Friday, August 31, 2007

Everybody into the pool!

If you're one of those knitters who freaks out when handpainted yarn pools, avert your eyes now cause I've got a doozy for ya!

This is my new sock yarn from Claudia at Tausendschon. The colorway is "schlangengift". (I love this yarn, btw - so vibrant, so soft!)

Personally I've yet to discover pooling, flashing, ect. I didn't like. I think it's one of the best things about handpainted yarns, the interesting designs that form and undulate across the garment.

When I saw how this was knitting up I knew it was tailor made for my niece! She *LOVES* pooling because she thinks it looks like lightening bolts (me too!)

I'm knitting this on US size #0 (2.0mm) because I wanted to maintain the cool pooling ( I usually eschew #0's for #1 and 8 sts/inch - on the #0's I'm getting 9.5!) and I'm knitting plain stockinette cause I figured the yarn was shouting loudly enough :)
Isn't it great?

Here's another kind of pool...

Carolyn is starting a new online shop called She spins and hand dyes her own yarn plus has cute bags and accessories. She contacted me to try some of her yarn...

Meet Pool...

I haven't swatched with it yet but I can say it's super soft and the colors are vibrant and rich! It's 100% superwash merino fingering weight and I can't wait to knit some socks with it! Go pay Carolyn a visit, you wont be sorry :)

Here are my finished footies...


Breeze footies from Knitty

1 Skein Regia Stretch in Blue Jeans

Magic Loop US #1 (2.25mm) 32" circular needle

I think these footies are beyond cute and I think my mail carrier will love them!

The pattern is written for 3 DPNs which I *hate*, it just feels so awkward and cumbersome to me ( I prefer 4).

I switched to magic loop so I could have the instep pattern on one needle and the sole stitches on the other and it worked great! It also made it easier to cable without a cable needle! One other slight mod I made is that the heel is written as C4B but I find it much easier to cable without a cable needle using C4F. So my footies are actually mirrored cables, the first having C4B and switching to C4F for the second. Yes, I know, I admit it, I cannot leave a pattern be :)

ETA: D'oh! I totally forgot my other mods! The pattern calls for Mandarin Petit cotton which apparently is much thicker than Regia Stretch (7 sts./inch) To accommodate my smaller gauge (8 sts/inch) I worked on 64 stitches throughout the body of the sock by casting on 64, not doing the first decreases as per the pattern and adding an extra knit stitch at the start and end of the instep panel. I made the medium size sock but I did the pattern repeats for the large to make the socks long enough for a size 7.5 foot.

It's a holiday weekend for those of us in the States so while you're eating a hot dog and taking an end of summer last dip in the pool think about those that aren't so fortunate. Two of our fellow knit bloggers are taking to the streets to help so I thought I'd spread the word...

Julie of Noolie Knits is raising funds for a special friend battling Multiple Myeloma and others coping with Leukemia and Lymphoma.
You can help Julie and offer support here: Julie's Donation Blog

Carole of Carole Knits fame is walking to fight breast cancer again this year!

You can help Carole stomp out breast cancer by donating here: Carole's Donation Blog

The P-Man can't walk with Carole or Julie but he's making biscuits in empathy cause these are such worthy causes!

Have a great holiday/weekend everyone!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

I'm sensing a theme here

What is it about a certain color that just draws you in and stays in your fancy?

When I loaded some of my FO's to Ravelry I noticed a predominance of green which should come as no surprise cause I'm always singing green's praises. It's funny cause I really don't wear green, I look terrible in it and prior to Bonita
there wasn't a spot of it in my wardrobe! (I can get away with Bonita because it's a very dilute green with a strong cream base and the scoop neck keeps the green away from my face). I can't wear it but I love to look at it so I knit it for everyone else!

Because my knits were so "verdant" I thought I should change up my knitting a little and expand my color horizons except now everything is pink or blue! A few months ago I wrote a post called old socks, new socks, pink socks blue socks.... and what did I just finish? Pink socks! And what did I cast on? Blue socks! Plus miles and miles of blue garter stitch comprise the Esprit Tank. Sheesh, maybe I need some purple and brown? (btw, I really don't like brown and I'm meh about purple)

One color that I totally LOVE that was never on my radar screen at all is orange!
I find myself drawn almost as strongly to orange as I've always been to green.

Have you found your color tastes changing over time? I dunno, maybe it's the exposure on knit blogs to so many lovely knits in so many colors I'd never even considered before....or maybe it's hormones :)

At any rate here's the "old" sock, they're pink.....


Twin Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch

One skein Louet Opal (sportweight) in Pink Panther (I used every centimeter!) size #1 (2.5 mm) 32" Addi Turbo.

Toe-up using magic loop and the Turkish cast on. YO short row heels.

Bound off using a tubular bind off (I LOVE this for toe-up socks!)

I wanted a "solid" pattern because the recipient lives in New Hampshire and the Twin Rib had just enough punch to keep it interesting while being super easy. The yarn is a dream to knit with except for the fact that there were FIVE KNOTS in one skein - I hate that especially for socks when you want as few ends as possible. I wrote to Louet and they were very contrite and shocked that a skein like that made it to a consumer plus they are sending new yarn so all is well :)

I couldn't have my needles languishing so here are the new socks, they're blue...

This is the beginning of Breeze from Knitty in Regia stretch. This is a very fun pattern and who doesn't love footies? These are gonna be a Christmas gift for my mail carrier, Laura.

I'm slogging along on the Esprit Tank, I've almost finished the front and then I get to knit it all over again for the back, lucky me!

Now for a little fiberlicious eye candy...have a gander at these...

