I like to name my knitting projects after either the road trip or movie that most made me look down and knit at a fast nervous pace. Besides that, Snowpiercer is a pretty appropriate name for my first winter knit. I will grant that this tale is a fairly original post-apocalyptic vision. Taking place after some serious climate change, some madman populates a train with a stratified class system car by car. It’s too cold to survive outside of the train, which is inexplicably traveling around the globe at high-speed. Look it up if you like dystopian sci-fi, but be warned that some of the scenes are cruel and gross which is when I look down and knit fast.
Back to the sweater… The pattern is Chelsea Morning and I purchased it on Ravelry.com. It is just a big comfy sweater for hanging around in. I love that the back hem is longer than the front. The color change adds a nice detail, and I decided to make the pocket in the contrasting color. I didn’t like the open collar at the neck with such a warm sweater so I made it longer and added a big button.
The yarn I used is Stonhedge Fiber Mill-Shepherd’s Wool Worsted in Berries and Roasted Pumpkin. The yarn is super soft, comfy and very warm. Cool weather I’m ready!
Since I have been traveling so much the knitting has increased, and I have finished two projects. The bad news is project two didn’t work out so well, but I’m going to be brave and show you both hoping that someone has a solution before I unravel or just send it to the charity bag!
Smaller projects work best when traveling and I usually stick to one color. I broke that rule in this first shawl/scarf project since the yarn was a small gauge, and it is an easy pattern.
I wish you could feel this yummy yarn. I used Blue Sky Alpacas – Blue Sky Metalico in Platinum and Gold Dust Purchased at my LYS The Loopy Ewe. It’s 90 degrees out and I want to wear this!! The pattern is IWO from Berroco purchased on Ravelry.
Now for the fail. I really love the look of this pattern the Hope Tank by Tahki yarns. I didn’t think this was an appropriate pattern to substitute another yarn, so I searched on the internet and ordered it in my favorite color. My first warning should have been the yarn when it arrived. Don’t get me wrong, the yarn is lovely but those thick nubs produce a much warmer fabric than the Summer weight shell pictured.
Second mistake…I always swatch to get the appropriate gauge. How did I not notice the pattern required two swatches, one in garter used at the edges and one for the drop stitch which is the majority of the top. Of course the second one is the one I missed. So here it is: Admittedly, Roxanne is one size smaller than me, but you get the picture. Here is a try at draping the extra fabric off to the side. I added a tie on the front and back for this version, but I think the tie should be lower. So viewers is there any hope? Comments or ideas are welcome…
I finished my vest that I have been knitting while watching the show Ripper Street. The East End of New York was pretty gruesome during the 1890’s so this project went pretty fast despite the copious amounts of straight knitting.
Shibui Mix No 28. Is a fairly easy pattern as long as you pay attention. I didn’t at one point and had to rip out a number of rows, but that’s just a part of knitting while watching television. I used the recommended Shibui Pebble and Linen held together and the fabric is light enough for a summer vest. I love the collar and dart details! When it came time to sew on the buttons, I just decided to use what I had on hand. There is something so enjoyable about digging around in a jar of buttons that only a fiber person understands.
Despite the flurry of spring-cleaning, creative projects are still going on, but nothing is finished. Here are a few previews of projects in the works.
The first is a sculpture project. I have been sewing so much that my fine art practice has been set aside. However, I have an opportunity in July to show a piece at the Fort Collins Museum of Art. This is a photo of the project in progress.
I’m using an old wagon wheel as the framework for a map of Fort Collins inspired by a historical document from the 1890’s.
I am also knitting as usual while watching movies with my husband. We have been watching a BBC program called Ripper, (taking place in era of Jack the Ripper) and yes, I have had to rip out quite a few rows! This pattern is Shibui No. 28, and all I have left is to sew up the seams, and add a few buttons. I do that part in daylight so I need to find the time, and I will soon post the finished vest.
Most of my knitting is during movies, but once in a while we take a road trip. My husband and I listen to an audio book, he drives and I just knit away. For shorter trips we find this much more enjoyable than fighting our way through the airport. This time we drove to Texas to visit family. 2 days of driving each way is a lot of knitting!
The Makalio Vest (Ravelry.com) just caught my eye as a fun layer for summer. I couldn’t resist the oddness of this loopy vest. It’s a fun extra layer instead of a scarf when an outfit needs a little something extra. The designer of this pattern shows how to wear it in other ways, so some experimenting will be in order. Here is a view of the back with the optional tie. She also shows it with a belt around the back with the loops free-flowing on the front. All in all…kinda cool!
