Monday, 22. December 2008
The second half of 2008 has been very frustrating and depressing for me, professionally. It is one of those times when you’re given a mountain of lemons, and asked to make lemonade. In my case, I was given rotten lemons and um, let’s say, a manual lemon juicer. Given the state of the economy and the rounds of layoffs that I’ve survived, I should be thankful. Yada yada yada.. but in truth, I wake up almost everyday wanting to scream at unnamed individuals and tell them to shove the work to where the sun don’t shine. So here’s to hoping that the next year will be an improvement on the last, and that next year’s end-of-year post will end on a much brighter note.
This little gem was completed in November, made up from a skein of red cashmere that was gifted to me by Joy before she moved to Hawaii, and 3 skeins of leftover Rowanspun 4-ply in the colorway Squirrel. The top-down yoke sweater is inspired by MissLemon’s stripey version, and all it took was just a simple gauge swatch, some head measurements to make sure the sweater will fit through my noggin’, and try-as-I-knit top-down fun.
The edgings for the roll neck, sleeve and the bottom bands were finished off with an applied icord, a la Purl Bee’s tutorial. I played around with jogless stripes and centered the beginning of each round at the center on the back of the sweater (traveling down the spine). It’s not completely inconspicuous, but it’ll do for now.
The result is a feathery-light garment that I’ve dubbed : Candy Cane. If you’d like to knit one for yourself, please drop me a comment and I’ll go dig up my pattern notes. Of course, it’ll only be in the size that I knit, which is 36″ around for 2″ positive ease. (editted to add additional pictures)
Pattern: Garter Sideways Hat from Drops, Sz 58 cm
Materials: Noro Sock Yarn (Colorway S164), 0.5 skein, Sz 3 needles
There isn’t a thing that I don’t love about this hat. The garter stitch, the slouch, the colorway, and the simplicity of the pattern. You should all knit yourselves some. Trust.
Wednesday, 18. June 2008
Barbara Walker, in her Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, called this particular stitch pattern “Portcullis”. In my haste, I have totally ignored her right side / wrong side instructions and ended up with something that is diagonal and not looking anything like the stitch photograph presented in her book (Page 224, if you must know).
According to Barbara, this pattern makes a handsome, symmetrical (remember: I botched it) ribbed fabric resembling crochet. The fabric is free of curl, sturdy, and easy to block; it keeps its shape well.
I used Felted Tweed for this hat, in Crush and Melody, and have enough leftovers for another one. Should you choose to knit this in a solid color, I am sure it’ll look just as lovely.
My gauge before blocking were 36 sts to 5″, and row gauge can be easily adjusted since this pattern comprises only of 2 rows. Finished dimensions after blocking is 22″ around.
Freebie for all. Go to the pattern page to retrieve instructions for your own. In this day and age when gas prices are high and costs for living continually escalate, it’s nice to get freebies every once in a while. Should you find errors or have questions, you know where to find me
Tuesday, 17. June 2008
Summer knits, as I have come to find, should be quick, easy, and mind-numbing. As much as I try to coordinate my yarns with the seasons, I find that so-called summer yarns (the cottons, the hemps, the linens) do not tempt me as much as their woolen cousins. This is the primary reason why the Cherry Cardigan and the linen Perfect Fit Skirt have slowed down to a snail’s crawl, because quite frankly, I just love knitting with wool. As the temperature rises to the 70s and 80s, it is easier for me to turn to miniature wool projects, like socks and hats.
Pattern: Embossed Leaves Socks, in Interweave Knits Winter 2005
Materials: Sz 1 DPNs, 2 skeins of Koigu KPM 1205
Notes: No modifications to the pattern. I love this shade of yellow almost-solid Koigu, and the pattern is easy to execute. I’m not too crazy about the star-toe, although I admit it was exciting to try something new. The socks are a little loose on my sz 7 feet, but I think it’d make a pair of comfy house socks this winter. Koigu on your feet is luxury. This FO brings a bounce in my steps!
