I really thought that once the wedding planning and festivities were over that I would have all the free time in the world to knit, blog and/or publish everything that has been piling up these last several months. I’m finding it to be the complete opposite, and now I have even less time than ever…and I’m sure it will only be compounded by the holiday season soon enough, so I’m going to get myself in gear and tie up these loose ends once and for all.
I had intended to post the twin’s in their sweaters first, but thanks to my brand new, sparkly clean, and eerily fast new iMac, (squee!) I was able to finish this pattern last night and couldn’t wait to share.
Douglas is finally written, photographed, charted and uploaded to Ravelry : ).
Douglas is a Norwegian style stranded mitten pattern with a little New England flair. These mittens are knit super quick in Cascade 220, or any other worsted weight yarn, and are lined with Misti Alpaca Lace. Douglas were originally submitted to Knitty…but due to an overwhelming submission count…were graciously sent back to me, with the self publishing rights intact (yay!).
Like the Candy Corn Mittens, these can be knit on DPNs, a pair of circulars, or the magic loop as I prefer. They are worked completely in the round from the picot-turned cuff to the pointy-tip. They work up to be super warm with the alpaca lining, however, if you’d prefer to forego the lining, drop down a needle size to tighten the gauge and the mitts will fit as snug as a bug!
Douglas is Raveled here and is available for $5 USD by clicking the button below.
I can’t wait to see your take on it : )
So it’s official. I am a Mrs., or, Ms., as I much prefer : ) And for as lovely as it all was, I am quite content to shake off the crumbs and pack away the shoes and wait for the pictures…but all the while get myself back into the normal routine of life. I was a bit harried in those last few months, but now I feel light and new and can’t wait to celebrate our first holiday as newlyweds. So, now with the hub-bub behind me and our all too short honeymoon over (and lets not forget the 3 full work days already under my belt!)…I am ready to re-assume my blog reading and writing responsibilities once again. As it is, my RSS feed was at nearly 200 for knitting posts alone, so I’m making my rounds slowly as I catch up.
In the past month, a whole mess of knitterly things occurred at eeknits. Some things new, some things in the making, and some things revisited. So, let’s start off slow and let me introduce to you something that I’ve been holding out on : )
A few days before the wedding, I got a confirmation email that I had been waiting on with bated breath for weeks and weeks: These lovelies had finally been published!
By the time they were published, it was a smidgeon too late to knit a pair for Halloween 2010, but there is ample time to knit a pair (or 6) for next year! They were very well received by both the staff at Y&F as well as the Ravelry community and I want to thank everyone for their kind words and support.
There mittens feature a geometric, yet whimsical pattern of candy corns in a traditional Halloween color palate using Ivy Brambles 2-ply Shetland wool…however I would LOVE love LOVE to see them worked up on a teal background. They are knit in the round on either DPNs, a pair of circulars, or magic loop as I like to use, however I would recommend DPNs to turn the cuff as it can get a bit fiddly with two circulars (instructions for the cuff turn are included in the directions). I designed these mittens with a gore thumb for a more natural fit but chose not to carry the color-work across….gives it an extra punch, don’t you think?… and then I finished them with a smooth tapered top. And for all of Shetland’s amazing color options, sturdiness, and crisp definition, it isn’t known for it’s luxurious softness so I lined ‘em with some Misti Alpaca Lace for good measure : ) (The Y&F version substitutes it with it’s Ivy Brambles 2-Ply Cashmere…yum!)
So, I’ve said it before but I am determined to find the time in the upcoming year to knit a second pair of these because I simply cannot imagine another Halloween season without my own set…but I’m a little mittened out at the moment.
Next up: Twin Budgies (in person!)
Back in July, I mentioned having had sent in a submission to Knitty for the deep fall issue, going live October 2010. That was a whole 3 months ago….eek. Sure, I haven’t mentioned it at all, but I was secretly sweating this one big time.
Unfortunately, the good people over at Knitty did not choose my pattern this go-around. So sad : (. But, Amy Singer did respond with a very nice email complimenting my style and explaining that there were just too many submissions sent in, and they couldn’t publish them all. It’s a bummer, but I understand. After all, it is the fall issue, which I can imagine, is one of the most popular for submissions. Perhaps I’ll have better luck next time.
On the bright side of things, this means I get to publish the pattern myself, under my name, and not have to wait! I am however going to rework the written part of it before it’s release, but it shouldn’t take long so check back soon. In the mean time, here are some of the other shot’s from the photo-shoot.
In the hub-bub of last minute gift knitting, planning a 50th surprise party, typing up the loose ends of a long over-due knit pattern and organizing the last leg of a wedding (did I mention I was getting married?) the one year blogoversary of my second go at it came and went without as much as a tip of the hat!
So, here’s to one year full of knitting, designing, and dreaming. I look forward to many more : )
And now that several of the major projects in my life have been tackled, I get to share a little of what’s been going on behind the scenes. Here is a little sneak peek of a pattern of mine that was just [reluctantly] dropped off at my LYS.
