Friday, January 14, 2011

Winter Knits

Over the last month I finished up some knitting projects, just in time for the peak of the winter weather.

I made Iced, a free sweater pattern by Carol Feller from the fab on-line magazine Knitty.  The sweater is knit in bulky yarn, yet it's very flattering, due to some nice waist shaping.  I knit my sweater in some serviceable and cheap yarn, Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky.  I wanted a brown sweater and this one knit up fast and fits the bill nicely.  The cute buttons were dollar store finds.  You never know what they'll have at the dollar store.

I also finished a Boneyard Shawl by the popular designer Stephen West. This pattern is a free Ravelry download and a perfect project for meditative knitting.  It's one of  those wonderful projects that you don't have to pay close attention to, so you can empty your mind, work on your enlightenment, and end up with a nice shawl at the end of it all.

I knit this in a bulky weight yarn too, Hulda by Louisa Harding, which I got at Tuesday Morning.  Hulda is a drapey blend of wool, acrylic and linen.  I'm planning to wear this shawl to work with my navy raincoat and hope it will remind me of how close I got to enlightenment while I was knitting it.

Michael's grandson Emil will turn three next week, so I made him a sweater.  It's knit from a free Lion Brand pattern that comes in both children's and adult sizes.   

For this small version I used three balls of Vanna's Choice acrylic yarn, since sweaters for three-year-olds need lots of washing.

Although I had these three projects on the needles at the same time, now that they're finished, I find myself in an unprecedented fit of Knitting Monogamy.  I'm still working on my linen stitch shawl, having found a few more yarns to work into the mix.  Although I've got my eye on some new patterns, (like this jacket, and Pogona, another Stephen West shawl) I'm content to work on one knitting project at a time right now. 

Who knew?  Sheesh, next thing you know, I'll be making one quilt at a time.  And then maybe pigs will fly.  And warm places will begin to freeze over.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A Linen Stitch Shawl

The week between Christmas and New Year's day is one of my favorite times of the year.  The big holiday is behind me, the fridge is full of holiday leftovers, and I'm off work.  Plus it rained buckets last week, which means it was perfect knitting weather.

I decided to gather some compatible bits of yarn and knit a rectangular shawl in linen stitch, based on a patten in Sally Melville's The Knitting Experience Book 3: Color,  which has a lot of well-designed classic patterns.  I am in love with linen stitch.  It produces a fabric that looks woven.  I can see many applications for this stitch: it's perfect for using up odds and ends of various yarns.

While I was knitting on a couple of rainy afternoons, I watched the BBC series Victorian Farm on YouTube.  In this series, three experts, two archaeologists and a historian, live and work on a Victorian farm in rural England for a year, and we see them doing various routine tasks: cooking, raising sheep, and farming, using the technologies of the time.  There's a wonderful scene when Ruth Goodman, the historian, who is an expert on domestic practices, cross stitches a pair of suspenders by lamp light in an unheated room so cold you can see her breath.   

What a pleasant way to pass the hours.  Unlike poor Ruth, I was nice and toasty, and with a few more good movies, I'll have a nice wrap.

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...