Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kaffe Fassett stripey socks

Even when you are on a scarf binge, it is useful to have some sock knitting underway. Tiny needles, long sections of repetitive knitting perfect for a few rows whilst waiting around at swimming lessons and the like,  and about 50g of yarn per sock to carry around make socks a permanent occupant of my handbag.
The latest pair are knit from my own pattern and the Landscape (striped) Kaffe Fassett Regia yarn in colourway 4352 Canyon. The earthy colours co-ordinate perfectly with my Autumn wardrobe. Now I just need some new shoes that will show off my socks.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Scarf Series 5: Infinity cowl in two yarns

It is very pleasing when the pattern you write for one yarn makes an equally satisfying project with a different yarn (or two).

 I was very happy when my fiddling about decision to combine two Jo Sharp yarns in moss stitch worked out so well. This is the same Infinity scarf pattern that I have shown you in the 12ply Guanaco, but I think I like it even better with the combined Jo Sharp Rare Comfort Kid mohair and Silk Road Aran Tweed.

I tried this stitch with the yarn combination after finishing my rib scarf with the two yarns, which felt terrific. As much as I liked the look of the two yarns knit together in rib, I felt  the finished product was a little more disguising to the Silkroad Aran Tweed than I had hoped.

 The bulk of the two yarns is about the same as the 12 ply, but the combined yarns are displayed very nicely by the moss stitch, with the brighter cranberry mohair showing up on the purl side of the stitches and blending in on the knit side, giving a texture that appeals to me greatly.
The scarf is a little less wide than the Guanaco, but also lighter, weighing in at just unde 150g, compared to the Guanaco at 200g.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Scarf Series 4: Jasmine Tea in Paris

This rather fanciful pattern name is due to the felicitous combination of two yarn names and colours in this quick knit scarf. SDC10529_plus_logo_BR I have used Jo Sharp's Rare Comfort Kid Mohair in colour Jasmine Tea with her Silkroad Aran Tweed in colour Parisian. It is a shortish scarf, with a tassel fringe made from the mohair. I like the colour variations in both yarns, and think the two of them knit toghether are a terrific match.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Scarf Series 3: The Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Cabled Cowl

The name of this yarn, Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk, is so invocative of soft luxury, that it is only the incredible texture of the real yarn that can live up to it. This is undoubtedly a luxurious cowl, taking me exactly 5x 50 g balls in the Aran version of this yarn, but in my opinion, the texture of this cowl around the neck is completely worth the investment. SAM_0828_plus_logo_MR
The colour is the delicous 62 Aubergine, and the pattern is easy to knit, and relatively quick. The cowl is knit lengthways, with only a few slightly more advanced techniques used including provisional cast on, an easy cable, and having the ends of the cowl joined in Kitchener stitch. If you have already knit a plain garter or rib scarf, and want something a tiny bit more challenging, this would be a rewarding project, one you could easily finish before Winter starts officially.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Scarf Series 2: Seaweed Scarf in Lumina

This scarf is one I was commissioned to make - twice, by one of the few people who can get away with whinging about something I knit for them, my Mum.
 (That is not my Mum modelling the scarf, did you guess?
 My Mum claimed that she was off to Fiji when I asked her to model the scarf, and posted it up so that someone else could wear it for the photos)
 The first scarf I knit for Mum from Lumina was in stocking stitch, as she found the rolled stocking stitch edges on the Lumina A line top I had made her from Jo Sharp Knit Issue 4 quite appealing.
 Unfortunately, once I had knit this scarf, her expression when she tried it on was at odds with her mendacious story that she "would get used to it" and that "It is very nice". I had dreadful visions of it lurking in the bottom drawer, wrenched it away from her, and started a new scarf, with a wavy edge, and little wriggly things along this long edge to emphsize the waviness and further limit rolling. (The Lumina did not seem to suffer at all from ravelling - I knit the new scarf straight from the old one without balling up the yarn in between, and did not lose a single sequin) SDC10527_plus_logo_BR

 I was very pleased with the organic looking edge, and although this is a glamorous evening scarf, with a lovely sheen and pretty sequins, it still looks like seaweed to me - pretty seaweed.

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 I am particularly pleased with how the scarf can form a really flattering ruff -like collar, front or back as needed. I think this would look lovely with a strapless gown.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Scarf series 1: Pomegranate Moss Stitch Cowl

I made a couple of cowls in moss stitch last winter, and they were worn a lot. There is something very useful about a scarf that cannot slither off your shoulder because it is actually one big loop. This one is knit from 12ply Guanaco, colour 172 Pomegranate, not quite 2x 100 skeins. I adore the cheery colour. SDC10502_plus_logo_BR Doesn't it look chunky and warm? Just as well. Winter arrived here yesterday - not just cool mornings and evenings, but chilly all day. Perfect knitting weather with a cup of tea. SDC10512_plus_logo_BR

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sublime Jumper

I particularly admire the tendency of Sublime pattern books, to contain quite a few patterns for men and boys. Especially impressive is the uncanny ability to write patterns that both appeal to the ultra conservative males of my family, and are reasonably interesting to knit. This is an uncommon combination of qualities. Here is the latest wild success, a red (0167) version of the Hot Chocolate/Oxford Blue jumper from the Third Cashmere Merino Silk Aran Book. SAM_0835_plus_logo_MC SAM_0836_plus_logo_MR Although my model is fashionably solemn, he likes this jumper very much - as he should. I have used the incredibly luxurious cashmere silk merino Aran yarn for a 9 year old boy. This is possibly rather unwise, as 9 year old boys are not known for either their scrupulous care of special garments, nor for staying the same size for long enough to wear out such a garment. However, after this particular boy spent half an hour patting all the yarns in the shop, and declared this one the softest I felt that someone with such natural good taste was worthy of this special yarn. SAM_0833_plus_logo_MR I have made the smallest size (61/66cm chest), adding 5cm to the length of the body and arms to account for the slimness of the recepient in comparison to his height. The rib pattern should stretch, should he become more robust over winter. Making such an adjustment sounds remarkably sensible, and would have been even more sensible had I actually read the pattern dimensions before starting the jumper. I tweaked the neck finishing so that the centre rib panels matched the body of the jumper, being fond of symmetry. SAM_1301_plus_logo_TL Above is the first section of the first attempt at the jumper, in the smallest size + 10 cm, with swatch - as evidence that I even checked my tension in this stretchy rib pattern. The back was rather too long, causing much laughter from his sisters when I held it up against the recipient, and was an entirely self inflicted mistake. Rather than ravelling all this knitting, I have declared that next year, my 10 year old will have a handsome blue version (Clipper 0015) of the same jumper. Growth is not always a bad thing.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Winkie hat

Hats may just be as addictive to knit as socks. Here is my next new hat pattern, a ribbed, striped number using 2 balls of 8ply/category3/light worsted. SAM_1221_plus_logo_BR
The yarns I have used are Jo Sharp Classic DK wool, 507 Miro, and Heirloom Celtic, 927, an Alpaca and Merino blend. The tail is an extended i-cord, with 2 additional i-cords grafted near the end. The tassel finish is rounded out with short strands of wool knotted through individual stitches along the i cord.
The stretchy rib makes the hat fit nicely on a range of head sizes, but also allows the hat to be worn with the brim turned up or down as desired. SAM_1219_plus_logo_BR SAM_1216_plus_logo_BR