Monday, October 24, 2011

The Last Thing I Need...

Some time ago... so long ago that I don't even remember when... I pre-ordered Soctupus by Alice Yu.  I love a good surprise, but I really haven't been knitting socks lately so my first thought when it arrived this morning was that it was going straight back.  Because seriously, the last thing I need is another sock pattern book.  I almost had the willpower to not even look inside.  Almost.  But I did... and, well, it's a keeper.  Big time.

Following a few interesting chapters on fiber, yarn, sock construction and such, are 17 great patterns with a focus on texture and a variety of heel, toe, and cuff constructions.  There's even a pattern or two with beads! 

It's the most excited I've been about a sock book in a while so I had to share...

Might be time to put scarves aside for a while.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Momma Maia

The blob...
(This is the closest to the actual color.)

The soak...

The blocking...

The Maia Shawl...

I love these pearly beads!

The pattern is from Rosemary Hill's 7 Small Shawls.  It is the second one I've knit from this collection... the first was Taygete back in June. 

The yarn is Madelinetosh Sock in Olivia (and is a stunning olive that is terribly difficult to capture with a camera) from The Loopy Ewe for another one of Sheri's challenges.  I used apx 1.25 skeins of yarn which leaves me enough leftover to make a pair of matching mitts.  :)

BTW - I still have some yarn left from my last post if anyone is interested.  I'd love to get the yarn into loving hands.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fast and Furious Sale...

I simply must get rid of some yarn.  Most of it is yarn I love, but has marinated too long in my stash and has no hope of use in the near future.  Most, but not all, of it is worsted weight, and time has taught me that I have very little use for such yarns here in So Cal.  I really just want to get it into loving hands so I'm unloading it all for cheap.  It is all as pictured.  As you can seem some has been wound into balls or even knit into sweaters, but it is all in good shape.

Blue Sky Cotton - 3 hanks natural - $18  SOLD

Blue Sky Cotton - 5 Hanks Espresso + yarn in sweater seen here.
Total of about 10 hanks: $30.00  SOLD

Blue Sky Cotton - 2 hanks Tomato - $12

 Punto Fancy Color - 9 (or 10) balls - $20

 Hemp for Knitting - Allhemp 6 (Lilac) - 5 hanks total - $20

 Pakucho Cotton (Vanilla) - 11 (or 12) hanks - $20 PENDING

Schaefer Laurel (Empress Wu Zhao)
100% Mercerized Pima Cotton
2 (400 yd) hanks - $25.00 Luna
8 Dk Green, 2 Lt Green - $15.00

 Morehouse Farms Merino 2-ply
4 (220 yd) hanks in Aubergine
$20.00  SOLD

 Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein (Oyster)
1 (560 yd) hank - $20.00

 Kathmandu Aran (Color 136) - 8 Balls - $20.00

Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed (Color 360002)
7 skeins (including 1 already knit - to be frogged) - $25.00
I had started to knit the Win vest from the Luxury Tweed pattern book which I'll throw in for another $5.00

Noro Silk Garden (Color 88) - 11 Skeins
 (3.5 knit into an abandoned Lady Eleanor, the rest is untouched)
$35.00 SOLD Lara - 4 dk blue + 3 lt blue - $10

Dream in Color Classy (Midnight Derby)
4 Skeins total (including the never worn sweater)
$20.00  SOLD

UPDATE: The prices do not include postage, but I plan on using the Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes that ship for about $5.  I will pass on actual postage as I calculate it.

Also, I plan to leave the sweaters as they, but if you'd like me to frog them and re-wind the yarn for you I certainly can.  Just give me a couple of extra days.

Please contact me at TLREED_81 at MSN dot COM.

ETA: Smoke-free, pet-free, Paypal please.  :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Not Just for Austin

With the weather on a cooling trend, I think it's safe to share the last of my trio of lightweight cardigans... Connie Chang Chinchio's Austin Hoodie.  I had purchased the yarn, Madelinetosh Merino Light, over a year ago but once it arrived, I was too intimidated by the thought of knitting over 1200 yards of fingering weight yarn into a sweater to cast on.  But once I'd conquered Vitamin D and Dahlia, I was on a roll.

I really enjoyed this pattern.  There was enough detail to keep it interesting while providing for a great fit and giving it a nicely finished look.

I had 3 hanks of yarn to work with and just barely made it.  I knit the 35.5 size and had only a few yards of the 1320 I started with.  (Note that when I bought the yarn it came in hanks of 440 yds.  I believe it now only has 420.)  The yarn felt a bit more woolly than I normally like at first touch, but it was wonderful to knit with and I absolutely love the finished feel.  In addition, the price is extremely reasonable and, since it's Madelinetosh, the colors of course are breathtaking!  This particular color is called Mourning Dove.

