Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Off the needles- Frosted Hat, Coastal Gradient Cowl

Vintage buttons on Coastal Gradient Cowl

Pattern: Coastal Gradient Cowl, by Elizabeth Smith of The Brown Stitch Pay for pattern, $5.00
Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Iachos mini skeins, Iachos in the Tardis colorway on size 5 needles
I had been hoping to make this cowl for some time now, and so when I spied the minis at the A Hundred Ravens Common Cod event, I snapped them up. The knit was relatively quick and easy to do, though I did modify the pattern. I did twice the number of color stripes as suggested in the pattern. The buttons are from a collection of oldies but goodies. This cowl looks great with everything!

Pattern: Frosted Hat by Amanda Lilley Pay for pattern, $3.99.
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick in the Hudson Bay and Fisherman colorways on size 9 needles

I have made this pattern before with worsted weight yarn, but my daughter asked for something knit in a bulkier weight. I modified the pattern and cast on 54 stitches with the larger needle. There is a colorwork zigzag feature, but it doesn't show up in this yarn. The hat is super warm and the pompom is a cool feature. A quick knit and a great gift!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Off the needles, Atwood Shawl and 1,2,3, Chickadee

1, 2, 3, Chickadee by Susan B. Anderson

Pattern: 1, 2, 3, Chickadee Shawl by Susan B. Anderson Pay for pattern $5.00
Yarn: Cascade 220 in colors 9448 and 9446, olive and brick and unlabeled yarn in honey on size 7

I am a goner for garter stitch and this was such a fun and fast knit, and how much do you love the tassels??? It was easy and the knitting was good for chatting or movie watching. I do love the colors.... next up, one in blues for my sister Jacqueline!

Atwood Shawl by Nicole of Hue_Loco

Pattern: Atwood Shawl by Nicole Clark, of the Hue_Loco podcast.  Pay for pattern $4.99
Yarn: Madelintosh  Tosh DK in Glazed Pecan, Madelinetosh Sport in Chicory on size 6 needles
This was a knit along project, hosted by Nicole on her podcast and in her Ravelry group. I love the pattern and the yarn colors make me swoon, both are from deep stash. The pattern is not difficult and you need to be able to knit, purl, do yarn overs and knit 2 together. I used the super stretchy bind off and after blocking, the shawl measures 64" across and 28" along the spine.

Monday, January 18, 2016

A year long project, Knit the Sky

This was my first attempt at a palette for Knitting the Sky this year.
Knit the Sky, by Lea Redmond, is a different type of knitting book. It is a springboard for a new way to approach your project planning. It offers a number of novel ideas that allow you to make your knitting personal and memorable. The illustrations and upbeat text are inspiring and innovative, and this is a book I will keep on my shelf and probably gift to others. It is that good!

I am one who often gazes upward to view cloud formations, colors in the sky, and, of course, the weather. I like to think I got that from growing up in Maine where the weather can change rapidly. Many times I might remark to whomever I am with, "Oh that color! I wish I had paint or fabric in that shade!" Now I am setting myself the task of recording daily the hues of the sky and clouds.

My header photo shows a batch of yarn I got from WEBS, and when I ordered, I thought the colors would be perfect. I chose the Alpaca lace weight because it allows you to blend two tones together to capture the color of the sky and clouds each day.  Except.... when I got my package, the colors were a bit too dark, and the green, well, the green won't do. The only time I have seen a green sky is during the Wizard of Oz, so.... back to the drawing board.

This is a collage from my Instagram feed showing my project colors, Quince and Co!
This photo captures the array of hues I will knit to capture the colors of the sky. I do love Quince and Co Finch, it was easy to order and the yarn is so plump and beautiful. The solid cream is Malabrigo Silky Merino... somehow I forgot to order a natural color from Quince and Co. for a white, cloudy day. I am knitting with vintage peach colored needles, they are an eBay find and have a springy feedback for plastic and they have nice tips. Each day I take a few minutes to record in knitting the color of the sky. I have wondered if I will stick with it? Will it be long enough? Will I end up frogging? It is too early to say, but so far I have enjoyed this knit.

This is a record of the first half of January.
Knit the Sky
Pattern: One I have made up, garter stitch, seed stitch.
Yarn: Quince and Co Finch in the following colors: Delft, Glacier, Storm, Petal, Frost, Audouin. Malabrigo Silky Merino in Natural

Using size 3 needles, I cast on 76 stitches. I am thinking I may use the Petal to mark the end of each month, knitting a few rows of seed stitch in pale pink. I am hoping to get a decent length for a scarf but it may become a cowl if it is too short. How much do you love the garter stitch? Especially in the Finch?

So, if you are inclined to join in, another resource for yarn is Knit Picks, they have such an array of hues. Knit the Sky gives you so many ideas for knitting the sky, but the basics, choose a time of day, my window is 11AM to 1 PM. You can take a daily photo or make a note mentally, I have seen some Instagram images where the knitter uses colored pencils to record conditions. You can choose other stitches and widths, perhaps you decide to make a throw or a pillow, or a wall art piece, the concept can be applied in many ways. As I mentioned at the opening, the author suggests you choose a lace weight yarn that you hold double, that way the blending of blues, greys and whites has a broader array.

