January 1, 2014

A Break

I'm going to start the new year with a break from blogging. It's possible I'll be back if I start to feel like doing it again. I'm thankful for all the readers I've had and the comments you've left on my posts. Have a good New Year, everyone!

December 24, 2013

Spring Blossom Mittens

Spring Blossom Mittens

A last minute Christmas gift, I knit these in two days. To keep the knitting marathon less monotonous, I reversed the colors for the second mitten. Oddly, this changes the way the colors look; the turquoise appears darker as a contrasting color than as the main color.

I wasn't completely happy with the pattern. The gauge information given is misleading: You're told to pick a yarn that knits to 30-35 stitches per 9 cm, while the width of the mittens is supposed to be 30 stitches and 10 cm. Knit with the given gauge, the mittens turn out pretty narrow. I knew to expect this, and with some blocking I was able to get the size closer to what I wanted. Also, the decreases or supposed grafting of the stitches are not explained at all in the pattern, so I would imagine some beginner knitters might have problems following it, even though I was able to figure it out on my own.

The Ravelry project page

December 15, 2013

Zugspitze

Zugspitze

Zugspitze

Knit from start to completion in one weekend, an otherwise simple pattern turned into an intensive project. Just like the first time knitting Lintilla, I did not pink up the wraps. Wollmeise Pure in the colorway Mont Blanc with its subtle variegation fits the pattern well and makes me think of the highest point in Germany, Zugspitze, not so far from the origin of Wollmeise.

The Ravelry project page

December 3, 2013

Marin

Marin

Marin

I had the same feeling knitting this shawl as I did with Ysolda's other pattern Rose Red, that it's designed in such a genius way that it blows my mind. The shaping and the reversibility is done in such a way that, it seems to me, it takes special skill to envision it. Or, at least I wouldn't be able to design something so simple and genius at the same time (or even separately, for that matter).

I knit it in Cephalopod Yarns Skinny Bugga!, in a custom colorway from when Cephalopod Yarns had a limited-time offer to dye a sweater quantity in any color from an inspiration photo. Everyone else went for something multi-colored while, unsurprisingly, the color I most wanted to see was a simple semisolid. An example of the adventurous spirit of the same person who had her hair dyed, and had it turn out so close to her original color that nobody noticed (true story). The shawl is going to be gifted to someone who's a big fan of red.

The Ravelry project page

December 1, 2013

Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau

It was a pleasant experience to be a test knitter for this shawl pattern, Fontainebleau, by Elise Dupont. The pattern was well-written and the knitting pretty easy-going. During knitting it seemed as if the columns of slipped stitches would pull the fabric too much, but wet-blocking evened it out quite well. The Vikkel braids felt a bit slow-going at first, but knitting them got faster after a little practice, and I like the kind of edging they create.

The Ravelry project page

November 17, 2013

Persnickety Mittens

Persnickety Mittens

Persnickety Mittens

For a while now I've wanted to combine a bright red with a light blue yarn. I'm happy with the colors, but not completely happy with the mittens otherwise. I think they are a bit too short, particularly the part between the cuff and thumb. Will take note of this and make sure in the future I add rows to mitten patterns that don't seem to have enough. My gauge in stranded knitting tends to turn out pretty tight, and I still haven't quite mastered the tensioning of the floats. Patterns, like the palm sides of these mittens, that repeatedly have the same amount of stitches of each color in a column are particularly troublesome tensioning wise. While trying to prevent too much tension with the second mitten I ended up with a larger mitten. Not a perfect project, but at least it was a learning experience.

The Ravelry project page

November 15, 2013

Old Forge

Old Forge

Old Forge

I wasn't too excited about my two skeins of Wollmeise Pure in Golden Pear until I figured out I would like that color in a blanket. It was my least favorite of my Wollmeise oranges whenever I thought of something I'd like to wear, but it turns out my color preference for decorational items is different. While the Graf Ratz and Golden Pear combination is not the most exciting, I like it for something I'm going to have lying on the couch. Since I knit this with a fingering weight yarn, it isn't exactly the same blanket-sized item as in the original pattern, but I'm often fine with something smaller for cover.

The Ravelry project page

October 19, 2013

Green Memories

Green Memories

Green Memories

Not my most successful colorwork project; I think the colors turned out kind of boring. I tried to go with the original idea of choosing two main colors, a lighter and darker version of each (blue and purple in my case). Despite my wide selection of Wollmeise Pure colors, I had a hard time finding a combination of four that worked so that the dark version of one color works with the light version of the other, and that all four together would appear balanced. The light purple (Meilenstein) barely stands out from the grey (Maus jung) background, and the dark blue (Moses) appears more teal than I would have expected. It's weird how the context has so much effect on how a color looks. Wolke is a great color that works well with many; who would have known I'd like light blue so much. Well, I'm going to take this project as a lesson on colorwork. And I do like how the tubular cast-on and ribbing turned out.

The Ravelry project page


October 6, 2013

Color Craving

Color Craving

Color Craving

Color Craving

Knitting the 2013 Westknits Mystery Shawl really was an adventure, and without a doubt the weirdest shawl I've ever knit. It was fun, even though I don't think I will end up wearing this myself. In any case, I do give Stephen West maximum points for originality and creativity of design.

I used Wollmeise Pure in colorways Wolke, Zarte Knospe and Versuchskaninchen (the green is one of my favorite colors ever). In hindsight, seeing other people's color combinations, I think I would have enjoyed knitting this with neutral colors as A and B, like light and dark grey, and then something bright and saturated for color C, like orange. But I'm not unhappy with this finished item, either.

The Ravelry project page

September 9, 2013

Styvmorsviol

Styvmorsviol

Styvmorsviol

My first project from the Swedish mitten book Solveigs Vantar, a pattern called Styvmorsviol modified for fingerless mittens. I started them off with the intention of knitting full-on mittens, but as I knit along I realized they would turn out way too small, so I improvised a fingerless version. There is no size or gauge specified in the book (for many patterns even the number of stitches to cast on or which stitch pattern to use for the cuff are not mentioned), and it turned out my gauge was way too tight for a comfortable fit. The photos in the book are mostly of very poor quality, and the colors used in the samples off-putting, but what inspired me to buy the book was seeing the mittens Pinneguri on Ravelry has knit from it. The colorwork charts, at least, are decent. I do want to knit more patterns from it, but it looks like I'll either have to do something about my gauge or add some stitches to the patterns to make regular women's sized mittens in the future, since I want to keep using fingering weight yarn. Here I used Wollmeise Pure in five different colors: Versuchskaninchen in green and dark purple, Petit Poison Nr. 5 light and medium, and Safran.

The Ravelry project page