Tag Archives: Cotton

Montauk Bound With Knitting

Montauk Sweatshirts for Sale

Montauk Sweatshirts for Sale

 

We love the beach in Montauk which can be relatively empty (at least by New Yorkers’ standards) on holiday weekends. It’s a wonderful expanse of beach with rolling waves that make for peaceful rejuvenation. Of course, it’s not every Manhattanite’s idea of a “local” beach but my husband and I make it an adventure and it beats battling the local airport or driving out of town.

The over 3 hour train trip from NYC’s Penn Station to Montauk gives us an opportunity to sleep, read or knit. We enjoy bagels and coffee on the train and are ready to hit the beach by the time we get to Montauk.  There are a variety of local taxi companies that meet the infrequent trains making getting to the center of town a breeze. From there we can walk to the beach, food and Purl By the Sea.

Atlantic Ocean Beach - Relatively Empty at Montauk

Atlantic Ocean Beach - Relatively Empty at Montauk

Kite Surfers at Montauk Use Strings Differently from Knitters

Kite Surfers at Montauk Use Strings Differently from Knitters

I always love visiting Purl By the Sea. While most knitting stores attract wonderful knitters and crocheters, there’s always laughter around the knitting table at Purl By the Sea. It sends out such good vibe that my husband likes sitting in the spouse rocker and hearing the joyful chatter.  

 

Entrance to Purl By the Sea with Flowers Blooming

Entrance to Purl By the Sea with Flowers Blooming

On July 5th, there was a local spinner giving a demonstration and selling her roving and yarn, both merino and alpaca. The spinner’s wares were spread through out the store.

Spinning demonstration at Purl By the Sea

Spinning demonstration at Purl By the Sea

Spinner's Wares at Purl By the Sea

Spinner's Wares at Purl By the Sea

 

Local Spinner's Roving at Purl By the Sea

Local Spinner's Roving at Purl By the Sea

Additionally, Nora Franzetti, the owner of Purl By the Sea, had been to TNNA and stocked up on new yarns and wonderful books. She brought back samples of yarns and books that she’s considering. She showed me a stack of signed knitting books to make any knitter jealous.

Since I am still swatching and testing the Botanica Medallion from Summer 2009 Vogue Knitting, I bought more Tahki Cotton in aqua and forest green to add more color to the top.  I was lucky that I picked a color that many of the Purl By the Sea knitters don’t like!

For me, the entire day was a knitting adventure. I had time to work on several projects including the Fountain Pen Shawl and the Hemlock Blankie which has been a great beach project. 

Hemlock Ring Blankie on Montauk Beach

Hemlock Ring Blankie on Montauk Beach

 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

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Shiri Mor’s Botanica Medallion Sweater from Vogue Knitting

   

Shiri Mors Botanica Medallion on Vogue Knitting Cover

 

Shiri Mor's Botanica Medallion on Vogue Knitting Cover

When I started knitting lace doilies, one of my friends suggested that I check out the pattern on the cover of Vogue Knitting Summer 2009. It’s an unusual pattern by Shiri Mor. It’s more of a vest than a sweater. It consists of a center circle knit in the round like a doily and a separate border knitted with a variety of lace stitches so that it is larger at the outer edge than the inner edge. 

 

Interestingly, the sample is knit in Blue Sky Skinny Dyed Cotton for summer wearing. Given the way that the pattern is knit, it is a strong candidate for a Noro type yarn which would add a wonderful pattern to the center and stripes to the outer circle.

When I first thought about doing the top, I wanted to combine several colors. I wanted to use the watery blues and greens that have been showcased in Eileen Fisher’s windows on Fifth Avenue this spring.

Due to the fact that I’ve been on a yarn diet (of course, those of you who are regular readers know that I allow myself yarn treats and occasional splurges like MDSW and Webs Tent Sale.)  Therefore I decided to use some Tahki Cotton Classic from my stash. The 4 1/2 balls of white Tahki Cotton Classic (or 432+ yards) that I got at a yarn swap  wasn’t enough to make the top.  Combined with one or two other colors, it was a good start.

Tahki Cotton Classic in White, Aqua and Blue-Green

Tahki Cotton Classic in White, Aqua and Blue-Green

After studying the Botanica Medallion pattern, I realized that it was difficult to adapt to multiple colors in the way that a vintage doily might be. Therefore, I bought 5 skeins of aqua at Purl By the Sea (or 540 yards) in Montauk.

Flower Medallion of Shiri Mor's Vogue Cardi

Flower Medallion of Shiri Mor's Vogue Cardi

32 rows of Botanica Medallion in Tahki Cotton Classic

32 rows of Botanica Medallion in Tahki Cotton Classic

While it’s a rare event that I get gauge (of course, I was using needles that were 2 sizes smaller), I set out to knit the  medallion centerpiece of the sweater. After knitting about 34 rows of the 54 rows needed, I realized that, while my gauge was on target, the piece even after blocking was way too small to work for me.

