Fantasy Queue: Summer 2012 Interweave Knits

I was casting about for a subject for this week’s Wednesday post, when what should appear but a Rose-Suchak ladder the Summer 2012 issue of Interweave Knits. The lace shawl on the cover is gorgeous, and I know I’ve already favorited a few patterns as they’ve popped up on Ravelry.  If you’re new to the idea of a Fantasy Queue, here’s how it works:  if you had a generous yarn budget and plenty of time to knit, what would YOU make?  Here’s my list from this issue of IK:

The first sweater that caught my eye is in an ad — Fiona Ellis’ Cable and Rib Top, available free from Cascade Yarns. Alas, no link on Ravelry (as of yet), so I can’t easily add it to my (real) queue.  I’ve worked with Ultra Pima before, and I love my Ruched Yoke Tee. Although I’m not a huge fan of reverse stockinette … I might try flipping the piece and knitting left-handed when long stretches of purl present themselves.  That or Portuguese purling will get me through. I think I’d go for a rich pink, like Deep Coral.

I’ve knit a bit of beaded jewelry, and the Endira Necklace definitely looks amazing! The magazine says it’s worked in Louet Euroflax Linen, but the Ravelry page claims Louet Euroflax Paris.  I hope the magazine is right, because Paris is discontinued! I suspect that the linen content is an important structural part of this piece. A quick search online leads me to believe getting this yarn may be a bit of a struggle, and (worse) I may have to buy an entire cone when this necklace only needs 50 yards.  Hmmm. If it came to that, I’d probably choose a warm neutral color like Champagne, so I could make more than one using different colored beads.

Speaking of unusual yarns, the Greta Headband calls for Handmaiden Sea Three, an aran-weight silk/seacell blend. The designer describes it as “sleek and ultrasoft … drapes like a dream.”  Sounds fantastic, and it had better be at $40 per 100-g skein!  I think I’d go with one of the variegated colorways, like Blackberry.

I’m tempted to try the pattern in CEY Sanibel. I can see it working out ok … and I love the varied textures and colors of this yarn. Maybe Pistachio? It’s certainly a friendlier price — just $10 per 50-g skein.  Even if I ended up needing two, that’s half the price of Sea Three.

I am very much looking forward to knitting Susanna IC’s latest lace confection: Summer Blooms Shawl. I have a newfound love of Malabrigo Lace, so I might pick up some of that … or perhaps I’ll use Alpaca Cloud … I have some leftovers in several colorways.  Now that I think it over … I have 2+ hanks in Tidepool Heather, along with coordinating beads, that were meant for a Laminaria — I think I’ll repurpose that yarn for Summer Blooms!

Speaking of sweet little lace projects, I also really, really like the Pianissimo Mitts. I suspect they’d be light on the hands, yet warm. One might accuse me of invoking any excuse to use Madelinetosh.  I already know how beautiful Jade is in Tosh DK (as used in my Evergreen Beanie) — maybe I could make some pretty matching mitts? Or, as the designer suggests, I could use up some leftover bits of laceweight, since even the larger size only requires 225 yards.

I absolutely love the look of the Seaglass Shell.  So dramatic! Lace in the back, plain in the front; that swooping drape of stockinette framing the lace!  If only I had the body to match, I would be bumping all other projects so I could wear this sleeveless top right away. Alas, I can’t realistically go bra-less, and seeing a bra-strap through that lace would spoil everything.  I’ll console myself by speculating that the gorgeous look of the back can only be maintained by near-perfect posture, and would gap horribly in real life. I’m sorry to say all four patterns in the “clay, cotton, wood, & wool” story seem meant for small-chested girls who can leave bras at home without risking injury or exposure.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

So there you have it — my favorites from this issue.  Peruse the mag, browse the patterns on rav — what would YOU make?

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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: Mitts, Mitts, Mitts

Happy Monday! Time to look back at the previous week’s recently added knitting patterns on Ravelry and pick a few favorites.

First Pick: Gotland, by Marias Garn (SEK 40, appx $6.25)

What really, really gets me is this combination of robot-trendy purl ringlets, and Victorian-ish colorwork roses. Love it, times a million. Great, now I sound like the judges on American Idol!! I could see these looking great in a number of palettes … how about pinky roses with grey-green leaves on a rusty-brown background, and creamy rings?

 

Second Pick: Argyle Wrist Warmers, by Emily Snyder ($2.50, available in mid-March)

Really charming two-color mitts that look like they have a lot more going on than they do.  I really love the clever increasing-diamond clocks on the thumb gussets. Clever! I would of course make them in deep purple and light teal blue.

 

Third Pick: Butterflies on the Lattice, by Melissa Walshe (FREE! at Melissa’s Blog)

What is not to love? Simple, stylish, elegant … and in worsted, a crazy-fast knit.  Is it too early to think Christmas??

Ravelry Monday: Shoggoth, Reversible Tiara Hat, Sho-sho

Happy Monday! Time to look back at the previous week’s recently added knitting patterns on Ravelry and pick a few favorites.

First pick: “Shoggoth” by Lee Meredith (part of an e-book, sold at $5.00)

It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train — a shapeless congerie of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter… — “At The Mountains of Madness” (H. P. Lovecraft)

I’ve played enough Arkham Horror to know that a Shoggoth isn’t something you want to meet ever, let alone have in your home — but this mini Shoggoth-pincushion is welcome to take up residence on my knitting table.  The designer captures the fluid asymmetry this particular monster should possess, while simultaneously making it cute.  A great first amigurumi project — you  can mess up a bit, and it would still be right! — and a perfect home for those odd buttons I’ve been saving up.

