On Monotony

July 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Posted in 2010, Knitting, Sweaters | 1 Comment

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!

Checking In

July 10, 2010 at 9:42 am | Posted in 2010 | 3 Comments

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?

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 : )

the drawing board

June 16, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Posted in 2010, Galleries, Knitting | 3 Comments

When my rate of posting begins to wane, you can best believe that all matters of creative things are happening behind the scenes…

the drawing board

Thought despite my busy-ness, for the life of me I can’t seem to see one project from muse to fruition without meandering off somewhere into knitting never-never-land…that place where the creative type within tends to stumble upon from time to time…where one project leads to another, and alas! a variation on a theme. And in my case in particular, the next thing I know…mittens multiply like bunnies and a melange of finishing techniques are tacked to a wall next to a colorful assortment of swatches, all illustrating the simple yet very important concept of yarn dominance.

*sigh*

I anxiously await a free day that I might sit about and catch up with my knitting basket, and otherwise entertain my various whims, as I am itching to line a pair of already soft mittens with even softer Kid Silk Haze(!) and rework a patten for my LYS that just didn’t sing to me the way I wish it would have on the first go-around.

p.s. I also seek to create a doppelganger, if anyone is privy, so that she could work my 9-5 while I stay at home and knit : )

‘Ello! from the hills of New Hampshire

June 5, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Posted in 2010 | Leave a comment

I’m writing this from a So. New Hampshire sub-burb…so I’m not really in the hills…but I will be : )

Squam Art Fair

photo courtesy Ravelry.com

While it was truly a bummer that I couldn’t scrounge the monies to attend the workshops this year (with the amazing teachers and vendors lined-up!) but living within driving distance so that I can hang out at the art fair & ravelry party comes in as a very close second. Maybe I’ll see you there! I’ll be the one wearing the ‘EmilyElizabeth’ button : )

Let just hope this tornado warning doesn’t chock up to much…..

Gifts from Across the Pond

May 27, 2010 at 10:22 am | Posted in 2010, Knitting, swaps, Yarn | 3 Comments

A bit before the holiday season, I met Jane, a wonderful blogger who chronicles her life in London. After several emails back and forth, we decided to hold a little international yarn swap! Last week, I arrived home and look what was waiting for me at my work desk…

box of goodies

I am tickled pink by her yarn choices. Not too much of a traveler, I am rather stuck choosing amongst the wares of my local yarn shops…and never before have I seen such lovely skeins as these! This experience has definitely piqued my interest in ‘foreign’ yarns and I’ll be eagerly researching different mail-order stores for my future purchases.

wenslydale long wool

corriedale and black welsh mountain wool

The brown and cream-colored yarn are Wensleydale Longwool from the Sheep Shop in Yorkshire, and the crisp teal yarn is Organic Corriedale & Black Welsh Mountain wool from Blacker Designs. My mind is reeling with ideas of what I’ll use them for. I’m a little preoccupied with designing mittens currently, and have an idea for the Corriedale, but I’m still looking for the perfect pattern for the Wensleydale. Perhaps stranding…or stripes!

So of course after I cracked open the box and gasped at the lovely assortment of yarn, I gathered them up and took a big sniff. Rather than smelling like sheep, as I would have expected, they smelled faintly of Earl Grey Tea. These are British yarns, you know : ) But really, haha, they shared a box with some chocolate goodies as well which included a bar of organic dark chocolate infused with Earl Grey, and a chocolate cube on a stick that you swirl in warm milk to make hot cocoa! Oh, and let’s not forget a set of adorable ceramic buttons.

So excited!

Thank you so much, Jane! I look forward to future swaps : )

little bits

May 19, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Posted in 2010, Knitting, Original Designs, stranding | 1 Comment
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It puts a damper on my blogging when most of my projects are those that can’t be shared in-progress… but just a little peek won’t hurt : )

Spring has definitely sprung, marked with terribly allergies that won’t subside. And while I do enjoy the warmth and outdoor activities associated with the upcoming seasons, it saddens me that I’ve had to pack away my knitted goods in exchange for shorts and tanks, that is, until next fall when wearing woolen caps and scarves are no longer socially inappropriate : ) And I’m not overly fond of cotton/flax/linen yarns, so summer knits don’t really invoke my enthusiasm. Eh, we all have our things. At any rate, I am going to take the next several months to play with some ideas for next fall. It’s just too bad that the yarn manufacturers don’t plan like clothing stores and provide their fall colorways months in advance!

a yarn to build a dream on

May 1, 2010 at 11:08 am | Posted in 2010, Original Designs, Yarn | Leave a comment

Last week I took a little trip to my LYS and finally dropped off my secret knitting. As a fledgling designer, there is absolutely no better feeling in the world than when someone (or several someones!) gushes over something that you’ve designed and knit, painstakingly, with your heart woven into each and every stitch. Even the horrendous dental work I had done that day was no match for the smile I wore from ear to ear all afternoon. Hmm, makes me wonder if yarn love is key in reversing the many years of negative memories associated with the dentist. Future experimentation needed : )

As soon as the pattern is tech-edited and available in-store/online…I will link and share my own personal photoshoot. Until then, it will have to remain a secret!

Also, despite my personal reserve before I even entered the store that I wouldn’t take new yarn for another pattern until I had finished what was going on at home, I left with this:

ivy brambles stash

The entire color-range of Ivy Brambles hand-dyed 2-ply Shetland for my personal designing pleasure. Stranded mittens, anyone?

I am treading on dangerous territory here…oh, and I could easily get used to this : )

The journey of a thousand miles…

April 27, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Posted in 2010, Elizabeth Zimmerman, Knitting, Reclaimed Yarn | Leave a comment

…begins with a single step.

pi-shawl

Inspired by Jared Flood’s rendition of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s pi- shawl, I set out with some of my own reclaimed yarn and a pair of trusty circulars and knit a stitch. Then another. Then another, and so forth! I managed to fly through the first 5 increases with ease and am currently on row 14 of the 576 stitch rounds where my ability to zip through this beast has begun its gradual and exponential retardation. I have used up only 1 575-yard puck of yarn, and with 3 more where that came from, I have plenty to go around and haven’t a worry that I won’t make it to the 7th increase. I may have to increase to a 32″ circular as it’s becoming cumbersome to keep pushing and pulling 576 stitches along a 24″ line of cord. I hope to delay that until the next increase round, however that is a whole 82 rows (and a little over 47 thousand stitches!) into the future. We’ll see how long my hands can have at it.

center close-up

Despite the ease of construction and simplicity of design, not an ounce of beauty is spared this shawl. More over, what keeps me most in awe is that what began as a man’s large sweater–most definitely machine knit, what, with all those perfect little knit stitches!–will soon become a blanket, lovingly knit to adorn my couch or bed…or more realistically…a gift to my cat of impeccable taste who believes all knits inevitably belong to her. I still need to decide on a border and finishing technique, but at the rate I’m going now, I’ll only be crossing that bridge sometime well into the next couple of weeks…and that’s not taking into account any other knits/projects I may get wrapped up in the meanwhile.

Until then, I’ll be kicking back and knitting rounds and rounds of stockinette while watching old episodes of LOST in anticipation of the series finale. Mindless knitting and re-runs are a perfect marriage : )

the possibilities…

April 17, 2010 at 8:16 am | Posted in 2010, Knitting, Reclaimed Yarn | Leave a comment

this is going to be a good weekend : )

possibilities

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