Monday, June 29, 2015

Knitty.com ~ That Endless Free Wealth of Knitting Goodness


knitty.com

I try to check out Knitty.com every time a new quarterly issue is posted.  I think the folks there do an excellent job of putting out a great knitting resource full of wonderful free articles, information, and patterns.  But I must admit that most of the time I just give it a quick glance. 

Lately however, searching by way of Ravelry, I've happened upon some marvelous Knitty patterns and have had the chance to revisit some old favorites.  Now my current and upcoming knitting queue is loaded with patterns from Knitty.  Here are some that I've knitted recently or have waiting in my queue:


My version of the Blossoms by the Brook shawl by Ilga Leja.  I've already posted about this project.  I really love it and I am looking forward to wearing it A LOT when the weather is cooler again.

Vale by Norah Gaughan

One of my current knitting projects, Vale by Norah Gaughan.  I love the look of this pattern, and can't believe it's available for FREE on Knitty.com.  I've completed the back section and I am almost done with one side of this cardigan.  Will post an update when I have the side complete.

Fracetured Light Mitts by Kirsten Kapur

Fractured Light Mitts by Kirsten Kapur (also includes a pattern for a matching hat):  I have this pattern in my queue.  I was going to knit these mitts with some stash yarn, but I like the pattern so much that I think I will buy something special to knit them with, then find the perfect buttons to go on them!  You know how much I love vintage buttons :)

Hidden Gusset Mitts by Mone Dräger

The Hidden Gusset Mitts by Mone Dräger:  My friends have made these mitts, and the pattern is just beautiful.  I rarely knit with light fingering weight yarn, but I might just to make these sweet mitts.


Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronik Avery

And, of course, the Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronik Avery.  I've posted about this beauty quite recently.  I still love this pattern. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lace Scarf Patterns: It's Like Déjà vu All Over Again

I know I must have written about searching for lace scarf patterns before.  It seems that every summer I'm looking for a lightweight lace pattern to make a pretty accessory to add to my wardrobe.


Well, this year is like all the others.  I bought this Caron Simply Soft Light (sport weight) in this pretty peacock color to make a scarf to go with my fall jacket.  My new fall jacket is a quilted jacket in olive that I bought on sale for $20.  And I love it.  I wore it all the time last year.  But now I need a scarf to wear with it :)

I think a lightweight scarf will be the perfect solution, and lace scarves are great to knit in summer months - easy to transport and not too hot to handle.  Ravelry is, of course, full of wonderful pattern options.  Here are my top contenders, in no particular order (they're all free patterns):

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/white-diamonds-lace-scarf
First up, the White Diamonds Lace Scarf by Rachel Leverton:  I love the geometric design on this scarf and how the ends have a different structure than the body of the scarf.  I think this scarf could easily be dressed up, or worn more casually.  I'm seriously thinking about this pattern. 

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bear-claw-scarfette
Next, the Bear Claw Scarflette by Olga Buray-Kefelian:  another beautiful lace design, but might be more dressy than what I'm looking for.  I still love this pattern and might knit it another time, in a different, softer color.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rivulet
Then there's Rivulet by Heather Asbeck:  I just found this pattern the other day and I really love it.  It might be just what I'm looking for :)

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lace-ribbon-scarf
And last but not least, Lace Ribbon Scarf, an old favorite, by Veronik Avery:  I knit this scarf pattern a number of years ago as one of my first lace projects.  I loved how it came out, but I donated it to the Red Scarf Project, along with some other scarves.  I've always loved this pattern, and it might be time to make another one for myself :)  I think it would look great with some long fringe on the ends.

So, those are my choices for now, but I haven't made a decision yet.  Any thoughts?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

{Knitting Book Review} Colorwork Knitting by Sarah E. White

Colorwork Knitting by Sarah E. White

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to review Sarah E. White's latest book "Colorwork Knitting".  If you read this blog, you know I'm a big fan of color and colorwork in knitting, and so I was excited to see Sarah's new book.

Sarah E. White is the author of three knitting books:  "Picture Yourself Felting Your Knitting", "Quick and Easy Baby Knits," and her latest "Colorwork Knitting."  In addition, Sarah is the knitting editor at About.com and CraftGossip.com, both great sites for knitting news and information.

Sarah's latest book is a great source for explanation, instructions, and knitting patterns for a full array of colorwork.  The book includes 25 beautiful patterns that use a wide variety of color knitting techniques.  Colorwork Knitting is broken down into 5 chapters or sections, each covering a different method of knitting in color.  Sarah begins with the easiest: knitting with self-striping yarns, then moves on to more complex techniques like making your own stripes, slip-stitch knitting ( a favorite of mine), stranded knitting, and intarsia knitting.

Slip-Stitch Tweed Top by Sarah E. White
The patterns in this book include designs for sweaters, hats, scarves and cowls, fingerless mitts and mittens, and socks.  Many of these designs would be perfect for a beginner knitter just starting out with colorwork, but would also be great for more experienced knitters.  One of my favorite patterns is Sarah's Slip-Stitch Tweed Top.  I immediately put this in my queue when I saw it on Ravelry.  I love the vintage look of this top (reminds me of something that might be worn in "Call the Midwife") and so easy to change up with different color choices.  I also love the patterns for "Wear Your Heart on Your Socks" and the "Argyle Style Hat."   

