Monday, November 29, 2010

Echarpe Cashmere a volants [Ruffled Cashmere Scarf]

From Paris, via Susan, came a lovely little package... three small balls of cashmere yarn and a scarf pattern. This cute kit makes the ruffled scarf in the photo....

and the colours are olive green and two lighter shades. It is not a particularly difficult pattern, but it is written in French. Having studied basic french in school from grade 6 to 9, I was able to actually read about every fifth word of the pattern. But I have even more skill in reading KNITTING, and was pleased to realise that the numbers meant stitches, and rows, and repeats... and "3 m, 2 m ens" probably meant "knit 3, knit 2 together" because it resulted in one fifth reduction in the total number of stitches! Although I am not very multi-lingual, I think I can claim to be an international knitter now!

It is a sweet project and the feel of the fabric is lush. Thank you Susan!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Noro Beret (felted Tam)

This hat is lightly felted to make the fabric fuzzier and a bit thicker. I like the self striping design, and every hat will be different!

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, 2 balls
Needles: 4.5mm ( US 7) double pointed needles, and short circular needles (also 4.5mm).

Starting at the center top of the hat, using the double point needles, cast on 4 sts. Round 1: knit into the front and back of each stitch. (8 sts). Place markers between each of the eight stitches * making the end of row marker different from the rest*. Round 2: Knit front and back of each stitch (24 sts)
Round 3: [Knit front and back of next stitch, knit one] repeat to end of round.
Round 4: Knit every stitch.
Round 5: [Knit front and back of next stitch, knit to marker] repeat to end of round.

Continue with round 4 & 5 increasing every other row, until work measures about 11 inches in diameter. (switch to circular needle when double points get too full) ( I found measuring from the center to the edge and reaching 5.5 inches was easier - it can be tough to smooth the knitted fabric enough to measure)
Work even for 6 rows.
Start decreases, by alternating the decrease row: [knit 2 together, knit to marker] repeat to end of round... with a plain knit row.
Continue to decrease every other row until 3 inches of decrease have been worked.

Removing all markers except the end of row one, [K2, p2] across row (increase or decrease at end of row if stitches do not divide by 4) and continue to work 2 by 2 ribbing for 6 rows. Bind off in ribbing loosely.
Felting: Before washing, find some all acrylic yarn in your stash and measure your head size (mine was 21 inches) Cut acrylic yarn about 23 inches and using a darning needle, weave it through the ribbing about every 2 stitches, join by tying together securely so that the ribbed band is securely 21 inches around. *** this is important so that the band does not stretch out of shape during felting.
Put through one full hot - regular wash, (it's good to throw a couple of old towels in with the hat - but put the hat in a mesh delicates bag). If not shrunk enough to fit, try one more round in the wash. Hand shape and allow to dry then carefully pick out the acrylic yarn stay.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Felted Tam

When last we spoke (blogged) I was working on a felted hat - beret - tam. I got the first model knitted in 50% larger than the target and started felting (washing in hot - high agitation - cycle in the machine).... and I washed and washed and washed...

And I discovered that Silk Garden gets softer and thicker but not that much smaller... so I ended up with a perfect, soft, pretty hat that is still too big to wear.

So back to the beginning, and I re-knit the hat, only a bit bigger than required, and felted through one wash only, and it is perfect. A bit thicker, and a bit smaller and a perfect fit!

I will post the complete pattern this weekend, but for now here is the photo!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cashmere and Tams

I received an amazing gift of yarn from Susan... straight from Paris. She spent some time in a Parisian Yarn Shop, and brought the gift of cashmere!

The pattern is a lovely ruffled scarf from a local pattern maker.... Cosmicpluto (Laura Chau)

The second project on the go is a felted Tam (beret)... I got my head all wrapped around the circular pattern, and how to felt it, so I am plunging ahead with the prototype. A Noro Silk Garden circular knit beret in a 50% larger size, with the intention of throwing it into the washing machine and holding my breath through a cycle or two of HOT.... stay tuned. If it works, I will be posting the whole pattern here for you to try too!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Giant Slippers + magic = Perfect Slippers!

I finished the to-be-felted slippers this morning, and took this photo...

The Slipper next to it is a perfect size 8.5 ladies moccasin that I have been wearing for about 15 years. It is really a leap of faith to continue knitting something so mammothly huge, and believe that would EVER be a prefect fit.
Then I washed them. Hot full cycle, twice, in the washing machine and I actually was concerned that they became TOO small. But as suggested, I put a plastic bag on each foot, and molded the still damp slippers over my feet. I stretched them out a bit and molded them to a better foot shape, then left them to dry.....
They are SO cute and SO thick... I am sure they will be really warm and comfy. I have some ultra suede fabric that I think I will hand sew as a non-slip layer on the bottom of the sole. They are a bit slippery on the hardwood floor. The pattern is Fiber Trends Alpine Boot Slippers.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hat and Cowl and Monster Boots

I finished the hat and cowl from Noro Silk Garden.

Love these!
And I started the felted slippers....
Right now they look like they would fit a giant. I love the magic of felting. It is a leap of faith to knit something so big and ugly and trust that the washing machine will magically turn them into warm, fuzzy and perfectly fitted slippers!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Postman Brought Goodies!

I just LOVE it when boxes come in the mail....
I sent for some yummy plain black merino. It was an Elann feature, and I have been wanting and needing a simple black ribbed sweater to go with my winter skirts and my new black dress booties. I will apologize in advance because the photos posted here won't be good. It is difficult to show stitch detail of black knitting. But I really need this one.

I also got some felting wool and a great slipper pattern and hope to make a pair soon, because my feet are cold around the house. I have never made the tall style of slipper and think they should suit me just fine....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What's on the Needles?


One pair is a lovely multi-green with a mild pattern. Can't remember the yarn, but I got it a the Needle Emporium tent sale. The second is Patons Kroy Socks FX in muted greys and greens. This yarn feels GREAT on the feet, and the pattern of colours make "sibling" socks - not identical but definately a pair...

I have a bagful of Noro Silk Garden. I have decided to make a bunch of hats and scarves and mittens... maybe Christmas presents???

The Sugar Cane scarf is almost done... the pattern is really easy. Cast on 25 stitches, and work in stocking stitch (knit the right side and purl the wrong side) for 6 rows, then work in reverse stocking stitch (purl the right side, knit the wrong side) for 6 rows. Repeat this 12 row pattern over and over until the yarn is gone... or the scarf is as long as you want. The yarn is a sport weight (recommended 4mm needles -US 6) but I knit it on 5mm, to allow a bit more drape. You can use any yarnyou want, just knit on a bit bigger needle than recommended and use about 100grams.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vogue Coat, and Sugar Cane Scarf!

I finished the coat, and decided that it needed buttons to finish the front. I made leather buttons from the left over warrior princess leather, and a button covering kit. You cut circles from fabric and lay them over the button, and press the backing down to hold the fabric in place.

Looks great! I sewed them on one side and crocheted loops on the other side.

I am also beginning a simple scarf from some amazing hand dyed yarn called Araucania Ruca Multy. This yarn is 100% sugar cane! It feels like silk, very soft and slippery, and I will make a simple 25 stitch wide scarf on 4mm needles.