Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Test Knit: Tamazya

Hello Everyone! I've been busy working away at some new designs and have another test knit for you if you are interested. Tamazya is a worsted weight blanket worked with one strand worsted wool and one strand lace weight mohair for halo. The center section is begun with a provisional cast on and worked back and forth, then stitches are picked up along the sides, and provisional cast on to work the border in the round. If you are interested in participating in the test knit get on over to the forum and sign up! Hope to see you there, xo M



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Test Knit: Sibling Revelry Cardigan



I have a new pattern available for test knitting! The Sibling revelry Cardigan is designed in 10 sizes from 3m to 12 years and was specifically created to celebrate the addition of our third child and just how much our children revel in each other's company. If you are interested in helping to test knit this pattern you can sign up on the Testing Pool forum here




SIZE 3m (6m, 12m, 18m, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12)

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS 
Chest: Chest: 19.25 (20, 21.25, 22.5, 23.25, 24.25, 26.25, 28.25, 29, 31.25)”

MATERIALS
MC: Cascade 220 Superwash \[100% superwash wool 100g/220yds\]; 12m sample: color 819 chocolate, size 6 sample: 882 plum crazy  1 (1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3) skeins

CC: Malabrigo Rios \[100% superwash merino 100g/210yds\] ;color 12m sample: 121 marte, size 6 sample 866 arco iris, 1 (1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3) skeins

1 set US #7/4.5mm 32 inch circular needle

1 set US #6/4mm 32 inch circular needle

Tapestry needle, buttons, sewing needle and thread to match buttons, stitch markers, stitch holders or spare yarn, Spare needle in larger size for 3 needle bind off.

GAUGE
20 sts / 28 rows = 4” in stockinette
19 sts / 32 rows = 4” in garter stripes in yoke
21.5 sts/ 36 rows = 4” in charted pattern
18.5 sts / 38 rows = 4” in garter stitch

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Technique Tuesday: Fixing Mistakes in Lace

Fixing a mistake in a lace pattern is a process of unknitting a set of stitches and reworking them in the correct pattern. This can be tricky with Lace since the pattern can be more complicated but essentially all you need to identify is what row is correct, rip back to that row and reknit. For the sample lace we have worked a swatch using the chart on the left, the chart on the right indicates the stitches that need to be corrected. Work  up a sample swatch of this chart.


Fixing a mistake in a lace pattern
Begin by identifying which stitches need to be corrected and what row you are currently on in the chart. Since the first chart was finished you should have just finished Row 12, slip stitches from the left needle to the right needle until stitch 3 is between the needles, then drop stitches 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 off the needles. The first row that you remove will be the WS row 14 and I find it helpful to say either WS or RS as I pull out each row, pull out 4 rows of stitches. Place stitches 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, from Row 8 back on the needle (remember right leg front) ready to rework the lace pattern on Row 9 correctly. Using the bottom-most ladder of yarn just like when fixing a single dropped stitch work across the 5 stitches in the correct pattern. For the next row which is a WS row 10, we will try the passing back method to help with tension, pass the 5 stitches back to the left needle evening the tension as you pass. Work the WS row 10 by knitting all the stitches on the RS. In this manner continue working the rows following the chart and using the lowest rung of unpicked yarn.



If you are having difficulty reading a lace pattern it is always a good idea to use a lifeline. A lifeline is a thin smooth piece of yarn or thread that you run through a row of stitches, keeping track of which row you are marking on the chart. Then if you make a mistake that you simply cannot fix, like perhaps an entire row you can take the work off the needles and rip back to the lifeline row with confidence knowing what row it is and that the stitches are held securely with the lifeline.

This is the second last week for Technique Tuesday posts, if you have enjoyed this series or have techniques you are curious about and I have not covered leave a comment!

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Waving Bamboo Socks


I have a new pattern available! The Waving Bamboo socks are finished and ready for purchase through Ravelry and I think I am seriously in love with them. These socks began when I was over at my local LYS Paradise Fibers and the manager Rachel casually mentioned that they were looking for a pattern for their sock club. So I, never one to turn down work out of hand, followed her back to receiving to check out the yarn. She casually reaches into this unassuming brown box and pulls out THIS YARN! Oh this yarn, all rust, orange, silvery blue, with hints of ochre and maroon... oh the beauty, the color danced a tiny tappy dance all over my orange and blue weak spot and I unabashedly drooled while slipping the skein into my grubby little paws. She can see that I was hooked, line and sinker, so she drops the other shoe "oh yeah, it needs to be done in two weeks", Two weeks? TWO WEEKS?! for reals? oh yes it does, whatever, I can do that, anything for the rust and ochre, the silvery blue and maroon... anything... SO here we are, two blisteringly quick weeks later and a brand new pattern is ready for the yarn club and all of you too!




I really wanted to use linen stitch and wrapped stitches in this pattern. They look so totally amazing when you are knitting with short repeat yarn and the linen stitch lends this almost watercolor appearance with the texture of woven tatami rice mats. At first I was just going to have columns of each vertically traversing the sock from cuff to toe, nice, simple, pretty. But kinda.. boring. I was up one night with Little Baby No Sleep and realized that those columns needed to move, either across the sock or back and forth, something, some movement, somehow. I originally thought about Cabling the columns, but really how much more complicated did I need to make the sock? Cabling and wrapped stitches? and not to mention that the linen stitch and wrapped stitches are less elastic than regular knitting and they pull in, the cabling would pull in even more and then the yardage requirements would skyrocket and eventually you would need 600 yards to make a baby sock. But those columns could move using increases and decreases instead of cabling, and the increases and decreases could be worked on the "rest rows" so that it was still possible to be slipping stitches and wrapping stitches and then moving them when they thought they were resting!




