Thursday, April 24, 2008

Laptop Privacy ...

My DH found this photo and thought I might like it for my screen saver ... ??? What some folks come up with!

I'll have some F/O's to show you in my next post, but thought we could all use a chuckle ... I don't anticipate adding this project to my queue anytime soon :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

One F/O, plus two WIP's

I know, winter's over, but while it's still a little cool, I want to get some of my Fall/Christmas wool knitting on the go, so I'm not too overwhelmed and find myself on Christmas Eve, frantically trying to finish off projects to gift!

This is the Foliage hat from Knitty, knitted in Malabrigo Worsted , in 'Sunset'. I followed the pattern exactly ... no modifications of any sort. I'm NOT modeling it, as I look absolutely ridiculous in beanies of any kind! I did try it on for size and found that the hat is quite roomy, so you might want to go down a needle size to make a slightly smaller hat, if necessary. All in all, it was a fun knit! I used just over 1/2 of one skein, so am thinking I may get a child's hat out of the remainder. This yarn is a dream to work with and the colours are just so vibrant, without being too harsh or offensive. Love it!

On to the Spring knitting! I have started the Lutea Lace-Shoulder Shell { Scroll Down}
from Interweave Knits Summer 2007 and I'm using Sirdar Just Bamboo from my stash. I was given 3 balls for my birthday last year, and I picked up another 4, just in case I might want to make a top, rather than a scarf. I'm really glad I did, because it's perfect for this pattern! I'm not crazy about the rolled edge on the bottom ... I may block it so that only the very edge rolls, and not the first 1 1/2"!!! I don't need any belly peaking out :) I may have enough yarn to lengthen the torso a bit ... I'll have to see how it goes.

I haven't worked with a flat ribbon yarn before, so it has taken a little getting used to, but I'm really liking how it knits up. It's not hard on the hands and knits up beautifully on my Clover Bamboo circulars. The stitches are surprisingly uniform and there's a lovely, subtle sheen to the yarn. It looks quite 'dressy', so this may not end up an 'everyday' kind of top, as I was originally thinking. The pattern calls for a yarn that is 50% cotton and 50% microfibre, in an aran weight {not unlike Rowan All Season's Cotton}, but having had some experience with this type of yarn, I was concerned about the 'stretch' factor, hence the substitution. It's 'bang on' for gauge, and seems to be sufficiently stretchy, while having memory, so I think it's going to work out perfectly. I'll keep you posted!

I had this Lion Brand 'Cotton Ease' in 'Stone', 'Lake', & 'Taupe' shades lying around in my stash since last year and actually had another pattern in mind when Danielle (thank you very much! Check her's out ... so cute!) brought this one to my attention. It's a top-down cardigan, with absolutely no seaming ... bring it on! I detest the whole seaming/finishing process, so this was perfect for me. I've omitted one stripe section and have gone straight into the solid chocolate portion. I didn't want to have to change to another colour at the top of the sleeves. Is this ever a quick pattern! I started it last weekend and would likely be finished it by now, if I hadn't got hooked on the Lutea.

I like the colours of the cotton ease, but found it a little hard on the hands while knitting. It just doesn't seem to 'glide' along the needles. I guess that's pretty typical for cotton.

I love my Denise needle set ... I just slide all my 'on hold' sleeve stitches onto a cable, add buttons on the ends so the stitches don't fall off, and I'm good to go.

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate all the lovely, encouraging comments that you leave.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sunglasses optional

Check out what the mailman brought me yesterday ... 6 skeins of Malabrigo! What delicious colours, sigh! I'm thinking ahead to gifts of perhaps Koolhaus or Tudora or Foliage
I can hardly wait to get started!

What is this, you may ask? This is the easiest, quickest most luxurious scarf I've ever made ... actually, over the past 4 years, I've made at least 20 of these as gifts, all of which have been greeted with squeals of delight. I must confess, I am not a chenille fan, nor even a novelty yarn fan, however, I've made an exception when it comes to this yarn. The colours are so rich and the texture unbearably soft.

Here's how easy it is:

(Note: the original pattern was a freebie from Paton's, but I've modified it somewhat)


2 balls of Paton's Bohemian Yarn (the last, from my stash!)
8 mm needles (check out my fab Lantern Moon needles!)

Cast on 13 stitches. Knit plain garter stitch until you have almost finished the 2 balls, or have reached desired length. Sometimes, I buy 3 balls and create 2 scarves from it, casting on only 11 stitches in that case.

When you have about 2 feet of yarn left, you need to cast off. Slip the first 2 stitches, knitwise, to your right needle, then knit 2, cast off 1 and continue until you have 2 stitches left on your left needle. Cut your yarn and draw it through 3rd to last stitch, leaving the last 2 stitches hanging. Then all you do is tug and loosen the stitches all the way down each side, until you have wonderful loops all the way down. I hold the fabric in the left hand and then at the end of each row, give it a sharp tug to the right and loosen the stitches. Turn it around when you reach the end of the one side, so fabric is always in your left hand and repeat. Weave in ends and that's it!

Note, if you want longer loops, slip 3 stitches, instead of 2 and continue on as previously stated.

I particularly like that this scarf is so warm, yet not bulky around my neck, as the centre section is actually quite narrow. Beware, this scarf will 'grow' in length with use, so don't get sucked into thinking you need a third ball!