CO Monday: a vest and yet-another-cowl

I’m done with the knitting (and finishing) for my project for Challenge #3 of the Fiber Factor.  We had the photo shoot on Friday just before sundown — my friend’s daughter modeled for me, and my other friend took the pictures.  I knew we were getting great shots while on site, but the actual proofs were even better! I’m looking forward to the time when I can share.

Still on the to-do list for this challenge:

  • finally finalize the all-important name
  • arrange for and complete my “for the public” session with our mentor, Josh Barrett
  • make the video for the judges (I have some footage, but probably need more)
  • select the 12 best photos, and decide which two will be the “main” and “supporting” photos
  • finish up grading and pattern writing (just have sleeves to go)

So, I cast on two new projects this week!

First-off is a new(ish) design project — it’s destined to be a Classic Elite Web-letter pattern, sometime this fall.  I’m using scrumptious squishy-soft Chalet to make a cable-edged squared-off vest — a layering piece for fall and early winter. I swatched for this design some time ago, but now is the time to get the thing done. So far, so good!

Second, I started yet-another-cowl.  This time, I’m using glorious Llyr in the new-ish colorway “Aphrodite” (drool at it, I command thee):

IMG_6203

I’m making a Song of the Sea with it — perfect combination of yarn and pattern, IMHO.

Ravelry Monday: Catkin, Lavandula, Spring Cloud

First Pick: Catkin, by Carina Spencer ($7.00)

I love the clever construction and colorwork on this cozy shawl.  The first version has bold autumnal colors that really pop.  The second version shows how a subtle color choice can make a very different finished object — I love both.  The colorwork at the hem is done with slipped stitches, so it is much more accessible to knitters who fear Fair Isle colorwork.

Second Pick: Lavandula, by Mia Rinde ($6.00)

There will always be more lace shawls out there that I want to knit, and this one just got bumped to the top of my “to do” list.  I love the wide swaths of stocikinette (great for showing off some multi-colored yarn!), but what really got me is the 4-lobed hem edge — love it!

Third Pick: Spring Cloud, by Sachiko Uemura (FREE!)

For my last pick this Monday, I bring you this simple, elegant use of two yarns.  The body is worked with a fingering-weight yarn held together with a lace-weight mohair yarn, and the feather-light cowl is worked with the lace yarn alone.  It floats above the top like a separate cowl, but it matches and drapes perfectly.

Ravelry Monday: Caffeinate, My Heaven, and Pull Capriate

First Pick: Caffeinate! Press Style Coffee Maker Cozy, by Coryna Blasko (FREE!)

Um, hooray! What a great way to brighten my day! Anything Doctor Who is awesome, and this Dalek-inspired cozy is extra awesome. It makes me want to buy a coffee press just so I can make a cozy for it.

Second Pick: My Heaven, by Patusha (FREE!)

Oh My Heaven, that’s some pretty lace! Check out blog for Patusha’s Knitting Club for free, beautifully formatting charts and pattern. As of right now, the pattern is available is … some language that uses a different alphabet (but the English version is coming soon).  Experienced lace knitters know that all we really need is the cast on and the charts! 🙂

Third Pick: Pull Capriate, by Carole de Marne (in a book, in French)

I’m just charmed by this knit — even though the pattern book is in French, and even getting the book seems to require speaking French … if I had a little girl who’d wear it, I’d totally learn French :).

Ravelry Monday: Cascade Kid Seta Cardigan, Forgotten Garden Shawl, Ballycastle Tam

First Pick: Cascade Kid Seta Cardigan, by Marelie Hurter (FREE!)

Frothy, drapey, pretty … and very, very simple.  Made in laceweight yarn on big needles, the finished cardi should be lightweight and warmer than you’d expect … just the thing for spring.  What really sells me on it though is that it reminds me of Annie’s cardi (the ghost in “Being Human”).   This one made in into my queue! I think I’ll use something browny-grey?

Second Pick: Forgotten Garden Shawl, by Rose Beck ($5.00)

This elegant geometric shawl evokes formal gardens: box hedges and well-tended rosebushes in measured rows. I think I’d go with green or maybe shocking pink.

Third Pick: Ballycastle Tam, by Anne Podlesak ($5.50)

I love the subtle shading and simple pattern to show off the beauty of natural wool. Gorgeous.  I’d be tempted to use my usual palette of blue/green/purple, but I hope I’d have the strength to stick to the lovely colors provided by the sheep themselves.