Second pick: “Reversible Tiara Hat” by Kristina Schling (part of a book, sold at $15.00)

This pattern makes clever use of the reversible nature of double-knitting to make a charming and warm beanie worthy of a princess. Although I love the popsicle colors of the sample hat, I think I might have to use golden yellow and princess pink — don’t you think?

Third pick: “Sho-sho” by Nokko Asano (FREE!)

I’m intrigued by this drapey shrug… I’ve been wanting to make one of these “rectangle with sleeves items for a while, because they look so comfy and wonderful.  I have put it off though, because it involves knitting a giant rectangle (just the kind of knitting I abhore).  This pattern, with large needles and a silk/linen yarn, may be enough to put me over the edge.  There isn’t any sizing on the pattern, which means I’d have to guess how much bigger to make it for myself.  (I’m not really “tiny Japanese” shape, more like “European peasant stock.”)  Still, it’s pretty and should knit up reasonably quickly. Pretty!

FO Friday: Queen Anne Mystery Socks

1481 Family Jewels Mystery Socks

Yay, my socks are done! I have really enjoyed this mystery sock-a-long sponsored by the Knitters Brewing Company.  I talked about yarn selection and knitting style already, so instead of repeating myself, I will instead say how much I have been looking forward to having these socks done and on my feet. So pretty! I can hardly stand it. Easily my favorite detail: the heart cuff.  How charming is this?

1484 Family Jewels Mystery Socks (heart cuff)

Pattern: Mystery Socks III: the Family Jewels

Designer: Wendy Gaal

Available: free! on ravelry (kits are available with matching yarn and beads)

Yarn: Stroll Tonal in Queen Anne

1483 Family Jewels Mystery Socks (bead motif)

This pattern has a number of “new to me” features.  One of the big reasons I signed on was the opportunity to try a big bead on a sock.  When the time came, I ran off to Legacy Beads to find a 15mm-ish flat bead that worked with my yarn — no clashing colors, not so matchy as to fade into the yarn, but not too contrasty either. I settled on a “twist” Swarovski crystal bead in “Golden Shadow.”  My mad beading friend inspected the bead and determined that it had an “AB” finish on the back, but not the front, which helped it keep it’s own color while still reflecting some of the yarn color.  This makes sense to me — I had tried a clear crystal version, and it completely disappeared into the yarn.

1485 Family Jewels Mystery Socks (fleegle heel)

Another cool new-to-me thing is the Fleegle Heel. I didn’t know this was in the pattern when I signed on, so it’s pure bonus! I found it easy to do, and a nice fit.  I enjoyed it way more than a toe-up heel flap (those joins! ugh!), and it fits way better than a traditional short-row heel.  You can see a small err in my photo — the racing stripes on the gusset were supposed to blend into the leg, but I failed my “read the directions” roll and started the racing stripes one stitch too soon.  Oh well — only the designer and the 200 other people in the knit-a-long will even notice.

In general I found the pattern to be extremely well-written and mistake-free.  I prefer a charted pattern to words, but I understand the designer’s desire to “surprise” — and how a chart could potentially ruin the surprise.  I believe a complete version of the pattern will be released with full charts and so on, so chart lovers need not despair (or resort to home charting, as I did).  All unusual techniques were well-explained and/or had links to good videos.  Great fun, great community of KAL-ers!

1482 Family Jewels Mystery Socks (front and back)

Ravelry Monday: DeeVine, Jaiozi (Dumplings), Lobster Beanie Hat

Happy Monday! Time to look back at the previous week’s recently added knitting patterns on Ravelry and pick a few favorites.

First pick: “DeeVine” by DeeTara ($3.99)

This hat is pure loveliness — beautiful swoopy leaves in an overlapping pattern that pleases me.  Slouchy hats keep me warm without crushing my hair, which puts them high on my “to-knit” list.

Second Pick: “Jaiozi (Dumplings)” by Dale Hwang (FREE!)

Mmmmmm, Peking Ravioli! Pan-fried, please.  Cannot resist this knitted dumpling pattern.

Third Pick: “Lobster Beanie Hat” by Christine Grant ($4.25)

Since I am a New-Englander, I had to include this hat on my Ravelry Monday list.  What’s not to love about a bright red beanie with a lobster on top?

New Pattern Release: Aviator Scarf

Introducing my latest pattern: the Aviator Scarf!  This lacy scarf pattern can be worked in lace weight or fingering weight yarn, with two very different finished products.  The lace-weight version produces an ethereal scrumptious scarf that floats around your neck.  The fingering-weight version is sturdier and more forthright (and, it should be said, a much faster knit).

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Pattern: Aviator Scarf

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: for $1.99 at Knit Picks

Yarn: Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud (for the lace version) or Knit Picks Gloss Sock (for the fingering version)

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Inspiration: I wanted to make something lacy that looked impressive but was do-able for beginner lace knitters. Size, repeating pattern, and only a few lace stitches make this scarf deceptively simple. Early in the design process I found myself thinking of real-life aviators and steampunk air pirates while working on the pattern — this scarf is for the girl pilot in all of us :).

Design/Skills Needed: Scarf is worked in two halves, starting from the ends and grafted together in the middle. Wrong-side rows are purled to speed knitting, and narrow garter-stitch borders help the scarf lie flat. The pattern looks tricky, but is achieved with only k, p, k2tog, YO, ssk, and a right-leaning centered double decrease.

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