Sunday, July 22, 2007

Real Knitting Content - At Last!

I have quite a lot of FOs to show off, plus a couple that are WIPs. The knitting mojo seems to be back Chez CBM. I finished quite a few charity projects, some hats for Dulaan and a couple of nicer items for my seniors' charity boutique in November. BTW, remember that you can click on the pictures for a larger view.

The hats for Dulaan came from stash, some nice ordinary Patons Classic Wool in dark green and a 'Cloud Hat' in blue Classic Wool with some white mohair donated by my dear friend Madge. The green hats are just plain patterns with a few extras. The 'Cloud Hat' has an extra-deep hem, so that there should be a double layer over the ears.

My seniors' group gets some nicer yarns, and we try to use them for boutique items, though we don't generally sell them for more than the plainer acrylic ones. But we got some acrylic/mohair skeins recently, and I was inspired to use them for what I hope will be eye-catchers. The red shawl is plain garter stitch, just a 3-stitch border, with yarnover increases at the edges and the middle. It's approximately 58in across the shoulders by 28in deep. It's 100% acrylic 'mohair', so I don't think blocking will do anything for it.

The blue shawl is the "Comfort Shawl" from Knitting Daily, the new IWK blog-zine. The yarn is 70% acrylic/30% mohair from a Mary Maxim sweater kit from the 80s. The pattern is a really fun and fast knit - took me only 3 evenings, though I will admit that the evenings may have oozed into the oh-dark-hundred hours. I think I did this on a US9 needle. The Faroese shaping at the shoulders proved to be a bit wonky as knitted by me. There's a bit where a yo-k-yo changes to a k2tog-yo-k sort of thing (maybe it's a double decrease), and I didn't notice that it was puckering a lot until I was far past that. Being mohair, I tried a bit of frogging, and you experienced mohair knitters know that didn't work well. I think a bigger woman will fill out the shoulders better than I do, and that may minimize the problem. The shawl stays in place over the shoulders and is amazingly warm and lightweight. The picture on the pdf shows how the shoulders *should* fit.

And then there are my current WIPs. I got a LOT of knitting done while I was on my Vancouver trip! I started the Sun Ray shawl, a free pattern from Elann, designed by my friend Shui Kuen. I'm making this with some 100% merino hand-dyed in Apricot by the talented Jayne, of See Jayne Knits. I love how the colors don't stripe or puddle, just drift across the shawl in bits of sunny colors. The picture shows how far I got with one skein, 246yds, using a US9 needle. I have one more skein, and I'll be starting that today. This is a terrific pattern, well-suited for travel or chatting knitting, or, as the pattern suggests, for a first lace project.

When I ran out of yarn for Sun Ray, I started another baby hoodie with James Brett Marble acrylic, which I got at the Stitches from the Heart LYS in Santa Monica. If you haven't seen my 2 prior versions of this, it's a top-down raglan pattern, starting at the top of the hood. The hood is the long squarish part on the right side of the photo.This is predominantly pink (though the color isn't really good, due to lighting), so of course it will go to some little girl. This will probably go back to Stitches from the Heart. SFTH is a charity (just one LYS) providing handmade items for babies and small children.

I think I'll be trading off the nice, easy Sun Ray with - drum roll! - Mystery Stole 3. I swatched before I left, so now I'll be starting out at Row 1. Yeah, see the Slow Bee button, courtesy of Bonnie Marie Burns on the right? That's going to be me. Clue 4 is already out, so I'm oh, 350 rows or so behind. Since this is my very first laceweight project, it's a matter of one stitch at a time, very slowly, with a lot of attention paid to tension.

I really didn't buy much yarn in Vancouver, and only 2 skeins for myself. This is Fleece Artist Kid Silk in Rainforest. While Urban Yarns had lots of Fleece Artist yarns, and a fair bit of HandMaiden, I couldn't seem to fall in love with any of the HandMaiden colorways in stock in either the Sea Wool or Sea Silk. This is about 400yds, which should make a very lovely shawl. I'm not really interested in the scarf pattern included on the skein labels.

And I have to show off a wonderful present made especially for me by Uleta. I was gobsmacked, as they say! This is a nice big tote, made from Laurel Burch cats fabric, and with crocheted straps. The lining is silky, with 3 nice pockets. I just managed not to 'SQUEE' right in Uleta's ear, lol! You might have guessed that I love Laurel Burch's cat designs, me being CATBookMom and all. In fact, my pencil cup is an oversized LB mug, decorated in 10K gold; it's a pencil cup so it doesn't get into either the dishwasher or the microwave, both of which are bad for the design!

To finish the post, I thought I'd show you one of Midnight's corners of the house. She has her scratching pad, a couple of catnip toys and a ball-in-a-circle toy, though she doesn't chase that much these days. Of course she's showing off her signature Elegant Pawsitude pose.


Joan said...

Great knitting, CBM! I am halfway done with the Comfort Shawl (had to graph out the 2 rows with the decreases to keep them straight). I am so freaking bored with the pattern that my attention wanders after 2 rows and I get up to wash dishes, make beds, pull weeds...LOL. I must be bored. I should be done but my attention wanders. I'm using Tahki Lima and the drape will be amazing. I don't see me doing it again bc it's too much stockinette for my system. I'd probably do the lace version.

Your Sun Ray is gorgeous. It's a big shawl btw as you probably know.

Love the Fleece Artist colorways. If you saw knitted swatches, you'd like the Handmaiden too. Enjoy your FA!

PS..have you knit anything with that nice yarn you & Marie et al bought in San Fran?

mehitabel said...

Pretty Midnight! Looks like you've come home with a ton of knitting mojo! I've got that Comfort Shawl and the Lacy one printed out, thought I might try the plain one first to see how it goes together. After all, my friends in CT can always use another shawl!

Madge said...

Sun Ray is gorgeous in Jayne's yarn...lovely, lovely job, CBM!

Sarah-Hope said...

Midnight is looking gorgeous--and I'm in awe of your knitterly productivity. It seems you've been having all sorts of fun.


benne said...

Midnight appears to be in complete control of the situation, as most felines are. ;-} Isn't Uleta wonderful? Great bag. You've been knitting up a storm, Barbara! Good stuff. Sunray with that yarn is perfect, it fits the name and pattern so well.
The Kidsilk rain forest is absolutely gorgeous. I can imagine how if feels too. Make something special for you with that yarn!

smariek said...

Oooh, love that Apricot color.

Anonymous said...

Holy Cow! You are totally knitting up a storm. Your sunray looks fantastic.