Thursday, February 23, 2012

Scarf Progress

I finally took some time during the last couple of days to put my new scarf project on the loom. Then, since the hard part was done, I started weaving it. As one would expect, the changing colours do encourage me to keep at it, and I am well past the part shown in this photo (taken during the first repeat of the design.) I'm actually about at the halfway point for the project, now.

It shows great promise on the loom, but once it's off and finished, the little coloured squares should be more like circles, and the woven colours should be smoother. Another day or two, and we'll know for sure.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


No longer just a clever reference to Citizen Kane, Rosebud is also a lovely wooly hat designed by Jared Flood for his Fall 2011 collection. (Making that link just reminded me how many other lovely pieces were in that collection. As if I didn't have enough projects queued.)

I knit this hat in a day, back in November. I don't have any of Jared's lovely Shelter yarn, so I used some wool/mohair Peace Fleece I had buried in the stash. This was a skein of Kamchatka Sea Moss, which is a really nice spearminty green with flecks of white and a brighter lime green. This colourway is so beautiful in the sun, and never ceases to make me smile. As for the style, I love it - the cable isn't my favourite for some reason, but it really works, especially with the slouchy garter-stitch body.

I've been wearing this hat pretty much all winter long, and it has kept me warm and smiling, although in recent days I made a couple of new hats, so I have a bit more selection, now.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ombre Cardigan

Part of the reason that I posted so little throughout January was because I was participating in the Tanis Fiber Arts January knitalong. I ended up being pretty monogamous with it, since I chose such an ambitious project. Toward the end of the month, I was starting to worry I might not finish it before the deadline, but fortunately I had the 31st off from work, so I had time to knit the last of it, weave in ends, and block it, just in time.

Tanis' Ombre cardigan is lovely and featherlight. Being made from two strands of laceweight yarn means the fabric is barely there. Being made from Tanis' Pink Label laceweight means it is also soft and warm and beautiful. The hardest part might have been choosing which of her two colourways to use.

I ended up going with two shades of grey: Shadow and Stormy. Turns out that the Stormy is actually teal as much as it is grey, which of course works for me, since varying shades of teal are mainstays of my wardrobe. The two yarns work well together and have a lot of contrast, which was of course my intention.

The first thing I did when I started knitting the cardi was to widen the seed stitch button band - in the original pattern it is only six stitches wide, which I thought would be a bit too narrow for my cardi. I decided to widen it a bit, in proportion with the increased bust measurement, and ended up doing ten stitches instead of six. The knitting was simple and meditative until I joined at the underarm and realized that the armholes were about 6 inches too big. I ripped it back and rethought the math and ended up with a better size. Once I'd made one modification, well... I decided to do a bit of shaping in the body and made four darts beneath the bust to give it some definition. Then I did some increases beneath the waist for my hips. Finally, I did a few more increases before the ribbing at the hem, since I like ribbing that isn't all stretched out.

The sleeves were easy after that, and then with a quick blocking and some perfect buttons, I have a lovely light cardi. Now I'm just waiting for the weather to warm up a bit so I can start wearing it more.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Warm Plaid Blanket

I've put off blogging this finished object for a while, until I could come to terms with it.

I finished the weaving and sewed the panels together - it was huge and wooly and lovely. Then I took a couple of days to twist the fringe at either end, which took a while since there are so many ends. Having done that, I was left with the question of how to finish it. Back when I made my series of Kindergarten Scarves, I would wash each one by hand as I finished it, using friction to lightly full them. Well, this blanket is far too big for that sort of thing, so I decided to use technology to aid me. I soaked and washed it in the bathtub, and then put it in the dryer.

I know, I know - the dryer?! Well, to be honest, I've had a couple of felting projects that I've tried to felt in the washer/dryer in my building, and have had little success with it, even when running the item through the machine two or three times, so I was quite confident that it wouldn't be a problem. Well, okay, only confident enough to leave it for a few minutes before checking on it. Fifteen minutes in, I opened the dryer, and was disheartened to see that it had already felted further than I'd intended. Sigh. Lesson learned. So it ended up a bit narrower and a bit thicker and a bit fuzzier than was my intention. I was pretty upset about it, but friends and family have reassured me that it isn't actually a total failure on my part (as I had initially worried) so I am learning to enjoy it. By the time I use it on some bright spring mornings on the balcony, I think I'll even learn to love it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

On the Needles

Although time may pass by without me posting, it is usually because I am working on so many projects that I don't take the time to blog. In January, I was pretty monogamous with my TFA knitalong project, the Ombre cardigan (pics soon) but once I finished that, I was anxious to get back to everything I'd put on hold while I worked on it.

First of all, I've been slowly plugging away on this alpaca cardigan for a long time - I've knit a plain brown stockingette body, and finally got to the more exciting bit, at the sleeves. The stranded work turned out pretty well, and I'm sure it will tidy up more with a good blocking. One more sleeve to go and I can knit the matching yoke and finish this up. Doesn't the colour combination make you think of Neapolitan ice cream?

Also in the pink vein (it must've been Valentine's Day) I have started a complicated pair of socks (i.e. my usual) with a lovely soft pink from Tanis Fiber Arts. Well, I started and restarted (and restarted) them, really. It took a few tries to get the fit right. I also finally got a better sense of the pattern by the third try, so now I can knit it without painstakingly following the chart, stitch by stitch. This is still the first sock, so I have a way to go with this pair.

Then there's a hat - not much to see yet, but just look at that fantastic yarn from Madelinetosh. So perfect and round and soft... and what a colourway! It looks so grey in some lighting, and so blue in other lighting. As my eyes also shift a bit from blue to grey, I think it will be a good hat for me. Because I need another hat.

Lastly, not really on the needles, but soon to be on the loom, another scarf. Because I also need another scarf. As you can see, it's going to be all rainbows, offset by navy (because one can't always go with black.) You can't really tell from the warp how complex and awesome the finished scarf will be, but it's going to be pretty cool, once I actually get to it.

Also, I just realized that I also have another cardi and a blanket that I didn't take photos of... so you'll have to imagine those, for now.

In the meantime, photos of finished projects coming!