My current work in progress:

Freshet, by Irina Anikeeva for Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People 13, knit from Rowan Softyak DK in the Steppe colorway, using 3.75mm and 4mm needles.

Archives for November 2012

A Guided Tour

Because I posted just one smallish photo of my current WIP, I thought it might be nice to give you a guided tour of the stitches and cables I am using in this project.

The side “filler” stitch is seed stitch, also known as moss stitch.

I love the look of seed stitch, particularly with a colorway that has some depth to it. This Cormo yarn is naturally slightly heathered and I think it looks wonderful in seed stitch!

There are five different cable motifs in play.

The first one is a simple 2 by 2 twist.

I am using these as filler cables to frame the bigger motifs and am mirroring the direction of the twist. The pattern repeats every 4 rows. Across the back of the sweater, this cable is used 6 times.

The next is slightly more complex.

It is still a 2 by 2 twist, but it has a couple of purls stitches as “filler” in the middle to make it stand out more, and the pattern repeats every 8 rows. I am using it twice across the back of the sweater.

Next up is a cable/seed stitch combo.

This is a mirrored cable twist every 8 rows and the middle is filled with seed stitch. This works nicely by “drawing in” the filler seed stitch on the sides. I’m using this motif 4 times: twice on each side of the center motif.

Next, a more complex cable — a braid.

This cable is a lot simpler to work than it looks: the pattern repeats every 8 rows and it is pretty easy to follow. You are moving stitches on every right-side row and after working it a couple of times it becomes obvious what needs to be done next. I’m working it twice, once on each side of the back.

The most complex cable motif is actually made up of two different cables: the outer wavy lines and an internal mirrored twist.

The mirrored twist has a 4-row repeat and the outer way lines form the longest repeat in the whole design: 16 rows.

Put them all together and you get this:

I mentioned that I have memorized the pattern. Looking at the piece as a whole, it looks a little overwhelming, but when you break it down into the different components, there is nothing too difficult to remember.

Each motif’s repeat is based on multiples of 4: I have 4-row, 8-row, and 16-row motifs in my design. For me, this makes the whole thing much easier to memorize. For each 16-row repeat of the big cable, it’s pretty easy to remember that the 4-row repeats have cable twists on rows 1, 5, 9, and 13 and the 8-row repeats have twists on rows 1 and 9. Each cable motif is symmetrical, and that makes everything easier to memorize as well.

And lastly, I separate motifs with markers, and that keeps me in line so that I don’t go wild with one cable and accidentally keep extending it into the next cable’s territory. 😉

Aside: my stitch markers are lovely hand made rings purchased from Spindle Cat Studio on Etsy. I’ve made mention of these markers before but it bears repeating. These are by far my favorite stitch markers: there are no rough edges or splits in the rings to catch on the yarn and while they are nicely slim, they stand out so I can easily see them. There are lots of great little knitting doodads for sale at Spindle Cat Studio. If you need a holiday gift for a special knitter, this would be a good place to find something special!

Quick Knit Flower Frenzy

I was sent another great book to review: Quick Knit Flower Frenzy, available to purchase from Annie’s Crafts here.

It is available in both hardcopy and in electronic format. This 50-page booklet has patterns for a number of different flower projects. If you go to the link above, you can view photos of all the different projects. One of the things I really like about this book is that there is a step-by-step tutorial for each project, complete with nice clear photos.

I love how this is done. It is so much easier to learn visually, I think, than by reading a pattern.

Who’d like my review copy? 🙂

To be entered in a drawing to receive my review copy, leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Sunday December 2. I’ll select a comment using the Random Number Generator and send the booklet to that commenter.

Speaking of giveaways, the winner of Short Story: Chic Knits for Layering by Cathy Carron is Kathom, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment!

Lucy sez:

“What? The turkey is all gone?”

Long Haul Project

Thanks for all the nice comments on my Aran Jacket. It was a fun project to knit, and a fairly quick one, being worsted weight yarn and size 8 needles. So I decided my next project would be at a finer gauge. Immediate gratification is fun, but so are long-haul projects.

I am once again feeding my Cormo obsession, this time with the sportweight woolen-spun (in the dark grey colorway). Here’s what I have so far:

If  you click on the photo to enlarge it, you will see that I’m doing another Aran design, and in fact, it is another jacket. And it is jam-packed with cables! 😀

Moss stitch and cables knit at a fine gauge make fr slow going — but a lot of fun. And even though there are a bunch of different cables here, they are all fairly easy to memorize — the largest one is a 16-row repeat, and the others are 4 and 8-row repeats. So I have the pattern memorized and do not need to refer to the charts I worked up. (I’m not following a pattern — this is my own concoction.)

Giveaway Winner

The winner of my review copy of One + One: Hats: 30 Projects from Just Two Skeins is Deborah, who has been emailed. If you missed out on this giveaway, fear not — I have another book to review:

This is Short Story: Chic Knits for Layering by Cathy Carron. It has 36 (!!!) patterns for cropped knit tops — ponchos, boleros, shrugs, cropped cardis, and other short wraps.

