Monday, December 29, 2008

Mmmmm ... Butterscotch

You've likely all seen the Lace Ribbon Scarf from the Spring '08 issue of Knitty. It seems to be quite a popular pattern with 2,585 projects posted on Ravelry as of this morning. It's easy to see why it's so popular when you see Sonia's lovely version.

Sonia knit this with FF Lightweight Superwash Merino Sock Yarn in the Butterscotch colorway.

Here's a closeup while it was still on the sticks, where you can really see the detail. The color is perhaps a bit truer in this photo as well.

You can see more of Sonia's beautiful work on Ravelry where she is smaksimo.

Thank you so much to Sonia for sharing her beautiful work! Happy Monday to all!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tat Softly

For today's customer project feature, I have another lovely tatted piece by Pam.

Pam made this Victorian collar using FF Lightweight Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn in the Speak Softly colorway.

Pam sells her amazing work in her Etsy shop (beware a visit ... you could get lost for quite a while browsing the beautiful and unusual pieces there!).

A big Thank You to Pam for sharing her work! As much as knitting will always be my favorite, it's so much fun to see the occasional tatting, crochet, and weaving project. Such diverse talent out there in the yarn-loving world.

Wishing everyone a very happy holiday season!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I promised last week that I would post the results of my first attempt at drop spinning. It causes me some pain to follow through with that, but I'm a woman of my word and so here it is:

I call this pyarn. You know, like "pleather." From a distance and perhaps to non-yarn-lover eyes, one might think this is yarn. On closer inspection, it is clearly just a sad substitute for yarn. It is pyarn (pronounced with a hard p).

The links and tips about park and draft really did help a great deal. At least I was able to come up with something! And in the process, for an occasional split second here or there, I got a bit of a sense of how it's supposed to work. For a few fleeting moments while creating this monstros ... I mean this pyarn, it felt right. The fiber briefly moved smoothly through the drafting process. The spindle turned and the twist traveled up the fiber in a way that felt right. Those moments were quite fleeting, but I got a tiny taste of how it is perhaps supposed to work.

Many of you recommended spending ten minutes or so a day practicing and that makes sense in theory. The thing is, I find this to be more of a messy business that I anticipated. I need to change into "spindle clothes" (that is, clothing that I am prepared to have covered in bits of fiber) and the vacuum must come out after my little endeavor or I'll be dealing with flying bits of fiber everywhere. None of that will deter me from continuing to work on learning this, but it will likely be in longer sessions spread out over time when I can squeeze it in. Of course, that may make it harder to develop the feel and rhythm for it, but that's alright. I never imagined becoming a spinner. Just thought it would be fun to give it a go.

In the meantime, there's also some knitting going on here. I finished the front, back and sleeves of the sweater I've got on the sticks. All that remains is a broad neckband that travels the length of the V-neck and around the back. It's done in an allover cabled fabric, so it's going to take some time, but I have another project that's taking priority. I know that goes against my one-project-at-a-time rule, but this new project is not just for me. It has a purpose and a timeline. Something very special is coming. But you will have to be patient and wait a bit longer to hear about that. More info will be coming soon.

Great weekend to all!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Beautiful and Practical

You know how I love projects that use leftover yarn and today I have a great one to share with you.

Tina made this lovely cowl using about a quarter of a skein of leftover FF Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn.

The pattern is the Good Luck Cowl by Christianne Gerstner, available free on her blog. The colorway is the old favorite, Midnight Passion, which is now discontinued (or at least on the backburner for a while). I think this may perhaps be the all-time best selling of the FF colorways and I finally put it aside some time back after it seemed to have run its course. I still get an occasional request for it though, so you may see it again some day. It certainly does look lovely in the product of Tina's skilled hands!

Great project! Gotta love a practical use of leftover yarn that yields something so beautiful. Thank you so much to Tina for sharing her work! You can see more on Ravelry where she is misplacedpom or on her blog. (Seriously ... go take a look. She has some really gorgeous things that are sure to inspire you to get the sticks flying!)

