Check it out, gradient handspun!
Designer: Karen S. Lauger
Available: FREE! on Ravelry or on Knitty
Yarn: my handspun Mad Color
This was the perfect little pattern for my gradient handspun. I worked reeeealllly hard at getting the yarn to come out right, and I’m very pleased! The roving (from Mad Color Fiber Arts) had a high-contrast and interesting color progression, and I feel like I preserved that in the finished scarf.
I did get a tiny bit nervous as I neared the end of my knitting … that tiny bow of black yarn is the sum total of my leftover yarn. Whew!
I have a new favorite FO!
Project: Sleepy Molly
Designer: Susan Mills
Available: $6 on Ravelry (also available in several CEY booklets)
Yarn: my handspun Sleepy Hollow!
This was, simply put, the perfect pattern for this yarn. The long color repeats are highlighted by Molly’s short rows, and the rib/ruffle design was forgiving of handspun irregularities. It was a delightful knit, very fun and rewarding every step of the way.
I used needles appropriate to the yarn, but kept the stitch counts the same, so my Molly is a bit wider than the original. I hoped that I would have enough yarn to make a long enough scarf for a loop to work — both as a single-loop long cowl, and doubled up. I had juuuust enough yarn to accomplish this goal — it is super cozy doubled up, without strangling me :).
It’s officially New Year’s Eve! In the spirit of tidying up loose ends, here are all the projects that I’ve finished in the last few weeks. Because there are so many, I’ll keep my comments pithy — click through to Ravelry for pattern and yarn details.
Great pattern! Had some trouble with the yarn hemorrhaging dye during the pre-block soak, but managed to control it with help from Kate.
This M-KAL was great fun! The finished shawl is HUGE and heavy from all the beads — totally fabulous.
I’m sorry to say the purple yarn bled dye and now I have purple socks with PINK faux fringe. I’m glad I have one good picture beforehand! Note to self: take your own advice re: dye fast testing when combining saturated colors with white yarn. Sigh.
I finished this Christmas gift in plenty of time. My MIL wrapped it around her neck immediately, and wore it home.
High-contrast yarn needs just the right pattern — I’m pleased with how this came out.
Finished this cup-cozy today! Love how the overall twisted-stitch pattern makes a plush fabric from my silky-merino handspun yarn.
Rosewood Gingerbread Dorothy
This was a toy M-KAL — the finishing left to the knitter’s imagination. I went for a “Dorothy from Oz” look, with some success. I couldn’t get the gingham to work, however, so I’m not 100% satisfied.
I made some mitts!
Project: Winter Track Mitts
Pattern: Fried Chicken Mittens (modified)
Designer: Ellen Mason
Available: FREE on Ravelry
Yarn: Longmeadow Farm 100% Merino Wool
The Fried Chicken Mittens pattern is one of my favorites. The mittens fit great, and the pattern is quick and easy to followp So, when my eldest son asked for a pair of warm mittens for outdoor track practice this winter, I knew exactly which pattern I’d use. Yarn choice was fraught — he wanted “dark blue or dark grey” with little or no color variation. I showed him some tweedy blue from my stash, and he wanted to know what “all those white flecks” were for :). No go on the tweedy blue. Fortunately, I found the perfect skein of plush worsted merino at NEFF:
I was a little afraid it would be TOO heathered for his delicate sensibilities, but lucky for me — he gave the subtle colorway the official teenage thumbs up. Since he had originally asked for mittens, I started making mittens. About halfway through the palm I did a fitting, and he asked if I could “stop making them before the fingers closed.” After a quick conversation I realized he was asking for fingerless mitts, so that’s what I made.
He liked them so much, he let me take a picture or two!
I made a Boo Knits shawl!
Project: Mortica Raven
Designer: Boo Knits
Available: £4.00 GBP on Ravelry
Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Alfar in “Smoke”
Beads: A: Miyuki Triangle Seed Bead 8/0 Metallic Gunmetal from Auracrystals.com MY-TR08-0451; B: Miyuki Round Seed Bead 8/0 Transparent Crystal AB from Auracrystals.com MY-08-0250
I think this kind of lace speaks for itself. I thoroughly enjoyed this Mystery KAL. I managed to keep up, which is saying something! “Morticia” is just plain beautiful — a totally fun and challenging knit. I loved ALL the beading. I thought I might die from the final cast-off … took me the better part of two solid evenings … but I did finish, and it was completely worth the effort.
I finished a sweater (top?) for me!
Project: Blue Yonder Lambton
Pattern: Lambton Top
Designer: Theressa Silver
Available: in Jane Austen Knits 2011 or $5.50 in the IP Store (for the single pattern)
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow Tonal in Blue Yonder
This pattern was written for color-matched laceweight and fingering yarn. I opted to use Shadow Tonal — single-stranded for the laceweight ruching, and double-stranded for the fingering portions. This worked out really well, and made it extra easy to do the ruching increases. The row before the increases is double-stranded, so for the increase row I knit one stitch into each individual loop to double the stitch count.
I made substantial modifications in two areas. The first is the neckline. I knew when I began knitting that many people felt the neckline as-written was too big, especially in the larger sizes. I decided to make it as written anyway, knowing it would be relatively easy to go back and add extra rows of ruching at the neck by picking up stitches from the cast-on edge and working upwards with decreases at the corners. Here’s a WIP picture of the neckline as written:
When the garment was finished, the neckline was indeed to broad for my liking. The puffed sleeves pulled the shoulders off, and the corners of the square neckline showed my bra WAY too much. I followed my plan, and did two extra batches of ruching at the top — it looks weird when flat, but fits me well.
I also modded the bottom hem — instead of garter stitch, I used this pretty little lace edging. I also did a seven-stitch repeat of the slipped stitches in order to make everything work.
Seriously? It doesn’t get much more fabulous than this:
Project: Fall in Alexandria
Pattern: Alexandra Shawl
Designer: Dee O’Keefe
Available: $6 on Ravelry
Yarn: hand-dyed gradient yarn from A Hundred Ravens
I told you all about making the gradient yarn for this fabulous shawl. The pattern worked out PERFECTLY — I really respect and admire Dee’s pattern writing style and design skills. I’ll let the pictures do the talking on this one!