These beauties came from here: Claudia's Place - Tausendschon

I found Claudia's beautiful yarn while surfing around and then I found it on Ravelry too. I fell in love with the glorious, saturated color (oooh, ORANGE!!) so I contacted Claudia who couldn't be nicer or more helpful. Her site is all in German but she speaks perfect English plus she's having the website translated to English over the next month or so.

The yarn is super soft, a dream to knit with even prettier in person plus VERY reasonably priced! I got these four skeins including shipping for under $60!! These happen to be superwash with nylon (my preferred sock yarn) but she has lots of other handpainted fiber selections. Plus shipping was FAST! So go visit Claudia for some unique colorful fiberliciousness!

Come to think of it, I can think of a reason I've fallen in love with orange.....must be this handsome dude.....

Hasn't he made you an orange fan too? :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

It's that time again and what FKD is up to .....

It hasn't quite been a whole year yet but it's time again for all us knitter's to rally to support a very worthy cause. It's time again for the Red Scarf Project!!

We all did such a great job last year the Orphan Foundation of America got TOO MANY scarves!! YAY Knitters! So this year they are asking for knitters to limit themselves to two scarves only.

The amazing Norma of Now Norma Knits has championed this wonderful charity for three years and she's at it again but with a twist!! Because now we knitters can sponsor a scholarship fund too!!

Just click on the button to visit the Red Scarf Project Blog and learn all about how you can make a difference...

Or zip on over to Norma's Place and see all the amazing prizes you can win once you click that little PayPal button.

So get knitting those scarves and making those donations, you'll be so glad you did!

Now for some FKD knitting!

First off, thank you all for the lovely compliments on Bonita! I am very happy with her and I'm glad y'all like her too!

After I fishished Bonita I figured I'd get one more summer top in before the cold weather gets here (hee!) I saw this while surfing around (damn insomnia!!) I think it's really pretty and something that would get a lot of wear in a warm climate...

It's a pattern from Elann, the Esprit V-Neck Summer Tank. It's simple yet attractive, a very easy knit with just enough patterning to keep it interesting, as well as very comfy and forgiving cause it's made with stretch cotton yarn. Altho be advised the pattern only goes to a 36" bust so I had to do some serious upsizing!

I've already knit a good portion of the "front" (both back and front are the same) and here is what I'm using for the trim too:

I'm enjoying knitting with the Esprit (Elann's version of Cascade Fixation) cause it's soft and squishy plus the simple pattern is welcome after all Bonita's beading (and re-beading!)

Of course I'm also knitting socks. Remember the screamingly pink well marinated Elann yarn I was using for the Go With the Flow socks? Well they've gone with the flow right into the trash!! I used the yarn because I loved the bright colorway and the recipient wanted pink but what complete crap that yarn is!! I freely admit to being a total yarn snob and I bought it when I first came back to knitting in 2002 so I didn't really know better but that stuff was beyond bad! It was harsh and lifeless and altho I persevered thru 2/3 of the first sock it was so disgusting I took it off the needles and tossed in right into the garbage and will be donating all the other skeins in my stash! What a waste!

So my knitting supervisor and I went poking around the stash and came up with a much nicer pink alternative....he even helped me wind it, see?

Ah, now that's much better! This is Louet Opal in Pink Panther and I'm making a simple twin rib pattern this time.

Isn't that pretty? Note of course the matching mani, OPI Brights Collection, This Little Piggy :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bonita es una nueva camisa muy bonita!

After much ado (and much frogging and re-knitting!) Bonita is finally here for her debut!

Her pretty scoop neck and bodice

Her wavy beaded edges

Her lovely lace and chartreuse beads

And the money shot!


Bonita from Rowan #41

Second to largest size - 46 inch chest measurement

8.5 skeins Berroco Nostalgia, colorway #6672 "Gecko"

Size #3 (3.25 mm) 32" Addi Lace circular needles

Approx. 400 size 2/0 chartreuse seed beads


Well of course being me, I changed just about everything :)

I subbed the yarn. I found the called for Rowan Damask not only ridiculously spendy but really too busy to show off the lace well.

I had just used the Berroco Nostalgia to make the Retro Redux Shrug and loved it so I was glad to find a colorway I liked that worked well with the lace. I adore the green and I think the chartreuse beads really compliment the design.

The Nostalgia is a cotton/microfiber blend with a lot of bounce so it was a dream to knit. It's a good thing because if you recall, I decided I wasn't happy with the first incarnation of the "front" because I was off a few stitches and I didn't like the shaping so I frogged the whole front, 200 beads included! (I also omitted the shaping completely in v.2 cause I figured being fluffy gives me built in shaping, heh!)

I always have a very loose gauge with cotton so I had to go down FOUR needle sizes to get gauge! The pattern called for a #7, I used a #3.

The finished product is next to the skin soft with lots of memory so unlike pure cotton I don't worry about it stretching out into a tent by the end of the day! I LOVE this yarn, can ya tell?

The original pattern calls for a SKP to form the lace but I changed mine to my preferred centered double decrease which is why you can see a more defined "line" with each lace repeat (click to embiggen for a closer look!)

The original pattern design had a rather high neck in the front and a "scoop" in the back from which you were instructed to knit an I-cord from which you were to hang a shell ornament that hung down the back into the scoop as a sort of backwards necklace. Um, no thanks :)

I knit two "backs" and made mine more of a tank than a shell with a scoop neck both back and front. A design much more Florida friendly! I figure if it's warm enough to go sleeveless with lace who wants a high neck with a shell hanging down your back, right?

In summary, te quiero mi Bonita!! I love how she turned out - the fit is great, it's nice and cool, it can be dressed up or down and it was an easy, enjoyable knit! I would totally recommend this as a first lace top for any lace newbie.

I leave you with my Director of Photography taking a little break. The photo shoot was so hard on my P-Man he needed a bit of Kitty TV to relax with.

Have a great week!