CO Monday: Sea Drift Toque, Happy Green Fyllyrd, Jan 2012 Mystery Lace KAL

There is nothing like a big UFO purge and Ravelry Queue clean-up to make me really want to cast on something new! 🙂

First up: a Drift Toque from my Christmas copy of Weekend Hats. I’m using some stashed Happy Feet DK — the color is gorgeous, and a little hard to capture with my camera.  I love the up-down cables and the sideways short-row construction.  I opted to use the called-for needle size (instead of going down a size, which I usually do, thanks to my loose knitting habits).  I have a huge head, and thought this might be enough to make the hat the right size for me.  Alas, it looks like it might be coming out a touch small … but, I think I can add an extra “wedge” of hat + short rows and make it fit.

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Next, I’m doing a Fyllyrd as part of the January KAL  in the Beginning Lace Knitters group.  I’m using my newly liberated Dream-in-Color Smooshy in the “Happy Forest” colorway.  I have already used as much yarn as I frogged … SO the right decision.  I just finished the first nupps repeat, and I am really enjoying it. If it looks like a neat pattern, join in the fun!  This is an open KAL that will be running all month (and, usually, afterwards as people finish up).

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I am using my other skein of DIC Smooshy (“Dusky Aurora”) for a different KAL (this one closed yesterday, so it’s too late to join in).  SusannaIC’s January Mystery KAL features nupps, beads, and a cast-on of 300+ stitches.  Fun times!

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FO Friday: Happy Feet DK Child’s Sweater

This week I’m featuring another of my pattern sample projects for Plymouth Yarns: a child’s sweater made from DK-weight sock yarn.  The professional model is an adorable blond girl … but of course before I sent it out I had to take a home-photo on my slightly-too-large youngest boy — he was cooperative, if slightly silly.  Please ignore his desperate need for a haircut!

Project: Happy Feet Sample Knit

Pattern: Cabled Sweater

Designer: Plymouth Yarn Design Stuido

Available: ask your LYS

Yarn: Happy Feet DK (color 61)

This was a fast & easy project — basic shaping and making-up, and the all-over cabled rib pattern looks great and is fun to knit. I’m a huge fan of Happy Feet DK, but you MUST wash & block a swatch with this yarn — it opens up and softens considerably with washing.  Before washing and blocking the sweater, the fabric was tight and hard — almost crunchy.  After washing and blocking, it was soft and had a nice give, lovely to touch.

Fantasy Queue: Knitty Spring+Summer 2011

Oh pretty-shiny! The latest issue of Knitty came out a week or so ago, and as usual there are far too many lovely patterns for me to ever actually knit.  For the duration of this post, I will suspend disbelief and indulge in a fantasy queue.  If I had unlimited time and money, what would I knit, and with what yarn?

#1: Corinne

This is a pretty little swingy cardigan knit side-to-side in garter stitch with short rows for shaping. I love the belled half-length sleeves.  It seems like the perfect throw-on cardi, and good “mindless” knitting too.  To help it stand up daily use, I’d use a superwash yarn.  I think it would show off variegated colorways nicely, so perhaps some Happy Feet DK? Colorway #59, “Gems,” is awfully pretty.

#2: Verdant

I’m drawn to this more for the interesting modified intarsia technique than anything else.  I think I’d be happiest with some gorgeous fall colors, even though this is the “spring” knitty. My favorite go-to lace yarn is Alpaca Cloud, but Knit Picks hasn’t released their 2011 colorways yet, so right now it’s slim pickings. I think I MIGHT make this wrap out of Palette … which would certainly provide a multitude of colors to choose from!

Main Color: Camel Heather

Leaves: Merlot Heather, Salsa Heather, Kumquat Heather, Autumn Heather,

 

#3: Susanna

I love complex cabled and/or lacy socks, and I also love crazy sock colorways.  It’s been a hard lesson, but I have learned over the last half-dozen years that these two loves rarely mix well.  For intricate socks like “Susanna” I will have to stay true to the design and choose a plain colorway that allows the pattern to come to the forefront.  Even a tonal colorway would be too much, but I think I could get away with a heathered color like Basalt Heather (Stroll).

#4: Rivercat

This sock, in contrast, can totally handle a tonal colorway.  I love the big jive-y lines and bold pattern. Since I am in love with Knit Picks Stroll Tonal, I’d pick up some Deep Waters and make this socks in a jiffy.

New Pattern Release: Photog Mitts

Introducing my latest pattern: the Photog Mitts! This pattern for palmless, fingerless mitts in squishable Happy Feet DK is all about maximizing warmth while leaving the hand free for work.  Great for photographers, sailors, and anyone who wants to keep their hands both warm and unencumbered.

1203 photog mitts

1204 photog mitts

Pattern: Photog Mitts

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available for $3.50 at Ravelry

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet DK

Inspiration: I designed these for my friend Donna (of Donna Kelliher Photography) — she specializes in photographing dog sporting events, which means she is outside in all kinds of weather. Handling a camera with full mittens or gloves on is dicey at best, and regular fingerless mitts cover the palm in fabric, which bunches up and makes holding the camera difficult.

Design/Skills Needed: The cuff is worked in the round, starting with a simple scalloped edge that comes to a point and continues in a subtle line of slipped stitches all the way up the wrist and hand. Stitches are cast off at the base of the palm, and the remainder of the mitt is worked flat with slip-stitch edges that hug the palm. A thumb gusset provides superior fit. The top is finished with i-cord edging that runs around the pinky and pointer fingers to hold the mitt in place – the thumb is also finished with i-cord edging.

Yarn: Suitable for the most colorful hand-painted yarn, but stylish with subdued colors too, these functional yet charming mitts are quick to knit and fun to wear.

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