This year wasn’t as productive of a knitting year as I would have liked, as far as the number of finished knits goes. And sadly, there were a couple knits that I don’t have good pictures of. Le sigh… However, this year marked my first in design ventures, which is exciting! We shall see what 2012 has to bring!
Earlier this year, Rebecca Danger came to the Seattle Knitters Guild to talk up her new book, and she brought several of her little stuffed friends with her. It was awesome! I’d been eyeing some of the patterns in her Etsy shop for a while, and that night I snapped up her book and started brainstorming who I could knit up some monsters for. A few friends of mine obliged me and had a beautiful little baby girl in September, so this is what I sent her for Christmas:
Monroe really wasn’t sure what to think of Dot.
Also on my kids knitting list recently:
Seriously one of the cutest hats I’ve ever made, on one of the cutest little girls I know.
Designing this shawl was a little more problematic for me; not because the stitch patterns were difficult, or the construction was more complicated. Mostly, I think, my problems were due to budding designer syndrome. In other words, not taking the time to really double check my charts, and working 12 rows before realizing that my pattern was slightly off. Or not using a bind off that is loose enough for the scalloped edge. Whoops! This shawl definitely taught me a few valuable lessons, all of which I sorely needed to learn.
It still came out ok, I think.
I really loved the alpaca yarn; I’ve tried knitting lace with alpaca before, and for whatever reason I failed miserably. I just couldn’t get a consistent gauge; it was either too tight or too loose, and I would just get frustrated. This yarn, however, was marvelous to work with, and the blue beads on the edge added a nice, subtle touch.
Last Fall, I married my best friend. It was a day of joy and family, and we had the best friends and relatives to help us celebrate and prepare for our lives together. I was incredibly lucky to have my dress custom-made for me by my incredibly talented and crafty mother, and we designed the gown around this:
My Aeolian Shawl, which I knit up particularly because I wanted to wear something other than a veil. The result was a beautiful, unique piece that I can pass down to my daughter, a new family heirloom, if you will. The thought didn’t cross my mind until after the wedding that other brides might be interested in something similar…
Earlier this year, I took a lace design class taught by the incomparable Sivia Harding at my new favorite LYS, Serial Knitters. She opened up a whole new world to me, not just in the context of triangular shawls, but design in general. My perception of knit design, I realized, had been terribly limited, and I left the class with a seemingly endless stream of ideas for lace designs. My goal was to come up with several polished lace designs to offer to future brides, along with the option to custom design a piece to a bride’s specifications. With the choices in yarn, shapes, stitch patterns, colors and beads, the possibilities are endless! And thus, Spun Love was born.
My first lace shawl design is the piece that I started in Sivia’s class:
I decided to add a center panel where the center stitch usually is.
One of my fellow classmates lamented the fact that she didn’t care much for scalloped edges, which are quite common in lace shawl designs, so I decided to make this edge straight.
The yarn was absolutely exquisite, and it softened up so nicely when blocked. I wore this shawl the other day and marveled at how beautifully the fabric draped. I need more of this yarn!! I also plotted where I could incorporate beads into the pattern.
My second design was knit up in a week. I found out last minute about a vintage wedding show in my neck of the woods, and decided that I had to pump out this little scarf/shawlette in time to take with me.
That’s the same stitch pattern that I used in the center panel of Leaves in the Wind; obviously, it struck a chord with me! This is constructed quite like Sivia’s Heart to Heart Beaded Scarf, and it was a very easy and quick knit. I think I even have enough yarn for another! Part of my reasoning behind using this particularly luscious yarn was the color; what better way to have something blue on your wedding day?
Right now I’m working on my next piece, another triangular shawl. I’m almost to the edge stitch pattern, which I’m planning on knitting up with beads. I had one little roadblock with my charts, and had to rip back twelve rows rather late into the shawl. (Meaning there were many stitches per row!) I’m just chalking that little incident up to my being a noob designer, and have already learned from the experience.
Many FOs. Socks:
And some other odds and ends. There’s also been a lot of lace knitting happening over here, but I’ll save that for another post. 😉 That last hat is my very own Grave Danger merch, and I am quite happy with how it turned out! (I really need to get some good photos of me wearing it to an actual bout.)
Even though my summer was consumed by the wedding, some knitting still took place and I have FO’s to share! First, a gift for my wonderful Momma:
I was able to give this to her right before my wedding. I love giving her things that I’ve knit; it’s like a thank you to her for teaching me.
Some friends of ours have a baby girl who just turned 7 months old the other day, and I decided that Baby Harper needed a jacket for Fall:
I just love the simple lines of this pattern. The yarn was leftover from the Christmas Hat I knit up for my husband a few years back, and it was sooo perfect for this BSJ! So warm and squishy… Harper and her parents love it!
