Dragon Scale Fingerless Mitts

Although I have many (many!) projects on the go, sometimes I like to take a break and make something quick. This week, I was tempted by this Dragon Scale Fingerless Mitts pattern. You can find it on Ravelry as a free download, right here.

It’s a crochet pattern, which is unusual for me, but I’ve been intrigued by the Crocodile Stitch for a long time. That’s the bit that looks like scales. I really like Crocodile Stitch done in a yarn with long colour changes – check out this backpack in Kauni Effektgarn.

I bought Red Heart Unforgettable in the colourway Rainforest, because I thought the colour gradations would be long enough. The first glove didn’t come out quite as I expected – longer colour changes would have been better. This stitch eats yarn.

Here’s the first one:
Dragon Scale Fingerless Mitt knit in Red Heart Unforgettable Rainforest by Deborah Cooke
You can see that the colour was changing within the row, so the effect is less striped. The mitt is a bit smaller than I’d expected and it extends further over the fingers.

Here’s the other side:

The pattern suggests 8 chain stitches for the thumb opening but that seemed small. I did 12, then added another cluster of DCs. That improved the fit of the mitt – it would have been too snug for me otherwise. This first mitt took 31g of yarn. There are knots in the ball (grrr) which interrupt the colour progression. I’ll try to match the second one but we’ll see.

Because there are scales on the inside of the palm, this isn’t a mitt to wear when actually doing anything. I also think it would be cool if the scales went up the back of the mitt further. I’m going to think about it while making the match to this one. I bought a second ball of this yarn in another colourway and will try an experiment with that.

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?

This Week’s Knitting

It’s time for a Fibre Friday post. We haven’t had one for a while, so I’ll show you what I’ve been up to.

Handspun marl
First and foremost, I recieved a gift while at Romancing the Capital! C.J. very kindly gave me three cakes of her handspun merino. The plies are slightly different colours, so all three cakes have a marled effect. I can’t quite decide what to knit with this beautiful yarn, but am having fun considering the possibilities.

I’ve finished one project this week. It was a plain knit, but done in a self-striping yarn, which always jazzes things up a bit.

bag in Patons SWS knitted by Deborah Cooke
This is a round-based market bag knit out of Patons SWS. This yarn is discontinued. It’s a soy and wool blend that felts really well. I also used some Patons SWS in solid green as an accent. There isn’t a pattern for this bag – I started at the center of the bottom and increased every second row until it looked big enough. Then I knit up the sides, around and around, until it looked deep enough. I knit a handle from one side that looked wide enough, then decided the length by making the colours symmetrical. That looked long enough. 🙂 I knit I-cord around the edges of the handle and the top of the bag, and also at the outer edge of the base. I had tried some fair isle bands just above the base but they came out a bit less clear than I’d hoped.

Then I put it in a pillow case and washed it with a load of towels.

Now it looks like this:
Felted bag in Patons SWS knit by Deborah Cooke
The I-cord is easier to see, although it didn’t felt as well as the body of the bag in some places (especially along the edge of the handles). I might fuss with it, but I might not. I’ll have to line it, but I like how it looks already. It’s soft and thick, and if I put a drawstring top on it, I’ll use it a lot.

More Finished Knits!

Another Fibre Friday this week, because things were finished. (Yay!)

A while ago, I showed you my Gates of Moria mitts. Now they have thumbs!

Gates of Moria mittens knit by Deborah CookeI like how the text is harder to read in some lights – just like the gates in the book.

And I also finished the Stripey Noro scarf mentioned in that same blog post. Mr. Math has grabbed his one. I just love it, so I might grab it back once in a while.

Stripey Noro Scarf knitted by Deborah Cooke

Also, I’ve added a Knitting board to my Pinterest – come check out the eye candy!

Knitting Update

I don’t usually show you knitting projects until they’re done, which means that we don’t have a Fibre Friday post every week. This week I wondered why – many projects are just as interesting when they’re in progress as when they’re completed. So, we’re starting the new year with a new philosophy on Fibre Friday – you’ll get a peek at what’s on my needles that has my attention of the moment.

This week, I’ve been working on a little lace shawl in a yarn that’s dyed to change hue gradually. The pattern is Snow Angel by BooKnits – that’s a Ravelry link – and the yarn is KnitWhits Freia Handpaints Ombré Lace in the Autumn Rose colourway. (You might remember that I knit another shawl in this yarn, in their Grapevine colourway.)

