Saturday, October 20, 2012

the Canadian

My girls love to bird watch and living near the LA river we see a lot of them. Many nights at dinner time we hear flocks of geese headed towards the river. Every time the girls get up and run out onto the porch to watch them. The first time this happened their shouts of "geese, geese!" turned to proud proclamations of recognition "and they're Canadians!" In my girls eyes they are no longer geese they are "the Canadians".

In the meantime I've noticed a lot of my patterns sales are coming from up north filling my head with visions of the maple leaf or that time I got pulled over for indeterminate reasons at the border crossing near Detroit but that's another story.

So! with Canada on my mind & in homage to my Canadian friends preparing their warm woolys for the cold months to come here's my latest offering "the Canadian".
"la Canadienne"version fran├žaise.


1 skein of Magnum by Cascade (@112.5m/123yds)
#16mm (#19 US) straight or circular needles. I couldn't find a Canadian needle measurement for a US #19.
Gauge: 6st & 8row = 10cm (4") in pattern.

Finished measurements: @14cm X 61-137cm or 5.5" x 24-54" 
Work pattern for at least 61cm(24"). This will make a shorter cowl.
Cowl pictured was 137cm/54".
If making a shorter cowl you can get 2 cowls out of 1 skein of Magnum.

Stitch Pattern:
Multiples of 3+2
Row 1: Slip 1, Purl across, end with K1
Row 2: Slip 1, * Skipping the 1st stitch, Knit the 2nd stitch then Knit the 1st stitch and let both stitches slip off the needle, P 1 * end with a K1

Cast on 14 sts.
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until desired length (at least 61cm (24") for a shorter cowl) and bind off.
Sew cast on & bind off edges together.

Weave in ends, wear & enjoy!

 This shows the slipped stitch edge and a portion of the wrong side.
This is how the stitch pattern looks as it's worked up.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

a look back & a couple new things

When I was designing pieces for display in the windows of my yarn shop in Chicago I would always ask myself what's going to attract the most attention. That's how I started using the yarn Magnum so much, it had great street appeal because you could really see the stitches.

A few weeks ago my friend Terry and I were talking about knitwear design and using basic shapes within those designs. It got me thinking about a couple of pieces I made a few years back for the windows and how I really have a thing for this simple yet attractive shaping.

This piece was made with a combination of Magnum in a dark charcoal color and a white alpaca thick/thin hand spun I asked my friend Sandy to spin for me. The needles were a pair my husband made for me that are somewhere between a #35 & a #50. The alpaca makes this piece pretty heavy and it sheds terribly, regardless I've worn this a lot.

It's basically 2 triangles that were joined by finger crochet along the back. When I wear it I usually cross the front pieces and tie them behind my back. I have a vintage womens jacket from the 40's that looks great under this but it was close to 100 degrees yesterday when we photographed this so I was trying to keep the layers to a minimum.

This piece was in the same display with the piece above. I was on a black & white with angled edges theme. I forget what the 3rd piece was, I always had 3 pieces in the window.

This was made with more of my friend Sandy's yarn. The curly yarn at the neck and the winter white is her hand spun.
The black isn't Magnum but another Cascade yarn I really like a lot named "Eco Wool". Each skein is @478yds and it's never that expensive. It's a great basic wool that I like to use with anywhere from a #8-#10.5.

Didn't get a good shot of this from the front. This was the last shot we took and both our brains had melted by this point.

So thinking about these 2 pieces influenced me to make this next piece. That and the fact I just happened to have some extra black & white Magnum laying around.

I was going to make this like the Magnum/alpaca hand spun piece above that wraps in front and actually did make it like that but when I finished it and wrapped the front it just didn't look good.
I ripped the whole thing out and remade it so the back is worked to come to a point but not the front. Also unlike the wrapping piece above I sewed the front shut so you wear it like a shrug.
This took almost 2 skeins of each color of Magnum & #35 needles. It's a very simple pattern that I'll write up and post next week.

And lastly... I've been meaning to make a pair of these for years after I made something similar to wear tucked into the sleeves of my coat to cover my hands like little muffs.

The part you don't see tucked into the boots are made with @30yds total of Magnum and the curly yarn is more of Sandy's hand spun @50yds total with a #15 they work up quickly. The picture on the right shows the topper worn with the curly yarn folded over.
Love the way these look with these boots...  now if only the temp would dip below the high 90's so I could think about wearing them!