25 Jan

Knit Night

Socks are a staple of many knitters’ project lists. They’re relatively small and therefore quick to knit, they’re practical, and most people love to get hand knit socks. My feet are always cold, so once I learned how to knot socks, I was pretty much hooked. I’ve knit three pair for me, one pair for my daughter, one pair for my son, and I’m working on a pair with a friend’s son in exchange for a handmade yarn bowl!

Sweater Socks

Sock yarn comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. My first three sock knits were hand dyed yarn and are all about the color (green for me, purple and gold for the daughter, blue and orange for the son, and PDX Carpet for me). The socks above though, are about the magic of self-striping. They look like complicated Faire Isle color work, but it’s just one yarn that changes color at planned intervals. I was intrigued by Regia’s Design Line and specifically these ones by Arne and Carlos. I love the way it looks like a little ski sweater for your feet. The skeins seemed small, so I got two. Not wanting to waste yarn, I just kept knitting until I got close to the end of each skein — which meant I had to shape the calf. It was a good exercise, but the socks slump down, so I think I’ll stick to the usual, same as the length of the foot, height for future projects.

Quirky pop culture reference: I was watching Amazon’s show Lilyhammer, about gangsters in Norway. At one point, one of the guys is knitting a sweater for the baby his girlfriend is expecting, and the other guys tease him. He retorts that plenty of men knit, and hadn’t they heard of Arne and Carlos? I happily chimed in, “yeah, even I know about Arne and Carlos!” It’s the little things.

 

18 Jan

Knit Night

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a Knit Night post. Knitting has taken a back seat to home improvement projects, and then to sewing samples for work. It hasn’t disappeared though. Looking back, I see that I’ve actually missed posting knit projects. I think they ended up on Facebook and Instagram. I’ll catch up with a few of the more recent projects in upcoming weeks.

Most recently, like many others, I knit a pink “Pussy Hat” to wear at the Women’s March on Washington (or more specifically, it’s sister march in Portland). It ends up that I’ll be working that day, but a friend of a friend plans to march so I’ll give her the hat. That works just as well!

Pussy Hat

My hat is made from leftovers in my stash. The only pink I had was some vintage mohair given to me by a friend who was thinning her stash. To make gauge, I paired it with Northampton wool leftover from one of the crocheted blankets I made years ago. It ended up that the mohair wasn’t quite enough, but luckily I had a second small skein. It was paler, but did the job. The result is a fuzzy, thick, warm hat that will keep any head warm on a winter day outdoors.

Pussy Hat WIP

 

09 Mar

Knit Night

After all the girlfriend scarves, I forgot to blog about one last Christmas knit.

Erins cowl inspira

My sister came to visit last October and we hit a few fun shops, to include Close Knit. She saw a sample there and immediately said “I want this.” Hint taken.

 

Erins cowl WIP 1

However, when I returned to the shop they didn’t have any more of the colors in the sample. I chose two skeins I thought looked like my sister and started knitting. However, I wash’t getting the same effect of the colors alternating lights and darks and moving in and out from each other. Also, there was a green that seemed like it was bringing everything down.

 

Erin Cowl WIP

So, I ripped it all out and started over. This time I made sure that when I added the second yarn it wasn’t in the same spot on the value scale as the first yarn and when I got to the green I took it out.  I also learned how to do an icord bind-off—very cool!

Erin Cowl

In the end, it wasn’t quite what I had hoped for, but I think it did turn out quite nicely, and my sister likes it. Ravelry specs are here.

 

 

Erin Cowl 2

 

27 Jan

Knit Night

Robin’s Friend Shawl was the hardest to choose. She’s a quiet, searching spirit. Her quilts are warm, rich colors that glow, and her personal style seems a bit bohemian. A simple color gradient didn’t feel right. One day when I was working at a fiber festival for Elisabeth, I spotted a unique Mega Skein that had more colors than usual and a natural warmth that reminded me of Robin. I snatched it up as part of my payment, happy that not only were the colors interesting, but it would give me the chance to make something with a new (to me) sized skein.

Robin Scarf 2

I knit this scarf as we drove across country from Virginia to our new home in Oregon. It pleased me to no end to see the colors of the yarn reflect the scenery as we drove — from the lush blues and greens of the Blue Ridge, through scrubby high desert, and then to red mesas and finally reddish pines and a blue river.