Given that the centerpiece of the Botanica Medallion consists of close stocking knit and reverse stocking knit, I chose not to increase the needle size to make the piece larger. Also, I am using 100% cotton which should be knitted tightly for garments. Therefore, I decided to look for another doily to use in lieu of the flower / starfish pattern medallion of Mor’s piece. 

Having made several different doilies, I estimate that I will need a pattern with about 70 rows. Although a pattern which allows me the flexibility to add more rows to reach my goal is optimal. Further, it’s important to take blocking into consideration. For example, my Heirloom Doily Placemats grew from 15″ to 17″ in diameter when they were blocked. I assume that the piece will grow about 10-20% due to blocking the lace (which is different from non-lace blocking.)

While some of you dear readers might be upset at this change, I am thrilled since it will allow me to use a variety of colors and to have a unique design at the center. I am thinking about making the border striped but I am not sure that I will like the color changes. I will need to test knit them.

P.S. For those NYC based knitters, Shiri Mor is teaching a class focused on making the Botanica Medallion at Knitty City.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns-Editor-in-Chief

Green Mitered Tank Top Done!

My Green Mitered Tank Top in 100% cotton with slubs is finished. I used Norah Gaughan’s pattern in the Summer 2009 Vogue Knitting and love the shaping as I have mentioned before. I can’t recommend this pattern enough. Like many of Norah Gaughan’s patterns, the shaping is unusual. It starts with almost twice the number of stitches that there are in the bottom of the average sweater. By making a double decrease at two strategic points, the material drapes wonderfully. Of course, you need to be careful with the decreases since they need to be decorative.

 

Norah Gaughan's Mitered Tank Top in Green

Norah Gaughan's Mitered Tank Top in Green

 

Norah Gaughan Mitered Tank Top in Green with Extend Skirt

Norah Gaughan Mitered Tank Top in Green with Extend Skirt

 

 

I adjusted the K1P1 rib to ensure that the line from the double decreases was followed up the garment. Further in the front, I moved the increases to build on this line to form darts. Since I inadvertently decreased too many stitches on the back, I didn’t change needles for the ribbing. 

My major change was that I didn’t use any metallic yarn or beading to highlight the trim as shown in Vogue Knitting. Further, I just followed my instincts on the neck decreases. If I were to make it again, I would make the neckline square to imitate the bottom of the garment (both front and back using mitered stitches to match.)

Unlike many of my knitting friends, I like to sew my knitted pieces together. I think that the clothes fit better and it gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Mitered Tank Top on Fair Harbor Beach

 

Peaceful Knitting Venue on Fair Harbor Beach

Peaceful Knitting Venue on Fair Harbor Beach

Norah Gaughan’s Mitered Tank Top from the Summer 2009 Vogue Knitting shows off Norah’s genius for designing tops with unusual shapes that are flattering for women to wear. At the bottom, the Mitered Tank Top starts with enough stitches on one side to make the bottom of most sweaters! It uses a decorative decrease to form a flattering line which I adjusted my knitting to ensure that it flowed through the waist band ribbing.

Among my modifications were:

  • Only used one color of cotton. It was a wonderful light green with slubs which are a godsend for those of us whose plain knit may be imperfect! I am not adding any glitter to the top as shown in Vogue.
  • Knit the waistband without changing needles since it made the top too small for my waist.
  • Made increases for the bust at the same point as the decorative decreases below the waist. I increased stitches on the outside of the stitch so that they form a decorative detail and look like darts!

Knitting on the beach in Fair Harbor, the wind and dampness hampered my speed but I had fun putting my knitting on the sand for pictures. Although for some reason, the colors are off in some of the photos.

Mitered Tank Top to Waist on Fair Harbor Beach

Mitered Tank Top to Waist on Fair Harbor Beach

Mitered Tank Top Back with a view of Atlantic Ocean on Fair Harbor Beach

Mitered Tank Top Back with a view of Atlantic Ocean on Fair Harbor Beach

 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Mitered Top in Green Cotton with Slubs

 

Vogue Knitting Summer 2009

Vogue Knitting Summer 2009

At first glance, Norah Gaughan’s Mitered Top with its metallic edging in the Summer 2009 Vogue Knitting didn’t catch my attention. Yet once I looked through the magazine and realized that it was designed by Norah Gaughan and understood the shaping, I was hooked.

The top starts from a square and uses decreases as a design element to shape the bottom portion of the top. Other than the 4 centered double decreases, one at each corner, it’s relatively straight forward stocking knit and 1×1 rib. The shaping is enhanced with a wide band of ribbing at the waist. It’s a wonderful pattern that can work for a variety of body types.