Everyone have a glorious Monday. It's bitterly cold here in Oregon, which is quite unusual. Add to that the fact that we actually got snow here yesterday and my plan is to stay safely indoors, perhaps curled up at least a portion of the day with some knitting.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

More Spindle Talk

I just had to drop a quick post here today to thank you all so very much for your words of encouragement, useful links, and general support for my little toe-dipping venture into spindling! Your words have inspired me to give it another whirl this weekend. I promise you . . . no matter how pathetic my attempt may be, I will post photos next week.

I've also gotten a few comments and also e-mails about the possibility of carrying roving in the future. So here's a little secret: I've got about 70 pounds of undyed roving that's been patiently waiting for an absolute eternity.

There is both an Australian wool there and also a superwash merino. I bought it long ago, with the plans to add some roving to my line, but after a bit of dyeing experimentation and more thought, I felt as though I could not do it justice since I'm not a spinner myself. I don't think I need to be an expert spinner to dye roving, but I feel as though I need to have a greater comfort level in handling the beast, as well as a better sense of how the dyed roving will look when converted into yarn.

For those of you who have been around forever, you may remember this:

That is handspun by Anne Hanson, using some of the roving I dyed. I sent her a few ounces of a couple of colors and fabulously wonderful gal that she is, she sent some back to me as gift, all spun up into the most glorious yarn! I still haven't used it. It spends most of its time sitting somewhere in plain sight so that I can gaze at it.

Anyhow, a big Thank You for all of your support! You guys are the best!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Instrument of the Devil

Remember the play The Bad Seed? Several movies were made from it as well. You know the one, with the little girl who looked so angelic and sweet but who was evil to the core?

Well, my own little bad seed has crept into my happy home:

It looks so inviting and lovely! What could be better than a bag filled with fiber and two drop spindles? Ahhh ... looks can be deceiving! This is no doubt an instrument of the devil.

I don't know what possessed me to buy this. I've never spun yarn before, either on a drop spindle or a wheel, and never really had a great desire to learn. It always seemed like it might be fun, but with limited time for knitting I just never saw the point in learning to spin. It would just eat into my knitting time. So why, oh why, did I suddenly decide to make this purchase?

The spindles and fiber came with a little instruction handout. It's a one-pager that uses words like carded, combed, and draft (which, of course, is a foreign language to a non-spinner). I found myself completely unprepared to even give it a whirl (sorry for the pun ;) based only on the instructions and so I set about doing some online research. After watching a few video clips, I was ready to give it a try.

The result was a half hour of frustration that yielded zero of anything that could remotely be called "yarn." I did, however, produce a wonderful array of little bits of fiber clinging to every nearby surface, including myself.

It's quite clear that I'm not a natural at this! The part that I find problematic is this whole idea of "drafting." In the videos, it looks so simple. Left hand holding right below the "draft zone" and right hand moving upward after giving the evil device a spin and then drawing the fiber down from the draft zone as it takes the twist. Well, it just didn't work out so easily for me. I thought the fiber would pull and stretch out of the draft zone easily, but I found it to be more of a game of tug o' war. The stuff just doesn't pull apart the way I imagined. I suppose that makes sense and is a good thing, as if it pulled apart that easily the yarn created likely wouldn't have much strength.

I also found that the sites I reviewed didn't address at all the question of how much fiber should be worked with at any one time or how thick the little strip of fiber being worked should be. I know that probably depends on the thickness of the yarn one hopes to create, but a little hint or clue would have been nice. I tried different quantities and widths, all to no avail.

Yes, I think this thing is an instrument of the devil. Rather than the pretty picture above that looks so inviting, I think this photo comes closer to the true nature of the beast:

In this photo, it looks more like what it is: some sort of torture device designed to inflict great pain.

For now, I've set this aside and am allowing it to look pretty in its little plastic bag. I'm sure I'll take it out again soon and give it another go, but I'm not feeling very confident that I'll be able to master this particular skill. I could take a class and I'm sure that would help, but that would cut into my knitting time, right?


