I finished a new hat this week!
Pattern: My own (probably will be released this month, depending if I decide the pattern needs testing)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky in Natural. While the yarn was as squishy and delicious to knit with as ever, it was sort of bizarre to have colorless Madelinetosh. I really love the dyeing, so I think I’ll probably stay away from this shade in the future. I do like the color with my reddish hair, however!
Notes: The lace and cable pattern I decided to use seemed very straightforward… until I tried to convert it to knitting in the round rather than flat. Many swatches later, I figured out that the end of round marker needs to be moved forward one stitch at the end of each pattern repeat. That also gives the hat a neat spiral effect.
I decided to do a cable-cast on instead of my usual long-tail, because it plays more nicely with the garter stitch brim. The cable-cast on hurts my hands, and I find it much more fiddly than the long-tail, but I think the results were worth it. You can see the cast-on edge pretty well in this work-in-progress pic:
I thought it might be fun to compare this year’s post to one I did for last year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, which was on a similar topic. Last year, I said I usually gravitated toward saturated, jewel-toned colors. I did, however, notice that I had started branching out a bit into neutrals and darks–something I hadn’t done much before I began designing.
Here are the projects I’ve finished since then (I excluded designs where I didn’t get to choose the yarn):
Not much has changed! Still a big preference for jewel-toned, saturated colors. My favorites, blue and green, are well-represented, although I think there might be more purple in there than anything else.
Just for fun, how about an infographic to see if my theories hold true? I’ll stick to projects completed since I started designing in 2011, just for simplicity’s sake, and also exclude projects where I didn’t get to choose the yarn color:
Looks like my assessment was pretty accurate. More than half of my projects have been in green, blue, blue-green, or purple. Gray makes a surprisingly strong showing, but other than that, the other colors get pushed by the wayside to some degree.
Maybe I’ll branch out a little more in the coming year. I do have some delicious yellow yarn in my stash right now that would make a lovely sweater….
Here’s the official FO Friday post for the new vest! I put it up for testing yesterday and have several people signed up already, woohoo!
Pattern: my own, tentatively scheduled for release mid-May. Oh, and I decided to go with “Concord Grape Vest” as the name. Concord by itself was making me think of the Concorde–not exactly the vibe I’m going for.
Yarn: Cephalopod Yarns Traveller in Finger Lakes, 2 skeins purchased at Rhinebeck last year and about a tenth of a skein from a nice Raveler who destashed to me when it looked like I would definitely run out.
This yarn is delicious. It’s springy and nice to knit with, and the colors… well, those pictures are unretouched. That’s really what the colors look like in person.
I do highly recommend alternating skeins, however. My three skeins were all completely different, to the point where I know I would have had big blotches of color if I hadn’t alternated every two rows.
Notes: Although I usually try to avoid sewing seams, I wanted to knit something a little more portable than my recent projects (gray sweater, I’m looking at you…). A vest in pieces was perfect. And the seams are short enough that it wasn’t too bad. I’m starting to actually like mattress stitch, can you believe it? It’s fun to see the pieces come together like magic.
Knitting the front and back separately helped me concentrate on the slightly unorthodox shaping, too. Since I wanted the armhole and neck edgings to be knit along with the main piece, I couldn’t do any traditional binding off at the beginning of rows–so the whole thing is shaped with double and single decreases, just inside the twisted rib edging. It was challenging to get the right ratios for the curves I wanted (there are sections with double decreases every row, then double decreases every other row, then single decreases, etc.), but I figured it out!
All in all, I’m pretty dang happy with this vest. It came out just like I envisioned it. :-)
Thanks for all the commiseration on my gray sweater debacle! Kirstin asked if Photoshop would be helpful in editing out the pooling spots. I’ve gotten pretty good at editing out the stray hair or tree branch, but I’m afraid making the middle part of the sweater look like the top would be well beyond my abilities. See all the light bits on the top?
Yeah, I wouldn’t even know where to start. Plus, I like to keep my samples in photo-ready condition, since there’s always the possibility of trunk shows, the need for photo reshoots, etc.–and wouldn’t it be a cheat if I managed to fix the photo so it looked good and then showed up with the pooling monstrosity?
