Proudly Presenting: Katherine the Great

I have just finished a wonderful scarf! I decided to call it Katherine the Great, since I completed the final stitches of this project at a lovely friend’s house and her name happens to be Katherine and yes, she is GREAT.

But something else occurred to me, whilst christening this wonderful new item in my wardrobe – this scarf is not just great, but also large… larger than it’s original, which I made a few months ago for my niece Rebecca. Moreover, I realised that I never posted a picture of the wonderful scarf that Rebecca took home to New York, duh!

First things first… the inspiration came from a pattern called Rusty Pearls. The yarn (2 ply baby alpaca) came from my knitting buddy, soul mate, chief adviser for all things important and trivial, Sue. And funnily enough, the silk used in the crotchet edges came from yarn I bought with Sue at the craft fair in Darling Harbour many years ago, at the very beginning of our friendship. Here we are, still loving each others’ company (and in this case, celebrating Sue’s birthday).

I loved the little scarf so much, I had to have my own, but a larger version. The playful edging is giving this scarf such a gorgeous finish, especially in a contrast color and texture. 

I have to admit, I never managed to uncurl the top edge of the scarf 😫, I tried and tried… I finished it with an I-cord and various hand and crotches stitches that according to various online resources promised to stabilise stockfinstre stitch fabric, but alas… nothing worked… and fortunately it did not worry Rebecca.

For Katherine the Great, I just kept adding stitches, and when I nearly ran out of the 100gr skein, I started introducing another one, stripe by stripe, to blend the slightly different shades of off white.

When I thought I had surely done enough knitting I loved working on the crotchet edge with my final bits of silk… but I thought the scarf was actually not big enough to snuggle up in. No problem – I just picked up more stitches and carried on knitting until I truly ran out of yarn and worked another silk edge, until I ran out of that, too.

I just LOVE this…

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This and That and proudly presenting something

Frantic Feverish Fingers have Finished this hat in no time! Huzzzahh! Tomorrow it will travel all by itself in a wee parcel to Canberra.

 

 

 

I know it is not perfect, I think the colour scheme is not what he had in mind and I have no idea as to the fit and size. This was quick, so the next version will be a piece of cake, until we get it right!

We had a nice start to the day in Daisy’s Milkbar in Petersham.

So Very Retro!  It was nice because Jo is studying for her HSC and has stopped leaving the house and socialising,.. so we have taken it upon ourselves to give her “outing treats”.

Yesterdays “outing treat” was a quick trip to the Art Gallery of NSW to see the three female trailblazers for Modernism, O’Keefe, Preston and Crossington- Smith. Yay. I DO like “outing treats” a lot!

Hope you had a great weekend! X

Colour work Carry On

I have continued to swatch and swatch over the last few weeks, with two aims in mind. Firstly, yes, I do want to wear that Fair Isle jumper I have been dreaming about, and I would like it THIS WINTER. But I also would love to make a nice 4ply jumper for my husband, he has only got ONE jumper knitted by me! Both are huge jobs and I don’t want to get either of them wrong. Not the colours, the patterns, nor the fit!

I have been fairly happy with this swatch, adapted from Kate Davies’ new book, but the colour oracle (Vicky) said the green in the red pattern was wrong. I don’t mind it, but I don’t like the weird yellow/ beige in the brown narrow pattern, in fact, I don’t like the brown either.

I ordered some 4 ply yarns with the justification to get cracking on Patrick’s jumper – and surely among these new yarns must be a shade that will bring my Fair Isle together! I ordered them just as individual shades, since I thought one of them would be surely working for Patrick, but when they arrived, I thought they were great together!

4ply sure is thin! Especially when you knit the linen stitch, which makes these beauties sing! Sadly, due to the slowness of the knitting of a big men’s jumper in this stitch, I just had to dismiss it.

I tried a few other things, just a back and forth gauge swatch and some stripes steeked, but both have been dismissed – the former being too boring and the latter reminding me too much of Where is Wally.

Finally I am settling on the dark turquoise with a vertical stripe achieved through knit – purl pattern. I think… (swatch not available yet).

 

Colourwork

I have had these beautiful yarns forever, Rennie from Scotland. My former boss bought a few shades for me when she attended a conference in Aberdeen, geez, that must have been in 2010 (!) and I ordered more shades to make a stunning fair isle knit. I never got beyond the sampling stage, because I was so preoccupied with making the most perfect jumper or vest in the world.

There is so much to consider! Not just the pattern, and the colorway, but also whether I have enough of each colour to maintain the pattern throughout the entire garment. So another question is, whether I will supplement the Rennie yarn with other odds and ends in order to make an authentic fair isle. And then the gauge! Some of these samples where knit flat, some in the round and then steeked, I used different needle sizes…

I finished a jumper yesterday, with a bit of colourwork (waiting for the photographer to return from school today to organise a photo shoot), so I have got second wind to really give it a go. Watch this space…

 

the Little Shawlcollar Cardi

I am really not up to date, sharing the progress of my projects! I have been living in this little cardi all winter! I chose to knit a fairly firm fabric, so the shape has kept well after wearing it for all these months.image

Again, I found a nice image on the net, maybe this was called ‘Nimbus’ originally? Anyway, different yarn, different gauge, detail, etc. I added this little slit at the side seam at the waist. I like the finish, since I bound off front edge and hem with an I-cord.image

Off memory, I knitted the body bottom up and the sleeves top down. This is a real “feel good” piece!

A Poncho

Ponchos do not feature in my wardrobe! They are too … Unfitted, drapy, uncontrolled… I tend to opt for the fitted little cardigan or jumper that shows of great craftsmanship and know how of fit and body shape. That’s the tailor in me… But I found some Noro yarn heavily discounted and could not walk past the glorious colors! After searching for a good (fitted!) pattern idea, a highly skilled fellow knitter pointed out that this yarn does not hold shape and wears out quickly, if the garment is too fitted.image

So I thought I should go into new territory. A poncho for my friend Karen. I started at the neck (cast on 88 stitches) and worked my way down. After 20 cm/ 4″, I increased 4 times 8 sts every 2nd row (front, back, shoulders) and then continued increasing 4 sts front and back only (2 at the front, 2 at the back), whilst increasing twice 4 sts every 4th row at the shoulders (2 x 2 sts) and then no more at the shoulders…

When it was nearly long enough, I increased front and back only 4 sts every 4th row (2 at the front, 2 at the back).

to finish the neck, I picked up 88 stitches from the inside of the neck with 1/2 size smaller needles and knitted all the way up to my cast on row. I then cast off my sts with a 3 needle cast off, incorporating the cast on sts.

For the hem, I did something similar: I picked up sts 5 rows above my final row and knitted down to the hem in slightly thinner yarn, then I did a 3 needle cast off with my new and hem stitches. I am very pleased with this neat finish.image

I am very happy with the result! I used 5mm needles and 380gr of yarn. This poncho measures 56cm/22″ from below the neck to the front/ back tip. Easy peasy.

Proudly Presenting the Basketweave Henley

I am definitely behind with posting my projects, yikes. I finished this lovely little Henley many weeks ago! It is great to wear for many reasons: it is fine wool, so not too warm. It is well fitted, so it’s ok to wear under jackets. It is figure- hugging and simply makes me feel a bit sophisticated :).image

Not sure it needed the neckband to be thinner at the centre front, but hey, that’s what I did.image

A final shot to celebrate the waist shaping and the set in top down sleeve (tutorial a few posts ago).image

And a photo of my new work space. image