Estivate

This is a throwback post published on August 7, 2014.

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on Ravelry

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I’m excited to introduce Estivate!

Part of the Sock Yarn Scarves Collection, Estivate is a convertible scarf/bolero that’s airy enough to be your summer’s constant companion, whether after the sun goes down around the campfire, or as a pretty accessory added to your formal outfit for those summer weddings.

I had a lot of fun designing this pattern. It’s worked in one piece, and is a versatile shape. Great as a loose top, bolero, or even scarf, it has a simple and short repeat of lace that decorates its surface. It’s a comfortable and airy knit, something great for this time of year.

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Estivate

Sexy Vesty; Or, Black Diamonds

This is a throwback post published on September 20, 2008.

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on Ravelry

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Photography skillz strike again!
Pattern: Sexy Vesty
Yarn: about 3.5 skeins of Lang Merino Superwash

Time to complete: one bloomin’ week!

Sometimes you get addicted to a knit. That’s definitely what happened in this instance. The yarn was really co-operating with me, and the little lace pattern was very simple to memorize (well, truth be telt, I only memorized it for the last two diamond repeats….)

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I’m not entirely sure what possessed me to knit a vest. I don’t wear vests.

Like many garments, I would see cute little tops of this particular fashion in stores and think “cute on dummy – not so cute on me”. This is the same line of thinking that prevents me from purchasing very heavily cowled sweaters, tights, trapeze jackets, super minis and clothing items with expressively-large buttons.

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Fortunately, this one has left me feeling positive about knitting again (after the malaise I was under in the post-Tareja days of last week). And I’m rather pleased with how it looks atop a regular ol’ scoopneck tee.

This one may get some use out of it!

In new cast-on news:
I was supposed to have something to show for myself re: a particular sweater in a lovely Russet-y shade of Samira Silk from Handmaiden.
Sadly, I’ve naught.
Well, naught that would be interesting to photograph.
I have already discovered a misjudgement in my design plans, and instead of frogging the very few rows I’ve actually knit, I will be doing the good ol’ improvised-fix in the end.
Here’s to hoping I’ve enough yarn to make this one!
I shall return with something to show for myself.
Shortly.

***Pattern Notes posted on Rav here.***

Sexy Vesty; Or, Black Diamonds

Black Diamonds; and, A Bit of Fair Time Fun

This is a throwback post published on September 16, 2008.

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on Ravelry

Scrumptious!
Superb!
Silky!
Scandalously superfluous!

with a little bit of happy dance thrown in.

Why the exuberance?
Well, my friends, I do believe that this Saturday has seen me make the most wondiferous single stash enhancement ever.
Since I cannot help myself, I pampered me to an early birthday prezzie and got:

3 different colourways of Fleece Artist’s Woolie Silk
(I think the colours are best described as Granny Apple Green for whom I already have plans a-brewin’, Amber and finally a Buttery Cream),
Enough Handmaiden silk to make a long-planned for autumn sweater (I must give the proverbial shout-out to Linda’s Craftique. I buy gorgeous yarn from her booth every year, and yet have still never been the store itself),
a perfect and long-searched-for shade of chocolate brown in a dk merino from The Black Lamb,
some black baby alpaca,
and a couple hanks of black laceweight merino.

Hmmm, I feel a new personal colour preference coming on.

Stayed Tuned.

Oh yeah, and Rav got me “recognized”. How cool it that?!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the meantime, I’ve been diligently knitting away on a new one (this time from the Great Stash Enhancement of July 2008.
As per my usual trademarking, this lace has many-a-woopsies, but I’ll live with it.
I think I’ve cropped them out of this photo…
You’ll see in (hopefully) a couple days.

Black Diamonds; and, A Bit of Fair Time Fun

Stag; Or, How I Love the Local Video Rental Joint

This is a throwback post published on September 27, 2009.

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Pattern: Stag (my own, improvised, and rather uncreatively named!)
Yarn: Berroco Inca Gold, 8 skeins

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I’ve made a habit of issuing myself yarn challenges, and, as of late, it’s been bouts between me and yardage. This round of playing chicken with the yarn turned out just dandy.

I wanted to see if I could make a tunic-length, cowl-necked, long-sleeved sweater – with cables, no less. And indeed, I did. Though it ended up a touch shorter than envisioned, and the sleeves were a smidge tight, they still work! And the upside? The snugness of said sleeves disguises the unsightly “ladders” left behind from my sloppy in-the-round dpn work (the trick to avoiding that is pulling tight on the stitches when switching needles, correct? I must remember to try harder next time).

