Sunday, June 27, 2010

Motivation Returning...

I have started a couple of new things, and am cautiously optimistic that the inspiration is returning. The first, I will show you here, is a simple wrap, using some hand dyed lace weight and matching dyed mohair. The lace weight has many more yards, so I knit 8 rows of it to every one of the mohair. You can see the fuzzy thick stripe entered every 2 inches or so.
I think I should get a good length out of the one skein of lace... You could do this pattern with any lace weight and any mohair or ribbon or other accent yarn.

I am also throwing in a row of dropped yarn overs to accent the lacey part between the mohair.

I have also swatched and tinkered with a new drapey cardigan from Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK (in teal) from my stash. I have 10 balls, so not sure if there is enough to do what is in my mind, but will plunge ahead and knit. I should see as I go along if the vision will become reality, or bail and convert to Plan B. No photos for now, as it is mostly in my head!

Crank up the air conditioning and pull out the alpaca! Winter will come again eventually!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Super Chunky Blanket!

This pattern is SUPER easy, and is the fastest blanket that I have ever knit.
Yarn: Lion Brand Woolease Thick & Quick. 10 -170gm balls. (I used Taupe)

Needles: 9mm (US 13) use long circulars as the weight and size will be too heavy for straights. I used my Denise set.

Cast on 100 sts.

Seed stitch for 6 rows. (row one: Knit 1, Purl 1, repeat across. Row 2: Knit the purls and purl the knits)
Establish basket weave pattern (place markers -PM- until you have the blocks really set)

Row one: Seed stitch the first 5 stitches, PM, knit 18, PM, purl 18, PM, knit 18, PM, purl 18, PM, knit 18, PM, seed stitch last 5 stitches.
Row two and every even row, seed stitch the first and last stitches and knit the knits, or purl the purls!

Work rows one and two for 24 rows, then on the right side:

Seed stitch 5, Purl 18, knit18, purl 18, knit18, purl 18, seed stitch 5. (this reverses the knit and purl blocks and creates the basketweave effect)
continue with wrong side, knitting the knits and purling the purls as newly established.

Work this block for 24 rows, then switch again.

You should be maintaining the seed stitch border all along, and just swicthing the 18 stitch blocks when they are about square (see photo). I did this for seven block rows (you can do it for as long as you want) and then finish with 6 rows of seed stitch right across, then cast off all stitches.

Weave in all the loose ends, and go have a nap on the sofa under this beauty - you have earned it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

sweater blocking...

In the meantime... we had a big moment this week. A new Doctor in the family! We are so proud, and wish her the best in her new Practice!The sweater is drying, the blanket is done, the last socks are finished and I am again at a loss of the next project to do. I have some sewing, so check t'other blog..... )

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spring Robins

I just got up, and was in my kitchen getting breakfast, when out of my window I saw a baby robin, hopping around on my deck. I paused to watch as he hopped up onto the arm, then head of my inukshuk statue. He rested there, exhausted by the activity and I thought he was so cute, I grabbed the camera. The photos are zoomed through my window. I did not dare step out to the deck. I did not want to scare him.

As I watched and zoomed, Mama appeared on the railing with a HUGE worm in her beak. She hopped down to the floor, then across to baby bird.




almost chocking on it (mama - I HATE worm! "eat your worm or you don't get any candy")


The arm on the inukshuk, made a perfect feeding perch, and you can see in the series of photos how the worm is passed from Mom to Baby. When she was sure it was completely swallowed, she took off, leaving the lad perched where he was, content until the next course of worm arrived.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Alpaca Cardigan... well underway.

I have had a few road trips this last week and the alpaca cardigan is a great car-knit. I like knits that are primarily stocking stitch (knit one row, purl the next) with many rows of non-shaping. This way I can knit and watch the scenery. I got the patterned edge done at home before the first car trip last tuesday, and finished about 5 inches of the body from home to Kitchener and back... then set it aside to work on the chunky blanket. Today it was a 2 hour ride to St. Thomas, and more of the cardigan completed. I am knitting it in one piece (front and back on a circular needle) so it takes longer to finish each row, but no need to do one back and two fronts, and no side seams! I will have to pause at the armhole to add the short sleeves onto the circ's and then raglan my way to the neckline!
The blanket is about 6 rows from complete, so I will be able to work more exclusively at the cardigan and be able to publish some photos soon!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Humidity Lifted and Alpaca Inspiration

I swatched the fine alpaca and found the feel just fabulous! I felt it needed to be a cardigan, maybe short sleeved, maybe with a cool detailed hemline, and then easy, breezy stocking stitch for the body.... raglan sleeve? Knit on Circulars to keep the seaming down. This idea was gaining ground over the weekend while I was golfing and making curtains. (see other blog---over on the right)
I did the math, and set the gauge, and worked out the number of stitches, and picked the simple lace pattern for the hemline. I am using the book Knitting on the Edge (Nicky Epstein), Berry Cluster II with beads on page 133. This is a great book. I have used it for cable patterns, edgings, ribbings and general inspiration. You can knit as suggested on the edge or repeat a pattern over the whole garment. Very versatile.
Photos will follow when I have enough to look awesome!
(the blanket is also almost done, so photos for that too soon)

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Study of Yarn

I think this will be the next yarn to work with. It is a lovely natural colour hand spun alpaca that I found on my Lancaster, Pennsylvania trip last summer. A fine sport weight yarn. The problem is... it doesn't yet know what it wants to BE.
So I posed the precious around in various lightings and settings in the hope that it's true self would become apparent....

Windowsill.....

Stairway....


Nicknack shelving....

Flower arrangement... well that one is too hard to see the lovely hiding in the pretty flowers.
Oh well, no inspiration. Perhaps I should try to swatch it???

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Knitting Doldrums

I find it difficult to be inspired by knitting this time of year, when the weather has turned so hot, so fast. The wonderful wool yarns in my stash no longer call to me, and cotton is not my favourite to knit, with the stretching more and more as the day goes on (and not in a figure-flatterning way) . It is hard to knit something that you can't use for 3 - 4 months!

I know the winds will return to my sails eventually. Maybe with the arrival of the early-fall Vogue Knitting issue, or the tent sale at the Knitting Emporium, or just the finding of a Noro colourway that I haven't knit yet. Whatever it is, I will be inspired and creative again. For now I am content to knit a huge, plain, brown blanket... happy with the mundane stitches on really big needles. And I know something crazy-creative will leap into my mind when the heat and humidity breaks.
The blanket is 2/3 finished, and I have no idea what to knit next yet.... so I don't want to race through it! I have plans for a quilt that can be started soon, check my sewing site next door-----)