Friday, December 12, 2014

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Cabled Cap

This cap went lickity-split, worked in the round with Green Mountain Spinnery's Weekend Wool, in the color "Pine Warbler". This is an honest wool, one where I can imagine what the sheep might have looked like, felt like.

I am dreaming of many sweaters in this stuff, unheavy and hard-wearing, warm and moldable, favorite pieces that lend a feeling of security.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Another Triangle Scarf

If it were not for a long list of other projects that need completion, I would be hiding someplace with needles and yarn and empty coffee cups and various shiny wrappers, binge hooking triangles.

The appeal of the triangle shape for me is its flexibility. I can use up one skein of precious yarn, and if the triangle is too small then I can add another yarn as trim in a different stitch. If the triangle is medium sized I can stitch it into a 22 inch ring and wear it as a kerchief, or a cowl with a point. If the triangle is huge, perfect!

This scarf is crocheted in an offset cluster stitch, adding one pattern repeat at the end of each row.

The yarn is from Jan Marek Raczkowski Studio, a 60 merino/40 silk blend, worsted weight. It comes in an eight ounce skein (500yds), and when wound by hand the resulting ball is the size of a honeydew melon. The color is D-YsPi (I'm sure Jan knows what that means). You can find Jan's yarns at many New England Fiber Festivals, as well as Rhinebeck. I am a big fan. Big big fan.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Pompom Hat

This is a quick cap worked in Jill Draper Makes Stuff Rockwell yarn in the color 'Lapis' [click here for her etsy store!].  I have another skein of Rockwell in 'Toe Shoes' that I am coveting. 
It is lovely stuff. 

The giant pompom is made out of Lopi from my college years. 
Knitting accessories has been an awful lot of fun this year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Long Sleeved Tee

This week, a first draft of a long sleeved raglan tee, cut from woven paisley cotton.  

The fit is almost there -- I will raise the back neck next time for a little more coverage.  There are small darts at the shoulder for a proper fit, and bust darts as well. 

The back hemline is two inches longer than the front, a handy feature when sitting.

The sleeves are just as I like them, roomy in the underarm and girth, and perfect for rolling up.

This basic tee beckons decorative stitch-work or printing or color-blocking. My wheels are turning ... and yours?

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Wingfeathers Kerchief

At the expense of many important details in my life, I have been crocheting. I have completed five triangular scarves since late October, and that includes time on the wagon. It's embarrassing.

This little warmer is another Wingfeathers Shawl, pattern by Cal Patch of Hodgepodge Farm. The yarn was a gift and was missing its label -- I want to give kudos to the maker so I will chase that down. *update: it is merino from Knitted Wit.

The gauge is much bulkier than what the pattern calls for.  I simply hooked away until I had about a yard of yarn left, and then I fastened the triangle into a 22 inch circumference ring.

I love the word 'kerchief'. It goes with 'jersey' and 'dungarees' and 'congealed salad'. And I have decided crochet goes with everything.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Suncook Scarf

My husband gave me a long multicolored rib-knit scarf ten years ago. It has been my go-to accessory ever since: I adore its graphic use of squares and friendly colors. I have always wanted to replicate it, but never wanted to deal with the myriad ends that would need to be hidden.

Inspired by that favorite scarf and my love of magic loop knitting, I have resolved a method for a double thick cozy buttoned scarf. With no ends to weave in.

Shout out to Cousin Patty for Grandmother Oda's buttons!

It's a dickey!

On Sunday morning, January 18, I will be teaching this method of quilted patchwork at the Trad Arts Studio, located at the Slater Mill in Pawtucket, RI.

By working in the round, we can cruise along with good ole stockinette stitch and produce double thick fabric. We will learn a transition from a single thickness fabric to double thickness, and back again. We can consume all those bits and bobs of left over yarn, you know the kind: Too short for another project, too long to throw away.

Check out the offerings for the weekend -- I am delighted to be a part of a gathering of stellar knitters.

If you're interested in joining me, click here for a link to the registration page.

Stay Warm!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Craft Friday

A :  Conversation at the table this week, my son's buddy, "I want to go Black Friday shopping just so I can say I have done it."
My son replied, "I want to not go Black Friday shopping just so I can say I have never done it."

Me too.

Beverly Army Williams of  PoMo Golightly has been collecting ideas, good reasons, and encouragement to adopt Craft Friday. Take a look.

B :  Christmas tree erection in this household is, I think, seen as a chore by all. We have begun to pride ourselves on waiting until December 23 and dragging home a ramshackle tree of questionable pedigree. Then we ridicule each other for our decorating approach or lack thereof or poor participation score. Last year my youngest drove alone into the woods, cut an impaired tree, mounted it on the porch, and decorated it with only his handmade ornaments and some photos of himself. It was kind of fantastic.

C :  Someday I hope to devise a tree like structure, you know, an artful collection of sticks, or a clever pile of wire or a cardboard cutout, whatever, that we can hang ornaments on. I have been pinning images on my 'There's no place like home' Pinterest board

Put it all together, and:

On Thanksgiving night, after all the people are tucked in their beds, the monsters under the beds will sneak about and drop ornament making supplies on the table. We will likely have plenty of folks passing through, sitting down at the table in transition, possibly eating a snack. Surely they will not be able to resist the urge to make a little something. And then they can hang it on our tree, whatever form it takes.