This next project was one that I had originally picked out some Malabrigo worsted for, then decided that the colors were too much for the cables. The softness of the yarn was perfect, though, so I just picked up another skein of Malabrigo in a different colorway. 😉
The picture still really makes the colors pop and hides the cables, but in person the colors are just enough yet not too overwhelming. It’s my new fav piece; I’m wearing it right now! 😀
My current WIPs are mostly for Socktoberfest, but that’s a whole other post! I also have a few requests from friends that I need to get going on… There’s just not enough time in the day! I’ve also been contemplating the jump into dyeing, and trying to spend more time on my spinning wheel. All of this on top of being a new wife, and trying to figure out where I want my career to go! At least the knitting and spinning affords me some quiet time for contemplation.
Oh wow, I really have been slacking… Somehow, the Fall and Holiday season went by so flippin’ fast! I have been doing some knitting, at least, to keep me sane!
Another Aeolian! I loved the pattern so much, I had to do another one. This time I didn’t place the beads where the pattern says to (except the three bead groups in the Agave and Edge Set-up Charts) and instead of doing nupps, I placed beads. With the weight of the yarn I used, I think this was perfect! I also found myself in a major bind; I totally screwed up the middle in the Edge Set-up Chart, and ended up improvising the center edge of the shawl.
It seemed to come out alright, so I’m good with that!
My first ‘real’ colorwork, I wore this hat all Autumn and received many compliments. Love it!
Both of these cowls were Christmas gifts; what a beautiful, quick knit!
New strategy for next year’s Christmas knitting: start early. And when I say ‘early’, I mean ‘now’. 😉
I bound off Saturday night, and blocked it on Sunday. The sun has finally come out today, so I’m going to get my boy to take some pics out in the sunlight.
I love the sheen of this yarn. It was so nice to work with, and the fabric it created is just glorious. I still have half of a skein left, which I already have plans for. 😛
I’ve changed my mind about the yarn I want to use for my next Aeolian; I ordered some wonderfully yummy Merino laceweight yarn from The Woolen Rabbit, which I think will be perfect. It’s a deep purple, like the other yarn, but I think it will be interesting to do this shawl in a springy Merino yarn. I’m already swatching to determine what size needles to use, and hopefully I’ll be casting on tonight! Seriously, I think I need an intervention. 😛
I’m getting soooo close to finishing my Aeolian! I’ve finished the first 24 rows of the edging, which means I have 22 rows left. I’ve been really good about inserting a lifeline along the way, usually at the beginning of every chart repeat, although I wasn’t so good about it when I first started. I had to rip back and start over a couple times, and once I finally started putting in lifelines at regular intervals, my mistakes didn’t require such drastic measures to fix! It’s funny how when you have lifelines you don’t really need them, but when you neglect to put them in you pay for it later! In this case, I don’t know if I was screwing up more in the beginning simply because I was getting used to the yarn/needles/beads/pattern, and now that I have the hang of it all I’m just not having many issues. That’s probably the case, but the superstitions about lifelines are still floating around in my brain!
After I finish this Aeolian, I would really like to make the smaller version. This one will still be with Habu Bamboo, which I have in a deep purple. I’m tempted to double up the yarn with the silk stainless steel that I have in a similar color:
I’ll need to make a test swatch and see how it knits up. I still want to use beads, just not as much throughout the shawl. I’ll probably only use them through the agave and edge charts, and maybe in place of the nupps. We’ll see!
Amazingly, this is my first pair of socks knit up with Artisan Sock yarn, and I love this yarn!! Wendee has some amazing colorways, too, and I can’t wait to get my hands on some more.
Ok, one more picture of the shawl:
The other day at lunch I bound off yet another iPod sock.
This one is for my boyfriend’s buddy Kenny, who has a new iPod Touch. Those things are wicked thin, wow! They’re approximately 5 inches in circumference, which is just a tad more than my BlackBerry. It was pretty easy to figure out how many stitches I needed to cast on, and I worked it until I figured it was pretty close. The next time I saw Kenny, we tried it on (while still on the needles) to see how the length was, and after adding a couple more rows I was ready to finish it up. I’m losing count of how many of these things I’ve made. My iPod is two and a half years old and has spent most of that time in it’s knitted sock, and it has hardly a scratch on it.
I also have a couple other FOs:
These are for my friend Julia, whose first baby is due this Spring! My first Baby Surprise Jacket was just that: a surprise. It looks like a little blob of garter stitch when you cast off:
But once it’s folded together like a little piece of knitted origami, it all comes together:
And the little bootees are just too cute for words. I swear, my ovaries just about exploded while I was knitting these up!
I’m about to start a huge project that may just make me go insane before the end of it. Finding the yarn alone nearly did me in, but a quick call to New York had a package on my doorstep from Habu Textiles in just a few days.
Yeah, I have a feeling they’ll be sending me off to the looney bin before this is all said and done!