FO Friday: Sheep Head Hat

I’m so pleased with my Sheep Head Hat! ūüôā

IMG_4380

I used CEY’s soft and lovely Vail, which is an alpaca/bamboo blend, available is eight naturally-dyed shades of grey and brown. ¬†When I bought the yarn for this project, only six shades were out — the other two were added with this fall’s line of new colors.

IMG_3138

Project: Sheep Head Hat

Pattern: sheep heid

Designer: Kate Davies

Available: £2.75 GBP on Ravelry

Yarn:¬†Classic Elite Yarn’s Moutaintop Vail, six hues

The original pattern called for nine natural sheep colors, so I had to modify my hat to use the six shades I had to work with.  I lost a bit of the dynamics of the original hat, but I still love my version.  The alpaca-bamboo fingering weight yarn is amazingly soft and lightweight.  The standing sheep in the hat body are adorable, but I love the graphic rams-head decreases on the top. UPDATE: my hat was featured in the CEY blog!

IMG_4306

FO Friday: Purple Endgame

 

 

I finished (another) Endgame!  This one is a shop sample for the Hub Mills Store

IMG_4289

Project: Purple Endgame

Pattern: Endgame

Designer: Rachel Henry

Available:¬†in booklet #9207 (“Checkmate”) (single-pattern download may be available in the future)

Yarn: Wool Bam Boo

Closeup of the faux-woven (and fully reversible!) pattern:

IMG_4288

 

Amazing drape!

IMG_4253

 

Please ignore the author’s wrinkled and inappropriately-bright-red shirt:

IMG_4255

New Pattern Release: Endgame Stole

Introducing my latest pattern: Endgame!

IMG_3311

Pattern: Endgame

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: Booklet #9207 from Classic Elite

Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Wool Bam Boo in Garnet (4 balls)

This is my first pattern published in the CEY booklets — I’m so pleased to be included! Check out the drape of this stole in the modeled photo:

Design/Skills Needed: This fully-reversible stole is worked flat. The woven pattern is achieved with increases/decreases and dropped stitches.  I added a lacy edge with a full column of dropped stitches. Twisted stitches on either side of each dropped-stitch panel keeps the look sharp and the dropped-stitches open. The overall effect is stunning, and the Wool Bam Boo is silky-soft to touch. I love, love, love this yarn.

IMG_3307

IMG_3306

I used my “interchangeable cable ” trick to block this stole. ¬†Before washing, I threaded a long cable through each loop on both edges. ¬†I screwed on the end caps to make sure the cables didn’t fall out, and put the stole in for a good long soak. ¬†After squeezing out the water, I stretched out the stole on my blocking board (aka, old alphabet letter foam squares). ¬†I put pins in every two inches or so, pulling against the cable — not the individual stitches. ¬†Using the cables meant a lot fewer pins to get the “fully stretched” effect, and also gave a more even blocking overall.

IMG_3296

FO Friday: Minotaur Obsession

This week, I offer you another “finished it a while ago” project. ¬†I am wearing it right now, so I thought — hey, I haven’t show this to anyone yet! Better take care of it. ¬†In contrast to last week’s epic blanket, this cowl only took 5 days from CO to BO. ¬†Whee! Quick projects are awesome.

IMG_3302

Project: Minotaur Obsession

Pattern: Minotaur Cowl

Designer: Rachel Henry

Available: FREE! on Ravelry

Yarn: CEY Obsession

I had exactly one ball of this interesting (but discontinued) yarn. ¬†It’s a bulky-weight cashmere, made up of 8 different skinny strands, each a different color. ¬†I was a pleasure to work with — I mean, cashmere, right? ¬†I made a tight-fitting mobius cowl using my own design. ¬†Minotaur starts with a foundation strip (knit flat in garter stitch) that is twisted and seamed to form the base of the mobius. ¬†From there stitches are picked up along the single mobius edge, and the remainder of the cowl is knit mobiusly.

This construction allowed me to get exactly the right fit, because the foundation strip is easy to measure as it is knit.  It also allowed me to use up every last scrap of this extra-luxurious fiber, because I just kept knitting in pattern until it was all gone.

IMG_3301

New Pattern Release: Kudzu Shawlette

Introducing my latest pattern: the Kudzu Shawlette! This dramatic lacy shawlette, worked in soft, luminescent Cotton Bam Boo, is a versatile accessory for all seasons.¬† This pattern was designed especially for Classic Elite Yarn‚Äės free weekly web-letter.

shawl1

shawldetail1

Pattern: Cotton Bam Boo Kudzu Shawlette

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: free at Classic Elite!

Yarn: Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo

shawl4

Inspiration: In the southern United States, Kudzu flows over the land like waves caught in time. When I lived in Virginia, I loved to watch the daily progress this ‚Äúweed‚ÄĚ made, overtaking trees and buildings alike. I tried to capture the impression of motion in this shawlette, using lace patterns that transition organically from one to the next.

shawldetail2

The top edge begins with a twisted rib that expands into the first round of leaves.  The second round of leaves, slightly larger, develops from a column of twisted knit stitches left-over from the rib. The third and final round of leaves, larger still, expands to take over the lattice at the bottom edge.

shawl3

This lacy shawlette can be worn over the shoulders with a fancy accent button or shawl pin to hold it in place. The full length version can also be wrapped twice around the neck for a more casual look. The midi length is just long enough to go once around the shoulders. 

shawl5

Design/Skills Needed: Kudzu is worked flat from the top down.  Because there are so many stitches (especially in the full-length version), I highly recommend using circular needles. In addition to the slightly unusual wrapped stitch in the twisted rib pattern, the pattern also includes more common lace stitches (yarnovers, decreases, double decreases), and knitting and purling through the back loop. The pattern is fully charted, but also has complete written directions. Ambitious beginning knitters will find this a challenging but achievable introduction to lace knitting; intermediate and experienced lace knitters should enjoy the ever-changing pattern.

I would be delighted to answer any questions or help any knitters working on this project.

shawl2

I thought it might be interesting for knitters to see a little bit of the design process for this pattern. This is my final sketch for Kudzu, made after swatching, but before the sample was knit. Close observers will notice how much longer the finished sample is, compared to the sketch. In fact, the Cotton Bam Boo stretched much more than I anticipated, even after careful swatching.¬† The resulting sample was significantly longer than I had anticipated, but I found myself really liking the length.¬† I showed it to a fashionable younger friend of mine, as well as several different knitting friends, and they all gave it a bit thumbs-up.¬† I included the “midi” length in the pattern, which is closer to my sketched version.

image_25_1_2011-1(rev 1)

I’m also sharing scans of some of my notes and charts from false starts and final versions. I don’t have much commentary on these — just sharing!

image_30_5_2011(rev 0)image_29_5_2011-3(rev 0)

image_29_5_2011(rev 0)image_29_5_2011-1(rev 0)image_29_5_2011-2(rev 0)