American Wool Series

Friday, March 29, 2013

FO: Pressed Leaves

I admit it. I almost forgot that I knit this hat until I was browsing through my flickr photos for something to blog about (my sweater still has my full attention and will be finished this weekend).

Pressed Leaves
Pattern: Pressed Leaves by Alana Dakos from her wonderful new book, Botanical Knits
Yarn: Tosh DK in Moorland (discontinued color)
Needles: US #6 and US #7 Addi Turbo and Addi Turbo Lace
Mods: None! The pattern is both written and charted so you can choose your poison. I loved working my way through the chart as the whole hat is one large chart. No repeating lines x through z; just one work-through and there you are - a hat! The FO is quite beautiful even though I chose a very literal color for the leaf design. I took it to knitting and gave it away to my friend, Karen, who wears it with the correct amount of panache. This hat was too pretty to languish unworn in my accessory wardrobe and that is what would have happened if I had kept it for myself. I advocate using a very pointy tipped needle for the body of the hat since the twisted stitches are much easier to do with sharp needles.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WIP: Audrey in Unst

Last Wednesday I pulled out some Rowan Felted Tweed DK purchased in the great sweater yarn accumulation of 2009* and cast on Audrey in Unst.

 One week later and here we are. As soon as I got past the 1x1 twisted rib at the bottom of the sweater the knitting was smooth sailing and I just couldn't stop. The BIG PLAN is to finish this in time for Vogue Knitting Live so I can wear it when the Shetland Trader herself, Gudrun Johnston, will be doing a book signing at the Fiber Gallery booth where I'll be working. Overachiever? Yes. Kiss-ass? Possibly. It just took three years for this particular sweater and yarn combination to come to fruition so why shouldn't I gloat?

*Also known as Nakniswemodo, or the National Knit Twelve Adult Sweaters in a Year thereby driving yourself insane KAL. Before 2009 I had zero sweater quantities of yarn in my stash and that KAL ended that trend, seemingly forever.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Music Monday

I recently picked up a record compilation titled Country Soul Sisters that contains this little gem. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

WIP: Diffraction

See? Didn't I promise you a WIP? This is Diffraction, a knit from the inside out stripey shawl. I chose two highly contrasting colors from my Sock Summit haul and got to work. The green is actually more yellow and the blue is more green (Citron and Ripple). I've also cast on for a sweater; more on that soon!

Diffraction WIP

Friday, March 22, 2013

FO: Tobias

Are you an Arrested Development fan? I am. I came a little late to the party and didn't watch the show until it was off the air but I fell in love with the Bluth and Funke families and their whacky shenanigans. The show happens to be one of the best sources of one line quotes ever, barring the Simpsons of course. So when I stumbled across Liz Abinante's Funke Socks collection I knew I had to have it!

Pattern: Tobias by Liz Abinante
Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Jay Blue
Needle: US #1 (2.25 mm) Hiya Hiya Sharp
Mods: None! I knit these as part of the Hazel Knits Ravelry Group Tribute KAL since they're based on Tobias Funke. If you're a fan of the show you'll know why they have to be blue!

And yes, I do know that it seems like I'm a one woman knitting machine with a constant stream of FOs to be paraded around. But I was also quite sick last week and had plenty of time on the sofa with my knitting and some not so great television shows. I've got a couple of WIPs to write about soon, stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

FO: Baby Sophisticate

Part two of the baby shower gift - the Baby Sophisticate.


Pattern: Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down
Yarn: Cascade 128 Superwash Chunky #900 Charcoal
Needles: US #10 1/2 Addi Turbo
Mods: I followed another Raveler's mods which you can find here. I knit the 6 to 12 month size and with the larger yarn this came out to be quite a nice little cardi-jacket. The buttons are plastic made to look like leather and are washable.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

FO: Baldwin the Bunny

Last week I realized that I had a baby shower to attend this coming Tuesday. I grabbed some yarn out of my stash and whipped up a baby sweater (photos coming soon) and this little bunny.

Pattern: Baldwin the Bathroom Monster by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Spud & Chloe Sweater in Splash and Ice Cream
Needles: US #6 Hiya Hiya Sharp Interchangeables
Mods: Obviously I changed the pattern to be a rabbit instead of a monster. I knit the pattern as directed up to the head, put ten stitches on holders for each ear (5 on the front and 5 on the back), grafted the center portion and then knit the ears up. The arms are ten stitches in circumference with a stripe pattern and finished off with some decreases. I added the embroidered nose and put a pom pom tail on the back. 


