FO Friday: Howl Cowl

I put this pattern in my queue some time ago, and I bought yarn for it in early September.  My goal was to finish it by Halloween …

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Project: Howl Cowl

Pattern: Hocus Pocus Cowl

Designer: Thea Eschliman

Available: $7 on Ravelry (includes alternate pattern for tote bag)

Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss Fingering in Black and Stroll Tonal in Foliage

I had a great time making this cowl.  It begins and ends with a turned hem.  Even the “baubles” are adorable — and I’m often not a fan of bobble-knitting.  I think the colorwork is exceptionally clever — very evocative cats, owl, and pumpkins, with subtle vines to fill in the empty spaces. I especially like the skull at the foot of the cats — fantastic!

What with camping in the snow (unintentionally) and a days-long power outage, I wasn’t able to finish before Oct 31st.  Lucky for me, the power outage forced the town to delay Halloween by a week, so by some measures I did get to finish on “Halloween night.”

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Cast-on Monday: Tornado Warning and Castlevania

In the last two weeks I’ve been working hard to get projects OFF the needles, but I also cast on two new projects.

The first I’m calling “Tornado Warning.”  It’s a design project, and for now I’m keeping the details top-secret because the construction is very unusual — maybe new? If it works out as expected, I will try to get it published somewhere cool, so lots of knitters can see.  I’m using gorgeous Thunderhead Tonal Stroll yarn — so pretty.

2390 KP Stroll in Thunderhead Tonal

 

 

 

I also cast on for the Wilhemina KAL taking place on the WWMdFK group on Ravelry.  I’m using KP Imagination in “Castle Walls” — appropriate for a Dracula-inspired pattern, no?  If you haven’t already discovered Craft Lit, start listening now!  Heather is doing Dracula right now, and it is awesome.

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FO Friday (err, Saturday): Zylphia Over Yonder and Sapphire Papilionoidea

In a special weekend edition of FO Friday, I bring you two projects I finished this summer….

2527 Zylphia (blocked)

Project: Zylphia Over Yonder

Pattern: Zylphia Cowl

Designer: Stephannie Tallent

Available: on Ravelry ($6)

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Blue Yonder

I tech edited this pattern, and absolutely could not resist casting on almost the moment I finished the editing work.  This cowl takes the stitch patterns from Stephannie’s “Zylphia Pilots Her Airship” sweater (published at the Sanguine Gryphon) and scales it down into a beautiful lacy cowl. Turned picot hems finish both ends; the cowl is knit entirely in the round.  I found the lace pattern interesting and easy to memorize.  It shows off tonal yarn beautifully.

 

 

2525 sapphire papilionoidea

 

Project: Sapphire Papilionoidea

Pattern: Papilionoidea

Designer: Caroline Wright

Available: on Ravelry (£2.00 GBP)

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Fingering in Sapphire Heather

I was lucky enough to test knit this pattern for the designer. I had been trying to decide what socks to make for my Dad — he’d requested “fancy” socks in Sapphire Heather with his Christmas Knit4UxMe.  Then I saw these, and wow! It’s amazing how the butterfly emerges from the lacy pattern. This is another great pattern by an indy designer: well-written, clear, and definitely worth the purchase price.

2526 sapphire papilionoidea

 

Pictures from my dad, of the socks on his feet! 🙂

sapphire butterfly sock on my dad

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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.

FO Friday: Butterfly Mittens

This week, I don’t have (*gasp!*) a finished object I can share with you.  Lucky for us, I have made a lot of things over the years, so I will go back a few months and …. tada! Butterfly mittens.  (By total coincidence, but in a neat way, the designer of this pattern recently gifted all her previous customers with a free copy of her latest fingerless mitt pattern: Dextrous Mitts. Awesome little pattern! Thank you, Eskimimi Knits!)

