Ocean Ridges Complete

I finished the border on my Lizard Ridge afghan, knit in Noro Kureyon. I used some Berella Muskoka that was in my stash, in the colourway Amethyst Heather.

I was concerned that the yarn would look too smooth in contrast to the Noro, but am very happy with the result. Here it is!

Lizard Ridge afghan knit by Deborah Cooke in Noro Kureyon

Lizard Ridge afghan knit by Deborah Cooke in Noro Kureyon

This is the edging from the pattern. It’s a nice shell stitch, which fits perfectly with the waves.Lizard Ridge afghan knit by Deborah Cooke in Noro Kureyon

What do you think?

Another Undine

I started this stripey shawl almost a year ago. It’s my own Undine pattern, but with a modification (and a correction). I blogged several times already about this one: Knitting for a Mermaid, More Mermaid Stripes, That Stripey Shawl and Revisiting the Mermaid Shawl. It’s been a bit of a process, and I won’t review all my revelations and corrections again today.

It’s done!

Undine 2 Shawl knit by Deborah CookeIt’s knit of Crazy Zauberball, which is a self-striping sock yarn, and I started with two balls. I alternated two rows from each ball. I thought I did some clever calculations to finish the shawl with two balls, but there was an error in my calculations. I needed 2.7 balls to finish.

Undine 2 shawl knit by Deborah Cooke

I love how the stripes came out, and the ruffled edge. I’m not going to block this one – I don’t usually block shawls knit in garter stitch because I like the springiness of them – so once the ends are sewn in, it’s ready to wear!

My Ravelry project page for this one is right here.

What do you think?

A New Cowl

I’ve been thinking about winter this past week. I’m not sure why, as it hasn’t been that cold, but I’ve been making plans for staying warm. I bought a new hat, for example, and it has ear flaps. I also knit this cape-cowl, out of Kidsilk Haze Trio from the stash:Capelet/Cowl in Kidsilk Haze Trio knit by Deborah CookeYou might remember that I made a sweater of this yarn a while back. This cowl was made from two of the leftover balls of wool. It’s light and warm, nestles over my shoulders and rises in squishy goodness to cuddle under my chin.

The pattern is called Storm on Exmoor and it’s free. (That’s a Rav link.) The designer suggests wearing the capelet as a topper outside a coat on a chilly day, but I wanted a big cowl to wear inside my coat, to keep my throat and chest warm. (This may be a Canadian vs. a UK perspective.) I modified the pattern a bit, working the body in stockinette stitch instead of garter, the hem in garter instead of ribbing, and continued the cowl until I ran out of yarn. I figured stockinette stitch will sit flatter inside my coat than garter stitch would and I wanted the neck as high as possible.

I just love how this came out, and how warm it is. I can knot a scarf over or under the neckline, or just wear it as it is. It’ll be just the thing this winter.

Plus the pattern is really nice, a quick and easy knit with room for variation. I may be making more of these for Christmas presents, in different yarns.

How do you plan to stay warm this winter?

Hebrides Cardigan

This is a cardigan that I finished this week – I love it so much that I wore it before taking a photograph of it! It’s knit in my favourite yarn, Rowan Kidsilk Haze, in one of the KSH Stripe colourways, Twilight. As you can see, this yarn is self-striping, which is another of my fave concepts in yarn.

In addition, I think this is the first time I’ve ever knit a pattern not just in the specified yarn (no substitutions here) but in the colour illustrated. Here it is:

KSH_Hebrides

And here’s the pattern, called Hebrides, which is a free download from the Rowan website. It’s in stockinette stitch with moss stitch borders – the colour in the yarn does all the work of making it beautiful. I used more buttons than the pattern did, but that was just about my only change. I really like abalone buttons, and they look particularly good here. 🙂

This sweater is so wonderful. It’s light and soft, yet very very warm. Perfect!

I’m going to knit another, because I know I’ll wear this one so much. I already have more KSH Stripe in the Cool Colourway. I did knit another cardi in KSH Stripe in the Forest colourway, but I don’t wear it at all. The difference is that it has a sweetheart neckline, which looked great in the pattern photo but doesn’t look right over shirts and blouses. (The model was wearing it without a blouse underneath.) So, before I cast on the Cool cardi, I’m going to frog and reknit the fronts of the Forest one, to give it the same neckline as this one. I’m not really looking forward to that job, but it will be worth it in the end.

