Posts Tagged ‘handknit’

Mystery Mitts KAL – 2nd Clue

January 23, 2011

Posting one clue at a time for a mystery knit is fun!

I didn’t realize that splitting up a pattern would basically necessitate retesting each portion – it’s easy to inadvertently change or overlook a detail in the process of breaking up the instructions for each clue, so the original pattern testing doesn’t guarantee accurate instructions.  No major hiccups, just a lesson learned in tracking versions of a document.

Now the second clue has been published to Ravelry FGF Group, we can post our pictures of completed clue 1:

RowCounter

I’m loving the shades of green in this yarn, and I’m almost regretting not saving it for socks since the yarn has a delightful, firm and springy quality that would feel marvelous on the soles. Maybe I’ll have enough left over for a pair of short socks or slippers.

Girly

My cotton gloves are soooo pretty! I find it interesting that the stripes start with a knit row, yet appear to be just a purled row. If the first row were not knit in the contrast colour, the purled bumps would have been half white/half pink. Unfortunately, purling the second row means the technique to avoid “jogs” in circular stripes (lifting the stitch from the row below and knit with the first stitch when working the second round) doesn’t work. I plan to use duplicate stitch when sewing in my tail-ends to neaten up if necessary.

The second clue focuses on the thumb gusset. The increase stitches for thumb gussets are important. It doesn’t matter if you substitute your preferred method, but you should choose an increase that can be worked in mirrored pairs if you want to create a balanced “V” shape. You should also consider whether holes in or under the increased stitches are desirable. Although Mystique has small and large eyelets, I did not plan to have holes in the thumb shaping, so I chose lifted increases. Lifted increases can be worked right-leaning or left-leaning, and they do not make holes.

Lifted increases are easy-peasy but most things knit are easier when you’ve seen someone else do it. I’m posting a video here because all of the great tutorials I normaly refer to are either a little blurry, or they demonstrate the left-leaning increase incorrectly. I only have a wee, little, basic camera so I hope this little video (my first!) is good enough to be helpful.

You may download the pattern here:Chris Abbott Ravelry Designer Page

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Mystery Mitts KAL – First Instalment

January 8, 2011

This is the time of year that some of us will still be needing warm FGs (fingerless gloves), but some will already be wondering what non-wool yarn can be used to make FGs suitable for warmer weather?  I have designed this pair of FGs to be done either in sport-weight cotton, or sport-weight sock yarn.  In fact, there are lots of choices that the knitter can make throughout the project, which should make this a good mystery project.

Here are the materials I’m using for both pairs:

Mystery

This is sport-weight, 100% cotton that I picked up in Tokyo. I had just received a lovely prize of stitch markers (you can see one of them in the picture) from Wendy Ganiggle and wanted yarn to coordinate with them. I’m going to make the stitch markers part of the finished FGs so they’ll be handy next time I need one (often can’t find a stitch marker when I need one). These will be totally girly-girly mitts.

Mystery

This sport-weight sock yarn from Slackford Studios is one of my favourites. I really want to make me some socks from it, but while I’m finding it difficult to get anything bigger than a postage stamp knitted, I’ll stick with the FGs. See the beads? Those are optional too. I plan to use them to make the FGs row counters. These options are not added until the FGs are being finished, so the knitter may decide right at the end which way to go.

Gauge is 6 stitches and 9 rows to the inch over stocking stitch. I used a US 4, 3.5mm circular needle – mine is 40″, but I like plenty of length. Instructions will be for magic loop, which are very easy to convert to two circulars. If you prefer to work on dpns, and have questions, we can handle those easily (that’s what KALs are for).

Mystery Mitts KAL

January 5, 2011

The Fingerless Gloves Fanatics group in Ravelry has always been the most welcoming, informative, and fun group to hang out with. Last year I volunteered to be one of the designers for their Mystery Mitts Knit-Alongs, and finally the stars are aligned, and I’ll be doing just that this month!

So how does this Mystery KAL work? I’ll be posting materials needed and a few details (like gauge and needle sizes) on January 15th. Each week thereafter, I’ll post a portion of the pattern and everyone will knit that portion, not knowing what the final gloves look like until the end. The idea of KALs is that anyone unfamiliar with a knitting technique may get support from the group, and have fun sharing pictures of progress.  Oh, and the pattern will be free to members of the group for the duration of the KAL.  (Anyone in Ravelry may join – both Ravelry and the Group are free).

I plan to post pictures here each week. Although none of the techniques are especially challenging for moderately experienced knitters, I think newer knitters might like to see pictures of them (such as how to make mirrored increases for the thumb gusset).

This design will offer the knitter two choices for the glove: one uses two colours of sport-weight cotton, the other uses sport-weight sock yarn. There will be options to customize the look of the gloves in the final week. This will be fun!!

(Wot no pictures???) Here’s the pretty sunrise I saw on the morning of Christmas:

Sunrise Dec 2010

New Year Resolutions

November 5, 2010

I’m making New Year resolutions now.  There are things I want to get done before the year is over, and there are things I want to do in the future, which require me to make changes now so that I will be in a better position to do them.  I have decided to target three areas:

Knitting:

I really want to complete the masters program offered by TKGA. In fact, I’d like to submit the first of three levels before 2011. I’ll post pictures of my progress here, and since the program involves researching various knitting techniques, I’ll post links to good explanations or videos I find along the way.

Another knitting goal, but not one that I have to complete by end of year, is to focus on finishing sock designs that I have already begun. I really need to finish Stray Cat socks using Stalwart Sock Yarn. Here’s a sneek peak:

StrayCat

I also need to knit me a pair of Chocolate Turtle Socks, finishing up writing the pattern as I go. The prototype was a pair of socks I knitted for my son using a skein of Wollmeise a generous friend mailed it to me as a surprise, and as soon as son saw it, he commented that he should probably ask if I could knit him some good socks one day……(what’s a good mum to do?) 

