Another Trip to the Koigu Tent Sale

It happened again! For the third time, we made the trek to the Koigu Tent Sale in August.

It was much busier this year, and it poured rain on the way there. I had a plan, though.

First, I wanted yarn for a pullover in the current issue of Pompom Quarterly. It’s called Ixchel – you can see it on the front cover of the issue preview on the PomPom site, or follow the pattern name link to the sweater on Ravelry. I chose these two colours of Koigu.

I’m a bit concerned that the blue mix might have too much going on for fair isle work, but I’ll do a swatch and see. I bought enough of the blue that I could knit a pullover in just that colour, just in case. ๐Ÿ™‚

My second mission was to get a single skein of Mori (a silk and wool blend) in a darker colour that coordinated with the Mori I bought two years ago at the sale. I’ve chosen a pattern called Tranquil Mist and have just about exactly the right yardage. That makes me nervous, so having this purpley-black skein is a kind of insurance: if I run out of the turquoise Mori on the right, I can finish with the darker colour.

The red I bought because, well, it’s red and beautiful. I have four skeins of it and love it to bits so it will be used for something.

What about the Koigu I’ve bought at the tent sale before? Well, last year, I bought a kit with ten skeins in ranges of purple and a pattern book. I’ve knit one shawl, which used half that yarn:

Charlotte's Web shawl, knit by Deborah Cooke in Koigu

That’s the other five skeins in a row on the floor. You can read the blog post about the finished shawl right here – Charlotte’s Web.

I’m also working on a cardigan in one of the colourways I bought the first year. The pattern is called Juicy Gloss and there was a post about it here. I’ve made some progress on that one in the last month or so and will show it to you when I finish the body. I’m about halfway down the lace bit, but the rows are long so each one takes a while.

What have you been knitting lately?

And what do you think of my new Koigu?

More Ocean Ridges

I’ve been knitting away on my Lizard Ridge afghan in Noro Kureyon, and wanted to show you my progress today. I showed you the first two squares two weeks ago, which were knitted from some Kureyon in my stash. That was colour 254, which is discontinued. I knit up most of that, and have the eight squares at the top of this picture as a result, as well as some bits and ends leftover.

I then knit 3 squares with colour 332, which is shades of green with a bit of brick red. Those three squares are at the very bottom.

Lizard's Ridge knitted by Deborah Cooke in Noro Kureyon

Because it hasn’t been blocked or had the blocks sewn together, it’s a bit curly on the edges, but you get the idea.

Right now, I’m knitting squares from colour 40, which is more blue with a touch of lime and pink.

Finally, I have seven balls in colour 327, which is mostly blues with a little bit of orange and purple.

These eleven squares completed means that I’ve done almost half. The pattern calls for 24 squares (4 by 6) but I’d rather it was 25 (5 by 5). I’ll have to see what I can do with those bits and ends once the blocks that are entirely each colour are done.

What do you think? I think it’s going to be fun to rearrange the blocks once I have them all knitted! There’s an edging in a solid colour and I have a feeling mine might need to be purple. We’ll see!

My Juicy Gloss Cardigan in Koigu

I’ve been distracted by a new knitting project and thought I’d share my progress with you today. The pattern is called Juicy Gloss and it’s an open-front cardigan, with lace fronts. It’s knit top-down and has some interesting details. Here’s a link to the Juicy Gloss pattern on Ravelry.

One thing I wanted to change was the length of the fronts. I want them longer but still swingy. So, instead of working increases only for the sleeves and back, I did them for the fronts as well. I took the sweater off the needles last weekend to check the fit and here’s what it looked like then:Juicy Gloss cardigan in Koigu in progress, knit by Deborah Cooke

It’s back on the needles now and I’ve divided for the sleeves. There’s a lovely short-row inset on the back that I’m currently knitting. This designer has really paid attention to the details.

And the colours of the Koigu! These pictures don’t nearly do the colourway justice plus it looks a bit more mauve here than in real life. It’s gorgeous. The mix of colours reminds me of granite. Juicy Gloss cardigan in Koigu in progress, knit by Deborah Cooke

Part of the reason I cast on this project is that I’ve gone to the Koigu tent sale the past two summers and bought yarn, but not knit very much of it. (I did knit one shawl this winter.) I decided I needed to knit a sweater before going again this summer.

