I am so fortunate and excited to have another design in Twist Collective! The Alodia Hooded Scarf is included in their Fall 2015 release. The inspiration for this piece originally came from the sad fact that I look really dorky in hats. With a hooded scarf I can be cozy and mysterious at the same time. A haunter of the deep forest swooping through the mist. A woodland creature bundled in wooliness with a nice warm head! Ok, probably only grocery shopping, but with an air of mystery for sure. I also wanted to see if my phone-side doodles could be translated into a knitting chart. The result is the centre panel of the scarf. A twisting organic vine that springs from love of my Jasmine, Orchids and Hoyas.
Hopefully making for an engaging knitting project.
The construction is simple with only seaming on the hood and a few corners. Edging gives the piece a nice finish and body. I've broken up the edging so that there would always be a manageable number of stitches. The mitred corners are simple and tidy. I am currently wishing away the warm....actually, really really hot weather so that I can bundle myself in my woolies again!
I enjoy the way different yarns show different dynamics of the textures. The yarn used in the off white was Plymouth Yarn Galway Worsted . Galway is 100% wool, sturdy and soft. It has that shetland wool feel and is certainly very warm. The colorway gave the cable work an ethereal look, soft and misty. I loved having it draped across my lap while knitting this piece up. Very nurturing woolly warmth.
The prototype for this piece was knit in Malabrigo Rios. Rios is superwash merino. Also sturdy and soft and a delight to work with. I am fond of superwash! The most noticeable difference is how dynamic the cables become working with a kettle dyed yarn.
It's really interesting to see how working with different yarns can totally change the overall feel of a garment. It can really bring out the inner artist and let a knitter really bring their own personality to a design.
Is there anything can that can strike fear into a knitter like a sighting of the infamous....wool moth. I am actually one of those weird people who catches spiders and bugs and sets them outside. I think of their wee little families and can't bear to squash them. Then came the moths, I have shmooshed a number of them and I'm sure that some sort of karmic retribution will follow. This however, is war. They arrived here, I suspect, with the ratty Persian carpet my husband proudly dragged home from the flea market. Perfect for his basement bat cave. He has been banned from bringing unknown fiber goods into the house EVER again.
The first one I spied fluttered out of one of my felted baskets. On closer inspection I saw that the little rotter and his minions had actually chewed a hole in the bottom! Horrors of horrors! All my good yarns and projects have always been kept in bags for this very reason. See, I wasn't being paranoid!
So now, as a chemical free responsible love, peace and granola type I needed to find a repellent of some sort. Google provided me with a list of things that moths dislike. So I chose, cedar (of course), patchouli and lemon grass. I made a spray with 1/2 cup alcohol, 1 1/2 cups distilled water, 15 drops cedar, 15 drops patchouli and 10 drops lemon grass. Let is sit for 24 hours and I had my wonderful smelling moth repellent!
I've sprayed it everywhere! Now, my disclaimer would be that I don't have any really nice fabrics around.....actually my house is furnished by Ikea and interesting antiques that we find. So I have no problem spraying the curtains, carpets, sofas, closets. Everything. So a week into it and I've not spotted anymore wee fluttery creatures. I'm a little disappointed with my cats. They just watched them fly by and honestly, they weren't all that hard to catch!
Today as I was weaving in ends I realized that my trimming jar was unprotected. For reasons I don't even understand, I have a mason jar that I put all the yarn ends in. It started as a project to put out for the birds to make their nests with. Now it's a sort of archaeological testament of my knitting projects....I like it. So anyhow, I dropped cedar oil, patchouli and lemon grass in with the yarn ends. Now I have a very odd looking potpourri! One only a knitter could appreciate....maybe not....but I like it! Of course, it is also moth free!
