Posted in Finished object, FO Fridays, Knitting

FO Friday: Oh, look, a new cowl!

Lots of book reading going on here lately.  And some knitting, too.  I finished this cowl at the end of September.  A three-month delay in blogging any finished project seems normal these days…

two-color-lace-cowl-3Pattern: Um, mine. Right now I’m calling it Lacy Moebius Cowl.  The name will probably change.  It’s yet to be written down in any sort of publishable form, but that may be coming soon. I hope to get a lot of “housekeeping” stuff done while I’m off work after surgery.

Yarn:  The luscious Cashmere Aran by Lotus, in Ecru and Dark Teal.  100% cashmere, 100% indulgence.  1 skein each, 200 yards total.

Needles:  Size 9 Addi Turbos.  I didn’t need to use circular needles because this is knitted flat across the short way, but I’ve gotten to where I hate using straights.

Satisfaction with end product:  It’s soft and warm and beautiful, and will keep my neck and ears toasty warm on those occasions the Atlanta winter day dips below 45F.  I’m having some second thoughts about the moebius twist that exposes the back side of the lace pattern.  It’s interesting visually, and makes for a nice texture contrast, but I worry that it may be too much because of the yarn color contrast.

Here are a few more pictures.  Let me know what you think.  (Click the pic to make it bigger.)

 

 

Posted in Finished object, Knitting

FO Friday: Introducing the Ribby Striped Cowl

I wanted to make a cowl with a very specific yarn, one bought expressly for the purpose of making a cowl.  An extensive (although not exhaustive) survey of my library patterns and the free patterns available through Ravelry resulted in no matches for the cowl I had in mind in the yarn I wanted to use.

That’s it above:  Lana Grossa Linea Pura CashSilk, a smooth cushiony bulkyweight nylon/bamboo/cashmere/silk blend.  So what does a knitter do when she can’t find the pattern she wants?  She creates her own!

I wanted the cowl to be simply constructed with some texture, but not too much texture because the tubular construction and bulky weight of the yarn meant the stitches would be textural all on their own.  Plain and simple was best: ribbing and stripes.

Ribby Striped Cowl 1

Pattern:  Ribby Striped Cowl by yours truly (click here for the Ravelry project page)

Yarn:  Lana Grossa Linea Pura Cashsilk, 1 skein each Navy, Cream, Rust; 82 yards (75 meters) per skein

Needles: US 11, 36-inch circular

Size:  Approximately 38 inches in circumference, and 7 1/2 inches tall.

Satisfaction with end product: I’m pleased as punch with the way it turned out.  It’s cushiony and soft and lightweight, gentle and smooth against the skin.  The cowl is long and stretchy Ribby Striped Cowl 3enough to wrap twice around one’s head and neck if necessary, and it drapes well enough to wear as a decorative scarf as well as a neck-warmer.

I’ll get the pattern written up soon and make a decision on pricing.  I also have to figure out how to make a .pdf document available through WordPress or some other feature.  Note to self: check out Ravelry’s options for pattern delivery.

Ribby Striped Cowl 2In the meantime, here’s one more photo for your viewing pleasure.

All of the usual FO Friday link-ups seem to have fallen by the wayside, so we’ll start one here. Add your blog’s link below, and be sure to link back to this post so others can join in. If you want to be really cool, go check out a few linked blogs and add a comment or two. Crafty folk love feedback!

FO Fridays with Avantaknits Participants 

1. Emily

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And you can use the badge below to create your link back here.

FO Friday Avantaknits Badge (2)

ETA:  Saturday morning I found another FO Friday to link with, so take a gander over there as well.  I look forward to seeing all your FOs linked up here and there!

(By the way, spouse was released from the hospital late Thursday afternoon, and so far seems to be doing very well.  Thank you, everyone who contacted me with words of support.  You are appreciated.)

Posted in Finished object, Knitting, Technique

FO Friday: The Third Day of Christmas Edition

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we celebrated Christmas the old-fashioned way? Let the month of December be the reflective season of Advent, with the focus on preparation for the coming of the Christ; and let Christmas be the celebration of that holy birth with the traditional twelve days of joy and gift-giving, beginning on Christmas Day. Of course, the religious aspects of this sort of celebratory tradition will apply only if one follows Christianity, but still, isn’t it a marvelous idea: a winter month of solemn contemplation and introspection, followed by almost two weeks of joyous revelry?

We do this in a small fashion in our home: I refuse to put the Christmas decorations away until Epiphany (January 6), the thirteenth day after Christmas. The gift-giving, not so much, except for you, dear readers. Here on this third day of Christmas, I give to you three completed projects.