Incidentally, this be the first (as well as the last) long-sleeved sweater I’ve ever made. The second-sleeve syndrome was avoided through a good supply of dvds (including the Indiana Jones hotness mentioned in an earlier post, as well as the first 3 seasons of How I Met Your Mother). Without those dvds, I’m afeared those sleeves would still be unfinished.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStag Constructions, for those Interested:
In the round, bottom-up raglan. I’d never attempted a sweater in this particular manner before.
Because of my playing chicken with the yardage, I decided to do a provisional cast on when it came to the sleeves, so that I could assess the yarn situation after I had begun the cowl and see just how long I could get away with making said sleeves.
I do not suggest this construction, or at least, not on a single set of circs. It was extremely awkward and tight the first 5 or 6 rows after joining the provisional-sleeves.

Also, the sweater would have benefited from my thinking through what I would do with the cables when I got to the sleeve juncture. I could have made the transition much more smooth by altering the staghorn cable pattern slightly, and turning some knit stitches into background purl stitches (see the second photo in this post. The slightly awkward decreasing around the armpit is visible there).

For waist and bust shaping, I simply hid my increases and decreases directly beside the cable pattern.
The cowl is a progression of 3 different needles sizes, getting larger as you near the edge of the neckline. I wanted it to be a bit bigger and floppier, but with only the 8 skeins I knew I’d have to compromise.
The greatest upside to this project? Stashbusting!

At the “photoshoot”, I frolicked among the gardens of a nearby historic home and civic museum. I got a few cool snaps, and wanted to share.
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On the gates in the garden yard. The pineapple was a symbol of welcome that was in vogue in the 19th c., when this home was built.

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Backyard water tap, with some cool weathering, hiding among what’s probably close to the last bits of green green sprouts of ’09.

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A pear tree has been dropping its fruit, and the bees have been feasting.

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Lovely beautiful snapdragons. Nature has an amazing sense of colour.

Stag; Or, How I Love the Local Video Rental Joint

Gone Shoppin’

This is a throwback post published on March 12, 2007.

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And oh how wonderful a sale is. My sale-sniffing bud over at Foxy and Crafty wrangled me a 40% discount on Rowan. Yes, Rowan. And here it be:

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This Rowan Summer Tweed (which is very soft indeed) will transform, through a bit of knitting magic, into this.
And, I haven’t just been spending money.

Here be one of the fastest turnarounds, craft-wise, that I’ve ever had:
Not only did we go to Serendipity Yarn, we also went to their tres lovely bead store, just doors down. Looky what I made.

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And, lastly, here be my doppelganger;

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A little off, I know. But I’m a beginner at sewing, and until I prove to myself that this’ll last, this is all I’ll get.

Gone Shoppin’

Knit-Strology; Or, Extrapolations Based on General and Specific Nonsense – Cancer

Once every month, I’ll be re-posting from the old blog all the Knitstrology posts. 

This one was originally posted on January 16, 2012.

Sketching a Personality; Or, How I Have fun with Knitting and Astrology

Cancer: The Crab Photobucket
June 22 – July 22

Hi Cancer!

You’re the knitter who others turn to for support. You’re wonderfully nurturing, and being around you creates an atmosphere of quiet calm that can really balance out a knit night (especially if you’re there with some fiery Aries or Leos!)

Not the centre of attention, and you like it that way! Seated securely and comfortably in your home will make you just as happy as going out to the low-key cafe where you meet your buds to knit. And, don’t stay away from knit night because you think that comment someone made was a slight on your knitting. Cancers can be overly sensitive; sweep the comment away and meet up with your pals – they’ll miss your caring, sweet and supportive self!
You also need the support of other knitters. It’s nice to hear that your knitting really is great. Your projects totally are lovely! They’ll encourage you to try something new, or to keep plodding away at that ambitious lace shawl you’d love to finish.

Your great memory serves as an encyclopedia for yourself and others; no need to lug that heavy techniques book around, or worry about a wifi connection. The Cancer is here! Likely to remember just how to make that tricky entrelac square.

As an emotional, sentimental person, you cherish the hand knit blanket passed down from your grandmother, and you surround yourself at home with items of nostalgia and comfort. You’re also very creative, and likely have at least thought of designing your own work, if not already sporting your very own sweater and hat patterns.

Cancer rules parts of the torso; that’s fantastic for patterns! Knit yourself some pullovers, cardigans, wraps and the like!
Orange and white are Cancer’s lucky colours. When in doubt, grab these eye-catching hues for that hard-to-buy-for Crab.
Try to start new projects on Mondays or Thursdays – you might find that they’re lucky!

