Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Dots and Dashes Shawl

Instead of making this stitch design into a cowl I thought a shawl would be good to try. With a shawl I was able to use many more yarns, all working together to produce a complex and interesting fabric, without being garish. 

I'm pretty darn excited about this project, and already dreaming of what I will cast on next. 

I used my large collection of what I call neutrals and paired them with bright blues, turquoises, purples and raspberry, to make a sharp contrast with the dots and dashes.
Here it is spread out on the kitchen table. 65" wide and 17" deep. 
The yarns are worsted weight with some DK, in merino, merino and silk mixtures, and with a few  cotton and mohair mixed in. 

Oh yes, the pin! The pin is made from some of my polymer clay beads, plus some faux amber beads, picking up on the colors in the shawl. 
Available for $45 including shipping, email me at fibermania at g mail dot com. SOLD

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Sideways Cowl #3

To say I am obsessed may be an understatement. I love this new technique and all the possibilites available to me. This second pastel version was made for Linda from Lansing. (Brilliant name, so alliterative). She requested hot pink, turquoise and lime, and they are all in there. 
The base yarn is Casablanca again, as it has the most gentle transitions between colors, and then I found contrasts which came in many different yarns. 
Working in the new wool is so lovely. It has life, springiness and softness. Not itchy at all. It's hard to believe this glamorous fiber used to keep a sheep warm.
And knitting is so meditative and portable. I bring it with me when I take my sister to physical therapy (knee replacement) and just knit in my car while I wait. Visitors are not allowed in the clinic anyway.
At home I am cosily ensconced in what I am now calling the knitting room, with my laptop playing Netflix, or Hulu or the news. What could be better? I just finished the new episodes of Last Tango in Halifax and all four seasons of Fargo. Then I discovered knitting podcasts on Youtube. I have got it made!

When viewed flat before seaming, it is easy to see how it is constructed. Simple yet effective. 
Here's the back neck seam. 
On to the next project!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Sideways Cowl #2

My enthusiasm for this colorwork technique is evident in this second iteration of my Sideways Cowl. I couldn't wait to get out more yarn and try it again. This time I went with worsted weight, rather than dk /sport weight and of course larger needles. It went swimmingly and has a really different look and feel. I also chose more pastel or Springtime colors and used just two yarns, Casablanca and Taiyo, both combinations which include silk and wool, while the Taiyo is 40% cotton. I think this would be nice for those windy days ahead, when one could turn it around and wear it as a hood. 

I like it worn slightly to the side too.  Here are the back view and the flat view.
When I make a knit available for sale, I price it according to the cost of the yarn and the time involved in knitting it. So this was fast and fun and used only two skeins which makes is $45 including shipping. Yay! 
Email me at fibermania at g mail dot com. SOLD

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Old Dog learns new tricks

 I'm the old dog. at 73, learning a whole new trick to play with color in my knitting! This is so thrilling to me, to be able to make this kind of patterning with multiple yarns, only using one yarn at a time. Yup. The secret is using slipped stitching, also called mosaic knitting. I am so fired up with this new to me technique that I have already begun #2 version of this cowl. The design is inspired by The Shift cowl, but of course I didn't use the pattern, thus restoring (in my own mind) what a Ms. Smarty Pants I am.  Just FYI, the designer Andrea Mowry is an adorable young woman who is making a fortune with her patterns on Ravelry. Yay her! This cowl pattern costs $7 and so far she has sold 7200. You do the math. She has a ton of other patterns which are often found on Pinterest which is where I was dragged kicking and screaming to her Ravelry pages. 

 I made a few personal changes to the stitch design, and didn't do the exact same shaping as the pattern because I wanted to make it bigger and not so fiddly to construct. We all have our fave ways of working. 

 I was happy to be using a variety of differen merino and silk yarns from my stash and found they all worked well together with this dotty and dashy stitch pattern.

Here it is flat, before it is sewn up the back. The short sides are the connected parts. 

 And then here it is sewn. I modeled it for my Dave and he made all the right noises, and remarked, "it's so light!". Um, surprisingly so. 
Available for $65, shipping included. Email me at fibermania at g mail dot com. SOLD

Monday, January 11, 2021

Around the Bend

 I saw this scarf on Ravelry and went nuts. I loved those little eyelets and how they make a half flower shape down the middle of this scarf. This must be tried, I thought. So I did, and nope. Again I tried, again nope. What was I doing wrong? Finally I succumbed and purchased the pattern. It was only $4, but it hurt my 'Ms. Smarty Pants' identity. Nevertheless, when I downloaded and read it, I slapped my head...of course! Duh. 
OK. So I got out the good merino yarn, Malabrigo Rios and Malabrigo Rastita and jumped right in. This is how I spent my weekend. While I knit I watched all the episodes of Netflix's Pretend It's a City with Fran Lebowitz (hysterical!) and then The Professor and the Madman which is the story of the beginning work on the Oxford English Dictionary (I knoooooooow, but it was great!) and today I continued to knit at the hospital while waiting for my sister to complete entrance tests prior to her knee replacement surgery Tuesday. I was the driver. I may knit obsessively, but I am able to talk, chew gum and espouse opinions at the same time. 

The folded flat look. It measures 71" long and is 14" deep at the center. If you must know, no, I didn't follow the pattern after I got the gist of that eyelet. Once I got it wide enough I decided to decrease the stitches so it would be a long tapered scarf. My Around the Bend doesn't go around the bend like the designer made hers. O well.

The shawl pin is included, and has my hand made polymer clay beads and some blown glass ones from Slovenia too. 

 The reverse is just as pretty as the front, in my humble opinion.
 The casual "I've just thrown this on" look, and then the stomping off in a huff look...
Available for $65 including free shipping. Email me at fibermania at g mail dot com.  SOLD

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Poncho for Joan

What a day we had Wednesday. My needles were so busy as I listened and watched the news. Thank God it is over. Peace reigns, at least for now.

OK..Back to our regularly scheduled program. 
This poncho: I am beyond pleased with the result of this project. The yarns did all the work. Plymouth Boku  in Key West colorway and Premier Boreal in Tundra. 
Here's a look at the pin included. So many colors are in the poncho and I wanted a bit of brightness and contrast, so I chose these beads to add that pop.

 Here's how I knit this poncho.  Have you knit a mitered square? Here is a video which shows how to make one. https://vimeo.com/6832500
My poncho begins in the middle with two garter stitched strips of vertical stripes, 25 stitches wide. Two rows equal one ridge, so you will knit 85 ridges for one side and 85 ridges for the other. 
After you have the two panels of stripes you will pick up 51 stitches along the two edges to join the strips, and make a mitered square. Repeat for the other end of the two panels. 
Then the bottom section comes next. Pick up stitches along the edge of the center section. The stitches will be 135 for each side. Knit 25 ridges for the bottom section. Then join with mitered squares. 
Next comes the neck section. Count 25 ridges from the middle of the front, and pick up stitches all the way around to the front again, ending 25 ridges from the center. Knit with decreases in the center back, just as you would with a mitered square. 
Finally pick up stitches on the two edges of the neck section, 51stitches total and make a mitered square. The bottom of the square will have to be sewn to the center front. 
This is very easy if you are familiar with picking up stitches, and counting ridges. If you have any questions, please email me and I'll help.