FO Friday: Entrelac Butterflies Cowl

Lookit what I made!

IMG_9114

 

Project: Emo Butterflies

Pattern: Knitted Scarf Butterflies

Designer: Svetlana Gordon

Available: $3 on Ravelry

Yarn: White Birch Fiber Arts 100% SW Merino, DK in “Emo Enough?” (self-striping)

I first encountered White Birch‘s amazing self-striping colorways at Stitches East.  I picked up two skeins of her DK-weight 100% SW Merino, in part because I recognized the base yarn (Crazy Eight, from Wool2Dye4).  I’m familiar with Crazy Eight, because Kate uses it too!  I love this bouncy 8-ply yarn that straddles the line between sport and DK. Knowing the base made it easy to invest in the dyer at White Birch — and her self-striping colorways are fantastic, so I really wanted to take some home.

IMG_8436

Finding the right pattern for this spectacular colorway — “Emo Enough?” — took some time.  I cast on a number of projects and ripped, ripped, ripped. Eventually I settled on the Knitted Scarf Butterflies pattern, marking my first time doing entrelac.  To my surprise, the back-and-forth rhythms of entrelac knitting were soothing and fun! Each tier of tilting rectangles feels like an accomplishment. Each rectangle has a single cable cross, further livening things up.  This isn’t entrelac for newbies, but it certainly is a nice, chewy knit — and the results speak for themselves.

IMG_9115

Alas, my yarn didn’t go as far as I’d hoped … my FO was not quite long enough for a scarf or doubled-up infinity scarf, and was a bit long for a single-loop cowl.  No amount of thuggish blocking got me anywhere near the length I needed, so I played a bit with it in the mirror, and decided that some buttons and i-cord could bridge the gap.  I’m quite happy with the result, and may use this “shape” again with an otherwise-awkwardly-short scarf.

IMG_9111

Advertisements

CO Monday: a pair of design projects, and a bonus FO sweater

I have been disciplined lately, and have hardly cast on anything!  Woo.  But, I do have two new design projects share. One is for Classic Elite, which means I can’t tell you much; the other is an indie design project with splufty yarn from New Zealand, and I can tell you alllll about that one.  Also, I have gift project to tell you all about, because I cast on and finished in two short weeks.

First off, the least informative project: a shawl design in Alpaca Sox.  I can show you a closeup of the yarn:

IMG_8744

… but I can’t say much else.  The finished design and pattern will be available sometime in mid-2015.

Second, I have some sumptuous new yarn all the way from New Zealand. Outlaw Yarn’s Bohemia Sport is 45% Polwarth, 45% Alpaca and 10% Possum fibre.  It comes in 15 keen colors (or colours, as the NZers say), including two that I’ve seen in person:

IMG_8713

Here’s what they have to say about Bohemia Sport:

The Polwarth provides excellent stitch definition, stitch memory and sheen, the Alpaca gives a silky drape and the Possum content is perfectly balanced to bring a subtle marl and soft halo to the knitted yarn. Possum has similar qualities to mink. The fibres are hollow, light, non-itchy, extremely warm and (unlike angora) Possum is pill resistant. Alpaca is an extraordinarily fine fibre with microscopic air pockets creating unique thermal properties. Its durable, non-flammable and non-itchy containing no lanolin with a smooth cell structure.

I’m designed a mobius-based cowl with Bohemia Sport.  Think garter stitch with some slipped stitches. The mobius will transition into a flared tubular cowl so it will lie nicely around the shoulders while still being snuggly around the neck.  Here’s a sneak peek of that:

IMG_8743

Last but not least, I made a sweater in just two weeks!  Ok, it was a Julian-sized sweater, and it was bulky yarn on size 10 needles … but still!  I bought three skeins of Wynter in Crimson, and two skeins of MountainTop Blackthorn (one each of Seal and Beaver Grey).  (Oh, I also got myself some #10 Signatures, so now my set is complete!) I ended up needing a fourth skein of Wynter, but that is only because I changed my mind about how much striping I wanted to do.

Here’s my youngest boy, Julian, who commissioned the sweater and collaborated on stripe placement:

IMG_8721

He asked for a red sweater, I asked if I could add some stripes.  Halfway through we agreed that stripes on just one arm would be cool!

IMG_8718

IMG_8735

I used Ann Budd’s Top-Down Sweaters book as guidance — I added some short rows to shape the neck, and altered some lengths to suit my actual child.  (Fab book by the way! Super useful.  Saved me much math.)

