Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What's all the buzz?

Yes, I’ve been sucked into the fad that is known as the Beekeeper’s Quilt.  I’m working on it with Someone Special (insert barfy-mushy sighs here), and we’ve decided to make our little hexagons in a heavier weight yarn than the usual sock weight, and keep them unstuffed.  Back in the day, I used to knit almost exclusively with worsted weight yarn, so I'm enjoying the chance to dive into my yarn scraps and take a trip down yarnie memory lane.  

Puffs 7

See this striped one?  I took the blue-green yarn with me to my first Sheep and Wool Fest to help me resist the feeling that I don’t have anything nice in my stash.  I think it misfired, because it only seemed to act as a magnet for similar colors.  The grey was brought into later projects as I discovered its magical properties in bringing out the other colors.

Puffs Lt Purple 1
Remember those skeinlets I spun up during the recent Tour de Fleece? A teacher told me that a great way to improve your spinning is to knit with your handspun yarns.  Now we get to see how they knit up! 

Puffs Dk Purple 2

Puffs green 2

The blue-green yarn gives me some laughs as I recall of unintentionally terrorizing a toddler with my Trindle on the boardwalk.

Puffs Green 4

The original plan for the "hexaflats" was to knit them in dk weight yarn, mostly to have the chance to use some really lovely yarns the Darling and I were using.  Then upon further reflection (and knitting up my handspuns, which turned out much heavier in gauge than I had intended), I asked if we could use worsted weight yarn.  Best move ever.  And now I think I have come up with a solution to allow us to utilize the smaller hexaflats:

Puffs 4

Other stuff on the needles: I'm working on Hiz Vest (which I intend to have completed for Rhinebeck), some holiday knitting, some baby projects, and a set of cabled armwarmers.  They aren't the fingering weight yarn or the pattern used by Yarndude, as I'm improvising for a luscious dk yarn (Madeline Tosh), but seeing his helped give me the kick in the pants to finally start.  


I also plied two handspun silk-wool singles yarns that a friend gave me.  Then photographing got a little carried away.  Luckily for you, here's only a few shots.


Rocks 3

Wall bridge   
More of that later.  For now, happy knitting!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What I couldn't show you before

So, um, I was looking at the tags cloud for my blog, and it appears to be rather overshadowed by a particular name.   I feel like a creepy stalker, but I'm really not!  So I shall not mention it here.

You know those testknits for You-Know-Who?  Here's one from Book Three.


Dustland - the hat.  (there are mitts to match)


Warning: this is the first of my new photo shoots, courtesy of my fine photographer... hat photo frenzy to follow.


That's my photographer there.  Ain't he great?


And this is me.  Heh.

Now for the promised plethora of photos:







The review: This hat was so easy to knit that at first I didn't realize how much I'd like it.  It consists entirely of simple knit-purl combinations, so it'd be a great project for a knitter who doesn't feel very confident in his or her pattern-reading skills yet--just one of the things I love about the patterns of he-who-must-not-be-named.


The fabric is easy to read as you knit.  I'm not a fan of ticking off rows on paper or a counter of some sort; rather I find it much easier to read the actual stitches if the fabric allows it.  No fuss, no papers to lose, no counter that I forgot to tick or turn.  So I love patterns that have reference points built in, as this one does. 


 Good times! I love it!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Shoot! I did it again! - The Mystery Shawl

Presenting the Westknits mystery shawl knitalong, "Earth and Sky"

Shawl Fence 8

For the uninitiated, a mystery knitalong involves a series of "clues" in which progressive sections of the pattern are sent out, so that everyone participating is working on the same bit at the same time.  It's kinda fun to speculate what the next bit of the pattern will be. 

Clue 1 'nugget' completed

Shawl Crumpled 7

I learned something while knitting this shawl; besides being a very intriguing architect, Frank Lloyd Wright designed stained glass.  (I've been to see Fallingwater, and highly recommend it to anyone passing through the Pittsburgh region.)  By a stroke of luck, I picked colors that, by an esteemed observer's opinion, were colors that fit well with the FLW story.

Shawl Fence 12

Shawl Curled 1

Shawl Fence 10

Do you know how I feel about grey? It is my new best friend in yarn form.  A former art student confirmed my theory when he said that grey has the magical property of showing off colors to their best advantage.  My big wish is that yarn shops would stock more beautiful greys, so that I can expand the potential of the beautiful single skeins in my yarn stash.

I've also started collecting grey shirts - quite a change for me, but I'm loving it.

Shawl Fence 1

Shawl Fence 6

I can't not tell you the gorgeous yarns in this shawl.  Here they are:
Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes in "Straight No Chaser"
Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn in "Rusty Nail"
Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in "Tern"

They're all very lovely yarns, but the Hedgehog Fibres Sock made this shawl an extra delight to knit.  Once again, I'm smitten.

Shawl Wall 1

Can you tell I really like photographing this shawl?

~ ~ ~

P.S. Before his disappearance, the fish did buy the yarn.

Oh! Shoot!

Photo shoot, that is!

I finally finished my Java socks. I started them in February.  Sad, I know.  But now it's a happy thing!    Hopefully you don't mind a picture-laden, verbally-frugal post...

Java Socks 2

Java Socks 11

Java Socks 3

As you may already know, the Java sock is made special partly by the way the gusset decreases eat up the instep of the foot, rather than the typical spot along the sides of the heel.  I figured out my own method for working the cables without a cable needle, using a bit of slipping.  I wasn't keen on the idea of the pinch-and-slip method at such a small gauge.  You can also see that the toes involve no grafting, though I must admit I rather missed it.

Java Socks 9

Java Socks 4

Java Socks Fountain 2

Next up: A continuation of the photo shoot, wherein I reveal the finished Wesknits mystery shawl!  Yay!