I continue to enjoy my Blue Moon Fiber Arts sock club socks. This yarn is deceptively pretty, with purples and lime greens hidden in the foilage.
Project: July 2011 STR Socks
Designer: JC Briar
Available: sometime in July 2012
Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight
Pattern was great, quick and easy knit. I shortened the toe (as I almost always do) to fit my squared-off Dutch feet.
Project: Harmonia’s Tidepool Rings
Pattern: Harmonia’s Rings Cowl
Designer: Sivia Harding
Available: $6 on Ravelry
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Tidepool Heather
I’ve made this pattern before — and I wore my purple Harmonia (made from KP City Tweed) near-constantly last winter. It’s warm, interesting to look at, flattering, and (best of all) fun to knit. The pattern begins with a mobius cowl, with increases on one half of the stitches. At a certain point, the non-increased half is cast off, and from their the pattern continues in the round on the increased half only. Clever construction plus a reversible pattern make for a very wearable FO. I especially like the optional extra length and beaded picot bind-off.
Back in June I bought some pretty pale violet Cascade Ultra Pima at Unforgettable Yarns in Andover….
A mere three months later, and I have a new summer top!
Project: Purple Ruched Yoke Tee
Pattern: Ruched Yoke Tee
Designer: AnneLena Madison
Available: Interweave Knits, Spring 2011
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima
In general, a great pattern. Easy to follow, no errors (that I noticed, anyway), etc. I like the simplicity of the design. I found it to be great “travel knitting” because of the large swathes of uninterrupted stockinette. Like many other knitters of this pattern, I found the keyhole a bit too large for my taste. When I put the i-cord edge on the keyhole, I just skipped every third stitch to make it a bit smaller.
I wore it as written for a single evening … and the neckline stretched from “daringly revealing” to “downright scandalous.” I solved this by adding an applied i-cord edge (matching the keyhole edging nicely), and the top is now quite wearable. One other minor quibble — for me, the CO stitches under the arms weren’t quite enough — I should have added more. As it is, the fabric stretches a bit too much there (oh well). I also stopped about 10 rows early with the body — it was long enough already.
I really love this top! Comfy and cute. The Ultra Pima has been a dream to work with — soft, pliant, and not at all like most cottons I’ve worked with. Definitely going to use it again!
For the third year in a row, I was a happy member of Renee Leverington’s “Anniversary Mystery Shawl” group. The KAL began in May, but I made the project even bigger by doing four panels (instead of three) and adding beads throughout the shawl. The last few rows were taking me 1-2 hours each, but the finished project is 100% worth the effort! I love the weight of a beaded shawl, and the click-clack the beads make as the shawl swings.
Project: AMS 2011
Pattern: Summer Rain
Designer: Renee Leverington
Available: $6 at Renee’s shop
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool-Silk in Blueberry — my first time knitting from a cone!
Beads: size 6 in “gunmetal iris”
“Summer Rain” was another creative and flawless pattern, just as I’ve come to expect from Renee. The pattern called for three triangles, blocked into a half-hexagon. I decided I wanted more shoulder coverage and added a fourth panel and blocked it as a 2/3-hexagon. I also went a little crazy with beads! Near the top beading rows were few and far between, but I systematically increased the amount of beading until it was nearly every row on the final “clue” of this mystery shawl.
Did you know that beads are hard to photograph?
This year four members of my knitting group worked on the mystery shawl. The first person to finish entered her shawl in a local ag fair and won 2nd place! I’m the second person to finish — two more to go!
I was surprised by how nicely the Zephyr lace yarn stretched out while knitting. Silly me, I thought it “barely” needed blocking. Here is a before shot — you can see how dense and crumpled it is compared to the blocked photos above.
Here’s the pinned-out shawl! I used Knit Picks cables (from the interchangeable set) to block the top edges, and I pinned out points along the bottom edges. The shawl dried super fast — completely done in just one afternoon.