Monday, December 08, 2008

A Taste of Spring

As we head toward winter, I have a couple of projects to share with you that will bring cool Spring evenings to mind. (How can I be longing for Spring already when Winter hasn't even started yet?)

First up is Marjorie's Bee Field Shawl knit with FF Laceweight Merino in the Notorious colorway:

The pattern is by Anne Hanson and includes a variety of bee-themed stitch patterns.

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! You can get a taste of more of Marjorie's work on Ravelry where she is primetimeknitter and on her blog.

Next up is Vicki's lovely rendition of the Old Shale Shawl (pattern by Evelyn Clark).

Vicki used FF Lightweight Superwash Merino Wool Yarn in the Chocolate Pink Cherry colorway. Vicki is Redtabby on Ravelry and has plenty more lovely projects posted there for you to peruse and enjoy.

A big Thank You to Marjorie and Vicki for a much-appreciated infusion of springtime goodness on this gray December morning!

Friday, December 05, 2008

I'm Not the Only One with FO's

With the holiday last week, I took a break from blogging other than my usual Monday post. When I returned to it this week, I found myself scratching my head and wondering what to post. I haven't done much knitting this past week or so, although I did break my "one project at a time" rule and set aside my sweater-in-progress for a moment to crank out a quick hat. It's about the cutest little hat in the world, but for the life of me I can't get a decent photo of it.

You just can't see the stitch pattern in the pictures. Ah well. Trust me. It's very cute. I used my Alpaca/Wool Yarn for this, with the plan of sending it to my mother, but it turned out a bit smaller than I expected so I'll probably just keep it for myself. (My head is the size of a peanut.)

As I thought about what I my blog about this week, it suddenly occurred to me that I never showed off my husband's recent FO: the bathroom vanity he built for us.

Ta da!

I love this piece so much it hurts a little. The design worked out just as I hoped, with the recessed tower cabinets on each side serving as great storage space in lieu of a traditional medicine chest. For the mirror, we bought a simple beveled mirror that hangs free a few inches away from the wall. The wood piece above from which the mirror hangs is where the eventual light fixture will mount. (Right now, we have the old lights that were in the bathroom when we bought the house. Very ugly and cheap looking.)

I also love how the materials work together. The rectangular shape of the sink carries the feel of the right angles that you can see on the trim of the doors of the cabinet in the photo above.

My love for the faucet borders on the ridiculous. How can one feel such affection for a faucet? The lines of the faucet just appeal to me enormously and I love the brushed nickel finish. The faucet also works so nicely with the warm green of the marble tiled counter and coordinates splendidly with the narrow backsplash tiles. Both my husband and the salesperson at the tile store gave me odd looks when I chose those backsplash tiles to go with the marble counter tiles. They both thought it would perhaps have an overly busy look, but I trusted my instinct and insisted. Again, I love the result!

Bruce has earned many good-husband-points with me on this project! Now, if only I can get him to finish the base molding for the bathroom, do something about the ceiling fan, and finish building the new bathroom door, he'll really accumulate some points!

Hope everyone had a lovely holiday last week!

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's Monday Already?!

My apologies for the late posting of my Monday "project feature" today. I hadn't forgotten it was Monday (well, not entirely anyway). It was just a busy morning that tore me away from my usual routine. The final shipment for my current sock club went out today, so it was a morning full of packages and paperwork. Which leads me in nicely to today's special project feature . . .

This is the Vine Leaf Sock, designed and knit by Tess Mattos of Polar Bear Patterns. The yarn is my FF Lightweight Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn. The colorway is, however, nameless. That's because it goes by the simple name of "Sock Club Color Choice C." The colorway is exclusive to sock club members, but the pattern is now generally available in my shop.

The sock features toe-up construction and a vine and leaf motif with just a touch of elegant lace.

This was the second of the sock club patterns. The third, which went out today, will be generally available in a few weeks.