No, the design of this sweater has nothing to do with Samurai. However, I watch movies with my husband when I knit at night with my little red LED neck lamp. He LOVES Samurai movies, especially the old classics. His favorite is a series of 26 movies about a blind Samurai, Zatoichi. Let me tell you, when the heads are rolling, I get a lot of knitting done! What I do love about these movies are the sets and the clothing. Both men and women wear the most amazing kimono. The architecture is stunning in it’s simplicity.The sweater is knit from the free Berrocco pattern, Blish. Being a fairly simple top down, knit in the round sweater, it only took 3 weeks of movies to knit! I went shopping for the yarn with girlfriends who talked my into this smoky purple color in Dream in Color Cashmere Blend Worsted. I’m glad they did! I wear purple, but usually knit in my classic fall colors of oranges and browns. This will add a little color to my winter wardrobe.
I still have three scarf projects that have not been shown on my site. The first is a yummy combination of Shibui Knits Cima and Silk Cloud held together. The colors are luscious and it was a very easy knit. My husband stole this one as soon as it came off the needles! It has taken me a while to get it back from him for photography. The pattern is Shibui Mix No. 20. Other than changing colors and stripe direction it’s simple knitting. I was able to knit the whole project during all of those movie explosions my husband loves to watch.
The second scarf is also for my husband. I mentioned to him that qiviut (remember this word Scrabble players) is even softer than cashmere, but VERY expensive. He insisted on searching out some skeins on Etsy so he could have another scarf. Qiviut, in case you are not familiar, is the soft under fur of the musk ox. Shed each season, the wool is collected off the tundra and rocks in northern climates. While I’m not sure it was worth the price (around $180 for the two skeins), the scarf of my design did come out well and he is wearing it a lot.
This last scarf, knitted for a friend over a year ago just needed finishing. The pattern is Les Miserable by Cynthia Parker and knit with Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace. All I had to do was full (felt) the scarf by hand so I procrastinated until last week. As it turned out the hand felting recommended in the pattern wasn’t working for me, so I threw it in the washer. Felting in the washer is so easy, but I thought it would be too strong of a felting. The resulting scarf is cool and if I had only known, I would have finished this project last year. Procrastinating to this level has taught me a lesson…Just Finish It!
With few exceptions, I only knit on a car trip or while watching television at night in our “movie theatre.” The room is very dark so I wear a little red LED neck lamp that doesn’t disturb my husband. Television is not a great love of mine, but he can watch movies for hours, especially if there are explosions and car chases.Jim is in charge of the remote control and I just attend showings to spend time with him. Once in a while he puts on a chick flick just to keep me coming back! I manage to knit 4-5 nights a week with about 3-4 hours of knitting each night. It doesn’t sound like that much, but it’s amazing how much I get done. If someone asks me how long a scarf took I’m likely to reply, ”about 5 movies.”
During December we drove to Texas twice to visit Jim’s family so I finished several projects. The first was a vest from Shibui Knits called Shift. I used two of their yarns, an alpaca and a linen, held together and it made a wonderful texture. Knitting is 10-year-old hobby of mine and the early pieces were not that wearable, but this piece is a winner! The front panels are blocked to the same length, but the piece knitted sideways has a natural stretch making the panel longer forming an asymmetrical silhouette.
The second project is smaller, but may have taken longer. Three colors of Madelinetosh Merino Light are knitted in stripes for the Derecho Shawl.
I crocheted the top edge and left the bottom without the suggested border.
The third project was finished before December, but I wanted to insert a photo since it is my favorite knitted wearable. I didn’t use a pattern, but I’m sure there is a similar one out there at Ravelry.com. A simple rectangle, folded in half, I wear around the house all the time. I did add a garter stitch edge to keep the stockinette from curling, but I suspect the curl would have looked fine.
I’m back from the holidays to document more handmade items. I’m hopeful for a creative 2014!
I made this sweater a while back and didn’t have time to photograph it, but I’m going to count it for this year just to give me a head start on my creative quotient.
The pattern is Fleur and is free on the Berroco site. I used some yarn in my stash that was just waiting for a pattern to show off the color variations. It’s easy to knit starting with a band on the outside and then picking up stitches to work towards the center. Add a couple of sleeves and you’re done! It’s super comfy and warm to cuddle up by the fire with my cat and hubby.