What do you think?

Knitting Under the Weather

I’ve had a nasty cold this past week and a half, one that didn’t want to go away. It wasn’t so bad that I could stand to spend days in bed (I have to be at death’s door for that) but was sufficiently bad that I couldn’t write new work. I’ve been doing administrivia – editing, proofreading, updating links etc. etc. – and got pretty much fed up with this particular cold virus.

Even worse, it also been affected my knitting. I couldn’t knit lace, or do any armhole shaping, or knit anything that required much thinking. I didn’t think I’d finish things well in this state – my stripey Noro cardigan is done, with the sleeves reknitted, but grafting those side seams has been beyond my abilities and energy level. I also wasn’t able to recalculate – I had started to seam together my Knit, Swirl cardigan, only to discover that the sleeves are too narrow. I need to re-plan, frog, and reknit the sleeves, but not while this virus was in residence. All my plans to finish everything before casting on something new were trashed by this cold.

Garter stitch has been suiting me pretty well. Knit, knit, knit. Easy, peasy. I didn’t have anything like that on my needles, so needed a plan.

Since my Noro cardigan is done, I have a lot of Noro Kureyon Sock left over in one colourway. (#289) It’s all bits and ends, though, because I needed to match the colour sequence and there were breaks in the yarn. I was going to put this in to my stash for the Sock Hexagon afghan, but it seemed like a lot of one colourway. I had a look in that stash and found even more Noro sock yarn….soooooooo, a plan was born. Altogether, I gathered over 500g of ends of Noro Kureyon Sock and Noro Silk Garden Sock.

A big chunk of it is becoming a stripey tote bag.

This pattern is for a felted bag, made of striped squares assembled in a clever way. Here’s the creator’s blog post about it – it’s in Japanese, but has lots of pictures. What a cute bag! There are some English instructions on Ravelry, right here. Essentially, you cast on an odd number of stitches and knit a square with the same number of ridges – 25 stitches knit to 25 ridges, for example. You make 22 squares and join them as indicated, add an I-cord handle and trim, and felt it. (If you’re on Ravelry, there’s a project by another knitter who used Kauni Effektgarn and the entrelac technique to create two gorgeous bags, right here.) It appealed to me to make a project not just from stash, but from leftovers. There will still be plenty of scraps for the Sock Hexagon afghan.

I started this project with alternating stripes of Noro – 2 rows of A, 2 rows of B, 2 rows of A, etc. – and even managed to mess that up a few times. That tells you all you need to know about my recent mental state. (It might have been the cold, or the cold medication. Either way, I cast on with birch Brittany needles, not really sharp pointy ones.)

So, I sorted out the Noro stash and chose a dark colourway of Silk Garden Sock leftover from my Inky Spider Shawl, to alternate with Kureyon Sock in #180. I have a lot of this, in bits and ends, and think it must have been from my infatuation with Kureyon Sock when the yarn was originally introduced. I knit a lot of socks for myself in it because I loved the colours – it looks like I bought a second ball in this colourway to make the socks match – but it really wasn’t good sock yarn for me. Those socks were like butterflies: beautiful, admired, and short-lived.

I started at the bottom of the bag, because it made most sense for it to be dark, and the central four squares there. I knit each one, then pick up the next one along the side to carry on. Seaming as I go. That works for me. Here it is so far:

The black and turquoise striped square was the first one and the bottom needle is pointing at the middle of the bag. Those are the four squares that will make the base. The dark Silk Garden Sock is gone, so I’ve moved into the #289 left over from my Noro cardi. There’s enough #180 to knit for a while. Things are getting brighter now. I’ll knit five on the top, then five on the bottom, just like the schematic.

What do you think? Does your knitting change with your health and welfare? Do you have “comfort knitting”, too?

Another Wingspan

I just finished another version of that Wingspan shawl. This one is in Noro Silk Garden Sock and used two balls:

norowingspan

I had enough yarn to do ten triangles this time. And I figured out what I’d done wrong the last time – the pattern says to Slip 1, Knit 2 before placing the traveling marker after each work and turn. I only saw the K2, so my W&T’s on the first shawl are two stitches apart. They should be three stitches apart, as they are here. Doing it the other way made each triangle wider, but also made the shawl wider. This version is more like a scarf.

It does have beads at the base of each triangle, one on every fourth row on the second stitch in from the edge.

