Things that turned up today: Noro Fall/Winter 2013 magazine & eight Footprints combos from Blue Ridge Yarns–300 yards of hand paint + 100 yards of contrast for heel & toe (and cuff, if you like).
I am working on a shop model featuring Kenzie, a gorgeous blend from Skacel. It’s 50% New Zealand Merino, 25% nylon, 10% alpaca, 10% angora, and 5% silk noils. While it is pretty in its tweedy pull skeins, it is one of those yarns that really grabs your attention when you start knitting it.
The color palette is vibrant, but muted. Rich and inviting in a hot apple cider sort of way. I had a few different ideas about what to knit up as a model, but eventually decided on Laura Aylor’s Oak Park scarf. The pattern is available as a Ravelry in-store download, and at $5 for the shawl, scarf, and cowl versions, it is a steal. Did I mention that the pattern comes with coloring pages? Coloring pages. Come have a seat at the big, round table, and I will set you up with my crayons and colored pencils. I have lots.
Once you’ve figured out your color combination, you have plenty of soothing garter stitch ahead of you. But the color switches keep things interesting. Now, you would think I could keep myself more or less out of trouble with that sort of thing, right? Well, mostly. I realized last night that I was in the middle of a…learning experience. Which I’ll share.
The scarf is constructed modularly, and since I like that sort of thing, I was kind of looking forward to picking up lots of stitches down the long edge. The pattern instructs you to slip the first stitch of every row–which makes sense. I held my yarn in back, in spite of the fact that I was specifically told to hold the yarn in front. I just didn’t think it through.
Below, the green edge is the long side; the blue and natural are being knit up from that edge after the stitches were picked up. It’s neat enough, but if I had slipped the stitches as instructed, it would have been a very clear horizontal garter edge meeting a vertical garter edge.
Knitting in the other direction, I started following the instructions correctly, and you can see what a difference it will make when picking up from those edges.
The only correction I could make would be to start at the beginning, which I have decided not to do. It’s been a useful lesson for me, to pay attention and think things through, and it will be a way to demonstrate how such a small thing can make a huge difference. So, onward.
Here’s a photo of the scarf at its current stage of progress. I’m about midway through section 2, and there are six sections total, plus the border. You can see most of the colors–natural, olive, burgundy, and navy, with a little bit of a medium blue grey there at the end. I think it will be a nice piece when all is said and done, even with this misstep.
First, a quick reminder: not one, but two classes are scheduled for this week. Wednesday evening, October 23rd, I’ll be doing an interactive demo on Ravelry.com. Whether you’ve never set up an account, use it for some things, or use it often, I hope you’ll learn something new that will bring more joy to your knitting. Then on Sunday, October 27th, Sandy Buzzelli will be back to do a 3 1/2 hour workshop on two-color knitting. The class project is a headband, and Sandy will lead you through carrying two yarns in two hands (an opportunity to combine English/American style knitting with continental knitting), maintaining tension, tacking your floats, blocking, and more. There is a fair amount of technical information in this class, but the project is small and manageable.
There is room available in both classes–please contact me as soon as possible if you are interested!
On to Wurm! This is a free hat pattern designed by Katharina Nopp for sport weight yarn–here I used Mountain Meadow’s Cody. I made a small modification to the pattern, based on other interpretations I saw on Ravelry. In the knit rounds, which are slightly hidden between the more prominent purl ridges, I used a contrasting color for a subtle color zing. The Night colorway I used for the main color is deep and rich, but the Teal really pops when you stretch the hat just a little. I wish I’d used the Teal for the inside of the doubled brim, as well, but live and learn, eh? Cody, like its big brother Jackson, is a very lively yarn with lots of bounce and body, and it feels good against the skin. There are several handpaint/solid combos that would be fun in this pattern, or you could use two solids, or just one color. Fun, quick, and wearable–I like that in a project!
The thing about a mystery knitalong is…the mystery. While Stephen West provided some very rough guidelines for choosing yarn, what we knew when we cast on was that this would be a three-color shawl. And that’s pretty much it.
I do think that the Westknits designs deserve just about all of the hype they get. They are modern, without being severe; they can be fancy without being fussy; bold without being unwearable. They give me the same feeling I get wearing a twirly skirt.
I used Ella Rae Lace Merino in colors 41 (chocolate), 141 (variegated browns & greens), and 9 (acid green). It was lovely to work with, and it became even lovelier after a nice bath in Eucalan wool wash. I had about 22 grams left of the acid green and chocolate, and about 31 grams left of the variegated. (Combined, they could make another nice, small project.)
Through October 20th, Stephen is offering a 25% discount on individual patterns when you enter mysteryrevealed as the coupon code when checking out through Ravelry. I’d recommend a look!