Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2012 will be a better year than 2011, in every aspect. And what better start for a new year than a blog post about UFOs from the last! I have been hesitant to blog about UFOs as I can't take decent pictures of them - examples of that will follow -, but blogging about finished projects only produces .12 posts per year and it would be fun to post a bit more often. (One could always post pictures of recent purchases but one is ashamed to do so anymore, considering the Barn of Yarn already full of yarns to be knit.) The blog is, or I want it to be anyway, a journal about my projects, so UFOs have to be posted. I apologize for the pictures in advance.
I set up the studio and photographed all UFOs I could find. Granted, I didn't search every nook and cranny of the Lair - these were found within 4 ft of my desk. It seems I am stuck in stockinette stitch.
This is one of my favorite sweaters made with my trusty knitting machine. Finally, I seem to have found the measurements and adjustments with which my knitting machine produces the garment I want. And I have learned to sew the seams and work the decreases 3 sts in, so the seams sew up nice and properly. I'm really happy with this one, especially the collar.
The bpdy was naturally knit in pieces, bottom up, but the collar was knit sideways, with short rows for shaping. The shawl collar is a wonderful way to display shawl pins and brooches (of which one seems to have collected a decent stash), so I think I might make another sweater like this one. I used less than 5 skeins (and less than 2000yds) of my Väinämöinen sock yarn, so the sweater is rather lightweight but still quite warm.
I'd love to show you a picture of the sweater on me, but the reason I photograph with my trusty dress form is that I like to tweak and play with the flashes and my camera and take a million pictures of which perhaps three will end up here on the blog. That, and because my dress form has a waist line. Which I very clearly don't (damn Christmas, damn chocolate).
Speaking of the holidays, I spent them knitting stockinette as well. I spun some bulkier yarns in October, and one of them ended up being a cap/hat/slouchy beret-esque thing.
My display head is rather small, 20" hats would look best with it, so this hat looks a lot more slouchier than it is. But it is slouchy nonetheless, for I find very tight-fitting hats rather umcomfortable. This handspun merino hat is rather thick, so I knit up another one with my Louhitar yarn, which is a lot more lightweight and perfect for spring:
And as I was on a roll and dug up some Reynolds Odyssey yarn in my stash, I made a third hat.
All of these are knit from the top down with a garter stitch edging. I used the One for All Cap pattern as a sort of a reference, increasing 8 sts on every other row until the cap was slightly larger than my head, then knit in stockinette until the hat nearly covered my ears, decreased about 20% stitches for the garter stitch band which was knit until nearly out of yarn.
All three were surprisingly quick to knit, and the results are rather lovely. Stockinette stitch shows really well the colors and stitches in handspun and marbled yarns, and the garter stitch edging is a fun way to use up bits of left-over yarns.
(The reason why the hats are photographed with the display head is very similar to why I photograph sweaters with the dress form. The display has a distinctive and pretty chin. Just one of them. I, uh, don't.)
The Louhitar cap yarn was left over from a larger project, a cardigan I finished for the November craft fair in Tampere.
It is, again, just stockinette with garter stitch details, and the simplicity of it makes the colors really pop out.
The details for the cardi can be found on ravelry.
Colors really are very important this time of year, which is why stranded swatches have been on my needles not once, but twice.
The grey and white one is knit with KnitPicks Palette, the other one with Geilsk Tynd Uld. I bought a set of #000 and #00 (1,5mm and 1,75mm) DPN's and the smaller size is perfect for the Tynd Uld, producing some 10sts per inch in stranded pattern.
As much as I love stranded knitting, it is a little bit slower than just plain old stockinette. And colorwork doesn't necessarily mean it has to be stranded knitting - mosaic knitting can be just as much fun. Remember the cardi from nearly a year ago? It has literally haunted me ever since, I wanted it to be finished, but the colors really bugged me. I took the body apart several times, tried different color combinations, but could not make them work. So finally I used the original colors, paid attention to the color sequencing and the striping and knit away. I finished the body in early 2011, and went on to work on the first sleeve, but the colors were murky, so I frogged the first sleeve a couple of weeks ago. Another round of careful knitting with colors, and this is what the cardigan looks like now:
It could be better, the brown-orange-yellow contrasting yarn could pop up a bit more, but for now, I am relatively happy with it. And Kauni (or the Estonian wool yarns from Aade Long and Evilla) really works with patterns like these. I knit up a swatch with two solid colors and they just looked a bit dull. So Kauni it is, but perhaps I need to knit up another one with brighter colors, with more contrast. After I finish the second sleeve. Which would mean another trip to the stash, finding a third ball of the contrasting color. So it may be a while.
Especially since I cast on for another pair of the Sleeping Beauty Socks. (I have no excuses except for the fact that this hand dyed skein was just sitting there, literally, on my desk, and no digging in the stash was needed.)
I've made 3 pairs of these, one for myself and two for a friend who loved the pattern, so casting on was easy as I have the lace pattern memorized. The only difference to the earlier pairs is that this is knit with 68 sts and I've added two purl stitches to the large chart in the pattern. (The eyelet panels are then worked with 2 purl stitches on either side of them.) I want to finish them soon, for the color is really pretty and I can't wait for being able to wear them. And I promise I will photograph them on my feet (if they fit, the foot is a bit narrow)!
Till then, again, Happy New Year everyone!