Monday, January 31, 2011

in between

I have 5 projects on needles right now and none of them are inspiring me to completion. A couple of them have the feeling of an obligation knit, they aren't but they've been lingering for too long. I know I should just give them the few hours needed to finish but I have this mental block even though I like them.

The other ones I don't know if I like them enough and I'm this close to being finished. But if your mantra while knitting past the half way point is, "I should stop since I'm just going to rip this out" then maybe you should.

And what's the point of this? Well, in trying to avoid the above projects I was going through and organizing some photos, found these and wanted to share.

I think this was my Holiday window display in 2006 for Knit 1 in Chicago. Unfortunately I didn't take the time to photograph this properly but luckily my husband snapped a couple from the street with his phone. I wanted something Dr Zhivago dramatic and something that would really grab peoples attention while they were driving by. I always thought about making stand out pieces when I would change the window and always tried to out do myself.

The cape on the left was made with Malabrigo's Gruesa a thick/thin wool and #13's. It's hard to tell from the photo but it was probably the best true red I had ever seen with this shimmery quality that is hard to describe. While the front is more fitted with the belt the belt sits on your back on the inside hidden when looking at the back the back is very full and has a great swing to it.

The middle cape was made using a yarn my friend Sandy spins and #15's the dark square patches on the cape are shadows from the window. She takes the uncombed locks from her sheep and spins it to a wool core yarn. In this case they were the locks from her Cotswold sheep. The effect is like wearing a fur without any of the guilt associated with fur. I love the romance of this cape! Using short rows on the bottom I flared it out to have a train and added a hood as well. I made eyelets around the neck line to weave in the red silk ribbon that ties at the neck. I've thought about ripping this back to a knee length and cutting armholes to add sleeves so I could actually wear this but I want to get one really good photo of it before I do. So in the meantime it sits in a rubbermaid with the rest of them, which is wrong I know but what do you do with them all?!

And last but not least the one on the right. It's a cardigan my husband called "Sexy Claus". It's a cardigan made with Cascade's Pastaza another very nice red and trimmed in more of Sandy's curly yarn. It's a raglan top down with cables running the length of the raglan "seam" worked on #9's for the body & #15's for the trim. I used hook & eyes for the closures in front so it's a bit open you can see the gaps in the photo and made the collar a bit wider to show off the neck. I could be the hit at a Christmas dinner if I could ever remember to pull it out of those damn rubbermaids!

This is another piece I absolutely love and one that always got a reaction from people. Worked up one sleeve across and down the other it has kind of a Mad Max Tina Turner feel to it. The sleeves are made with Cascade's Eco Wool and #8's. The hairy section is made with more of Sandy's yarn this time the locks from a Karakul sheep. I didn't have much of the yarn with the blond strands so those are only on the shoulders and for the back I used a Karakul as well but with a thick/thin look to it. It's salt & pepper in coloring and was what Sandy used as the core for the yarn with the long strands. I think I knit the shoulders and back on #15's. You can just see where I started working the Karakul I worked eyelets around and made an i-cord to weave through. The i-cord is then joined and sewn together on the inside so it really doesn't serve any purpose. I've thought about reworking the sleeves and getting rid of the i-cord woven through since there's enough going on without it. But if you ever wanted to get someones attention this would be the piece to wear!

I think I should stop here, I'm ready to get back to work. Who knew I'd find inspiration stored in a rubbermaid!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

the Girls Jacket

It's been awhile since I've made something for the girls and with the chilly weather we're having I thought it was time.

I thought I might make a smaller version of the Bubble Sleeve Jacket but felt I already had with this: 

I knew I wanted a bit of a puffy sleeve and to make it a little longer. I also wanted to keep it within 2 skeins of Magnum since I had 4 of this color and they came in at just under 2. The smaller size had a little bit more left over but not much.

I used a #17 to get 2sts &2.5 rows to 1"
2 skeins of Cascade Magnum (123yds) color#9341 (this is a gorgeous wine color heathered with blue)
The jacket is a top down raglan style in stockinette stitch ending with ribbing on the body & sleeves and with garter stitch finishing on the collar & facings. The use of different increases being the most difficult part of this jacket would make me rate it fairly easy, a great 1st sweater for an advanced beginner looking to challenge themselves and move up to the next level.

The girls love wearing their new jackets as much as they love their Minnie Mouse ears (which is their latest must wear at all times accessory) and like the mouse ears they were very disappointed when it came time to take them off. Hopefully if you make one of these, whoever you make it for will love it as much as my girls and have the same response when it's time to take it off.

Available as a PDF download. $6.50

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

In thinking about this past year and all the changes I've been through good and bad the one constant has been knitting (crochet not so much, there's a New Years resolution!). If you're reading this I'm sure you'll agree and can understand the power of these handiworks. I can't imagine not having it in my life. I'm lucky in that I have 5 sisters who all knit and crochet and when we're together sharing that bond we can feel our mom's presence and love in the gift she taught us. And then there are all the friends I've made from having this common passion. In that regard it's been an amazing year. Seeing all the support when I was closing my shop to the continued support as I put my designs out there I'm a very lucky person and a thankful one too!

Not sure what Mom is knitting here. Maybe a pair of argyle socks for my Dad. She said knitting them for your beau was all the rage in the 50's. Frankly I'd rather knit my man a sweater and risk not getting the ring than knit a pair of argyle socks! But since I do have the ring I really should try and tackle a pair (New Years resolution #2!)
Was able to get a couple of shots of my black zippered Bubble Sleeve Jacket today. See what I mean, not a lot of detail but you can see the shape. This one is 2" shorter than the one photographed for the pattern. I'm not sure which one I like more. They feel completely different. They are both loose fitting but maybe the shorter zippered version is the more sporty of the two although like I said they both make me feel like I'm dressing up my uniform.

This next sweater is another one I made for the store window. I don't have a single note for this towards a pattern but whenever I wear it I get a lot of compliments so I thought I would throw it out there and see if it's a pattern I should bother with. 

 It's a top down with set in sleeves made using Di.Ve' Autunno a beautiful Italian merino (color #32965). I love this yarn! Check out the color card. I made a sweater for my oldest daughter when she was a newborn (#31208) using this and had to use it again for sweaters when they got a bit older (#'s 25762 & 14627) because it's such a wonderful yarn with amazing colors. It makes a great hat too (#34916)!

 Thanks again to everyone who has supported me in one way or another this year. Whether it was a kind word or a pattern purchase (or putting up with me while photographing my designs!) I appreciate it all!

Happy New Year!!!