Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Archive for October, 2007

Autumn Treasures

Posted by mtmom on October 28, 2007

The seasons are definitely turning.  The trees are glorious . . .  lovely aspens in our backyard (this our own backyard!)

. . . and some of the cold-month residents are returning. (I’ve sighted a Dark-eyed Junco.) Dark-eyed Junco

We took a family photo today — with an eye toward Christmas mailing.  {What?!  eek!  No, calm down now; deep breaths.  In.  Out.  In.  Out.}  Swift family, 2007

But, this IS a knitting blog, so . . . on to the handwork!

I’m nearly to the heel of the second knee sock.  foot of second knee sock

I’m working one more pair of increases on this one, compared to the first sock, and starting them sooner.  Also positioning them on the instep needle, rather than on the sole side of midline.  They won’t match exactly, but then this is a learning project, right?  (I may or may not submit it for judging at the County Fair next year — they would most likely dock points.)  And I am most definitely learning!  I’m glad I chose a worsted-weight yarn for this prototype;  I can see results of choices much more rapidly than if I were working with fingering-weight.

But I’m thinking most about my Fair Isle sampler project.  Here’s an update photo.  whole tube up to this point

I’m very excited about including these new greens (left, in photo).  I think that’s because I’ve gone to my wider collection of yarns, including not just the KnitPicks “Palette” but also the Jamieson & Smith “2-ply jumper-weight” shetland.  I expect to use the greens in the first peerie band.  But first, I want to talk about this border pattern.  border, in color

I’ve been working from a chart with the colors labeled as “pale blue” and “orange” on “grey”.  My first choices, as you see above, didn’t contrast enough with the background to be noticed much, so I switched to a medium orange and blue.  Both stood out more, but the blue disproportionately so.  I therefore darkened the orange further on the last rounds.  Now the blue and orange are about equal in value.  I adjusted the saturation on my photo to confirm this.  border, in black & white

Aha! 

Why does this matter?  In part because, as you may recall, the photo I have of the author’s finished garment is in Black/White.  Here’s a close-up of the original jacket border.  BW image from book

Hmmm. . . .  Something is not matching here.

But here’s the chart:  chart for border pattern

No “blank” lines here.  The color blocks are clearly offset from one another. . . . 

One of Sarah Don’s colors must have been lighter, and blended in with her grey background, so we’re not seeing it in the photo. 

Some detective work appears to be in order!

Comparing the photo to the charts for the border (rep = 4 sts) and first peerie pattern (rep = 6 sts), and seeing how they line up in the first few repeats . . . .  I think it’s the “pale blue” that we aren’t seeing.

I could tweak mine to match hers next time I use it in the sampler, or I could go with my current arrangement of “matched-value” blues and oranges.  Virtue to both approaches.  But . . . I’ve been wanting to see what Ms. Don had in mind, so I think now I’ll probably fade the blue next time it comes up.  Maybe the light blue and the medium orange?  Hmmmm. . . .

Meanwhile, the kitten has increased her weight by more than 30% (my DH and DS, the scientists. . .).  kitten attacks silk flowers

“Ha ha!  I’ve got you now you, you. . . you blossom, you!”

We think we’ll name her Chloe. 

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Posted in Cat, Color-work, Knitting, Socks | 2 Comments »

Yarn Selection

Posted by mtmom on October 24, 2007

I have made my selections for the colors for the next pattern bands on my Fair Isle sampler scarf.  bags of yarn

The patterns and original color-names/charts come from Sarah Don’s “Lady’s Jacket” in her 1979 book, Fair Isle Knitting. (see B/W photo from blog post of about 2 weeks ago for an image of the jacket)

These will be for the border and peeries  border yarns

and these for the main patterns (2 different schemes alternate in the main body).  yarns for main patterns

Choosing colors may be the most fun part of planning!  Then, seeing the color patterns emerge under my needles is the best part of execution.  Definitely.

Now, to the swift!  (How exciting!)

Posted in Celtic, Color-work, Knitting | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Done! and Begun.