This is why I love winter!! I get to keep warm. I'm sitting at my computer with woolly socks, a scarf and fingerless gloves. Being able to wrap yourself in your creations is such a joy. The last couple of weeks have brought designs of necessity. My swarthy sea Captain hubby needed a new hat. No problem! I decided to introduce him to the wonderful world of luxury fiber. Merino is always lovely, but you have to step out, even just once....into the world of silk and cashmere. So I used Madelinetosh Pashmina. It's a most delightful yarn made from 75% Merino, 15% Silk and 10% Cashmere. So soft! The yarn also has the most subtle sheen that combined with the hand dyed color make textured knits extraordinary. I'm thinking that my sailor has been converted.....in fact, now he has two hats the same. This very hat is the pattern that I have released today! It's the "Seaforth Reversible Cap" Yes, you read that right...it's fully reversible. So you get two different textures on one hat. Also it has the added advantage of looking great no matter which way you haul it out of your pocket and pop it on your head :D The pattern is available in my Ravelry Store:
The "Seaforth Reversible Cap" (modeled here by an authentic Sea Captain!!)
Here's the inside and the outside..or the outside and the inside.
I am so delighted to have my design “Anaphora” included in Twist Collective Winter 2014. The “Anaphora” Infinity Scarf is one of my favorites. It’s like a fairy tale to me; it has a story….albeit brief …but still a story. It’s a briar rose bush growing over an arbor gate and I can totally visualize what the actual scene would look like. That peaceful mood carried me all the way through the project. I love a good story, especially if it turns out to be pretty to wear!
I had fun with the construction of “Anaphora”. The centre panel is worked flat and grafted at the ends. Then the sides are picked up and knit “in the round”. Somehow those details made the project fly by and seem less complicated. Combine that with my “I’m in a rose garden” vibe, and it was a very satisfying project.
Infinity scarves are probably the most versatile weather accessory that I’ve come to know and love. They have inspired a total loyalty and I even wear them around the house to fend off the chill. Now that I’m older I seem to make my own seasons, exclusive to me and regardless of the current environmental conditions. Actually, it seems to be only two seasons; I’m way too hot and I’m way too cold. I suppose that has a lot to do with why I love Infinity Scarves. They slip on and off with one hand and no fuss. They do not dangle in your cooking, or ignite when you reach in the oven. Also, I love that they are not always migrating off to one side. Having symmetry issues, everything must balance! (I straighten crooked pictures wherever I go) Wearing regular scarves is very time consuming when so much effort is spent adjusting and re-adjusting so that the scarf hangs evenly. An Infinity Scarf just settles on your shoulders and behaves or doubles up and behaves even better!
As a project, Infinity Scarves are very agreeable, the gauge is not written in stone. The pattern does not demand an uncompromising set of measurements. This is a huge advantage if you want to get creative with your yarn. Here's a picture of the exact same pattern worked in a DK instead of Fingering! The finished measurements are quite different and it is important to swatch and figure the yardage you'll need. I use this handy yarn calculator from The Knitting Fiend.
I hope that the gods of fashion decide that Infinity Scarves are a classic must have accessory because I plan on wrapping one around my neck as often as I can!
I will again confess that I am not a lover of sun, sand and summer. I wilt noticeably and spend a lot of time hiding indoors. Fall, winter and spring are my seasons. Not just because I knit either. It’s just something about me. Those first few colored leaves send me into a giddy joy that lasts straight through until June. Fall is my new year! I feel inspired to start new things, make my resolutions and get moving again.
This fall has been particularly busy. I’ve been fortunate to have been working with Three Irish Girls Yarn. It’s my first experience with their yarn and boy, do I love it! The stitch definition and drape of their “Kells” merino is amazing. It even smells pretty! My design “Arya Sweater” went live with their “Eunice’s’ Choice Club” for October. My bootsock design “Walkin’ in the Free World” was their “Sock Club” choice for September. I’ll be releasing both these patterns in my Ravelry Store in December.
I’ve also started work on a wrap…I’m not really a shawl person. I like having the long, wide wrap that you can wind around your head and shoulders. Here’s a sneak peek!
