Posts Tagged ‘knitty’

Slice of Santa Fe

April 9, 2010

A Slice of Santa Fe

High on the list of “Best things about visit from Mom and Dad” is the requirement that the guest room become habitable.  This, in turn, means I get my “blocking bed” back.  Which means some long overdue Friday eye candy.

So I present a completed and blocked Citron.  I call it Slice of Santa Fe in honor of the Sundara Yarns Santa Fe collection that the Fingering Silky Merino in colorway Adobe comes from.

Some interesting blocking developments to report:  Though I knitted this at a gauge of 5.5 st/inch, after soaking in a warm bath and gently prodding into shape (Read: I did NOT block

A much-relaxed drape

this hard!) the gauge opened up to 4 st/inch.  This is good for the finished size – which is more like almost 3/4 of a circle than the designed shape of an actual 180-degree “slice.”  However, the same “opening up” also relaxed some of the texture in the ruched and ruffled

If you could only feel it!

parts of the shawl.

Important lesson learned: wash and block swatches before making a garment with this yarn, as I plan to do (per New Year’s resolution).  This could be a pleasant development or a disastrous one without a washed swatch.

As noted in previous posts, because of the uber-generous yardage of FSM, I was able to work an additional full repeat and complete ruffle, with about 5 yards of yarn to spare.  (Because of superstitiousness as to whether there would be enough yarn to pull this off, I did use some lifelines along the way.  Idiot-proofing is good.)  The resulting shape and drape really make this fit almost like a faroese shawl.  It’s been draped around my shoulders most of the time since it dried.

In summation: in all its simplicity, I found Citron to be eminently more fun than its viral cousin, Clapotis, and would make it again in a heartbeat.  The resulting shawl is not too large and shows off beautifully dyed yarn to its best advantage.

In case you are wondering, yes, that’s a sundial in my garden.  It is calibrated to our exact geographic location and keeps time wonderfully.

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Enough

February 17, 2010

Thanks to novenas to the Yarn Goddess and candles to St. Jude, here is an enlarged and completed Citron – with about 5 yards of yarn to spare!

Unblocked Citron

That’s right, the generous yardage of Sundara Fingering Silky Merino – billed as 500 yards, but always more – allowed for completion of a 6th pattern repeat and a complete ending ruffle.

About the pattern:  Just what the doctor ordered.  An unfussy knit that required no concentration.  Another shout-out here to Lilia who unselfishly shared the math to preserve the remaining sanity of one overtaxed Owl.

About the yarn:  Yummmmm! It feels wonderful and it hasn’t yet had a bath!  I do love semi-solids, and in this case, I’m delighted with the marriage of yarn and pattern.  The tonal color changes add depth to the pattern’s simplicity.

About gauge: I went up one needle size from the suggested 6 st/in for laceweight to account for the slightly heavier yarn while maintaining desired drape.  Actual gauge (pre-blocking) of about 5.5st/in.  It will undoubtedly open up a little more with blocking.  I also used a needle 2 sizes larger for the bind-off to keep the ruffle from drawing in.

My only caution regarding FSM is that if you are using lifelines, be sure to use a blunt-tipped needle.  The FSM can catch a needle in weird parts of the loops if you’re not using a really a fat tip.

Yes, I used a couple of lifelines – because I could.  I believe in idiot-proofing wherever possible.  Had I run out of yarn, no big deal.  I mean, it wasn’t in any way a tricky knit.  Word has it that a number of knitters have felt the project to be a little small.  I will follow the advice of Sprocket and block it a little harder along the straight edge to get more length.  With the extra pattern repeat, it’s more than a half-circle anyway, and the extra repeat will help preserve the ruffle in so doing.

Another Citron angle

The tricky part as it were, involves the time/inclination to clear out the guest room from our vacation bags to have room to block this.  Yes, I know we went away a bit ago, but they’re all summer clothes that need to be put away somewhere.

Wouldn’t you rather knit instead?

I thought so.

Itchy fingers

January 8, 2010

With two recent FOs (still in need of photography) and two more projects nearing completion, the  itchy fingers are back.

I need to start something new.  It’s a practically primal urge.  Something fun and scrumptious.

I bought patterns the other day for some wonderful hats by the brilliant Ysolda TeagueRose Red, Snapdragon Tam and Ishbel beret.  I’m sure one of them will be forthcoming.  They make good travel knitting. Heaven knows, the yarn shop in the house stash offers plenty of possibilities and the patterns offer plenty of options to fit any hat that tickles my fancy.  There’s Sundara sock yarn, some yummy BFL, heaps of worsted and DK.

