Sunday, August 24, 2014
First I made the Danshui at Sunrise using Ornaghi Filati Super Sport in almond color. The yarn is sturdy, and woolly, which I liked it fine. A workhorse type of yarn I bought from Elann over a year ago. The best part, it cost about $25 to make this sweater. I really liked how the sweater turned out. Looking at the photos now, it kinda look like a lab coat...
However, after I finished the sweater, even though the size I knitted fitted well, I took a look at the pattern I first wrote, and realized the larger sizes had rather generous back neck. I re-graded the pattern with more moderate neck opening for all sizes. And I decided to re-knit one for sample.
With so much yarn in stash, I had a hard time deciding what to use for the second sweater. I went with Quince and Co. Chickadee in Honey. Initially I had a small lot of this color and made a shawl and a hat with it. Because I really liked the color, I ordered more. When the yarn arrived, my heart sank, the new dye lot was dramatically darker, not as vibrant as the first lot. The yarn sat in the stash lovelessly for 2 years. Every time I looked at it, I thought to myself, Id never make a pattern with it. Well, I decided to to give it a chance this time since I liked the first version of the sweater enough that even if the second one didn't come out nicely color-wise, it would be OK.
Now that it's done. I really do like it. You'd think I should know better, since I teach colors with my classes. And I always stress that colors have no meaning on their own. It's all relative. In the case of sweaters, it's what you paired with, and your skin tone, and hair color, etc. But, I don't always practice what I teach... Its' a good marriage between the yarn and the pattern. I'm glad the yarn finally receives the love it deserves.
Calling the pattern Danshui. It's a place outside of Taipei city, where the river flows into the sea. It's the place people of Taipei go to watch the sunrise and sunset. So the first sweater is named Danshui at Sunrise, and the second one, you guessed it, Danshui at Sunset.
Friday, August 15, 2014
Yarn: Cascade Pure Alpaca, color 3029 Turquoise.
Needles: US #3, and #4
When I first saw the yarn, I totally fell in love with the color and the softness of alpaca. (Sadly the photos are not capturing the depth and the richness of the color.) I started knitting it for another design but I wasn't happy with the combination,.Then the yarn just sat there waiting for the right design.
In June, I took out the yarn, and knew it wanted a somewhat delicate design of cables and lace The alpaca was not exactly high stitch definition yarn to get the relief of the cables. But I didn't care, I wanted the softer effect.
I used top down, round yoke construction for this sweater. It turned out to be sort of a sister to Juno with one basic design difference, the motif started immediately after neck band ribbing, whereas in Juno, each motif sat distinctly separated from each other and from the ribbing.
I used needle #3 for ribbing and #4 for body. The neckband stretched out during block, partly due to the fact that alpaca stretches more easily. If I were to re-knit it, I may use size #2 for ribbing..
Size 39 was what I knitted, and I think I could use one size smaller, not completely sure, but also I like my sweaters a bit on the loose side.
I named it Wandering in the Souk, simply because I often dream of visiting Morocco again, especially Marrekech and the desert, so the design, the name.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
It's up! Fields of Flowers Hat.
Tell you a secret, I wasn't even sure if I wanted to finish the pattern and publish it. Thankfully, Stacey (aka StaceyKnitsIt on Ravelry) volunteered to test knit. That nudged me to be more motivated wtih the pattern. Now I'm glad I did, as I really think it's a fun hat. Sometimes there is just a gap between loving to design/knit something, and to write up a pattern and get it test knitted and tech edited. It took 2 days to design and knit, and it took over a month for the rest of it to happen.
Summer flew by. I'd been so busy doing things that I haven't properly enjoyed my summer. I knitted a lot of swatches that went nowhere. I frogged coupla things, re-knitted coupla things. I did a lot of knitting related stuff, but I felt I haven't really accomplished as much as I'd like. I don't know what happened... I'm not ready to go back to teaching...