Tag Archives: Knitted Yarns

Swatching – A Necessary Evil

Blocked Cotton Swatches

Blocked Cotton Swatches

I always swatch before starting projects which need to fit (clothes versus warshrags and shawls). As recommended, I then wash and block my swatches. While I don’t always make my swatches to a minimum of 4 inches by 4 inches, I do test the various repeats.

For the next attempt of the Botanica Medallion Sweater, I need to re-swatch since I am using three different colors of Tahki Cotton Classic in white (from a yarn swap), aqua (from Purl by the Sea in Montauk) and forest green (from Purl by the Sea in Montauk). As a result, I want to ensure that the colors don’t bleed which would ruin the top. In addition, I am going to increase the size of my needles to make the top more lacy. Hence, more swatching.

While I’m swatching, I am also preparing for another project, the Eloise Sweater which is a free pattern from Lion’s Brand. This sweater was on show in the Lion’s Brand Studio and looked multi-purpose. Further, the pink Lion’s Brand Recycled Cotton has a candy cane impression (from the Lion Brand Studio) so I am hoping that this will be fun to knit and a great gift for a little girl.

I strongly recommend swatching and getting projects ready in advance while you’re working on or finishing another project so that you’re ready to just start when the spirit moves you. This prevents lustfully starting to knit only to find that you’re way off in your gauge on the real thing!

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

Sunset on a Knitting-filled Fire Island Vacation

Good bye Fair Harbor Vacation

Good bye Fair Harbor Vacation

 

The end of vacations is always bitter sweet, especially summer ones on Fair Harbor’s car-free beach. While the weather wasn’t sunny and bright every day, it allowed us space to re-charge our batteries and get away from the everyday routine. 

One great advantage of vacation knitting is that you have a tangible reminder of your joy-filled hours of sitting by the beach adding stitch after stitch to your projects.  As I mentioned earlier, I like to have a few different projects to keep me busy and depending on other factors some may not be appropriate. For example, I brought the Black Malabrigo Fountain Pen Shawl which I’m making out of Malabrigo sock yarn. It was too thin to knit in the oceanside wind. (So much for finishing it on vacation!)

Some of the sunsets we experienced during our vacation. Sunsets in Fair Harbor are spectacular even if the weather has been poor. The third sunset occurred miraculously between thunderstorms.

Fair Harbor Bay Sunset

Fair Harbor Bay Sunset

Sunset on Fair Harbor with Sailboats

Sunset on Fair Harbor with Sailboats

Post-storm Sunset in Fair Harbor June 2009

Post-storm Sunset in Fair Harbor June 2009

Here’s the progress that I made during our Fire Island stay:

– Black Malabrigo Fountain Pen Shawl – Using  Malabrigo Sock Yarn bought at The Point NYC.  Source: Interweave Spring 2009. Finished 6 out of 10 repeats. Although given how the yarn is being used, I may add 1 or 2 repeats (if I have the stamina.) This pattern is relatively easy with only one nupp per 16 row pattern. It borders on being boring.

– Carnation Pink Nightsong Shawl – Using cobweb weight cashmere yarn from Silk City Fibers and a free online pattern. The pattern is interesting in that there is no center spine. It is probably better done with a single YO in the center but I decided to keep mine consistent. I like the way that the patterns expand and squeeze in. If the yarn wasn’t so TINY, I would probably be done with it. It hurts my eyes to do.

– Hemlock Ring Blankie – Using the pattern by Brooklyn Tweed, I am having fun with this project (although it out grew the needles while I was on vacation!) It turned out to be the perfect yarn for the weather. Thick enough to with stand the wind. I had fun changing colors. I finished 6 out of the Feather and Fan repeats. I think that it will look good once it’s done. It lays flat (unlike the sample in The Point).

– Heirloom Doily Placemats– I finished 1 1/3 of the Liz Snella Heirloom lace pattern using Cesari Wool. I think that this wool will hold up for this use. I find it rough on my hands. Also, since it’s not a very processed wool, there are bits of stuff that haven’t been cleaned out of the wool. (The plus for those who want to wear the yarn is that it has lanolin which helps for rain protection. (I also finished 1 1/3 of the Two Color Lace Doily which I frogged.)