I did knit a swatch, but since I find swatches rather unreliable when it comes to estimating actual growth on a full garment knit with superwash wool, I just knit to gauge.  The result was a perfectly fitted cardigan which I could've let go with a good steaming, but since I like a bit more length and room in my sweaters, I opted for a good soak and careful blocking which provided the extra space and length I was hoping for.  (That little blob of yarn above the left shoulder is the entire amount I had leftover.  Yes, I was really sweating it.)

After what was the most mild summer I have ever experienced in So Cal, I can only assume that the recent heatwave is entirely my fault.  I will now try to make amends with the sun and dry winds by shopping for tank tops and more sinus medicine.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mad Tosh Love

I wanted to post pictures of the other cardigan I recently finished, but out of respect for, or more possibly fear of, the gloating sun which is beaming down on us with a harsh 103 degrees, I will post the little things I'm working on.

Maia from the 7 Small Shawls to Knit collection by Rosemary Hill

The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Olivia and although the beads don't show up well in the picture, they are just pearly enough to made a subtle statement on the work in person. This is also my Loopy Ewe 4th Quarter Challenge project.  (I don't usually do the quarterly challenges but since this one involved Madelinetosh... at a discount... I was dust.)

And because I became obsessed with desire for an autumn (ha!) scarf, I started another Kernel Scarf in some Tosh Sock of the Ginger colorway.

Also waiting for me is more Tosh sock in Dried Rose and Graphite for a Kleio scarf, also designed by Rosemary Hill.

Obviously, I have a mad love for Madelinetosh... all of their bases that I've tried are wonderful and the colors incredible; they are just unlike any other.  However, I must admit that I still prefer the feel of Malabrigo Sock or something with a bit of silk for scarves and shawls over the Tosh Sock.  Don't get me wrong, the Tosh Sock is a great yarn and ideal for socks and sweaters, but not quite as light and soft as I'd like for other things... although that obviously doesn't stop me from returning to it time and again.  And that said, I don't like to use Malabrigo Sock for socks as it seams to likely to pill or wear thin. 

Finally, a shot of the Wollmeise I received for my participation in The Loopy Ewe's summer camp...

The colorway is O-Rh-Negativ.  Now I'm just looking for the perfect project!  Suggestions?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dahlia Dahling

After discovering the wonderful, lightweight feel (and getting over the fear) of knitting a fingering weight cardigan, I've been on a bit of a cardigan kick.  About a month ago I finished Dahlia from Interweave Knits Fall 2011.

I was immediately drawn to this cardigan because of the gorgeous lace panel and interesting construction.  

Here is the lace panel with the beginnings of the top and bottom panels...

The seams attaching the top and bottom panels to the lace panel were supposed to be left until the end...

But there was no way I was going to wait until I had knit the whole thing to see if it was going to work/fit so I did the seaming right away and alternated work on both sides for a while until I'd gotten past the armholes and was able to try it on to get an idea of fit.

 So far so good. The design is quite clever really and after lots of stockinette knitting (which I'm starting to find relaxing instead of annoying), I was very pleased with the results.

I really enjoyed this knit, but I must give a lot of the credit to the yarn.  Once again I turned to Madelinetosh (which is easily my favorite new yarn) and tried their Pashmina (a merino/silk/cashmere blend) in the Thyme colorway.   I really can't say enough wonderful things about this yarn, especially the colors!

A couple of notes...  I strongly suggest that you avoid the urge to block the lace panel before you have finished the cardigan as it will stretch out much more on it's own than it will once it is part of the larger finished sweater. 

Also, even thought my gauge was spot on, I ended up needing more yarn than the pattern called for.  In total I used about 3.5 hanks of Pashmina.  I had to order a 4th hank to supplement the 3 I had in my stash that I'd purchased at least a year ago so I was really lucky to get such a great match in color!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Camp Loopy Project 3: Vitamin D

The Camp Loopy Project 3 challenged us to knit a project using at least 800 yards of yarn in one month.  My first thought... "Yikes!"

But the prize... Wollmeise.  So I started searching for a pattern.  And searching.

And searching.

Vitamin D was already on my list of favorite patterns, but I seriously doubted my ability to knit a fingering weight stockinette cardigan in a year, let alone a month.  But it was supposed to be a challenge, and with"camp" participation I was able to get 20% off the three hanks of Tosh Sock I would need.  So...

In what turned out to be less than 2 weeks (special thanks again to Doctor Who), I present my Madelinetsoh "Ink" Vitamin D.
Vitamin D

Vitamin D

And I love it!
Vitamin D

It's very soft and reminds me of a lightweight denim jacket.
Vitamin D

The shaping is all done by yarnovers and short rows.  Ingenious design and kept my interest.
Vitamin D

Vitamin D by Heidi Kirrmaier
Madelinetosh Sock in "Ink"
Size 4 needles

Note: I did wet block the swatch, but it lied.  The weight of the whole cardigan made the gauge grow like crazy.  I actually tossed it in the dryer until it was almost dry after soaking.  This shouldn't surprise me with superwash yarn, but I was so proud of myself for actually swatching that it did throw me a bit.