Finished: Cocoberry Cowl

My Cocoberry Cowl, still without buttons and I made a mistake on the shoulders, the lace pattern should have continued there. But a lovely shoulder warmer. And so very soft!
Pattern by Meilindis

274 m (300 yards) of handspun Baby Camel Top, fingering weight.
needles 2,75 mm to get a gauge of 22,5 st/10cm and 15,5 rows/10 cm

Finished: handspun socks

I had a problem with the handspun socks that I was knitting toe-up. One would turn out much longer than the other, with it’s colours running up much higher:

After some thinking and distracting myself with spinning and the Cocoberry cowl I came to the conclusion that socks like these would not please me. So I decided to start the second sock anew, from the top down and from the inside of the ball of yarn:

It was a good decision, the knitting went like crazy.

Albeit a bit cannibalistic once I started to frog the one sock to knit the new one with:

Now they’re finished and I’m wearing them and I’m loving it.

The top down sock has a bit of a harsh colour transition where I’ve picked up the stitches of the gusset and knitted round again. Making sure colours take longer to melt from one into another would solve this problem. But I like them. These are 100% wool socks. By blending breeds they are soft and sturdy.

finished: handspun hat

knitted on needles 8mm, in small portions:

handspun.
we got 4 small portions at the National Anual Spinners Retreat 2013:

I traded with people and gave some away. I ended up with two batches called Spring (I think). White, yellow, purple, green, blue merino (or bfl, I don;t remember)

I spun one single from the roving, the colours mixed.
The other single I spun one colour after the other.
Plied them.


I chose to wear the purl side out, I like the little bobbles of colour. THe silk (white) shines so nice!

In April there’s the annual convention/meeting. I’ll be bringing this then, to show the organisation. I think it’s nice to see what people do with fibre you provide, they’ll be pleased.
Also, it wears really nice. Soft, warm, happy colours.

(my shoulder is doing well, I need to chance positions and activity ever hour it seems. Also stop wearing bra’s. This presents some logical and civil challenges…
Luckily I’m a hermit for the rest of the week so here’s hoping my shoulder accepts bra-straps once I venture into society again next week)
(in other news: I cut my hair. Forgot briefly about the difference between a thinning out scissor and regular scissor…. Good thing I’ve got a hat to wear.)

Straw into gold: a felted woven sewn vest

GOLD
I often make things that end up not being what I hoped for. But still too pretty to throw away. In this project I combined three of them together and it turned into something I really like! An Elfish Spring vest:

I took a piece of pre-felt that was dyed by Adrian Salomé from A3an art and felted it and sewed it to a woven cloth that I wove myself, from my own handspun. The second thing I ever wove.
I sewed them together with the mohair I showed yesterday. This is De Voart mohair, from a small Dutch husband and wife company. It has a lovely sheen.

Using some of the things I’ve learned about body shaping, both in knitting and in sewing, I knew I could really draw things in in the small of my back and that I would do this by sewing it by hand.

To shape the collar I needed to cut into the felt. Here you see the cut for two armholes and the back of the neck. The woven cloth is positioned where will go in the middle. The smaller piece of felt is just there for show, it won’t be used in the vest (but undoubtably in something else. Purse perhaps?)

Later on I had to cut more felted fabric away but I followed the same shape. On the left you see one of my toile pieces, to determine the shape and depth of the armhole.

Here’s a close(r) up of how that was combined in the end:

The woven cloth was longer than the prefelt. When combined it looked like I had a tail. Or was just really scared of cutting into woven cloth. Which I was.
Here’s what I did: I sewed two lines into the fabric (stretching it while sewing). I then cut between the lines. Basically, I steeked:

I then hemmed it with the mohair. Lovely colours!

Look how the mohair is ‘talking’ to the colours in both the woven and the felted cloth.

I have some roving and chiffon in the same colours, also dyed by Adrian, which I’ll use to make some skirts to go with this top. It will be a Spring Elfish dress up!

STRAW
The thing is: each and every component of this vest I managed to screw up when I prepared them. Most of them have been lying around my house for months or years even, because I could not think of a way to make them in something nice.

The list of disappointing components:

  1. a handspun in which I combined glorious silk top (which I cut -with scissors! a mortal sin to handspinners-)  into too short pieces to spin with a scratchy green (so dumb! Don’t mix these two, it made the yarn scratchy)
  2. a woven cloth I eventually made with the scratchy handspun. But I made it too narrow. All it could ever hope to be was a table runner, a scratchy table runner. For a very small table.
  3. a piece of prefelt I felted but then it became too small to become anything useful. Small pieces of prefelt are mostly used to make 3D shapes. A ready felted piece that’s rectangular… what you gonna do with that?
  4. the mohair yarn in lovely colours…. a little too scratchy to wear next to the skin. But the main problem is that this yarn changes colours quite rapidly. It knits up heathered. It looks awful in big pieces of knitting! And I bought three skeins! (one of which doesn’t match the other two.) What to do with yarn like that? There’s the linen stitch of course…but otherwise I’ve got nothing. I hate knitting linen stitch.  (this yarn is even too variegated to weave with)

 

The mohair yarn. I bought it when I had just learned to knit, back in 2008, on the very first Handwerkbeurs I visited in Zwolle. I just fell for the colours. I knew nothing of fibre content, yarn weight or drape.
It is the very first yarn in my stash page on Ravelry. I hadn’t even been on Ravelry for a month!