-Green Mitered Tank Top – Out of a 100% cotton with a slub (which is great for those of us whose knit stitch isn’t perfect!) It’s a hospital green that seems to be in all of the windows along Fifth Avenue this spring/summer. The pattern is a Norah Gaughan from the Vogue Knit Summer 2009. It’s an under rated pattern since it is great for all types of figures. I finished the main knitting portion (I didn’t do any sewing, etc. on vacation.) I was very proud of myself for making the increases in the front following the mitered corner to look like darts. 

– Long Sleeve Linen in Grey, Beige , White – I think that I finished the front of this long sleeved ribbed sweater and plotted out the sleeves. It’s been taking WAY to long to finish but I’ve lost interest and keep plodding along. 

Do you keep track of your vacation knitting? Do you find that it gives you special joy? Please let me know in the comments section.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

 

 

Beach Knitting-Hemlock Ring Blankie Progresses

Sunny & Chilly on Fair Harbor Beach

Sunny & Chilly on Fair Harbor Beach

Beach knitting is one of my favorite forms of knitting in public (KIP). Unlike subway knitting where I’m filling time that would otherwise be unproductive, I enjoy being on the beach where the constant sound of the ocean kissing the shore is reassuring and peaceful.  With knitting in hand, I combine two of my favorite activities enhancing my relaxation. 

Unlike swimming, the benefit of having knitting on the beach doesn’t require specific weather conditions (although I am not a fan of knitting in the rain). The cooler than average June weather actually enhanced the experience since it kept the beach relatively deserted. Due to the slight wind (which was great for my husband’s windsurfing), I had to knit with a thicker yarn which translated to lots of progress on my Hemlock Ring Blankie. 

As with any large project, I find that the beginning goes quickly since there’s the sense of adventure and I haven’t had time to get bored with the project or an uninteresting repeat.  With the Hemlock Ring Blanket, the number of stitches per row increases significantly which means that progress is REALLY slow. 

 
Hemlock Blankie on Fair Harbor Beach

Center pattern of Hemlock Ring BLankie

Center pattern of Hemlock Ring Blankie

Green & Lavender Feather & Fan Rings on Hemlock Ring Blankie

Green & Lavender Feather & Fan Rings on Hemlock Ring Blankie

 

Despite bringing two sets of 10.5 needles, I still ran out of room to keep knitting. It became work to squeeze the stitches onto the needle. Thankfully, I have a set of interchangeable Denise needles at home so that I can extend the length.

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

Starry Gift – Free Knitting Pattern

 

Classic Elite Star Wash Cloth -Free Pattern!

Classic Elite Star Wash Cloth -Free Pattern!

Classic Elite’s newsletter contains free knitting patterns. This week’s pattern is a keeper. It’s a star shaped washcloth. It’s a useful project for those leftover balls of cotton and linen (if you don’t have any of Classic Elite’s Provence).

This washcloth makes a great Christmas tree decoration that doesn’t sit in your basement most of the year. Knit up a few of these stars and keep them for that last minute tree trimming party.

Alternatively, it makes a wonderful house warming gift with a few bars of your favorite soap.

Photo source: Classic Elite Yarns (www.ClassicEliteYarns.com)

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Rowan International Membership

 

Rowan International Membership

Rowan International Membership

Friends passed along a great tip which I’m sharing with all of you Rowan lovers out there. Rowan offers an International Membership  for 25 UK pounds (given the current exchange rates is about US $35.00!).

This membership gives you two copies of their semi-annual magazine which is more of a book than a magazine and a knitting project (where I’m told you get to choose the color of the yarn!) These magazines cost about $20.00-$25.00 in your local yarn store. So if you’re a Rowan fan, I recommend that you check it out.

BTW, I saw this issue of Rowan at one of my LYS. I thought that it had some great patterns including a wonderful circular shawl with sleeves and a lace sweater that got me wanting to buy some yarn and start knitting! 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief