Friday, December 2, 2016

Craftvent 2016 - Day 2

Today the little drawer held a container of stitch markers and a card with the pattern requirements.  I'll let you in on a little secret, I don't use stitch markers much.  I use them when knitting garments to mark seams and the end of rounds and such, but don't usually use them on lace.  And when I use stitch markers I use plain stitch markers, like the ones in the picture.  I have some fun and fancy stitch markers that I've received as extras in various clubs, but I don't use them.  Sometimes I turn them into earrings.  I hope that tomorrow the little drawer holds yarn.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Craftvent 2016 - Day 1

On a whim I picked up this Craftvent Calendar from jimmy beans wool.  I shop their periodically (usually when my points are about to expire).  I just thought it would be something fun to do.
Every day you open another drawer.  By Christmas I'll have a shawl knit from 12 50 yard samples of different fingering weight yarns.  The pattern is by Rachel Roden of Unraveled Designs and Yarn.  For Day 1 there was a project bag and a card with the link to download the pattern.
The pattern starts with 4 stitches and ends up with 298 stitches and has a picot bind off and uses beads.



Saturday, November 26, 2016

Tudor Roses - Margaret Beaufort - One Sleeve Done!

I finished up the first sleeve last night and picked up stitches for the second sleeve.  When it came to the shaping I basically winged it.  When working a top-down set-in sleeve I generally don't work any sleeve decreases until I get to my elbow, that leaves me about 8 inches in which to work all of the sleeve decreases.  For this pattern I needed to work 13 decreases, but I don't like to work them any closer than an inch apart.  In the end I worked them every 10 rows, which is a bit over an inch apart for the pattern gauge (7.5 rows/inch), and which also made it easy to remember when I needed to work them because I started on row 90.  To get enough decreases I worked double decreases after I worked the first one (remember the whole winging it thing).  So on row 90 I just did the decreases on either side of the round marker, and then on the next 6 decreases I worked another set of decreases on either side of the stitch panel that runs down the length of the sleeve.  I worked those decreases as a k2tog before the panel and a ssk after the panel so the line of knit stitches that bracket the stitch panel would remain unbroken.  I used about a skein and a half on the first sleeve, which I think is pretty much on target for my yarn usage.  I will have a little over a skein (in 3 leftover cakes) to finish up the collar and the edging.


Pattern:  Margaret Beaufort, by Alice Starmore from Tudor Roses (2013 edition)
Yarn:  Alice Starmore Hebridean 3 Ply (517 g in Lapwing)
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tudor Roses - Margaret Beaufort - Body Done!

I set aside my Liquid Gold Sinua while I ponder how many stitches I really want to pick up around the armhole for the sleeves and picked this project up instead.  I was fairly far along on the body when I last set it aside, almost done with the increases, and it didn't take me long to finish up the body and begin the shaping for the armholes and neck.  I shortened the torso, as I am somewhat high waisted - reducing the number of rows between the decreases to 4, but leaving the spacing of the increases the same - every 9 rows.  I also lengthened the armholes to give myself a little more room - I really don't like tight sleeves.  I was finally able to get a decent shot this morning after the sun came up and am now ready to pick up stitches for the sleeves.  I am going to work top-down set-in sleeves.  I recharted all of the charts in Stitchmastery so I could pull them into knitCompanion.  The charts are super easy - just knits and purls - but the book is super heavy - oversized hardcover - and awkward to work from.

I have yarn for the next project in the book (Elizabeth of York) - but it is colorwork and steeks (oh my!) neither of which I have really done before.  Okay, I've done some very limited colorwork, but I've never done steeks and I confess that they do scare me a bit.  I also ordered yarn for the next next project (Margaret Tudor), which is worked in one color, but has some very interesting construction going on, based on what I've gleaned from skimming the pattern.  I have to rechart both patterns so I can pull them into knitCompanion.
I almost abandoned this project for a couple of reasons.  The gauge this pattern is knit to is pretty tight, which makes it a little more tiring to work, and the color is dark so the stitch work really doesn't show very well unless you have very strong light.  The darkness of the yarn also makes it tougher to see what you're doing.  I think when I bought the yarn there were not as many colors on offer.  Now there are lots, including some of my favorites (like purple) and I was really tempted to order a different color and use this yarn for a different project in the book.  I was also a little nervous about running out of yarn.  You can see I had all sorts of "legitimate" excuses.  In the end, though I persevered, and I am glad that I did.  I have 4 skeins of yarn left, out of 10, so I think I will make it.

Pattern:  Margaret Beaufort, by Alice Starmore from Tudor Roses (2013 edition)
Yarn:  Alice Starmore Hebridean 3 Ply (517 g in Lapwing)
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Liquid Gold Sinua - One Skein Done

I am finally able to get a good picture of my Liquid Gold Sinua.  When last we saw this project I had just finished up both the front and the back to the point where I was ready to join them together and begin knitting in the round.  I had been working with two skeins of yarn, but when I joined I only worked with one skein.  I did not cut the yarn on the other skein, I just set it out of the way while I worked.  I've now worked a good four inches on the body and am almost to the end of my working skein.  I put it back on to two circular needles so I could try it on and also get a good picture.  I am happy to say that it fits perfectly.  At this point I may leave off working on the body and use the other skein to pick up stitches around the armhole and work on one of the sleeves.

Pattern:  Sinua by Susanna IC
Yarn:  madelinetosh DK in Liquid Gold
Needle:  US 6 (4 mm)

Interweave Knits Winter 2017

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Have you seen the latest issue of Interweave Knits?  I love this magazine.  I love the sophistication of the designs and the great articles.  This issue is no exception.  Click on the picture above to go to the Interweave site for the digital issue, or on the pictures below for the individual patterns.  Here are my favorite patterns from the issue:

The Tullamore Pullover by Brandy Velten:

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This pattern is worked in one of my favorite ways - in the round with top-down set-in sleeves

Finished Size: 29¾ (33, 36½, 39¾, 43, 46¼)" bust circumference. Tunic shown measures 33"; modeled with 1" of negative ease.
Yarn: Woolfolk Får (100% Ovis XXI ultimate merino wool; 142 yd [130 m]/1¾ oz [50 g]): #11 marine blue, 11 (12, 13, 15, 16, 17) skeins.
Needles: Sizes 6 (4 mm) and 7 (4.5 mm): 24–40" circular (cir), depending on size you are making, and set of double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Markers (m); stitch holders; cable needle (cn); tapestry needle.
Gauge: 29 sts and 32 rnds = 4" in charted patt on larger needle; 23 sts and 32 rnds = 4" in St st on larger needle. 

The Galway Pullover by Kathy Zimmerman:

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This pattern is worked in pieces with the sleeves worked flat and then seamed, but I would modify it to work in the round with top-down set-in sleeves.

Finished Size: 40 (44, 48, 52, 56)" bust circumference. Pullover shown measures 40"; modeled with 6" of positive ease.
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Galway (100% pure wool; 210 yd [192 m]/3½ oz [100 g]): #201 slate 7 (8, 9, 10, 11) balls.
Needles: Sizes 6 (4 mm) and 8 (5 mm): straight. Size 6 (4 mm): 16" circular (cir). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Markers (m); stitch holders; cable needle (cn); tapestry needle.
Gauge: 20 sts and 26 rows = 4" in rev St st on larger needles; 40 sts of Chart B = 6" wide. 

The Killarney Tunic by Sarah Solomon:

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This tunic features raglan sleeves and is worked flat and seamed, but could easily be modified to be worked in the round, bottom up, working the sleeves also in the round and joining them when you get to the underarms.  With this pattern I would be tempted to do something more colorful like a gradiance set from The Unique Sheep.  Their Sport Weight Foot Prints yarn is a little thinner than what the pattern calls for, and their Super Wool DK is a little heavier, so some adjusting for gauge would be needed, but given the size range it might be accomplished simply be knitting a different size.

Finished Size: 38½ (40½, 45, 50, 52, 54½, 56½, 58½)" bust circumference. Tunic shown measures 45"; modeled with 11" of positive ease.
Yarn: Karabella Yarns Superyak (50% yak, 50% extra fine merino; 125 yd [114 m]/ 1¾ oz [50 g]): #10151 gray, 10 (10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 15, 16) skeins.
Needles: Size 9 (5.5 mm): straight and 16" circular (cir). Size 8 (5 mm): two 16" cir. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Markers (m); stitch holder; tapestry needle.
Gauge: 15 sts and 22 rows = 4" in St st on larger needles.

