Monday, February 20, 2012

Instant Gratifications

I decided to make some quick and easy knits. Since accesorries is what I wear the most rather than sweaters, I figured I'd indulge myself in some instant gratifications.

First, a very simple shawl using yarn I'd dyed and spun. I used St st for the main part, and a very simple border that was [k2tog (or ssk on the mirrored side), yo,]  for one row, and k next row. repeated the 2 rows 'till had only about 50 yards left, then few rows of garter sts.

Then a quick one-day cowl from my own dyed and spun BFL with extremely simple design.

Super Simple Cowl:
CO 148 sts
k 1 rd
p 1 rd
rep last 2 rds 1x.
*k2tog, yo, rep from * to end.
k 8 rds. 
rep last 9 rds 2x.
k 6 rds.
p 1 rd.
k 1 rd.
BO purl-wise.

Then a hat that I'd been wanting to make for a while - Cable Hat by Deborah Newton.
I used 2 balls of Lion Brand Vanna's Choice.  This was a very fun hat.  I think I'll make another one very soon. I'm actually calling it "Linsanity Hat" since I made the cable band while watching Knick's game. I too am getting caught up in this Linsianity. 

I'm have a lot of fun making these quick projects and this trend may just continue for a while.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

And On This Cloudy Day

The beginning of the semester is always so very exhausting.  The first 4-5 weeks requires so much work. Every night I'd come home around 9 pm feeling completely drained.  With the few hours before bedtime all I could do was veg out in front of TV until I couldn't stay up any longer. Although I had one pattern that is waiting to be edited but I simply couldn't do it. And I also hoped to write a pattern for the Midsomer Sunshine, but I'd realized while it was easy to knit one for myself, writing a top-down one piece raglan style that continues to incorporate new and different cables for multiple sizes is more than a huge task.  I tried one day, and I just could not find a way to write it clearly of the sequence of cables to add in with the increased stitchses. I don't have the mental stamina to do patterns now.  On my days off, I'd rather do my own things than wringing my head through such a rigid manner as writing a pattern. So those tasks would have to be put on hold, for now.

I decided to treat myself to a simple shawl. I looked through the my favorites section on Ravelry and decided on Cloud Illusion by Boo Knits. I picked it for its beauty, little yardage, and, very importantly, many knitters commented on the lace section was easy to memorize..  I needed something that required very little mental effort, something I could relax with after dinner and before bedtime while watching TV to unwind the day. The pattern turned out to be exactly that.

The lace was so very simple with the easy to read chart.  It even had beads! I love beads! The best part - beading was only on the border section over 12 rows, so I simply saved that part for a day I didn't have to work. The picot bind off took 3 hours, though not the most enjoyable part for me,  it was totally worth it.

When I picked up the shawl after it dried from blocking, I had a big grin on my face.  What a beauty!  I am in love with the shawl. This is the kind of design I aspire to make - so very easy, yet with stunning result.  It only took about 415 yards of the fingering weight yarn (Angel's Delight from Wool2Dye4) that I mordant with alum and dyed with logwood grey.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hello Sunshine

Yarn: Kona Superwash Merino Worsted, 
dyed with rabbit rubberbrush, mordant with iron.
Needles: US #7

I dyed the yarn with Rabbit Rubberbrush (added a tiny bit of iron as mordant to give it slight hint of green) over a year ago - fall 2010.  The color came out so gorgeously, so I waited for a solid idea to form before I cast on.
All along I knew I wanted to make a cable jacket with this yarn, but I just never realized a vision of fit and style. Finally I decided to just swatch and give it go. I dug it out from the bin and made some swatches of cables. I made up the cable stitches based on some cables in reference books and tweaked it so I'd get the size and shapes I wanted.  They were so basic and familiar cables that for sure they'd already been done before many times over.  I wavered back and forth about placements of different cables and finally settled on the larger cables closer to the center.

It was knitted one-piece, top-down in round with raglan style sleeves. Knowing I wanted big collars that could be folded over as turtleneck when buttoned, I began at the collar with 2x2 ribbing for 6", then began the body.  Not much glitches and it came out pretty much as I'd envisioned it, maybe a bit fitter than I originally thought.  But I do like the final fit a lot.

Something about hugging cables around the hips was never a very attractive look on me, and I wanted it to be a bit sporty, so I made the body length about 14" from underarm. It sits above the widest part of hips. Sleeves are 18" long.

I watched 5 seasons of Midsomer Murders while knitting this so I think I'm calling this one "Midsomer Sunshine."