Wishing you and yours a Warm and Peaceful Thanksgiving. Thanks for dropping by here, too.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Circular Scarf

This cowl is worked in a hand-painted multi-color bulky yarn on a circular needle. The green berries create scattered clusters, and encourage the swirl effect of the remaining pink and orange yarn.

Let's admit it: Multi-color variegated yarn is tricky to knit. Sometimes it is easiest to abandon ship and leave it as yarn. But don't do that. Come join me at Slater Mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on Saturday, January 17 for "A Dozen Ways to use Variegated Yarn".  We will learn this and many other tricks, tips, and techniques.

I am thrilled to be a part of Knitting Weekend, January 16-18, along with Adrienne Martini, Amy Christoffers, Thea Colman, Bristol Ivy, and Gudrun Johnston.  (I know!) Check out the classes and weekend events here. Slater Mill and the Trad Arts Learning Center go above and beyond to make an intimate and memorable experience for the student, and it all happens in a restored mill. Be still my heart.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Leggings

These leggings are cut from thick cotton knit with tons of stretch. I dyed them with Pro Chem MX Fiber Reactive dye.

I serged the leggings first with white thread, then garment dyed them in an intense bath of golden yellow plus a little purple in our old toploader. The fabric did not take the dye as well as I hoped. I performed the waistband stitching with matching thread last -- the thread I use does not take the dye at all.

On super cold days I will stay toasty in these with thermal tights underneath.  Everyone needs stretchy pants. And I will be able to pretend I am a bird in my stretchy pants.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Triangle Scarf

One little skein of Nash Island Fog (lamb's wool and angora), purchased this summer at Clementine, and a few yards of Graceland Farm Alpaca, a generous gift from my friend Elizabeth, hooked up in a flurry.  I am indeed enjoying making accessories, and this thing called crochet.

A note about this old shirt: The fabric is an inexpensive cotton sold as "quilter's cotton". It has faded, softened, crinkled, and broken-in to a state that I adore.  I encourage budding garment sewers to work with yardage from the "quilting" section for your first stab at a pattern -- you might be pleasantly surprised at the results. And if your results are not to your liking, you have at least addressed the pattern's fit at a reasonable cost. A small price for huge learning.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A New Knitting Pattern, Joan Fuller

Steadfast friends are jewels indeed.  Approachable, kind and witty,  Joan Fuller Brock was my Mom’s dear pal.  She was in the saddle for any manner of fun, or any not-fun.

Like Joan the person, Joan Fuller the sweater is a compatriot at the ready for a concert in the park or a cup of coffee and pajamas.  It is knit from the bottom up on circular needles, with short row shaping at the hem and the cuffs to create curved hemlines.

The front is cropped to feature a bit of one’s shirt, dress, or a spectacular belt buckle.

The sleeves and body are joined on a circular needle, and worked into a raglan yoke. There are no seams to sew.

The bust and sleeves are graded proportionally to each other, therefore ease can be determined by your own personal preference. Wear it loose or fitted, you know what works best.

Finished Bust
31½-34-36½-39---41½-44-46½-49---51½-54-56½-59 inches
Suggested Yarn
Green Mountain Spinnery’s Weekend Wool
2-ply worsted weight, 140 yards
6-6-6-7---8-8-8-9---10-10-11-11 skeins
or another robust and toothy yarn
1270-1360-1410-1490 yards required
16 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch on larger needles
18 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches
in cable pattern on larger needles
Skills Used
Cabling, short rows, working a small
circumference in the round.
• Needle sizes: US 8 (4.5mm) & US 9 (5mm) suggested to obtain gauge. Needle styles: 32” (80cm) or longer circulars for the body, and your preferred needle style for working sleeves in the round (double points, two circulars, or one long circular).
• Stitch markers: 4 to indicate cable panel boundaries, plus 4 of a different color or style to indicate shaping, and 2 locking markers for row counting
• Cable needle
• Stitch holders: Spare circular needles or waste yarn
• Tapestry needle
• 5 excellent buttons, and 5 small flat buttons for inside the button band (optional)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Wingfeathers Shawl

Back in September I fell head over heels in love with Amy Lou Stein's freshly minted Wingfeathers Shawl, written by Cal Patch. Amy's was worked in a fat and buttery yarn, and I couldn't keep my hands off it.

Crochet is not my skill.  I set out to address that this year.

Imperial Wings

Heritage Anemones
At Rhinebeck I purchased two skeins of Esopus from Jill Draper Makes Stuff, one for me and one as a Christmas gift for my Mom. At Show 'n Tell my Mom lit up at the sight of my Wingfeathers in progress. I cracked and delivered her Esopus to her two months early. I think she "looped on" that night.

I will be taking this shawl on a shopping trip to the fabric store. Surely it deserves a companion smock of its own.

I ran out of yarn three quarters of the way through my last row, so I pulled the row out and devised a picot stitch that consumed a touch less yarn. In the end I had about five yards left.

I am thrilled with the end result of this project. It is made from the delicious yarn of a friend, the pattern is designed by another friend, it was set in motion by a third friend, and my Mom is working another one. I am learning a new skill that I adore, one that I set out to learn in February. I am calling this one of my biggest successes of the year.