TurtleSockI

Lastly, I need to rewrite WRBTR Socks – I knitted these using a stitch that I’m sure is not new, but nonetheless, I made it up on the fly. Here’s the story behind them: at Sock Summit, my hostess handed me a travelling scarf she was working on so that I would have something to knit in the world record challenge – everyone was required to use straight needles, and I didn’t have any with me. When I asked Sarah what stitch I should use, she told me “just anything you feel like knitting”……moments later Pearl McPhee is telling us that we must continue to knit without stopping to fix mistakes! So I decided I could manage a variation on a rib stitch for this travelling scarf – hence the name World Record Breaking Travelling Rib Socks. I worked this pair in sport weight yarn, and I love wearing them with boots:

WRBTR Socks

I’ll come back later with my other two resolutions…..

Modern Lace Shawl: Pamuya

November 1, 2010

I’ve been busy getting a Fall garden going lately – the weather is just delicious right now, and almost every evening ends like this:

Sunrise 10/31/2010

Once indoors, I squeezed in a few rows here and there on Pamuya designed by Alexandra Weidmayer, which I thoroughly enjoyed knitting.

Pamuya II

There are enough plain(ish) rows for mindless knitting while reading or travelling. I really like how it looks relatively modern, yet is light and lacey.  You can check out more of Alexandra’s designs here: dragansvarg

Pamuya VII

The yarn is Schaeffer Trenna, which is 50/50 merino & silk – feels so good, I can’t quite make up my mind as to whether this is a keeper or a gift for someone special….

Beaded Hot August Nights & Other Projects

October 7, 2010

Care to join me for a cup of tea? I couldn’t resist donning these gloves for my afternoon ritual. Turns out that adding beads isn’t too difficult, and so so pretty!

BlueTeaParty

Next time I knit up this design, I think I’m going to make them elbow length. I made this pair for Fingerless Gloves Fanatics Summer Swap on Ravelry. I’m thrilled that they look to be a good fit for the recipient.

I participated in another swap: OT FGF Insanity Housewares Medium Flat Rate Box Swap – that’s a long name for a swap! I tried knitting dishcloths and a market bag – I have a new respect for these items and will have to make some more for me:

Housewares Swap

Here’s a really versatile yarn, raffia!

Raffia Market Bag

Made a pretty market bag, and see what I did with the leftovers:

VeggiePatchFall2010

Its pretty late in the year, but I don’t think you can ever count on the weather in Oklahoma, so I may as well throw caution to the wind, and a few seeds on the yard. I’m sticking with a small patch as an experiment – most of these seeds are for late Fall/early Winter crops, some I may try to cover and hope that they don’t die come the first frost.

Picotee

June 29, 2010

My silk top is coming along nicely.  I’m limited on opportunities to keep knitting on it while travelling as it isn’t really a convenient size, and I’m having to work out little challenges (such as how to make the pleats face the right way).  I’m working up one side of the front neck right now.  If this thing looks good on me, I’ll probaby write it up and have some different sized knitters test it for me.

Picotee

Summer Glove

June 27, 2010

Here’s my latest fingerless glove design, Summer Glove:

P4240349

I just love how the shaping for the thumb fits in the design:

P4240350

This pattern is currently only available at Robin’s Nest, and is part of the Summer Mitts Kit. I believe there are still kits available and, while I haven’t seen the Summer kit yet, I know the Spring kit had lots of lovely extras included.

The yarn for my pattern was supplied by Craftsmeow. Its really nice to work with – I had no problem coming up with a design that would show off the pretty raspberry & mango sprinkles. (I’m adding Craftsmeow to my very short list of favourites).

New Cast On?

June 15, 2010

I started a simple top in Silk 2 from Lotus Yarns.  I needed something that I could just keep knitting in stocking stitch while I was studying for an exam since I have the hardest time sitting still with a dull book.  Mindless knitting helps me sit still while focusing on the content of my reading. 

This will be a short-sleeved t-shirt with a pleated neckline. Since the top will have pleats, and should have a little drape, I needed a cast-on edge that is stretchy and not bulky. So regular cast-ons were out, as well as any kind of cast-ons that involve making a hem, which I believe would cause the lower edge to stand away from my body in an uncomplimentary fashion.

I settled on a variation of the Channel Islands cast on, and I think I may have created a new one here since I can’t find anything like it.  I added a k1, p1 row just above, then a couple of rows later a K3, p1 which does not create the bulk of a rib, yet has stopped the edge from curling up:

NewCastOn

 I couldn’t find a similar cast on in any of my knitting books – has anyone seen a cast on that creates picots and eyelets like this?

I haven’t decided whether I’ll publish to pattern for the top yet, I guess I’ll see how the top and sleeves turn out.

Lovely Lavender

June 5, 2010

I’ve been working on socks a lot lately, and its necessary to keep a pretty tight tension on those for good fit and wear.  I decided I’d like to work on something with a looser tension for a change, which brought lace shawls to mind.  However, I didn’t want to start on another large project so I decided to do a miniature shawl using some Silk 2 that I bought from Lotus Yarns when I was in China. The yarn is very strong and makes lovely lace:

P5300427

I used this mini-shawl as a way to practice attaching a border to a square. I’m going to try some more ideas out this way. Seemed to me that this is a swatch that I can turn into something useful. It so happens that I got a harvest of lavender from my neglected courtyard this week. My dining room (temporary lavender-drying room) smells heavenly right now.

P5300418

I plan to remove all the flower heads to fill a silk square topped with my lace mini-shawl. Lavender repels moths and smells wonderful (to me) so I think this would be a super project to keep around my precious stash or maybe it should go into my best sweater drawer?