At first I was surprised at how few people had queued and started the top relative to other items in the magazine. In part, this is attributable to the fact that Norah Gaughan  uses unusual and unique shapes to create pieces that look great. These shapes can be difficult for many knitters to envision. For example, this pattern didn’t tell knitters what the width at the bottom of the top was. I had to back into it using the number of stitches and stitch gauge.

Further, many knitters tend not to change fibers and for this type of top, it uses a lot of fiber.

It took using a variety of knitting handbooks to figure out how to do the double stitch decrease so that it created a raised stitch. Once I got past that, it’s been easy knitting.

Yarn Swap Swag-Green 100% Cotton with Slubs

Yarn Swap Swag-Green 100% Cotton with Slubs

 

Bottom of Green Mitered Tank Top

Bottom of Green Mitered Tank Top

I give a tip of my hat to my friend Georgia who brought this lush green cotton from her stash. Using my yard meter, which has never prevent to be error free, it has about 110 yards per ball or 990 yards in total. It’s got a slub which is helpful give that my stitches are uneven. 

My only concern is that the top will be a bit snug around the waist but I figure that I can increase the front slightly. 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Knitted Gifts-Spreading the Love

Many of my knitting friends are always making items that are presents for their friends, family and charity. It seems to be a way to offer their love and support. Therefore when my friend Amanda invited me to join her for her annual Webs Tent Sale pilgrimage, I wanted to make her something special to show my appreciation. As a fellow knitter who makes a variety of items with complex stitches, beading and vibrant colors, she knits wonderful shawls, sweaters, hats and handbags. Deciding what to make was a challenge. Since we were headed to Webs, the yarn mecca, bringing her some special yarn wouldn’t do. 

After much consideration and research on Ravelry, I decided to make her some hand knit washcloths. It was an idea right out of Mason Dixon Knits. It is a favorite book of mine since it opens up possibilities for projects that I might not otherwise consider such as knitted home goods. 

In fact, the first of the items that I made Amanda was the Warshrag from Mason Dixon knits. Since Amanda is a big fan of Good and Plenty, I made it in pale pine and black Rowan cotton. I think that it’s a hoot. This pattern is a great way to use two different color yarns and makes a thick material.

Good and Plenty Warshrag in Rowan Cotton

Good and Plenty Warshrag in Rowan Cotton

For the second washcloth, I used the 1911 lace star pattern. I have been enticed with circular lace patterns of late and wanted to try one on a small scale. Inspired by Brooklyn Tweeds’ Hemlock Ring, I want to make a round lace shawl using one of these old patterns with a fingering weight yarn.  Since purples and lavenders are among Amanda’s favorite colors, I used some lavender cotton from my stash.

1911 Star Doily -Knit in Lavender Cotton

1911 Star Doily -Knit in Lavender Cotton

Interestingly, I did fine starting the knitting and went full steam ahead until about row 21. My missteps included not using stitch markers to keep track of the repeats, not using the chart to help track the stitch increases, and not switching to a circular needle sooner. As a result, it took me a frustrating week of ripping and re-knitting but the result was worth it! I finished at Amanda’s house so she decided to block it herself. It’s a great first circular lace pattern (as long as you avoid my challenges!)

G is for Green

Naturally Green

Naturally Green

G can stand for a lot of things when it comes to knitting. When I recently took an honest (really!) accounting of the contents of my stash, that G stood for green (and I am not talking about the money invested in my stash either!)

As a Manhattanite, black is my favorite color. Like most New York women, I have at least one black version of every item of clothing. I think that my wedding dress was an exception. 

But when it comes to my stash, there is very little black fiber present. In large part this is due to the fact that it can be challenging knitting with black as I discovered with the Shetland Scarf. When I buy yarn,  I am drawn to the combination of the color and the fiber. Most frequently, I find myself drawn to the wine and purplish reds. 

Therefore I was very surprised to find lots of green in my stash. Maybe it’s the influence of the blue -greens that line the windows of the boutiques on Fifth Avenue but lately, I find myself drawn to the color green. Most of these acquisitions come from yarn swaps.

 

Light green baby yarn with great yardage!

Light green baby yarn with great yardage!

Green cotton with slubs - Destined to become summer top

Green cotton with slubs - Destined to become summer top

Green cotton and wool combination

Green cotton and wool combination

Mint Julep Blend of Wool, Cotton and Silk- Small Producer

Mint Julep Blend of Wool, Cotton and Silk- Small Producer

In addition, I’ve knit 3 green sweaters: a Classic Ribbed Pullover in Forest Green for my nephew, the Origami Cardi in Antique Green and the Lace Top in Olive Green.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief