Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mabel

Here comes another design that's been years in the making. I had the crazy idea to make a cable scarf as a tube--knit in the round so that there was no bad side. I know, I've seen the cool reversible cable patterns out there, but I wanted to do the cables traditionally, not in rib stitch. Of course, the scarf would have to have a matching hat, as I do have a penchant for the matching sets--I'm such a dork!

I would like for you to meet Mabel. She's a super-long, knitted cable tube featuring a braid cable and an irregular cable with k3/p2's in between. I made mine on 2 circular needles, but dpn work as well.

Essentially, you end up with a double scarf. If you need warmth, try this one out.

Here's a closer view of the cables. This sample is knit with Patons Classic Wool. I love this yarn, and I love blue & brown.

It's a little bulky when you're working it up, but it blocks out nice and compact. I can't wait until it gets cold enough to wear this one!



Cables on both sides--see?

The hat finishes out to 21" circumference, but because of the rib pattern, will fit a variety of head sizes.

Now you know what the
peek was a week or so ago, and I mentioned Andrea--well, she was the tester on this pattern.

Congratulations, Andrea! (She just got married a couple of weekends ago.)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Night & Day

This is a total travel report. No knitting. The knitting will return next time, of course!

This past weekend, Fred & I went to Oceanside, OR, one of our favorite places to go and unwind. We love this little town on a hill on the coast because it's quiet and not a bit "touristy." It feels like a home away from home for us. This is our third trip and we always stay in the same place--Berni's Castle.

Besides a little knitting on the way down, I did none all weekend. All we did was enjoy the view, walk on the beach, listen to music, eat good food, drink good wine, and have wonderful talks. We both needed to get away from work, and it was a great "goodbye to summer" & "hello autumn" weekend. Now we're both back home, refreshed, and ready to work hard until Thanksgiving break.

The night and day shots were taken from our balcony. It's tiny, but it's covered, and gives a great view of the haystacks. I'd never seen these until I moved to the West Coast. They are majestic, to say the least. The big guy in the foreground has a tunnel cut through it that you can only pass through when the tide is out. Then you can get to the other side and see this.



More stacks!


Just wanted to share the magic.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Raibeart


Meet Raibeart (pronounced RRRRay-bear-t...Come on, say it like you're Scottish! Feel the kilt swish around your knees!)

Raibeart is just my little contribution to the world of the Guernsey. I was "taught" by Beth Brown-Reinsel and Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts/Deborah Robson. No, they don't know who the heck I am, but their books lead the way for me to enjoy this lovely sweater genre. If you want to learn Guernsey construction, get thee to their books, Knitting Ganseys & Knitting in the Old Way.

I designed this one for my grandson, Robert Preston (of course, Raibeart is the Gaelic form of Robert). It went through a couple of versions, as do most of my designs. The first try had box stitch for the edging and garter for the definition ridge (it's the one in back). As most of you know, but I had to find out, garter stitch gives a heavier fabric than box stitch, so I switched the two in the placement of the sweater. Then I found that the box stitch did not provide enough "definition" between the monogram band and the combination of stitch patterns on the upper sweater, so I switched that to seed stitch. Alas, I was finally happy.

This one has sizes from 2 to adult small, or chest measurement 22-32". I made both samples with Cascade 220 Superwash. Great stuff! The pattern's ready to buy, and it has 20 pages of charts, code, you name it. Hopefully everything you need--a little Guernsey primer in its own.

Please excuse the terrible pictures, though. Anyone with any tips on photographing red, just speak up. I even tried letting Raibeart hang out with the Canary Bird Vine outside on the patio, as you can see at the top, but it wasn't much better.

Other stuff--boy, I did a bad thing this morning. When I first tried to sign in to blogger, the screen froze, so I pushed Cont-Alt-Del to get out, or so I thought.... I must have pushed the arrow key instead of the delete key, because my screen turned on its ear! Yep, it was sideways. It took me a while, and I even ran a virus scan (I'm clean, by the way :). I finally just tried Cont-Alt-Up Arrow, and bing, it righted itself. Boy, that was a big relief. Ever try to write email sideways? It's funny. You watch the cursor going up the screen instead of across. So just so you know, if that ever happens to you, now you know what to do. You're welcome.