A whopping big Thank You to Tess for her lovely work and participation in the club!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Warm and Cozy Monday

Weather getting colder where you are? How about a soft and wooly coffee cozy to help warm you up this morning?

This coffee cozy was knit by Teresa using leftovers from a skein of FF Lightweight Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn in the Lust colorway. I love seeing projects that make good use of those extra bits of yarn!

Here's another photo where you can see a bit more of the lovely cabled detail:

Teresa knit this using the Cabled Coffee Cuff pattern by Pixley Knits, available as a free pattern download on Ravelry.

You can see more Teresa's lovely work on Ravelry (she's needlenhook), where she has posted an impressive array of projects! You can also visit her Etsy shop, where she has some of her own patterns available, along side knitted items.

While I'm on the topic of FO's, I realize that I haven't yet posted photos of the first sock pattern from my current sock club. The first one is my own design, knit with my Merino/Tencel Sock Yarn. The gauge for that yarn is pretty much the same as my new Tight Twist Superwash Merino Sock Yarn, so that could be substituted as well.

I called them "Girl's Best Friend Socks" and the pattern is now available in my shop.

Everyone have a great Monday!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Making Progress

I've made some pretty good progress on the new sweater I started last week. It's raining here, so not much I can do to get a good photo in natural light (the flash goes off even outside on this gloomy day!).

This is the Kimono-Styled Sweater from Ropeknits. I'm using my FF Alpaca/Wool Yarn for it, which is working out spot-on as far as gauge. As you can see above, I've finished the cabled section for the midriff and am moving into the stockinet portion. That's the back of the sweater you see in the photo above. The bottom is knit in the round and now I'm on to the back and forth stockinet section for the back.

Here's a closeup of the cabled detail. Not a great photo again, but at least you can see the pattern.

So far so good. I've taken it off the needles to check the fit and all appears well so far.

One thing I really like about this design is that there are lots of little milestones to keep me motivated. I've finished the cabled section. Yeah! Now on to the stockinet back. This more monotonous section is actually a nice rest after the more instense cabling. If I start to get bored with it, the end of the back will be another milestone to keep me going. The front is knit in two sides, with the textured neckline edging knit separately and added later. More little milestones to celebrate!

I must admit, however, that despite the fact that I'm enjoying this project, I am fighting the itch to cast on something new. Something small. Perhaps a hat? I even took a little break and did some swatching, but didn't find a stitch that spoke to me. That worked out alright though, since I got that out of my system and am now resolved again to try to stick with one project at a time.

Hope everyone's getting some good knitting time in these days! It's so hard to find the time, but oh so worth it!

Monday, November 17, 2008


These gorgeous socks are called "Dragonlace Socks" and were designed and knit by Suzi Anvin. The pattern is available for purchase on her site, Suzi's Knits.

Suzi used FF Lightweight Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn in the Speak Softly colorway to create these little gems.

Aren't they just perfect?!

You can see more of Suzi's work on her Suzi's Knits site or on Ravelry where she is suzisknits.

A big Thank You to Suzi for sharing her work and choosing FF for her lovely sock design!

And, of course, speaking of designs ... If you haven't perused the latest issue of The Twist Collective, pop on over and you'll find Anne Hanson's latest masterpiece. It's a shawl in two variations - faroese and rectangular - made with my very own FF Laceweight Merino. Mouseover the pattern photos for yarn details. Another huge Thank You to Anne!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It Starts Again

After a couple of weeks of contemplation about a new sweater project, I've settled on a pattern and am ready to hit the sticks again!

The pattern I chose is the Kimono Style Sweater by Sarah Barbour of RopeKnits. I found it browsing around patterns on Ravelry. No photo here, as I don't want to "swipe" the pattern photo without permission, but pop on over to RopeKnits to have a look. Very pretty, isn't it?

I'm going to use my FF Alpaca/Wool Yarn. The gauge is a perfect match and I've been wanting to knit another sweater with this yarn. I knit one a couple of years ago, but it was for a gift.