Posted by mtmom on October 24, 2007

Well, I’ve (finally!) finished the “Mad to Dance” socks from round 5 (April) of Sock Madness 2007.  They fit rather well, alone or in slippers or even in shoes — even with the patterning on the top of the foot and the back of the heel.  I think the fit might have been improved if I’d begun the decreases a bit sooner , but definitely good enough to enjoy and not to frog.  side view of Mad to Dance socks

What a relief!  I feel much better now — more room to think about . . . other projects.  It’s a shame I didn’t enjoy these more, toward the end, but I was confident that finishing them would be A Good Thing.  And it has been.  front view of patterning on Mad to Dance socks

 ‘Cuz now I have the emotional “space” to begin the second member of my first pair of custom knee socks.   (Hurray!)  toe of second sock now done

Also, the completion of the “Mad to Dance” socks has freed up the residual yarn (31 grams) from that skein to begin a sampler of kilt hose tops.  You see, the turn-down cuffs on such stockings can be decorated in myriad ways, and constructing a sampler is an old tradition.  The tube can serve as testing ground, reminder, and demo!  [I hope, Lord Scott, to have something to show you by early in the new year.]

Sock details:

[White]
Pattern:  “Mad to Dance”, by Treesa. 
Yarn:  KnitPicks “Bare” merino-silk blend, undyed, 100 gram skein. 
Needles:  US sizes 2, 1.5, and 1 (2.75, 2.5, and 2.25 mm).

[Blue]
Pattern:  my own; toe-up with wedge-toe and short-row heel and lots of shaping. 
Yarn:  Briggs & Little “Regal” 100% wool, Quoddy Blue and Meadow Green, 4 oz./113 gram skein each. 
Needles:  US sizes 5 and 4 (3.75 and 3.5 mm).

Kitty update.

Still no name finalized.  [Suggestions?]  She’s definitely a climber and percher — loves to hang out and even nap on a Big Person’s shoulder.  kitten on Michael  kitten on mama

Although an elbow is apparently just as cozy.  kitten on M's arm

“Just hold still a litttttle bit longer. . . .  I need my beauty sleep.  This getting-to-know-you stuff really takes it out of a girl!”

Posted in Cat, Celtic, Design, Knitting, Sock Madness, Socks | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

New Citizen

Posted by mtmom on October 19, 2007

Not much (if any) knitting content today — although I am decreasing for the toe on my Mad to Dance socks, and bought some new drawers for my yarn, and am practicing intarsia-in-the-round with another cap — but my main topic for this post is the new citizen of our household.  As yet unnamed, here she is: new kitty

She says, “I’m alright, as long as I’ve got uncle Michael’s elbow.”  kitty in elbow

“Although, my auntie’s lap is very nice, too.”  kitty in K's lap

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Moebius Action, and beyond

Posted by mtmom on October 14, 2007

Begun at Knitting Night; finished at Knitting Night . . . one week later.completed moebius mini-wrap

That’s FAST for me!me wearing neck-cozy

The tricky parts were picking up stitches in the bottom of the cast-on row (necessary for a one-phase “knit-it-twisted” moebius vs a two-phase “knit-flat-then-twist” moebius), and tracking the pattern in the fuzzy yarn I chose.

I found with this project, as I have before with other crank-it-out projects, that I don’t enjoy the process as much.  This does not bode well for the top-down skirt that dd Cherry wants.  But the current apparent unavailability of long skirts for small girls makes it a perfect candidate for do-it-yourself-ing. . . .  Perhaps I should rent a sewing machine again.  Sigh.  So hard on my shoulders!  Still, I don’t have to decide just yet.  We shall see.

I have yet to finish the Mad-to-Dance socks, or to start the second knee-high sock.  Wonder why?

But I am slowly progressing on the Master Knitter vest for dd Kathy.  Getting gauge with Falk on US size 4 needles.an inch of wooly vest

That’s a crocheted provisional cast on you see there — my favorite kind of prov. CO.  I’m planning to do the edging last; most likely in the round, after seaming the front and back, but perhaps flat and before seaming — we’ll see when we get nearer, shall we?

