Saturday, August 28, 2010

Summer Knitting

I don't show a lot on knitting-in-progress, though I usually have at least 2 projects going at any one time. I think that looking at unfinished knitting is akin to watching paint dry, but finished knitting is like looking at toys or candy. Here is a display of a few projects I finished over the summer.

The first is Splash, a vest pattern by Wendy Bernard. It has a clever construction--the shoulder is seamless. You make a provisional cast-on, and then knit down the back to the bottom of the arm holes. Then you pick up the stitches from the cast-on edge, and knit down the front to the bottom of the harm holes, join front and back, and knit the body to the hem.

Designers are very big these days on garments that don't need any seaming, and I think a lot of newer knitters have an unreasoned fear of seams that makes these patterns popular. I don't mind seaming, and I think they often lend garments structure, but this was a fairly quick knit and made a cute vest. The body is meant to hang straight from the bust, but I made mine A-line, which suits me better. The yarn was recylced from a thrift store sweater that I unwound. It's 100% wool tweed, and the color is very cheerful.

I also knit a Shalom vest, which is a free pattern by Meghan Mc Farlane. It's also knit seamlessly from the top down. All the yarn for this vest was bought at the thrift store. It's unusual to find sweater quantities of yarn second hand, but I did score this discontinued Patons acrylic-wool blend in a bulky weight in the exact quantity I needed. Some days the recycling gods send you a small gift. Of course the buttons cost me twice as much as the yarn, but that's the way it goes.

I get to knit even in summer because it never gets hot in this coastal climate, and this year has been unusually foggy. Small knit projects are also great for travel, and I knit most of this Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl , a free pattern by Sarah Bradberry, on a trip. I made great progress on this shawl when I got stuck overnight at the San Francisco airport when trying to get home from Albuquerque. Note to self: pack lots of knitting for plane trips.

This shawl was knit from one ball of sock yarn: Deborah Norville's Premier Serenity Sock Yarn, which is a blend of wool, bamboo and nylon. I knit it on a U.S. size 10 needle, and before binding off knitted every stitch twice so the edge would been extra stretchy. I blocked it aggressively to open the lace, after throwing a bit of liquid starch in the rinse water. This shawl went to Michael's daughter for her birthday.

I'm finishing the second sleeve of a cardigan that I hope to show soon, then I think I'm going to cast on a massive shawl and use up some coned wool I've got stashed. There are some nice small shawl patterns I've been eyeing, and I'll probably mix in a few of those too. This will be the Fall of the shawl.


Allison Ann Aller said...

You will be the most stylish and warm professor at Humboldt!

Quiltnbee said...

I always have a knitting project with me when I travel now. Of course, when I had a brand new $15 pair of Addi Turbos confiscated by airline security in Norwich, England, I wasn't happy...luckily I was able to resume knitting when I arrived at my destination, with a pair of bamboo straights I had packed...I was not happy that the needles had to be taken out of a project in process...what a pain...But, now I try to only take bamboo needles if I fly...better to not chance it. That was the only time I have ever had a problem with needles though... Beautiful shawl, btw! I love shawls. I have a decent backlog of shawl patterns and yarn to make them with =-)

Judy S. said...

Nice work, Barbara. You are an inspiration! Have you seen Rosemary-Go-Round's blog? She designs some nice scarves. BTW, yours is beautiful!

floribunda... aka Julie said...

Lovely shawl -- it looks a bit like a luna moth hanging there!

Debra said...

I wish we were neighbors so you could get me knitting. When are you moving to Texas?

Magpie Sue said...

I have become quite the fan of knitted shawls (that other people make!). Nearly every time I see one on your blog I send a link to my sister with a big ole hint. :- )

I love the color of the first vest. Cheerful is right! You really scored with that thrift shop yarn; you can't expect to get the buttons for a song too!

Kay said...

Beautiful! I love the first vest for it's color, and the shawl for the color and the lacy pattern.

The verification word is "woolyo"--how funny!

Rian said...

You are just so danged talented Barbara! I am a huge fan of the sweater-vest. It has been a cold summer on the coast all the way to San Diego.

sophie said...

The shawl is incredible, but it's the Splash vest that really caught my eye. I think the pin (button?) you have on it is just perfect!

I think I have enough balls of a pale yellow silk to knit that ... and I just might HAVE to do so. What a clever way to knit from the top down with a non-raglan shoulder. I have a series of interviews tomorrow afternoon, but after that, on to my storage and stashed yarns to find the silk so I can knit a guage swatch!