Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stitches East Part One

First I wanted to show you why you should come to New England in October! This is the view from my deck right now. I love days like this. It's so pretty.

I went to Stitches East this past Thursday and Friday in Hartford,CT. I went with my friend Nancy and we took a class called Cable Variations taught by Melissa Leapman. I thought it was an awesome class! I certainly have done cables before, so that wasn't new, but what I did learn was how to combine other techniques with cables and how I might use them in a project.

Here are a few examples.......

In this swatch we pretended that we were knitting a v-neck sweater with a center design that carries around the neck line. Notice the "full fashion shaping" that pulls the design to the left and right. I also dropped my yarn at the center line and then continued the patterning by attaching a new ball of yarn and continuing across the row. Also one side of each cable cross is lace.
This was a funky one for me. It's not a great picture, but I think you'll be able to get the gist of it. It starts with stockinette and adds a lace design that grows toward the center. I then did a cable cross with the lace, then 2 crosses in the other direction above that, then a single cross in the first direction above that. Then continue with the lace design in a mirror image from below the knot that was created with all the cables. It really pulls the center in so I think the best way to use something like this would be on a tank just below the bust. It has enough pull that I think it could be used as shaping.
This one was fun. It's elongated stitches. You wrap on the knit side and cable/drop on the purl side. Melissa showed us a sample that she made for one of her books using this stitch and ribbon yarn. It was very pretty.
This last one was the most challenging for me, but it is a cool effect! I only completed this one cross which uses 8 stitches total, but we also talked about other options for crossing columns of colors, including one using 6 stitches where the center 2 essentially are an axis that the outside stitches cross over. I can see throw pillows for the couch in my future using this technique.

I also went to a lecture by Anna Zilboorg on her new book Magnificent Mittens and Socks. It wasn't quite what I expected it to be, but her mittens and socks certainly are beautiful.

I also did some shopping but I'll show you that in the next post!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Megan!!!!

This is the kidlet that lives next door. I absolutely love her :-) She is everything that I would want my daughter to be if I had one. She's spunky, creative, passionate, a good friend, witty, strong, independent, and just enough "girly" without being obnoxious. And she appreciates my handknits.
I made her an Amanda Hat. (I made Chandler model so I could take a picture. Doesn't he look thrilled?) I used Dream in Color Classy in Pansy Go Lightly so that it could go into the washer. There was an unfortunate incident with a hat I made her last year out of Manos del Uruguay, so machine washable was a must for it's replacement. I was not happy with the fabric at the the recommended gauge of 4 stitches per inch, so I made some modifications so that I could knit this at a tighter gauge of 4.5 per inch.
Since this is a free pattern I'm going to share my mods in detail: Cast On 97 stitches and then worked 13 rounds of garter stitch ending with a knit row. Worked lace pattern 3 times (12 rows total).worked 6 rows garter starting with p row end w/knit row. Repeat lace pattern 3 more times. Then repeat 6 rows garter beginning w/p round. crown decreases - round 1 k6, k2tog, repeat until 9 stitches left knit 7 k2tog. knit next round until last 2 stitches and k2tog. k next round. round 4 - k5, k2tog, repeat across round. k next 2 rounds. k4, k2tog, repeat. k next round. Continue in this pattern until 6 stitches left. Run yarn through remaining stitches and pull tight.

Friday, October 9, 2009

New Yarn!

It's been a fun couple of weeks for stash enhancement! I received 2 club shipments, the Rockin' Sock Club and Woolgirl Oz Club. They are both below so if you're trying to avoid spoilers come back after your kits arrive :-)

But first I'll show you what I bought while I was killing time between hockey games last Saturday. I was able to visit The Yarn and Fiber Co. in Derry, NH last Saturday between Chandler's games. I have visited and enjoyed their website many times so I was really happy to be able to stop in and visit. Great place! They had lots of fiber and the store was set up very logically, so if you were looking for a DK weight yarn, they were all together in the same area. The staff was very helpful too. I like to make Chandler a hat for winter each year and he saw a yarn that he liked. He picked out Dream in Color Groovy in the color In Vino Veritas. I knew it would be perfect for a Thorpe Hat, but I didn't think to bring the pattern with me so I wasn't sure how much to buy. No problem at all. The kind lady jumped on line and looked it up for me. This will be a great hat for Chandler!
I also saw this Dream in Color Smooshy in Absolute Magenta, which I think is Absolutely Gorgeous! I'm thinking that I'm going to use this for Having Hope socks. Proceeds from the sale of this pattern are sent to Cancer Research in Australia. I may not live in Australia, but cancer research is cancer research. And doing them in this hot pink will symbolize my personal victory over Breast Cancer. They'll keep both my feet and my heart warm.
Next up is my RSC September kit. The color is River Rocked and this month's pattern is by Cat Bordhi.
Isn't it pretty? Very earthy fall toned colors.
Here it is all wound up. I haven't cast on yet, but I hope to very soon, maybe even this week. This should be a fun knit too, because I will no doubt learn something new. Cat Bordhi has an amazing ability to see unique potential in something as ordinary as a sock. I can't wait to have that AHA moment I always do when I knit something by her.
This came in today's mail. It is Woolgirl's Oz Club and the kit this time is Emerald City. Jen really had me thinking about this one, because she said "remember the horse of a different color". Hmmm...... Maybe Emerald City wouldn't be green?
But it is! And a gorgeous green with some blue tones too by Madelienetosh Tosh Sock Yarn. It came with a pattern by Kristi Schueler that has "emerald cut gems" adorning the cuff and toes.

It also came with a great project bag by Sheila D, and lots of other fun goodies like a stitch marker, a penwith a green highlighter on the end, gift tags that have horses of different colors on them (hehe), and a tin.
All this should keep me out of trouble for a while. Plus I have a couple other projects planned or already in the works. I'll show those to you next time :-)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

It's a Mystery!

I've decided to try a mystery sock knit-a-long this month. This is a huge leap of faith for me! I'm pretty particular about what I knit because I want to love everything that I spend my time and money on. I joined the Socktober group on Ravelry and one of the threads was for a mystery KAL by Kirsten Kapur of Through the Loops. I actually have some of her other designs in my queue, so I figured I'd be safe. I cast on this afternoon and knit the first clue.So far so good! I really like it! I'm using my favorite Socks that Rock lightweight in a millend that I purchased at Sock Camp. I'm not sure if the color is KMBFLA or Bleck. It's definitely purple but not pastelly purple. Sometimes it looks more grey, but honestly? It depends on the light. The second clue will be posted Thursday and I can't wait to see what comes next?