Evie turned two this year. I was hoping to knit a poncho for her birthday and, while searching for yarns, I came across a knitted child’s Pinwheel Sweater* in the window of Natural Stitches and instantly fell in love with it. It seemed like the perfect little sweater for our transition from winter to spring. I was looking for a washable, lightweight yarn for the project and settled on Berrocco Vintage. I have never been a fan of Berroco yarn, but that is probably because all the freebies and giveaways I’ve gotten over the years seem to contain some kind of novelty yarn from Berroco. Vintage is a blend of acrylic and wool with a little nylon giving it a nice, soft, and light feel in a yarn that is washable. Each skein is 100 grams with many great colors to choose from.
I had nearly 100 grams of yarn leftover from the sweater and decided to knit a scarf for the scarf stash. I had always wanted to try illusion knitting and already had a pattern in my Ravelry favorites, so I thought I’d give it a try. Illusion knitting is much easier than I would have expected. Two alternate yarn rows are knit in either raised, purl stitches or recessed, knit stitches, or a combination of knit and purls in the same row, so that, when looked at from an angle, the purls stand out and your pattern appears. How appropriate, then, that Alice Bell designed a disappearing cat pattern and named it Wonderland Socks. For the scarf, the cat pattern was a bit difficult to see and make out. Perhaps because I was using a heavier yarn and the pattern traveled a farther distance. The cat and it’s curly tail only filled about 1/3 of the scarf, so I decided to make this one for my niece Sara and do her name in the illusion knitting. I think the thick letters are much better for the scarf and I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to see her name hidden in the scarf.
*Shelly Mackie’s Pinwheel Sweater pattern is available for free by logging in to Elann.com
I have been in a knitting frenzy. You should know this probably means I’m avoiding doing something else. Knitting is a great way to procrastinate without feeling quite so guilty! I just finished Sarah Webster’s Challenger Hat pattern.
I used up some Lion Wool from my stash. I love this color: Lemongrass. The hat is the first one that really fits me. I think I make my own hats too small and then never wear them. Lesson learned. This was a pretty easy, straight forward pattern. I did modify the top just a little to keep the ribbing pattern to the end. The original pattern calls for the last few rounds to be done in stockinette. I did a double decrease then purl 1 on those rounds (slip st, k2tog, psso) until about 9 stitches were left. The biggest pain in the ass working this hat is that my needles are all over the place and I could only find 4 dpns, which meant stitches were constantly falling off the ends and needed to be picked up.
I finished and blocked this scarf and finally had a chance to photograph it. This is Catherine Ryan’s Pioneer Braid Scarf pattern.
I am obsessed with the Regia Designer Line sock yarn, especially since the LYS has it on sale 40% off. It’s funny, after doing the previous Lizard Ridge inspired scarf, I told a friend to look for patterns with slipped stitches to really show off the colors in this yarn. I think, instead, short rows are the way to go. The nice, long color runs in this yarn really hold up for the width of a scarf. I have one more set of Designer Line skeins and am desperately looking for another short row pattern to make it in. I may come up with my own short row design for this particular color way.
Also recently completed is the Caryll McConnell’s Wavy Wimple using another skein of Deborah Norville’s Serenity sock yarn.
I didn’t bother to do a swatch for this pattern figuring I could find someone, somewhere that it’ll fit. So the wimple is not a true wimple, but more of a cowl – and I’m keeping it for myself. The wavy lace pattern is beautiful and uncommon and the cowl is stretchy and warm. Of course a solid yarn would show off the pattern better, but I’m trying to find quick, one skein projects to share. I still think this is incredibly nice yarn for being so inexpensive. Since it’s available at JoAnn fabrics it can easily be found by any knitter. This color way is my favorite, it’s called “Chili”. I love the nice long stripes of pink and grayish/greenish white.
So many more projects in mind, but, of course, I’ll eventually have to get to those things I’ve been avoiding. Yeah, ha ha.
