Tuesday, September 18, 2018

All good

It seems that I have been living under a rock. I thought I knew what was percolating in the knitting world, but clearly I did not. This all is most likely familiar to you, but it was not for me (hello from the dark!).

Not long ago I started to watch the Grocery Girls videocast on Youtube. Jodi and Tracie, the hostesses, are funny, kind and entertaining, and very, very inspiring. They both have various items on the needles and they feature great patterns and yarns. Occasionally they introduce new podcasts too. They sent me to listen to Espace Tricot’s video channel. Espace Tricot is a Canadian, beautiful yarn store (I wish I could go there, but I don’t think it is ever going to happen!) and the owners Lisa and Melissa always have stylish and sophisticated knits to show. 

Lately in Espace Tricot, there has been a parade of big, simple sweaters, interesting shawls and cute hats, all done in fabulous yarns; lots of rustic wools but also soft mohairs and alpacas blended in. After seeing all the mohair combinations, it made me go deep diving in my stash and I unearthed all my Kid Silk Haze balls because after seeing all the exciting knits, I wanted to knit the same things everyone is knitting. 

I cast on for a new shawl – which was not a good move in the end, I should have waited for a bit, because on September 1st I wrote down my knitting goals for September, maybe not goals but rather a list of items I needed to finish and knit. 

I wrote down a sweater (now done!), 
three pairs of socks (one pair done, one half done, one just cast on), 
pair of mittens (one is missing a thumb, the other has been cast on) and 
a shawl. 
The shawl was cast on in August, it is Casino shawl by Anne Hanson.
I am knitting my fourth Casino (I thought I had knitted this only two times before, both were given away), with Woolsilk by Hjertegarn col 3019. I love the shawl but… I organized my closet last week and took out all my knitted shawls and realized that I do have this shawl after all, in natural white and it is lovely. Realizing this sort of took the wind from the sails. I do not remember knitting this, and I don’t think it is documented. The yarn is Wetterhoff Silvia and I think I used either 3mm or 3,5 mm needles and am sure I adjusted the shawl to be little bit bigger than in the pattern. 

But I am so far in the process of knitting Casino – again! – that I will keep adding rows to it, but it is yellow, not the autumnal soft yellow but rather the spring yellow, so it might have to wait until February to get done, nonetheless, I love the pattern.

The new shawl is just few rows in, and it might change, so I won’t be sharing those pictures just yet; instead here is the finished (modified) Ziggurat sweater.
Once I had it on the dress form, it looked so simple, it really needed something and whilst cleaning the above mentioned closet, I also found this flower shawl.
The design is my own, simple, little shawl (increases/decreases every fourth row) with cabled edging but I do like it a lot. (I don’t have a clue of the yarn.)

But the knitting scene… boxy sweaters and huge shawls, lots of different stranded yoke sweaters too. Boxy sweaters bring back memories and I did always love them, I lived inside them decades ago, they do feel like home. I clearly remember long, brioche sweater in tweedy light gray, boat neck. The sleeves were quite wide then, and I like more the modern skinny ones. I need to cast on for a new sweater, but I am not yet sure which one or if I should dream my own.

Confession: I bought Stephen West’s Mystery shawl 2018 pattern Texture time.
I don’t know speckled yarns, not at all, I don’t have a clue how I should pick up four colors to make up a beautiful shawl, but then, the fun is in the surprise I think. I probably should just follow the guidelines in the pattern and pick the colors I like and then on October 5th just happily cast on.

Exciting! Cannot wait!

Thank you for reading and thank you so much for your comments, xx.
It is wonderful to be knitting. I love all the new designs. Crave for all the new yarns. I could not be happier.

Wool with you,

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Almost done!

Almost… because I don’t know what to do next. I have two alternatives:

Number One
I have one long, light, gray tunic, or dress, that I bought many years ago. It is all wool, not oversized, not too hugging, but just about right. I solely wear it at home. It is lovely, comforting and easy piece to wear. I reach for the dress when I am cold and need a woolly hug, put on also long, wool socks and relaxed tights, the kind where the elastic just barely holds them in place. Nothing tight, nothing unpleasant. Then take knitting or crochet, or a book or a magazine, pull my feet up and enjoy some quality time. There must be some sort of hot drink to complement the picture. The bliss of winter day.

For some time, I have been thinking of buying another one, once I see one. Buying!? When I looked at this red sweater, it suddenly occurred to me that this would be a perfect candidate to become another long and cozy cocoon for chilly days. 

The other alternative:

Number Two
I had already decided to make this into an embroidered sweater. The kind I was talking about last time. I have drawn the design, have plans for thread and stitches. And of course, this would provide interesting content to the blog.

The sad thing is that I have made a few and I only use one. My very first embroidered one with twined knitting, is the only one that does not only warm the shelves. I enjoy embroidery very much, but that is the only pull towards that direction. Otherwise, I love simple things.
If I decide to take the first route, I will just rip the ribbing and then take it from there. I have almost two skeins of yarn left, it would make so much sense to knit it longer and use up all the lovely yarn. I blocked it to see how it would feel and every single last fiber of it, tells me to keep on knitting. But I am still wavering. I have had it on the dress form for a couple of days waiting.
Anyway, I loved the knitting. The shoulder part is just right. The neck opening did seem little too big, but once I added some crochet for stability and few purl rows, it is just right. There are faux seams on both sides, done with garter stitches.
I added bust shaping. After the waist decreases were done and I had knitted few rows straight before beginning the increases, I added extra stitches to the back side. I think just 12sts, and it is enough to shape the bottom part of the sweater. There are short rows in the back side, before the ribbing and this makes the sweater hug warm and gives more room for the behind.

All these features are explained in the pattern. I read through the instructions carefully, but once I had completed the waist decreases, I followed my own stitch and row counts; I did not follow the pattern as written, but rather knitted along the general notes.
This is probably the best shaped piece I have ever done, and it feels very nice when I put it on. I knitted the 36” size, could probably have done smaller size, but I hate tight clothing and always try to pick the size with some ease.

Now that I am writing this post, I am beginning to feel the need to pick it back on the needles for a few more nights. Since I have been needing a new, long, sweater dress for some time, it would be quite foolish not to fulfill that need.

Okay, it is almost done. Just two more skeins.

Wool (not fool) with you,