Thursday, April 28, 2016

verdigris

My latest finish has popped up here a few times in progress since I started it in January. I've been knitting fairly monogamously on this for the last month or so because I really wanted to wear it! As proof, I cast off and only waited a couple of days to weave in all the ends. Unheard of :)


Thankfully I say this about most of my projects, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out (which I take as a sign that I'm doing something right with my choices!). It's not a complicated pattern, but the little daubs of color, the asymmetric design, and the wonderful opportunity to play with colors makes this a high impact piece.


I like to learn new things, so a lot of the appeal for me when I chose this pattern was figuring out how the dashed stripes of color worked. Once I got past the first few sets of stripes and got the hang of it, I admit I got a little bored especially as the rows of garter stitch got longer and longer. But there was a background color change to look forward to, and then before I knew it I was done. There is something to be said about a dependable project you can put down and pick up in the middle of anything, so 'boring' is in no way a value judgement. It's a lovely pattern that I'd recommend to garter stitch enthusiasts that want to branch out.


I switched up the color order a bit and played yarn chicken with the brown in the last set of stripes. Turns out I lost, but I actually like that I ended up using three colors in that set instead of just two. I love the colors individually and together. Green is one of my favorites and I can't decide if I like the light or dark shade the best. I'm leaning towards the darker one. The addition of some leftovers of small quantity that had been hanging around the stash was especially satisfying. All of this yarn, with the exception of the brown, was purchased at Nine Rubies over time. Sadly, they've recently closed their doors so I'll think of this project as a bit of a farewell to them.


I was lazy and didn't block before I wore and I think it's going to be ok without. All of my other garter stitch projects have ended up re-squishing themselves up anyway and it seemed like a shame to wait another day to wrap it around my neck. When thinking up a name I settled on Verdigris because the mixture of colors reminds me of the patina that copper gets as it ages. Google it, you'll see.


Pattern: Moonraker by Melanie Berg (my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in 'Lettuce' and 'Fresco Y Seco', Baah! La Jolla in 'Maldives', & Anzula Squishy in 'Sexy'
Needles: US Size 6, my fancy Addi turbos I bought at Knit, Purl

Thursday, March 17, 2016

green

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Taking stock of my knitting basket last night I noticed a theme.... this post is brought to you by the color green. 


Apparently I've been craving Spring without even realizing it. The el nino weather here in California means the hills are gorgeous and bursting with greens. Since daylight savings time passed, it's been so nice to get out and enjoy the outdoors after work again - on the days it isn't gray and rainy of course. I don't mind the rain so much though - more time to knit! The gray and green play well together regardless, kind of like the short piece of cowl I've got started. This is in the new cotton silk blend I'm trying, and I'm having a lot of fun working with it. So soft!


I'm getting close to the color swap on the background on this one. Alas, it wasn't done in time for today like I'd hoped when I started, but I'll keep at it and see how far I can get by the end of the month. Slow and steady, still enjoying. I think it's going to look fabulous and I can't wait to wear it!

Maybe I should start a green quilt just to stay consistent?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

inch by inch

I'm still making steady progress on this one. I knit a few rows before I go to sleep each night and that seems to keep the inches coming. I've been so happy working with dk and worsted weight yarns lately that this light fingering yarn seems to go so slowly! It will get there. Maybe not by St. Patrick's Day, but sometime this Spring for sure. 


I'm at least happy to see that I still like the color choices I made now that they are all worked up into the same fabric. I'm especially excited to hit the point where I get to change the background color to that lovely deep teal. I'm not looking forward to weaving in all those ends, though! Ah, knit world problems. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

punk rocky mountain

I finished a hat. In two days! This quick project was just what I needed this weekend. It was rainy and gray and the perfect weather to just curl up and knit all day long. I've been making some progress on my Moonraker, but I really wanted something smaller that I could call finished sooner. 


When I bought this yarn on Saturday the hat I envisioned making for myself was a single skein Violet Waffle like Dave's. To be honest, I've been envying it ever since I finished it. But then Dave bought me the slip stitch knitting book that had this awesome hat pattern in it. I just had to try it. A double whammy quick fix!