This is my shawl from the cast-on edge with the working edge at the top. In the pattern pictures, the finished shawls are inverted – the plain stockinette part goes at the top of the crescent shawl, then the lace drips down from it to fabulous points. I’ve just finished the laddery bits, so there will be another bigger diamond and then the points. There are beads in this one – you can see little glimmers of mine. They’re green with copper linings.Snow Angel Shawl in progress, knit by Deborah CookeThe shawl is all bunched up on the needles right now, but I think it’s going to be really pretty when it’s blocked. I’m motivated right now to get it finished, even though the rows are getting very long – here’s hoping I don’t run out of yarn!

I also completed a quick project this week. It’s a hat in Noro Silk Garden and Noro Silk Garden Solo (that’s the kind that doesn’t stripe but still has the same fibre content.) The pattern is free from Jared Flood, called Turn-a-Square. (Yup, that’s a Ravelry link.) I’m kind of amazed at how big this came out – even though Mr. Math really likes it. I used a 4 mm needle instead of the recommended 4.5mm, and knit the depth as specified, but he still has to turn up the rim. Maybe I’ll felt it a bit for him. I like the colours a lot – it’s funny but the black and first green stripes almost disappeared when I was knitting it, but now that it’s done, they’re quite evident.Turn a Square hat knit by Deborah CookeThe Silk Garden is the same colourway that I’m using for the garter stripe scarf that’s still on my needles. I thought he needed a hat to match.

Here’s what it looks like from the top. I learned how to make a jogless seam with this pattern – that means that the stripes match up, even though it’s knit in the round. Without this nifty trick taught in the pattern, the stripes would be more like a spiral at one of the corners.  Turn a Square hat knit by Deborah Cooke

What have you been knitting this week?

The Back of Roan Finished

So, it’s been a while since I put this fair isle project aside, but I dug it out last week (after finishing my KSH Stripe cardigan) and have now finished the back. Here it is:

Roan, knit by Deborah Cooke in Kauni EffektgarnIt’s curling a bit because it hasn’t been blocked yet, but is really a big rectangle, decreased in to a point at the top in the middle. It’s supposed to be oversized and is big – the back is 26″ wide. I took this picture outside, and the colours appear a bit more zingy than they are in real life.

The pattern is called Roan from Rowan Magazine #56. (I posted about this project when I began it, right here.) The cardigan is like a kimono and is supposed to be knit in thicker yarn. I had this Kauni Effektgarn in my stash so recalculated and cast on in this instead. This is two colourways of the Kauni, and the yarn changes colour graduallly as you knit. (The original design uses a number of colours, and the knitter changes yarns as knitting.) Because the yarn is thinner, I had to do more repeats of the band with the diamonds to get the sweater to the right length – I decided to make it a bit shorter than the pattern, to ensure I wasn’t overwhelmed by the sweater.

The two fronts together are the same shape as the back, just split down the middle. Because I want the colours to change the same way on the front and the back, I’m going to knit the fronts as one piece, then cut them apart. This is called steeking. I’ve never done a steek before, and the prospect of cutting my knitting does freak me out a bit. I have a lot of knitting to do before it’s time for that, though.

Off to cast on the fronts!

What do you think?

Another KSH Cardigan

Although it isn’t Fiber Friday, we’re going to talk knitting today. I finished this sweater last week, but had too much news to share it with you on Friday. We’ll do it today!

Hebrides cardigan in KSH Stripe Frost knit by Deborah CookeThis is the Hebrides cardigan pattern (a free download from the Rowan yarns website) knit in Kidsilk Haze Stripe. This is the Cool colourway. (The pink isn’t quite as bright IRL as it appears in the photograph above, btw. ) When you look at the pattern on the Rowan site, you can see from the styling that the ease is calculated for you to wear the sweater right against the skin. Because I knew I’d wear this as a cardigan over top of blouses or t-shirts, I knit one size larger and left out the waist shaping. I knit one of these before in the Twilight colourway and knew immediately that I’d wear it all the time. (I do.) It was clear that I needed another one. For my size, it took about 2.5 balls of KSH Stripe.

I also found some perfect buttons in my stash – these were harvested from a Ralph Lauren skirt I made years ago. The skirt wore out (it was loved to death) but I liked the buttons so much that I kept them. Now they’ve finally found a new home. They’re exactly the right tones of blue – they’re a bit stripey, but that didn’t show up as well as I’d hoped.

Hebrides cardigan in KSH Stripe Frost knit by Deborah CookeI’m going to cast on yet another of these cardigans, this time in a solid burgundy colour.