I like it a lot. What do you think?

Inspired by the Kleks Shawl

Last fall, I came across a wonderful lace yarn in my LYS. It was dyed to change colours once over the length of the yarn. The yarn is Knitwhits Freia Handpaints Freia OmbrĂ© Lace, and the colourway I chose – Grapevine – changes from purple through brown and green to chartreuse. I thought it would look great in a semi-circular shawl – crescents of colour – and was inspired by the Kleks Shawl. This is the Ravelry link for the Kleks.

This is where you can grab the free pattern.

I really like the look of this shawl, with its alternating bands of stockinette stitch and bramble stitch, but wanted a shawl that was a wedge out of a circle with a rounded neck – like the letter C. It’s clear from the projects shown on Ravelry that the Kleks doesn’t have that shape. I also was confused by the increase instructions in the shawl pattern (it’s easy to confuse me about such things) and noticed that many Ravellers had issues with the stitch counts.

So, I made a plan for some variations. This is how my shawl came out:

freia1

The colour is richer than that, but the flash did what it does. The crescent is about 18″ deep, so the full width is roughly 45″. It falls to my elbows and comes together nicely at the front. I love it!

Here’s how I knit this variation. You need a multiple of 4 for the bramble pattern, plus there are 3 stitches on each border. It made sense to me to cast on a multiple of 4 plus 6 stitches, then to always increase stitches in multiples of 4. If I can avoid counting stitches, I will!

(Actually, in order to make the lace pattern come out symmetrically, you need a multiple of 8 stitches plus 4, plus the borders, but I missed that bit. You might want to modify the counts if asymmetry troubles you.)

Here we go!

Collar:
Cast on 86 stitches.
Knit 1 row. Knit 5 more rows, slipping the first stitch on each row. (This gives a neater edge.)

First Stockinette Stitch Band – You’ll add 8 stitch markers in this band.
19 rows in total
Row 1 – Slip 1, K2, K8, M1, place marker, * K9, M1, place marker. Repeat from * six times. K to end. (94 stitches.)
Row 2 – Slip 1, K2, purl to last three stitches, K to end.
Row 3 – Slip 1, knit to end.
Row 4 – as Row 2.

Repeat this four row sequence four times, as follows:
Row 5, 9, 13 and 17 – Slip 1, K2, *K to marker, M1 before marker. Repeat from * seven times. K to end.

After each increase row, your counts will be as follows:
Row 5 (102 stitches)
Row 9 (110 stitches)
Row 13 (118 stitches)
Row 17 (126 stitches)

Remove the stitch markers anytime after Row 17. You’ll need them in different places for the next stockinette stitch band. End after Row 19, with the wrong side facing. (Yes, you knit the pattern stitch on the wrong side.)

First Lace Panel – 15 rows in total. This is one repeat more than the pattern specifies, which is why I have 15 rows instead of 11. Work in trinity stitch (or bramble stitch. Call it whichever) as specified in pattern, keeping three border stitches in garter stitch. There are no increases in this panel.

Second Stockinette Stitch Panel – This time, we’ll put 16 markers in the work.
19 rows in total.
Row 1 – Slip 1, K2, K7, M1, place marker, * Repeat from * fifteen times. K to end. (142 stitches.)
Row 2 – Slip 1, K2, purl to last three stitches, K to end.
Row 3 – Slip 1, knit to end.
Row 4 – as Row 2.

Repeat this four row sequence four times, as follows:
Row 5, 9, 13 and 17 – Slip 1, K2, *K to marker, M1 before marker. Repeat from * fifteen times. K to end.

After each increase row, your counts will be as follows:
Row 5 (158 stitches)
Row 9 (174 stitches)
Row 13 (190 stitches)
Row 17 (206 stitches)

Remove the stitch markers anytime after Row 17. You’ll need them in different places for the next stockinette stitch band. End after Row 19, with the wrong side facing.

Second Lace Band – as first lace band.
15 rows total.

Third Stockinette Band
Following the same increase strategy, add 24 stitches to every increase row. You’ll end with 326 stitches.

Third Lace Band – as first lace band.
15 rows total.

Fourth Stockinette Band
Following the same increase strategy, add 36 stitches per increase row. I forgot to count the stitches after this one.

Fourth Lace Band – as first lace band.
15 rows total.

