Thursday, January 15, 2009

Knat the Knitter

My youngest daughter Natalie was just here for a week visiting from Atlanta. I sent her off Tuesday to fly back home (and boy are her arms tired *cymbal crash*). The only thing that kept it from being an absolute blast was that she was sick (mild strep throat) and her requested trip to Portland was cancelled because of floods over I-5. Actually, I think they reopened the roads the day before we were going to venture down, but who wants to get into that? They were probably still letting semi-trucks through. Honestly, for a few days no delivery trucks were getting south nor east of here. Anyway, we were kinda bummed because we wanted to go to Voodoo Doughnut and Kell's and Powell's Book Store, among other novelties. Maybe next time.

What we did do a lot of was knit (oh, don't act surprised). Truly, that Nat is a natural knitter. She whipped out this Honeycomb Cable Cap in Malabrigo Worsted Merino in record time and then started in on a Mavis Lace Scarf in Patons Classic Wool. Purty, no?

I took her to The Yarn Stash to meet my buds Bonnie and Beth and there she picked out this Claudia Hand Painted Yarn in Jungle for me to knit her some socks. I am doing just stockinette toe-up with short-row heel for speed. I have the first one done--must CO the second!
Gotta go get socking!

(Don't forget to say "hi"!)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Jiffy Pop & Swatches

First, the treat that's as much fun to make as it is Well, this tam always reminds me of Jiffy Pop at this stage. (I could make these all day.)

...and the one I did for Vogue just looked like a brain at this stage...creepy.

Now for the swatches. One of the best things about being in AKD is that you get to do swatches with new yarns for TNNA twice a year. We sign up, we get yarn in the mail, and then we just get to have fun. When I got this Swizzle in Plum Perfection from The Alpaca Yarn Co I first made a hat so I could feel it out. The hank is a generous amount, so I knew it would go far. I decided on this Cabled Lace Lattice pattern. I took a pattern I found in one of my favorite stitch dictionaries, Lesley Stanfield's The New Knitting Stitch Library, used a size 7 needle and expanded on it to make a repeating pattern. I had to put some cables in, but they needed to be delicate and it had to have lace to show off the etherial quality of this 100% alpaca yarn. I wish you could feel it. Maybe in this next pic you can see how satiny and soft it is.

Nope...but I tried!

I also got to try out Be Sweet's Bambino. When I first held the ball in my hands, I wanted to grab my size F crochet hook and get busy, so I picked the Granny Jane medallion from the new Harmony Guides Crochet Stitch Motifs published by Interweave Press. It was fun, if a little challenging. This yarn is a mix of strands of bamboo and a single ply of smooshy lovely organic cotton, which results in a little thick/thin action. Size G would have probably worked better, maybe even H.

While I was working this swatch, I kept wanting to also see how the yarn would look in St st. I wanted to show a smoother fabric with it. Just in case, I left the medallion intact, and working off the other end of the ball, I knit this multidirectional square on size 7 needles (tutored by Hand Knitting: New Directions by Alison Ellen) without ever having to break the yarn. I even managed to work two rounds of single crochet around the edge, and lo and behold, I had just enough to make ends to weave in on both swatches but not a tinch more. Whew.

Here they are joined by the strand (before blocking).

I figured that's the way it was meant to be and finished 'em up. I've still got loads of the Swizzle left even after the hat and the swatch, so I get to have more fun! I'll let you know what happens.