Monday, November 28, 2005

Recommendations for Ali, Part 1: Patterns

This post is for Ali, a newish knitter who is getting ready to branch out. Here's a nice picture:

(Ali & Anup)

I was going to send this by email, but I realized:
- other newish knitters might also be interested in this info
- other knitters might have other suggestions to add
- my blog could use more traffic :)

Ali mentioned that she had been doing hats and scarves, and was interested in trying something new. She said she might want to try something similar to my Clapotis capelet:

Here are my recommendations for "advanced beginner" projects:

1- The Paris Loop by Stephanie Japel

This is really easy: you knit in a tube, using progressively smaller needles to make the tube narrower as you go. I made a particularly horrific one of these, through bad yarn selection and poor fit.

The yarn it calls for has been discontinued. The designer recommends Lion Brand Homespun (not my favorite yarn) as an inexpensive substitute. I'd say anything of an appropriate gauge with some texture to it would probably work. If you want to go this route, I'd print out the pattern and the designer's FAQ, and take it to a yarn store with you. The shop ladies should be able to help you find something suitable.

2- Picovoli (a refinement of the Tivoli pattern) by Grumperina
I've made two Tivolis so far, using the original pattern, and both in KnitPicks Shine:

(Momvoli is done, with the exception of blocking, but I don't have a recent picture.)

3- Tempting by Jenna Adorno

This is really cute, and the pattern is very straighforward. The yarn it calls for is pricey, but Knitpicks Andean Silk would be a good substitute. (Seriously: $16-$22 vs. $36-54)

4- Tie One On, mellow version, by nona

Coming soon:

Part 2: Online Magazines and Suppliers
Part 3: Helpful Resources

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Stash Sta-Stash Stash!

I love stash. It's like endless possibilities. My stash is pretty paltry, compared to what others have described, but this one is mine. :)

The newest additions:


I didn't mean to go all Christmasey, but there you have it! That's:

- 12 skeins of Alpaca Silk in Cranberry
This is all for me! I'm going to design a sweater for this. My only criteria: cozy yet fitted.

- 2 skeins of Wool of the Andes, natural (the equivalent of 4 skeins of regular WOA).
I was planning to make some cabled handbags for my sisters, a la Michelle-Nicole, but with different styling: no bows, and very different handles. That may or may not happen; they're not big on small bags.

- 1 skein of Wool of the Andes in Grass
That is for the stems and leaves of Pick Up Sticks' felted flowers. I bought the Iris and Calla Lily patterns. I may make them as an extra xmas gift for someone-who-shall-remain-nameless-since-she-may-read-this.

I am very surprised by Wool of the Andes. It is MUCH softer than I expected. I might actually be able to wear this against skin, and I am PICKY when it comes to scratchy. It's very lofty too.


- 1 ball of Rowan Calmer in Slosh
This is for an iPod cozy (using Grumperina's pattern) for my honorary brother Dudley

- 2 skeins of Manos del Uruguay in Granite
This is for a toasty-warm scarf for my other sister's boyfriend David. The goals were warm and manly. I think we can accomplish that. :) Manos, being a single-ply, has a very organic look to it. I'm thinking of using the My So-Called Scarf pattern, which is an interesting stitch pattern, and should play up the rugged look of the yarn.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Xmas, and.... The Chicken Viking Hat!

Okay. I said a while back that I wasn't knitting any Christmas presents this year. How things change!


I mentioned the Chicken Viking Hat ito my brother-in-law-to-be while we were visiting him and my sister in NY. While I'm on the subject, here's a picture of the lovely couple:

He thought it was very cool, so I asked my sister if she thought he'd wear it. Apparently, he asked her that same night if she thought I'd make it for him!

I am very very excited about this project. First off, it's hysterical. Secondly, it looks not too brainless and not too hard. Thirdly, it's a baby hat, so resizing it to adult size will be a fun design project.


Since I was giving Ryan a gift this year, I wanted to give my younger sister's boyfriend something too. I asked Melanie for ideas, and she told me that he loves super-warm winter gear, and buys new hats, gloves, etc. constantly. I mentioned the possibility of double knitting someting (essentially knitting a second hat inside the first one), and she got really excited. I'm still waiting for info on items, sizes, colors, etc.


I will be making an iPod cozy for my declared-brother, probably using Grumperina's pattern. I swatched up some cotton, to avoid static, but it wasnt' nearly elastic enough. I'm going to do a test run with some leftover Alpaca Silk, but may buy a ball of Rowan Calmer (nice elastic cotton) for the finished product. Ooh! Maybe that'll be a good use for my Woolcotts store credit...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Clapotis Pics

Wrapped like a scarf

Wrapped like a shawl


Just look at that sheen!


Monday, November 07, 2005


Well, Clapotis is finished. She is beautiful, and bringing her into the world was in itself an act of beauty.

I used Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb in Forest (a discontinued color), and this is officially the SWEETEST YARN EVER. So soft. So shiney, such beautiful color distribution. I had a teensy bit of pooling, and it looked like I MEANT to do it that way.

I followed the pattern to the letter, with two exceptions:
- instead of using stitch markers, I purled the stitched to be dropped (as the Australian aborigines say: the more you know, the less you need)
- I twisted the stitched on either side of the purled stitch on both sides, not just on the knit side, I think this looks more even. Plus, it gives your brain a little more of a work-out.

I used size 8 needles and 3.5 skeins. I had a tiny little ball left afterward (maybe 1/2" in diameter), without doing extra increases or straight sections. I haven't measured it yet, but it makes a nice small wrap. If I had had the full four skeins (I split an order of seven skeins with my yarn buddy), I might have done an extra couple straight sections for a little more length. still, I can wear it over my shoulders and under my elbows like a stole, and I can wrap it all the way around my shoulders too.

I wore her outside for the first time yesterday with jeans and a teal poorboy. She was lovely. I wore her purl-side-out. I like both sides, although I didn't realize that Kate Gilbert meant the purl side to be the right side until I heard her on KnitCast, so I still think of the knit side as the "right side". I do think that the purl side has better "grip", so it's less likely to slide while you're wearing it. Both sides have excellent grip.

I was shopping in Target, and a lady around my age came up to me and asked me, not if I had made it, but WHERE I GOT IT! What a compliment! I told her I had made it myself, and she said I had done a very good job.


Pictures soonish, I promise. Just not tonight. :)