And so Waving Bamboo Socks were born, there are no rest rows until after the heel, but really, it just means that you are either on a shaping round or a pattern round. They have 1x1 ribbing on the cuff and a column of 1x1 ribbing on the side which can be used to alter the size if you need something different than the 2 sizes provided. The Linen stitch is A. Maze. Ing. and flickers color from the heel flap as well as within the diamonds created by the moving columns of wrapped stitches. And just when you are getting tired of all that patterning, the chart opens up for columns of bamboo and linen stitch across the foot. 



The yarn used for this pattern is a new one called Supersock+ from AbstractFiber in the colorway Pendleton, but it also comes in other amazing colors that you can purchase at Paradise Fibers very soon!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Technique Tuesday: Fixing a Miss Crossed Cable

Fixing a miss-crossed cable is a combination of dropping a section of stitches, unknitting them for a series of rows and then reknitting them in the correct pattern. To do this you need to identify the area that the mistake happened in and which stitches needs to be dropped down and reworked. For a sample cable swatch work up the first chart. As you can probably tell there is a miss-crossed cable in this chart. The correct cable that we need to fix is indicated in the red box on the right side chart. To fix this you need to identify the 4 stitches that the cable consists of and drop them from the needles as follows:

Fixing a miss-crossed cable

Begin by identifying which stitches need to be corrected and what row you are currently on in the chart. Since the first chart was finished you should have just finished Row 14, slip stitches from the left needle to the right needle until stitch 4 is between the needles, then drop stitches 4, 5, 6, 7 off the needles. The first row that you remove will be the WS row 14 and I find it helpful to say either WS or RS as I pull out each row, pull out 6 rows of stitches. Place stitches 4, 5, 6, 7, from Row 8 back on the needle (remember right leg front) ready to rework the miss-crossed cable on Row 9 correctly. Using the bottom-most ladder of yarn just like when fixing a single dropped stitch work across the 4 stitches in the correct 2/2 Left Cross. For the next row which is a WS row 10, turn the work around and p across the 4 sts using the next bottom-most ladder. In this manner continue working the rows following the chart and using the lowest rung of unpicked yarn.




Sometimes when reworking a section of stitches the tension can be off on one side or the other. This can be avoided by working every row as a RS row and passing the stitches back to the left needle after every row. This action will help to even the tension across the stitches and make the reworked area blend into the knitting as if it was never a mistake. 

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Planche Vest

Howdy all! I have another rerelease for you today, the Planche Vest originally published in Interweave Knits Summer 2012. Wow 2012 seems like such a long time ago really, but here we are and this lovely pattern is ready to download from Ravelry just in time for Spring!


I know that with most of the US and Canada in the middle of Snowpocalypse Spring seems pretty far away, but, what better way to while away the winter hours is there than to plan ahead for the warm weather? If you knit this now it will be ready for the first sultry breezes of summer, when you would much rather be poolside.. okay perhaps knitting then as well. BUT you could knit Lace in the summer while wearing the Planche Vest!

This cute biased lace top is worked in worsted weight cotton, Cotton Supreme by Universal Yarns is the sample yarn and it really is a nice cotton to work with. They also have a sequinned version if you are just generally feeling fancy, and I find that this high quality cotton is really easy on the hands.


The lace pattern is a 4 rows repeat and is easy to memorize but be careful you don't miss a yarnover at the end of a pattern section since that will really be a problem. There is no shaping in this pullover worked in the round but there are increases and decreases worked for the keyhole and armhole division. The neck is finished with an applied i-cord edging which joins the left and right back together during finishing.

Thanks to the lovely Gretchen for knitting this sample and modeling it! As you can see she looks perfect in her favorite color: blue. You can find this pattern for download on Ravelry here.

Friday, February 6, 2015

UnRavelling: the Freedom Within

I was grumpy this week, really really grumpy. I had a lot to do with some changes in my work schedule, never really getting a good nights sleep (thanks to Little Baby No Sleep), missing plans with a friend.. again... forever again... and finally Hubs the Great has been soo soooo sick. Like 6 weeks sick, one thing on top of another sick, stomach flu, pneumonia, strep throat, double ear infection and chest cold sick. Seriously. I have been looking at knitting cruises folks.

In addition to that there are a few other things that are changing and remain totally out of my control. This is not unusual, many things are beyond human control and in my opinion part of growing up and being responsible for smaller humans is learning that one cannot control all the things. At best you can have two things in each hand, a child on a hip, talk on the phone and cook at the same time, but probably not successfully. I say probably because I do love a challenge.  One of the things that really starts to get to me when I am feeling pressured and cornered is unfinished projects...you know the ones. The half started something or other that always peers at you from the bottom of the bag while you quickly grab what you need and cover it up again. Those ones start to wear on me, they start to become heavy and overbearing.



I knit because I love to knit, I love the repetitive motion, I love the yarn, the color, the design. I love to have a job that allows me to draw on all my strengths, color, drawing, design, writing, and that also goes with me to ballet and piano lessons. I do love having a finished object beautifully handknitted and created with care, but sometimes I lose steam halfway through and just can't or won't finish something.

And then it weighs on me, taunts me, antagonizes the voice of failure in my head, tells me I can't possibly start something new while I have so many other things on the go. Well then it needs to go, no one tells me what to do but me.

video

This is freeing, and I would highly recommend it as a catalyst for new creation, an effective mood booster as well as a serious high. Unravel something, do it quickly and savagely after it is mostly knit and be in control of what you want to create when you want to create it!