What do you think?

Socks and a Scarf

I’ve been travelling a bit lately so we haven’t had a Fibre Friday. Today’s the day!

First up, I finished a pair of very bright socks, knit in Patons Kroy Stripes. The colourway is Sunburst Stripes. I used two balls and just barely got the pair out of that – I thought I’d have to buy a third ball for the toes!
Socks knit by Deborah Cooke in Patons Kroy Stripes

They’re brighter than what I usually wear, but they’re socks – and they’ll be cheerful in the winter.

I’ve also finished a scarf knit without a pattern. I had this thick-and-thin yarn in my stash – I found it in the mill ends at Spinrite, which means there’s no label. I liked the colours, though, and thought there was enough for a scarf. It’s more like a cowl, but I really like how it knit up in garter stitch.

Scarf knit in mystery thick-and-thin yarn by Deborah Cooke

I knit it diagonally. Where you can see the end at the bottom, I cast on three stitches. I increased once stitch at each edge on every right side row (and knit every wrong side row) until I thought the point was wide enough. After that, I increased on the lead edge of every right side row, and finished each right side row with K2tog, K1. I continued to knit the wrong side rows. In this picture, I’m just at the point of starting the decreases for the other end.

In this picture, I’m just at the point of starting the decreases for the other end.ย  (Yes, I weighed the first point, then knit until the remaining wool weighed just a few grams more than that.) From here, I decrease at both ends of each right side row until there are just three stitches left, then cast off. I haven’t decided whether to leave it as a short scarf that I can wrap across the front of my throat, or I should join it into a cowl – either by grafting the ends together or adding some loops and buttons. What do you think?

Peacock Fan Shawl

I just finished this shawl, which was a bit of an impulsive buy. The kit came from Earthfaire, with beads and yarn included. I thought it was pretty and ordered itโ€”when it arrived, the colours were so beautiful that the project jumped queue and leaped onto my needles. I’m really happy with how it came out.

Peacock Fan shawl knit by Deborah Cooke

The pattern is called Renaissance Fan by Nim Teasdale (the same designer who created the Dragon Scarf I showed you a few weeks ago.) That’s a Ravelry link, and you can buy the pattern there. I bought the kit from Earthfaire, which puts together wonderful kits often with The Unique Sheep gradient-dyed yarn and matching beads. This one isn’t on the site anymore. It came with six skeins of yarn, shading from purple to green.

Peacock Fan shawl knit by Deborah Cooke

The beads included in the kit were purple, although they’re hard to see even in this detail shot. They look great on the actual shawl. You can see that I made a slight miscalculation and ran out of the last green. Fortunately, I had a little bit of lime green left from my Bitterblue shawl (also an Earthfaire kit using TUS yarn, and dyed on the same base yarn – it was meant to be!) so I was able to cast off in lime. I like it!

Peacock Fan shawl knit by Deborah Cooke

What do you think?

The Dragon Scarf

It’s been a while since I’ve had a Fibre Friday post, but today’s the day. I’ve been in a dragon mood lately and here’s the first project to show for it.

Dragon's Tale scarf knit by Deborah Cooke

Dragon’s Tale is a scarf designed by Nim Teasdale. (That is a Ravelry link. I think you’ll be able to see the page, even if you don’t have a free Ravelry account.) I knit mine in Noro Silk Garden, because it was in the stash and it had a good dragon-y colour to it. This is much thicker than the specified yarn, but I still used the same size needles. I wanted a dragon of substance! I used two balls of the Noro Silk Garden and am very pleased with the results.

Dragon's Tale scarf knit by Deborah Cooke

Dragon's Tale scarf knit by Deborah Cooke

I love that tail!

He’s been finished for a while, but we needed a bit of sunshine for a picture.

What do you think?

Knitting Under the Weather

Tomorrow, it will be two weeks since I started with this stupid cold. It’s the one that just won’t quit, and the last couple of days, I’ve felt as if it’s coming back for another visit. Being sick messes up a lot of things – my schedule, my writing, and yes, even my knitting. I thought we’d talk today about knitting under the weather.