Entrelac CowlPattern: Entrelac Cowl by Preita Salyer
Yarn: Noro Cashmere Island, colorway #6, two skeins (220 yds). Actually, it was just under two skeins. I had barely 4 grams of yarn left out of 40, and that works out to about 11 yards remaining. I don’t like having a lot of leftover yarn, so that was perfect. Mini yarn review: This yarn is a single, and it tended to break. A lot. But it was soft and cushy, and the end product is so lusciously warm and cozy, it makes the breakage worth the trouble, at least in this small project. In a larger project, I can see it becoming a royal pain. However, the yarn is discontinued and, except for those 11 yards, I have no more, so it’s a moot issue at this point.
Needles: Addi Turbo U.S. size 6, 20-inch circular
Satisfaction with end product: As mentioned above, the cowl is warm and cozy and cushy and soft. It’s big enough to pull up and cover the wearer’s ears, if needed, but not so big it can’t be worn beneath a coat. I liked it a lot. In fact, I was tempted to keep it for myself, but it was always intended as my sister’s birthday present, so I gave it to her. By the way, this was my first entrelac project, and I’m quite pleased with the result. Noro, with its long color repeats, is the perfect yarn for entrelac. And, as I knitted each tiny square, I used the “knitting backwards” technique I learned at Stitches South in April so I didn’t have to turn my work every seven stitches, making the knitting go faster because I didn’t have to constantly re-adjust my yarn and tension.

Molissa's Scarf 1
Molissa's Scarf 4
Pattern: Richelieu Scarf by Carol Wolf
Yarn: Southwest Trading Company Tofutsies, colorway #921, approximately 390 yards of a 464-yard skein. Mini yarn review: Easy on the hands, no breakage, nice soft feel and drape. I have another skein in a different colorway that I’ll definitely use, maybe for a shawlette.
Hook: Boye aluminum, U.S. Size G
Size: Roughly 7 feet in length, and 8 inches in width. Plenty long enough to wrap around one’s head and neck and still leave a decorative tail to drape across one’s coat.
Satisfaction with end product: Pleased. The pattern was fairly simple for me. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to a beginner. Also, I’d have preferred the directions to have been charted, but the written directions were easy enough to follow. The scarf itself blocked out beautifully, with a wonderful drape. I was a little unsure about that intricately-detailed edging. I was afraid it would look busy or sloppy, but it blocked out nicely. This was a gift for my sister-in-law, who made all the appropriate noises of appreciation.

Craft Room 1Craft Room 2
And finally, this. All the yarn is sorted into the appropriate bins; all the bins are stored in their cubes; all the books and magazines are on the shelves; the sewing machine is stored in the closet but the table is ready for use; the sewing notions, knitting needles, and assorted craft accessories are organized and put away; in short, OMG, it’s a craft room! Thank you to my fabulous spouse who not only assembled the wall units and set them up, he didn’t complain (much) at the cost of said wall units and fabric bins. Craft Room 3Now all I need is a comfy chair and ottoman for sitting and knitting, and all will be perfect! Well, almost perfect. There’s still one corner of the room that needs a little help, and I have several doilies made by my late grandmother that need to be pinned out and mounted in shadowboxes and hung as decor. But the work surface for such pinning and mounting is available!

7cde9-fofridayThis post is part of the FO Friday round-up hosted by Tami’s Amis. Click on that badge over there to see what other folks have finished up this Friday.

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Posted in Finished object, Knitting

FO Friday

It’s still Friday in my time zone, although not by much…squeaking in for FO Friday with Tami’s Amis!

The following hat and cowl were actually finished a couple of weeks ago, while I was stuck at home for three days during the Southern Snowpocalypse. One thing about living in Dixie: it doesn’t snow often, but when it does, entire states come to a screeching halt. Anyway, I’ve been wearing them any time the temperature dips into the 30s or below. Toasty warm. The cowl has a tendency to fog my eyeglasses by bouncing my breath back on my face. I can live with that as long as my neck and ears are warm.

Cables & Pompom Hat, on my head:

And on the sideboard:

And the matching cowl:

I tried taking photos of myself wearing them as a set, but the lighting in the bathroom is lousy, and the pictures using the antique full length mirror came out all fuzzy…because it’s an antique mirror and the silvering is worn. Maybe I can corral spouse long enough tomorrow to shoot a modeling session.

My pattern for both, using two skeins of a fabulous bulky wool (Ester Bitran Hand-Dyes Mincha) I found at Tuesday Morning, of all places. The beanie is topped with a PomPom made of the remnants of the camel/wool blend yarn used for the Sweet Nothing Shrug (which is still a work in progress because it’s still sitting in the “to be blocked” box, along with two baby blankets). There’s about 1/2 to 2/3 of a skein left of the bulky wool. My attempts at making a set of matching mitts were unsuccessful. The yarn is a single and the DPNs in such a small circumference pull it apart. I’ll probably use the rest of it for felted pot holders or some such.

I finished the actual crocheting of that second baby blanket this evening. Weaving in the ends and blocking await. I hope to block both of these cuties in the next week and have them ready for next Friday. I’ve been putting it off because it involves massive pinning and then dragging out the steamer to kill the acrylic yarn — both blankies are crocheted lace and need such blocking to maintain the laciness and still be machine washable. Hmmm, I wonder if my new blocking wires will be suitable on these projects. I foresee an experiment coming.