Douglas: Published!

November 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Posted in 2010, Finished, Knitting, Original Designs, stranding | 6 Comments

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.

<img src=”http://www.ravelry.com/images/shopping/buy-now.gif” border=”0″/>

I can’t wait to see your take on it : )

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Back to work!

November 10, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Posted in 2010, Finished, Original Designs | 3 Comments

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!

These are my beloved Candy Corn Lined Mittens, published and available by instant PDF through The Yarn and Fiber Company. Maybe you remember my blubbering on about not wanting to give these away… : )

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!)

BUDGIES: The First of Fall knitting : )

August 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Posted in 2010, baby knits, Finished, Knitting, Sweaters | 3 Comments

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.

Crum.

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 : )

Green Tea Beret & Mitts

June 27, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Posted in 2010, Finished, Knitting, Original Designs, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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.

Green Tea Mitts

Green Tea Beret

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!

Ravel it!

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 : )

Knitting Muse

March 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Posted in 2010, Finished, Knitting, Original Designs, Project Yarnway | 3 Comments

Have you ever stumbled across a stitch pattern that is both so pleasing to look at and so fun to knit that you find excuses to create several variations of the same item just so that you can knit it again, and again….and again? I’ve found myself in just that place. The Brioche stitch: It’s like a bad habit I can’t shake : )

As I mentioned in previous posts, I resorted to frogging my original raspberry red hooded cowl and earmarked the yarn for something bigger and better. Typically I’m diligent with pattern mishaps and will work hard to see a pattern through, but this one was just better left unrealized at the moment. Instead, I sketched out two smaller cowls inspired by the original. Based off the same stitch pattern, the nuances of each make for two cowls that are both very similar, but uniquely their own.

Adamaris 1

Adamaris

Finished Size after blocking | 22″ (56cm) width x 10″ (25.5cm) longs

Materials | Approx 200 yds (183m) of worsted weight yarn. Shown in Manos del Uruguay Silk Blends, 1.5 hanks, color 3016. Size 5 (3.75mm) needles, 24” (60cm) or size to obtain gauge.

Gauge | 5 stitches = 4” (10cm) in flat brioche stitch

Adamaris 2

Adamaris was the first pattern to spring out from the wake of the frogged cowl, and was based more heavily on the original design, sans the hood. It’s knit in the round on circular needles with a very simple 1×1 ribbing to add structure and tidiness to the edges. It’s knit wrong-side facing, and then turned inside out so that the loopy, spongy stitches are facing outward. I don’t know about you, but I think the wrong side has oodles more character. I chose to knit the wrong side facing in order to avoided excessive purling in the round, something I imagine most knitters would agree with. Lastly, I added snappy little buttons in a vertical 3-array to add visual interest.

Adamaris 3

It used approx. 1.5 hanks of Manos del Uruguay Silk Blends, and I adored every buttery inch of it. It was the most lush and silky yarn I have ever had the pleasure of knitting with, and I’m rather picky about yarn texture. I feared the silk would be too glossy for my taste, as I much prefer matte yarns, but I was very pleased with the finish as well.

While knitting Adamaris, I didn’t preoccupy myself with structure or embellishment. For my own sake, I just needed to work this stitch out into something wearable, and quick! (FYI: this pattern can easily be knit in a day). After it was complete, my mind was already reeling on another cowl, this time knit flat in order to allow for more stitch play and button panels.

Enter, Aurelia.

Aurelia 1

Aurelia

Finished Size after blocking | 22” (56cm) width x 10” (25.5cm) long

Materials | Approx 220 yds (200m) of worsted weight yarn. Shown in Berocco Ultra Alpaca, 1.25 hanks, color 6253 (Gold). Size 5 (3.75mm) needles, 24” (60cm) or size to obtain gauge.

Gauge | 4.5 stitches = 4” (10cm) in flat brioche stitch

Aurelia, also knit in flat brioche, has the added interest of twisted stitch ribbing and garter stitch panels flanking the sides, and 3-row vertical button holes. It never ceases to amaze me just how numerous the combination of knits and purls there are that can be arranged on the same needles to create such different garments. And these are only cowls. In whole genre of knitting, the possibilities are virtually endless and the inspiration is mounting!

