20 March 2010

Stitches West 2010

I have several posts' worth of catch-up to do, covering the last couple of months.

First, behold my haul from Stitches West 2010!
So, what have we got here... A wooden shawl pin, a drop spindle (!!), a sock needle holder, 3 buttons, a beaded stitch marker. Two balls of Jojoland Melody and a skein of Cascade Heritage for some Endpaper Mitts. Two skeins of Miss Babs superwash sock yarn - one for me and one for B. Some Abstract Fiber Mighty Sock that my mom bought for some socks she's commissioned (even though she knits, too). One skein of Wabi Sabi Lush Lace that will make one Citron shawl and potentially a second shawl, pattern T.B.D. A whole mess of Mission Falls 136 for a colorwork sweater vest I'm planning. And two lovely bunches of "top" (apparently -- I would have called it roving, but what do I know about fiber?) so that I can try out that new spindle. More on that later.
My mom and I had a blast! It's so fun to see so many knitterly artists congregated in one place, talking yarn and showing off the wonderful lovely creations they've made. (Yes it's 77 degrees inside the convention center, but dangit, I'm wearing my Aran sweater and wool socks!!)
(Yes, Stitches was 3 weeks ago. Yes, I know my blog habits are atrocious.)

21 February 2010

Pomaire Market Bag

Pattern: Lean to the Left Bag, by Kate D'Ettore
Yarn: Araucania Pomaire Multy (cotton) - exactly 1 skein

I knitted this as part of Ravelympics 2010 "Bag Jump" event. It was a quick and easy project, at just 3 days of Olympics-watching-time. And it's hard to argue the appeal of the "green" produce/market bag, especially in a gorgeous yarn like this one. I just may have a new go-to project for last minute gift knitting.

This was also a stash-busting project. I bought the skein of Pomaire back in Jacksonville, if I remember correctly. I had no plans for the yarn, it just struck me in that way that special yarn does.

The only change I made was making it a little smaller (since I only had a single skein of the yarn in my stash), and making two shorter handles instead of one long strap. The pattern calls for afghan crochet for the handles, which was the first time I've used this technique. I enjoy the resulting fabric, it seems to be nice and strong, and looks neat as well.

25 January 2010

My Refined Aran Jacket

I started working on this sweater back in the late summer. It was bumped many times for projects with deadlines, gifts, and so on. Finally it's finished, and with plenty of "cold" weather left this winter.

Pattern: Refined Aran Jacket, from Interweave Knits Winter 2007. No modifications.

Yarn: Miss Babs Yummy Superwash Sport 3 Ply, in "Denim" colorway, 6 skeins. I picked it up at Stitches West last year. I really love this merino, it has a great look when it's all knitted up. The slight variegation came out nice, adding interest while still looking dignified.

The pattern was pretty challenging in the way that it was written, and one really has to read the whole thing through before getting started. There's lots going on at once, between forming the collar, shaping the waist, inserting the pockets, shaping the arm... and one section will start before the last one finishes. I had to take lots of notes to make sure my fronts matched up right. That being said, I'm very pleased with how it turned out, although I think I need to take some further measures to get the collar to stay folded over the way it's supposed to be. Blocking alone doesn't seem to have cut it.

20 January 2010

Alfonso, the Charming Knitted Monkey

Originally I designed this pattern for a friend's baby, and then I liked it so much that I made a second one (with some slight adjustments) for myself! I've added the pattern to Ravelry, so for a few bucks you can make one of your very own.



Yarn: For "Alfonso" (the one that matches the pattern), I used Plymouth Galway Worsted, one skein of light green and less than one skein of tan, plus a little bit of black for the eyes and nostrils. For "Mortimer" (the first, practice one), I used Mission Falls 1824 Cotton, one skein of green and less than one skein of natural, and the same black. If you're making your own, any worsted weight will do, really, but washable is recommended if the monkey is going to be for a kid.

Needles: For both, I used size 3 dpns.

Pattern: You can download a PDF of Alfonso from Ravelry for $3. (Or, view the Ravelry page first, and THEN buy it!)