Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wallenbatkus


I have been on a scarf kick.  I recently made a hat and scarf for my coworker; it was such a big hit that another coworker asked me to make a scarf to give as a gift.  She saw the pattern for the "Batkus" scarf and asked for that.  The Batkus is a scarf knitted "side to side," beginning with 4 cast on stitches.  You increase every fourth row until you get the desired length, then decrease accordingly.

I used a 100g ball of Jojoland Melody Superwash wool on a Size 3 needle.  I loved the wide array of fall colors, which is what the recipient wanted.  This project had a lot of trial and error on my part.  I had started out with a Size 4 and didn't like the drape; I started over with the smaller needle and casted on again.  Again, I didn't like the fabric it produced.  I then casted-on for the Lacy Batkus, but still wasn't satisfied.  I went back to Ravelry and found the pattern for the "Wallenbatkus" (wavy batkus).  I did an eight row knit and purl rib and increased the width of the scarf until I reached the end of the first 50g ball.  I wanted to keep the same "gradient" with no obvious color changes, so I rewound the 2nd 50g ball to get to the center.

As I was decreasing, I held my breath, praying that I wouldn't run out of yarn before I reached the end.  I did run out, but not until I was down to six stitches.  I had to do some creative decreases at the very end.  To block, I simply hand washed the scarf and laid flat to dry.  As I dried, I gently pulled up the ends so the ribbing would stand out.  

The scarf was a big hit with the recipient and I was happy to have a coworker be the model for this blog post.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Spreading Cheer with Wingspan


I have become obsessed with knitting shawlettes.  I had discovered the "Wingspan" from by maylin Tri'Coterie Designs on ravelry.com and had seen a finished version at the 2013 New York Sheep and Wool Festival.  I was given the pattern as a random gift and couldn't wait to get started.  My first attempt at this pattern was with Plymouth Stiletto in the Dillon colorway with Size 3 needles.  The 100g ball gave me the requisite eight "triangles," but the Size 3 needles made for a tighter fabric with not much drape.  

While the work was in progress, I had found the Plymouth Stiletto in the Villandry colorway and purchased two balls.  This time I used Size 4 needles and achieve the perfect weight and drape.  I began this project back in the early summer while on vacation.  While the pattern works up quickly and easily by using short rows which have always made me nervous.  However, the pattern provided a link to the German Short Row Pattern on youtube.com.  This method was extremely easy and left no gaps whatsoever.

This shawlette was a birthday present for my sister, but I do plan to make this again, mixing up the colorways to get different looks.

 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

You're Such a Gentleman


One day at work, while I was bragging about my knitting prowess, I asked by my coworker to make him a hat and scarf for the winter.  His requirements were simple; something black to keep him nice and warm.  I took this opportunity to knit up another Compo Hat by Julz.  This was a recent pattern that I had tested in one of my Ravelry groups in a plain acrylic yarn.  Fortunately, the search for a comparable scarf wasn't hard to find.  I chose the Gentlemans Scarf by the Sheepwalk Fiber Arts Studio.

Both projects were knit in Knit Picks Swish Superwash Merino. The hat was knit with Size 7 needles and the scarf with Size 9. I felt it necessary to use a larger needle for the scarf to achieve the appropriate drape.  Each pattern was easy to follow and knit up quickly.  The Swish Superwash Merino made the cable patterns pop and the fine wool made for a more luxurious knit that could be dressed up or down.  I intentionally made the scarf extra long to wrap around the neck and have the ends hang down. 

The project, finished just in time was a big hit with the recipient.  Right after the delivery, our area experienced a drop in temperatures.  My friend came into work with his new hat, ready to pose for a picture.  Needless to say when there's cold weather in the forecast, this hat delivers comfort and warmth.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Country Girl - City Cardigan


Christmas of 2013 brought me a nice gift card to my favorite yarn store from my son.  I have always wanted to do a cardigan and found this pattern at "A Stitch in Time" in Bethel, CT.  The pattern name is "City Cardigan," calling for a wool yarn.  However, I chose "DungarEASE" from Knit One, Crochet Two.  The cotton/acrylic blend worked up nicely. The knit one through back loop/purl one through back look gave the ribbing a nice defined look.  

If I were to do this project again, I would add more length to the waist and possibly add another buttonhole.  I'm a short girl with a short waist.  The extra length would give an illusion of a taller me.  The buttonholes were easy to make, but ended up being too big for the buttons called for in the pattern.  

I found these lovely buttons at Joanne's for only $2.50 for two.  There were inexpensive, but found out that inexpensive buttons are not always better.  While sewing on the buttons, the brown border came off the first button.  To improvise, I pulled off the border of each button and nobody was the wiser.  While I love the buttons I chose, I would definitely would get bigger ones.  I feel the smaller ones get lost. 

Even with all these little speed bumps, I totally rocked the City Cardigan at the 2014 New York State Sheep & Wool Festival at Rhinebeck, NY.  I received many compliments from friends and people passing by.  A certain win.

 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Thanks for the Anklets....

My sister lives down south so she doesn't get much of an opportunity to wear wool socks.  She did, however, express interest in a pair of anklet socks.  I found this pattern on ravelry.com.  The pattern "Thanks" is a great pattern that knits up simply but looks more complex.  The yarn is plain old Patons Kroy Socks yarn that I purchased on sale from  Hobby Lobby in Knoxville, Tennessee while I was on vacation.  This free pattern looks great with any color yarn.  Below is my sister modeling her "belated" Christmas present with her sweet dog, Maggie who looks a little jealous wanting her own socks.



Friday, February 7, 2014

"Quant - ify"




I was having a hard time finding a belated birthday gift for two very special people; my bff and my lovely sister.  I found this pretty "Quant" pattern on knitty.com.  Because both recipients had long hair, I felt this gift would be perfect.  Neither like wearing hats because of the dreaded "hat hair."  My sister is also an avid hiker and I thought this would come in handy to keep her ears warm.  The entrelac pattern is easy to learn if you go slow and pay attention, so don't be intimidated by it.  I used Lion Brand's Amazing yarn which is an "under-spun" yarn, giving the project a nice soft texture.

Both loved their presents and below if my beautiful sister modeling hers.