Ravelry Monday: Wren’s Trio of Properties, Dog Tea Cozy

First Pick: Wren’s Trio of Properties, by Faye Kennington ($4.95)

At first glance, I thought this was a pattern for eyeball ornaments — maybe something Cthulu-esque?  But instead, they are felted birdhouses: at once more mundane and much more interesting. The designer based them on something she’d seen in a garden magazine, and that birds actually like them — so they are useful and decorative.

Second Pick: Dog Tea Cozy, by Rian Anderson ($4.00)

He may call this a “dog” tea cozy, but we all know which wonderful claymation dog he means: Gromit!!

I named my Border Collie “Gromit” because I love the show so much.  If only I drank tea out of pots, I would be making up this tea cozy in a heartbeat!  Maybe I will get the pattern anyway, and see if I can transform it into a soft toy …

Third Pick: Persinette, by Erica Lynne ($1.50)

Two clever headband patterns, knit icord-style over elastic! The flower is a perfect place to show off a beloved singleton button, too.

Ravelry Monday: Eomer Shield Tam, Pineapple Delight, Starboard Cape

First Pick: Eomer Shield Tam, by KYMaggie ($3.50)

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!  This pattern uses stranded colorwork and cables to re-create in yarn a beautiful design from the Lord of the Rings.  I think I might depart from the official Rohan colorway — the design uses 7 colors, maybe deep purple, bright sky blue, and silvery gray?

Second Pick: Pineapple Delight, by Larissa Valeeva (FREE!)

What a stunning (and FREE!) pattern! I am thinking of using this with my new Zauberball skein, but I would have to do a shorter version as I don’t have quite enough yardage.  This is worked provisionally downwards for the main lace color, then upwards with short rows to make the top.  The second PDF (with “en” at the end) is in English, even though the title is in Russian.

Third Pick: Starboard Cape, by Courtney Kelley (available in Knitscene, Summer 2011)

This little sleeved capelet is so darn CUTE.  It makes me think of Mad Men for some reason — just the thing for an office girl to wear?

Ravelry Monday: Comfort Slippers for Japan, Holes, and Knit Purl Knitting Bag

First Pick: Comfort Slippers for Japan, by Reiko Arato ($2.50)

A sweet little pair of house slippers, using only 50 g of sock yarn — and the designer is donating the proceeds to the Japanese Red Cross.  Here is her message:

I was born and grow up in Sendai, Japan, and have lived in Shanghai, China since last year. My parents live in Sendai. Many friends also live there. For my hometown and Japan which had suffered serious tsunami damage, I had thought what I was able to do from Shanghai. Then, I decided to sell my pattern and to contribute the total amounts I received for Japan to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

I don’t usually buy patterns until I’m ready to start knitting, but in this case I made an exception.

 

Second Pick: Knit Purl Knitting Project Bag, by Nicole Montgomery ($4.99 at TrappingsandTrinkets)

I’m not much of a “bag” person usually, but I really like this one. Simple, stylish, plus a sheep! Who could ask for more.

Third Pick: Holes, by Frankie Brown (FREE! (donation to Children’s Liver Foundation suggested)

The latest pattern from Frankie Brown just plain makes me happy. I love the creative use of garter-stitch short rows to make square donuts that button together. Clever!

Ravelry Monday: Cthulhu Scarf, Ziprelaxagon, and Jardin Cardi

First Pick: Cthulhu Scarf, by Merelen (FREE!)

What’s not to love about a Cthulhu scarf? This first-time designer has produced a clear, simple pattern that captures the horror that is the Great One’s tentacled madness. The scarf is mostly garter stitch, with Cthulhu’s face in washcloth-style knits and purls.

Second Pick: Ziprelaxagon, by Kirsten Hall ($6.50)

Seriously, how OMG cool is this pattern?  Perfect for all that gorgeous hand-painted sock yarn that tempts us sock knitters, then refuses to look pretty when we knit it up.  Entrelac meets short rows and beauty results. The designer re-assures us that despite the tiled effect, the foot and leg are knit in one piece — no interminable ends to weave in.  This one is definitely a challenge … but sometimes isn’t that just what you want?

Third Pick: Jardin Ruffled Cardi, by Nitza Coto ($6.50)

This is a sweet little cardi with pretty details. It reminds me a bit of Titania, which is one of my favorite sweaters.  I would knit it in some slinky cotton/silk/bamboo yarn and wear it all spring.