Friday, September 27, 2013

Hats for Veterans 2013

This year I have four hats for Veterans knitted up.  I used two free patterns from Ravelry: Urchin by Ysolda Teague and Tick Tock Toque by Knot Canadian.  Both of them were fun to knit. 

Urchin hats were knitted with Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride Bulky in Clematis and Lang Yarns' Malou.  Both yarns are soft but Malou is so nice against skin.  I hope whoever gets it will enjoy wearing it.  Tick Tock Toque hats were knitted with leftover Rowan Colourscape yarns.  I was pleasantly surprised that I had enough leftovers for two hats.  I call them cup cake hats.  The top part looks like icing, doesn't it? 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Louisa Harding Booklet 126

Phil was finished last Sunday.  It is from Louisa Harding Booklet #126. 

As I wrote earlier, I love many designs from this booklet besides Phil: Bertie in red/purple stripes and Jamie in green.  I am planning to knit these two garments next spring.

Changes made in Phil:
  • Sleeves: Casting on 57 stitches for the lace edge pattern was okay (2 rows in Confiture and the rest in Noir), but it was way too wide for a sleeve: 32 cm wide.  So, on the second row in the striped section (in Confiture), stitches were reduced by 15 to 42 by: (k2, ssk) five times, (k1, ssk) six times, (k2, ssk) four times, and k3.  Also, I changed the striped pattern a little: 2 rows Confiture, 1 row Berries, (4 rows Noir, 1 row Berries, 2 rows Confiture, 1 row Berries), and repeat (..).  When Berries was used for the first time, I started knitting at the left edge facing the wrong side.  This was done so that the rest of the color changes occur on the right edge of the sleeve.  At the same time, increase at each end of the sleeve by 1 stitch every 5 rows starting at row 8 (first one in Berries).  Knit 59 rows total in the stripe pattern, ending with Berries.
  • Back and front: The stripe pattern was changed just like for sleeves: 2 rows Confiture, 1 row Berries, (4 rows Noir, 1 row Berries, 2 rows Confiture, 1 row Berries), and repeat (..).  On row 18 in Confiture, do eyelet pattern.  Knit total of 67 rows, ending with Berries.
  • Yoke: Initially I knitted the yoke in round.  I did not like the area where yarns were changed.  It looked very sloppy.  So, I ripped all the yoke, added two extra stitches for seams, and knitted back and forth.  I did 44 rows in the specified pattern instead of 40 rows.  On the last four rows, I reduced extra 8 stitches, ending with 110 stitches (plus two edge stitches).

I think the person who prepared the samples for the magazine photos knitted them rather loosely.  My yarnovers did not produce large holes like you see in the photo.   That contributed to my needs to add more rows. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Phil by Louisa Harding

When we drove to Western Mass to pick up our DDs from their camp in August, we stopped by at WEBS and I picked up a couple of booklets by Louisa Harding.  In them, there are striped Summer/Spring garments featuring Colline and Mila yarns.  I am a nut with stripes, you may have noticed.  I particularly liked Phil and saw it in red and black in my mind.  It so turned out Colline comes in black as well as bright colors.  That was it.  I had to knit it with Noir and Confiture.  Now the third color to be placed between black and red.  My initial thought was as white as possible: i.e. Lily which is very pale pink.  It did not work out.  In the end I chose Berries among green, orange, pale pink and the chosen wine. 


The entire garment is knitted with reverse stockinette stitches with some lace pattern at the lower edges.  I am done with the sleeves (top two pieces).  The Left sleeve shows the right side, while the right one is with the reverse side up.  The instruction had me knit sleeves without any side shaping and the lower edges looked a bit too wide on the slender model.  So, I reduced the stitch count right after the lace edging.  Oh, I chose to do the version with elbow length sleeves and made them a bit longer.  I must confess I love many of the garments on this booklet. 

Unlike some of my typical projects with no concern for practicality, this pullover will be worn with a black bottom which I have several.  

Update on my extreme stripe project.  I did cast on and knitted some 30 rows.  So far, so good.  I think I need to add side shaping.  TBC.


Monday, September 09, 2013

Denim Dawn

I had six balls of Rowan Denim and thought I had enough to make Dawn.   I was right, but could well have been wrong.   When sewing was done, I had about 8” of yarn left. Phew! Taking Denim’s shrinkage into account, I lengthened the bodice by 8 rows in the front, and only 4 rows in the back.  The back turned out shorter because I ran out of the yarn to make it as long as the front.   This difference did not matter much, however. The cardigan before washing had some blousing as you can see in the photos below.

I was a bit worried about a possible disaster, but I went ahead and washed the garment in hot water and machine dried.

Can you see how much it has shrunken and all the blousing is gone?   The cardigan looks more like the yellow version with Fable.  Faded color is really lovely as well. It is unfortunate I discover my love for this yarn this late. Why did I not try Rowan Denim before it got discontinued?

Also, I found a way to wear the Madonna pullover. After so much work got into this pullover, I had to find a way. 