I love how the sweater came out, and especially how much Julian loves it!  I think he’s worn it every day since I finished it.

IMG_8728

IMG_8738

FO Friday: Tangled Gal

At Stitches South, I bought yarn from the famous “Miss Babs” for the very first time.  Yowza is a BIG skein of yarn, more than enough to make a good-sized project. I chose a reversible cabled work-sideways scarf:

IMG_8266

Project: Tangled Gal

Pattern: Betangled Shawlette

Designer: Jennifer Weissman

Available: $5 on Ravelry

Yarn: Miss Babs Yowza What a Skein

This scarf starts from one tip and increases to the halfway point.  Short rows shape it nicely at the turn, and then you decrease to the other tip.  It’s great for making as much as possible out of the yarn you have.

IMG_8134

The giant-sized reverisble cables provide a built-in “keyhole” feature — super wearable.

IMG_8269

 

FO Friday: Two Hats

IMG_7824

Project: Peacock Themisto

Pattern: Themisto

Designer: Tori Gurbisz

Available: $5 on Ravelry  

Yarn: Glenfidditch wool in Silver and Peacock

I fell in love with a skein of blue-purple yarn at Stitches East 2013.  I looked at my handy project/yarn buying list, and chose this hat pattern … which meant I needed a second skein in a contrast color.  I made the hat, loved it … but it was taking FOREVER to dry after washing, so I put it out on the deck on a nice warm day.  Alas, the sun ruined it — almost all the purple highlights were bleached out, in a single afternoon outside.  So sad.

IMG_8007

Project: Trilobite

Pattern: Trilobite

Designer: Hannah Ingalls

Available: FREE on knitty.com

Yarn: Ella Rae Lace Merino Chunky in Acorn Brown

Ella Rae confuses me by using the word “Lace” in all their yarns … but I forgive them, because their chunky yarn is soooooo delicious! I love the yarn, the pattern, and the finished hat.  Thumbs up all-around.

FO Friday: Ginger Socks

Socks for my mom, pair 4 of 5!

Project: Pretty Ginger Socks

Pattern: Fosco’s Pret-Pret-Pretties

Designer: Heather Ordover

Available: $6 on Ravelry  or $16.95 for the 28-pattern e-book, What Else Would Madame DeFarge Knit?

Yarn: Tosh Sock in Ginger

This was an interesting pattern to knit, with neat lace and cables. Lots going on to keep a novelty-seeking knitter like myself occupied and entertained! However, I did run into some problems with the charts (symmetry issues, which were relatively easy to spot); and, later on I had problems with the heel/gusset — I’m not sure if it was my fault or not, but I did eventually give up and just do a heel I was more familiar with. Because of this, I would recommend holding off on knitting your own Pretty Socks until the errata have been published.

FO Friday: Fairy Rings

Lookit what I made, it’s so cool! 🙂

Project: Fairy Rings

Pattern: Miss Winkle

Designer: Martina Behm

Available: €3.60 EUR on Ravelry

Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Iachos  in “Frances and the Leaping Fairy

So … I think we all know how hard it can be to find a good pattern for a high-contrast multi-colored skein of hand-dyed yarn.  For instance, take a look at this skein:

 IMG_7393 - Copy

 

In terms of colors, the white, coral, and green all contrast sharply.  The tone of the saturated green and color are about the same, as you can see in the black-and-white version, but there is a strong contrast between the white and the most saturated “grey” ends of the skein. This is a colorway that will be stripey, and would overwhelm any but the most simple lace pattern.

BUT — it’s perfect for garter stitch, especially if the project has a variable stitch count to help avoid big pools of color. Martina Behm’s Hitchhiker is a perfect example of a simple pattern in garter stitch that increases gradually from a small cast-on to a broad end … it’s classic!  Martina seems to have made this sort of shawl/scarf a bit of a speciality.  What I like about Miss Winkle is the awesome loopy edge.  I need something to help hold my attention when working garter stitch, and this was just the thing.  An unexpected side-benefit of the loops is that they concentrate the color.  I estimate that each loop uses about half a round of the skein, so many progress through all three main colors. It helps “pop” the colors in the garter stitch…. and also, they are so cool!!

The curve of this kind of shawl happens naturally — the neck edge has kfb on both RS and WS rows, so it “pulls” a bit.