Border
In an ideal universe, I would have had enough yarn to mirror the 19 rows of stockinette stitch followed by 6 rows of garter stitch at the collar. I was running out of yarn, though, so had to adapt. I worked 3 rows of garter stitch after the last last panel, putting beads on the second row, on every second stitch. I didn’t have enough yarn left to cast off (there’s about a meter of it) so I knit a row with some Kidsilk Haze in BlackCurrant that was in my bits and ends, then cast off with that. For the cast off edge, I used a crochet hook – this is the cast-off from the Fiddlesticks Knitting Peacock Shawl, which I liked on it. *Work 3 stitches together, place bead, chain 5, repeat from * to end, work last chain into last stitch and bind off. (I was short one stitch at the end, but just worked 2 together before the last loop instead of 3.)

freia2

And that’s it! What do you think?

Wingspan

Here’s the knit I started before Christmas.

wingspan

It’s from a free pattern called Wingspan. This is a really neat garter stitch shawlette – although mine came out a bit smaller than anticipated. I was only able to finish 6 wedges with my ball of Paton’s Lace, instead of the 8 that the pattern specifies. Either my gauge was way off, or the ball – which was from the mill ends – wasn’t a full ball.

I used a bit of a ball of a solid colour of Paton’s Lace for the 4 rows on the long edge, and put some beads in it to make it look less stark in contrast. This colourway is called Woodrose, and the ivory on the edge is called Vintage.

I’m quite pleased with it and am going to cast on another.

Pistachio Bacall

I’m not sure how this happened, but I ended up knitting the fuzziest and warmest sweater this summer – during a record heat wave. It’s done now, just as the weather is getting a bit cooler, so maybe there was a greater plan at work.

It still need to be blocked to make that garter-stitch border lie flat, but here it is:

bacall

The pattern is called Bacall – specifically the Long-Sleeved Bacall – from Rowan Magazine 44. Wonder of wonders, I used the specified yarn this time: it’s Kidsilk Aura, which is like KSH but thicker and fuzzier. It’s also discontinued. The colour is Pistachio.

Although I have the magazine, this pattern is now available as a free download from Rowan. Here’s the link to the short-sleeved Bacall, and here’s the long-sleeved version. The long-sleeved one is knit in the Kidsilk Aura, while the short-sleeved one is knit in another smoother yarn, Kid Classic.

I had some issues with the sizing on this pattern. Many of those on Ravelry who have knitted it mention that it is generously-sized – and it looks that way on both of the models in the patterns, too. I’m narrow through the shoulders and really wanted it to fit properly there. In fact, if you multiply out the number of stitches by the gauge, the finished piece will come out larger than the schematic indicates. I made the specified gauge of 4.5 stitches per inch. The back for the medium required 111 stitches, which would give a finished width of 24.5″. The schematic says that the back of the medium size will be 20″. Not with 111 stitches! So, I followed the directions for the small to get the size I wanted. It fits perfectly.

My other modifications include adding three inches to the length. It’s still a bolero jacket but it would have been too short otherwise. I’m glad it’s this long. Also, I knit the neckline edge in one piece – it’s supposed to be knit in two and seamed at the back waist, then again at the back neck. I seamed it at the waist at the left side seam and knit it all the way around.

I’m very pleased with this sweater and the way it fits. The colour is great and I’m sure I’ll wear it a lot – once it’s cooler outside!

What’s been on your needles this summer?

Another New Vest

I’m not really sure how this happened, but I ended up knitting a wool vest for Mr. Math in the hottest July I can ever remember enduring. It was a comparatively quick knit and is done now.

That makes two vests I’ve knit for him this summer. Impetus for this was the zipper breaking in his polar fleece vest last winter. He decided not to buy another one, because he wanted to wear handknits instead. (Yay!) But he didn’t have any vests, which are a winter favourite. So, out came the books and the stash to find out what he liked and why.

This is a free pattern, available on Ravelry, called Conservative (but Pretty) Dad Vest. (That’s a Rav link, but you can create an account there for free.) Mr. Math isn’t a dad, but he liked the vest and I liked that the instructions were in the right gauge for the yarn he chose. The yarn is a Kaffe Fassett sock yarn – Regia 6 ply – which self-stripes. Here’s the finished vest:

bluevest

It fits him perfectly and he likes it, so all is good. It could stand to be blocked, but I’ll do that when the weather cools off.

On to the next project!