Friday, February 27, 2009

(almost) spring things.

It's just insane how beautiful the weather in the southwest has been here lately! I am not trying to rub it in for those of you living in colder climates, instead I am sharing with you the promising thoughts of budding trees, warm days and SUNSHINE that lay in store. Spring will come... I have proof! In the meantime, here are some wintry things that I wanted to post before the cold-weather months are over.

This hat was knit from the pattern Hannah and you will notice that it (purposely!) has a hole in it. It was knit as a request from someone that came into Unravel and wanted a hat she could pull her ponytail through when she is working outdoors in cold weather. I helped her pick out a dark green Cascade 220 Superwash yarn (perfect working outdoors!) and got an idea of size and style for the hat. It was a pretty easy knit. I doubled the yarn and used size 10 needles and knit the entire thing flat, then just sewed it up halfway. I think the buttons are a cute (as well as functional) touch.

I also knit another version of the le slouch beret, this time with the double moss stitch. Oh, I looove working in this stitch! I love the texture and how quick and fluidly it knits up. I used a little less than 2 balls of Berroco's Pure Merino from my stash, a gift from my friend Aly. I think this hat has just enough slouch for me! Even though I won't be wearing it this winter, I will hold onto it for now. The color and stitch are just too pretty to part with!

I thought I'd share with you a new yarn purchase I made when I was traveling in Arizona last month. I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous shop Knit 1, Bead 2 in the funky town of Jerome, AZ. My eyes and fingers fell in love with the oddly beautiful Shire Silk from Plymouth yarns.

It's 100% raw silk, very light weight with a nubby texture and hints of gold, cream and deep green running through each minty strand. can you tell I am in love? Now I am not usually one to buy yarn without a project in mind, I've already got enough lonely skeins lying around waiting for an assignment than I know what to knit with, but this stuff was too pretty and different I couldn't pass it up. I bought 3 skeins hoping to make a spring scarf, no particular pattern in mind, just knowing something this lovely was bound to be good!

Here's what I've started so far. It's a very fickle yarn, doesn't work well with many patterns. I had something lacy in mind, something open and airy, but not too intricate since the bumpy texture will not let it show. I decided on this wavy pattern and worked in 3 different size needles before deciding that smaller was better and settling on a size 8. (the "swatch" above is size 10 and a little loose for my liking) I still think the yarn is beautiful and it isn't too tough to work with, just knits up differently than the alpaca and merinos I've grown used too. It requires a lot of patience and trial and error.

I'm not making this for any particular reason except that I enjoy to knit, so I could start over and over again all I want, but eventually I'm gonna want to finish something! Anyone have a suggestion for the silk? I looked at some projects made from the same material on Ravelry but nothing there really made my heart skip a beat. For now I'm just as happy to admire my yarn on the shelf, and wait for the right project to come along... eventually.

Monday, February 02, 2009

just a few things...

I feel like I don't have much to show for myself lately. January was a month of dreaming and scheming and not a lot of getting-knitting-done.

I did make this VERY important "garment":

This handy 12" x 6" rectangle is one of the simplest things I've knit in awhile and helps keep my coffee warm when I'm not yet ready for that second cup. It's actually stretched a bit from use, so I think if I made another one I'd put cables or a thicker rib to keep it snug. Still, it gets the job done and worked up quickly from leftover yarn in my stash.

So, it was not a busy month for knitting, but I did take trips to San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona. I got a new job and taught my first ever knitting class. PLUS I cast on for this top:

It's from The Best of Interweave Knits and I'm using that Blue Sky Alpaca Silk I just can't stop raving about! Although it's a small garment, it's probably one of the biggest projects I've tackled, 200+ stitches circling my needles! I'm about 12 rows in and think I have a mistake, so I might have to start over tonight... sigh. See why I'm not very productive?