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Knitting

Knitting

Introducing Clairity

I love puns… and I also love the members of my local knitting community. Recently, one of us survived a life changing accident. She is moving through it with grace, strength and humour; all proceeds from will go to help modify her reality to accommodate her new needs. This pattern has been inspired by Clair – she prefers rectangles and small stitch patterns. Work with bulky for a lush stole, in fingering for a scarf, or in anything in between.  The pattern is available now on Ravelry for $6.00USD, link is here Clairity  (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/clairity).

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This shawl is a parallelogram, with increases and decreases that shift the direction of the knitted work to the bias. In order to keep the edges as elastic as the knitted fabric, each row has a YO that is dropped on the subsequent row.

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• Bulky: Diamond Luxury “Baby Alpaca Sport” 100% baby alpaca; 100m/109yd per 100g/3.5oz skein; color: 1971; 4 skeins
• 9.0mm/US #13 needles in style of your choice

Sarah from Sea Turtle Fiber Arts came up with a special colourway for the fingering version…

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• Fingering: Sea Turtle Fiber Arts “Star Fish Sock” 84% superwash merino; 390m/430yd per 115g/4.1oz skein; color: Cosmos; 1 skein
• 3.75mm/US #5 needles in style of your choice

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Fingering Gauge: 23 st / 31 r = 10cm / 4” in stockinette stitch, flat
Bulky Gauge: 11 st / 14 r = 10cm / 4” in stockinette stitch, flat

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It’s a good scarf with a single skein of fingering; I’m very fond of the stole as an oversized scarf too.  It will work well in any weight of yarn, and written and charted instructions are given to customize the size.  The total purchase price of this pattern will go to Clair’s crowdfunding; it’s available now on Ravelry for $6.00USD, link is here Clairity  (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/clairity).

And if you would care to read more about Clair or donate directly to her crowdfunding, the link is Help Clair’s Army make her home Accessible .

Introducing the Lady Jayne Hat!

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I’m a nerd – this is not news. And my latest nerd-inspired knit is here – the Lady Jayne Hat. Jayne is a mercenary who works in space; he has a unique hat that he wears because his mom made it for him. I found the Sweet Georgia Party of Five yarn kit, and I just had to make a hat for myself.  It’s available on Ravelry now for $6.00.  buy now

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The beading and lace might be a bit much for even the toughest man; but I love it. The instructions are written and charted, and there are instructions to include or omit beads and how to use a group of graduated colours.

It’s in two sizes; Small[Large], with a brim circumference of 42[48.5]cm / 16.5[19]”.  The brim to crown measurement is 24cm/9.5”.

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It works well in any fingering weight – while beads in a toque might seem counter intuitive, they don’t add any chill and the lace pattern isn’t open enough to let much coldness in. That said, I tend to use it as a fashion accesssory, not as a winter survival hat. :)

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It’s available now on Ravelry for $6.00USD. buy now

Introducing Suki’s Shawl

This is Suki.  Best Knitter’s Cat EVER.  Suki’s shawl is dedicated to him; the pattern is available here: Suki’s Shawl Link for $6.00USD.

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Last year, I let go of him. He was a good cat, who spent many hours purring companionably next to me. The last thirteen years and the initial version of this shawl were worked under his close supervision, and every time I wear this I think of him. I loved him as well as I could, as long as I could.

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This pattern is for two sizes of shawl – one smaller, and one that’s almost generous enough to use as a blanket; both are a size progression of a single motif, from largest to smallest. You may work additional repeats of SECTION II, II, or IV, OR Chart B, C, or D. If you choose to work additional motifs, you will need to work extra repeats across subsequent rows, and be aware that you will need additional yarn. As well, if you wish to move from smaller to larger motifs, you will need to make sure that you have an appropriate number of stitches for the repeats to work.

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Small[Large]: Upper wingspan 150cm/60”[210cm/84”]; center depth 75cm/30”[105cm/42”]

Small: Malabrigo “Rios” 100% superwash Merino wool; 192m/210yd per 100g/3.53oz skein; colour: 027 Bobby Blue; 3 skeins.

Large: Verdant Gryphon “Mondegreen” 60% Blue-Faced Leicester wool, 20% silk, 20% baby camel; 183m/200yd per 113g/3.99oz skein; colour: Nude; 6 skeins

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Available here: Suki’s Shawl Link for $6.00USD

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Introducing the Dapple Shawl!

 

 

This is Dapple, a small shawl worked in fingering weight.  It softens the colors of highly variegated yarns, just as dappled sunlight softens the brightness of a garden. An interesting but not overly complex knit, it’s compelling to watch the colors combine and recombine in the doubled yarn-overs.  Available here: Dapple Shawl for $6.00USD.