Happy almost end of the week!
See ya tomorrow (if blogger behaves)!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Secret Garden

I own a few good "knitting movies," usually period/literary films with gorgeous hand-knitted things everywhere. This is not the only reason I own The Secret Garden, the Frances Ford Coppola-produced, Agnieszka Holland-directed movie starring the wonderful Kate Maberly. Of course, it is a film adaptation of Frances Hodgsen Burnett's great book--so many good themes. This is the kind of movie to put on when it's cloudy outside and you're curled up on the sofa, happily knitting. The mood this movie evokes is delicious. Beautifully done.

In a couple of different scenes, "Mary" wears this red tam--once with the purple lace scarf seen here, and another with a dark blue one which appears to be edged in lace. I could never get a close enough shot of the scarves to duplicate them, but I got the hat--close, anyway.

I started trying to get this into a written pattern about three years ago. The first attempt was with some of my Blarney Woolen Mills stash. My mom went to Ireland years and years ago and brought me back tons of green and purple wool (still my favorite colors). I wish I still had that yarn. It made a couple of afghans, a baby sweater, a double-knitted cloche hat, and this...

The first scarf had crochet edging, as you can see, and turned out a very warm but very heavy hat & scarf. I don't believe I've ever worn it. I will keep it around forever, though, because I love the yarn.




For the new version, I changed the scarf edging to Sawtooth Lace. It's the closest I've come to a shawl, but, alas, it's just a scarf. The directions allow for making it bigger, though, so if anyone is so inclined....

Here she is...just the first of a new batch of patterns on the Figheadh site. Thanks to Meredith (the tester/editor) it's finally published and ready for purchase. I hope you like it!

This sample is made with Cascade 220 100% wool in a lovely light grey & light pink (another favorite color combo). It is much more wearable.




I'll be back soon to tell you about more of the new patterns. As for the site, please bear with us as we go through some changes. We plan to break the sweaters & personal accessories categories down into smaller categories. The PA is getting impossible to wade through. Hard to find anything quickly in there! We're also trying to get a new gallery page up. I have new tester pictures to show!

See ya soon!

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Little Gift

Here's my recent gift to youngest daughter. Not bright at all, huh? The scarf is a reversible st pattern done with Lion Brand Cashmere Blend. I like it--it was really soft and luscious to work with, but it lost some of its loft when I washed and blocked. I guess this would be a good outcome for a sweater with this yarn. I have a stash of soft pink to do a sweater, so we'll see.

The socks are Lion Brand Magic Stripes in the "hey, look at me" Jelly Bean Stripe. I worked these toe-up after casting on with Judy's Magic, and then I did Flor's Eclectic Heel. It was fun!

Here's a closeup.

I like how it made a little color ridge up the side. I worked these on 2 size 2 circulars, and this was my first 2/2 ribbed leg. I liked that, too!

In my sock techniques file, I have a gazillion different heel methods, and I have yet to find one I am absolutely satisfied with. I like the short row on the other side of the heel flap for these the best of any I've tried. It was easy and no holes!

In other news, last week, I finally hooked up with my local TKGA knitting guild, The Knitting Connection of Puget Sound. Let me tell you, those ladies are charity knitting dynamos! I could not believe the pile of hats, blankets, vests, socks, etc. that they brought in to donate. I'd better get busy or I'll be the shameful newbie for sure! I only took one little premie hat made with leftover sock yarn.

I'm working on another, and this time I'll show you before I give it away. I'll also tell you where I got the pattern.

Okay, back to making samples and editing new designs. Next time I should be showing a newly published pattern or two. Almost there!