Aurelia 3

Anyway, while I loved the Manos, I chose a simple yet vibrant worsted-spun for the second variation in order to maximize my stitch definition. Adamaris was content to be knit in a variegated yarn which carried most of the visual interest, but I felt that the structure of Aurelia spoke for itself. Perhaps I’ll knit another with Manos to test my theory. I have a feeling I’d love it none-the-less ; )

Aurelia 2

Note: Aurelia has been entered as my February submission for Project Yarnway. Voting is open until March 15, 2010. Head on over and take a look!

Both of these patterns are available for $3 USD through Ravelry using PayPal, no accounts required. They are immediately delivered as a 2-page full-color PDF download with photos.

adamaris preview

aurelia preview

Ava

January 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Posted in 2010, Finished, Knitting, Original Designs | 2 Comments

In addition to being a perfect creative outlet, knitting is also the perfect way to keep warm…very warm! And because I spend the better half of my day behind a monitor in a brisk little cube where all too often my fingers have turned to ice before noon-time, I decided to whip myself up something nice and warm for the office. I picked up 4 hanks of alpaca from my LYS that were just screaming at me (check out that green!) and went to town on a very simple but quirky shawl that I’m hoping will quell the cold on some of the more particularly chilly winter days we’ve been having lately.

Finished Size after blocking | 48 in. / 122 cm in width, 36 in. / 92 cm in length

Materials | Approx. 750 yards of worsted weight yarn. Shown in Berocco Ultra Alpaca, 3.5 hanks—6273 Irwyn Green Mix. US 5 / 3.75mm circular needle, or size to obtain gauge. Minimum cord length of 32 in. / 80 cm. Longer recommended for edging.

Gauge | 20 sts & 26 rows = 4 in / 10 cm in stockinette stitch

This shawl was inspired by wild Canada Geese who fly southbound in their famous, perfect V-formation in the late fall. It’s knit from the neck down in an alternating garter and stockinette pattern that’s edged with a delicate ruffle—the best feature being that it’s completely reversible!

I used a 24” circular for more than half of the shawl, switching to a 32” only as I neared the end. Because the stitch count doubled as the edging was knit, I found myself having a difficult time maneuvering all the stitches on a 32” needle. If you have needle longer than 32”, I recommend using it. However, it’s really only tight for 5 or so rows, so there’s no need to go out and purchase a new needle just for this project.

As a side note, the Berocco alpaca is a tad sheddy, so substitute for a wool or mix as preferred.

This pattern is available for $3 USD through Ravelry using paypal, no accounts required. It is immediately delivered as a 2-page full-color PDF download with photos.

ava preview

2009 Retrospective

December 31, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Posted in 2009, Finished, Galleries, Holiday, Knitting | Leave a comment

2009 Crunch

December 20, 2009 at 10:36 pm | Posted in 2009, Finished, Holiday, Knitting | Leave a comment

Because I can’t let the year escape me without knitting something to keep my head warm…that, or imposing on myself some last-minute-gift-knitting of course : ).

Turn a Square

Turn a Square 2

Pattern | Turn-a-Square Hat by Jared Flood
Needles | US5 Circulars and DPNs
Yarn | assortment of cascade 220, patons wool, and knitpicks swish superwash

I’ve had this pattern on my mind for a while now and thought it would be a wonderfully-quick little weekend knit. Two days, three caps, and one very warm head later, I’ve decided it’s my favorite cap pattern–hands down! I absolutely love the structure of the raglan decreases, and after a quick steam, the stitches plumped-up and look full and very orderly. (Is it silly that I get so giddy about a row of perfectly angled double decreases? Ha ha)

stash yarn : )

Better yet, I used stash yarn to knit all three caps (!)

Not shown is another knit in a rich midnight plum and teal-blue colorway, however, that one is wrapped and sitting under my tree. And speaking of tree…I just couldn’t help myself : )

Bitty Acorn

Pattern | Tiny Acorn by Pamerla Wynne
Needles | US2.5 mm
Yarn | bits of stashed cascade 200

Happy Holidays!

Grahm

December 5, 2009 at 10:25 pm | Posted in 2009, Finished, Knitting, Original Designs | 2 Comments

I certainly have been on a cowl-kick! For me, there’s something about designing something functional as well as visually interesting on such a small canvas that really gets my knitting mojo flowing!

Grahm 2

After working on Sugar Plum, which was cable heavy and very feminine, I wanted something a bit more masculine with a good amount of structure, clean lines, and a little something extra to make it special. After a few swatches and rip out sessions, I settled on a wonderful marriage between ribbing, simple cables, and a smidge of striping, just for fun.

