Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Just In Time For A Warming Trend

One good embellishment deserves a great background.  Almost before I was ready to finish it, the casual kimono was completed.  And it fits.

A few observations are due:
  • This Alpaca Twist was worked above gauge on a US #10.  This makes for an open and airy fabric.  Luckily the alpaca blooms just enough to maintain warmth.  Perhaps a bit too much warmth for the predicted high 70s this week.  Such is life.
  • The sleeves grow.  These sleeves were knit of a length to be "above bracelet" for me.  After blocking - full length.  Not a big deal, but I will need to be careful about dangling bits about the arms.  
  • The narrow front panels did not grow.  Same gauge and same direction of stitches as the sleeves but no additional width post blocking.  Such are the mysteries of loving hands creations.
  • The pattern, with short rows added to front so as to create a V-neck and add width from waist down, would be really functional if worked in a linen/cotton blend.  
  • I shall keep the pattern in the "A List" pile.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Embellishments Rule

What do you get when large swaths of stockinette are worked in extremely neutral brown/black?  An opportunity to embellish - that's what you get.  And I knew just the right place to find the perfect  addition to the traveling kimono style cardi.

Purchased at Twist, Yarns of Intrigue.
Three large felted flowers (on stems) cost less than $10. 

The trumpet shape seemed a little dull on the inside.  Luckily, Twist also stocks a few yummy buttons.  A little hand beaded jewel added the perfect pop. 

And yes, for the curious out there, this flower was tied on with the yarn used for the knitting.  Strong enough to stay put and yet one little snip and a bit of picking and the flower will be out of the way when it is time to wash.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Might Be The Ultimate Neutral

The twelve color cardigan is not even completed and I, during a fit of empty needle syndrome, cast on for another.  But this one is totally different in color and style - so surely it does not count as a competitor.

This wad of natural undyed alpaca is a casual kimono style worked side to side.  The yarn is composed of one twist of black and one twist of a  darkish brown.  For me this might be the ultimate neutral travel wear.  I can pack mostly black, or mostly brown and it should complement most mix & match ensembles.

Other than bands of seed stitch edging the plain stockinette, there isn't much to share from this project.  The joy of it will be in the wearing - and the traveling.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Color My World

Color my world like stained glass.  The second (and final) version of Coquille is completed and ready for the end of the KAL.

The center depth of this one is not as deep as the smallest size on the pattern which has resulted in something wider than a scarf and close to a little shawlette than an actual keep the back warm shawl.  And I love it. 

The color is courtesy of Crystal Palace Mini Mochi.  The black is left over sock yarn that was hanging around sans label.

These are my shades.  I love each bit.  I love the whole thing.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Four Color Changes To Go

Having tired of working on shawls and not wanting to move too swiftly on a scarf that is for working on when I attend a specific group, the only options left were to pick up the twelve color cardigan or start something new.

Imagine my delight to discover that in only four changes of color, the sleeves of the cardigan will be complete.  That settled it.  Had I known that a major hurdle was within reach, I would have been working like a madwoman to get the major pieces completed. 

Of course, once the sleeves are complete, there will be major sewing ahead.

I confess that thought of sewing this one together does not bring joy.  It is going to be a long sit - if you get my drift.  For only the second time in my knitterly life, I'm considering hiring out the finishing work. 

The final piece of the cardigan will be a slip stitch shawl collar - using all twelve colors in sequence.  Now that is something that I can wrap my joy around.  I actually look forward to each and every stitch and watching the colors shift and morph.

There is no rush.  This piece is not needed until June.  But with the end in sight, I might as well put determination behind the needles and get on with it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Incarnation #2

The first incarnation of Coquille is now a shop sample.   I'll need to retrieve it for the grand photo at the end of the KAL.  This knit pattern is just ripe for playing with color and possibly playing around with stitch patterns.

Right now a second one is on the needles and there is even time to work on it.  The idea of working it in a stained glass effect really caught my interest.  Mind you, this requires black yarn.  Given that I have sworn off of black owing to a certain pair of socks, my mind is still not quite accepting that this color playfulness was chosen willingly and with full knowledge of what can happen when knitting black sock yarn at night - in the dark.

It turns out that my fear of black yarn and night time knitting is much worse than the actual knitting of black yarn in the daylight.  Oh, well.  Live and learn.

Yes, the black fingering has turned out to be a cinch.

Wish I could say the same about a certain ball of fluff that presented the dreaded knot and abrupt color change in exactly the wrong spot.  Naturally, the knot appeared about 8:30 pm in the dark.

[insert dramatic sigh]

PS - don't bother clicking on the knot photo of angst trying to read my notes.  I save paper by only printing one copy of a pattern and using it for every incarnation.  So those are notes related to more than one shawl.  It is perfectly OK.  Just like my filing system, I understand each dot, number and date reference.  

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Shawl By Any Name

 The little shawls are complete.  A knit and a crochet version of the same idea. 

Citron, the knit version, is all stockinette.  Lace weight worked on a US #6 makes for a sheer fabric.  Critron, the crochet version, is all single crochet.  Lace weight throughout, I did get a more sheer fabric by increasing hook size (F, G & H) as the piece grew.

Here is the Critron.  It is all ready for its life as a sample for a K/CAL (knit/crochet a-long) for a local guild.  This was a slow project.  It seemed to take forever.  The fact that I never had time to buckle down and just get it done might have something to do with my impression of the piece.  The drape is nice with this Just Our Yarns Almaza.  I'm very glad that I changed gauge throughout and that helped with the final size and the drape.

 And the knit Citron has very much the same look.  The stockinette is very sheer and the overall effect can only be described as gossamer.  By sticking to the short timeline for getting this sample completed and blocked, I was able to finish the whole thing in eight days.  That is fast, even for me. 

Drape on the knit version is not an issue.  It uses half the amount of yarn (there is that pesky wrapping of crochet stitches).  This one is made from Grignasco Merinosilk 25. 

 I tried to get a good photo that compares the sheerness of the plain sections and the semi-circle bands of the ruched sections.

Hopefully, the guild members will have as much fun making one of these as I had making the two.