The Ennis Pullover by Sarah Solomon:

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This pullover is also worked flat and then seamed, but of course I would modify it to work it in the round and with top-down set-in sleeves.

Finished Size: 34½ (36, 39, 42½, 45½, 49)" bust circumference. Pullover shown measures 39"; modeled with 5" of positive ease.
Yarn: Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK (75% extra fine merino, 20% silk, 5% cashmere; 127 yd [116 m]/1¾ oz [50 g]): #006 pebble, 11 (12, 12, 14, 15, 16) skeins. Yarn distributed by Sirdar USA.
Needles: Sizes 4 (3.5 mm) and 6 (4 mm): straight. Size 4 (3.5 mm): 24" circular (cir). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Markers (m); cable needle (cn); stitch holder; tapestry needle.
Gauge: 20 sts and 30 rows = 4" in Moss st on larger needles; Chart B = 3½" wide.

The Donegal Sweater by Moira Engel:

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And for the favorite man in your life there is this classic sweater.  Worked flat and seamed.

Finished Size: 40 (47, 51½, 56, 58½, 62½)" chest circumference. Pullover shown measures 47"; modeled with 7" of positive ease.
Yarn: The Fibre Co. Arranmore (80% wool, 10% silk, 10% cashmere; 175 yd [160 m]/3½ oz [100 g]): dark blue, 7 (9, 10, 11, 12, 13) skeins. Yarn distributed by Kelbourne Woolens.
Needles: Sizes 6 (4 mm) and 7 (4.5 mm): straight. Size 7 (4.5 mm): 16" circular (cir). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Markers (m); cable needle (cn); stitch holders; tapestry needle.
Gauge: 18 sts and 28 rows = 4" in St st on larger needles.

The Bray Cardigan by Josie Mercier:

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And rounding out the sweaters is this classy cardigan.  This is worked flat, with body shaping, and then seamed.  I would probably work it in one piece and do top-down set-in sleeves.

Finished Size: 29½ (36½, 40, 43, 50)" bust circumference, buttoned. Cardigan shown measures 36½"; modeled with 2½" of positive ease.
Yarn: Brown Sheep Company Nature Spun Worsted (100% wool; 245 yd [224 m]/ 3½ oz [100 g]): #200 Bordeaux, 7 (8, 9, 10, 11) balls.
Needles: Sizes 5 (3.75 mm) and 7 (4.5 mm): straight. Size 5 (3.75 mm): 16" circular (cir). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Markers (m); removable m; cable needle (cn); tapestry needle; eight ¾" buttons.
Gauge: 19 sts and 32 rows = 4" in Box st on larger needles; Wide Braid chart = 3½" wide.

And then there are the beautiful lace projects.  These really got me excited.  The designs are all centered around wedding white, but wouldn't they be luscious in jewel tones?

 The Solstice Capelet by Monika Sirna:

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Worked in Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere it would be dreamy to wear.  But if that is too rich for your wallet, there are plenty of other nice next-to-the-skin soft yarns out there.

Finished Size: 41¾ (46, 50)" circumference and 13" tall. Wrap shown measures 41¾".
Yarn: Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 6-ply (100% cashmere; 150 yd [137 m]/1 15/16 oz [55 g]): #00 ivory, 4 (4, 5) skeins (see Notes).
Needles: Size 6 (4 mm): 24" circular (cir). Size 8 (5 mm): straight. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Marker (m); cable needle (cn); waste yarn for provisional CO; size H/8 (5 mm) crochet hook; stitch holder; tapestry needle.
Gauge: 18 sts and 23 rows = 4" in charted patt on larger needles.

The Waxwing Shawl by Susanna IC:
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This lovely shawl features almost 900 Swarovski crystals, but you could also use beads.  The yarn called for is a single-ply lace-weight yarn.  I would probably use The Unique Sheep Eos in a gradiance colorway.

