Saturday, November 24, 2012

Norby Inspired Mitts

These fingerless mitts are based on the lovely Norby pattern by Gudrun Johnston and will compliment the hat I knit from that pattern.  

Pattern:  Adapted from Norby, by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn:  Rowan Scottish Tweed 4 ply, colorway 22
Needles: #2 (2.75mm) circs and dpns
 Comments:  This yarn is vintage, discontinued Rowan yarn--
 And here's the hat with the mitts:
I cast on 55 stitches for the wrist pattern and decreased to 48 before the hand.  I debated whether to add the thumbs--I had plenty of yarn--but decided to leave them off this time.  It's a fingering weight yarn, so that makes both items light enough for fall and spring wear or for winter wear in climates that are less severe than Minnesota's.  Love both pattern and yarn!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Texture and Tassels

Pattern:  Norby, by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn:  Rowan Scottish Tweed 4 ply, colorway 22
Needles: #3 (3.25mm) circs and dpns
Comments:  It's a simple, well written pattern but for some reason I was sick of knitting it by the time I reached the crown.  Maybe it was just me.  I like the tassels because they add more movement to the wavy texture of the hat.

The pattern called for size 4 needles, but I went down a size, as I didn't want the hat to be too slouchy and I figured the garter stitch would give ample stretch to the band.

As for the yarn, I think it's now discontinued.  It's still a wonderful yarn, as most Rowan yarns are.  It has a rustic, tweedy look which was difficult to photograph.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cobalt Cables

Yarn:  New England Highland, cobalt blue
Pattern:  The Able Cable Hat, by Kari Steinetz, a free pattern on Ravelry.
Needles:  #7 circs and dpns
Comments:  The pattern calls for #8 needles, and I started with that but thought I would like a closer stitch so I switched to #7s.  Check the errata on the Ravelry page before starting this pattern.

Yarn:  New England Highland, cobalt blue
Pattern:  Mock Cable Wristers, by Ann Farnham.  From the book, 60 Quick Knits.
Needles:  #5 dpns

Comments:  The pattern calls for #6 needles, but I used #5s. The wrist part is really loose, but I'm guessing that was the intention of the pattern.

And here they are together.  The yarn is a rather sturdy, woolly sort.  I always think a yarn like this wears for years without getting ratty and loaded with pills.  Oh, and I love the cobalt color.  One can never have too much blue, I always say.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Vine Lace Socks

Pattern:  Vine Lace Socks from the book, Socks Socks Socks.
Yarn:  Fortissima Cotton Socka
Needles:  Sizes 1 and 2 dpns
Comments:  This is one of the prettiest patterns for lace socks!  Although it is a very easy lace pattern with only four rows to repeat, one has to be on guard not to go on autopilot (do not ask me how I know this).
Do you think my discerning sister would like these?  Or should I keep them for myself?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Reckless Socks

Yarn:  Regia Mini Ringel
Pattern:  My own, using the Band Heel instructions on 60 stitches.
Needles:  #1 (2.25mm) dpns
Comments:  These were made to wear with the cuff up or down.  Even though they are a gift.  Because I like them that way.  I think they are more versatile.  And, again, because I like them that way.
Notice the heel.  It's the Band Heel.  You'll find the instructions on this page, and you will need to be able to open a spreadsheet.  No gussets on these socks!  Once you've made the heel (it's easy, and you can even choose how many stitches you want on your needles) you pick up stitches and knit down the foot.

Granted, not everyone wants to wear their socks inside out.  But with these, you can do just that.  Just in case you feel reckless.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Two Hats and a Cowl

Yarn:  Plymouth Worsted Merino and Rowan Kidsilk Haze
Pattern:  Super Cupcake
Needles:  #7 & 8
Comments:   If I made this again, I would either omit the Kidsilk Haze on the crown of the hat and the center stitches of the cowl or use a color that is more of a contrast to the Merino.  I found the pattern to be one that invited me to knit mindlessly.  However, in my mindlessness I made errors that were annoyingly difficult to correct so I did a bit of ripping out and doing over.
Yarn: Brown Sheep Burly Spun
Needles:  #13 straights.
Comments:  Having made this hat before (my big fat hat), I can say that I love knitting and wearing it.  It knits up in a hurry and is one of the softest, most comfy hats you can wear on a blustery Minnesota winter's day.  I added the tassel for a touch of whimsy.  It's knit on straight needles and seamed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Just in Time for Summer!

Pattern:  Lucia by Jamie Thomas
Yarn:  Rowan Savannah 94% cotton, 6% silk
Needles:  #8 (5mm) 32" circulars
Comments:  I loved the pattern and the yarn.  Because the cotton is wrapped in silk thread, the fabric has a slightly nubby appearance and the silk may have made the cotton more pleasant to knit than a regular cotton.
The finished garment has a soft drape, due to the "darts" and the nature of the yarn.
 I deviated from the pattern in several ways.
 1.  I omitted the "darts" on the sides and in the front, as I thought it would be too much fabric for me.  I'm happy that I did.
2.  I added 7 smaller buttons, rather than 5 larger ones as in the pattern.
 3.  Instead of four rows of garter stitch at the hem I did 8 rows, which seemed to anchor the fabric more than the 4 rows on the sleeves, and kept it from curling.

