Monday, May 23, 2011

Making a Bigger Summer Flies.

Happy Monday! We're seeing and hearing a lot about Summer Flies, our current KAL. The pattern knits up quickly and I know I'm not alone in saying this is one of the most fun lace shawls I've ever knit!

And while many of you are following Kathy's inspiration and using multiple skeins (or leftover bits and pieces :-) of koigu, at least a few - me included! - are using single skeins of malabrigo or kureyon sock.   Those single skeins have significantly more yardage than the koigu... malabrigo with 440 yards and kureyon with 462 yards. Which means leftovers (ugh!) or an opportunity to make the shawl bigger. I'm opting for the bigger shawl.

But how to make it bigger? This isn't a typical lace shawl with a charted pattern that you can simply repeat more times. Ravelry to the rescue! I searched the finished projects to see if someone else who'd used one of these yarns might've figured out how - and posted the details.

Here's what my search looked like.
click the photo to see it bigger - I typed the name of the yarn (in quotes) into the search field
From here I found sylverling's Christmas Flies. and then found thetanull's.  success! thetanull's project page includes all the details for adding an additional set of butterflies and ridged eyelets and adding rows to the latticework and final sections. I plan to follow her instructions for the additional butterflies, ridged eyelets and latticework, but doubt I'll do more rows in the final section before the bind off.

We'll see. I still have 73 grams of yarn left after finishing section 5!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Knitting Summer.

Am I right to assume that 99% of the people who read this blog knit in climates where it gets HOT in the summer? ...and where we've all considered giving up knitting (gasp!) or simply knitting really small things (socks, mittens, hats...to, you know, get ahead of the holiday gift rush) or traveling someplace far away where it's cooler to get through the heat. Over the years, I've tried all of those things (last summer I knit a record three pairs of socks and a few lace shawls).

But my true knitting love is sweaters. And even though it's hot in Atlanta, we have air conditioning figured out, which means it gets cold inside. sweaters are comfortable (if not required).

So I was excited to see so many fun-to-knit (and fun-to-wear!) sweaters in the latest Interweave Knits. And when Jessica showed up to work the afternoon shift at the shop and said "did you see the new Interweave is here?" and I said "yeah" and we both said "let's match up patterns and yarn" [am I also right to assume that 99% of the people who read this blog completely get that conversation...and wish they'd been part of it?!] ...it was a lovely afternoon!
the cover, with all of our yarn selections
Here are our top three picks - pattern and yarn suggestions:

First up, the Torch Lily Tee (Jessica kicked off this whole thing when she favorited the pattern on ravelry last weekend). We think the Rowan Silky Tweed would be a lovely match. And both of us think the suggested modifications to make this a cardigan instead of a tee might make it more versatile (even if that does mean you're knitting back and forth, purling the wrong side :-). Oh, and did I mention the construction is top-down and seamless?

Next, the Cobblestone Vest. I suggested this one because I'm knitting a vest in the suggested Euroflax and loving it. Yes, the yarn seems a bit stiff, but it softens up as it's worked. and I love that the finished piece will be so easy to care for. Cobblestone has an interesting mix of lace and stockinette (not too boring to knit!) and the wrap-around waist seems flattering to many figures.

And finally...the Nantucket Vest. We're completely smitten. Feather and fan is a classic lace pattern and the construction - a knit circle, with different needle sizes used to create the circle, joined with a simple rectangle of stockinette - oh.my.wow. Maggiknits maggi's linen seems like a great substitute for the recommended Ripple - similar gauge, thick/thin texture and fiber content. 

Did I mention we're completely smitten? yep, enough to suggest this as our next knit along! The sizing (three sizes, based on your back measurement) is generous...and therefore forgiving. And we have many colors of the maggi's in stock. Look for more details, but we're tentatively planning to cast on in June (giving everyone enough time to finish Summer Flies once. or twice!)

What kind of a summer knitter are you? could we tempt you to try a sweater?

Friday, May 6, 2011

An Itty-bitty Baby Doll.

We are long-time fans of Susan B. Anderson - she designs many of the patterns for the wonderful Spud&Chloe yarns and she writes their blog and a blog of her own...and she has published several pattern books for baby and children toys and accessories. Itty Bitty Toys was the first (I think?!) one,  published in 2009. (side note - I first heard about the book on Never Not Knitting, one of the podcasts I mentioned a few weeks back; Alana interviewed Susan in this episode - it's a great listen!)

The book includes 27 patterns for stuffed toys in all shapes and sizes - some are knitted, some are crocheted and all are 100% adorable.  See what I mean?

This is the Baby Doll Set  knit by our very own Patty M. for her granddaughter. She completed the ensemble with the matching child's hat... even down to those yellow braids!
LOVE the detail - the belly button, the fingers and toes...and the lace edging on the bloomers
here's the back view
...and a close-up of the ruffle. see what I mean about details?!
Patty used the suggested Rowan Organic Purelife Cotton DK and it worked up beautifully - the finished pieces are soft ... completely lovable!

Thank you for sharing the finished objects with us, Patty - they're truly special!