There is some risk with this project, but I'm ready to charge ahead full steam. The risk is mostly about the fit and how it will look on me. I still haven't quite adjusted to my new middle-aged body. Some evil force of the universe snuck into my bedroom while I slept on the eve of my 40th birthday a few years back and squeezed my body like a tube of toothpaste so that the very modest amount of fat I carried spread lightly and evenly around various parts of my body suddenly gathered together in the form of a lovely roll of fat around my abdomen. I still haven't quite figured out this new figure and I have a tendency to overestimate the size of this little spare tire. I seem to think it's some sort of giant inner tube used for river rafting and that can lead to my hand knits ending up way too large. I've done a good gauge swatch (the Alpaca/Wool is pretty much dead one for gauge) and have measured and remeasured myself, so I think I'm all set, but will remain cautious and do my best to try it on as I go (it's not a top-down piece as you can see by looking at the photo, so I'll be a bit limited as to how much I can truly see the fit before it's complete).

The other risk is how it will look on me even if it does fit. I'm normally a fan of details around the midriff such as the cables in this sweater, as that usually lends to a figure-flattering garment, but I'm not entirely certain about this sweater. Will the interlocked cables and fitted nature of the midriff create a narrowing illusion or will my little tire bulge out and cry "Look at me!" We shall see.

I'm still trying to stick with the one-project-at-a-time game, but whether I'll be able to do that while working on this larger and more intricate project also remains to be seen.

Whatever the outcome, I'm looking forward to this one!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pin-Up Scarf

Suzy's at it again with this lovely scarf made for a Christmas gift.

The pattern is Hamsa by Anne Hanson of KnitSpot and the yarn is FF Laceweight Merino in the Spring Breeze colorway.

Here it is all stretched out on a snazzy car, looking like a knit-scarf version of a pin-up girl:

Although I doubt a mechanic would be likely to put this pin-up girl on the walls of his garage, she certainly is worthy in my book!

A big Thank You to Suzy for sharing her lovely work! Head over to Suzy's blog to see more.

Great Monday to all!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Parade Continues

With my new focus on finishing one project at a time, I feel as though I'm accomplishing a lot more knitting than I have been for a while. I have another finished project to show to you today! It's a small one, but it still counts in my book.

With the weather turned decidedly to Fall, I decided it was about time to make myself another pair of fingerless mitts. I wear the ones I made for myself last year all the time. Seriously. ALL the time. I wear them to run errands, so that I don't have to fumble around pulling off gloves as I pop into the Post Office or supermarket. I wear them in my house, where it's always cold but I need my fingers free for the keyboard or what have you. I wear them when I head outside to check in with my husband who's always busy out in his woodshop (no heat there).

The pair I made last year are still going strong after tons of use and lots of washing, but it's nice to have at least one more color option, so I made these:

The yarn is a blend of merino and bamboo that I've been thinking for a long time about adding to my line. I just haven't had the time for it yet. These mitts will be a good test subject for heavy wear and washing. You can't see the detail well in the photo above, because the sheen of the bamboo obscures the detail a bit with the camera's flash. Here's an outdoor shot that's not as accurate for color and sheen, but where you can see the pattern better.

I used the same design as I did for the mitts I made last year. They are my "Cable & Twist Fingerless Mitts" (pattern is in my Etsy shop).

I'm still planning another sweater project soon, but haven't focused enough on making a pattern decision yet to start that. Hmmmm. What shall be next in this single-file parade of projects?

Hope everyone's having a great week and - for those in the U.S. - feeling a little lighter and more at ease now that the election is behind us!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Gotta Love 'Em

If you nose around online knitting forums and blogs you'll likely come across a debate about fingerless gloves. Some folks just can't see the point. When I first started to see fingerless gloves popping up everywhere, I too thought that they were just the latest trend and nothing that would interest me, but once I knit my first pair I was an instant convert. They're perfect for running errands, as I can just keep them on as I pop in and out of the Post Office, supermarket, etc. No fumbling around and pulling off gloves, stuffing them in a pocket or purse, and inevitably losing one from time to time. They're great inside my perpetually cold house, keeping my fingers free to type, manipulate the remote, pull something out of the fridge, etc.

