Friday, December 30, 2011

FO: Traveling woman shawl

Never having seen lace weight cotton in a very subtle semi-solid, I picked up a single skein of Araucania Lonco Solid during a trip to the DC area a couple of years ago. It marinated in my stash, 440 yards, enough to work a small project with a nice weight to it - a summer shawl.

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Naturally I started it in the spring of 2011, worked on The Traveling Woman shawl during the plane travel on a trip to Belize, then let it sit for some months while I didn't do much summer knitting at all. I managed to finish it in October (it really is a fast and satisfying knit), and then wasn't able to download photos from my camera for a month or two. The colour is more accurate here:

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But unfortunately I don't have a great shot of the whole thing. It is a nice drapey heavy sort of summery shawl. I like it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

WIP: Tinder cardigan

In October, beigeberry and subliminalrabbit and I decided to do another KAL. Beigeberry had spotted the new Brooklyn Tweed collection and had her eye on either Bedford or Tinder. I decided on Tinder and the others decided on Bedford. Still from the same collection (BT Fall 11) so we continued calling it a KAL.

They're both quite a bit farther along than I am. Ok, so subliminal rabbit has finished her project.

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That's an early photo, though! I've finished the left front and am making good progress on the back following the holiday knitting wrap up. The yarn is a wool/mohair blend I picked up at Belfast Mini Mills on Prince Edward Island in July. It's squishy and soft with a pretty halo.

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Also I have decided my Tinder will be a vest instead of a cardigan. I was having trouble deciding if I would go with the reverse st st sleeves, and also looked at all my sweaters and realized half of them are purple/burgundy. So I think adding a vest to my wardrobe, especially given the length of this one, plus possibly adding pockets, will be a good thing. Also, I may not have purchased quite enough yarn (1000 yards) for a full cardigan so.... a vest solves that problem too!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

FO: Clementine Shawlette

Well, knitting slowed down for a little while but it has picked back up again and a few things have been finished, a few more started, and a couple of patterns are hopefully going to be written fairly soon.

So today I'd like to show you the Clementine Shawlette in Diamond Yarn Luxury Collection Alpaca Prima (100% alpaca fingering weight):

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Something a little funny happened with this one - I started it about a year ago and once I got into the 4 row lace repeat it was no trouble at all to set it down, work on a different project, then pick up Clementine when I needed something to just plug away at. I had plenty of yarn (something I can never say for my sweater projects) so I didn't think too much about the length of the thing... until I decided it was getting just about long enough and I should decrease for the final end of it - then checked the pattern and realized I was supposed to knit this in two equal halves. Oops!

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So I put the first 85% on hold and cast on from the start of the second "half" - I did try briefly to reverse the shaping on the increase chart to decrease the end of the original half, but with triple decreases and whatnot it wasn't too straightforward so I decided pretty quickly to just cast on for the second piece and then graft them together when it got to the full width. So the seam is most of the way toward one end rather than the centre of the back but never mind!

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I have more FOs and WIPs to mention - and the reason I'm back is because I lost my ability to download photos from my camera since July, but recently I was able to borrow someone's set up to download pics from my micro SD so I have a bunch of stuff to post. And I was able to update a bunch of Ravely stuff, which is very satisfying!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

FO: Aviatrix & Saartje's Booties set

I had to wait to post this just in case my friend the mom-to-be ever glances this way, so here are a few photos of a fun baby set I managed (for the first time ever!) to complete before the baby comes!

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The yarn is Lily Chin Gramercy superwash merino, in a nice bright turquoise that should work for any gender :) I used Fleegle's seamless bootie recipe, not for the first time.

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The Aviatrix hat (Rav link) is one of the cutest little hats I've ever seen for a baby, and the adjustable chin strap means it'll last for more than one season, I hope!

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I heard from my dear friend A a couple of days ago, she is very happy with the little package I sent, and I am excited for the coming addition to her wee family. Hooray!

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Friday, March 4, 2011

2010 FOs

Happy weekend!

I took the time a few days ago to update move last year's projects into their own page, so hopefully this is the beginning of me cleaning up my blog a bit after much neglect. It's easy to take a quick spin through 2010 FOs right here.

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Now I just need to get my WIPs organized and clean some of them up. How is it possible that 90% of the time something is on the needles is simply when it's waiting to be finished up? I want to get back to some of those spring projects but feel downright guilty about the languishing FOs. Hopefully this weekend will involve some knitting time! Have a good one...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

WIP: Mythos Cardi

Whatever happened to that pink Mythos cardigan I started last summer at Knit Camp 2010?

Let me tell you. I ran out of yarn toward the end and cannibalized part of the sleeves so I could do the knitted on icord edging. They were too fitted at the wrists anyway. Last night I finished my new sleeve cuff solution (ruffles may be involved!) but I also wanted to explain how I re-used the yarn from the lower sleeves, which of course were knit from the cuff up toward the shoulder, even after I'd seamed them completely. Warning: Graphic surgical photos follow. Not for the faint of crafty heart!

Still with me? Ok, here we go.

