b r o o k l y n t w e e d
To say I found myself victim to a serious cable-hunger this Fall would be an understatement. My design work is kinda littered with them - these gloves being no exception. My head has been filled with root-wrapped accessories and knot-riddled sweaters (what's new, really?). When I think about it, I'm still kinda stunned by how amazing cables really are. I mean... who thought this up in the first place anyway? I don't think I'll ever get sick of playing with them.
[Oh, before I start talking shop about these and forget: this pattern can be found in Vogue Knitting Winter 2008/09, which I think hits the stands this week, if it hasn't already. Ravelry link here.]
When I got to thinking about super cabley gloves, visions of some root-like gauntlets came to mind - like some fancy armor cast-off from a lost and forgotten forest fantasy world. Leave it to my adolescent fantasy-novel-reading past. Again - cables just do that to me.
With the fear of cable seduction and going overboard, I opted for something simple on the palm: enter garter stitch, my longtime companion. This wonderful yarn (Rowan Scottish Tweed DK) was kinda begging for something textural on the palmside. A DK woolen-spun two ply - this stuff is light and oh-so-woolly, with a touch of irregularity that makes it so beautiful. I wouldn't at all mind knitting up a whole sweater out of this one. This is me making a mental note.
The motifs on the hands are mirrored - same cables, just raying out in opposing directions. The choice of individual unique cables along each finger (a decision I may have cursed myself for while charting the pattern...) make this one a bit more involved than say, mittens of the same flavor, but I hope it's worth the extra work, cause they are kinda fun in the end.
There's an I-cord cast-on for these which, if you haven't tried it, you're in or a treat! Definitely on my top 10 list of fun knitting tricks.
The pattern is accompanied with a fancy-pants article which always seems so very twilight zone, but is very flattering nonetheless and I'm absoluely grateful for it!
I hope you enjoy these! And I'm also hoping for the wintry, wool-wearing weather to stick around for a good while so the sweater (glove/mitten/hat/fill in your own blank) drawer can keep its regular rotation.
Are you getting sick of me constantly worshiping Winter yet?
I guess I can say there was one benefit (and I can only say this in hindsight) from experiencing (along with so many others) a Christmas Airport Nightmare, thanks to unprecedented storms in the Northwest and concurrent, fun weather here at JFK. That benefit being that I got to bang out a few handknit gifts that weren't in my original plan.
Pattern: 'Montera Hat' by Pam Allen [Ravel it!]
Source: Classic Elite 'Alpaca Stories'
Yarn: Cascade Pastaza in #077 (Just barely one skein, not including swatch)
Needles: US 7/4.5 mm and US 10/6 mm
Started and Finished: 23 December 08
I used up almost all of my leftover yarn from the Girasole - Pastaza is very similar to Montera (the yarn called for by the pattern), and I think it was a good fit. (I also made one in Montera, which you'll see very soon, for comparisons sake). The hat is so sculptural - I love it (surprise surprise, Jared likes knitting lace with big yarn.) And I so love that shade of mustardy yellow; I was glad I had enough to make something else with it, instead of adding to the already-ginormous 'scrap' yarn pyramid.
The pattern is accompanied by a matching triangular shawl and can be found in "Alpaca Stories," one of a few new and wonderful pattern collections put out by CE last fall. They've got a pretty rockin' design team going on over there so look out!
I knit the hat with almost no modifications, other than popping down to a 10 from the suggested 10.5 needle, and reversing the direction of the decreases at the crown (I worked k2tog's when instructed to ssk and ssk's when instructed to k2tog). My reasons for that are completely arbitrary, other than that I liked the look of a more feathered decrease scheme on this particular piece rather than the bolder, relief-like one used in the pattern.
I like this lace repeat because it has yarn overs worked on every row, rather than having a free round of knitting between every patterned round, which makes for a nice open fabric, and a more dynamic look to the size of the yarn overs. But then again, I'm a major lace nerd, so I like these things.
It's back, more or less, to business-as-usual (running around like a chicken with a severed head), and part of me has to admit that I'm glad. I was starting to miss all of my yarn. Even though I may not be using it all... it's nice to know it's right there in the next room. JUST in case.
Chunky Merino Throw
As I said before, it's kinda like the perfect project for people who love swatching, since that's basically what it is. Introducing my Lace Swatch on Steroids.
Pattern: Lacy Chunky Throw by Wenlan ChiaSource: Classic Elite WebLetter #63Materials: Twinkle "Soft Chunky"; 7 skeins in "Mink"Needles: 42" Circulars in size US 17 (Broomsticks!)
Dimensions: appox. 54" x 40"
Started: November 2008Finished: December 2008
I just realized that, with the exception of a few last minute Christmas hats, this beast rounds out my finished work for 2008. And let me take this opportunity to wish you all a happy new year - I think 2009 is going to be a good one.
This was intended to be a quick knit to beef up the winter home lineup, since it's been a cold one this year (which I love!) - and it was relatively quick, although not as quick as I had planned because knitting with broomsticks is a bit hard on the hands after a while. Speaking of broomsticks, the pattern calls for size 19 circulars, which I don't have, so I just used my 17's. I figured I'd knit a bit looser anyway, given the circumstances with this gigantic yarn.
I had one extra skein of yarn than the pattern required (I had 7, the pattern requests 6), so I cast on 80 stitchess rather than the 76 called for. With a few added stitches, an extra skein and slightly smaller needles, my finished blanket came out just slightly bigger than the projected dimensions. Big enough to get under comfortably, but not huge - which is a good thing, cause it's on the heavier side, despite the very open lacework (yarn overs every other stitch, every row).
I really love the color - it's almost silvery in the way it catches light. The yarn is super bulky, short stapled, and has a low-twist which means it fuzzes a lot.... but it's so soft that I just didn't even care. Yarn this thick becomes truly sculptural, which I enjoy profusely, so all in all, I'm very happy with how it turned out.
The pattern is free, so if you happen to have a bunch of this yarn lying around, it could be just the thing. I think blankets and throws rather than garments are better suited to super-bulky yarns personally, but I'm easily suffocated in excessively heavy sweaters.
I hope you're all recovering well from the holiday period. I'm taking a much needed respite in chilly Portland, OR this week and reorganizing my life after a crazy couple of months. Enjoy the new year we've been given and as always, keep knitting!
PS Just cause I know some of you will be wondering - the sweater in the photos isn't handknit. It's just a reeeaally good thrift store find! Huzzah!