Anyway, I’m moving on! Due to a sudden and all-consuming love affair with this purple Cephalopod yarn (and, okay, a desire for some damn color and texture after all that endless gray stockinette!), I have the purple vest blocking already:
Yum. It really looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it? Its working title is the Grape Vest, because it reminds me of the luscious spectrum of purple grapes you get at the beginning of the fall season. I’ll probably change the name, but it’ll always be Grape Vest to me….
Thank you for all the nice comments on my Full Circle Cardigan! It made it to #6 on Ravelry’s Hot Right Now list the day after I released it, which made me extremely happy. I can’t wait to start seeing other people’s versions!
And today, I have another FO/pattern release for you. Lest you think I’m some sort of insane knitting machine, I should tell you this sweater was actually finished last summer. It just happened to come out a few weeks ago, hence the FO post.
This is Descanso, a design I did for Dream in Color Yarn (all photos © Dream In Color Yarn):
Pattern: my own Descanso pattern. Available for purchase through Dream in Color Designs (Ravelry link).
Yarn: Dream in Color Everlasting DK in Tang.
I have to admit to a bit of skepticism when I saw the color yarn they’d sent me for the sample. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful–Dream in Color Yarns are always stunning–but this particular bright pinky-red isn’t one I could ever wear. When I saw the pictures, though, I was blown away. Doesn’t the model look amazing in that color? It’s like it was made for her!
I’m a teensy bit jealous.
Notes: I’m going to have to knit myself one of these to keep, because I love the way this sweater turned out. I was going for an easy, slouchy look (while still keeping figure-flattering waist shaping and a flattering neckline). It’s a little hard to tell in the pictures, but there’s a slip-stitch rib around the hem and cuffs of the sweater–enough to keep the edge relatively flat, but still let it roll a little for a more casual look.
The sweater is knit from the bottom-up in the round to the neck split/yoke joining, and then back and forth in rows (my favorite construction!). The little cable detail at the neck turned out really well. I love the way it adds interest without bulk:
I named the pattern after one of my favorite botanical gardens. Descanso Gardens is only a few miles from where we used to live, and I’ve done photo shoots for several sweater patterns there. I thought it would be nice to remember the name by giving it to a comfy sweater pattern.
I hope you like this sweater as much as I do!
So I may have mentioned a time or two that my husband is awesome. Today, I present further proof. He was looking for an artistic hobby, something to combine his love of color and his desire to work with his hands.
He decided to try yarn dyeing. Yes, that’s right.
Be still my heart.
He finished up his first mini-test skeins today and I got some pictures!
The skeins are small, but I think there’s enough for me to make a killer striped project. I think the colors will play nicely together. Maybe a pair of fingerless gloves or a hat? (They’re worsted weight.) Anyone have a suggestion?
I finished these last week, but I’m just now getting around to blogging them:
Pattern: Arwen Slipper Socks (Ravelry link) by Tabitha’s Heart
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in Indecita
Notes: I LOVE these. They are fabulously colorful and comfy, and they fit my size 9.5 narrow feet like a dream. I got them both out of one skein of Rios with 10g to spare.
My only modification to the pattern was to eliminate the plain round between decrease rounds for the last 4 toe decreases, since it was turning out a little too pointy for my taste as written. This made a lovely rounded toe:
I’m not generally a sock person (too much work for something that wears out too quickly, in my experience), but slipper socks in worsted weight are right up my alley. In fact, I had so much fun knitting these that I immediately started in on a design idea I had a while back. There may be bobbles involved. Stay tuned for an update on those!
Today’s topic asks bloggers to talk about their love or confusion of color. It’s funny–only a few years ago, I would have said that I always, always gravitated toward rich jewel tones, especially blue, purple, and green, and rarely knit with anything else. A quick look through my Ravelry projects proves it:
I figured this trend would continue when I started designing last year. After all, I’m the one who gets to pick the colors I want to knit with, right? Oddly enough, though, I’ve found myself using more neutrals and dark, muted tones than before. Having to think about the styling and wearability of the piece changes things.
Here’s a snapshot of some of my designs that proves it:
Of course, I also have these, so maybe I haven’t gone as far from blue and green jewel tones as I could have, heh:
A look through my yarn cabinet also shows a weakness for impulse yarn purchases in blue, green, and purple:
I’m going to continue attempting to branch out, color-wise, but I’m not sure how much luck I’ll have with all this yumminess calling to me. I think if I could only knit from Madelinetosh jewel-tones for the rest of my life, I’d be perfectly happy.