Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Inspiration Point.

Seductively Simple Sunday Market Shawl

I wish I could be one of those super organised knitters. A knitter that has their stash carefully catalogued on Ravelry. A knitter who logged future projects into an orderly queue. A knitter that dutifully completed one project before they even considered starting the next. Honestly I would - NOT!
I tried once to be like this, but I just simply don't have the chops for it. Whilst I am pretty much a 'point A' to 'point B' kinda gal there are times where inspiration with chomp you in the arse & send you off in a divergence of sorts. Sometimes it a birthday gift, or a new yarn, or both. This past few weeks it has been a combination of test driving a new pattern I have had my eye on for a special yarn I have in the stash, a birthday & a further exploration of my mitt fetish with a delish new yarn.

Not bad for a prototype!

I have been looking for a pattern to do justice to the 300gm of the utterly divine Flagstaff hand painted Alpaca I acquired in the south Island almost a year ago. I was quite set on a wrap or shrug. It needed to be something versatile. Clapotis, the Ravelry sensation from a few years back was the leading contender, until Kylie from Knit Group suggested Knit Fish's Sunday Market Shawl. A fiendishly simple yet striking concept, it instantly struck a chord with me, because as per usual, I could see how I could tweak the pattern to suit my evil desires.

My prototype was a wrap for my aunts birthday. Knitted in a fine natural silver DK, it gave me a very good idea of how the finished fabric would perform. The drape is seductive & this will only be accentuated by the supple Alpaca. I have a few design additions I am going to make for my wrap, but even if I didn't make those changes, I have to say it was hard to part with the prototype. A project I would recommend if you want some quick 'WOW' factor knitting.

'Peacock in the Parlour' by Knitsch

I also received in the past few weeks my first installment from the Knitsch yarn club. An intense Peacock semi solid, so pressing all my buttons! The base yarn (A Merino Supersock) is one I know very well, manufactured by my place of work, so I am naturally completely bias & what Tash has done with her inspiring dye job left me scrambling for the needles ASAP. For those who know me, I'm not a sock knitters asshole, honestly I suck. An affliction I have a resolution to cure this year, but not with the Peacock. This yarn was just too pretty to be stuffed on my feet & jammed into flailing footwear, it deserved to be shown off.

I have made some alterations to the Louisa Harding Fingerless Mitts pattern. By changing to 3.00mm & 3.25mm needles, adding 4 more stitches at the cast on & increasing two more rounds in the thumb & hand the mitts transitioned from DK to 4ply effortlessly. The results are wonderful, sock yarn is great as an alternative, smoother & less bulky to wear. I was also stunned to see the mitts just used 38gm of the 120gm of yarn, so I have embarked on a scarf version of the 'Sunday Market' to complete knitted peacock flock.

KAN Update
I have closed registrations (unless you do a unprecedented amount of grovelling & bribery). Accommodation placements are being sorted through & I endeavour to have a note out to all who have registered in the next few days. It's only a month away, how EXCITING!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Marvellous Mitts

Louis showing off his new Tricera-Milo-Tops

I have been using these cooler Southern hemisphere nights to get Louis last Milo completed, dubbed Tricera-Milo-tops, it is a fun Milo using self striping Regia sock yarn, designed by Kaffe Fassett. Being a lighter weight yarn (6ply), I am hoping this Milo will see Louis well & truly in to the Spring. With this, the last Milo in the Boys' collection completed it is time for me to move onto my next obsession...
I was naughty a month or so ago & bought at the Interweave knits sale Knitted Little Luxuries by Louisa Harding. I already have one of her books & find her patterns simple, stylish, with just a hint of quirkiness I really like. The book was so coveted when it arrived I had to order two more copies for my cousin Letitia & knit club member Ruby. Teesh being Teesh commandeered my copy until the replacement arrived & instantly fell in love with the fingerless mitts. I too have succumbed to this mitten fever. More complex than my simple gauntlets, but such a joy to knit!

Mitts version one - gifted to Mary at work.

The first prototype were caught out by the errata (later discovered on Ravelry) that you do in fact need two balls of yarn, not the one prescribed. Also, as I have hobbit hands, I have had to make some adjustments in needle size, so now pair number two fit me perfectly.

Version Two - A Perfect Fit

Of course every self respecting gal has to have other accessories to match & I had enough Sublime Merino Silk Cashmere left to make a Twisted Knit-lace, the new obsessive scraps project de jour, easy to knit & QUICK!

My New Knit-Lace - Designed by Kerrie Allman

I just need to shake these obsessions long enough to pull finger & get my UFO (the Fern Shell) started in May completed before I lose all the cool days to wear & enjoy it. Well maybe just one more pair of Mitts, I do have two balls of Midnight Blue 'Me' Cashmere in the stash, it would be rude not too right?