Saturday, December 27, 2008

FO: Hemlock Ring Blanket

Earlier this week I finally finished the edging on the Hemlock Ring blanket. It didn't turn out quite like I'd expected - even though I washed and blocked it and it is nice and natural and sheepy, it is not as lovely and flat as Brooklyn Tweed's. I did more increases than the one he knit, and also used a slightly smaller needle and just slightly finer yarn compared to Eco-Wool.

In any case, it was a long term project and I'm glad it is wrapped up! It looks like I will be delivering it tomorrow to be given as a wedding gift - a belated one.

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6 skeins at 220 yards each of natural Lismore Sheep Farm all natural wool, not dyed, just plain dark brown heathered wool. The blanket comes out at about 45 inches across, a nice size for the back of a couch or for a very warm lap. Good stuff!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

FO: a better bucket

Hat! After finishing the Tilted Blocks scarf and with only a carry-on bag to my name I desperately needed a new project! After much investigating of the availability of Malabrigo in the Los Angelos area (disappointing!) SubliminalRabbit and I found a decent selection at the Compatto Yarn Salon. The LYS staff were welcoming and fabulous, I would highly recommend stopping in.

I was looking for something purple-ish to complement my verging-on-lime-green wool winter duffle coat (now in its fourth year of service, great value!) - and this was a standout:

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Velvet grapes. I got started straight away on the Better Bucket Hat pattern (pattern lower down on page, available as pdf) (Ravely link):

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And this pattern is fabulous:

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Happy days. Purple hat to go with green coat, warm liner for coat hood. I am ready for bitter Atlantic Canada, and I've had my first chance to knit with Malabrigo. I have a skein of laceweight but it is just sitting purdy on my shelf for now.

Happy holidays!!

FO: Tilted Blocks scarf

Here is the story of the FO that I haven't even mentioned.

Once upon a time (last year? longer than that??) a very lovely friend sent me a fabulous package that contained, among other wonderful things (like knitting note cards!), a skein of Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in the Devon colorway:

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The yarn was special. It took a long time for me to figure out how to both show off the lovely color and utilize the delicious squishability factor of the yarn, without overwhelming it with some complicated pattern.

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I was finally prompted to make this a traveling project when the stars aligned to make a trip to southern California possible at the start of the school break. I had meanwhile just taken a look at Knitting New Scarves (Ravelry Link)

I tried a simple cable in a narrow scarf, thinking I'd be able to wrap it around once or twice, the cable only revealing itself on close inspection:

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The cable disappeared almost completely (granted, I knit it on a st st background rather than reverse st st) (thought it did catch the interest of a young teenager in line at the Twilight premiere as we all jumped up once they opened the theater, then came to a sudden stop - and the girl in front of my friends and I in line remarked, 'that's cool!' - which felt great - interesting the young ones in the craft, you know?) and I wasn't happy with the improvisation.

It occurred to me to try something along the lines of the Tilted Blocks scarf (Rav link)

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It worked out:

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I used this pattern as the basis for the scarf, but changed directions with the blocks a few times rather than just keeping them going on the diagonal, and I put in a few squares at random that are knit in stockinette or stripes of stockinette and reverse stockinette, rather than having it be completely garter stitch. A great traveling project, and the scarf is the perfect length with just one skein!

This came out absolutely fabulous and I am looking forward to wearing it once back in the temperate environs of Atlatic Canada. For now, in the Rockies, I'm still using a thicker, neutral colored scarf, but this one is calling my name. Thanks, MH!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Coraline: super itty bitty knitting!

You may have heard of the new stop-motion film coming out in 2009 - Coraline, based on Neil Gaiman's eponymous novel. You might be interested in checking out a bit of the teeny weeny knitting that went on to help clothe the characters: click here and then on the top drawer of the vanity on the left - and in the second drawer there is a pdf download of one of the teensy patterns. Fun!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

WIP: Hemlock Ring Blanket

I haven't been able to blog about this even though I started it weeks and weeks ago, just in case. If you're on Ravelry you might have seen it, but here it has been quite hush hush.

I've been working on a Hemlock Ring Blanket in some yummy natural lanolin-licious Nova Scotian wool, undyed, minimally processed - I picked up 6 skeins at the local farmer's market awhile back with this project in mind.

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Great value, great yardage, and straight from the source: Lismore Sheep Farm.

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This is the blanket in early November. It's a lot farther along now - I'm working on the edging at long last - but it has been tricky to photograph because it has grown so much. I didn't have a cable needle long enough so I have two 32 inch KP cables with size 9 needle tip on one end and a smaller one on the other - as long as I have the correct size in my right hand to control the size of the stitches it's coming out beautifully as a fudgy fix for the situation - and I bought another size 9 cable needle at my local LYS as a stopgap measure as well.

I hope this doesn't take an age to block as it's quite a late gift already!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

FO: Minimalist Cardigan (in brief)

Finished yesterday. Fab! Hitting road in early morning. Few juicy pictures.
happy holiday knitting!!

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Color is between the two, closer to first shot, really.
Action shots coming soon, hopefully.

ps just ordered Custom Knits (Wendy Bernard) and Yarn Harlot's page a day calendar (to get up to $25, natch) on Amazon, hooray free US shipping! USA here I come!

Monday, December 1, 2008

WIP: minimalist cardigan - nearly seamed!

Wow. I just looked at the blog and realized I haven't posted any work-in-progress pictures for about two months, at least. I didn't look further back than the beginning of October, I couldn't bear it. There has been a little secret knitting but also there has been NO TIME for knitting!! Ok, when I say "no time" (insert air quotes) what I really mean is not enough time.

Minimalist cardigan is my reward for reaching certain word count thresholds on my current 5000 word research paper though, so while the kettle is heating up I will post the most recent pictures! Here she is with the sides seamed to the back piece:

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And here we can pretend this is something like what it'll be with sleeves:

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To tell the truth, the sleeves are now set in but I haven't photographed it again, and I've got one sleeve seamed, one more to go, and am working on fixing the neckband bit. I'd really like to finish this today and get it blocking so it can come on holiday journeys which start this Friday!

Oh, I also photographed the lace ribbon scarf again in slightly better light, so here are a couple of those shots:

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Those colors are looking a bit more accurate. I love the color of this yarn!! Back to my word counting - in just a few days my school obligations will be met and then there will be much knitting and it will be very exciting! Happy December, all :)

Oh, and for Twilight fans! (who are knitters): check out Subliminal Rabbit's pattern for Bella's mittens -- I am so impressed with how fast she got this together - and it's a free pattern!! There's a movie still there as well that shows Kristen Stewart wearing them in a scene - I think she's standing by her awesome old truck. Enjoy!