Friday, October 29, 2010

Look what landed on my doorstep

A long time in coming, this is Debbie Stoller's latest book in her Stitch 'N Bitch series. This one is packed full of instructions and information about how to further your knitting skills. She talks about cables and lace, about how to design different sleeves, about how to knit something that fits. Basically, as the subtitle says, to go beyond the basics. Way beyond the basics.

And one of those 41 original patterns?
Yep, a lace version of my Pintuck Tee.

I got into knitting around the time the first Stitch 'N Bitch book was published and I taught myself a lot from it, with the help of my first SnB group in Seattle. In addition, I consider that a large part of what makes me me today is that I read Sassy and Bust instead of Tiger Beat and Cosmo during my formative years, so you can imagine the schoolgirl squeeing that ensued when I got an e-mail from Debbie saying she liked my Pintuck Tee and asking if I would contribute something based on it.

Nip/Tuck is knit in Rowan Bamboo Soft, like the original (such a great yarn) but in more dramatic black. I'm really excited about being included in this book and the rest of the patterns are great. My eye was especially caught by a pullover knit in the twisted lace made famous by the Pomatomus socks. I've always thought it would be a great pattern for a top and had thought about designing something, but now it's done for me!

Now, I'm off to read the book more thoroughly.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Knitting weather

The combination of the onset of autumn weather and my acceptance of the fact that we will never unpack all the boxes, or even most of them, has given my knitting a bit of a kick.

Last week I knit a sample of my Tamesis Cowl for Darn It & Stitch, using Fyberspates Scrumptious aran in a wonderfully in-your-face bright magenta. Sadly, I did not take pictures before I handed it to Jo, but hey, you can stop by and see it in person if you're in the area! Also, Jo is starting to stock paper versions of some of my patterns, starting with Tamesis, so definitely check it out.

I also finally finished the knitting of a cardigan from some cashmere/viscose blend thread I bought from Colourmart. I say thread because when it is this thin I refuse to call it yarn. I'm loving this cardigan, but never again will I do a whole sweater on 2mm needles. It's not finished finished because I have no clue what to do about the closure.

I've finished off the front edges in attached i-cord, as directed in the pattern, but didn't want to do the button loops with them. I was going to attach hook-and-eye closures to some pretty ribbon and sew the ribbon onto the sides, but the fabric is so fine that I'm pretty sure any sewing will show on the right side.

The delicacy of the fabric is also why I don't want to sew buttons or anything directly onto the cardi, so I'm kind of stuck. Anybody have any ideas? Please? I definitely want some way of closing the cardigan.

This weekend, I also finally started knitting some gloves. I've been thinking about knitting gloves for myself for ages; store-bought ones are always slightly too big, so I always have a few millimetres of glove extending past the end of my fingers, which is annoying. Also, when we moved, I found one of my Endpaper mitts behind a makeshift wardrobe- and it was all moth-eaten. I nearly cried.

But: every cloud, silver lining, and all that.

This is the first of a pair of Knotty gloves. I think I remember Liz knitting these last winter, and they looked awesome. I'm knitting mine in...Wollmeise! I know, craziness, but dammit, I wanted something hard-wearing, and this sock yarn is almost like cotton, it's so tightly spun and strong. I'm knitting this at quite a clip- this picture is after one and a half days of knitting. Granted, yesterday I did nothing but sit on the sofa and knit, only sparing time every once in a while to push the cat out of the way.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Some work...

...unrelated to moving house has been done.

Meet Daphne. (Here modeled by Liz and Ellen- aren't they cute? Photographed by The Limey.)

Basically a curved piece of garter-based lace, Daphne is my answer to shawls that just don't sit right and aren't long enough to be worn securely. Plus, I realized that, the way I wear my shawls, all that gorgeous, difficult-to-knit, wondrous-to-look-at lace got all scrunched up and just wasn't shown to their advantage.

Thus, Daphne - meant to be worn like a scarf, with the Victorian cockleshell lace fully on display.

The scarf/shawl is crescent shaped using short rows and is knit from end to end.

I've gone to some pains to make this scarf very adjustible and versatile.
  • I've written it in a modular way, so you can do more or fewer of some sections, making Daphne skinnier or wider, straighter or more curved, longer or shorter.
  • The modular technique also means you can knit this in almost any weight of yarn. Using lace weight? Simply do more repeats of certain sections. Using Aran weight? Making it longer but not wider by doing more repeats of the centre section.
  • I've also thrown in one last option: you can omit the faggoting lace between the plain garter section and the cockleshell border.

In these pictures, Liz wears a purple Daphne knit in Fyberspates' Scrumptious 4-ply, without the faggoting lace. Ellen wears a green Daphne knit in The Thylacine's Zeehan, and includes the faggoting lace.

Jenny from Bluestockings also test-knit the pattern in The Thylacine's Heemskirk, a sock yarn.

Pattern now available on Ravelry or better yet, buy from my website.