It's a short cardigan (sort of like a bed jacket) and has a pretty flare at the back.  It is really, really comfy.  I intend to wear it three ways: buttoned, unbuttoned, and with the bottom button closed leaving the top flaps open, as in the photo directly above.

Also semi-done is a small flower pin to dress it up a bit.  Look in later to see if I get around to that.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dutch Lunch

 Sometimes we like breakfast for lunch.
And a little fruit.
It's a Dutch Pancake!

Dutch Pancake
2 T. butter
3 eggs
3/4 c. milk
3/4 c. flour
1 T. butter
1 cup blueberries
1 banana (preferably green)
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Place 2 Tablespoons butter in 10-inch round dish & set in oven until the butter bubbles.  (do not let it brown)  Whip eggs for 2 minutes.  Gradually pour in milk and slowly add flour.  Blend 30 seconds.  Pour batter into dish with bubbling butter.  Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, or until puffy and browned.  While pancake is baking, saute fruit in 1 T. butter, sprinkle with sugar and spices.  Serve pancake topped with fruit.

You can use 2 medium apples, cored and sliced, in place of the blueberries and bananas.  Or try other fruits, too.  The bananas in this were a little too ripe for sauteing, so I highly recommend green bananas.

Get everyone to the table quickly, as the pancake is at its best right out of the oven.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Slogging Along...

 I'm working on a sweater that looks on the surface to be rather simple.  Start at the bottom, work up to the shoulders, then down the back.  It's a fascinating pattern, encouraging all sorts of creative ideas.

It's a beautiful yarn, appearing to have more depth and color after knitting than in the rather dull-looking skein.
 But oh, am I having trouble with the neck.
I have ripped it out several times in an effort to make the join smoother.  Maybe it's the cotton tape yarn.  Maybe it's the Addi needles.  Maybe it's me!  Maybe I just need to keep on slogging and not worry about getting it perfectly joined.  Perfection begone!  Let's get on with this.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

But Wait--There's More!

Remember the little red cap and mittens to match from my last post?
I could not resist the urge to embellish these; they were so plain. And so red.
Normally I like classic, clean lines in clothing.  With this, I broke my unspoken bias against too many doodads on knitted garments.  What can this possibly mean?  

The "flowers" were made with a simple crochet chain (pretty much the limit of my abilities there), twenty stitches for each petal, using a 3.75mm hook.  The buttons are gray metal LaMode buttons from Jo-Ann fabrics.  I do like the capricious attitude it gives a seriously red hat!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mittens to Match

Pattern:  Classic Mittens from Free Vintage Knitting on Ravelry.
Yarn:  Cascade Yarns Cloud, 70% Merino, 30% baby alpaca.
Needles:  #4 dpns.
 Comments:  The stitch pattern on the cuffs is from the brim of the hat pattern in my previous post.
Since it is not a very stretchy stitch, I had to go down a size for the cuff of the mittens, this made it necessary to lengthen things a bit, which I do in most mitten patterns anyway.  The red is very difficult to photograph, and it is really a deeper red than shows on the screen.  They have not been blocked yet, so that might make the stitching look a bit more even.  They're just in time for a cold snap here in Minnesota!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Little Red Cap

Pattern:  Eco Cloud Mock Cable Watch Cap
Yarn:  Cascade Cloud (70% merino, 30% baby alpaca)
Needles:  #8 (5 mm) 16" circs and dpns.
Comments:  The stitch doesn't seem to be a mock cable, but I guess it does have that sort of look to it.  The pattern is fun, quick to knit, and the yarn is really soft and light.  My three deviations to the pattern were to use a size 8 instead of 9 needle (I liked the look of a tighter stitch), and to skip the cable cast on because I kept splitting the yarn so I just did a long-tail cast on.  Then the pattern said to knit the hat to 8" but I stopped at 7-1/2" because I didn't want slouch.  I may make some mittens to match.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Mira's Cowl, Grace Kelly Style.

Pattern:  Mira's Cowl (Grace Kelly style)
Yarn:  Online Cosmo (70% Merino, 5% cashmere, 25% Poly) sock yarn
Needles:  #7 (4.5mm)

This cowl seemed to be doomed to a wonky end. No, it wasn't the pattern. The pattern is lovely; a Fibonacci sequence of ribbing that is very attractive.  It wasn't the yarn.  The yarn, a nice blend of Merino and cashmere, is yummy and soft. I fear it was the knitter.

After I bound off, I noticed a couple of errors.  So I did my best to fix those with duplicate stitches.  That didn't look so great, but it was better than glaring purl stitches on stockinette.  So much for working with dark yarn on a winter night in Minnesota.

I decided I'd better block it, so I soaked it and then realized that my bind off side was much looser than my cast on side.  So, stretching to match the loose side did not work and I ended up snagging it!  Then I struggled with damp yarn, trying to minimize the snag.  Uffda, to put it mildly.

The yarn looked better before blocking, so I wish I hadn't blocked it.  But it twists into a rather nice "Grace Kelly" type of scarf, so all is not lost.