Category Archives: Patterns

Forecast: Grab all your woolens and hunker down!

My sons say they are done with this winter. This morning they had the pleasure of digging my car out of several inches of snow and removing the 2 and a half foot, hard-packed snowdrift created by the very efficient city snow plows at the end of the driveway. One of our neighbors was kind enough to use his snow blower to clear the whole sidewalk on our block. He’ll be getting homemade cookies later today, no doubt about it.

I was supposed to work in the library this morning, but even that was shut down by the snow. So instead, I took some photos of some finished objects.

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My winter wardrobe is not adequate to these sorts of winters. Where we now live, you can’t have too many sweaters, cowls, scarves, hats, mittens, socks. It’s a knitter’s dream. This is the first of several of these wrap cardigans I hope to make for myself.

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This is made from the very popular Color Affection pattern. Most of the ones I’ve seen have been very dramatic with highly contrasting colorways. I wanted to use yarns I’ve picked up in St. Louis when I’ve gone there with Sean, but they blend instead of contrast, so I’ve got more of a really really long garter stitch scarf.

a1The yarn couldn’t be any softer, and I know this scarf will get a lot of use.

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After making one of these for my friend, I knew I wanted one of my own. Katie’s tried to snatch it and is making plans as to when she’ll be wearing it in the near future. I think I’d better make some more!

We’re in for another week or more of temps below freezing. Stay warm, friends!

 

 

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A Coat for Tallis

It’s that time of year again! I am knitting like a woman possessed and can’t show much of anything because I love surprises. My knitting bag is too full of projects to close properly, and there’s a nice little stack of things piling up in the guest room. If I remember to photograph them before they find their new owners (I am horrible about forgetting that), I can share them later.

This little lovely, though, met its owner last week, so I can share my latest contribution to my effort to wrap all babies in wool:

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This is the Latte Baby Coat knit in Cascade Ecological Wool. I love the border, the hood, and especially the buttons.

 

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Is it weird to love the non-knitted part of a knitted project best of all?

The pattern was nicely written and I would knit it again. It was a pleasure to make it for Tallis.

Now, back to Christmas knitting!

 

 

 

Shawl collar vest, aka, the vest of shame

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I was working outside the home in 2011, and even though I was working in a knitting shop and felt like I was knitting like a woman possessed, I had to give unfinished projects to the kids for their hand knit gift that Christmas. Over the next year, I finished 3 out of the four, and one sad project sat and sat and sat. I looked at picking it back up several times, but by that time I’d lost some of the printed pattern with my notes on it, and it was going to be a mind-zombifying project to just figure out where I was. So it sat some more, and the girlie would ask me every so often if I was going to finish her vest.

I still love that pattern, but I suspected that the size I’d chosen almost 2 years ago was not going to fit the girl anymore. The only way to worsen my lame gift was to make it in a size too small, so I frogged it and asked the girl to browse Ravelry with me for vest patterns she liked.

This is what she chose. It’s called Shawl Collar Vest by Jennifer Miller, and is free on Ravelry. It comes in 2 sizes, and is entirely made out of ribbing, so the sizing is pretty forgiving. Even so, my choice of smaller size and smaller needles almost made it too small.  The construction is clever, and the finished object looks like an utter mistake until it’s been put on.

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As of today, I am finally finished with Christmas knitting for 2011. Shameful, isn’t it?  I’d better get a move on with Christmas 2013. (And what on earth did I knit for 2012?)

Test Knit: Taliesin Shawl

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I am pretty sure this shawl is up there in the Top 5 Most Complex Patterns I’ve Ever Knit.

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The pattern is called Taliesin Shawl, and it is designed by Lucy Hague. It was a real privilege to get to test this pattern.

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I ran just short of my brown yarn (Bugga! in Oak Timberworm) with 9 rows left to go, but luckily had some yarn dyed by the same dyer, with the same red that peeks out of the brown. I kind of like the dramatic flair that the red gives.

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I learned several new techniques, including how to get cables to move almost horizontally. Neat trick!

The Bedspread My Children Have Been Instructed To Fight Over When I Am Dead

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I don’t really want my children to fight over this blanket, but I don’t want them to toss it, either! I told one child that it was going to be a family heirloom and asked her if she knew what that meant. She thought it meant they’d be fighting over it. Close enough. Hence the name.

My beloved quilt started disintegrating after the move. It wasn’t even gradual. It was like one day it just gave up and saw no point in continuing down life’s long journey. Poof. (Sean says it was falling apart before we moved and I’m feeling like Fletch trying to fake being a doctor–“but at the end, though, the very end, that was very sudden!”)

I’m all about anticipating and planning for the future, so one morning after I woke up with my feet through separate and significant holes, I thought it might be time to discuss the next option with the husband. I checked out some local stores and some online shops, but cringed at the prices for nice quality quilts. They’re worth every penny, and if my Japanese Magnolia had shed dollars instead of pink banana peel impersonators, I’d have gone straight to the Queen of Quilting (yes, Cathe, that’s you) and asked for a custom order.

I decided the more economical route would be for me to knit a glorious bedspread. I know, it’s completely absurd, as Sean pointed out the second time I needed a substantial yarn reload for this bedspread. It’s going to cost 3 times the price of a stunning hand pieced quilt, and take 10 times as long to work.  The labor is cheap, but my expectations for this blanket are high. I expect my grandchildren’s grandchildren to be squabbling about this one, and if any of you ever see it in a garage sale, you have my permission to give the seller a spanking and a life sentence in the time out chair. Good gravy.

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I chose Kay Gardiner’s Mitered Crosses for Japan pattern, one that she wrote to support and raise funds for the earthquake victims in Japan. It’s a brilliant pattern, and I enjoy the perfectness of each happy square. Garter stitch has won me over from my poor first impressions, and it’s absolutely lovely to have something like this to alternate with more complex knitting.

The genius of this blanket, from my perspective, is that every known color in the universe is going to be in it, so I never (ever!) have to worry about matching pillowcases and sheets. A friend of mine says her best ideas are the ones that secretly allow her to be lazy, and I think I get a win in that category with this line of thinking. I don’t think it’ll even look weird for the pillowcases to clash with each other…they’ll still match with something in this blanket!

When I started last month, I had the cute idea that 30 squares ought to do the trick. I think I had 6 done before we realized 6 x 5 was not going to cover the Queen sized bed, and we actually wanted a blanket big enough to drape over the sides. Right now we’re looking at 8 blocks x 10 blocks. Last time I checked, that was 80 blocks. I’m on Number 27, my 3rd yarn order, and we have a long way to go, folks.

Don’t even ask about how many ends need to be woven in for each block. Denial is my friend.

Oh, and if you have any Noro Kureyon lounging about that needs a new home, let me know. I only need elebenty billion more skeins.