When I’m sick, I don’t knit complicated things. Most of the projects I have on my needles ARE complicated, which means that I cast on new projects when I’m sick. I also lose patience with things quickly, so I cast on more projects. I also frog things back that aren’t working. Those tendences were compounded with this cold, because I also sorted stashes and cleaned. My stashes are more organized, some stash has been rehomed to places where it will be better appreciated. I also delved into some new territory because of discoveries of forgotten stash.

I have, for example, been gathering hoard of gemstone beads and charms. I like them. This past week, I sorted and organized that hoard, then finally started to create with these treasures. For example, here are some of the earrings I made:

Bead Earrings made by Deborah Cooke

The dragon ones have glass beads, while the ones with the moon have a lapis lazuli bead and a mother of pearl bead each.

I also began to experiment with using wire to make jewellery, like this necklace of amethyst beads and silver wire:

Amethyst necklace made by Deborah Cooke

Here’s one with Czech glass beads and silver wire:

Bead necklace made by Deborah Cooke

In the great stash sort, I discovered a huge bag of partial balls of sock yarn. These are leftovers from knitting socks, and most of the balls aren’t big enough to make another pair (or even one sock). They’re too good to chuck out, though. I had been working on a hexagon afghan, but the fact is that I don’t like knitting those hexagons very much. I never get around to them. So, I started another project to eliminate sock yarn stash – this will ultimately be an afghan, if I don’t lose patience with it, but is made of mitred squares knit in garter stitch.

Mitred square in sock yarn knit by Deborah Cooke

You eliminate the sewing by picking up stitches and knitting the squares together as you go. I can’t knit a whole blanket that way, so plan to knit blocks of nine squares. I’ll figure out how to join them together later. (Maybe I-cord in a contrasting colour. I like I-cord.) Here’s a block of six squares knitted together – you can see that I’ve picked up the stitches to knit the next one beside the black, blue, and green stripey square.

Mitred squares knit in sock yarn by Deborah Cooke

(Here’s something funny: when I created this post, WordPress indicated that I’d used this title before. I searched for that post called Knitting Under the Weather and read it – it was from four years ago and also about a nasty cold that wouldn’t go away. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also talked then about the effect on my knitting, and was knitting my stripey Noro bag, which was also in garter stitch squares that are knitted together as you go. Consistency is a good thing, right?)Striped garter stich bag in Noro Kureyon Sock knit by Deborah Cooke

What do you craft when you’re sick enough to be under the weather but not sick enough to stay in bed? Or do you clean and sort instead?

Bent Needles

Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I’d had to get a new set of DPN’s because I’d bent my needles. I promised to show you how that had happened. Today’s the day.

I bent my steel knitting needles by knitting with wire. I was knitting this:

Bead Soup necklace knitted by Deborah Cooke

This necklace is a kit from Earthfaire, which includes both the materials and the pattern. It’s called the Moonrise necklace, and I ordered my beads in the Moonrise on Neptune colourway. It comes with silk thread but I thought it would be cool to use silver-plated wire instead. I also changed out the clasp and used a sterling one instead, since I was spending so much time on the project. The result is wonderful and I like it a lot, but it took a long time to knit this. I had to keep putting it aside to let my fingers heal! Knitting with wire isn’t for wimps, especially when you use teeny needles (2.5mm) like I did. I think that the result was worth a few sore fingertips and even the bending of a couple of DPN’s.

I still have the bracelet on those bent needles and will have enough beads left to make matching earrings.

What do you think?

Sewing Again

I used to sew a lot. I made most of my own clothes for years, and usually had good results. There were always a few miscalculations or bad choices, but most things turned out well. I hate shopping for clothes, so sewing them made me much happier.

Then I stopped being a size 8, and the fitting problems began. Armscyes didn’t fit, sleeves were too long, too short, too narrow, the ease was in the wrong place, the darts were in the wrong places, etc. etc. etc. Sewing became discouraging, even though I have a judy. Sometimes I didn’t even know where to begin to fix a pattern and make it right. I love fabric and I love sewing, but you can’t unravel a sewn garment and try again the way you can unwind a knitted one and have another go. I ended up knitting more, but I still bought fabric and patterns.

