FO Friday: Parseval in the Clover

A minor miracle occurred in my home town this week …. I finished a sweater, for me!

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Project: Parseval in the Clover

Pattern: Parseval

Designer: Melissa Wehrle

Available: $6 on Ravelry

Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss DK in “Clover”

I started this project in January 2012, and I’m sorry to say it was only the anniversary of the start date that goosed me into finished the project.  It fits great (especially after a slightly-more-vigorous washing, which plumped up the cowl neck and cables), and I love the color. I don’t love millions of miles of 4×1 ribbing (even in the round), but thanks to shame and Final Fantasy XIII, I did plow through it.  (I knit during the frequent and endless cut scenes.)

Speaking of ribbing, this project helped me conquer, once and for all, my ribbing “problem.”  Like many people, the leftmost knit stitch was too loose compared to it’s fellows, making the ribbing look crappy (that’s a technical knitting term, meaning “not as good as one would like”).  I discovered, via introspection, that I was shoving the whole needle through that stitch, rather than knitting on the tips as I usually do.  I don’t really know why.  But, focusing on the tips, plus a little judicious cinching-up when I forgot, made for acceptable ribbing throughout this project.

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FO Friday: Ravellenic Edition (Part II)

I finished my other two projects for the Ravellenic Games!

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Project: Blue Tiles

Pattern: Parquet Tiles

Designer: Rose Beck

Available: $5 for this pattern alone, or $12.99 for the Archi-textural Collection (on Ravelry, naturally)

Yarn: Knit Picks Capra in Celestial

I love this soft and luscious yarn!  The pattern was not my usual “type” — I’m not often drawn to plain-old knit&purl designs. Too many are poorly-rendered, overly-cutesy designs fit only for washcloths.  But, Parquet Tiles is elegant and lovely — not washcloth-like at all.  Enjoyable knit, reasonably quick, well-written pattern.  High marks!

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I worked hard throughout the Olympics on my puffs.  I’m proud to say I have officially “caught up” to my 366 in 2012 goal, and I’m currently running 4 puffs ahead of schedule! I was helped greatly by a mini-skein swap of 40 gorgeous new STR Lightweight colorways.

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Project: 40 STR Puffs

Pattern: the beekeeper’s quilt

Designer: tiny owl knits

Available: $5.50 on Ravelry

Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight

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New Pattern Release: Full Bloom Bag

Introducing my latest pattern: Full Bloom Bag!

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PatternFull Bloom Bag

DesignerRachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: $3.99 at Knit Picks / $4.50 on Ravelry

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in three shades of green, and three shades of pink

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Design/Skills Needed: This cute little bag packs a lot of knitting technique into a single project: stranded colorwork, steeking, and applied i-cord work together to create a colorful bag inspired by old-fashioned wallpaper.

In order to achieve the vertical stripes on the finished bag, the body is worked sideways, in the round, using stranded colorwork to make the stripes and roses. The body is then steeked and the first and last rows are grafted. The bottom is worked in the round from picked-up stitches, and the top edges are finished with applied i-cord, which is then extended into i-cord handles.

Directions for a simple lining are included in the pattern, but (dear reader) you may remember I blogged about how I sewed a lining with built-in pockets. If you make this bag, I urge you to give pockets a try!

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The bottom of the bag has mitered corners in garter stitch — sturdy and perfectly square.

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I had a really hard time letting go of this sample so it could sojourn to Knit Picks for review.  I am anxiously awaiting it’s return, so it can be my cute purse and project bag for some time to come!

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FO Friday: Deep Water Echo

I made a pretty pretty shawl! I think I’m in love with Estonian-style lace patterns.

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Project: Deep Water Echo

Pattern: Echo Flower Shawl

Designer: Jenny Johnson Johnen

Available: FREE! on Ravelry

Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow Tonal in Deep Waters

I made the larger version of this pattern, which I only regretted when doing the umpteenth repeat of the 3-into-9 body pattern. I love the nupps, the stars, everything! High marks to this first-time designer for a beautiful and well-written pattern!

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Knit Picks Shadow Tonal is a joy to work with — springy and just enough color variation for beauty, without distracting from the lace.  I did find Deep Waters a bit dark for night-time knitting: I had to wait for good light.

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New Pattern Release: Mhara Baby Blanket

Introducing my latest pattern: Mhara Baby Blanket! Mhara means “sea” in Gaelic.

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Pattern: Mhara Baby Blanket

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: for $1.99 through Knit Picks IDP or $2.50 on Ravelry

Yarn: Knit Picks Brava Bulky in Tranquil

Design/Skills Needed: This fully reversible baby blanket is worked on the bias in garter stitch. Step-wise increases and decreases are embellished as you go with crocheted waves. Explicit directions for stroller- and crib-sized blankets are given, but the pattern is easily adapted for larger or smaller blankets. This pattern includes complete photo tutorials for the step-wise increases and the crocheted embellishment. For ease of printing, these tutorials appear at the end of the pattern. Experienced knitters may print just page 2 for complete pattern with no extraneous photos or information.

Familiarity with crocheting is helpful, but not necessary. Almost any yarn will work with this pattern, provided you use appropriately-sized needles.

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New Pattern Release: Flurry Sweater

Introducing my latest pattern: the Flurry Sweater! This two-color pullover features a band of colorwork snowflakes at the waist and elbow, waist-shaping, flared sleeves and hem, and i-cord finish on all edges.

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Pattern: Flurry Sweater

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: for $3.99 through Knit Picks IDP

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed

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Inspiration: I have this old sweater, a favorite that I’ve had a long time.  It’s pilled and felted from incautious laundering, but I still love to wear it. I picked the things I liked best about it (grey on top, blue on the bottom, colorwork band) and improved it a bit too (more fitted waist, set-in sleeves).

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Design/Skills Needed: The body is knit in-the-round until the armholes, after which the front and back are worked flat, separately. The sleeves are also knit in the round until the sleeve cap, which is worked flat. Knitters may select their preferred in-the-round method (DPNs, one circ, magic loop, two circs, etc.) throughout.

For the colorwork section, I recommend going down one needle size, as many knitters find their colorwork to be looser than their stockinette. However, it’s possible that you may need to stay with the same needle, or even go up a size, to maintain consistent gauge between the stockinette and colorwork portions. Please work a gauge swatch in both stockinette and the colorwork pattern to determine the best needle size for you, for each section.

When working stranded colorwork, take care to keep the floats loose behind the work. When gaps larger than 5 sts must be bridged, catch the float halfway through the gap to keep things tidy. The colorwork sections are charted.

Yarn: Almost any worsted-weight yarn will work with this pattern. I recommend the darkest color for the bottom, a medium value for the top, and the lightest for the snowflakes.

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

FO Friday: Harmonia’s Tidepool Rings

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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.

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