FO Friday: Raspberry Wristers

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Project: Raspberry Wristers

Pattern: Garter Cable Wristlets

Designer: Amy Loberg

Available: FREE! from Classic Elite’s Web-Letter 

Yarn: CEY Fresco in #5332 (Plum)

I saw this pattern go by in a web-letter, and knew I had to make them. Any excuse to work with Fresco! So soft and dreamy :).  I have big peasant hands, so I ended up needing five repeats of the pattern (instead of just four).  I was afraid I’d run out of yarn, but I had just barely enough.  I’ve worn them frequently, and they are stashed in my purse for chilly rooms.

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FO Friday: Red Devonian

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Project: Red Devonian

Pattern: Devonian

Designer: Laura Kanemori

Available: $6 on Ravelry, or $16 for “The Sock Report vol 1” (16 total patterns)

Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in “Tiziano Red”

 

I’m making 5 pairs of socks for my mom, of which this is the first finished pair.  She chose the yarn to match outfits she already has, and I’m choosing the patterns. I have had Devonian in my queue for a while — so pretty! It suits a tonal colorway perfectly. I did change the “start of round” in the leg so that the holes would be paired (instead of offset by a round) and the sk2p would take place at the beginning of the round (instead of spread over two rounds). Also, I used a sewn bind off instead of Jenny’s etc. Other that that — these are exactly as written.

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FO Friday: Tute Catkin

I finished my Catkin a couple weeks ago! I’ve been wearing it a LOT because it is so lovely.

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Project: Tute Catkin

Pattern: Catkin

Designer: Carina Spencer

Available: $7 on Ravelry

Yarn: Tosh Light in French Grey and Byzantine

Buttons: LaMode Style 24794 1/2” antique silver (purchased at Jo-Ann’s)

This is a pattern designed for Tosh Light, and I found two colors of Tosh Light I loved …  is “French Grey” a brownish grey, or a greyish brown?  Either way, it really allows the Byzantine to shine. Working with a single-ply yarn is always a bit more challenging that working with a nice round plied yarn, but sometimes the results are just so lovely, I don’t mind a bit.

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The striped neck section was a bit boring to work, and keeping track of the increases was a pain. I stalled out a bit there.  I stalled out again in the textured middle section, until I figured out the pattern and didn’t have to watch the chart as closely.  The slipped-stitch lollipop section was fun, fun, fun — no stalling out there at all, even though the rows were at their longest.

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I especially adore the slipped-stitch vertical stripes at the corners!

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New Pattern Release: Endgame Stole

Introducing my latest pattern: Endgame!

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PatternEndgame

DesignerRachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: Booklet #9207 from Classic Elite

Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Wool Bam Boo in Garnet (4 balls)

This is my first pattern published in the CEY booklets — I’m so pleased to be included! Check out the drape of this stole in the modeled photo:

Design/Skills Needed: This fully-reversible stole is worked flat. The woven pattern is achieved with increases/decreases and dropped stitches.  I added a lacy edge with a full column of dropped stitches. Twisted stitches on either side of each dropped-stitch panel keeps the look sharp and the dropped-stitches open. The overall effect is stunning, and the Wool Bam Boo is silky-soft to touch. I love, love, love this yarn.

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I used my “interchangeable cable ” trick to block this stole.  Before washing, I threaded a long cable through each loop on both edges.  I screwed on the end caps to make sure the cables didn’t fall out, and put the stole in for a good long soak.  After squeezing out the water, I stretched out the stole on my blocking board (aka, old alphabet letter foam squares).  I put pins in every two inches or so, pulling against the cable — not the individual stitches.  Using the cables meant a lot fewer pins to get the “fully stretched” effect, and also gave a more even blocking overall.

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FO Friday: Tappan Zee Pulled Taffy

I finished a sweater for me!  This is not something that happens every day.

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Project: Tappan Zee Pulled Taffy

Pattern: Tappan Zee Cardigan

Designer: Amy King

Available: FREE! on Knitty.com

Yarn: Decadent Fibers Pulled Taffy in Red Hot Pepper

I bought this yarn on spec back in June, at the 20th (and final) Granite State Knit-In.  I’m sorry to say that a LYS had brought all their merchandise and were selling it off at 2-for-1 because they were closing their doors.  I’m glad to say I found two skeins of this astonishing fiber, each normally $35.  I decided to take a leap of faith and buy both — almost-a-sweater for $35 was too good a deal to pass up.