 

Robin Scarf 1

The pattern is The Way From Brighton. I chose it because of the funky bobble fringe and the simple striped ridges that would show off the color changes.

 

Robin Scarf 3

I had to guesstimate the size and cast-on because I had more yardage than the pattern called for and a thinner yarn. As I knit, I feared that I would get to the end before making it through all of the colors in the yarn, so I cut out sections as I went. Of course, as Murphy’s Law would have it, I ran out of yarn before I got to the end, so I ended up splicing back in some of the yarn I took out. I like how it turned out though because it gave me the chance to bring the blue to both ends of the scarf and give it a sort of symetry.

 

Robin Scarf 4

My Ravelry notes are here.

29 Apr

Knit Night

In contrast to last week’s knitting fail, this scarf may be my all time favorite knit. I’m making a second one right now.

Leftie

I made this scarf for my mom. She accompanied me to Art Quilt Elements last year, and on the way back I made her hang out at the Maryland Homespun Yarn Party while I worked for my friend “Wolle” selling her color changing yarn. As a reward I told my mom I’d make her whatever she wanted from Wolle’s offerings.

Leftie

This is what she chose: the pattern is Leftie, by Martina Behm, and it’s knit up in Wolle’s Adobe color way. In the original, the leaves are the part that changes colors, and the background is solid. I much prefer this variation where the background is a gradient yarn and the leaves are solid color accents. I think all Lefties should be knit in Wolle’s yarn.

22 Apr

Knit Night

Not all my knits turn out well. The really bad ones get “frogged,” and no one is the wiser as the yarn gets a second (or third) chance at becoming something I’ll wear or can be happy gifting to someone else. However, my attempt at Purl Soho’s White Caps Cowl falls somewhere in between. I finished it, and I’ll probably wear it, but I just don’t love it.

 

Untitled

I didn’t want to spend the big bucks for the kit, so I looked around for suitable substitution yarns. My mom gave me a lovely shiny yarn and super soft alpaca, but together they lacked the subtle undulation that a thick-thin yarn gives.

 

Untitled

I also received this pretty teal yarn from my kids, and while it’s also got the shiny/soft contrast I liked, since both are thick-thin, the cowl again lacked contrast. (My Blue Waves cowl on Ravelry)

 

White Caps Cowl, variation

I finally made the cowl with the shiny yarn from my mom and the recommended slubby cotton from the original pattern, but the shiny yarn is just too heavy and the whole project hangs limply. It lacks the frothy lightness of Purl’s version. (My White Caps cowl on Ravelry) Sometimes you can substitute yarns and sometimes you just can’t. This was one of those times.

08 Apr

Knit Night

I promised the airplane knitting that I changed halfway through, and here it is.

Elfe Tee

This was definitely worth re-doing. I like the more subtle striping better with this one, and the thick to thin design works well with those stripes too.

 

Elfe Tee

I used the same gradated yarn (Wolle’s Color Changing Cotton) as in the shawls in the previous Knit Night post. This Elfe tee used two skeins: the first is the Mystique color way, which gradates from navy to grey to chocolate brown. The second skein is called Tardis and goes from the same grey, to medium blue, to navy. the stripes get a little funky in the middle where the greys switch places, but that’s part of what I like about this.

 

Elfe Tee detail

I was very curious to see how two graduated yarns would work together, so this was lots of fun. Next up is a shawl that will use the black to brown to grey that I jettisoned from this project, paired with a grey/purple that should be subtle but nice. Slightly more technical Elfe details are on my Ravelry post here.

01 Apr

Knit Night

I’ve been lucky enough here in Charlottesville to become friends with a lovely woman who makes beautiful color changing cotton yarn. Over the last few years I’ve knit a half dozen things with this yarn and have plans for a half dozen more.
All my pretty shawls

Patterns L to R: Bubbles and Baubles, Butterfly Garden, Rose Annie, Reversible circles of Lace (all patterns can be found on Ravelry, of course)

Today seemed like a good day to take a group portrait of my shawls. I’ve made two others as well, but they are for my mom and my sister, so they don’t live with me. All those gradients look so pretty hanging in a row.

I’ve been joining “Wolle” at the local yarn and wool festivals to help out at her booth. It’s great fun to show off the yarn and to help people choose just the right colors. The Elfe sweater in the last Knit Night post is also knit from Wolle’s yarn. I hope to have it finished in time to wear to the Powatan Fiber Fest at the end of this month. So far, so good — it should be next week’s post!