1274 Butterfly Mittens (backs)

Pattern: Flutter Butterfly Mittens

Designer: Mimi Hill

Available: $4.50 on ravelry

Yarn: Stroll Tonal in Deep Waters, Stroll in Cocoa

1273 Butterfly Mittens (palms)

This was a great pattern — well worth the purchase price.  Clear, correct directions and easy-to-read charts, and a design to envy.  I chose “Deep Waters” and “Cocoa” because this was a gift project, and the mittens were meant to match the recipients winter jacket. The tonal blue colors made for gorgeous butterflies, don’t you think?

1259 Butterfly Mitten (with liner)

Alas, I was nearly done with the first mitten when I had to admit the truth: my loose-knitter ways had created a mitten that was going to be … not enormous exactly, but certainly larger than was proper. I could have ripped it out and done everything on a size smaller needle, but instead I decided to finish the tip a bit early (the original pattern has a third row of “big” butterflies, and use the extra space as a “design feature.”  Using fluffy & warm Suri Dream, I improvised a pair of thumb-less mitten liners that fit inside the slightly-too-large shell, filling it out admirably.

1256 Mitten Liner

1259 Butterfly Mitten (with liner)

1254 Mitten Liner

Other mods: I changed the cuff a bit, because I like a tubular cast on, two-color ribbing, and a longer cuff than the pattern called for. I also changed the thumb a bit, making it longer and continuing the gusset pattern rather than switching it up. I think I also did the thumb tip decreases a little more quickly than called for — I like a rounded tip.

1207 butterfly mittens (closeup)

What’s On My Needles: Knitters Brewing Co. Mystery Socks III

A few weeks ago, I heard about a free mystery sock knit-a-long being hosted by the Knitters Brewing Company. This was just the kick in the pants I needed to get my Firecracker socks finished and off the needles. It was hard to wait for the KAL to start! Although I was tempted (as I always am) to buy their kit for the KAL, I controlled my desire to own every ball of sock yarn in the world, and instead selected a pretty little colorway from my stash:  Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in “Queen Anne.”

0701 KP Stroll in Queen Anne Tonal

I made a shawl out of Shadow Tonal in  “Queen Anne,” so I knew I loved the color already.  (Actually, that was a mystery KAL project too!  Interesting….)

0175 completed Mandala II (edge)

Anyway, back to the mystery socks.  Clue #1 came out right on time, and everyone dove in.  The socks are toe-up, so I used Judy’s magic cast-on and magic-looped through the nifty twisted-stitch toe pattern with stately aplomb.  I finished one toe, and decided that I really needed to do two-at-a-time with this pattern.  Usually I hate having two socks on my ML at a time, because the “extra” sock drags at my needles.  That’s because socks are often my “take-a-long” project, and I sometimes knit standing up or even walking!  But, since these socks will be worked on in quick weekly bursts, it seemed like that wouldn’t be a problem. Also, I really wanted to have them DONE and wearable when the last clue came — and not have a whole second sock staring me in the face.  So, a rare bird in my knitting life: two at a time socks:

1347 queen anne mystery socks (clue 1)

Impatiently I waited for the next clue …. and waited … and waited … until Clue #2 was released a whole day early! Yippee!  I got right to work.  A few rows in, I decided I just couldn’t handle the written instructions.  I’m more of a “chart girl” you see — I like to see where I am in the pattern, and written instructions just can’t do that.  So, I stopped and made my own chart. After that I flew along at warp speed.  The twisty stitches are fun and pretty too, and even though my yarn choice is colorful, the tonal nature allows the stitch pattern to shine through:

1364 mystery sock (clue 2)

Now I’m waiting again — browsing the KBC forum, which has multiple threads devoted to this KAL. I always love the community aspects of participating in a knit-a-long, and this time is no exception.

Speaking of which … it’s not too late to join in!  Grab some sock yarn, print out the first two clues, and catch up before Friday’s Clue#3 (or maybe Wednesday? Pppppplllllease?).