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Dapple contains simple stitches and a rhythmic design but still presents a challenge. The double yarn-overs mean that a marker for the spine can’t be effectively used, so you will need to be able to read your own knitting. The instructions are fully written and charted, and there are notes on how to increase the size of your shawl if desired. To make your knit easier, stitch counts are provided for every row, and the double yarn-overs of the central spine are bolded in the written instructions. The cast-on is interrupted by two twists so that the upper edge will mimic the double yarn overs of the spine.

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The upper wingspan is 130cm/51” and the central length is 43cm/17”.

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Available here: Dapple Shawl for $6.00USD.

Introducing the Adriatico Cowl!

Alana Marchetto’s cowl was inspired by the waves of the Adriatic.  It’s available here: Adriatico Cowl for $6.00USD.

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The Adriatic Sea can be as varied as the countries that border it. Sometimes it’s warm and calm; sometimes it’s cold with white capped waves. This cowl was inspired by the changeable Adriatic, and it is beautiful whether you use a monochromatic yarn, a semisolid, or a dizzying variegated hand-dye. Wear it long over a light dress for a late night in the summer… or double it up to keep you warm while sipping espresso in the piazza in winter.

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The single ply yarn gives drape to the soft waves in the simple but effective stitch pattern.  The two samples are knit in Tosh Merino Light and Malabrigo Mechita.

 

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The pattern is written, and gauge for this pattern can be easily adjusted (but you may require additional yarn). Any elastic cast-on will work, but the long-tail cast on best coordinates with the bind-off. The depth is easily adjustable.

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Cowl measures 22cm/9” high and 173cm/68” around.  It’s available here: Adriatico Cowl for $6.00USD.

Aloha <3

Oh, how I love Maui.  The energy there, the sun, the water, the whales and sea turtles… Also the complete lack of snow.

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(This is in a lava field near a beach – all the white rocks are coral.)

We recently spent a week and a half in Maui.  It was even better than I thought it might be – turns out that travelling with a five and seven year old is infinitely easier than travelling with a five month old and a two year old.  The lack of diapers and regular nap time and the addition of some basic self-preservation and reasoning skills really makes a difference!

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I don’t know how many times during the holiday someone asked where we were from.  “Canada?  There are sure a lot of Canadians here!”  Yes, we have winter.  Winter like winter really means it.

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People from San Diego and San Francisco do indeed have winter, I’m sure.  I’m also pretty sure that it’s an unpleasant cold, not a murderous cold.  You know, the kind of cold that will kill you if you go out without “appropriate clothing*”.  I really hope that I didn’t offend either of the lovely Californian women I was chatting with; I did manage not to burst into hysterical laughter and that will have to make up for whatever look was on my face as they were assuring me that it really does get cold at home.

I didn’t get as much knitting done on holiday as I have in the past – partially because the kids no longer need naptime, and partially because I mis-planned my holiday knitting.  I’ve been working on a large worsted shawl and I want to finish it, so I brought that along to be my primary knitting project.  I was hoping that I’d get it done, because it’s sort of mindless knitting.  It’s a large project, but I figured that would be okay.

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(There was the odd nap, I admit…)

It turns out that I could deal with the large project in my lap, but I had a hard time with the yarn.  You see, it’s a wool/silk/camel blend, and I’m using an undyed version.  Turns out when the undyed yarn gets even a little damp, it smells like a dirty, wet camel**.

Wet camel stench is an effective de-motivator, who knew?  I’m not concerned in the long run; I’ve wet-blocked this yarn when its dyed, and never noticed the camel stink, so I may need to wash the shawl a couple times but I’m sure it’ll all turn out well in the end.  I’m not done the shawl, but I think it’s safe to assume that my couch is not prone to rogue waves so I’ll keep plugging along at it.

…and I’ll end with another gratuitous holiday photo.

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*Parka, snow pants, hat, mittens, scarf; plus possibly long underwear and two or three pairs of socks.

**I’ve never smelled a wet camel but I have smelled dry camels and that was enough that I can infer that they would smell BAD when wet.

I Think I Found A Tube…

So I think this might work better – I took another run at YouTube.

Blocking Mrs Whatsit

Or maybe not.  I am only amused by the “Royal Banana” music so long.  I promise the next blog post will be about something different!

 

 

 

And Now For An Educational Experiment…

I like blocking things.  I need to be in the right frame of mind, of course, and not rushed at all, but it’s very pleasing to see the transformation.

On a whim, I used an app for making stop motion animation movies to record Mrs Whatsit’s blocking process, and with luck, it will work for you to watch…

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It’s only a couple minutes long, and there’s a surprise whiskered guest star, too.  Drop me a note if you can’t download it; I tried to set up a youtube account but I am apparently meant to remain tubeless.