I paired up my Rocky Mountain High with the basically full skein leftover El Greco I had from changing course on Dave's hat and threw in the Court & Spark as the accent. There was quite a bit of black in the variegated skein, so it didn't end up with as much contrast as I was envisioning. It is still striking though, no?


The color changes and stripes of diamonds are easier to see on the inside. 


I love the texture and the colors and the slouch. I ended up leaving off a few repeats for less slouch than the pattern calls for, and I think I hit the right length for me. I also love that the bright yellow orange perfectly matches the shell of my ski jacket. I have some leftover so I may make some boot cuffs and/or mittens to match. 


Pattern: Spiral hat from The Art of Slip Stitch Knitting (my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Vintage in Rocky Mountain High, Colorado and Tosh DK in Court & Spark and El Greco
Needles: US sizes 4 and 5

Sunday, March 6, 2016

weekend fix

Dave and I wandered our way down to Los Altos this Saturday. I had been meaning to check out Uncommon Thread for a while now, but hadn't made the trip. This weekend was a great opportunity to stay out of the rain and pet some wool. And also buy some. 


In my defense, I picked out that little variegated skein down in the corner there. Dave saw a cowl sample made up in the shop and after we decided making it out of the same cashmere yarn was going to be waaay to pricey he picked out some similar colors in a soft cotton silk blend declaring "you're making one of those." Bless his heart.


While we waited for our thousand yards (or so) to be wound up, we checked out their wide variety of books and patterns. This book came home with us. It has a lot of really neat looking patterns that all use variations of slip stitching to accomplish some amazing color work. 


The yarn above is Misti Alpaca pima silk (no alpaca, despite the name) in coral, limon, and shell. The skein below is Madelinetosh (of course!) Vintage in Rocky Mountain High, Colorado. I was excited to see that they had a healthy stock of Madelinetosh in a variety of weights, Malabrigo, and even some brands that I haven't had the pleasure of working with yet like SweetGeorgia and Dragonfly Fibers. If I ever want to spoil myself, there seemed to be plenty of silk and/or cashmere blends around along with some European brands I haven't ever found in the States. Yipee! 


The skein of Madelinetosh was too pretty to pass up so decided to make myself a hat, which I promptly started when we got home. More on that to come!

Monday, February 8, 2016

alizarin

Meet Alizarin. 


Aren't those colors wonderful? There's orange and fuchsia, purple, and of course the dominant rose. In the main body of this wrap they all mix together and average out to a lovely color, but it's fun to see each individual here in the cable and ruffles. 


Speaking of the wrap, here it is in all it's glory. I finally got around to weaving in ends and blocking. I wet blocked it by soaking it in the sink for about 20 minutes with a squirt of Dawn and then stretched it out on the blocking boards to about 62" x 21" using my wires. I didn't go very aggressive with stretching it, just enough to get the cable to behave and to straighten out the top pseudo point (an artifact of the construction) to a more or less straight line. It took a couple of days to dry, much to the cats' chagrin. They had to survive without access to the office for the duration. How awful I am!


In the end, it seems like that point at the top is returning somewhat as it relaxes to a native state of being. I think it's ok because look at the drape that creates. I haven't quite figured out how I want to wear it yet (I think a shawl pin would come in handy here) but it looks like it will make a great partner for a nice gray shirt and jeans, no? 


I remember the day I bought this yarn at Fengari in Half Moon Bay. I knew I wanted to make a Kir Royale and looked at just about every DK weight skein of yarn in the shop. I decided on this color because it wasn't a typical color for me but looked so pretty sitting on the shelf.

With this, I've finished up all the loose ends (pun intended) on every knitted project I bound off in 2015!

Pattern: Kir Royale by Melanie Berg (my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in Alizarin
Needle: Sizes 4 and 6

Sunday, January 31, 2016

commence operation moonraker

Having finished quite a few projects recently, both quilts and knits, I am treating myself to something new. This one will be a Moonraker, a fun and colorful asymmetrical wrap. I'm using a couple cakes of green that have been hanging around in my stash and taking the chance to use up some leftovers.


The pattern is pretty simple since it's mainly in garter stitch, but there are these neat little bobbles of contrasting color that are certainly anything but typical stitches. I'm a few rows in and I can tell this one will be a fun knit. I think if I keep at it little by little over the next few weeks I might have myself a fantastic St. Patrick's Day accessory.