2384 Decadent Fibers Pulled Taffy in Red Hot Pepper

Once I had it home, it proved to be a bit of a challenge.  First of all, though it claims to be DK, it really feels and knits up closer to worsted.  Also, it turns out that 980 yards is not quite enough to make most things, at least not in size large-enough-to-fit-me.  I finally settled on Tappan Zee — a pattern I queued in large part because I love the eponymous bridge!  I used to drive back and forth from DC to Boston fairly frequently, and every time I saw signs for Tappan Zee it made me happy.  Try saying it aloud — you’ll be happy too!

Swatching told me three things: first, I should expect worsted-ish gauge.  I decided to follow the pattern for a proportionately smaller size, which ended up working great.  Second, blocking the swatch told me that this yarn would bleed dye something awful.  This turned out to be a good thing, because the fully saturated color was a bit much — I prefer the toned-down color after blocking.  Third, the fabric is also appreciably softer after a good wash-and-block, which reassured me while I was knitting — the WIP sometimes felt a bit crunchy and oh-my-god bright red and orange.  Thank goodness for swatching to tell me the truth.

One thing I changed in the pattern was the armholes.  I really hate tight, binding armholes, so instead of casting off for the arms, then bridging the gap directly, I chose to cast on a handful of stitches under each arm.  I must have goofed the math a bit, because my sleeves ended up a little ruffled — too much fabric up there.  It bothered me at first, but my knit group claims they like it, so I’m slowly coming around.

I was about two dozen rows shy of the official “start the edging” point, when I noticed that the yarn ball hand dwindled to an ominously small size.  I got out my new and wonderful super-accurate digital scale and weighed the ball before and after the next two rows … and discovered I had barely enough to finish the edging, but only if I started it RIGHT THEN.  As it was, I had to rip out the swatch in order to bind off the last few inches.  I think the finished cardi is long enough — any longer would have been odd, actually, which implies I shouldn’t have been doing quite so many rows in the first place.

The luckiest part of this project was that I found the perfect buttons. They seem as if they were dyed-to-match — and they were cheap, and they were the first ones I saw at the shop, and they came in a set of three!

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FO Friday: Coats for Gizmo and Golly

1153 Golly and Gizmo coats

One of my agility friends asked me to knit custom coats for her charming mini poodles, Gizmo (left) and Golly (right).  She wanted durable, washable yarn that was also soft and cozy, and came in her dogs’ signature colors. In terms of structure, the coats needed to have turtlenecks, front leg sleeves, and a high belly cut to allow pottying without soiling the coats.  We looked at a couple different patterns before settling on the attractive and versatile “Biscuits & Bones” pattern, sized from XS to XL. The modified “X’s and O’s” cable pattern resembles circular biscuits and long bones–very clever!

(This week’s FO is a re-wind — I’ve been working like mad all week on a design sample that I can’t share just yet.)

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Project: Gizmo’s Red Coat and Golly’s Purple Coat

Pattern: Biscuits & Bones Dog Coat

Designer: Patons

Available: FREE! at patonsyarns.com

Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Eggplant and Red (3 balls per coat)

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Don’t you just love Golly’s grin??

I made Golly’s coat first (purple!) and made very few modifications.  The neck to tail is worked flat to the leg holes, where the work is split into three parts and worked separately for a few rows.  Then flat work across the entire piece resumes, continuing through the butt decreases.  Ribbing is picked up and knit in the round for the leg holes and around the belly/back (after the chest is seamed). My only serious modification was to keep edge stitches in stockinette, to make the picking up and seaming easier.

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Gizmo is such a handsome fellow!

With Gizmo’s coat, I wanted to try knitting the chest in the round, to avoid seaming later on.  At the leg holes I worked just two sections (back and belly) flat, then rejoined for more work in the round, then worked flat for the back after casting off for the belly. This ended up being trickier than I anticipated … if I ever make another coat from this pattern, I will probably just make it flat and deal with the seam.

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Overall, the pattern is clear and well-written.  The cable patterns were written, so of course I charted them to avoid going insane.  (I work much better from a visual representation of a pattern.) I really appreciate that it came in so many sizes, and also that it accounted for the real chest shape of a dog (many dog sweater patterns seem to think dogs are shaped like humans, oops).  Swish Worsted was, as expected, perfect for the job at hand. The boys look great and are cozy too!