprise" jacket for a 4cm doll!!! E.Z. would be delighted. Too cool or what?

So this afternoon as the light rye dough was rising and the weather stormed outside, I cast on.

Needle size1mm and cashmere left over. Took me 2 hours from start to finish, the button holes are real you can actually open the jacket...Too fun.

So here is my latest collection, the purple cable at the bottom right was my first try, I am getting better.

Okay, I am in no way near Bugknits level, check it out it`s worth it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Waves of the Nile, another knitted hat.

Just finished another hat, #3. The cabled band turned out beyond my wildest expectations, I like the wave on the forehead with the eye of Nefertiti right in the middle. Lucky design.

The crown is worked in feather and fans (6X6) with some purl waves....Somehow I see palms trees swaying on the banks of the river....
Anyway I like what came out, now I have to work out my notes to get it ready for publishing....

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Baby's First Mukluks, a free knitting pattern.

When I deleted the blog last spring I forgot that this pattern was available in Ravelry.
So here it is for your enjoyment.

Baby’s First Mukluks
Newborn to 6 months
-Red Heart Foxy 100% polyester 50gr/82m
1ball Plum
1 ball Claret
-Patons SWS soy wool stripes
1 ball Natural Geranium
*Please note you will be working with 2 strands of Foxy and that it only used 2/3 of Foxy and 1/3 of SWS .
2 circular needles size 5mm OR 5 DPN
1 crochet hook size 5mm
Darning needle
Pompom maker or cardboard to achieve same.
2 rows=1cm
With 2 strands of Foxy cast on 24sts.
Close circle and knit 6 rows.
Switch to SWS (1 strand only) and knit 6 rows.
Switch back to foxy, with 2 strands knit 4 rows.
Decrease 4 sts evenly spaced = 20sts.
Knit 8 rows.
Work short rows back and forth on the first 10 sts: K9, turn, P8, turn, K7, turn etc… until you have 2sts in the middle. Continue working short rows picking up 1 st each row before turning. When you are back to 10sts, at beginning of main body rows, knit foot.
Knit 8 rows.
Decrease 2 sts evenly spaced = 18 sts.
Knit 4 rows.
Decrease 2 sts evenly spaced = 16 sts.
Knit 1 row.
Cast off using the 2 needle cast off method, OR, graft the toe.
* Please note that the 2 needle cast off is my cast off of choice for this project as it is an outer shoe, and the outside stitching will not bother the baby’s comfort.
Darn in tail ends.
With 1 strand SWS make a crochet chain. Chain 50, bind off.
Thread the chain through a large darning needle, and weaved through the 2nd row of knitting of the SWS band, every other st.
Make 4 small pompoms with the SWS and attach to the ends of the chain.

Sneak preview: a new cable

I have had so much fun working with the cables that I decided to try and design a new one.
I wanted waves so the band around the next hat would have soft curves that would lay on the forehead.
There it is, still have to name it:
I like the way the waves make some "eye" on the edges with the bobbles, reminds me of Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Nefertiti waves?
Waves of the Nile?
Cable wave?
You can help me name it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Aran flapper hat, take 2

I was so pleased with the first hat that I made another one....
This time I wanted a braided cable around the band.

And jangly tidbits...
The cable is swatch 9 chart A right to the edge to make it wavy above the eyes.
For the danglers I made 4 I-cords finished with a crochet cup at the end, still thinking about pearls in the middle.
I left the crown plain on purpose to emphasize the band.

I am pleased with the result and started another one with a really wavy band this time...Stay posted.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Camera, light, action....

Went to town today on a big shopping spree, left on the 8 ferry, was back on the 12, so sweet. I got me flowers.

And a floor lamp to illuminate my knitting chair. My studio is the smallest part of the house and packed to the rafters, if they tried to make this up on a movie set, they couldn't...Anyway I got me a lamp, full spectrum bulbs and started knitting on the alpaca hat...I can see!!!
I Saw in Interweave Knits fall 2008 on page 84 a cover for a new book called Boutique knits. I loved the look of the hat, and the construction. A band around the head, and all the stitches picked up to make the crown. It inspired me.
This summer at a charity sale, I got Alice Starmore's Aran knits for $10!!! I could not believe my luck. When I got home, I have to say that I was a little baffled by all the hoopla around the book. It is a good book of Aran patterns and amazing pictures, but not in my view worth all the money it is fetching at auctions...Anyway, I put it aside. Then when I saw that new hat, I thought I would have fun with cables and went for it.
I started the hat with 34 stitches and got down to enough to make the band around the head (swacth 14A chart A) with bobles every other square to make them stand out more, kept the yarn attached and joined with a chain stitch and crochet, picked up the stitches for the crown, made a band of 5 cabled panels (swatch 14A chart B) only to row 25, and as luck would have it, 90 stitches with a decrease every 7 stitches gave me a beautiful spiral to the top.