But right this second, I’m distracted by Citron from the new Knitty, done in this:

Sundara Fingering Silky Merino in Adobe

Sundara Fingering Silky Merino in the colorway Adobe from the recent Santa Fe Collection.  A one-skein project for a yarn I’ve been dying to put through its paces.

With all the snow and chilliness of late (and drafty office), every morning I grab something to wrap around my neck.  I might as well have something in my favorite colors with a little bit of ruffle — but not too girly.  It should also go wonderfully with my new (winter staple) car coat.

I hope to resist casting on until I’m finished with the current Darling Bebe sweater, Action.  Just working up the sleeves now.

Citron would be a terrific travel project, as there is a trip upcoming.  Perhaps it will become a race – does a hat beat this to the needles?

Which one is your money on?

Archaeology

December 30, 2009

In which NutmegOwl takes you on a tour of knitting past …

Once upon a time, when NutmegOwl was a new knitter, she churned out many a project, but never documented a thing.  She knitted and gifted and knitted and gifted some more.  A holiday visit home, and now we can see fossils from my knitting past.

Fluted rib wrap with bobbles c. 2000

Fluted Rib Wrap with Bobbles, the “Very Easy Very Vogue” from Fall 1997 Vogue Knitting was my second knitted project.  Ever.  It was my first experience knitting on a circular needle (and I’ve never gone back) and knitting with alpacaClassic Elite Inca Alpaca, to be precise.  The photo does not show the fluted rib pattern, but it was an excellent tutorial in learning how to work pattern texture into knitting, and how to read knitting.  I made it for Mom, who is perennially chilly.  It warms my heart to know that around the house, this is her go-to wrap.  If she’s on the couch, chances are, this is around her shoulders or over her feet.

Cleckheaton Cowl-neck tunic

This followed maybe a year  later.  It’s an old Cleckheaton flyer pattern worked up in a very splitty sport-weight merino called Baruffa Aerobic.  The knitting seemed to go on and on and on.  But the finishing went very well, with the raglan sleeves coming together perfectly.  Another project to keep cold Mom warm.  Cowl-necks look especially good on her, too.

Over the years, dozens of children’s projects made for the nieces have disappeared.  That makes my knitterly heart hurt just a little.  But I cannot expect others to care as much as I do.  There are a few things left that will be passed along to Darling Bebe during the toddler years, but most have seemingly evaporated.

Chain Link scarf from loop-d-loop

When the nieces got a little older, they loved the pair of these knitted in opposite colors:  Chain Link Scarf from the cover of Teva Durham’s Loop-d-Loop.   I loved the construction of the interlocking rings, though I could pull it off MUCH faster today using magic loop than I did with mohair on DPNs.  That’s right, Classic Elite La Gran pink mohair.  The last time I used it – or ever will.  (And those of you who know me know how much I despise pink.  I must love those nieces.)  Unless it’s part of a really good blend, mohair hates me and the feeling is mutual.  I also found it interesting that the rings naturally turned themselves purl side out.  If this looks a little worse for wear, well, it’s now on its third niece.  It’s been loved, and that counts for everything.

Mosaic Mitts

Let me state for the record that I have never been accused of being a trend-setter.  Never will be, either.  Nope.  Sheer geek here.  So I think it’s wickedly funny that I taught Sandy Cushman’s Mosaic Mitts a couple of years before anyone was making mitts.  Also for the record: Barbara Walker was a genius to invent mosaic knitting (and for a host of other reasons …).  If you have a chance to take a class in it, do it.  Throw some unusual color match-ups on the needles and get swatching and you will be surprised by how effortlessly you can create something stunning.  (Owl gets down from soapbox) These are special because it was the first class I ever taught.  Yes, I taught colorwork on DPNs as my first class.  Amazingly arrogant and/or stupid.  But everyone save one finished their projects, and I was asked to come back to teach more, so I guess I did okay.  It started my passion for empowering other knitters to try things and bring their knitting to the next level.  The yarn, Mirasol Miski, was lovely to work with; the photo does not really do them justice, but I enjoy them very much.

Silky Cashmere Fetching(s)

Finally, these have been one of my favorite gifts over the years: Fetching made from Elsebeth Lavold Silky Cashmere.  Three skeins yields one pair.  The yarn feels nice enough to work with, but you  need to let it soak in a warm bath to see it really perform.  I made these for Mom during the weeks she spent helping me after the birth of Darling Bebe.  Her hands were always so cold before – but not after these.  Mods: I use a sewn bind-off to give the top elasticity without the flaring that the as-written picot bind-ff produces.  I’ve made these at least three times and sent them off on their merry way without so much as a little pic to show that they ever happened.  Oops.

As I pause before posting, I suppose it’s really no surprise that so many things I knit are for my mom.  She is simply the best.

So ends our little archaeological dig this afternoon.  Be well, be merry!


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