Friday, October 30, 2015

Perth Cardigan

I finally found the time to take a few photos of my Perth Cardigan, by Tara-Lynn Morrison, of Good Night Day.  Super fast knit, guys.  I'm not crazy about the yarn I used, but I think the simplicity of this cropped, three-quarter sleeve cardigan works in the yarn's favor.

Seeing the pattern sample knit in hand dyed thick and thin made me want this knit.  Like Kingston, that yarn makes it extra special.  But, if I had to substitute that gorgeous yarn with a regular bulky I had on hand, then I think Perth is the better choice of the two for it.

This is my second sweater for the Purposeful Stash-along, with Little Bobbins Knits.  I started that knit-along with completely new stash and the Pomme de Pin.  I just didn't think I'd get around to using older yarn.  I completely surprised myself.  I knit a colorwork sweater then, in the process of knitting from all of those Good Night Day patterns, I have knit another sweater, four hats, a cowl, two halter tops, a shawl, and two headbands with really, really old stash.  I'm not entering all of it into the KAL because... that's just a lot of knits.  I didn't, however, finish my Pomme de Pin.  Soon, though.

If you haven't noticed, I've been knitting a lot of Tara's patterns and will be knitting more.  I'm test knitting for her as she prepares to release most of her patterns in one large book.  Though she's obviously knit these designs successfully for years, I think it's bold to have them re-tested, tech edited, and self-published.

Have I mentioned how much I love the freedom of self-publishing?  Well, I do.  It's one of the reasons I wanted to test knit these.  I also own her three mini-books and enjoy these bulkier weight designs.

Here's the details:  This Valley Yarns' Enfield is now discontinued, but it was supposed to be bulky.  I was disappointed to find it was more like a worsted.  However, I had a ton of it, so I just doubled it up for this.  Even doubled, it was still shy of a full, super bulky weight.  Adding 18 stitches to the cast on compensated for that.  I also knit with Us 10 needles throughout.  Then, at the raglan marker placement, I added: 1 st to front band, 2 to right front, 3 to right arm, 6 sts to back, 3 to left arm, and 2 to left front, and 1 to other band.

In every other way I followed the pattern.  It was like, maybe a two day knit.

So, it's not like the beautiful yarn used in the pattern sample.  But it has a nice alpaca halo and the different colored plies are unusual for me.  Over a simple dress or even here, with jeans and a tee, it looks classic and refined.  I think the three-quarter sleeves are perfect.

(more on ravelry, kollabora, instagram, and flickr)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Toque a Day

I recently experienced a bout of hat knitting.  These were all of the hat patterns I hadn't previously knitted from Good Night Day.  You might remember that her Petawawa Cable Toque is probably my most favorite hat to have knit.  There was just something about the design paired with the Gynx yarn that worked so well together.

Knitting up so many hats was a nice break from sweaters and the perfect use for bulky leftovers.  Using old stash is the goal of the Purposeful Stash-along, after all, and I'd only completed one project for it til now.

The Mono Toque, is a very stripped down design.  Just stockinette and reverse stockinette.  It's that simple.  I was really craving that kind of knit.  I used US size 10 needles and held a strand of Sweet Georgia Bulky in, Terra Firma, with a strand of Cascade Eco.  I really liked the marled effect on a plain stockinette.   As usual, I found knitting with super bulky yarn extremely satisfying.

Also using US size 10s and Terra Firma, I knit up the Mattawa Toque.  This Sweet Georgia was left over from my Lund or Linden sweater.  Again- bulky, semi-solid, chevron patterned- does it get any better?

The York Bobble Toque was one I'd thought I might enjoy knitting, but probably wouldn't wear much.  I'm so glad I knit it because I think it's my favorite of the bunch.  It's also in our football team's color.  Apparently, these things matter in Texas.

I used size 3 needles and Lilac colored Berroco Vintage left over from a henley I'd knit.  I may even have enough for another one to knit for my daughter, if she ever comes to a football game again.

Then there's the Jarvis Fisherman Toque.  This was an incredibly quit knit!  It would be perfect for a Christmas gift.  For this one I used size 8s and Wool of the Andes Bulky leftovers from Agnes and my Princess Leia Hat.  I think I changed to the contrast color on the 38th round, or something.