One of my favorite things is the pictorial techniques section at the end of this book.  Here, Sarah includes instructions and photos of all the techniques covered in Colorwork Knitting.  These photos are an excellent guide for any knitter.  Often I look at the illustrations or photos that are supposed to help with a certain technique and I can't make heads or tails out of what they're trying to show me.  Sarah's photos are clear and guide you step by step through each process.  I wish I had these photos years ago when I started knitting :)

I can't wait to cast on for some of Sarah's color patterns.  You can find Colorwork Knitting on Amazon.com.  To see the patterns included in Colorwork Knitting, visit Sarah E. White's Ravelry page.  I hope you check it out!

* The opinions shared on this blog are my own and I received no compensation for posting them.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Knitting: Falling out of love, and back in again (Vale Cardigan by Norah Gaughan)

Well, as these things sometimes happen, I've fallen out of love a bit with my striped sweater project.  I'm just not feeling it right now.  I'll probably go back to it, or frog it and make something even better :)

But for now, I've moved on to something I really love:  The Vale Cardigan by Norah Gaughan from Knitty.com.  (Be sure to check Ravelry for some changes to the yarn amounts for this pattern.)

Vale Cardigan by Norah Gaughan from Knitty.com

Quite possibly the most beautiful sweater design there ever was - just gorgeous.  And the best part?  Because this sweater is a shorter length, I don't have to start out with one size for my hips and decrease down to a smaller size for my shoulders!  This rarely happens - Hurray!

I'm so excited about this project, and I'm still knitting it as part of Very Shannon's KAL.  I'm using Berroco Vintage in dungaree for my sweater.  I think it will be a nice neutral color that I'll e able to wear a lot and with everything.

Berroco Vintage in Dungaree

Now I know I said I wouldn't need to do any modifications to the pattern, but I am thinking about making two changes:


1.  I'm thinking of making the sleeves full length by adding an additional cable repeat.  I think long sleeves will be more practical on this worsted weight cardigan.

2.  I'm also considering adding a row of two or three buttons with buttonholes to the upper edge of the lapels of this sweater.  I think it would be a nice design element, and you know I like buttons :)  I also think I'd like the ability to button the top of this sweater in some situations.

I won't get this sweater done in time for the end of the KAL (which ends in a couple of days).  I'm going to take my time with this project and make the right modifications to create a sweater I'll really love.  Stay tuned for updates along the way!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Striped Sweater Update: Knitting Jogless Stripes


When I started planning my striped sweater pattern, one thing I had to consider is whether to knit it in the round or in pieces.  In the round was going to be easier, and quicker, and with less finishing - but I had to be concerned with the jog or notch at the end of each round that knitting stripes can create.

But if you follow knitting posts on Pinterest at all, you know that there are a ton of tutorials on how to knit jogless stripes.  So I decided to plow ahead and knit my sweater in the round - and went searching for techniques to combat the jogs in my stripes.

I ended up following this tutorial from Knit Purl Hunter on YouTube.


I'm okay with the results, but not completely thrilled.  All of the tutorials are basically the same.  As you start the second round with your new color, you lift up the stitch below and work it with your current color.  Generally, this works great.  But on my thinner stripes, you can see it looks just a little wonky (and even worse when I also do a decrease during this stripe).  Notice my beige or green stripes in the top photo.

Regardless of the wonky-ness, this technique probably looks better than jogs all up one side of my sweater.  And I'm hoping it all looks perfectly fine with a good block after I'm done.  Here's hoping!

Monday, May 18, 2015

KAL & Sweater Update: Striped Sweater Knitting Project


Just when I needed it, Shannon announced her Spring/Summer Tops & Tees Knit-A-Long.  This KAL has given me just the push I needed to finally start my striped sweater project that I talked about here.  I've made good progress so far.  As you can see, I've knitted up past my little pocket that I've pinned closed for now.  The red yarn is holding the stitches for the front of my pocket so I can go back and put a ribbed rim on it.

So here's what I've done and where I'm headed:

1.  I started the front and back as separate pieces from the bottom with k2p2 ribbing.

2.  I made the ribbing on the front about 2 inches deep, and about 2 3/4 inches on the back for a longer tail.  Not sure why, but I want this top to have a (very) slight boxy look and I wanted a longer hem in the back.

3.  Then I switched to my stripes.  After the first stripe, I joined the front and the back and will knit the rest in the round to the armpits.

4.  I've made my stripes wider than I initially planned.  My wide stripe is 9 rounds, and my two thinner stripes are 3 rounds. 

5.  I laid out my color progression before I started, but have been making tweaks as I go.  I will probably have a lot fewer colors left by the time I get past the chest, so the upper part may be a solid color.  And the sleeves may only have a couple of stripes.  I'm okay with this.  We'll just have to see what I have to work with.

6.  Still planning to make this top short-sleeved, but haven't worked out the details yet.  Should be at the armpits by next week and will share what my plan is for the sleeves then. 

Wish me luck!

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Perfect Knitting Project for Travel - And for a Good Cause, Too!

from http://www.wildcarebayarea.org/site/PageServer?pagename=babybirdnest_howcanIhelp

My husband and I have been making some trips to see my in-laws as they have been having some health problems.  And I've been looking for a good knitting project to fill the travel time in the car: a small project, something with a pattern that's easy to memorize, and doesn't take too much attention or concentration.

I happened upon Wildcare's call for knitted nest on the Knitty blog.  Wildcare is looking for knitted and felted nests for raising and feeding orphan birds.  They need nests made in three different sizes, out of either wool, cotton, or acrylic yarn.  The knitting pattern and all the particulars are on their website.


In addition to being a great travel project, I think these bird nests will be a wonderful way to use some of my leftover heavy worsted yarn from previous projects.  A charitable project and a stashbuster - win, win!

If you want more information about the knitted nest project, please visit Wildcare's website.