Monday, June 30, 2008

Christmas Knitting

I've been comtemplating Christmas knitting. I so enjoyed our Handmade Christmas last year and would love to keep the tradition going. I've been mulling over what to make for the folks on my list.

I recently came into some KP Alpaca Cloud Cappucino Heather, a lovely brown lace weight yarn. At first I was thinking of a scarf (perhaps something lacey from Victorian Lace Today) for a friend at work. Then I saw this smoke ring Lynn knit. I love the fan pattern. It reminds me of the quilt my MOM made me.

My sister came to visit last weekend and we visited the Shabby Sheep. I found the silk smoke ring while looking for the flared smoke ring pattern. The patterns are from the same designers and fairly similar. The store had a model, in red, of the silk smoke ring and it was heaven. So that's the pattern I bought. I looked and looked for a yarn that might work with the pattern, but I keep coming back to the cappucino heather. It's a subtle brown that will go with so many things.

I love the idea of the smoke ring for MOM. She doesn't really wear a coat. She never has, but this will keep her neck warm, like a scarf, but can also work as protection on her head. I don't expect her to wear it into a store or church pulled over her head, but if she gets into a cold car and needs the warmth, it's so simple to pull it into place. And it has just a bit of glam.

I'm considering one of these for Aunt Peggy, but painting canvases might be even better. Maybe I'll do both.

For Robyn, my SIL, I have planned to knit a clapotis from two skeins of yummy forest green Brooks Farm Acero. It's machine washable, but still luxurious with it's silk content. The color is perfect for her. I'm holding off starting it until I can get my Blue Sky Alpaca version finished. I figure if there are lessons to learn I should learn them and then apply them to Robyn's clap.

My sister will get yarn probably. I actually have something in mind, but won't be sharing because she might see it.

I'm thinking the men in my life might get smoke rings of their own. I'll man it up a bit. They all spend time outside working with their hands or hunting. They can't really deal with a scarf getting in the way and moving around on them, but a wimple would keep their neck warm without getting in the way. I won't put any pretty patterning in it, but lots of warm wool or alpaca. It needs to not be itchy and probably it needs to be machine-washable. Definitely it needs to be machine-washable. I'm a fan of Brooks Farm Yarns. Mas Acero may be just the thing.

Two Finished Objects

With Camp Juwie in full swing last week, I didn't get a ton of knitting done on my vacation, but I did work on a couple of the simpler projects. The result is two finished objects. First, the Stulpens knitted for Lisa's friend Yolanda. She has arthritis in her hands and they are cold most of the time. The alpaca should keep them warm. The project sort of came out of the blue, but it was so fun to do and such a good use for this yarn. The Garnstudio Alpaca languished in my stash for so long. I'm glad I didn't force it into something it didn't want to be because it makes perfect fingerless mitts. Love, love, loved the cables. Stulpens were a quick knit even though on the calendar it looks like it took me a long time. Hour-wise they went quickly.
Notice the slight flare at the bottom of the mitt, I cast-on the project on size 3 needles. Five rows in I realized the gauge was all wrong. Who knew sport weight yarn on 3's could be airy. Figuring this could be my swatch, I decided to switch to 1's and see if that was better. It was. At that point I decided I liked the subtle flare and contined on. I mimiced it on the second one and I really do like it. When it's on you don't even see it and it keeps it from being tight around the arm.
I also finally cast-off my Caribbean colorway socks at knit night last Tuesday. This is an old picture. I have to be honest. I'm so over socks right now. 2008 was deemed the Year of Lace and I'm so glad. It's just the break I needed. I'm not done with socks forever, but for now, I'm happy to be doing something else.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Love Cables

I love to knit cables and this weekend I figured out why. It's magic to watch the stitches criss-cross each other row after row. There's a feeling of satifaction with every round. I could hardly put this down Sunday afternoon. I just kept crissing and crossing. There will be no second mitt syndrome. I can't wait to get started on the next one.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Stulpen Fingerless Mitts

I've had this Alpaca Drops yarn in my stash for what seems like FOREVER. I bought it to make the scarf in the picture. It didn't work.

So then I tried this beaded scarf. It didn't work.
Then I tried the fabulous Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty. I really wanted it to, but it didn't work.

Then Liza at work mentioned wanting some fingerless mitts for a friend with arthritis. I checked out patterns on Ravelry. Found Stulpen. Someone had made a pair from Drops Alpaca. I thought, "I have some of that." And here we are a happy project in the works. Stash busted.