Thursday, June 17, 2010

Finishing time - Silk and Sequins Scarf #2

It was my birthday recently and a few weeks beforehand my husband asked my 4-year old son what they should get for me. He replied, "I think mommy would like some yarn." So true :)
So one day they stopped at my favorite yarn shop, Loop, to buy some. Of course my son wanted to buy yarn in his favorite color -- pink! I think it would have been very funny to have witnessed those two shopping for yarn. But they did a wonderful job and picked out quite a winner.

The yarn is Tili Tomas' Disco Lights in the Hope colorway, a true splurge of pure silk with a thread of sequins running through it.

I immediately thought to make the Raha Scarf from the "Knitted Lace of Estonia" book (amazing book!) I've been itching to make some of the fabulous patterns in the book and while Raha is by far the simplest, I thought it could work here. It knitted up incredibly quickly (one of my favorite qualities!) but then I realized.... I hated it. Too dull, too much garter stitch on the edging, didn't show off the yarn at all, but mostly it just looked like a beginner's project. A simple pattern in a heavier yarn can often be a great thing, but not here. I think this pattern needed it's original sock weight, not worsted like I was using. Ripped out the stitches and sought out a new pattern.

I have used the Disco Lights yarn once before to make my Ariel scarf. Love that scarf -- I've worn it several times and I think the pattern was a wonderful match for it. I didn't want to simply repeat it, so I set out searching for something similar. I realized that it was the changing directions the stitches appear to have that worked so well in the silk. I said "appear" because it's just increases and decreases in the right spots that make it look like the stitches are flowing in different paths. I found just the right thing in another book, "Knitting Lace". This book takes a very old lace sampler scarf and charted and wrote out all 101 lace patterns used. I chose pattern #54. Raveled here

Aaaah much better! Thank you boys for such a lovely gift!

By the way both those knitting books (and many many more) are currently 40% off at!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Finishing Time - Sea Silk Scarf

Once I heard about a gorgeous yarn called Sea Silk that is part silk, part seacell, with incredible drape and shine that even smelled a bit like the sea, I had to try it. The fact that it's dyed by Handmaiden means that it comes in the most incredible colorways too. I now have several skeins but here is the first project I've finished with it.

The pattern is called Montego Bay and it really goes hand in hand with Sea Silk. It's just a simple lace mesh with fringe but it's just a perfect showcase for the yarn. One nice twist is that it's knit with straight ends but once finished it hangs as tapered points. The pattern calls for braided fringe and I did attempt it, but after the first braid I didn't want to do any more! I made my scarf a bit wider by casting on 47 stitches to start.
Raveled here

The colorway here is called Cosmic Dawn - quite an interesting combination!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Finishing time - Daybreak shawl

Daybreak shawl is done! I made it to match my raincoat above and of course it's finished just in time for it to be too warm to wear. Ah well, I'm sure I'll enjoy it in the fall. This is another of of the WIPs I've posted about previously. I started so many projects at once but now I'm finishing them all up in a hurry.

The pattern is Daybreak by Stephen West. The yarn is KnitPick's new Stroll Tonal in the Springtime and Kindling colors. I love tonals, I don't think I want to knit with solids ever again! Since I had a generous 462 yards of each, I was aiming for the medium size shawl but along the way I grew bored and cut out rows here and there and it ended up between a small and a medium. Since I really wanted to use it as a scarf with my raincoat I'm not sure what I was thinking aiming for it to be so big! Small would have been fine.
Raveled here

As usual, I couldn't help myself and I blocked the daylights out of it! I started out thinking I would just "lightly block" it to straighten out the edges, but then once I get out my blocking wires all that goes flying out the window.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Finishing time - Placemats

The last 2 weeks I've been all about finishing up my projects!
Here are the two place mats I pieced ages ago, quilted a while back and finally even the binding is done too. Once again, I left the hand sewing of the binding for my mom on her most recent visit. She's really much quicker and claims to even enjoy it. I need to remember to always have a hand sewing project ready for her!

My free-motion quilting on these is pretty awful. I just can't seem to get the speed/control down with that. Of course more practice could definitely help. I always seem to be going OK, OK, OK, big jaggedly motion, OK, OK, teeny tiny stitches, over compensate with overly large stitches, OK, OK... you get the picture.

I posted a few WIP pictures back here. This project is from a Connecting Threads kit and I don't think I fully realized just how involved they were. As I started cutting, the stacks of tiny triangles were piling up and I wondered if I was in over my head. In the end, I'm pretty happy with them even though they definitely aren't perfect.

I hope to make the coordinating table runner too. After that, I should have plenty of scraps to make a few (way simpler!) place mats to match. The kids are definitely not eating on these two!