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!