I hope you're all enjoying the first whisps of autumn. The rains have come back to us--hallelujah--after a dry summer. I love the rainy season. Yummy, cloudy, wet days. Gimme! I'm getting in the Halloween spirit. Ready for the scary movies!

Let me hear from you!

Slán go fóill

(now, that was some Irish--yep, been delving into the Irish while I try to read my Irish version Harry Potter--fun! Oh, and it means "So long!")

Friday, September 15, 2006

Whoopsa!

Plunk! There went 2 more weeks. Yike! Okay, let's catch up.

All summer, Fred & I have been working 7 days a week. He's essentially got 2 jobs right now and me--you know, knitting, constantly. Well, a couple of weeks ago we took Sunday off. Yep, did just what we wanted all day long. What did I do?

Swatch!

I've been playing with slip-stitch color and having too much fun. That's the Cascade Sierra in the gray and sage. I'm trying to hit on just the right pattern for a big, shawl-collar coat. I haven't found it yet. I like the two shown, just a little too boxy. The fabric comes out nice and thick, though, so I think this will make a cozy sweater. The other swatches are Cascade Pima Melange, which is discontinued, but it's just a worsted weight cotton. It's very splitty, but is good for the mosaics.


I've also been working on Raibeart, my soon-to-be-released Guernsey. Here he is in his bath about to be blo
cked.
I do so love taking pics of the FO's taking baths--why? They look so pretty in our lovely white pedestal sink, and they don't mind. They are not modest.

I'll show the dry version when I'm ready for publishing.







Now that he's done, I am paying close attention to 5 new sock designs (I plan to publish 8 new ones very soon!)

One of them is a Knitty reject. You can see that they have a lot of socks this time (click on the button to the right to view the latest issue--great stuff!). Mine were not as exciting. Just a fairly plain sock with a little interest on the leg--you'll see!

You see the green DMC Senso yarn? The one labeled "crochet?" Well, I'm knitting with it, okay? I was just curious about the stuff. It's readily available at Joann, and I saw another blogger who tried it for socks, so I tried it. The green heathered one (called Dk Olive on the label) is not the least bit stretchy and would be best for just St st. However, I am doing a parquet pattern on the foot top and leg and it's a bit tricky. The medium blue in the middle of the basket is also Senso, but it handles differently--a little more stretch, and it's smoother. This yarn is 70% cotton/30% wool. I'll let you know how it wears. You also see in the basket some of the wonderful regulars--Brown Sheep Wildefoot (the upgraded version), Sockotta, and Regia. Sadly, I am down to just one handpainted sock skein--Mountain Colors Bearfoot, and I am saving it for something special. Oh, if only I could buy some STR, or Sweet Georgia, or Koigu, or CTH, or Lorna's Laces, or...Snap out of it!!! Only using stash yarn. Only using stash yarn. Only using stash yarn. Okay, that's better. Must remember my mantra. Use the stash!

I'd better go and get busy. On today's agenda: take product pics, get an Interweave submission sent, edit Raibeart (and others), try again to call the daughters (wish me luck on that one--we've been playing voice mail tag all week), start writing the next Knitty submission, knit more on socks, etc.

Good luck with your todo list today!

Beannachd ort!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Week of Woodsy


Another Woodsy Baby sample done! Yea! I have spent the past five days updating this pattern. It now has three bootee sizes (granted, the smallest is premie size), three hat sizes, and much better instruction throughout!

Here's the FO in Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted. I enjoyed working with this yarn. It reminds me of another fave--Patons Classic Wool.





See the three little "hiking" bootee sizes tromping across the kitchen counter? The whole thing was such fun to make. You can see the acorn cap blocking on a funnel on a saucer on a glass. Yep, we're high-tech around here. Only the most up-to-date tools.






On that note, have a look, for comparison, to the old model on Emmett.

No baby models around--it's the best I can do!

That's all I've got. I'm off to take a walk in the lovely weather and spend the day editing new patterns.

Happy Friday, and enjoy your weekend!