There is something for everyone here.

If the cropped look is not right for you, you could easily lengthen some of the designs.

There’s colorwork, texture, and lace.

Most of the projects n the book are knit at a fairly large gauge, so I think they’d be pretty quick to knit. And would make a great holiday gift for a trendy teen or young woman. Or whip something up for yourself to wear to holiday parties.

Who’d like my review copy?

To be entered into the drawing to receive my copy, please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00am Eastern time on Wednesday, November 28, 2012. I’ll draw a comment at random to receive the book.

Lucy sez:

“Do we still have leftover turkey?”

 

Day Before Thanksgiving

It is the day before Thanksgiving and I have completed my Aran Jacket.

I joined the shoulders and attached the sleeves using a three-needle bind-off.

I picked up stitches around the neck and knit a neckband.

I used 8.5 skeins of Elsa Wool Cormo woolen-spun worsted weight in the medium grey colorway and U.S. size 8 (5mm) needles.

Knitting Tote

A number of you asked where my buddy L-B got the knitting tote I showed in my blog a couple of posts ago. I asked, and here is the response:

It came from one of those companies like Tupperware and Longaberger where you order from a rep’s catalog. The one my coworker had was called Thirty-One.

I checked and found  a website for Thirty-One here: http://www.thirtyonegifts.com/

Hats!

I recently received a review copy of this book:

This is One + One: Hats: 30 Projects from Just Two Skeins by Iris Schreier. It contains 30 patterns for a range of very cute hats by 20 different designers, each of which take only 2 skeins of yarns. The hats use a variety of techniques — they range from simple knit/purl combos, to lace, to texture, to colorwork.

A few of my favorites:

“Bobble Hat,” designed by Laurie Kimmelsteil, combines simple colorwork with texture.

“Slip Stitch Hat” by Lynn M. Wilson is knit from a luxury cashmere blend and uses slip stitches to form the pretty colorwork design.

“Chevron Fair Isle Hat” by Heather Walpole teams a variegated yarn with a solid in a pretty slouchy style.

Hats are great quick knits and make great gifts. You can whip up a few holiday gifts from the patterns in this book and warm some deserving heads.

Who would like my review copy?

To be entered into the drawing to receive my copy, please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00am Eastern time on Sunday, November 25, 2012. I’ll draw a comment an random to receive the booklet.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates. I think Lucy is thankful for sunny spots in which to nap.

She does have the cutest little feet, doesn’t she?

Aran Jacket Update

I am coming down the home stretch on the second side front of my Aran Jacket:

Next up: attaching the fronts to the back at the shoulders, and knit the neckband. Then, onward to sleeves!

Blog Contest

Congratulations to Judy Morin who is the winner of my review copy of Easy How-To Techniques for Simply Stylish 18″ Dolls by Andra Knight-Bowman. Judy has been emailed. I’ll have another book review and giveaway coming up soon, so watch this space!

Lucy has a good idea for what to do on a chilly November Sunday:

 

The Right Stuff

I firmly believe that you need to have the right tools to get any job done.

I have waxed lyrical in the past about my Signature Needle Arts needles, so I won’t repeat myself here. I have also gushed about my lovely Spindlecat Studio stitchmarkers.

Now check this out:

This is a Chic-a Single Yarn Caddy that I purchased from The Loopy Ewe. Pop your ball of yarn inside, pull the end through the eyelet in the top, and zip it closed. It keeps a center-pull ball tidy as you knit from it. I wind my yarn with swift and ballwinder into center-pull balls, but usually use the yarn from the outside of the ball to keep it from collapsing in on itself once I’ve used half the ball. The yarn caddy keeps it from collapsing. It also keeps it out of the paws of inquisitive kitties. (I’m not naming names here.) You can get caddies that hold 2 and 3 skeins of yarn at a time too — great for colorwork!

I’ve got another caddy working for me:

My buddy L-B gave this to when we got together at the beginning of this month. Now I don’t know how I managed without it. It’s great for carrying my knitting around the house. Not only my knitting — when I’m ready to move to another room, I can toss in my phone, my iPad, a water bottle, and anything else I might need. And I only have to make one trip!

I’ve got a good part of the right side front of my jacket completed, by the way:

Book Review

The other day I was sent a new booklet for review from Annie’s Knitting:

This is Easy How-To Techniques for Simply Stylish 18″ Dolls by Andra Knight-Bowman. It includes patterns for seven outfits for (you guessed it) 18″ dolls.

The cool thing about this book is that each pattern includes a lesson for a different technique — knitting in the round, jogless stripes, cables, etc. So as you knit you can learn new techniques, or brush up on ones you already know. I think these doll clothes would make great gifts for little girls who have the dolls of course, as well as being hot items for a charity sale or raffle.

I’m giving away my review copy. Who’d like it? To be entered into the drawing to receive my copy, please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00am Eastern time on Sunday, November 18, 2012. I’ll draw a comment an random to receive the booklet.

Lucy seems pleased that I have no plans to knit little outfits for her.