Yep. Gotta love the fingerless gloves!

These beauties were knit by Suzann for her daughter, using FF Classic Merino Wool Sock Yarn in the Hendrix colorway. The pattern is Spirogyra by Lynn Vogel from the Spring 2008 edition of Knitty.

Aren't they the cutest?! You can see more of Suzann's beautiful work on her blog or on Ravelry she is Suzann.

A big Thank You to Suzann for sharing her photos!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

One Thing at a Time

My recent attempts to keep myself to one project at a time seem to be paying off, as I'm actually finishing things rather than starting, starting, starting and not so frequently finishing. With the motivation of the reward of casting on something new looming ahead, it's much easier for me to keep the sticks moving.

I have two small projects to add to the "done" list, although only photos of one right now.

New socks that I've named "Tahoe Socks" (don't ask me why Tahoe ... ). These are knit with my FF Tight Twist Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn. The colorway is one of the ones exclusive to my current sock club. The pattern is available in my shop.

The other project I finished was a very simple, quick-knit hat made with the leftover yarn from the sweater I recently completed. It's such a simple little bit of nothing knitting that it's not really worthy of a picture, but if I remember I'll take one anyone to show you next time I post.

My next project in this serial-knitting-monogamy fest will be a pair of fingerless mitts. I made quite a few pair last year, but mostly for gifts. The ones I made for myself I wear all the time and so I think a second pair for me is in order. I'm noodling on plans for another sweater, but keep changing my plans so I'll wait a bit on that until I know for sure what I want to do.

That's about all that's going on here, other than the usual dyeing frenzy. Dyeing is surprisingly physical work and leaves me pretty tired at the end of the day. Good thing I have my protector to ensure nothing disturbs me if I try to catch a little catnap.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh My!

I have such a lovely project to share with you today! It's Vickie's version of the Kiri Shawl (pattern available at All Tangled Up).

Vickie used FF Laceweight Merino in the Lilac Medley colorway.

So beautiful and every little stitch so perfect! Once again, it makes me itch to knit more lace.

A big Thank You to Vickie for sharing her photos! You can see lots more of Vickie's inspiring work on Ravelry where she is VickieK and on Flickr where she is knitstaut.

What a great way to start a Monday morning! Great day to all!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More Sweater Details

A few folks have asked for more information about the sweater I posted last week, so I’m going to take a moment to give you a few details.

Yarn/Gauge/Needles: The yarn is my FF Classic Merino Heavy Worsted Weight in the Majestic colorway. I used size US #9 needles, which in this stitch pattern yielded a gauge of about 18 stitches to 4 inches.

Stitches: The mock turtleneck is a K3, P1 rib. I used this rib so that it would be tighter and have more stretch than the body and so that the stitch count in the rib would flow nicely into the main body stitch. The main body is a seeded rib, sometimes called a “mistake” rib. It’s very simple to do. In the round, it’s basically just this:

Row 1: *K3, P1* across
Row 2: *P1, K1, P2* across

This stitch pattern creates a nice texture with a bit of stretch, but not too much. Incorporating the increases into the pattern stitch was very easy. If you knit this stitch, you can see a “bead” of stockinet that occurs. Basically, if you look at the simple stitch pattern above you will see that the second stitch in the repeat for both rows is a knit stitch. This creates a bead of stockinet and it’s quite visible when you knit. That means that as you incorporate additional stitches, there’s no fumbling around with notes or trying to figure out where the latest increase has left you in your stitch pattern. You can just glance at the work and see where the next stitch is that lines up with the bead of stockinet and you know immediately that that is the second stitch in the simple repeat.

Construction: I didn’t use a pattern, but used simple top down construction. Nothing fancy. I used DPNs for the turtleneck to keep the rib nice and tight (I thought a 16” circular would stretch it out way too much since I have a pretty thin neck). The sleeves are raglan and I used a fairly standard rate of increasing one stitch every other row at each side of each seam. I used just one stitch as the “seam” stitch, with that stitch in stockinet.

I took the piece off the needles quite a few times as I went to try to it on and just made my decisions on the next step from there. At the underarms, where I was splitting off to work sleeves and body separately, I added around six stitches to the body at each side. A few inches below the underarm toward the narrower part of the body, I decreased a total of four stitches (one stitch pattern repeat) at each side over the course of 8 rows or so.

For the sleeves, I picked up several extra stitches from the body area (where I had cast on the extra six or so stitches previously for the body) to complete the sleeve. I calculated out my decreases for the sleeves and proceeded from there. I can’t recall exactly the format, but I think I did my decreases two stitches every fourth row twice and then every six rows once. Something along those lines.

My apologies for not having a full pattern to share. I thought about writing up the pattern, but I have to admit that it’s a ton of work and time to do that , particularly to grade the pattern for different sizes and since it’s such an ordinary sweater I didn’t imagine that such a pattern would be in high demand.

I hope this helps answer some of your questions. Thank you all for your kind words about this simple little piece. I wore it last week for bowling and it was oh so comfy! It’s going to see a lot of wear this winter.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Pick-Me-Up

The weather's been holding out longer than usual here in Oregon, with not too much rain yet and mostly beautiful sunny afternoons. This morning, unfortunately, the inevitable Oregon raining is pouring down. A few beautiful knits to gaze at should be the perfect pick-me-up for this dreary morning.

As part of a wedding gift for a friend and fellow knitter, Teri made two pair of socks for the new husband and wife. The socks for the bride are knit with FF Lightweight Superwash Merino Sock Yarn in the Earthenware colorway.

The pattern is Bacchus Socks by Alice Bell, published in Interweave Knits Fall 2008. Check out the lovely details:

The groom's socks are made with the same yarn, this time in the Sublime colorway.

The pattern this time is Tesserae Socks by Anne Hanson of KnitSpot.

What a great gift! Since the bride is also a knitter, I'm sure she'll appreciate it all the more.

Teri's also been busy working on a Twinings Stole (pattern also from KnitSpot):

She's using FF Laceweight Merino in the Antique Rose colorway.

This piece is not quite finished in the photos above, but you can see already that it's going to be absolutely gorgeous!

Lots more of Teri's beautiful work can be found on Ravelry where she is treefrog303.

A big Thank You to Teri for sharing her work and helping to start a rainy Monday off on a sunny note!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

As Predicted

When I posted last week about casting on for a new sweater, I predicted that it was going to fly off the sticks. And fly off the sticks it did! I cast on Thursday last week and finished Tuesday this week.

I can't say that I met the criteria of the "perfect sweater" (is there any such thing really?), but I did get what I wanted. That is, a casual pullover, bulky and warm, comfortable and well-fitting. All in all, I'm pleased with the results and think I'll get lots of use out of this sweater.

The yarn is my FF Heavy Worsted Merino in the Majestic colorway. I don't carry much of a selection of this yarn, but I'm going to need to add more soon. I just love it so much that if other folks aren't interested, I'd be happy to knit with it myself for years to come.

Here's a closeup so that you can see the colors a bit better. You can't really see the nice textured rib very well, since this photo is just a cropped and blown up shot from a larger photo and so it's pretty fuzzy, but you can see the variations of color and get a better sense of it.

I knit this top down in the round with simple raglan sleeves and an allover mistake stitch ribbing (aka seeded ribbing). The turtleneck is really a mock turtleneck, as it doesn't fold down. The yarn is a heavy worsted and so I thought a full, folded turtleneck would be too bulky and might just further highlight the fact that I have a rather tiny head :)

It feels great to finish a project and have something useful to wear so quickly. Of course, that leaves my sticks free and crying out for something new! I'm doing a good job of sticking to one project at a time these days and I think that's a good thing. It helps motivate me to finish things so I can get on to the next project!

Now to ponder what that next project will be . . .