(Re-)Introducing Mrs Whatsit

Yes, at long last, Mrs Whatsit is back!  As usual, the pattern is available through my Ravelry store for $6.00USD:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mrs-whatsit-2

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What’s that?  You don’t remember Mrs Whatsit?  Well, it was originally published in January of 2011, by Sanguine Gryphon.  The rights reverted to me some time ago, but I wanted to rework the charts and re-knit it and, well, life intervened.*  I ended up not doing the re-knit – my amazing test knitter did the knitting, and as always, her work** increases the quality of my patterns.

The instructions are fully written and charted out, and you can cross reference between the two.  I’ve also included construction and blocking schematics.

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I chose a new yarn weight for this re-release; I decided on the delicious Mondegreen by Verdant Gryphon.  It’s currently on a hiatus so they can carry a couple other bases***, but I happily stocked up some time ago.  You can use any worsted weight, although it really will shine (hyuck) with a blend featuring some silk.

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Yes, I look smug about that terrible pun; forgive me.

Mrs Whatsit is a character in a book from my childhood.  She is an angel disguised as a tramp: “It seemed small for Meg’s idea of a tramp… it was completely bundled up in clothes. Several scarves of assorted colors were tied about the head, and… A shocking pink stole was knotted about a rough overcoat, and black rubber boots covered the feet.”  She transforms to show “…a pair of wings…made of rainbows, of light upon water, of poetry.”  A Wrinkle In Time, Madeleine L’Engle. 

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I think here, you can see the idea of wings spreading.  The construction is unusual – you begin at the nape and knit out, much like a neck-down shawl.  When the shoulder depth is reached, the center portion is bound off, and each ‘wing’ is worked outward separately.  Due to the nature of the increases & decreases, the only place markers are used in this pattern are to note the BO’s of the Center Panel. 

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The piece looks quite large here, but because of the lines of yarnovers, it happily wraps around your neck to act as a scarf as well as a stole.

I hope you’re as glad to see Mrs Whatsit back as I am – again, the pattern is available in my Ravelry store for $6.00USD.
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mrs-whatsit-2

*This also explains the pause since my last pattern publication.
**All mistakes are all mine, as always.
***Yes.  I’ve been working at this for a while.  Trust me, if you can find Mondegreen you will be so happy…  Think it looks familiar?  It’s the same yarn that I used for His Golden Lair… http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/his-golden-lair

The Things That I Already Know…

Every so often I get a chance to relearn things that I already know.  I’m not talking about the lessons that haven’t quite stuck yet – something that I have yet to learn is to wait a moment when I open the oven door.  There is always a poof of steam and it always fogs up my glasses.  Although I’ve been wearing glasses since I was five, and cooking with varying rates of success since I was ten or so, I have yet to not fog up my glasses when I go to check on something in the oven.

No, I’m talking about things that I really do know.  In this case, it’s the fact that it’s a good idea to switch to a smaller size needle to do the ribbing at the hem of a sweater.  I’ve learned this through reading (Elizabeth Zimmerman, you darling), and the hard way as well.  “Why does that flip up like that and look floppy?… Maybe I’ll pick out the bind off and re knit the hem…  Hey look that worked… Huh…”

I’ve had that one figured out for a long time, like, a decade plus.  And given the amount I knit, I kind of feel like it’s the equivalent of knowing that a letter “t” needs to be crossed.  It just does.

So imagine how agog I was when I looked at the sweater I’m working on* and realized that I’d charged through 2″ of ribbing at the hem and NEVER EVEN THOUGHT about changing needles.  I did mull garter vs. seed stitch vs. ribbing; but changing needle size?  It literally NEVER CROSSED MY MIND.  I don’t think the capslock button is accurately reflecting how agog I am that.  I NEVER EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT IT.

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I’m proud to say that at least I DID actually look at what I was doing once I realized it, and evaluated it, instead of just telling myself that no, it will be perfectly fine just like it is, then casting off, then hating it.

Instead, I looked at it, yanked the needles out, yanked the ribbing out, found a smaller needle, picked up all the stitches, and resumed my K1, P1 rib.  Although I’m filled with resentment about it**, I am almost done (again).  Hopefully for reals this time; words don’t do this garment justice.  It really needs pictures.

*Sweater is perhaps a generous term.  It started off as an Enchanted Mesa, by Stephen West, but it’s taken some left turns and now is more like a tunic.  I hope.  The yarn is a 50/50 cotton wool that I overdyed a long time ago.  Deliciously soft.

**My own darn fault.  It never even crossed my mind!