Sunday, September 25, 2011

When All Those Colors Have Faded

We are at that stage of early fall when summer's colors, poised to fade, seem more intense, more saturated than ever.

Soggy Cosmos

Droplet

Yesterday I finished the scarf for Warm Hats, Warm Hearts. Hopefully it will cheer someone as well as keep them warm in the cold months ahead.

Beaded Rib Scarf_1
Pattern: Beaded Rib Scarf, by Jacqueline Fee
Yarn: Malabrigo worsted, color #123 Rhodesian
Needle: US7

Beaded Rib Scarf_2

I guessed that one skein of Malabrigo would yield about a 48-inch scarf. It turned out to be a good guess: the blocked size is 48.5 inches long x 6.25 inches wide.

Beaded Rib Scarf_3

All week, as I knit this scarf, I had both marigolds and pumpkin pie on my mind. It certainly is a delicious color.

Meanwhile, the set-in sleeves worked top down on Pomegranate are progressing nicely. I am on the home stretch ...

Pomegranate Sleeve in Progress

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Warm Hats, Warm Hearts

free malabrigo

I've found a use for the free skein of gorgeous Malabrigo that I received from Happy Knits at Squam: a scarf for Warm Hats, Warm Hearts.

Beaded Rib Scarf RS
Pattern: Beaded Rib Scarf, by Jacqueline Fee
Yarn: Malabrigo worsted, color #123 Rhodesian
Needle: US7

I'm going back to my knitting roots with this project. It's in Jacqueline Fee's The Sweater Workshop, which is the book I used to teach myself to knit. I chose this pattern because it can work equally well for either a man or a woman—I don't know who will end up receiving the scarf. Another reason: the stitch pattern looks equally good on both sides.

Beaded Rib Scarf WS

Warm Hats, Warm Hearts is collecting handknits to send to the people of Vermont and New York who lost so much during Hurricane Irene. To contribute, look for the group on Ravelry or on Facebook, or see the flyer below.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Double Happiness

Two summer projects are off the needles and the hoop ...

Almondine Socks_1
Pattern: Almondine, by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Cascade Heritage, color #5631, charcoal
Needles: US 1 - 2.25mm dpns

Almondine is one of 18 patterns in Interweave's new Sock Knitting Master Class, edited by Ann Budd. The book definitely lives up to the "master class" part of the title. It offers a wide range of construction options and sock styles, and provides the technical information you need to modify the designs or create your own.

Almondine Socks_3

These were a travel project to take along on my August vacation, and they worked out just fine for that. The stitch pattern is easy to work; after you've gotten through the chart once, it becomes pretty intuitive.

Almondine Socks_2

This is the second pair of socks I've made with Cascade Heritage. I give it five stars on Ravelry--it's got excellent stitch definition, isn't splitty at all, and washes and wears well.

Special thanks to Snickers for supervising the photo shoot:
Snickers Supervising Sock Photo Shoot

And here's my completed sampler from Rebecca Ringquist's Stitch Dictionary embroidery class, which I took at Squam Art Workshops in June:

Stitch Dictionary Sampler_Finished

The ribbon on the right has special meaning: it was wrapped around the blank journal that was tucked into my Squam tote bag. I'm still using the journal to reflect on insights and intentions that took root while I was at Squam. Just holding it takes me back to that serene place.

Stitch Dictionary Sampler_detail2

I was really pleased that I was able to pull the whole thing together without buying anything. All of the fabrics and trims I already had on hand, left over from potholders, bags, and other gifts.

Stitch Dictionary Sampler_detail1

Stitch Dictionary Sampler_back

I backed it with cotton batting and used cotton twill to make tabs for hanging. I might think about other ways to hang it, but will probably leave that problem for the next one--yesterday I started work on Rebecca's 2010 Stitch Dictionary sampler.

Friday, September 09, 2011

OMG!

OMG

I've finally finished stitching the letters on the Stitch Dictionary sampler I began in Rebecca Ringquist's class at Squam Art Workshops in June.

Naturally, this was the last letter I did:

Z

I know I'm never going to win any prizes for most precise or most perfect embroidery, but that's OK. I had a lot of fun working on this sampler and I love it despite its clumsy parts. Next step: sewing on borders and devising a way to hang it.

A to Z

Friday, September 02, 2011

Pattern Release: Leaves of Three

I don’t like to think that summer is coming to a close, but the signs are all around: leaves are beginning to change color, evenings are getting shorter. Some recent mornings have been almost too chilly for having my breakfast outdoors.

Almost, but not quite. Fingerless mitts can help extend the “dining al fresco” season just a bit. And so I offer you my newest pattern: Leaves of Three, a pair of beaded lace fingerless mitts. It's now available on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop.

Leaves of Three_1
Pattern: Leaves of Three, by Bonnie Sennott
Yarn: Quince & Co. Tern (75% wool, 25% silk; 221yd/202m per 50g skein); color: Sea Grass
Needles: US #2/2.75mm

Leaves of Three_4

The rhyme about poison ivy (“Leaves of three / Let it be”) provided the inspiration for the pattern name. Aside from the leaves, the mitts have several threes or multiples of threes in them--12 ruffled bells at the cuff, three beads in each leaf, a knit one/ purl three ribbing … and probably something else that I’m forgetting!

I used a 16-inch circular needle to start and later switched to dpns (you cast on many stitches, then gradually decrease them away as you knit the cuff). However, you could also use Magic Loop or whichever method you prefer for working in the round. The beads are placed using the crochet hook method and instructions are provided, so don’t be put off if knitting with beads is new to you. The lace stitch patterns are provided in charted form.

Leaves of Three_2

Leaves of Three_6

Friends whose hands ranged from small to large tried these on, and the mitts fit them all quite well. The pattern provides instructions for one size knit in fingering weight yarn; it comfortably fits hand circumferences of 6 to 7.5 inches. You could tweak the fit by going down or up a needle size, using light fingering weight yarn, or using sportweight yarn.

Leaves of Three_5

For my sample, I used Quince & Co.’s Tern, a fingering weight wool/silk blend. The mitts are soft and warm, and have a subtle, distinctive sheen. Wearing them definitely makes you feel less sad about summer’s fading warmth.

Leaf Lace

Many thanks to Leslie and Betsey for modeling, and to Katherine for tech editing.

If you have a long weekend ahead, I hope it’s splendid!