What do you think?

Revisiting The Mermaid Shawl

We haven’t had a Fibre Friday in a while, because there’s been so much other news to talk about. Also, the Mermaid Shawl had me puzzled. Last week, I figured out what was going on.

Even though I’m using my own pattern, Undine, I didn’t follow the directions. In Undine, the ruffle is created with short rows at the outer edge of the shawl, and this ruffle remains the same width across the shawl. Any changes to the total width of the shawl are made in the body of it, right before the ruffle. This means that the rows in the body of the shawl are perpendicular to the lead edge, like this:Undine Shawl by Deborah CookeDetail of Undine Shawl by Deborah Cooke

When I began to knit the Mermaid Shawl, though, I didn’t read my own directions! I made my increases at the lead edge. This eliminated that ruffle band, but also skewed the knit rows. Because of the location of the increase stitch, they fall at an angle to the lead edge, like this:Detail of Mermaid Shawl by Deborah Cooke

This is pretty interesting. I had no idea this would happen. I would have expected my mistake to make little difference. I was wrong about that!

If I had just continued, following the rest of the directions for Undine, the stripes would have been at an angle for the entire shawl. But, I had decided to make an inverted V in the back, again with short rows, to emulate the shawl in the Jane Eyre movie. The finished V looks like this:Mermaid Shawl by Deborah Cooke

My revised plan had been for the inverted V to be the middle of the shawl, BUT the knitting still doesn’t line up. In fact, it’s only this new part that is perpendicular to the lead edge, and that means that the picture above is actually the midpoint of the shawl.

I need to knit another inverted V of short rows before decreasing to the end of the shawl to make the shape come out right. The finished shawl will have three triangles. This means that I’ll run out of yarn – I’m half done, but have only 30% of my yarn left. I’m going to have to buy a third ball to finish. I do like it, though, and it will bug me if I don’t finish it so that the rows are straight.

What do you think?

More Mermaid Stripes

I thought I’d show you my progress on my striped shawl today. I really like what the self-striping yarn is doing:

Garter Stitch Shawl knitted by Deborah Cooke from her own pattern, Undine












You can also see how the hem is beginning to flutter. If I held that top edge (the one on the right) straight, it would ripple even more.

I’ll start to decrease the width of the shawl once I’ve used half of the yarn. The easiest way to determine that point is to weigh the balls of yarn. (I use the kitchen scale.) They were each 100g when I started. Now they’re both around 75g. When they get to 52 g or so, I’ll start to decrease. I want to make sure the shawl is symmetrical, so might do something different at the midpoint. We’ll see when I get there.

In the meantime, what do you think?

Knitting for a Mermaid

Because I’m having an administrivia week, I needed something to knit in garter stitch. I decided to use one of my own patterns, but make it stripey. The colours in this yarn are shades of blue and green, so that makes it fit for a mermaid. 🙂

The pattern is for a shawl with a ruffled edge and is called Undine. That’s the Ravelry link to the pattern (which is free download) but I also blogged about my first one here. That one was knit in a self-striping yarn – Noro Kureyon Sock – and I mirrored the striping pattern. I’ll add the picture here so you don’t have to click through:
Undine Shawl by Deborah CookeAnd here’s a detail shot of the ruffle at the centre point. Undine Shawl by Deborah CookeFor this new one, I wanted stripes. I had two balls of Crazy Zauberball sock yarn, which is a self-striping yarn, in the colourway 2136. Originally, I planned to knit knee socks with this yarn, but I wasn’t happy with the way they were coming out. Plus, I’m more likely to wear a green shawl than green knee socks.

I found a mistake in my own shawl pattern in the set up! Yikes! So, I’ll have to fix the PDF, but here’s a detail shot of the set up tip of the shawl. Although I’m using two balls of yarn for this project, I did this part with only one.

Detail of Undine Shawl by Deborah CookeI joined the second ball after this, and began alternating between the balls, working two rows from each. Here’s a progress shot:
Undine Shawl by Deborah CookeWith the change in colours, you can see the godets more clearly in this version. At this point, I’ve worked seven godets, which make the hem of the shawl ripple when worn.

I’m having fun with this one. It’s not quite a mindless knit, which will keep me interested, as will the self-striping yarn. I also like how the striping is periodically disappearing when the colours from the two balls are similar. This could be avoided by using a solid yarn as one colour or a completely contrasting colourway, but I like when things slide in and out of focus. My Rav project page is here, if you want more detail.

What do you think?