Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year

I’ve been working to get the kid’s afghan finished so I’ve been knitting flowers, leaves and

yes, a bunny. This is the bunny that lives in the hole on the mountain in the land of afghan. I can’t stop giggling every time I look at him. He’s just so flipping cute!

This bunny was actually my second bunny. The first bunny looks like a wee alien so I decided to go back to the drawing board and this is the result. See his little tail? I finished him (it’s always the face – once you get the face on it takes on a personality of its own) and just couldn’t quit giggling. I love a bunny that can make me laugh.

Another fruit of my recent research into 19th century patterns is this scarf.

I found the stitch pattern in one of the Godey’s patterns and like the look of it. The stitch looks old fashioned but the Berroco Ultra Alpaca in the denim color brings it up to date. I thought the tassels gave it just the right finish. The stitch pattern is kind of architectural and the tassels seem to set that off.

I’m almost finished with the kid’s afghan but I it’s missing something in the sky section. I’m thinking about what will fit the bill and looking for some Vanna yellow. Maybe a nice bright sun will do the trick.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Bit Unusual

It’s a bit unusual but I’ve decided I like it. It’s terribly comfortable and I think this Malabrigo yarn will work much better in this sort of garment than in a sweater. It’s such a loosely spun single ply that it pills all over the place with the wear of a sweater. This design was based on a pattern I saw in a Godey’s Ladies Book for a young boy’s Body Warmer. The picture showed it wrapped around the child under a jacket or worn under other clothes (I’ll try to find the original picture and scan it in for you to see). It intrigued me so I used a stitch pattern that I saw in quite a few other patterns. I’ve used it before, particularly in the ‘pretty man sweater’ or fisherman’s sweater (whichever, both work for me). In these 19th century patterns it’s called brioche stitch and I’ve seen it mentioned under that name and under the name, fisherman’s stitch. I learned the stitch from an Elizabeth Zimmerman article in an old Vogue Knitting magazine. There’s even this web page dedicated to the stitch and it’s variations, if you’re interested.

The way I learned to do it is to K1, knit in the stitch below the next stitch, and repeat across. The way the Godey’s Ladies Book describes it is:

Stitch Brioche, thread forward, slip 1, knit 2 together, the same backwards and forwards. (It might be better said to bring the thread to the front, slip 1 stitch, bring the thread to the back so that there are 2 stitches laying together, then knit the next 2 stitches)

Either way, you get the same pattern. And it’s a pattern you have to be a little patient with because you won’t really see it until you’ve worked 5-6 rows, at least. I also think that if you were going to use it in the round, you would need to use the version from Godey’s. And it makes things much easier if you work it over an odd number of stitches.

I finished my newest
Fiber Trends felted clogs (sorry, I called them slippers before – I stand corrected) and had enough yarn left over that I made a pair of felted mittlets (my own pattern). You probably can’t see it in the picture but I did a little bit of textured stitching that just gives it a little somethin’ somethin’ up close. They fit great. All I did was cast on 36 stitches, did several rows of garter, knit plain for a while, increased for the thumb (until I had 18 stitches between the markers), knit a few rows plain, decreased the 18 thumb stitches, knit plain for a while and ended with several rows of garter. Oh, yeah, and I threw in the textured rows just for kicks.

I love these Fiber Trend felted clogs. I made my first pair 6 years ago and finally decided after they started falling apart that it might be time to make a new pair. And they only take a couple of hours to make. Bonus!

Now I have matching slippers and mittlets. Could come in useful this winter, right?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What a Trip!

Nothing like a last minute trip over about 1,600 miles to renew, redo and redecorate! What a wonderful trip and what a wonderful time with my parents! I’m so glad I went, we had a great time.

This was the first trip to Texas for Robert the Bear and he enjoyed it as well. Here’s a shot of him relaxing after a long day of driving. I ended up having pretty good weather for most of the time with just a little bit of sprinkling and clouds.

If you want to see what Oklahoma looks like, it's a variation of this all over the place (there are lots of casinos).

Here's the family story about Oklahoma. The story, I'm told, is real but the names have been changed to protect everyone. OK, here goes. Relative A and Relative B are driving through Oklahoma. There are signs along the road that say, "Don't drive into the smoke." (I saw these, too, which are what made me think of this.) Relative B asks Relative A what this means. Relative A says, with a straight face, that this is Native American country. They send smoke signals so if you drive through the smoke, you mess up the message. Relative B thinks for a minute and nods. That makes sense.

I did even have a day of 83 degrees and slept under the fan. Not that I’m rubbing it in or anything but I did. Just what the doctor ordered!

But just because you spend 4 days driving doesn’t mean you can’t knit (not WHILE driving, mind).

I made a pair of slippers (still to be felted) from the Fiber Trends pattern.

I almost finished my ‘body warmer,’ based on a pattern I found in an 1880’s pattern book, made from some Malabrigo that I’ve had in stash forever. It’s sort of a stole but it fits tightly around the body with bands that wrap around the waist. You can see the band at the lower right side. I’ve really only got to finish the bands and decide exactly how I want to do the connection (snaps, buttons, other). The body of it is a brioche stitch (which was extremely popular in the patterns of Godey’s Ladies magazine). The ends and bands are done in seed stitch to make them more stable.

I’ve finished my latest socks (made with Berrocco Sox – color 1425). Just basic sock recipe but I absolutely love the colorway on this sock yarn. In fact, I love it so much, I bought 2 more colorways!
I really thought that I would get up this morning and just be ready to get home but I really just wanted to keep driving and driving. Sigh.... It was a wonderful trip!