Pattern: Felicity (PDF Pattern Link) by Wanett Clyde
Materials: Leftover Cascade 220 wool in shade 7814 from my Biker jacket, Sz 8 DPNs
Notes: Truth be told, I did not follow this pattern at all. I loved its simplicity, and just CO 84 sts and increased to 100 sts at random and knit straight for 5.5 inches. At the time of knitting, I wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted the slouchy look that the original pattern provided, so I just did a CCD decrease (slip 2 as if to knit, k1, psso) in every round until I bound off the hat. I still like the FO, but I think I’m going to make a real Felicity hat in the future. This shortened and heavily modified version produces horns. Ha ha. This is what I get for butchering a perfectly executed pattern.
Next we have a striped beanie made from one of my secret favorite yarn. Secret in the sense that I love it, I hoard it, and yet, I haven’t made an entire sweater out of it. Learning my lesson from Felicity Shortie above, this time I wanted:
- Non-curling edges (and yet, no garter, and no knit hems)
- A little texture
- Easy memorizable pattern
- Not slouchy, and yet not constrict-your-circulation-tight hat
We shall discuss this Stripey Tweedy hat recipe in the next post. Until then, happy summer knitting.
Tuesday, 6. May 2008
It’s finally complete!
Pattern: My own, a la Barbara Walker
Materials: 6 balls of Lane Borgosesia Knit USA (660 yds), 1.5 skeins of Cascade 220 in colorway 7814, Sz 10 and 10.5 needles, 8 metal buttons, 6 snap buttons
Notes: This jacket was knit from the top down, at a gauge of 14 sts and 20 rows to 4″. Cascade 220 was held double to obtain the same gauge using Sz 10.5 needles. I measured the width of my back for 13″ and cast on the appropriate number of stitches and short-rowed my way down for the shoulder slopes. Armhole length = 7″. When I reached the appropriate length for pockets, I cast on additional stitches for the pockets and knit down for 5″, and k2tog with the body stitches. No waist shaping for this jacket. Then it’s just more knitting until the desired length. Ribbing for the sleeves, jacket border and short row neck was finished off with tubular cast off. The button bands were knit in garter stitch to prevent curling (trust me, I tried stockinette and that didn’t turn out). I left the jacket untouched for days after blocking because superwash yarn has a tendency to stretch out and that wouldn’t be the best time to seam. Sure enough, the damn thing sprang back into shape after a while and I double checked before sewing the nylon lining in place.
Sewing: I decided that I was too chicken (this time) for a zipper, so I went with my original idea of snap buttons. The inside band was lined with nylon ribbon (ends were fused with a lighter to prevent fraying) to reinforce the jacket. I figured if I am going to pull the bands apart frequently I am going to need something sturdier. Yes, it helps.
Like I said, the pockets were a little high, but it doesn’t detract me from gloating. I like how it looks buttoned all the way up, and also when I leave the first two buttons out. It fits exactly how I imagined it would, and that’s no small feat when it comes to “winging” a pattern. This one is a keeper!
(And what’s a FO without side and back views!)
Friday, 11. April 2008
For the last few days, I’ve been obsessed with biker-style jackets. I searched the fashion forums and picked out two that I liked most.
(simple lines, hidden pockets, and epaulets)
What I happen to have is also 7 balls of chunky yarn that was originally purchased to make Tikru’s Greengable. Unfortunately, I realized it wasn’t enough. Since then, the yarn has been staring me in the face gnawing at me to make something out of it. So when the startitis bug hit, I gave in to the temptation of instantly casting on. I made a mental list of the qualities that I want from this jacket, and I realized that given the possibility of running out of yarn, the jacket should be:
- Knit top down, but with short-rows for shoulder shaping
- With top down set-in sleeves
- Have vertical slit pockets on both fronts, also top down
- High collar
- Sleeve, bottom and collar bands in contrast color, but keep front button bands in same color
- Epaulets! Wee….
Of course it was then that I realized that there is no pattern for all the things that I want to do, so what better time than to make my own? That’s right – my jacket is going to have ALL of those qualities. Barbara Walker, don’t let me down now. And this is what I have to show for it after 2 days.
(a big lump of chunky yarn)
Oh yea, and I’m also knitting a pair of Aquaphobia Socks on the side too. You can never have too many WIPs.
(jah…I is busy)