Oh, and have you seen this?finished 3rd pattern band

I’ve completed the third pattern band on my Fair Isle tubular swatch/scarf.  The original Snow Sky pullover (designed by Ann Swanson of Rochester, Minn., and published in Sweaters from Camp, Schoolhouse Press) was executed in silver and charcoal, to give the impression of snowflakes in a dark sky (very nice!); I’ve opted for a more floral look.  A very clever use of light and dark by Ms. Swanson, I think. 

Began the fourth pattern, but my first color choices don’t have enough contrast, so I’m doing the next rep in stronger tones.  I’m so glad to have color-work to do!

Much division of effort on the charitable knitting front.  With the local weather turning colder — a hiker told me she saw snow falling on the higher trails yesterday — I’ve felt the urge to get some warm hats into circulation.  Also the annual craft sale, orgainized by the gal who taught me to knit, comes up in November.  Perhaps I could get another item to her in time?  I try to make that offering each year, in thanks for the gift she gave me.  Mustn’t wander too far into WIP-limbo!!!sumac leaves (September)

Posted in Color-work, Knitting, Master Knitter | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Lots of different stuff

Posted by mtmom on October 7, 2007

I have really been enjoying Ravelry this past week.  (I’m known as “mtmom” over there too.)  Uploading pictures, describing patterns, yarns and needles . . . it’s a bit like blogging in short-hand.

Well, I’ve been working on my Master Knitter program.  I seamed up two pieces of k2-p2 ribbing, and I think it turned out rather well!  I’d been particularly concerned about the evenness — or lack thereof — of my edge stitches and their immediate neighbors, since seaming hides some features of my stitches but highlights others.seaming double rib

Here’s my swatch-in-progress (also, swatch-in-hibernation  — ha!) for the Argyll/Argyle sock project, also a requirement for Level 2.swatching argyle patterns

And, did I tell you?  I finished the first knee-sock!first knee sock is done

I’m quite proud of this shaping — especially given all the ripping back I did to get it just so.  Still, I think I’ll do the second one just a leeetle bit differently:  add one more pair of increases before the instep/arch and begin the post-widest-point decreases a tad sooner.first knee sock, on leg

This was my first time to use a tubular bind-off on double rib.  I followed Montse Stanley’s (Reader’s Digest Knitter’s Handbook) directions, except that I separated the knits onto one needle and the purls onto another to make it easier to see what I wanted to do.  Went pretty well; I’d do it again — and plan to, on the second sock.

I bought some new needles.KP harmony needles

Aren’t they pretty?  I’m not as blissed-out as Tsock Tsarina perhaps (hi, lisa!), but I do like them.  Using them already.  In this:Moebius Mini Wrap, 2/3 done

Just started this at Knitting Night on Wednesday.  Isn’t it cute?  My first moebius.  Meant as a neck cozy.  A bit of a foray into the land of “get it done”.

And I’m still considering what large project/garment to start, in the wake of finishing the Neapolitan Ice Cream Sweater.  Perhaps this (for me):pattern and yarn

Or this (for dd):yarn and pattern

The latter is more product-focused — she wants a long skirt; the former, more process-focused — I want to try the new-to-me shaping techniques.  I fear I’ll become impatient with the skirt quickly, eager to move onto something more interesting.

And, speaking of interesting:  I saw this in a book last night.book image of Fair Isle jacket

[“Lady’s Jacket”.  Sarah Don, Fair Isle Knitting:  a practical handbook of traditional designs, St. Martin’s Press, 1979; also recently reprinted by Schoolhouse Press]

I find the gingham-look areas, combined with higher-contrast patterns, intriguing.  I wonder what it is about this pattern that attracts my eye?  What makes it look “comfortable”?  Do I like the open front?  What could I incorporate into my own wished-for Fair Isle jumper design?   Hmmmm. . . .

Posted in Knitting, Master Knitter | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »