My Patterns

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Fine Tuesday ... I Know..Today is Monday.

Last Tuesday I published 2 new patterns "A Fine Tuesday" and "Tuesday Hat. They are now both available, at my Ravelry store.

I didn't have a chance to announce the patterns here because it was the first week of school. I was so exhausted from teaching.
On Monday, I came home, ate, and went straight to bed. Tuesday, I published the pattern before I went to work and after I got home, I went straight to bed again.  By Wednesday, I was better.  I actually had a little energy left to stay up for an hour before I went to bed.

Yes, I was super tired, but it was the good kind of tired.  I was exhausted purely from teaching. The Positive Thoughts shawl worked!  (That was my secret plan, to knit coupla shawls and send the positive energy to myself.)  This year, everything is much brighter. Things took a semi-surprising turn few weeks before school began.  For the first time in a very long time at work, I feel there is hope of getting back to normalcy and just concentrate on what I'm supposed to do - teaching.

This weekend I even cast on for a new project. It's gonna be a pullover.
I'm still very undecided on the yarn choice. I think I'd said this before, I prefer solid color over hand dyed yarn for sweaters.  This time I'm using Tosh Sport in grasshopper. It's a bright, and a beautiful color.  I'm just not sure if I like the uneveness of dye that distracts from the stitch design.

The crazy part is I don't have enough yarn for a whole sweater.  The concept is single, solid color for the simplicity of the sweater.  But now I'm using this yarn, and I'm so cheap that I don't really want to buy more, so I'm thinking adding a different color to the bottom of the sweater.  This could be quite a hilarious turnout, we shall see...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Danshui at Sunsrise and Sunset

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

Wandering in the Souk

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.