Thursday, February 27, 2014

NightStar Shawl

Nightstar Shawl

 NIGHTSTAR is a triangle shaped shawl.  It begins with a garter tab that extends to become the garter edge.  A stockinette field grows from a center spine of repeating star stitches.  The lace pattern is totally reversible and worked on a multiple of two stitches.  If you desire a larger project, just work more rows of this section.  Increasing within a row of star stitches creates the bottom wave.  Beading adds sparkle and helps the shawl to hang well.  The bottom edge is reverse stockinette and rolls to the wrong side.

 Much thanks and gratitude to Merilyn and the gang at FoxyKnits for introducing this pattern at 2014 Stitches West.  If you are looking for the perfect yarn, go no further than Koigu.  One skein makes the stockinette section and one skein for the lace and beaded edge.  I'm partial to the subtle solid colors (KPM), but check out all of the Koigu options at FoxyKnits.  


Monday, February 24, 2014

After The Lace

The summer pullover now looks like the beginnings of a top down.  The round doughnut phase has passed and the l.o.n.g. stockinette round-and-round has begun.  It makes for great TV knitting - - if there were something interesting to watch for hours and hours.  I'm only 3.5" into the body and already I am totally caught up with the DVR.  Now what?

It seemed appropriate to do something to occupy my thoughts during this long stretch of boredom.  Waist shaping is not something that I normally do owing to the fact that I don't really have a waist.  I'm told that is why waist shaping is done - - all illusion.

So, I added a bit of soft shaping.  This should help to control the cotton's desire to grow in width and, hopefully, give an illusion that I am still young and with some evidence of shape.  Three times over twelve rounds, I tossed in side decreases.  That was not much to think about, but better than nothing.

This is a good time to show how the lace yoke worked out.  After determining a center front point (blue arrow pointing to green marker in photo), the rest was on faith.    Check out the green arrow.  It indicates the bottom point of the side lace which exactly lines up with the beginning of the under arm area.   It does the same on both sides of the front. 

I love it when such perfection happens. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Button Quandary

Knit, wash, block.  Blah, blah, blah.  Same old story.

Skip ahead to the quandary.

Josie Vest had been in my sights for a few years.  After reading the notes from others on Ravelry and seeing the final results of knitters around me, I made a tactical decision that had a known consequence.  The vest requires 24+ buttons.  Buttons have weight.  The decision that I made was to knit the vest using fingering weight linen rather than the pattern preferred sport weight.  The fingering weight worked on a large needle leave very little support for sewing on buttons.

What to do?  What button has almost no weight? Especially when multiplied by 25 buttons.  Yep, a quandary for sure.

Enter the Hiya Hiya stitch marker that looks like a little ball of yarn!  Maybe it is my warped sense of humor, but I find that putting little balls of yarn on a hand knit item to be great fun.  Those in the know will understand.  Those who live outside of the yarn world will not even blink.  I'm OK with that.

For right now, the markers are just pulled around two threads and slipped back over the ball part.  I am still deciding on the final color placement.  Once finalized, each one will need to be tacked into place so that no drooping occurs.

I wore the vest to Knit Nite and received much admiration (The vest was admired - not just me.  But I did make the thing and that should count for some kudos.)
Because of the "unconstructed" construction of the vest, it can be re-buttoned and worn in many different ways.  I am still discovering the possibilities.

PS - do please notice that this grey linen looks great with the 2014 color. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

But It Was On SALE

A fabulous sale and my resolve to produce one blanket/afghan per year withered and melted away.  Yes, Ida was finished quite early in the year because I cheated and started it in late 2013 and I loved how it was evolving and I wanted to take it to its new home. 

So really, I should have been thrilled  patted my self on the back for months while planning for next year.

But then these very nice folks had a sale.  Not just a sale, but certain yarns that were taking up shelf space were put in the back corner for $3.00 per ball.

Three dollars!   How could I leave the stuff there.   I bought eleven balls of a DK acrylic and figured that I could use it for charity work when machine washable/dryable fiber is required.

This is very easy single crochet with FPDC spaced evenly across the width.  It is working up very fast and requires no pattern reading. 

There is enough yarn to make at least two baby blankets.  Or maybe a twin size. 