Saturday, September 07, 2013

Extreme Stripes

Ravelry is a fantastic source of inspiration for me.  Among many knitters on it, Julia's work is truly spectacular and she posted a gorgeous sleeveless top with Missoni-like colors and knit pattern.  I am so inspired by her.  She used Aria by Lana Grossa which is a light weight DK or sports weight as it has more than 180 yards per 50g ball and has a tape construction.  Her color choice was motivated by Tenerife Island's flowers, cacti, and soil.  Just a gorgeous top she designed.  If you are on Ravelry, you can follow this link to see what I mean.

I am going to use CEY’s Verde Collection Allegoro in five colors, two balls each: Imperial Purple (red), Raw Umber (orange/brown), Skydiver (light blue), Parchment (ivory), and Azure (dark blue).  With the stripe pattern below and 2 ½ pattern repeats per front or back (105+2 stitches each), I will get 35” circumference, which is perfect!

Extreme Zigzag Pattern: 42-stitch by 36 row repeats:

Row 1: k21, *yo, k9, knit 3 tog with center back, right on top (slip1 as if to knit, k2tog, slip the slipped stitch over k2tog), k9, yo, k21 *, repeat from * to *.
Row 2: p21, ** p2, p1 into the bar before the next stitch, p7, purl 3 tog with center front, left at back (p2tog, rearrange the next stitch so that the right leg is in the back, slip it over the p2tog), p7, p1 into the bar before the next stitch, p2, p21 **, repeat from ** to **.
Repeat Row 1 and Row 2 eight more times with total of 18 rows.
Row 19: *yo, k9, knit 3 tog with center back, right on top (slip1 as if to knit, k2tog, slip the slipped stitch over k2tog), k9, yo, k21 *, repeat from * to *.
Row 20: ** p2, p1 into the bar before the next stitch, p7, purl 3 tog with center front, left at back (p2tog, rearrange the next stitch so that the right leg is in the back, slip it over the p2tog), p7, p1 into the bar before the next stitch, p2, p21**, repeat from ** to **.
Repeat Row 19 and Row 20 eight more times with total of 36 rows completed.

Color sequence and row numbers (total of 92 rows) are shown below.  At least this is my plan. 

I cannot wait to cast on for a swatch!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Short Summer Jacket

My knitting and sewing activities are often driven by either yarns or patterns, but not by needs.  So, more often than not, my creations sit in my closet for a long time.  Is it bad?  As long as I enjoy the process of making garments, it is okay, right?  I picked Madonna pullover because I was intrigued by the yarns.  Nidden was motivated by its gorgeous lace pattern and the drapey yarns I had, plus a wish to have a comfortable summer cover-up garment.

 Usually, I go through a few stressful days when I do not have a next project in mind.  This time, however, I already had Dawn, already swatched and all.  I sort of wished to have a small cardigan, but I do not have a particular need for it.  As a matter of fact, I have no garments I would wear it with.  See my ill conceived creative efforts?  For sure, my finished Dawn will languish in my closet for who knows how long.   No matter.  I just go forward. 

 So, I purchased this cotton/silk blend worsted weight yarns long time ago in various colors enough to knit children’s garments.  Well, before I had time to get to the yarns, my DDs had grown and they do not like the colors any longer.  Their names are cute: Three Little Pigs, Red Little Riding Hood, etc.  This summer, I finally decided that DDs are not going to want anything out of these yarns.  They shall be mine.  Then it was rather easy to find appropriate patterns for the yellow Three Little Pigs: Dawn by Kim Hargreaves.  The reason why I had such hard time coming up with right patterns for my DDs was that I simply do not know their taste well enough and I was striking out all the time.  Well, I know myself better than them.

Dawn took me about two weeks to complete.  I found perfect buttons as well.  Here it is.

See how perfect those buttons are?  Also notice that the fabric is not as drapey as seen by other knitters on Ravelry?  This is because Fable is heavy worsted weight, I think.

Did I tell you I love Dawn?  It is fun to knit and goes fast.  As a matter of fact, I have already started another Dawn.  This time, I am using Rowan Denim.  I think I have enough to make another one knit a bit longer to counter the shrinkage of Denim yarns.  This version is turning out to be very lacey.  The same pattern used on different yarns could turn out quite differently. 

Monday, September 02, 2013

No Vacation This Summer

Usually at the end of August, we visit our relatives abroad.  My parents are in their 80’s and I want visit them as often as I could.  Unfortunately, we cannot have any vacation this summer.  It is because I had a long sick leave this year in March.  I was home-bound for more than four weeks after a vitrectomy on my left eye and was forced to face down 24 hours a day.  The macular hole was mended by the surgery, but I still have a hole in my vision, although it is getting smaller very slowly. 

At the same time, I began suffering from frozen shoulder on my right side in February.  It was very bad in March especially when I had to sleep facing down or on my right side.  The latter was just impossible and I would wake up many times a night with severe shoulder pains.  It got worse in April before it began to settle down.  At the same time, my left shoulder began to act up.  I am much better now thanks to acupuncture and moxibustion.   

With all these health issues I’ve had this year so far, I need a vacation badly.  Yet, I do not have any more vacation days left.  Sigh.

Fortunately, it has been nice around here this summer and I can enjoy my garden in August:
Japanese Anemone (anemone tomentosa robustissima);


Chartreuse green sedum from my friend (Angelina stonecrop?) ;

And, lespedeza.  It is called Hagi in Japanese.