Sunday, May 22, 2016

tulip

I finished this cowl not long after I wrote about it last and had the light to snap a couple pictures just today. The coral color reminds me of some of my favorite tulips I saw in the Keukenhof, so the moniker Tulip has stuck. 


I've mentioned this before, but I really like the yarn. It is buttery soft and squishy with some real weight to it. It also drapes beautifully. I could definitely see this yarn working up into a nice spring/summer garment, or any of the shawls I like to work on so much. The colors are so pretty and have some nice subtle tonal variation. I may have found a favorite gray! The cotton/silk blend was an experiment to see if I liked working with and wearing something I'm less sensitive to than wool. Thumbs up! I don't think it will work for every project since it doesn't hold much 'structure' but I'll be happy to work with it some more. 


The pattern was a fun one with not only stripes of color but also stripes of differing patterns that kept me wanting to knit until each next section. I think my favorite bit is that lace panel in gray, small but mighty. In the end the whole thing is rather like a colorful chimney. I'm looking forward to wearing it some time soon. I think it will look rather nice against navy.


I have to give credit to Dave for picking out the yarn, the colors, and the pattern. We were wandering around a new yarn shop and this was one of the samples. It was worked up in super soft cashmere yarn in similar colors - the gray and green were darker and the coral was more of a pink. At any rate, we both really liked it and Dave helped me pick out the yarn as I wandered around the shop wondering what I wanted to make with other things. "You really like that. So you should make that" Makes so much sense, doesn't it? 

Pattern: Three Color Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli (my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Tonos Pima Silk in Coral Beach, Shell Beach, and Limon
Needles: US Size 4

Monday, May 9, 2016

just a few more rows

My current knitting project is perfect for evenings on the couch watching Midsomer Murders. Dave and I made it through all the seasons a while ago, so we are revisiting the early days! It's been fun. Also great knitting time that makes the inches on this cowl go by. It's unusual in that it's a single circle but verrrrry tall! The pattern is also very simple so even trying to figure out whodunit doesn't prevent me from also being accurate in my work.


This project brought to you by Dave... he picked out the yarn, the pattern, and even got me those lovely rosewood needles. What a guy. One fun observation I've made is that the green and gray pop against each other during the day, but are harder to tell apart in the evening under our lights. Funny, no? Ah the mysteries of color. I had some initial misgivings about that because I've mostly been knitting at night, but after taking it out in the natural light on the patio to work one afternoon I remembered just how bright the green really is! It will be just fine. 


I'm hoping to have this bound off by the end of the week, which would be exciting. I think the cotton will make this quite wearable this summer. Just a few more inches to go!

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!