A3an’s prefelt, such lovely colour and so big. I honestly thought I could get a whole top out of this:

But prefelt shrinks. The endresult had shrunk to these dimensions, too small to spark my inventiveness, I was so set on a top of this felt:

The handspun I used for the weaving. It’s called Silk Spring and I spun it back in January 2010 , when I was so cheap I didn’t dare to buy or use good stuff. I had splurged on a silk brick from Mandacrafts, 6 months earlier, but had no idea how to spin it.

The silk hurt my hands so I decided to cut it into shorter pieces. As you do. When you have no clue. I also thought this a good idea because the colour repeats where longer than the silk fibres. I didn’t want to mix the colours while drafting, I wanted to preserve them. And I didn’t like the copper colour…

So I cut them. I cut out the various colours, left the copper to the side. I cut the silk with scissors. Which is stupid. Scissors leave sharp ends on the fibres and this will always show in the resulting yarn. You will get a halo. And when you’ve cut pieces as short as I did (2,5 cm/ 1 inch)(hey, I really had no idea back then) you can hardly card it with something and expect it to blend in nicely.

But I tried anyway. On my drumcarder I mixed the pieces of silk with green roving I had. Scratchy green roving.
Because I was cheap. I didn’t want to waste anything. I told myself this was an experiment. For which you use scraps. Forgetting that my experiments and prototypes tend to give the best results.

You can practically hear the yarn scratch your screen:

I did spin it into a colour gradient. And got to play with my drumcarder for the first time. Oh, such lovely colours…

I have knit with it a couple of times over the years. But it came to nothing. Too scratchy and the colour gradient hindered options in knitwear.

Earlier this year I wove it into a cloth. That worked for the gradient and I got to experiment with the weaving loom.

Lovely colour and texture! And you can see the bits of scissor cut silk trying to escape:

Someone liked it though:

But as a cloth is was quite scratchy and loosely woven.

When a couple of weeks months I thought about combining it with the felt I decided I better felt the woven cloth too. Otherwise it would not be sturdy enough to co-operate with the felt.

So I tried to felt the woven cloth.
before:

after:

It hardly shrunk. It’s still loosely woven. Not very sturdy at all. I must have done something wrong.

I just can’t get things to turn out how I want them to.
Which the cat predicted from the very beginning:

 

Finished: Oak Grove MITTS

I finished the mitts for which I got the yarn and the pattern in the swap I mentioned earlier.


I like them a lot. The yarn is wonderfully soft and gleams with the silk.
I did make two different mitts…

on the left is the mitt that mostly followed the pattern, except for the ribbing which I mistook for 2×2 in stead of 1×2. And I moved the leaf higher up the hand (on both mitts).

On the right is my own design. Because I thought that most of the mitts made from the pattern had quite a bulge where the ribbing of the wrist went into the hand. Because ribbing alternates knit and purl stitches there is a thread running from back to front of the knitting all the time. This provides lots of extra stretch. That’s why when knitwear transfers from ribbing into (reversed) stockinette stitch a knitter normally decreases 10% of the stitches. For example at hems of sweaters and cuffs of cardigans.

In this picture my own design is on the left. On the right lots of bulge.

Overall very pleased. A very nice way to make a gift my own and to enjoy in the colours someone else has as her favourite.

The goods on Stientje

here are some of the details about February Sweater Stientje.

I used a different white yarn, this was much softer, soft enough to wear next to the skin. It’s also a thinner one than the yarn for the body (that was knitted on 7mm). It was even thinner than the coloured yarn (that was knitted on 4mm).

Looking at the white yarn I estimated I’d use needles 3,25 mm. Just an educated guess, based on experience. Every knitter has a hand of her own. The more various thicknesses you use, the easier you can look at a yarn and guess which needle will give a good result.

I knitted upwards, decreasing 8 stitches every other row. This is de rate at which knitting in the round makes a flat, round circle.

Trying on the yoke to see how it’s getting along:

Going well. Keep on knitting.

Kept on knitting, kept on decreasing. I tried to place the decreases randomly. But when I took a closer look I saw ugly lines of decreases stacking on top of each other.

This will be close to my face, getting attention. It will not do.

