You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2008.

I got this yarn in the mail a couple days ago, but I haven’t had time to write about it yet:

It’s from Brooklyn Handspun, and it’s called Instant Gratification in the “Kinda Camo” colourway.

I am so happy with it. I have started swatching it, and it works up so smooth and my cables show up very well. It is very soft too.

I am planning to make some gloves with it — I make gloves as other knitters seem to make socks and always seem to have another pair in me. The only thing I would observe about that is that it makes sense to have large numbers of socks, but a little less sense to have large numbers of gloves (for most people, single socks and gloves make even less sense, but that doesn’t mean that knitters don’t make those too).

It must be strange of me to wind my balls of yarn by hand when I have a yarn winder, but somehow I think they just come out so pretty that way.

I have just finished reading Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years – Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times by Elizabeth Wayland Barber; it was wonderful and transported me through time to see the work all those women did making things to make their lives a little more beautiful. It appears to be out of print, but I was able to order a copy from ABE Books without difficulty.

I loved the descriptions of making linen and wool, and I have come up with the brilliant idea of growing flax in the backyard.

Sure, it may not look like much now, but I will dig it and plant my flax and grow it and ret it and spin it. I anticipate that the flax I grow will not be good for “clothing,” but I can always knit a table cloth or a rug or something from it.

I need to dig the garden soon as the weeds are already growing. You see, last year I let it go “fallow” so there may be a bit of a battle to get this started, but I think it is a wonderful, if somewhat eccentric, idea. I have looked up the Flax Council of Canada’s website and they advise the farmers to plant it in the middle of May, and I plan to do the same.

I’ll keep you posted.

This weekend we drove from Vancouver to Saskatoon. This is not really knitting related, but here are some pictures from east to west:

Outside Lake Louise Alberta

Prairie from my window

Prairie road

And now for a horse of a different colour . . .

I have never managed to grow orchids very well before. They usually died and certainly never bloomed, but now my orchid has bloomed, not the flowers that come on it from the store, but real live blooms that grew in my own house.

my orchid in bloom

Download pattern here: Minimalist funnel neck

This sweater solves my knitting Catch-22: I don’t buy sweaters because this depletes perfectly legitimate yarn resources, and I don’t knit anything ordinary, because why would I want to spend that much time on something that is not fabulous? This means that I never have a plain black cardigan or pullover. This funnel neck pullover solves this paradox, by being a wardrobe basic, while incorporating great yarn and sufficient knitting interest to keep mine.

This sweater is close fitting and an exercise in three dimensional knitting. The whole sweater is knit in one piece from the neck down. I confess one of my parameters was that I wanted a project I could work on without looking, and after the yoke shaping this can be done. The final product is something I would make in more colours and with differing length sleeves and textures, but I am already onto my next eccentric project.

Minimalist funnel neck

Difficulty

intermediate

Size

Finished bust 32 [36, 40, 44]inches (80 [90, 100, 110]cm), shown in size 36 inches (90cm)

Materials

4 (4, 5, 6) skeins Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran (100% wool; 175 yd [160m] per 100g), colour#415 Maze

set of US 9 (5.5mm) double-point needles

16″ (40cm) US 9 (5.5mm) circular needle

29″ (74cm) US 9 (5.5 mm) circular needle

Two kinds of stitch markers

Tapestry needle

Gauge

15 sts and 20 rows = 4″ (10cm) in k1, p1 rib, slightly stretched

minimalist funnel neck - back Minimalist funnel neck

I just finished my latest creation. I took it with me on my last trip and worked on it on the plane, and I perfectly gaged how big it could be before I would run out of yarn.

This is all I have left:

Surely that is a thing of beauty.

Download pattern here: Josephine.

Originally published in Magknits, March 2008

This sweater has much to recommend it: it is warm and cosy and a fast enough knit to be ready before it gets too warm to need it. The cowl can be worn buttoned or open as an oversized collar. There is a minimum of actual direction in this pattern, with most sizing being placed anywhere along the row you like – like many things this pattern shows that random numbers can create great results.

Of course human beings do not make good random number generators as we dislike to see the same number appear consecutively, but for the purposes of this design that is fine, because humans are the beings who will look at your sweater most, and most other humans have the same biases as you.

Difficulty

Easy

Size

33 inch / 84cm (37 inch / 94cm, 41 inch / 104cm, 45 inch / 114cm, 49 inch / 125)

Materials

6 (6, 7, 8, 8) skeins Rowan Big Wool (100% wool, 87 yd [80 m] per 100g); colour: tremble #35

US 17 [12 mm] circular needle, 16 inches (40cm) long

US 17 [12 mm] straight needles

OR

US 17 [12 mm] circular needle, 24-32″ (60-80 cm) long

Stitch markers

Tapestry needle

7 1.75-inch [44 mm] buttons

Gauge

7.5 sts and 10 rows = 4″ [10 cm] in stockinette

I was away this week in Washington DC, and the cherry blossoms were in bloom, just as they should be. I walked around the mall and here is proof that I was actually there:

The Washington Monument

The weather was beautiful. I walked so far trying to see everything.

Now I am back in Saskatchewan, and this morning I woke up to this:

Snow in April

Hmmm, but I got some wonderful yarn at Stitch DC, which makes up for it all.

Habu and hemp for knitting yarn

The black is some wonderfully textural linen from Habu; the grey is silk and stainless steel from Habu; the blue is hemp for knitting from Lanaknits.

I was so excited; I haven’t found Habu yarns at any of the yarn stores I have been to in Canada. I have so many ideas about what to do with it all.

I will keep you posted and wait for the snow to melt.

I have finally finished Lyra’s red sweater coat from the Golden Compass!

Here are some preliminary pictures:

lyras-coat-completed1.jpg

lyras-coat-completed2.jpg

The sleeves grew quite a bit in the wash, so keep that in mind. They started as a bit short, but now they are to my knuckles, but what can you do?

It’s very fun, and I am looking forward to wearing it.

I will post some better and more posed pictures in a few days, maybe I’ll even get it together to put on makeup.

Here is the first PDF of the patterns I published in Magknits of the last few years:

Kaleidoscope

If you are interested in the yarn I used, please see Princess Farms’ website.

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope

If you like the pattern and want to see more, consider making a donation:

Or check out my patterns for sale.

April 2008
S M T W T F S
« Mar   May »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930