Monday, June 30, 2008

we love wee skeins

the other day i got some special mail: four wee skeins of vesper sock yarn from knitterly things! i'm so on this bandwagon. but i'm torn about what to do with it: make some toe-up socks (i was thinking of trying the two-at-once thing), or make a rainbow cowl of skinny stripes? there are pros and cons to both. socks: i would get to try a new skill, and they would be really pretty socks. i like striped socks. cowl: i don't think you can have too many, and this might be a more visible, more long-lasting use of some pretty yarn. i'm considering this an informal poll, so let me know your opinion!

here are the wee little babies, looking cute:

from top to bottom, build me up buttercup, muddy waters, sweet summer sky, and monet's garden.

Monday, June 23, 2008

yet another cowl

but i think that's a good thing!

i've had this one skein of blue sky alpacas royal in my stash for quite a while. it was beautiful. just beautiful. the color, spanish leather, was the perfect taupe, and the yarn itself was sooooooooo soft. luxury alpaca, people! but i didn't know what to do with it. i only had the one skein, and i felt like i needed to do something special with it. after lots of potential projects that never quite stuck, i finally, recently, struck upon the aspen neck cowl. such a simple pattern, but i felt like the pattern and yarn would be a good marriage - the alpaca would make a nice, drapey cowl, and the simplicity of the pattern would showcase the yarn's loveliness, with just a tiny bit of added interest with the reverse stockinette horizontal ribs. plus, it's reversible!

so, i cast on, knowing i really didn't have as much yarn as the pattern called for. in the end, it's not quite as long as specified in the pattern (it's probably 2/3 the size), so i can't use it pulled up over my head like a hood, but i probably wouldn't ever wear it that way anyway. it's pretty big anyway, and i can only imagine that the alpaca will grow with wear.
this thing is so luxurious and beautiful and lovely! i can't wait til it's actually cool enough to wear it (that seems to be my blogging theme these days).

here's a modeled shot:

and the "right" side:

and inside out:

pattern: aspen neck cowl
yarn: blue sky alpacas royal, in spanish leather, almost one entire skein

needle: size 6 circular
mods: well, the pattern calls for purling ever row, with knit ribs every 9th and 10th row. this seemed silly, since knitting is so much easier and faster for me, so i basically knit it inside out. but i like how both sides look, so i'm considering it reversible.

i'm somewhat in between knitting projects right now...i'm not really sure what to start next, though i have some ideas. for now though, i'm busy cutting fabric for my first quilt!

Monday, June 16, 2008

mitered mittens

my mittens finally dried! i finished these mittens ages ago, but then i had a friend in town and i didn't have time to block them (which they definitely needed). then, they took a week to dry. finally, they are done. just in time for seattle to finally get warm weather. but as elizabeth zimmermann points out in the write-up of this pattern, they'll be all ready to go when it does get cold, right?

pattern: mitered mittens, knitter's almanac, by elizabeth zimmermann
yarn: folktale fibers, in sweet & sour, 1 skein

needles: size 6 circulars for magic loop

this project was all about the yarn. a few months ago i spotted folktale fibers on etsy, and instantly fell in love with her beautiful patchwork series of handspun yarns. i decided on a colorway called sweet & sour, and knew right away that i wanted some bright, cheerful, and stripy mittens.

i had a few issues getting yarn and pattern to work well together: the yarn was a very heavy worsted, and i had a difficult time getting the yarn to knit up to the right size. the fact that miters pull everything in tightly made it even harder to figure out exactly how many stitches to cast on. i started these three or four times before i felt happy with the stitch count, and even now, they are a tiny bit tight, though blocking loosened them up a bit. this yarn's gauge was so radically different to the original pattern that it made everything a little harder than it should have been, and my thumb turned out too big, because i increased too many stitches for the gusset (which is a mod i did, since i didn't want the thumb on the palm, as the pattern is written).

also...there were some colors in this skein that came as a bit of a surprise! in the skein, the yarn seemed to be predominantly orange/red/purple/brown, with a little yellow. knitted up, it looked way more like a 70s crocheted granny square afghan than i was expecting. some might even call it a bit gaudy. but i think in the end, the colors grew on me.

anyway, after all that, i think i like these mittens! the cuff is really long, and the fabric is really dense and warm. they will be perfect this winter, or who knows, maybe even next week. i don't think our current warm weather will last long.

Friday, June 13, 2008

flickr game

i have a project, a pair of mittens, that is blocking and refuses to dry (it's been a week now!), so while i wait for those to dry out and become bloggable, i guess i'll join in on the flickr meme that's going around.

the concept:
a. type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. using only the first page, pick an image.
c. copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

go to my flickr page for links to the photos.