Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Greatest Yarns of All Time, Yarn #2

Great Yarn, #2

I have never been a Noro freak. It's very interesting. I love what it can do. I enjoyed doing Lizard Ridge:

I am loving Bobby's Garden:

Until I knit this hexagon, I never knew the absolute gorgeosity of Silk Garden:

Noro Silk Garden is a blend of 45% Silk, 45% Kid Mohair, and 10% Lambs Wool. This particular bit of color #245 has a high silk content. The luster and softness of this little hexagon gave me my Noro "aha" moment. I am now a devotee.

The Greatest Yarns of All TIme

When one works in a knitting store, one always feels pressed to knit garments out of yarn that the store carries. At least "this one" did. Now that I am no longer working at a store- the first time in over 10 years- it has freed me to knit whatever I like. And also, since I am no longer working at a store, I have to limit myself to what is in my stash. NO PROBLEM! I am shopping in my stash and it is such fun! I have been pondering over my personal faves. As the end of the year is the perfect time to do a Top Ten, this week, I will be featuring THE GREATEST YARNS OF ALL TIME. In no particular order.

Schoolhouse Press Laceweight Icelandic- Could there be a more versatile, interesting yarn out there? One can use it single as lace weight, doubled for garments. It is warm, gorgeous and very well priced.

I am hoarding this yarn to make Meg Swansen's Ram's Horn Cardigan. If you do not have the book, "Meg Swansen's Knitting, by all means go to Schoolhouse Press immediately, and buy it. Every sweater is an heirloom.

 It is a grey, rainy day today.

Perfect for tea and a little sewing.

Have a cozy, nice day. More yarns tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Continuous Strand: MAX

A Continuous Strand: MAX


Max Cowl

I once knew a woman who said that everyone has certain characteristics that make them look like an animal. She would entertain herself on the subway by looking at people and deciding whether some guy's nose made him look like a mouse or that a woman's walk and hair made her a lioness. And we did work with someone who looked and acted just like a merkat. She would never tell me what I looked like- she said that she didn't want to hurt my feelings. (uh-oh)
Whatever animal I evoke, it is definitely something with a very, very long neck. My neck is always cold, so I love cowls. They use very little yarn, are super easy, and don't bunch up under your coat the way scarves and moebii (?) do.
I had some Twinkle Superbulky left over from an afghan, and loved the color. So, I whipped up in a couple of hours, the chunkiest cowl ever. It is named Max, in honor of my best canine buddy, Max, the Shi-tzu:

Max, the Shi-tzu.

The pattern for Max, is as follows:

There is also a pdf link above.
2 skeins Twinkle Chunky
size 17 needle

Cast on 68 stitches with size 17 needle. Join, being careful not to twist.
K2, P2 around every row until 12 " from cast on. Bind off very loosely. Weave in ends.

Thats it. It took only a couple of hours. Hope that you enjoy it!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Knitting a flat swatch for circular gauge.... huh?

Most knitters may get a dramatically different gauge depending on whether they knit back and forth, or in the round. If you are going to knit a garment in the round, your swatch should be knit in the round. But this can mean a very annoyingly high number of stitches.
Fear not, knitter. Knit your swatch flat, knitting every row, and carrying your yarn across the back. Sloppy?

Yep. But so very clever. And it can mean the difference between a sweater that sort of fits, and one that really fits. As usual, thanks EZ.
Cast on 4 inches worth of your desired gauge plus at least four more to take into account the icky edge stitches.

Use a circular or double pointed needle and knit the first row. Do not turn. *Push your stitches to the tip of the other end of the needle. Draw the yarn very, very loosely across the back of the work and knit the row again. Repeat from * for about 4 inches.

You will now have a swatch in which the gauge is accurate for knitting in the round in stockinette, because you have indeed knit every round. And you can always rip it out later if the messy back is driving you crazy. In fact, that is what I am going to do right now.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Bobby's Garden

What an amazing pattern. Bobby's Garden pattern: from Dulle Griet. I have not been able to stop knitting it. You know a pattern is a good one when you start knitting before your second cup of coffee in the morning. It is fun to knit, and one of those patterns that you just want to add one more segment to see how the colors change.

I am knitting it out of Silk Garden. One it's own, the colors are beautiful and fun. I have had at least 20 skeins stashed away for years. I like to use Noro in patterns that really show Noro to it's best advantage. Bobby's Garden is one of those patterns.
One thing that I have learned over the years, however. Whenever someone knits something to use up stash, they end up buying more. I have only purchased three extra skeins so far.

And I love the result.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Last night while finishing up a needlepoint that has been laying around for years, I realized something. Do you see it? A whole lotta black and beige going on here. I made the knitting bag out of oatmeal linen and lined it with a vintage black gingham. I started the Hanae Falkenberg "Tokyo" jacket last month. (Lots of knitting fun.) The needlepoint is of the Chinese character for "Courage"- very important for me to ponder this quality lately.
I should mention that the needlepoint canvas is by Lani, stitched with Aubusson silk and DMC cotton. I have the companion ("Eternity"), but it will be a while. Quite a while.
Back to knitting, I think.