Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Bird in the Hand

A few weeks ago, I tagged along on a trip my husband needed to take to Portland.  He was going to be busy all day, so I "messaged" a friend in the area who I know through an online book group, and who also happens to be a knitter.  As we were making our arrangements to meet for lunch, Martha added, "And you know it's the yarn crawl that weekend?"

Well, no I didn't - but I do now.  If you're ever in Portland for the Rose City Yarn Crawl, well, you'll see that they do it right in Portland.  Prize drawings, patterns, even a live lamb.  Though I didn't visit very many shops, I sure enjoyed the ones I did. 

Probably the most inviting shop we visited was Happy Knits.   I don't know about you, but some shops are just more inspiring than others, and this was a good one for me.  Lots of light, yarn arranged in ways that seemed sane.  And then I saw Bertie Lou. 

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And I had to have her.  Or maybe him.  Hard to tell.  Bertie's meant to be a hostess gift for my sister, but I got her outside for a photo shoot before we left.

The kit comes complete with nest - everything you need but the stuffing.  It was the shop's design for 2012's Rose City Yarn Crawl, and was designed by Tai Faux.  In my Ravelry projects here

Inspired by Rowan's Esther, Ernie, & Enid, I gave Bertie some feet.

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 But not their legs or cute little knees.  Just feet.  I used a little leftover sock yarn - might have been some Mountain Colors Bearfoot (?).  But now, it's bird's foot.

And, as you can see, spring is finally beginning to spring.

I think I'll have to use up some leftover sock yarn and make another! 

 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Red Hat for Red Hat Society

A while ago, my mother-in-law asked me if I'd make her a hat for her Red Hat Society.  She'd seen another woman wearing a beret to their last meeting, and thought she'd like one herself.

Well, she didn't have to ask twice, though I wasn't able to start right away.  I have the best mother-in-law in the world and I haven't knit for her as much as I'd have liked.  So, I started to sift through ideas on Ravelry, and we both agreed on Almond Comfit.

This little hat is designed by Ysolda Teague.  It takes less than one skein of one of my favorite yarns, Fyberspates Scrumptious Aran.  Actually, I haven't met a weight of Scrumptious I don't love -- merino wool and silk, a rich sheen, great colors.  The version of red at my yarn shop was called Cherry, a bluer red than the Empire Biscuit shown in the original pattern. 

By the way, I had assumed (who knows why) that comfit was a jam or preserve - a spread.  Turns out that's confit -- an almond comfit is a candy, as far as I can tell, like a Jordan almond.  And in fact, red ones are associated with graduations.

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Isn't this a great mirror set-up for trying on a hat?

This was VERY fun to knit.  The cast on is unusual.  I tried to begin this hat during a basketball game.  This was appropriate, since we were watching at my mother-in-law's house, and she loves basketball.  But this was not a project to cast on during a game.  The instructions are correct, but they ask you to do some things I hadn't expected.  Once I got home and sat down in the quiet, and actually followed the directions as they were written, and not as I assumed, things went very well.  The instructions suggest a circular needle, but to start with, I found having my stitches on two double-point needles, knitting with a third, easier.  The figure eight cast on is more usual in a circular piece.  This hat is circular, but it is knit back and forth.  Once I figured that out, I was off to the races.

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I blocked the hat on a dinner plate - the good china for this one.  
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This picture shows the nice shape of the hat.

Almond Confit

  • designed by Ysolda Teague
  • Fyberspates Scrumptious Aran, 45% silk, 55% merino wool, color 401 Cherry.  I think I used between 2/3 and 3/4 of a 180 yard skein.
  • Size 6 needles - but check your gauge, I almost always have to go down a size or two.
  • Size 21"
  • on Ravelry
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Isn't this red a great color for her?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Because I wanted a black cardigan

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I wanted a quite plain, black cardigan.  And here it is.  Miriam, designed for Quince & Co., by Carrie Bostick Hoge.  Designed for Quince & Co. Chickadee, I used Imperial Yarn's Tracie Too, 2 ply 6.0 Sport in color # 23, Black.
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Knit as written, except for a few (I think now unnecessary) decreases in the back of the garter stitch band around the front & neck.  Reading comments on Ravelry, it seemed like a good idea, but I think it might have been better left as written.  On the other hand, I wish I'd knit a bigger size sleeve - the sleeves are awfully narrow, usually not something I've worried about with my knitting.

I really like this yarn - understated but wonderful.  I hope to knit with it again.  And I love that the sheep it comes from live only a few hours from my home. 

Knitty gritty:
  • Miriam, by Carrie Bostick Hoge
  • 4 skeins Tracie Too yarn,  4 oz., 395 yards, 100% wool, grown in Oregon.  I have quite a lot left, but perhaps not a whole (big) skein.
  • Size 2 and 1 needles (US sizes) - though I'd only use the 2 if I did it again.  
  • Size 35 3/4 (back width at underarm, 18 3/4)
On Ravelry here

Thanks to my niece, Marie, for taking the first picture.