Wednesday, January 21, 2009

loveliest neckwear models in the world

(From left to right, ravelry deets: superstar cowl; wink scarf; humperdinck neckwarmer; stormy wisp; latte neckwarmer)

I definitely had a theme for new year's gifts this year and was willing to sacrifice all practicality to that theme. And so even poor Emily, who probably usually has a pretty warm neck, got a neckwarmer out of me. (But even Tanzania has a rainy season, right?)

Let's keep this (relatively) short, shall we? All yarn is from the Plucky Knitter. (Inspiring colors, delightfully soft, what's not to love about the Plucky yarns?)

Two Bainbridge scarves, one with the remix mods of FlintKnits:

The pink is Single Ply Merino in True Love; the orange is Merino Seacell in Pumpkin Latte. The pink is knit in a broken rib, which I thought really suited the single ply yarn. It took me much longer to find a stitch pattern that I liked with the merino seacell and I finally ended up using a bramble stitch. In the round, working the back side of the bramble stitch is actually easier than working the front. Here's how it works:
Round 1: knit
Round 2: repeat p3tog, (k1, p1, k1) all into one stitch
Round 3: knit
Round 4: repeat (k1, p1, k1) all into one stitch, p3tog

I fell in love with Through the Loops! mods to the Wisp pattern and was so happy to try them out with Fingering MCN in Storm the CastleAnd then two patterns that I improvised:

A red cowl out of Fingering Merino Superwash in Va Va Voom, featuring a star stitch and a modified version of the cherry blossoms from the hanami shawl. And a purple neckwarmer in Bulky Cashmere in Humperdinck with vintage buttons, loosely inspired by the Fidget pattern.

I'd love if we had occasion to take pictures similar to the top one more often, but I'll take what I can get. Many thanks to the Churchmans for hosting our crowd (and judging our fierce Iron Chef battle)!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Christmas Socks and a new Project

It was so much fun to meet my fellow knitters over New Years at our house!

Here at last are the four pairs of socks I knit for my family for Christmas. I finished John's second sock last weekend and he is wearing them enthusiastically!

First I knit David's socks from some of the yarn I received for Christmas last year. The narrow self striping yarn did interesting things at the short rows at the heels and toes.

Next I knit Abigail's from handdyed sock yarn I bought in Baltimore when I went to Stitches East. The yarn was called FrogParty.

Next I knit Emily's, also from hand dyed yarn I bought at Stitches East, but a more complicated pattern now that I have the hang of socks.

It turned out not to be very stretchy around the legs, though (actually not stretchy at all) but they fit OK.

And Finally, John's - plain navy blue wool from my stash, with just a little bit of a pattern. He says they are very warm.

So now I've started on the scarf from the luxury skein of merino/alpaca/silk yarn I bought at Stitches East. I've joined Ravelry and posted my project there. (mmchurchman)

I love what the yarn is doing on my second try with a shorter row (pattern from Ravelry!) I've also discovered a community of lunchtime knitters at DOT where I work and I joined them for a while today.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Staying warm on the southside.

We'll have to have a holiday edition soon, but in the meantime I wanted to share a quick and totally satisfying knit with you lovely people.

I fell totally in love with this pattern, sweetly named "Holding Hands and Feeding Ducks," but I didn't have the bulky yarn that could hold up to it.

And then, when I was in Texas, I spied this pepperminty Manos at my mom's new yarn store and couldn't walk away without it. Post NYE, I found myself in Chicago cozied up in front of a television, and this cowl was born!

I cast on 40 stitches, and ended up with a perfectly fitting cowl for Chicago. With a few strategically placed buttons, this kept my face warm from the biting winds that = winter in that fair land. (Of course, my actual neck was covered by a stormy wisp--but two knitted objects for one neck is acceptable in the windy city, or so I believe.)

If I made this for someone else, I think I would go with bigger buttons and maybe try a button band. These little buttons like to slip out of the not-actually-button-holes.

I hope I will be back there and able to wear this happy cowl again soon!