Yes, I know there is dog hair on my knits in every single photo.  Did you know the alternative title for this blog is My So-Called Classy Life?  

What's next for me, in the way of Tara-Lynn's patterns?  So far I've knit these hats, a cowl, a shawl, a cardigan, and some winter headbands.  Next up will probably be either a Kingston or Welland sweater, with a slight modification for a lighter weight thick and thin yarn.

In a few weeks I may be able to say I've knit them all.  Have you ever knit every pattern in a book?  I don't know, the idea of doing that gives me a real sense of accomplishment.  So far I've come close with a couple of Holla Knits issues, and I know I will finish everything in Island and Journey.  It's knitter OCD, I guess.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Bradway Shawl

This is the shawl I want to wrap around me when I sit by a fire on the patio this winter.  It will go with me anytime I camp in the mountains.  It's Bradway by Shannon Cook.  You know Shannon and how I'm always talking about her knit-alongs, her patterns, and her books.

Bradway is the kind of pattern even non-shawl knitters would want to knit.  There's all of these great stripes of texture, which appeals to my stripe fixation.  Then there's the endless possibilities for color combos.  Let's not forget the fact that this is a worsted weight shawl, which means you can finish it over a weekend if you want.  If that still doesn't tempt the knitter who turns their nose up at shawls, of which I used to be one, there's the practicality of an oversized, heavy shawl.  It is fireside fashion.  I can't think of how many times I would've loved to have this around me when camping, rather than a big blanket that accidentally catches fire.  (That wasn't me.)  Then there's always the freezing movie theatre and restaurants.

This was originally going to be my only knit for the Big Cozy KAL with The Fawn Knits , but I finished so fast it seemed a shame to stop there.  So I cast on a Campside Shawl that I've only knit a bit on.  Check out all of the shawls finished so far in the KAL.
I knit this with size US 5 needles and 7 skeins of Wool of the Andes Tweed, but I think I had one skein left over.  I adore WotA and all of it's variations.  It is the perfect everyday, budget friendly yarn.  I have no complaints about how it wears.

Who would've thought I 'd like pink in anything?  But after getting color inspiration from Pinterest, I had to try it.  I'm so glad I did.  These colors just seem right together.  Ah, I wonder how much of my knitting is really about exposure to lovely color than the function of the thing.

I'm not entirely happy with these photos.  As has been the case lately, I am pushed for time and cornering my daughter to take photos when she's over for a visit.  That's usually at high noon when light is so harsh.  If she says she can, it's a race to find something that looks semi-decent with the knit.  Remember, it's not winter here so this is like playing dress-up.  Somehow I didn't think my Bradway  would look best paired with an oversized t-shirt advertising the local credit union and my running shorts.  I'm also loath to put on knits when it's so crazy hot outside.  I actually edited out mosquitos that were on my face.  Seriously.  But, at least I have photos of it!

When my Campside is finished I'll be focusing on sweaters for a while, just in time for our first cold front. 

My other post on this shawl is here.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Stratford Halter Top

If you can't tell, I've been putting off taking proper photos of finished knits.  I have a sweater, four hats, a shawl, and a cowl finished and just waiting for a photo.  My phone is full of photos, my camera's full, and my computer and hard drive are full of back-ups.  I'm at that point where all photography is about to come to a grinding halt if I don't do a little tech clean-up.  But this photo looks good enough to suffice as a "Finished" photo, so here you go.

This is Tara-Lynn Morrison's Stratford Halter Crop Top.  It's similar to the Leeds Halter I knit a week ago, but only has one tie at the back of the neck.  It also has a bit more coverage.  I really like the look of this one and I think the Rowan All Seasons Cotton is a quality warm weather yarn for it.  I was testing this out for re-writes, so I knit it as written.  I have started a second one, however, with 20 less stitches in the cast-on so that it will fit me the way I like.  I will totally wear this for Galveston weekends next summer.

The All Seasons cotton yarn has a suede-like feel that is a bit nicer than dishcloth cotton.  Knit at a tight gauge, I find it gives enough coverage, too.  My gauge for this was about 4.5 sts and 7 rows per inch knit on size 3 needles.  I went searching, out of curiosity and since I do live in a warm climate, for information about good yarn for halters, bikini tops, etc that are appropriate for summer.  The consensus is that cotton, knit tightly, and a bit small so that it stretches and holds it's shape works best.  They also seem to unanimously agree that knit bikini bottoms never really look good.