It’s turning into a bit of a career because I have to keep putting it aside to work on something with a deadline looming. I really love it though, I think it’s so pretty…or will be if I ever finish it!
My dilemma is a sweater that I shall call “Indecision”. I bounce back and forth between loving it and feeling it’s not quite right. Maybe it’s the colors….I wanted a subtle change but perhaps I should have gone bold! It’s certainly not the yarn; I worked it in “Dream in Color” Classy. Super soft and delicious yarn, so I want to do it justice. The pattern is written, the photos are taken and I still can’t decide. More deliberation is required and some honest critique! This is really the first time this has happened to me, so I’ll try to glean some wisdom from it.
Other than knitting, I’m finding a challenge in my last offspring in High School. With 15 years between children…really, it happens… the whole school thing is kind of dragging out. So, as a homework support person, I find myself learning Math 10 again. Third time round you think it would be getting easier! I love math, it’s kind of like magic! I honestly find thinking hard for a few hours makes me more tired than exercise, too bad it doesn’t burn the same calories. I pray that there’s still hope my brain will rally and it just hasn’t gotten too old.
Well, I have to admit that summer is not my favorite season. Especially this year! It was so, so hot! That's a really tricky time to be a knitter. I swear that I washed my hands more than a surgeon! It was knit, sweat, wash, knit, sweat, wash....I still persevered and met my deadlines! Thank goodness for deadlines or I'd probably never finish anything.
Actually, this was a hugely productive summer...considering that we barely left the house. My husband discovered the joys of preserves! He made jam (raspberry, strawberry and cherry), pickles and salsa. I learned to make lip balm, herb infused oil and homemade refried beans.
It's so empowering to be able to make things! When the zombie apocalypse comes we got it covered. I started with making bread 20 years ago and it has snowballed. Now we make our own cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, bug spray, deodorant, lip balm :D, bread, buns, bagels....all kinds of stuff. We are a chemical free household and it feels great. Mostly I like the fact that I am not so dependent on making it to the store. Another big plus, is I know what is in everything. That means a lot to me!
The downside is that I will be spending the coming weeks cleaning. I need to scrape the summers worth of DIY carnage that has enveloped my house. It was worth it though. My next project is to learn to make soap! I'm hoping I can find a class that runs in my spare time between 2 and 3 in the morning :P
Bring on the FALL!!!
The "Rumplestiltskin Wrap" in Enchanted Knits 2014 was originally done with twisted stitches. Not just through the back loop, but crossed without using a cable needle. I find it so much quicker when you're just crossing two...or even three. Here's a quick video on how I do twisted stitches!
'm sooo excited that two of my favorite patterns....the ones that I probably had the most fun designing and knitting are live this week!
The first one is in Enchanted Knits 2014 by Interweave. "The Rumplestiltskin Wrap". I wanted to create something that almost looked like hammered metal. Sort of what I'd envisioned spun gold would look like. It was originally designed for Rapunzel, shuffling around in a drafty tower. The hood was a must because I figured that she spent a lot of time with her head out the window! It's knit in a DK yarn with twisted stitches, so it really didn't take that long to knit up. I was especially pleased with the border. I'd never used wrapped stitches before, so it was really interesting to do and I found the finished border really appealing. The yarn I used was Sweet Fiber's Merino Twist DK...totally delightful! It'll be cozy too!
The next pattern that came out was "The Tugboater Pullover". It's my first mens' pattern and was inspired (of course) by my Tugboat Captain hubby. I felt that the Maritime industries are pretty well represented in knitting; There's the Fisherman's Knit, The Gansy, The Merchant Marine's sweater. I felt that a lack of Towboat sweaters was a huge oversight. So this one is a little gansy, a little henley and a little cowichan with the bold motif. I don't know if you can start an official sweater for something...but in my rather cluttered mind, this will be the official Tugboat sweater!