Soup and Stitches Sundays have been going strong. At yesterday’s soup I started these fingerless mitts by Weezalana. This was a really fun, easy, and quick free pattern found on her blog, Knittywhipped. I needed a pattern that used only one skein of yarn and this took very little. The yarn is Deborah Norville’s Serenity Sock Yarn. I have been buying up this yarn with coupons from JoAnn’s for favors for our upcoming knitting weekend. I am surprised with how nice this inexpensive sock yarn is. And the colorways are really fun.
Sunday night I finished the scarf. I’m really happy with how it turned out. After blocking, the scarf seems much bigger and softer. It is also very light, but should be nice and warm. The pattern is adapted from the Lizard Ridge pattern by Laura Aylor. You may remember it from Xavia’s blanket. The yarn is Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett. It’s the same yarn I used for Amelia’s Baby Surprise Jacket, but in a different colorway.
I am thinking that I’ll knit a bunch of scarves throughout the year and then at Christmas I’ll let everyone pick one. I’m not sure how I’ll do that. Have a “pick your scarf” party? Give everyone a coupon? Do one of those swap the gift games? I sometimes have a hard time trying to find the right yarn and pattern for gifts, especially for men. It’s much easier to knit something and let it find it’s owner. I recently read on someone’s blog (I forget whose) that the knitter will sometimes knit something with no particular person in mind and the first person to show an interest in it gets it! Isn’t that fun?
Just off the needles is another Sweetheart Cardigan in Araucania Ranco Solid, this time in pink. It’s for friends in the Bay Area that are expecting their first baby any day now.
This will obviously not fit her for some time, but I have a theory. At baby showers, mothers-to-be get lots of sweet little outfits for the newborn. But very soon the child has outgrown all those gifts and the parents need to start shopping. Wouldn’t it be nice to have something that fits after the first couple months?? (Well, it makes sense to me, plus, I absolutely love this pattern and I knit it in the smallest size which will fit a 12-24 month-old, so I’m sticking to my theory!)
Yesterday was the Fourth Annual Stitch ‘n Pitch at PNC Park. Mixed among diehard fans in section 130 were a number of women knitting and crocheting in public. In addition to our little swag bag of knitting goodies, we enjoyed a nice July afternoon in the beautiful park where we watched (or forgot to watch) the Pirates play the San Francisco Giants. I started a baby sweater for some friends in the Bay Area who are expecting their first baby next month. How appropriate, then, that the Giants won 4 to 3.
This year’s theme at the Kon-O-Kwee knitting weekend is SOCKS. This has definitely been a sock year for me – from dying our own blanks to knitting several pairs for myself and as gifts and knitting mini socks for my Xmas cards. So I thought I’d try something extra challenging.
Ever since I got the Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Knits I have been dying to try Eunny Jang’s “Entrelac Socks”. Now, I know I should have picked two solid colors to make these socks, and looking through Ravelry’s finished projects for the pattern should have convinced me more, but looking at all those lovely balls and hanks of complimentary colors at Natural Stitches got the best of me. I am told this Ty-Dy Sock yarn has long color runs in it, so I had to give it a try.
During the weekend at Kon-O-Kwee there is an auction. Since “socks” is the theme this year, I had to include this PVC Needle Keep from Marelle’s Etsy shop. I have seen wooden dpn holders that were quite expensive, so I love this alternative. And, you have to admit, using PVC pipe is pretty darn cool!
A couple weeks ago I was contacted by a local gallery interested in carrying some of my work. It is always a thrill to have your work recognized and appreciated. I took my felted bowls and my Stars in Stripes drink coasters to the Bottlebrush Gallery in the little historic town of Harmony, about 1/2 hour north of Pittsburgh. The shop carries an array of work by Western Pennsylvania artists. A glass artist works in the studio above the shop and gallery in this 200 year-old building. I spent a little time talking to Jenny and then had lunch in Harmony before heading back home. In a few weeks I’ll be heading past Harmony on my way to the Kon-O-Kwee knitting weekend, so I’m hoping to have a chance to stop by and shop around. When the weather is nicer I’d love to do a nice day trip up to explore the area. There’s a cemetary nearby with a revolving stone gate that I’m dying to see!