So, though it looks like I'm in the middle of summer with these last two projects, I'm actually hard at work on three sweaters, a shawl, and a bulky wrap.  That's besides all of the finished knits awaiting photographs.  Get ready, because when the FO photos start coming, they will be in droves.

Speaking of serious Fall sweaters, have you guys seen the round up for the Summer Sweater Knit-along 2015?  They're all so beautiful.  I love that when I read the names of the giveaway winners, I could say, "Those are my friends!"

In other happy news,  I was pretty psyched that The Great Northern Kickstarter was more than a success and I will, indeed, be getting that book of patterns in the future.

So, are you guys doing Fall oriented things or are you still stuck on summer?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Leeds Halter Top

I know.  I've got too many projects on the needles.  I know it, and yet here I am with another finished knit I really hadn't planned to knit just now.  Did you have any clue that I'd be knitting a Leeds Halter Top for Fall?  Neither did I, but it gives me a great sense of accomplishment anyway!

Leeds is a fun knit.  When I was less endowed I would have worn this to get some sun on a Sunday afternoon on the patio.  As it is, I'm still feeling the effects of a hormone treatment I started 6 months ago that puffed me up.  Some women would love that side effect, but me... not so much.  I was used to my boyish frame.  And 3 months wasn't a lot of time to adjust to this new, very hormonal, one.  Hopefully, I'll get back to normal soon but, just in case,  I've got some ideas for how to make the Stratford Halter Crop Top, also by Tara-Lynn Morrison,  in a more supportive warm weather yarn.  I'm wondering if holding a thin piece of elastic with the cotton to knit the ribbing and ties would make it a bit more like a wool version.  I have some Rowan All Season's cotton and elastic from a failed knit bikini (don't ask) and it might be fun to try.    

Anyway, this one does fit, but I'm too shy to do that kind of FO shot.   It's knit in Valley Yarns Goshen.  I made one modification:  I knit the tab for each back strap about 1.5 inches before decreasing, then made my i-cord ties long enough to wrap around and tie in front.  This allows for sun bathing in the lounger without knots poking me in the back.   Sunbathing means flopping the lawn chair in the middle of my weedy garden where the neighbors can't me reading or sleeping in my swimsuit.  It involves copious amounts of sweat and mosquito spray.  It's October, but that is still completely doable here.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Midwestern Knit-alongs

Ugh!  I'm sorry I'm so slow to respond to comments and messages.  I'm slowly getting into a new rhythm  around here.  My son is firmly entrenched in his sophomore year, my daughter in her new home, and my grandmother is getting into a new routine, living alone.  I have had more time on my hands and have tried to use it wisely.  Sleeping late a few times a week, going on long walks, and knitting up a storm.  I figure you guys can forgive me because I'm sure you've been there.   So, I don't mean to be slow, but sometimes you just got to make things.

And that was my progress on the body of my Blowing Snow Cardigan by Emily Ringelman.  It's not a difficult pattern to memorize at all, but still keeps it more interesting than stockinette.   This is what I want my final product to look like.  Oh, I hope I don't screw up in some stupid way, it's been going so smoothly.

 (image via Ravelry)

Blowing Snow is from Midwestern Knits, a book I supported back in the kickstarter phase.  Also from this book is my next sweater, Furrowed Pullover.   There's a KAL for it beginning in just a couple of days, so I thought I'd get some photos out there of my "Before."   I really like City Tweed, and Jacquard is a color I've wanted to try for a couple of years, so when they had a big sale in the withering heat of summer, I jumped on it.  This is the cheapest I think I could ever get an alpaca/ wool tweed like this.  Listen to me, I'm always so proud of a good deal.

Imagine that knit into this, below.   That cowl neck is so generous! And in an alpaca yarn, do you think I'll be warm enough?

 (image via Ravelry)

Also on my needles, are some test knits for Tara-Lynn Morrison.  I'll post some photos of those lovelies after I've had a gigantic blocking party.  I don't think I've ever before put off blocking so many things at once.  My cat has been finding all sorts of unblocked woolens to curl up on around the house.  

So, what's on your needles this Fall?