Saturday, October 27, 2012

Some Knitting

I haven't been sewing, blogging, nor reading blogs much lately: the time demands of work have ruled most of that out for the present.  I do, however, continue to knit.  I look forward at the end of the day to holding the needles and fiber in my lap and zoning out: making my mind a blank and conjuring some mental and physical rest.

I knit this shawl some time back.  I wanted a nice shawl to take to Europe in May, and I opened up my purse and bought some really nice yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze, a luxurious laceweight  blend of mohair and silk,  and I knitted it together throughout this shawl with a strand of Plymouth Happy Feet, a merino and nylon fingering weight yarn, to give it substance.  The results are like wearing a cloud.

It drapes beautifully, although it also sheds like a beast.  I'll carry one of those sticky lint rollers when I wear it if I have to.  Actually my solution is to wear all grey with it and not worry about the loose fibers.  The pattern is Granny Smith, a free pattern on Ravelry.

More recently, I've been knitting this top-down raglan cardigan.  I had a hankering for a classic sweater,  maybe with pearl buttons, that  I could wear to work.

After looking through a bunch of patterns on line, I remembered that I had this old pattern book from the 70s that has basic raglan recipes for various weights of yarn.  It's amazing how these basic resources continue to come in handy.

I had this "vacation yarn" that I brought back from Florence.  I went to Europe determined to bring back some yarn, and on line I found reference to a wonderful yarn shop a couple of blocks from the city center,  Campolmi Roberto Filati. The shop doubles as a warehouse, and it was full of beautiful yarns.  The only problem was that I got there 10 minutes before they closed for lunch. Though the ladies who work there told me to take my time, I didn't want to hang them up too long.  I quickly grabbed a sweater's worth of merino wool from the clearance bin for my cardigan.  I love this pale aqua color.

I also brought home some balls of novelty yarn for weaving.

 While one of the ladies was ringing me up, I spied this beautiful mohair, and she wound off a scarf's worth for me.  It has flecks of shiny stuff throughout, and I'm considering patterns for it: perhaps Citron or Futur Simple  or Riverrun will show it off nicely.

Sometime soon I hope to dust off my sewing machine.  In the meantime, I'm using my knitting needles to keep my hands in fiber.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


As they keep saying on Game of Thrones, winter is coming.  To help some folks prepare for the cold season, I made these hats for a charity hat drive on Ravelry, and was able to do a bit of stash-busting of odd skeins of wool and to try out some of the dozens of free hat patterns available on the site.  I kool-aid dyed the light blue and the violet yarn from a reclaimed sweater I've knit a couple of other projects from already.  Most of the other hats were made with worsted wool held double.  These were fun and quick to make, and then they went into the mail.

Seeing all these hats flying off my needles, Michael decided he wanted one too.  He picked a dark grey wool from my stash, and a motif from one of Alice Starmore's Fair Isle books.  I used the stitch count from the Strib hat pattern, which I'd made as written in the variegated yarn for donation.  It calls for a 96-stitch cast-on, and I substituted one section of ribbing for the various ribbing sections in the pattern.  The motif was in a 12-stitch repeat, and so all the math worked out neatly.

Here's the finished hat.  It's reminded me how much I like color work, and it was very satisfying to whip out in a couple of days. I knit the color work section in a very peaceful couple of hours on a Sunday morning.

I asked my son if he wanted a hat too, and he picked the same grey, but with no motif.  He's a minimalist.

I'm already happy with my winter hat, which I made a couple of years ago from the Columbia beret pattern (also free) which I made in red.  Now I'm thinking I may want to knit myself some nice gloves, and I'm considering these.  Yes, gloves with birds on them.  How perfect is that?

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...