Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wishful Wednesday.

This week, my wish was for self control.

I favorited this pattern back on May 14. I think that was the day Kirsten Johnstone (the designer) posted finished photos on Ravelry. You can tell from my tags - "seamless", "shibui", "fingering" - what drew me to the design...and of course that last "love" tag sums up what I thought about it!

Fast forward to early this morning when I read this post on the Shibui blog and immediately fired off an email to Theresa about how much I loved the design.

And later about how perfect it would be in the twenty some colorways of Fibre Company's Canopy Fingering that arrived yesterday.

(she agreed).

Unusual for me for a Wednesday, I worked in the shop this afternoon. So I had plenty of time to think about which colorway I might use.

A green, perhaps?

Or maybe a neutral? Or a fabulous rich pink?

Like I said, I was wishing for self control.

"was" being the operative word...
on my desk, 7:00 pm today

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wishful Wednesday.

This week, I'm wishing for a teapot, specifically a 4-cup brown betty,

photo source

to go inside my new tea cozy.

I used the Churchmouse Ribbed and Ruffled Tea Cozies pattern , a little less than one skein of Noro Kureyon, and size 7 needles (16" circular and dpn's). It took me just a few hours to knit.

The Churchmouse pattern is easy to follow and includes instructions for multiple versions. This is a great quick gift (for yourself or someone else)!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wishful Wednesday.

Alliterative post titles and themes are all the rage in blogland. I regularly participate in Ten on Tuesday and Wordless Wednesday on my personal blog and I've been wanting to introduce something similar here.

Say hello to Wishful Wednesday!  And this week's wish. More Time

Yep, as simple as that. Two patterns and one yarn have been calling my name (and a few of yours as well!) lately. But I've got to be honest. I don't have the time to knit them (at least not right now!) And that's too bad, because I don't need to wish for More Money to tackle any of these. They are all sweaters. and they can all be made for around $60 or less.

First up - and coming in at $20 to $30 depending on your size - Gretel. This pattern suggests Habu cotton gima which we have in plenty of colors. I love the light pink. (and a project that takes only two cones of yarn so it must be a pretty quick knit!)

Then the gorgeous Araucania Lontue, a light-weight cotton linen blend yarn in fabulous variegated colorways. We've seen this knit into Liesl and it's fabulous! The yarn has a generous 250 yards per skein, so most sizes will take 4-5 skeins.

Another pattern suggestion is Kat Coyle's Linen Top , and it's free.

And finally Sabine. A top-down cardigan with a suggested gauge of 4-1/2 stitches per inch. Maggi's Linen, perhaps? This is another great spring/summer/fall yarn, made with 52% cotton/48% linen. Most sizes would take 6-8 balls...this is the biggest project on my wish list (in terms of time and money), but it's still a reasonable $60.

What are you wishing for this Wednesday? please share!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sand and Sea. Sizing and Short Rows.

We love the response to this knit-along! It's fun to see all the color/yarn pairings...and to have all the input on knitting it.  One of my favorite things about knitting along is the sharing of ideas and learnings. And from the first week, the main topics have been about sizing - making it bigger - and about short rows (aka "w&t" or "wrapping and turning").

First up, about sizing. The shawl as designed is only 48" long. If you want to make it bigger, the easiest  modification is to use bigger needles (and more yards) with the suggested fingering weight.  I have about 400 yards of the main color yarn and I'm using a size 7 needle, compared with 250 yards and a size 6 needle that the pattern suggests. As a rough rule of thumb, going up a needle size will increase the piece by about 10%. So I'm hoping my piece works out to be about 110% of 48", or about 53" long (and it should take less than 300 yards - I'll let you know!)

You can also add stitches, but you'll need to add a number that will work with the feather and fan lace pattern (an 18 stitch repeat) for the border, taking into account the increase row (just before joining the contrasting color) that adds one stitch for every two. We worked some math on Friday and think adding 48 stitches to the cast on will add 72 stitches for the border (four feather and fan repeats). The original cast-on is 253 stitches, so going up to 301 stitches is almost a 20% increase. Yes, you'll need more yarn! And you might want to consider modifications to the short rows, but, assuming you account for the extra 48 stitches in your stitch counts (i.e., add 48 to the number of stitches left between wrapped stitches), you don't have to.

And then, the short rows. The first short row is actually executed on a knit row that follows another knit row, so it's really in garter stitch. Which means you can wrap & turn, but you don't need to worry about picking up the wrap later. The second and all the subsequent short rows, however, are executed in stockinette stitch.

If you hate picking up wraps, why don't you try "shadow wraps". The folks at Socktopus put together a great photo tutorial for the technique. Best I can explain it, the "wrap" ends up inside the turning stitch, so there's no need to pick it up later. But really, you should check out the tutorial for a full explanation. And lots of great photos.

Way better than the one I have to share!
click to make bigger!
Are you knitting along? Please share questions, comments and photos!!!! here, on our Ravelry forum, or on Facebook. The photo above is my shawl as of this afternoon. I hope to have something more to share next week. Stay tuned.... and happy knitting!