Personally, I love how the density of the fabric allows it to stand up like a turtle-neck under a coat, as well as the great stitch definition on account of my yarn choice (yes, Lana D’Oro again–I just can’t keep away from this stuff!) However, my favorite part about this cowl is that its knit extra long and then folded, so it’s double-thick, extra warm, and showcases two different panels of color and stitch pattern so that it can be coordinated with multiple outfits or jackets.

Finished Size | 19 in. / 48.25 cm in length, 10 in / 25.5 cm in width

Materials | Worsted weight yarn. Approx. 215 yards / 196m of each of 2 colors. Shown in Cascade Lana D’Oro (MC) 1042 and (CC) 1087. US 5 / 3.75mm circular needle, 16 or 24 inches / 40 or 60cm long

Gauge | 20 sts and 26 rows = 4 inches / 10cm in stockinette stitch

I knit this in the round using a 24” circular needle. I would recommend a 16”, as things start to get a bit tight when cabling, but it is do-able. So as long as you stick to the gauge, you don’t have to go out and buy new materials if you already have a 24” at home.

It can be argued that I have a tendency towards a type-A personality, and therefore suffer episodes of perfectionism that I willingly indulge—particularly with regards to my knitting. My motto is: If you’re going to spend the time doing something, do it right. And while this can be applied to really anything in life, you know it meant that, before learning that a crochet hook can be a knitters best friend, I would rip out half a scarf just to fix an unwieldy stitch some two-feet ago. Now, it means taking the time to research the most appropriate cast-on or bind off methods for a particular project, knowing which yarn will hold up best, as well as refining my techniques with each new project. For me, being mindful of my knitting and taking the time to use the proper techniques really transforms the act of knitting from being just a crafty past time into a real art.

So, with that said:

In the ribbing portion, I used the joggles stripe method and carried my yarn. This helped to minimize those unsightly “jumps” in the color work, as well as the need to weave in pesky little ends on every row. It’s a very simple technique, and a great tutorial can be found here.

I also knit my cables without a cable needle, and I promise you—once you work it a few times, you’ll never go back to using your fiddly cable needles or DPNs.

Lastly, to bind off, I used a basic bind-off and just made sure to knit my knit stitches and purl my purl stitches. This resulted in a very clean bind off that didn’t add any unnecessary bulk.

As I mentioned above, the Lana D’Oro knits up very sturdily and allows the fabric to really “stand-up”. While the yarn is very economical, it doesn’t compromise on softness. But if you’re into softer, still, splurge for some Rowan Kid Classic to increase its drape an overall plushness. And with a change in color palette, this can easily suit a woman as well.

So, regardless of wool choice, or lucky recipient!, this is the perfect knit for the eventual frigid onslaught of winter weather that I’m sure (I hope!) we will be experiencing soon. After all, I have all these hand knits waiting so very patiently to fulfill their wooly destiny!

This pattern is available for $3.00 through Ravelry using paypal, no accounts required. It is immediately delivered as a 2-page full-color PDF download with photos.

Grahm preview

Thanksgiving Wishes

November 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Posted in 2009, Finished, Knitting | Leave a comment

I hope you and your families celebrated a wonderful holiday! Mine certainly did…with a whole lot of turkey and 10-pounds of mashed potatoes. Note to self, when mum says “a little more than 5-pounds”, she doesn’t mean double! This year I was lucky enough to have the entire week-end off (including Black Friday…which I spent happily snuggled in bed) and was able to get some quality knitting time in.

For now, here’s a little baby knitting. These little cuties were made a bit over a month ago in anticipation of my sister visiting with her twin boys. I’ve been a bit delayed in writing a post about them.

Saartjes Booties

Saartje’s Bootees by Saartje de Bruijn

Yarn | Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, 3 skeins: 203, 027, 202
Needle | US 3 / 3.25 mm

The construction of the booties is really interesting. They are knit flat and then turn in on themselves, and with a little seam here and seam there, voila! They pop into shape and look absolutely adorable. I’ll admit that they are a little fiddly when it comes to seaming and casting-on new stitches for the strap, but with such a quick little knit, how can you go wrong?

My only gripe was that, even with the correct gauge, these were FAR too large for the boys. I had to quickly knit up another pair with smaller needles (us 1) and substituted the 1 strap and button with 2 longer I-cord straps that tied together. It was a very sweet alternative, and they fit perfectly. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo-op, so you’ll be left to use your imagination on this one…unless I get motivated enough to make another pair.

And here’s a little taste of something new I’ve been working on…

Brahm

More to come later : )

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