Sunday, October 25, 2015

Harmony - the waiting is over

Pattern:  Madrigal by Susan Dingle

Modifications were made:
No collar
Added beads
Changed a few color locations & patterns
Cuffs are just 5 rounds of ribbing

My yarn selections (with much input from my friends at The Knitting Tree, LA):
    Lana Grossa Lace Lux in Aubergine

    Lang Yarns Asia in color 25

    Baah! La Jolla in Amore

    Knitwhits Freia Handpaint Freia Ombre Sport in Cochinilla

    For me, having the darker colors at the bottom make sense.  I like the way it grounds a piece.   Take a look (click on image to enlarge) at the back to see how that impacts the use of the ombre.  Starting with the darkest shade of the Freia at the first use on the bottom (bottom left just after the lace), the shades were then allowed to be what came off the ball as it was incorporated into various sections across the back - working both "sides" from the same ball so that the color flowed into the purple/pink toward the shoulder area. 

    It makes me happy.  You do what makes you happy.  That way we are all happy with our individual creations.

     About the buttons.  These are glass.  The moment that I saw them, I knew they were the perfect and necessary addition to what has become Harmony.  Can you say serendipity?

    Because the buttons are different shapes & sizes, one buttonhole is larger than the other. . .

    Call the knitting police, cuz I am quite certain that isn't part of the rules.

    Harmony is a statement piece for sure.  The pattern requires time.  Time for selecting just the right yarn and color combination.  Time for deciding which is color A, B, C and D.  Time for giving up on A, B, C, D and just going with your heart.  Time for finding the right buttons to flow into your knitting.  Time to give up on the thing and pull out the crochet hook and slip stitch all the pieces together.  Time for gloating.

    Thank you, gentle reader, for allowing me to gloat.

    Above photos Credit:  She Who Crochets.

    Friday, October 23, 2015

    And Now We Wait

    Earlier in the month I teased you with what was on the needles.   Well, it is now off the needles.  That's right - the knitting is done.  And the soaking is over. 

    And now we wait for the drying.

    I figure it might be dry by tomorrow, if I remember to flip it over.

    This is Madrigal and you can learn about it over here.  Madrigal is an oversized cross between a cardigan and a poncho.  Lots of fun stitch patterns are scattered throughout the knitting.  It was an interesting few weeks - but frankly, I'm glad it is over.

    Yes, I added beads because bling is good.

    Yes, I still need to add the buttons.

    Yes, there are a zillion ends to snip.  For the most part I remembered to weave in whilst knitting.   But sometimes I forgot. 

    No, I did not follow the pattern exactly.  The collar is omitted and basic single crochet finishes the neck.

    So.  I wrote this whole post and still the thing isn't dry.  A whole fifteen minutes!  It's gonna be a long wait. 

    Such is life.

    Monday, October 19, 2015

    Every Year - Again

    It has been a while since I begged reminded you to think outside of your close circle of family and friends and do for others.

    Yes, it is the season when the Stewart household ramps up crocheting and knitting for donating to others.  She who crochets has set aside a bag that she wants filled with items.   Already she crocheted two soft machine washable hats suitable for those undergoing chemo or for young adult programs. 

    And that was just this weekend.  Her hook was flying! 

    I am working on my second project of the donating season.  This is a crochet mesh poncho-ish shoulder wrap called Asymmetrical Neckwarmer and is available free here.

    The mesh part is being blocked before I stitch it together.  The pattern has post work around the neck part - thus the "warmer" in the name.  Whether or not to add a bulky neck for wearing in Los Angeles is the big question.  I'll let the Spirit of Crochet guide me later today.

    So, what's in your donation bag????

    Wednesday, October 14, 2015

    The Test Ends

     It is all over but the ends.  A few snips of the snips and two additional tails to secure firmly and then you will hear me shout.


    This was a fun test knit.  The Freia Ombre Sport does most of the work.  I love the way it moves.  Click on the link for an OOH and AAH private moment.