Lately, I’ve developed this horrible separation anxiety with the products of my knitting, which I can foresee being a hindrance in the designing process. Like a momma bird anxiously sending her babies out into the world I sit…chewing my nails down knowing that my precious knitted item is floating around somewhere being folded by whomever. Yeah, I’m a bit melodramatic, but I really liked those mittens : (. I’ll just keep reminding myself that I can always knit another pair.
I’ll post about it officially when they are all set and published, so stay tuned!
Oooh…and look at what I found in the mail box the other day. It’s quite enough to make one just squeal with delight…and you know I did : ).
And now I’ve got all those glorious colors dancing around in my head…and I see many many mittens in my future, and maybe the future of some of my relatives, haha. I’m still swatching away with the Osprey that I bought a bit ago, and haven’t committed to anything quite yet. It’s so soft and squishy that I’m tempted to just knit a basic infinity cowl in stockinette. Sometimes a yarn is just beautiful in it’s own right and doesn’t need to be fussy. We’ll see. For now, go over and check out Mandy at the Zig Zag Stitch. I am in love with her self-published set of patterns in The Red Collection. I share her obsession with gratuitous bobbles and really want this hat. Don’t those bobbles look juicy enough to eat?!
So what stitches tickle your fancy?
Budgie Striped Baby Sweater by Grumperina
Yarn | Cascade 220 Superwash in Blue (810) & Orange (5323)
Yarn |Cascade 220 Superwash in Green (2424) & Orange (7619)
Needles | US 3 24″
As I scrambled to finish these in a timely manner, I misread the labeling on the zipper packages and realized too little too late that the PERFECTLY color-coordinated zippers I purchased were designed for pull-overs…and didn’t separate.
Just goes to show that I should always side with my gut…and in this case it was telling me to use buttons and not zippers. And if having to exchange them for separating zippers that are not even remotely close to the color of the sweater wasn’t proof enough of my gut’s amazing ability to predict epic knitting disasters, my sewing skills (i.e., patience for sewing) sealed the deal. The lack of hem detail shots above is not a coincidence ; ).
But non-the-less, how adorable are these! I couldn’t be any more happy with the pattern construction or the color palate. And my favorite is the completely fortuitous i-cord edging that does an amazing job to hide the un-matching zipper fabric, almost as if it wasn’t there at all! I only hope that my sister loves them as much as I do and that the Boys get a good use out of them. I plan to see them in October, so perhaps a set of modeled photos will pop up around then!
I’m still plugging away on my Redhook, slowly but surely, and have left off at the back short-row shaping. On the needles now is a stranded mitten pattern for my LYS that I’ve been miserably delayed in completing. I knit up the first prototype over 3 months ago but wasn’t quite in love with it…and then 3 months turned into 4 and I was left sitting on this pile of Shetland, not knowing what to do with it. However, after one day of “almost” fall weather, my inspiration peaked it’s sneaky little head and now these mittens are all I can think about. So, time willing, they should be done very soon. But, sorry, no pics till they’re published.
And speaking of fall, I’m crazy over the moon that it’s just around the corner. I’ve been preoccupied with striped scarves and see many in my future. What fall knit-accessory can you not live without?
Happy knitting : )
Enter: my love affair with the 2-color long-tail cast-on.
Nothing is more exciting that discovering fun new techniques to incorporate into my knitting, and this one just about takes the cake. It’s remarkable simplicity also means that I’m kicking myself for not figuring it out sooner! This 2-color method leaves behind a perfectly roped cast-on edge that gives the hem an exciting punch of color. I am so tickled by this tiny detail that you can be sure to find this technique popping up in some of my own designs soon enough : ) In addition, I’m knitting these bitty sweaters with the no-muss/no-fuss Cascade Superwash and am in love with how deliciously Crayola the palette is. Perfect for a pair of adventurous 1-year olds, wouldn’t you say!
(Try it! To execute the cast-on, knot together the tails of two different color yarns using a slip stitch, then slide only the loop of the main color onto your needles, pull taut. Wrap the MC around your index finger and the CC around your thumb. Continue casting-on in regular long tail fashion—easy as pie!)
These Budgies have practically knit themselves, and with all the long-term projects I have in the mix, it’s been a treat to have something just fly off the needles. Woosh! I’d definitely file this one under “I’m hanging out and eating Chinese and need something simple that won’t require counting.”
Being fond of stripes, babies in wool, and now incredibly fun cast-ons, I’m sure I’ll be knitting another before long. In the meanwhile, these two are in the queue for a set of zipper panels, sleeve seams, and a good soak block before being wrapped and sent out west. I haven’t yet purchased the zippers…and on that note….I’ve been hemming and hawing about whether I want to follow the pattern as written and sew in the zippers, or rather, knit a button panel like this one.
What do you think?
Because of mail restrictions at my apartment, I have packages sent to my parent’s home address so I don’t run the risk of sticky fingers wandering away with my yarn. Really, I’m not too sure that the general public (at least in my building, anyhow) would give a hoot about a bag of plump, downright swoonable yarn, but you never know. With these things, I don’t take chances : )
So, I had to wait 5 whole days before picking up my little package. 4 days to build the anticipation to just overflowing, and then an extra day to completely forget so that when my mom tossed the bag at me, I nearly jumped out of my seat with excitement. Actually, I think I did ; ).