Want to knit your own personalized astrological sign pillow? Check out my “What’s Your Sign?” design!

What’s Your Sign?

 

Knit-Strology; Or, Extrapolations Based on General and Specific Nonsense – Cancer

How To: Wear Bobbles

This is a throwback post published on February 27, 2012.

Oh, poor bobbles.

This much maligned knitwear design element strikes fear, hatred, and disgust into the hearts of many.

Even the most fair-minded knitter can fall prey to the bobble prejudice, and I really don’t blame them. Bobbles are tricky things to get right.

This post is an attempt to make a case for the bobble. Particularly, because I think it’s wise to explain how they’re best worn before I show you how to make them next week. Responsibly.

Please note: while I understand it’s really quite useful to have images to illustrate something done wrong as well as something done right, this blog will refrain from naming the guilty.
You’ll know them when you see them.

Here’s the Rules for Wearing Bobbles

Watch the placement.
Cluster carefully.
Keep yarn weight in mind.
Combine with other design elements sparingly, if at all.
Contain bobbles visually in a motif or other restraining surroundings.

Now, let’s see how these talented designers apply these rules, in variation, to their successful and really very tasteful en-bobbled patterns.

Big Bobbles, Little Bobbles

Yarn weight is very important: obviously, heavier weight yarn’s going to give you larger bobbles. This, though, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. See the large bobble used in the Woodland Mittens.

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© Bethe Galantino

It’s the weight of the yarn that makes these bobbles great, adding visual interest and texture to these otherwise basic mitts.

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Socks, and their attendant weight of yarn, make a great backdrop for bobble play. The Bacchus Socks (photo © Interweave Knits 2008) are one of my favourites (I totally made a pair for myself, I love them so).
Here, the bobbles are well-placed, and not overwhelming to the garment, even though there are a fair number of them. Using bobbles as part of a logical motif (in this case, grapes on a vine) helps to restrain, contain, and maintain order with a knitwear element that could, let’s face it, get easily out of control.

Many Bobbles, Few Bobbles

Let’s compare two similar items, and see how bobbles are tastefully applied to the design.

First there’s the pretty and slightly whimsical Orchids and Fairy Lights.

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Bobbles are used in an all-over motif but aren’t overwhelming. This is achieved through a variety of means: first, they’re visually restrained within the motif. Second, while there are a lot of them, they’re balanced out across the hat. This creates a rhythm, where your eye is drawn through the design equally, waving slightly up and down with the bobble placement. It’s a pleasing rhythm, one which is the central interest point in the hat. It’s not cluttered by loads of other elements (lace, tassles, thick cables, and so on).

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© Vogue Knitting/Rose Callahan

The second example, Bobble Cap, utilizes this element sparingly. There’s a visual rhythm here too, but one that isn’t dominated by bobbles. Rather, this design has them take a back seat to the more eye catching cables and textural stitch. It’s the cables that lead your eye around, not the bobbles. They’re just there, clustered in little contained areas, to add a punch of design interest.

Bobble Placement

The garments we’ve looked at so far don’t really run the risk of anatomically-suggestive bobble misplacement.

This is certainly an issue to keep in mind with bobbles on sweaters. See here some examples of it done right.

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Look at what the Breena cardigan does: rounds of bobbles and cables (again, contained within a motif and balanced out carefully with other design elements) draw the eye upward to the wearer’s face. Always a flattering design tactic. These bobbles are reasonably sized, and kept away from any particularly “bad” placement.

The Grown Up Girl cardigan sprinkles bobbles on different parts of the design, creating a balanced and interesting piece of knitwear (this might be, incidentally, my new pattern crush. I just think it’s awesome).

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Keeping the different bobble placements visually separated (between the back, front and cuffs of the design), keeps the fun and surprise level of this piece really high. Again, note that it’s within a motif, combined sparingly with other elements, and carefully clustered to create popping points of interest.

Bobbles on Items

So far we’ve focussed on en-bobbled clothing. It’s also worth pointing out that they’re a great, and very fun, element to apply to non-wearables.

The Winterberry hot water bottle cover follows the same successful bobble rules as all the above-mentioned garments.

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see the designer’s blog here 

The adorable whimsy Sea Urchin takes bobbles and visual motifs to the next level. The bobble become so much of what describes the urchin shape, it’s really very charming (

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see the designer’s blog here

Hope this defense of the bobble has (maybe? possibly? hopefully!) won over some previous bobble haters.

How To: Wear Bobbles