When I walked into the living room to show off my latest project, my DD (the other one) asked if I wanted a professional model?

doesn't she look happy with it on?

Mommy can I keep it?

We''ll see.....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Alpaca Sunday

The fall is definitely here, cooler weather and the fish and chips closed for the season...

So the alpaca I washed 2 weeks ago called to me today. Rain outside, feeling slightly sickish, probably a sequel to the very busy summer, I decided to stay in all day and spin.

This fleece is sooo beautiful that I actually took the time to wash, tease and card...

There it is 1 rollag, lofty and soft ready to spin. I got 9 done and proceeded to spin 3. It is now drying in the bathroom, tomorrow I want to knit a hat...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Water Knitting

Today was a beautiful day!!! After a very busy day yesterday at our Annual fall fair I deserved such a day. So I went to the beach....
This idea of knitting seaweed in the water has been nagging at me for a couple of weeks, but the weather and mother nature's lack of bounty on the shore was not on my side. I figured that since I had to keep the seaweed wet in order to leave it pliable for knitting, I would experiment at the beach.
Today was THE DAY!!!
I took a pair of plastic 12mm circulars and sat in the warm water.

At first I tried with any thing coming my way but discovered very fast that it would not wrap around my needle. So I picked some long grass type ones and went for it.
With the seaweed like a ribbon I kept knitting...
The sun was warm and gentle and the water kept me cool and relaxed.
I could have gone on for hours....

After a while I noticed that my hands were pruning, and even though the sun was still full on me I got too cold,

so I rose from the sea with this fun piece of water knitting!!!

Also the tide was coming in, and the sun moving away from the beach.

On my way off the beach I stepped on a sweet piece of driftwood, just perfect for hanging my catch of the day...

It is now drying in the garden. I can hardly wait to go back tomorrow, they promised another hot day, and try to Water Knit some more, this time smaller needles and in the round....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Moving inside.

Fall is in the air I can smell it. The days are gorgeous and sunny, the nights cool and fresh, and my energy is switching to inside. Sunday we knitted under the plum tree, nice to touch base with knitter buddies, I knitted me a pouch to replace my very tired plastic one.
Very simple rectangle which I miscalculated on the width, no problem, half way through felting (with a plunger as we are in low water season), I cut the sides off, re-bound, re-felted and voila. The part I hate the most is zippers!!! I recycled the one from the original bag. Still a bit too soft felt for my taste. When we are more flush with water I will give it an extra cycle in the washing machine to tighten it. It's okay it is working for me.

With Fall I am off to bed at 8 and of course that makes wake up at 4!!!
So I made another hat...
This one is with my homespun alpaca. I spun in the grease because I was impatient, and I can see the difference in the texture of the yarn after washing. Some places have more guard hair than others, a bit rough and twiny feeling. The down parts are so soft and lofty that I bit the bullet and washed 1/4 of the fleece and being Fall it is drying the shade.

I do love the spiral though. Plyed the alpaca with pewter beads, and did the ridge in zephyr 50/50 silk merino.

When I got home from work the house smelled warm with baking. DD had made 4 blackberry pies, and washed the dishes!!!!

We dove into 1 at a very early diner wanting to get to desert fast, pie for breakfast, lunch, tea, I wonder if we wil have enough left over to freeze some...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I still do.

29 years ago today I made the best decision in my life and received in return the single greatest gift ever!!!
So to celebrate I made DH a new pair of socks and he is wearing them watching the Belgium Grand Prix wile I blog and get ready to go knitting with my buddies. That's old married life for you...
I loved knitting those, the colors are so yummy.

This last week went on another binge of crochet hats, this time I used my homespun, plyed with tiny beads.
And there is the ongoing blankie project, it is turning out beyond my dreams, fun and lovely.
In my estimates, if I knit 3 squares per day, give or take a few days without, I should have plenty of time to finish it by December. It will be done to welcome my grand nephew, filled with the good energy of all the family and friend's socks.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Knitted "Crochet" hat.

Spent the day knitting away, and there it is the
"Knitted crochet hat".
My darling model came home yesterday for a short visit, and while she talked and talked and talked I managed to finish the second version.
Turned out pretty well, has the look I was aiming for, and fits.

The start was abit wonky and the spiral does not show, must have something to do with the knitting being rows. Something to refine.

This is taken straight from my notes, might have mistakes, but just to give you an idea on how I did it.

Use 3.25mm to work with purple.

Use 4.5mm to work with orange.

(1) Cast on 6 sts on circular needle, or DPNs with purple.

(2) Purl 1 row.

Switch to orange.

(3) *Dbl yo, K2tog* repeat to end of row.

(4) Knit 1 row


(5) K2 in each stitch.