Friday, March 15, 2013

The Land of No WIPs

It has finally happened. I am out of WIPs. I stayed home sick on Wednesday and between napping and watching the rest of Dollhouse I finished up a pair of socks and a cowl. This is an unusual situation since about the time I get to the finishing stages of one project I'm already casting about for the next new thing. But this time I'm feeling a bit stumped. 

I have two projects in hibernation - my Squirrel Sampler Mittens and my Old Shell Shawl which I could pull out and finally finish.

I also have a six page queue of all kinds of exciting newness waiting to be cast on. Maybe I'll wait until my yarn speaks to me and go from there...sometimes it tells me exactly what it wants to be.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

FO: Flowing Lines

I think I posted this as a WIP last week. It's finally done!

 I look pretty pleased, don't I? Not so bad for having stayed home ill yesterday.
Pattern: Flowing Lines by Veera Valimaki
Yarn: Tosh Vintage in Saffron
Needles: US #6, US #7, US #8 Hiya Hiya Sharps
Mods: I knit the ribbed bands at the top on #6 needles since I wanted them to hold their shape for the boatneck and not turn all loosey goosey on me. The body is knit on US #8 needles since that's what I got gauge with (after several false starts) and the hem and sleeve ribbing is knit on US #7 needles. I also knit the sleeves as half-sleeves since worsted weight yarn is pretty toasty for Seattle and I want to get a lot of wear out of this pullover. Omitting the buttons at the neckline turned out to be a good thing since I feel the yarn and texture pattern are the showstoppers here. I think I ended up with about 2" negative ease which is more than I was shooting for but after blocking the yarn, which is superwash, everything relaxed a bit and I feel good about the fit. Another thing, the pattern called for 1200 yards and I ended up using approximately 840 yards after all the mods I did - some of this is probably the shorter sleeves and some of it may be the amount of negative ease I ended up with but I'm not absolutely sure about that. While I love the outcome I'm not sure I'll be knitting this one again since I had so many issues with getting it right - I'm glad I persevered though, since I absolutely love the FO!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Music Monday

"I Don't Care if the Sun Don't Shine" (my version is on the Sunshine picture disc) by Elvis Presley. Wonderfully appropriate listening after this weekend's whole Spring Forward business. The picture disc has a portrait of Elvis on either side wearing, wait for it....Aran sweaters. I kid you not. It may have been my reason for purchasing said album since I'm not usually a sucker for picture discs - but Elvis in knitwear? Yes, please!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

FO: Storm Warning

yarma yarma

Pattern: Storm Warning by Liz Corke
Yarn: Kitchen Sink Dyeworks Seacell Merino Fine (no longer dyeing)
Needle: US #6 (4.0 mm) Hiya Hiya Sharp
Mods: Drama! Truth be told I think most of my knitting projects have it out for me one way or another. I thought this little sideways shawlette would be just the thing: weigh yarn, increase to half the yardage, decrease till your done. Sounds easy, right? Not so much. I think I misremembered the original yarn weight. But I compared what I had in the ball to the yardage listed in Ravelry and thought I was good. Nope. I knit faster and faster and still ran out of yarn about 5 inches short of where I should have. My trip to stitches was not fruitful in gaining more yardage of a similar blend and so I ripped back past the halfway mark, which included the removal of beads, and re-knit the dang thing. I think it turned out well even with all of the attached yarn drama.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WIP: Flowing Lines

I'm not sure that I've posted this before. I know that I complained about it to my knitting group, on my podcast, in my notes on Ravelry. This somewhat PITA is coming close to completion so I thought I'd boost my urge to knit on it by posting it here.

Pattern: Flowing Lines by Veera Valimaki
Yarn: Tosh Vintage in Saffron

This is a top-down pullover with a twisted stitch texture pattern on a reverse stockinette background. I don't recommend it for folks that hate the purl stitch. I was close to frogging the whole darn thing after several attempts to get the boatneck joined properly and the short rows for the sleeves to the correct stitch count. My gauge was off once I started the texture pattern so I had to rip back and go up a needle size. So many issues! A diagram would have been useful for joining the strips for the boatneck since that alone took about an hour of my knitting time and was also quite irritating to knit - it's very easy to twist the panels after getting them joined. The end is in sight and I'm excited for the FO since the knitting was not my favorite.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Music Monday

The Buzzcocks' album, Singles Going Steady, is one of my all time favorite listens. The album is firmly entrenched in the Punk genre with some Garagerock influence and is quite a bit more polished and nuanced than other punk bands of the same time period (late 70s). Full of energy and earworm lyrics it's got a vibrancy that still resonates after hundreds of plays.