I have been using a hashtag when posting on Instagram, #knitthesky2016. If you join in, add the hashtag when you post so that our projects can be found and perhaps inspire others to join us!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Finished Objects January 8, 2016

Faillyn Cowl
Faillyn Cowl
Pattern: Faillyn Cowl by Heidi May. Pay for pattern on Ravelry, $5.50
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick in Barley colorway on size 15 needles
You may have seen this pattern as modeled by an adorable 4 year old, complete with ears and a captivating smile. My sister loved the cowl but wanted it for snow shoveling weather, so we made some modifications. I wish I had been able to take a photo of the cowl on Jackie, but perhaps in the next weekend trip to Maine I can do that.
The pattern goes so quickly, given the bulky yarn and the size 15 needles, I think I made this in an afternoon. The buttons are from the collection my mom has at her house. This is a sweet gift to make, for any age.

Faillyn Cowl

Top Down Baby Bunting
Top Down Baby Bunting
Pattern: Top Down Baby Bunting by Amanda Lilley. Pay for pattern on Ravelry, $4.99
Yarn: Vanna's Choice, in Dusty Blue on size 9 needles
I have made this pattern once before and I so enjoy the many techniques. Amanda gives you clear directions for the cables, buttonholes and Kitchenered hood seam. It does require a bit of knitting experience, but I think you could succeed in making this by using YouTube if you are unsure. It moves quickly on larger needles and in a worsted weight yarn. The buttonhole allows you to buckle the carseat over the infants legs.

The Sweetest Thing Cardigan
Pattern: The Sweetest Thing Cardigan by Melissa LaBarre. Pay for pattern, $6.00
Yarn: Red Heart on size 7 needles
I have been enjoying these baby patterns as I have a co-worker who just became a grandmother. She has been the person behind these commissions and it is leading me to more knitting for other moms of infants. It is rewarding to make a sweater in short time, so much speedier than adult scale knitting.
This pattern is easy to make and the band of arrow stitches is simple to follow. This photo shows my buttons before I corrected the line up, the stitch design isn't even, I had to re-sew the buttons.

Gulf of Maine
Gulf of Maine
Pattern: Gulf of Maine, Elizabeth Smith. Pay for pattern in Ravelry, $3.00
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Brown Sheep Worsted in Prairie Fire, Persian Peacock, Blue Flannel colors using size 8 needle.
I scored some gorgeous Brown Sheep Worsted on Ravelry this summer, a member was de-stashing 8 skeins of beautiful colors for half the retail price, so I bought them. The pile of skeins sat on the sofa, near where I knit, and the combination possibilities often had me setting down my needles to create color stories. I found the pattern in my Favorites, it is by Elizabeth Smith of Brown Stitches. She also works at KnitWit in Portland and I have oogled her cowls while shopping. The finished object is lush and rich, and the garter stitch just sings. One modification I did to the pattern was that I knit it flat in order to just knit. I seamed it, but when I make this again, I will knit in the round.

What have you finished lately? If you would like, share the info in the comments box below!
Happy knitting....

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What's on the Needles, or WIPs Wednesday

Atwood KAL
Rather than fill this page with the many projects I have going, I would rather hone in on one in particular. I have had this Madelinetosh in my stash since the Windsor Button days and I have always loved this hue. It has stayed in the stash bag because I treasure my small hoard of Madelinetosh and never seem to land upon a pattern that is worthy of taking the skein to a cake and casting on. But, I was in Maine this past long weekend, visiting my parents and wanted to begin this KAL, there was just the right amount of DK and I adore this color, so I set about the process of a new shawl.

Nicole Clark of the Hue_Loco podcast is hosting this KAL and she asks you to tag her on Instagram when you share your progress photos. There is a Hue_Loco Ravelry group and if you need a nudge of enabling, go take a look at the many shawls now in progress. Beautiful! If you decide to cast on, Nicole has a coupon code to buy her pattern on her new website at a discount. The code is Atwood KAL and brings the price down to 2.99. This coupon code is only good on the new website, and if you venture to buy some of the delicious skeins Nicole has dyed, you will get the pattern for free. If you fall into Nicole's Etsy rabbit hole, you might emerge with an Atwood Shawl kit which includes yarn, the pattern and a project bag!

Pattern: Atwood Shawl, by Nicole Clark
Yarn: Madelinetosh DK in the Glazed Pecan colorway knit using two skeins and size 6 needles
This is such a zen pattern, easy to work when watching a movie, chatting with family or riding the bus back to Boston! This yarn is so elegant and the color makes me smile. It will be worn a lot I am sure. I am making the larger size shawl and may need to add a border in another color to get the full coverage, 49"x23". Also, the design calls for fingering weight, but the pattern can be modified to use another weight.

I would be interested to know if you decide to join in, share your photos on the East Coast Knitters group or tag me (and Nicole) on Instagram.