(6) Purl


(7) *Dbl yo, K2tog, Dbl yo, K1* to end of row.

(8) Knit 1 row


(9) K2 in each stitch.

(10) Purl


(11) *Dbl yo, K2tog*, to end of row.

(12) Knit


(13) Knit

(14) Purl.


(15) *Dbl yo, k2tog*, to end of row.

(16) Knit


(17) *K3, K2 in one stitch*, repeat to end of row.

(18) Purl.


(19) *Dbl yo, K2tog*, to end of row.

(20) Knit.


(21) *K3, K2 in one stitch*, repeat to end of row.

(22) Knit.


(23) *Dbl yo, K2tog*, repeat to end of row.

(24) Knit


(25) Knit

(26) Purl

Work rows (23, 24, 25 26) 7 more times.


(54) Knit

(55) Purl


(56) Knit

(57) Purl


(58) Knit

(59) purl

Loosely bind of.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Woolen pancake?

I have been thinking about making a crochet hat, knitted.I wanted the look of the crochet bars, but with knitting I don't have to look most of the time, and I thought it would be fun to "duplicate" another version of the spiral hat.
Cast on 6 stitches with purple, did 2 rows, (1 knit 1 purl) for the stitch height, switched to orange.
For the bars: double yo, k2tog. on the second row dropped the double and knit all around. The look is right
Worked on increases, up to row12 everything looked right, then I panicked and thought it would be too small for the crown, so I increased more...That's when the "pancake" took Shape, lol.
I did not want to stop, or frog, so I plowed through to the end. A beret for a small infant, or felted it will make a nice change purse...
Anyway I learned something new which is always the point, I had fun doing it and I am going to persevere as I think I have got something interesting going on here. I lean toward using different size needles for the 2 colors, small for the dark, and 2 size larger for the bars, this might give me more height. Maybe a triple yo so the stitches stretch even longer, guess what I am doing today...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Out of cobwebs, into cowebs...

Got a new load of books from the library including Nicky Epstein "Knitting never felt better", I like the eye candy of her books. Of course got me on another tangent I had to try one of the bobble scarves. As I am reading the tips, she suggests that "if you have a knitting machine, now is the time to use it". Well.... I got mine out of the cobwebs. The poor thing was so dusty and rusty and sad, that what would have been a day of knitting transformed itself quickly into a day of fixing. First locating all the parts took the better part of the morning, by one I had the whole thing taken apart, needles everywhere, and after a thorough cleaning and fixing it was ready to go.

Then of course I had to remember how to do it, another hour went by, but I would not give up!!! I was like a dog with a bone, don't talk to me, am working on this frustrating project, I will get it done regardless of time or need of those around me. What I like about this machine is that it will let me do bulky and even homespun, the needles are twice the size of a regular machine, and it is supposed to be easy! Right. Anyway I did do it, a few rows completely wonky, a random lace look, (holes here and there) and ta da, a very small silk/mohair scarf ready to bobble...

45 stitches wide, 1 ball of 25 grams silk/mohair, final knitting 1/2 hour, complete time 6 hours...It is shorter than I thought, the next one am casting on 40 only, I am amazed if it goes around a child neck by the time I full it...

As I was doing it I remembered some negative comments about machine knitting being not as crafty as hand knitting. Some seem to think that because you use a machine, it is not valid as a hand knit!!! Let me tell you that you have to be hands on all the time even with such a tool, picking up stitches all the time, you have to pay very close attention, fixing mistakes is not as easy as with 2 needles, and besides what is the difference with a weaver using a loom. It is still handmade. You just use 40 needles at once...Way more complicated in my opinion.

Oh well it was actually fun, I can see tons of possibilities, my brain cant stop designing, am off and running again....

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Nightie days and summer rain

Woke up this morning to the lovely sound of summer rain... It smells nice and fresh, I love the feeling of being in bed and looking forward to an entire day inside. It means lots of projects at my desk without guilt and I can wear my nightie all day. Ran outside to look at the trees, the ginkgo that my daughter purchased at a charity auction years ago is doing very well it looks so revived and green, even at 6 am.
Bishop of Llandaff colors are bursting out in the rain.

It also means that I get to wear my felted booties in my clogs, has been a while...

This day is going to fly, I can just feel it. There seem to be less and less hours in the day as I grow older. We were talking the other day of wondering if we will ever get to make all the things we want to try. This day shall be loaded with ideas and creativity. The rain is making me want to play non stop. My desk is a mess of projects and clean up should be one of them, but why waste this gift from heaven on chores. A little spinning, a Little finishing, a lot of knitting, I am loaded with vids from the library...

First a good cup of tea and a stare at my flowers of the month.

Aren't they gorgeous, this is the greatest gift, it keeps on giving. A local grower with a great sense of color, very inspiring and good for the soul.