I can't believe that I'll make more than one blanket this year.  A sale combined with a need presented a temptation too great to resist.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Middle Out Knitting

The berry colored summer pullover uses a construction that is totally new to me.  I've knit bottom up sweaters and I've knit top down.  I've knit puzzle pieces that become wearable after seaming.  But I have never done this.   Lovely Lace Yoke Tee Shirt is worked from the middle and grows up and then down. 

The first step is a provisional cast on that is roughly the circle around the shoulders, front and back.  It was a bit hard to wrap my head around the concept, but after knitting on faith for a few rows the light bulb flashed Ah Ha!

Yes, the photo  likes like a red doughnut.  But this is the yoke that ends with the ribbing around the neckline. 

Yes, I tried it on and it fits! The next step is a bit of plain stockinette followed by placing markers to indicate the front, arms and back. 

There will be miles and miles of stockinette in the round which translates to mindless yarn work in front of mindless television.  But this one is all about the lace work on the yoke. 

You know what?  Trying on this yoke and discovering a perfect fit is more comforting than knitting a gauge swatch. 

Knit on, people.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Less Than A Month To Go!

Yippie!  The dark times are almost over.  In less than one month, it will be time to celebrate.  That's right.  Daylight Savings time and that extra light at dinner  will arrive on March 9th.  And I am getting prepared for bright light and warmer days.

 One thing that became apparent during my recent cleaning out episode is that I do not need another shawl right now.  This wad of linen will be a vest.  Not a keep-you-warm vest.  But it will look artsy and add pizazz to many ensembles.
A second discovery is that my favorite cotton sweater is looking a tad stressed in certain areas.   That caused me to cast on a new bright summer pullover. 

This one will have short sleeves and hopefully work well for years to come.

The yarn is a cotton & llama blend that spoke to me at first feel.  So, if you don't hear from me for a while, it is because I'm busy getting ready for March 9th!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Catch Up Day

 Let the obsession continue.  Here is my latest contribution for the coral reef project.  This hyperbolic crochet came out great!  It was fun and fast to work up with stash yarn.  If you want to give it a try, click on over to this blogger to discover how it is done.

I used fingering yarn with an H crochet hook.  The mass is a color changing wool with a long repeat.  The final row is a solid color that really pops. 

This is the collection of initial contributions for the project.  My first offerings are in there and I look forward to adding more.

In flipping through past posts, I discovered that photos of final projects are missing. 

Here is Flo.  I've already worn it several times and am thrilled with the fit and the flirt.  Since it is February, I've worn it with bright red underneath. 

It might also look fine worn over a brilliant blue.  White would be an option but I don't wear white.  All of the work disappears when black is underneath, so I nixed that idea really fast.

Speaking of wearing red, Dewdrop also looks great when worn over red.  This shawl came out deep enough for me, but it is not quite wide enough.  I like to wrap generously.

A shawl pin has solved the width issue.  I'm glad that I added a bead to each picot on the edging because that little bit of weight helps the open edge to hang well.

So that is it.  Updates are now complete.  Have a nice day!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Color Makes Me Smile

Yes, the crochet coral reef project still is my #1 go to work.  But look at this swath of happiness:

These rainbow colors make me happy.  There can be no depression when this is in my lap.  My only worry is that the work will soon end.  Since this is a sample, I don't feel right about wearing it before handing it off.

But I will want to wear it and experience all the joy that this Mini Mochi has to offer.  FYI, I'm working it on a size 7 crochet hook.  That might be a tad off label, but this gauge looks fabulous.

Check out stripes of another color.  This bit of knitting is only for me.  When it is completed I get to wear it as often as I choose without guilt.

Those sparkly bits are sequins that are part of the solid yarn that just happens to be a DK.  The alternating stripes that have the color change are from a beloved sock yarn that I've saved for years. This wants to be something for the neck area, but right now it is still deciding how it wants to be shaped.

Happy Stripes!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

New Obsession

Coral.  My new obsession.  Crocheted coral and those creatures that live amongst the reefs consume me.  For the next month I shall be focused.

It started with an article that appeared in a newsletter.  A group to which I belong was offered the chance to knit or crochet pieces that will combine to make a coral reef.  That's right.  A fiber coral reef.

  The concept goes back a few years.  To fully understand what is being attempted, check out this Margaret Wertheim video.  Caution:  math is involved; crochet saves the day!

My first efforts are already turned in.  And the group members have a month to keep on knitting and crocheting.   Count me in.

And yes, I will conquer the hyperbolic crochet.  (Don't know what that is?  Watch the video.)