I decided to go for a half length sleeve, to be sure I had enough yarn to re-do the edging on the sleeves in some manner as well as complete the icord edging around the body. First I marked with a safety pin on both sleeves where I would like to rip back to.

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I had already used a different yarn to seam the sleeves; in this case the best I could do was a dark pink bamboo yarn of similar weight to the pink wool used for the whole project. I unraveled my sleeve seams up to the safety pin.

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Next, I took a high contrast yarn, in this case a black cotton, and threaded it on a darning needle to insert a life line into the row of stitches corresponding to the level the safety pin was at. I wanted to put these stitches back on a circular needle so I could knit down from the elbow length and create a new cuff. This is where it's a little freaky - you have to cut into your knitting. I snipped a few stitches in and into the row below the one where my lifeline was placed, as I wanted to keep those stitches live. Snipping a little in to the row rather than right at the edge meant that I wouldn't lose the beginning of the row of stitches that I wanted to keep, due to having too short a tail.

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I gently unraveled the row below my life line, stitch by stitch, and picked up the stitches held on the life line with my circular needle.

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The result was a half sleeve of stockinette, ready to be unraveled and used to knit on a new cuff for the sleeve.

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Here's the only picture I apparently took of the entire thing, while I didn't want to show you just at the start, in case the half-attached sleeve gave you the willies.

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I'm pretty happy with the solution for the new sleeve cuff, but it's not completely finished and I don't have pictures yet. Have you performed any knitting surgery lately?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ysolda's prices going up

In case you - like me! - have been thinking for awhile about any purchases of individual patterns by Ysolda, now might be the time because she writes that her prices will be going up on Valentine's Day!

I have been determined to try knitting Coraline for a long time since every one seems to come out so well. This is me trying to remind myself to purchase the pattern before next Monday!

Happy knitting :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Crafty on Twitter / WIP: grey clementine shawlette

Last week I started following some additional crafty accounts on Twitter and realized it'll really work better if I keep that stuff separate. So you can now find me on Twitter as @malaraky :). Accounts like Etsy just have too much action for me to keep track of that on my regular account.

I'm just uploading some pictures of WIPs now - there has been a bit more knitting in the new year than toward the end of 2010, so there's more content coming soon! The Cloudsoft Cowl has been well received on Ravelry - thanks! - and I have plans for more designing this year, which is very exciting. Just ordered yarn for a new design I dreamed up in the summer, and will be re-knitting it in different colors and a different yarn, so that is exciting! It may be awhile before it's available, but maybe if I mention it here I will be more inspired to work on it!

Here's the current state of my Clementine Shawlette:

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It'll need a good blocking to pull the lace out but it's coming along well and I have the pattern memorized now - just four repeating rows now that the increases are done. I have four skeins of the alpaca, and am about 2/3 finished with the first one. The plan is to knit until they're gone, since the piece is knit from end to middle, twice, then the two pieces are grafted at the middle. Two skeins for each half. Lovely. Happy knitting!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New pattern: Cloudsoft Cowl

Have a skein or two of laceweight mohair blend yarn that you'd love to use in a simple project, highlighting its fuzzy lightweight wonderfulness?

I just posted a new pattern on Ravelry, the Cloudsoft Cowl, and you can find it there for FREE!

download now

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This simple 2x2 rib extra roomy cowl is a great way to use up an extra skein or two of Rowan Kidsilk Haze or any other fuzzy laceweight yarn.

Designed to use up just about every last inch of your yarn, and to stretch to loop around your neck twice, you can wear it doubled up and cozy under your chin, with one half pulled down so it drapes decoratively while the upper half is snug under your neck, or draped around your shoulders like a lightweight shoulder wrap that won’t fall off. Quick to knit, this is a lovely cloudweight treat to wear, and will keep you cozy through the chilly weather!

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So this is me, dipping my toe back into the designing waters. I have bigger projects in mind, but when I wanted some simple TV knitting this winter and thought of my pretty little single skein of Alchemy Haiku in foxglove just hanging out in my stash for, oh, probably the last five years, I poked around on Ravelry for a suitable ribbed cowl. And I didn't find anything that worked for me, so I kept a few notes and worked up a simple in-the-round piece that used up all my yarn, and is wearable in a few different ways. It's cozy, lightweight, and took very little time to work up. Happy knitting!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

WIP: Clementine Shawlette

Before the holidays I felt the need to be knitting something soft, preferably in a heavyweight sort of lace, something that I could eventually learn to knit without looking at the chart, something I already had the yarn for, something like...

The Clementine Shawlette from the Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Knits.

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Almost two years ago I picked up 4 skeins of a light grey alpaca, thinking of a wrap of some sort. It's almost a sport weight, so I've ended up knitting this on size 2 needles, which seems ridiculous. I always need to go down about two needle sizes, but this is excessive - to be fair I am using a thinner yarn. I haven't quite gotten to the point in the chart where you just stay with the same width and repeat for however long you want it to be - it is still possible that I'll decide this just isn't going to be a substantial enough piece and rip it out. Undecided.