Maluka is the August KAL in the Beginner Lace Knitters group on Ravelry. It was one of my nominations, so I was extra excited to cast on! I rummaged through my stash and found the perfect hank of too-pretty-for-feet sock yarn: a gorgeous purple wool-bamboo blend with a lot of shine and personality.
This shawlette is almost a scarf — very petite! But, quick to work up. You work the garter border first. The cool 3-over-3 bundle that makes a chain of circles that is very pretty. After the border is complete, you pick up stitches all along the edge, and work the body in a series of short rows to create a graceful crescent shape.
Project: Shiny Purple Maluka
Designer: Bea Schmidt
Available: FREE! on Ravelry
Yarn: Three Irish Girls McClellan Fingering
I’ve been wearing my Maluka constantly — even with grubby shorts and a T-shirt :). (I never said personal style was my forte!) I love how it drapes. The designer is German, so it’s not too surprising that the edging chart follows the convention of showing what you actually knit, rather than the right side of the work. I know there are knitters out there who prefer this style of chart, but I much, much prefer a chart that shows what the right side of the work looks like. I have no problem understanding “knit on RS, purl on WS” etc. For my own sanity, I did make up a “right side” version of the Maluka edging chart, which I have made available at Google docs for knitters who think like me. (You will still need the original pattern to make a Maluka, as this is only the edging chart.)
I modified the pattern just a smidge, nothing major. I used wrap&turn short rows, rather than the decrease/slip short rows called for. I found that the decrease was making a big lump in my fabric. I also wanted to use a little more yarn and have a slightly bigger finished object. For the neck edge, I decided to use an i-cord bind off, which I extended over the cast-on and bind-off ends of the edging. I am a bit of an i-cord fanatic! 🙂
In sum: great pattern, love my FO, another great KAL!
In a special weekend edition of FO Friday, I bring you two projects I finished this summer….
Project: Zylphia Over Yonder
Pattern: Zylphia Cowl
Designer: Stephannie Tallent
Available: on Ravelry ($6)
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Blue Yonder
I tech edited this pattern, and absolutely could not resist casting on almost the moment I finished the editing work. This cowl takes the stitch patterns from Stephannie’s “Zylphia Pilots Her Airship” sweater (published at the Sanguine Gryphon) and scales it down into a beautiful lacy cowl. Turned picot hems finish both ends; the cowl is knit entirely in the round. I found the lace pattern interesting and easy to memorize. It shows off tonal yarn beautifully.
Project: Sapphire Papilionoidea
Designer: Caroline Wright
Available: on Ravelry (£2.00 GBP)
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Fingering in Sapphire Heather
I was lucky enough to test knit this pattern for the designer. I had been trying to decide what socks to make for my Dad — he’d requested “fancy” socks in Sapphire Heather with his Christmas Knit4UxMe. Then I saw these, and wow! It’s amazing how the butterfly emerges from the lacy pattern. This is another great pattern by an indy designer: well-written, clear, and definitely worth the purchase price.
Pictures from my dad, of the socks on his feet! 🙂
I’m playing finished-object catchup this week with two sample knits for Plymouth Yarns: a bag, and a necklace.
Project: Bazinga Sample Knit
Pattern: Bazinga Bag
Designer: Plymouth Yarn Design Stuido
Available: ask your LYS
The body, gusset, and handles of this bag are all in linen stitch. This helps even out the extreme fat-and-thin nature of Bazinga. The giant flower was … interesting. I had a devil of a time getting it to lay down and behave, then sew it in place. The handles are doubled and whip-stitched together, as are the seams between the body panels and the gussets.
Project: Eros Necklace
Designer: Plymouth Yarn Design Stuido
Available: ask your LYS
Yarn: Eros II
This piece was uncooperative, but eventually I nailed it down! Eros II is a novelty yarn, with colored metallic squares suspended in a skinny “ladder” of black yarn. This pattern called for the yarn (and I use that word loosely!) to be held double. Lots of short rows of increasing length creating the gradually larger ruffle. I’m not sure I would wear it … but it’s a sample, so once I finish and mail it off, it’s out of my hands.