    Mostly, I weave in ends as the knitting progresses and leave the tail dangling throughout the blocking process.  When I rechecked the dry shawl, I noticed two spots that can use a little attention and those are secure, just not as pretty as I like.  Five minutes - and the first three are for finding the needle and scissors - and all will be well.

    The Freia is enhanced with Malabrigo Rios Coco

    The pink pop is Tosh Merino Light in the Posy colorway.

    Are you intrigued?

    The pattern, which has been renamed Dewpoint,  will be available in kit form (limited availability) at The Knitting Tree, LA booth at Yarnosphere and then available from  Christopher Bahls via Ravelry. 

    For the Dewpoint kits, Chris supervised the selection of several different color combinations.  Neutrals, hot hot color, deep or bright.  It doesn't really matter.  Dewpoint is fabulous.

    And yes, there is plenty of time to add it to your holiday gift knitting!

    Friday, October 9, 2015

    Knittus Interruptus

     This is really what is on the needles right now.  A friend - and very fast knitter - is also making it.  We want to show how the same pattern is interpreted by different yarn artists.  We are even using one yarn that is the same.  So far, she is way ahead of me.   That's OK because it is not a competition.  I've named my project Sister-in-yarn.  Because we are.

    In order to work on this, (Yes, I am a tease.  More info to come when success is achieved.) I had to put aside the sample that must be ready for showing in two weeks.  And in order to do the sample the winter tube socks were interrupted.

    In the midst of interrupting necessary knitting for fun knitting I found this Happy Fuzzy yarn in color Verdigris that will be the base for my new copper beads.  I only went bead shopping to seek out the perfect embellishment for the Sister-in-yarn above.  As often happens, the first thing that flashed before my eyes was not the object of the shopping but instead a tube of copper beads was sparkling and winking at me.  I grabbed. 

    On a side note, copper beads are heavier than "regular" beads used for knitting so I'm quite worried about using them on the lace Verdigris yarn.    Copper.  Verdigris.  Some days I crack me up.

    Anyway, I was going to put aside the Sister-in-yarn to work on the lace and a design was & is swirling in dreamland.

    But then this happened.

    A friend has designed a new shawl and someone begged and begged and begged to be the pattern tester.  And she got the draft pattern via email. 

    Knittus Interruptus Iterum.

    Tuesday, October 6, 2015

    If Only The Weather Would Cooperate

    She is named Day By Day because she will be my workhorse daily wear sweater that replaces my much beloved and over worn Mr. Green Jeans

    Paulie is the basis for her and is available free at this link.  Day By Day is knit with Woolfolk Sno (perfection in a skein) and highlighted with a random sock yarn from the stash.  Check out the current Woolfolk offerings over at this shop.

    Here is  Day By Day, knit up by moi.

     I know, I know.  Poor photo.  But it shows what one goes through to make sure that a top down is gonna fit the wearer.  I am currently between sizes as the pattern is written.  So I cast on for the smaller size using a needle one size larger than recommended.  To my warped thinking, too few stitches made too large should equal something in the middle.  I did have to add a bit of no increasing plain rows to make the arm hole fit the way I like.  But all in all it was successful.

    The neck of Paulie is knit  when adding the button band.  Because the neck (that being the different color in this photo) is shaped using short rows and the old wrap & turn is - well - old, I used German Short rows which are, to my fingers, much quicker and simpler.

    The i-cord bind off really finishes the sweater nicely.
     Here I am, proving that the neck, worked per the pattern, is really fantastic.  I love how it fits up a bit and blocks the blowing wind from giving me a chill.  Check out the pattern and you will notice that the collar is intended to fold back like a shawl collar.

    I prefer it this way.  'Nuf said.

    Because I did not work stripes, I added a bit of crochet chain to finish off the sleeves, which for me are full length. 

    Because I wanted full length sleeves. 

    Because one day it will actually be chilly enough to wear a wool sweater in Los Angeles.

    If only the weather would cooperate. . . . . .