So, a few weeks ago, I decided it was dumb to have all this sewing stuff and not sew. Either I would begin to sew again, or I’d (shudder) get rid of it all and reclaim the space. (We won’t even talk about the sewing machines. I think there are eight of them, but I might have forgotten one. Or two.)

Naturally, this meant a road trip to a favorite store – yarn and fabric – to buy some fabric. My first project isn’t a success yet, but it’s getting there. It’s a shirtdress in a charcoal and white striped cotton that I love, with contrast in a Liberty of London floral print in purple and black.

BlueBlackThe pattern has been a challenge, to say the least – confusing directions for the front band, a really odd back pleat that made a puff in the middle of the back, plus the back cut in a T shape so that it also puffed under the butt when seamed to the straight front. Now the front band is done (although I still think it’s bulky), the odd monster pleat has been banished and replaced by pintucks, and the back is cut straight – which also got rid of some of the bulk in that monster pleat. I have to sew on the collar – which also looks strangely wide – and have cut sleeves for it, too. BUT progress is made and I do like it better now. It’ll never be the flared dress I anticipated from the pattern drawing – it’ll be straight, but that’s better than puffy.

I also went through some of my stash, and found several things already cut out, including a dress of this cotton print with an embroidered border. I’m excited about sewing this one!

EmbCotton

I also (ahem) bought a new piece of woven rayon in a summery print, and cut out a dress last night. I’m excited about this one, too – the print looks like summer to me:

RayonPrint

There are several people I talk to about sewing. One is Melanie, a local librarian who either knows the answers to everything or where to find them. I complained to her that there wasn’t a site for sewers like Ravelry – of course, she sent me a list of links. Here are a few of them, if you’re looking for some fellow sewers out in the world, or some comments on patterns before you cut.

Pattern Review – I joined this as DCDsews. Interestingly, no one has found issues with the pattern I’m currently wrestling, but I did make a correction to the pattern with for the embroidered cotton that will address an issue peeps have found with that one. (Ha.)

Melanie told me of three more, which I have yet to check out.

Textillia

The Fold Line

Kollabora

I also visited a craft store yesterday, to get supplies for yet another creative venture. Yes, there is polymer clay in the house, in 24 colours… More on that project as it develops.

Do you make anything? Tell me what and how – and what online resources you use.

Swirly Goodness

We’re having Fibre Friday early this week, because I have something else scheduled for you for tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚

Finally! I can’t really believe that this sweater is finished, because it’s been on my needles for so long. I finished it once before but the sleeves were too long and skinny, so I had to frog it back. This also required a mourning period, during which it sat in the knitting basket. Eventually, I picked it up again, reknit the sleeves and now I just love it.

Knit, Swirl sweater knitted by Deborah Cooke

The pattern is Tangerine Rose jacket from Knit, Swirl. I used the stitch counts from this particular jacket, but left out the eyelets and ribbon. I chose this one because my gauge matched the gauge in this pattern, and it looked as if I’d have the right amount of yarn to complete it. I made it, but just barely!

It’s knit in Berroco Jasper in a variegated green (Jasper has been discontinued so this link will show you the yarn but not the colours), with some variegated purple mohair (Mountain Colors Mountain Goat) along the outer edge. The green has purple in it and the purple has green in it, which works for me. Here’s a detail of the cuff on the sweater.

Cuff detail, sweater knit by Deborah Cooke

I also picked up stitches on the ends of the sleeves and knit a reverse stockinette cuff in the contrast yarn to match the hem, because the sleeves looked unfinished to me. When I was seaming it up, I decided to sew the contrast hems into tubes, as if the sweater has a piped edging. I really like how this looks.

The pattern includes a knitted rose corsage. I knit one following the directions and wasn’t sure I liked it. So, I knit a second, following the directions for a rose in another book. Here are the two roses:

Knit roses by Deborah CookeDo you think either looks like a rose? (I don’t.) Which one do you like better?