Finished Size: 75" wide and 21½" tall.
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Marina (100% superwash merino wool; 875 yd [800 m]/3½ oz [100 g]): #N0026 hueso, 1 skein. Yarn distributed by Fairmount Fibers.
Needles: Size 7 (4.5 mm): 32" circular (cir). Size 8 (5 mm) for BO. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Tapestry needle; 894 size 6 mm Swarovski rondelle crystals; size 10 (0.75 mm) steel crochet hook; blocking pins.
Gauge: 17 sts and 26 rows = 4" in body patt on smaller needle.

The Brambling Topper by Amy Gunderson:

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 Wouldn't this be elegant in a jewel tone?  This pattern is worked in one of my favorite ways - top down in the round.  The increases are worked into the lace pattern - so you could probably modify the pattern to make a lace dress.  And maybe add some beads...wouldn't that be stunning!  This one could also be worked in a gradiance colorway.

Finished Size: 33½ (36¼, 39, 41¾, 44½, 47¼, 50)" bust circumference. Pullover shown measures 36¼"; modeled with 4¼" of positive ease.
Yarn: Fibra Natura Whisper Lace (70% superwash wool, 30% silk; 440 yd [400 m]/1¾ oz [50 g]): #101 mallow, 3 (3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4) balls. Yarn distributed by Universal Yarn.
Needles: Sizes 3 (3.25 mm) and 4 (3.5 mm): 24" circular (cir) and set of double-pointed (dpn). Size 3 (3.25 mm): 16" cir. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Markers (m); cable needle (cn); stitch holders; tapestry needle.
Gauge: 23 sts and 30 rnds = 4" in Winding Paths patt on larger needle.


The Juul Cardigan by Linda Marveng:

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This one features a fun combination of styles - the lace sleeves with the tucked stitch cuff and the long attached loop collar.  You could have some fun with color on this one.  It is knit with two strands of yarn held together, so you could use a fingering weight yarn instead.

Finished Size: 35½ (38½, 41, 45, 49, 53)" bust circumference. Cardigan shown measures 41"; modeled with 7" of positive ease.
Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr Lace 2/18 (50% merino wool, 50% tussah silk; 1120 yd [1024 m]/3½ oz [100 g]): vanilla, 4 (4, 4, 5, 5, 5) skeins.
Needles: Size 3 (3.25 mm): 12", 16", and 32" circular (cir). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Markers (m); stitch holders; tapestry needle.
Gauge: 24 sts and 32 rows = 4" in Lace patt with 2 strands of yarn held tog.

Maria's Veil by Lisa Jacobs:

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This is a traditional square shawl worked from the center with knit on edging and could also be worked in a gradiance colorway.

Finished Size: 50" wide and 50" tall.
Yarn: Jamieson's Ultra (50% lambswool, 50% Shetland wool; 212 yd [194 m]/7?8 oz [25 g]): #104 natural white, 11 balls (see Notes). Yarn distributed by Simply Shetland.
Needles: Size 8 (5 mm): 24" and 40" circular (cir). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Markers (m); waste yarn for provisional CO; size H/8 (5 mm) crochet hook; tapestry needle.
Gauge: 19 sts and 31 rows = 4" in Center chart patt.


The Snow Bunting Jacket by Adrienne Larson:

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This design is by far my favorite and just took my breath away.  An elegant lace jacket that would look just gorgeous in a jewel tone or a gradiance set.  The body is worked in one piece to the armholes, and the sleeves are worked in the round.  The pattern recommends seaming the sleeves to the body for stability and I agree with them on this one.

Finished Size: 12¼ (14½, 17, 19½)" back width. Jacket shown measures 14½" on model with 32" bust.
Yarn: Mrs. Crosby Loves to Play Reticule (100% superwash merino wool; 840 yd [768 m]/3½ oz [100 g]): crème fraîche, 2 (3, 3, 3) skeins.
Needles: Size 5 (3.75 mm): 32" circular (cir) and set of double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Markers (m); stitch holders; tapestry needle.
Gauge: 23 sts and 36 rows = 4" in Upper Lace patt.

Have fun creating!


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Peacock Shawl - One Repeat of Chart B

I finished up one repeat of Chart B last night.  This pattern has a cool center panel as well.
On to the second repeat of Chart B.


Pattern:  Peacock Shawl by Sivia Harding
Yarn:  Yarn Fairy Pixie Sock Medium AKA Fairy Medium Sock in Peacock
Needles:  US 5 (3.75 mm)