The presentation alone gave me the urge to just lovingly tuck this away on to a shelf and put it on display, but then I squeezed it. For 100% untreated wool, Osprey is remarkably soft. I’ve read in review that some liken it to Cascade 200. I would beg to differ and feel that it’s more along the lines of the softness you’d achieve with an alapaca or cashmere blend.
So, now the ideas are flying. And even thought I swore I wouldn’t knit another, I’m pretty sure I just heard it begging to be knit into a gorgeous, drapey cowl : )
I was well aware of the miles upon miles of stockinette that I was in for when I began this (knit flat, no less!) so I’ll spare you the complaints of one sore thumb and just let you oogle at some progress shots : )
I managed to lose a stitch in there somewhere between the ribbing and my last set of waist-shaping decreases…and I’m more inclined to say that I decreased twice in a row at some point, as opposed to dropping it altogether. So, I plan to skip the next prescribed decrease in that area to remedy it. You can’t see it from where you’re sitting, but I’m trying hard to suppress the perfectionist in me for the sake of all the lunch breaks lost if I went ahead and tore it all out!
Off topic…in case you haven’t heard, Quince & Co. launched just over a week ago! Check it out if you haven’t. I learned about Pam Allen and Carrie Bostick Hoge’s new creative endeavor (to provide American raised, shorn , and spun yarns in several quality weights in gorgeous colors, at an affordable price!) a bit over a month ago through the knit-blog grapevine, and I’ve waited very eagerly for it’s debut. My first order should arrive soon!
Lastly, my twin nephews are about to turn a year-old next month and because they live all the way out in Spokane, WA, I thought, what better than hand-made sweaters from Auntie? I had hemmed and hawed with different pattern’s I found on Ravelry, and whether or not I just wanted to crunch the numbers and make my own…but then I was reminded of Budgie on Elinor’s blog who plans to knit one herself. How fabulous! I adore Grumperina’s attention to fine detail and technique, so this should be an engaging knit. I plan to pick up some yarn and get started strait-away!
These days, I feel that in the amount of time it takes for me to blink, time passes by before I can make good use of it. And with the year already being a smidgeon past half over, now’s a good a time as any to check in on those resolutions I made for myself back in January.
1. Knit an adult sized sweater:
The absence of any adult sized sweaters in my repertoire has little to do with an inability to dedicate myself, or lack of skill. Rather, and up to this point, anyway, I’ve simply enjoyed smaller canvases on which to experiment and work out interesting techniques, shaping, and colorwork. There’s no shame. All us knitters have our niches, no?
Regardless…due largely in part to a rather generous sale at a LYS (who had marked down their entire line of Moorland to 45% off regular price!) I have begun Jared Flood’s RedHook. I have adored this design since it first popped up a year ago, and I am hoping that this will be the first in several sweaters that will flesh out my fall wardrobe.
More on this project to come!
2. Take advantage of swatching:
When I knit from a pattern, I find myself having to drop down 2, sometimes 3 needles sizes to obtain gauge that other knitters would easily achieve on much larger needles. In other words, I am a very loose knitter. Therefore, swatching is crucial to me, and as of late has become a real treat. In-an-of-itself, swatching is a perfect project; quick, a great way to work out kinks in a pattern before you commit to the meat of your project, and best of all, completely portable!
3. Finish crocheted afghans.
Um, check back in December.
4. Experiment with texture!
5. Have a pattern published in Knitty.
The last 6 months have been an exciting time for me creatively, full of designing and self publishing a handful of simple patterns via ravelry, as well as one through my LYS. A few others are waiting to be completed, as well as numerous others that have made their way to my sketchpad. And, I do happen to have a recent submission to Knitty : ). Now, I sit back and eagerly await a response!
Four out of five isn’t so bad!
How are you faring with your resolutions?
I am pleased to share with you Green Tea Beret & Mitts, a hat and mitt pattern set that I designed and knit in Ivy Brambles 4-ply cashmere especially for my local yarn store, The Yarn and Fiber Company.
Materials | Approx. 350 yds of DK weight yarn. Shown in Ivy Brambles 4-ply Cashmere, Spring Green. For beret: US #1 (2.25mm) 16 in. circular, US #2 (2.75mm) 16 in. circular. For mitts: US #2 DPNs. 14 stitch markers. Tapestry needle.
*As always, regard needle size as a gentle suggestion, and swatch thoroughly as you may need to adjust needle size according to your own personal tension.
Gauge | 30 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches in pattern stitch (after light blocking)
I’ve been waiting for so long to share this pattern, and I am very pleased to announce that it has been published and made available as a PDF download at the Yarn and Fiber Company’s website, or in print through mail and in-store. The stitch pattern is a fun and simple combination of yarn-overs, slipped, and pass-over stitches with a bit of give to fit a range of sizes. If you have larger hands or prefer an even slouchier beret, swatch with a needle a size-or-two larger in order to increase the gauge and achieve your perfect fit!
I have a few deadlines that are slowly sneaking, but once they are met, I look forward to knitting a set for myself in anticipation of fall, perhaps in a steel grey : )