So I frogged, picked up 72 stitches, increased to 85 and started to knit riggs. Roughly 3 rows of all knit and than 4 rows of all purls. I hid the decreases in the knit rows.

I say ‘roughly’ 3 rows of all knits because I put short rows in the back to raise it and use mostly the knit rows for that. Most humans like that: a little extra warmth in the back of your neck and not a raised front that chokes you a bit. I fudged it, alternating purl and knit rows, working in one direction or the other. I did not stack the short rows on top of each other, they are interperced with normal rows going all around.

Ahh, nice shaping! You can see the waist and the hips. I rolled back the lower edge so you can see that the front is a bit lower than the back. This is due to the bust darts. A little extra fabric was inserted to follow the curves of my breasts and still make for a horizontal even line at the bottom when I wear the sweater:

I reknit the border too. For the second time. First I didn’t like the look of the ribbing. Then I just binded off because that worked so well with the sleeves. But at the body it made the border flip upwards. Large pieces of stockinette stitches do that, they want to roll. Also, being worried I’d run out of yarn I had binded off not using all the yarn and it made the sweater just a little bit too short.

So I frogged, knitted 2 rows of all purls (negating the tendency of the fabric to roll upwards) and than bind off with Judy’s Stretchy Bind Off that adds a thicker row to the knitting than just regular bind off. The border now looks like it has a total of 3 purl rows + bind off. I like it.

The sleeve bind off after blocking. The stitches have evened out. The fabric doesn’t roll.

project page on Ravelry.com here

It’s really thick and soft(ish) and perfect February colours and for a Bright Winter type and it also reminds me of humming birds which we call Kolibri

Shawl on Shoulders: Thinking of Waves

Shawl on Hedge: Thinking of Waves

pattern: Thinking of Waves by YellowCosmo. 478 m of fingering weight total, on needles 3,25 mm.

this pattern is worked in shortrows and reminds of sea waves lapping at your feet. Each section can be modified with a different stitch pattern or a different colour. I chose to do my shortrows in the shadow technique.

It needed one additional modification: at the end and beginning of every row the edge stitches should have an extra YO to give the edge more stretch. It réally needs it:

yarns:

pink = Posh Yarn Elinor Sock in colour Loudmouth. This was a birthday present from my dear friend Sokkenmuis and it took numerous tries to finally make a shawl of it that honours the yarn and the love with which it was given. Good yarn doesn’t mind being knit up and frogged numerous times to finally find the projects it’s meant to be. The colour is absolute perfect for a Clear Winter type!

turquoise = a plied dk weight pure silk dyed by my dear friend Marleen from Dutch Knitting Design. This yarn is not in her shop as this too was a birthday gift too, be it a year later.

YES, YARN MAKES EXCELLENT BIRTHDAY GIFTS FOR KNITTERS!

my projectpage on Raverly here

Pippi KAL Lace Shawl finished

the Pippi Lace Shawl is finished!

The lace opened up beautiful with the blocking. The knitting looked a bit crumpled pre-blocking (see top picture) but now it’s uniform.

I’m glad I chose to make a “ladylike” shawl: light and beautiful that I can wear at any occasion, also in Summer. The shawl is warm but also airy enough to prance around in in hot weather. Throw it unto my bear arms and shoulders, combine it with a dress.

not much prancing at the moment:

On the last day I had to unpick the cast-on because it was too tight. Normally this yarn (Lang Yarn Alpaca Light) frogs well but with a cast-on that usually doesn’t work because knitting has a direction.

*snip! snip*

You can see how fluffy the yarn is. It is supersoft and can be worn next to (baby) skin. Usually I steer clear from alpaca. It sheds and makes me sneeze or there are guard hairs in the yarn that make me itch. The animal itself doesn’t charm me either, me being more oriented towards the non-herd predatory cuddly species. Such as cats and cat-fish and people.

But this yarn is very good. Only 25 grams on a ball but I once made a sweater with 3,3 balls. That’s 660 m on needles 5mm:

The Pippi Lace Shawl was knitted on 4,5 mm and used slightly over 2 balls. It blocked to 1 meter long and 45 cm wide. (about 3 foot long and 1,5 foot wide?)(40″ long and 16.5″ wide) projectpage here

Shawl on shoulders: Vlinder

so I fixed the kitchener stitch. Fixed the dropped stitch. Blocked it and Vlinder is officially finished! I’ve been wearing it for the last hour.

Vlinder is Dutch for Butterfly:

Detail of the ‘problem’ area:

some more detail pictures. notice how good the kitchener stitch is, it follows the stockinette stitch or garter stitch of the knitting fabric. A few flaws but that’s ok.

my project page on Ravelry

needles: 3,5 mm

yarn: 420 meters of high twist sockyarn, handdyed by me with food colouring and the microwave.

pattern: Vlinder on Ravelry

Vlinder at designers website 

designer: DutchKnittingDesign.com