Monday, June 28, 2010

Magnum Capelet #4 (knit)

I wasn’t planning on designing another capelet but through etsy I was asked to design a knit version for the crochet Magnum Capelet #4. I love the way the crochet version looks so I wanted to try and mimic the crochet stitch I used and also make it reversible. I like the versatility of being able to wear each side as the right side and to wear it with the collar either up or down. I played around with varying stitches in basket weave thinking that best resembled the crochet capelet but decided instead to improvise more from the brioche stitch and came up with this reversible stitch pattern. Because of a couple techniques used I would rate this for at least an advanced beginner.

Yarn used:2 skeins of Cascade Magnum (246yds) 
 I used both skeins, you could use a little less but definitely not just one.
#19 circulars 24" in length.
Gauge: 1.5sts = 1"
Sizes: sm/md/lg

Available as a PDF download. $6.50

Thursday, June 10, 2010

my acrylic heirloom part 2

This is a sweater my mom knit for my dad in the 70's. I remember seeing it as a work in progress on the couch and thinking she'll never know if I knit a few stitches. This was before she taught me and I'm sure when she picked it up again it was a bit mangled. But I was confident I knew what I was doing just from watching her knit so often.

It's another sweater that I have a love/hate with; love it because she made it for dad but hate it because of the horrible yarn. The color is actually nice. It's green with specks of blue. Malabrigo has a color like this named Solis that I love perhaps because it reminds me of this sweater.

My parents were both born in the 1920's. I have to think their love affair with anything convenient stemmed from living through the depression. Acrylic was up there with frozen foods, they couldn't get enough of it. Imagine you could throw a sweater in a washing machine and not have it shrink. No moths to worry about and it was cheap! When my sisters and I would buy 100% wool my mom couldn't understand it. "You girls are so extravagant!" she would say. Or "do you really want something you have to hand wash?" while shaking her head. Although she could appreciate the finer fibers and wouldn't shy away from a cashmere twin set it was convenience that always won out.

 Here's my dad on their wedding day surrounded by some of the men from my moms family. It's one of my favorite family photos because it so aptly captures their sense of humor.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

pattern possibilities

It's only recently that I started to write down any sort of directions for pieces that I've made. The whole time having the store friends and customers alike would ask me to write patterns for what I was making. Like a sullen kid who had to get homework done for Monday morning I fought it. I would tell them, "consider them giant swatches for you to see the yarn", so lame! And again like that sullen kid once I started doing it I discovered it wasn't so bad, in fact I really enjoy the challenge of trying to translate my chicken scratch notes into an actual pattern.

Now that I don't have the store and have more time to give to my knitting "career" (let's see 24hrs in a day, minus 13 hours of child chasing, minus an hour or so to catch up on the day with the hubby, oh and sleep minus 6-7 hours for that, ok so maybe 3 hours a night for knitting barring any interruptions from the geriatric dog or the should be sleeping children) I'm going through about 5 years of garments I've designed for store displays, photographing them and deciding which ones I want to revisit. Some of the pieces I don't have any notes on, others almost completed patterns but I'll post periodically as I sort through maybe seeing it "out there" will help me decide.


I was inspired to make this vest after seeing my oldest daughter wear one of her winter vests upside down. It created this wonderfully wide collar. I really wanted to put in a zipper to make the collar stand up showing it off better and I still might, but for the photograph I settled for using a single button. I don't have any notes on this vest although the construction was fairly easy. 2 skeins of Magnum & #19's It shouldn't be a hard pattern to write.

This is a pattern I'm currently working on. I'll have 2 versions. This one with the long sleeves and lots of collar; and a more scaled down version with 3/4 length sleeves and less of a collar. The one pictured here was made using a yarn called Fusion by Madil that has since been discontinued, so disappointing because it was the perfect mohair/merino/acrylic blend. Very lofty and soft. An aran weight yarn for a #9 needle although on this I used #11 & 13's. It created the perfect drape. I think I've found a good substitute though in Cascade's 100% wool Soft Spun. It lacks a bit of the fuzz the mohair provided but it has that loftiness making it a very lightweight sweater. The drape seems to be just as nice. Watch for this pattern soon.

I have the pattern for this it's just one of those pieces that I'm not 100% sure of. I made one that I did put a zipper in and I love it. It's more a cape than a jacket since the sleeves don't separate from the body near the armpit but right above the garter stitch border. I get many compliments on it, it's an easy knit and it looks good on a lot of body types. What's my problem?! If third time's a charm I think I need to make one more to be sure.

Thanks to the hubby for taking photos, to my friend Skye for stepping in for the photos and my dear Herman for letting me use his gorgeous yard for the location.