30 October 2009

*U*FO: Mohair Pi Shawl

Apologies for the mediocre photography on this one, but what's a girl to do? I knit this Pi Shawl out of two skeins of hand-dyed mohair yarn I bought at the 2007 Shepherd's Market in Door County. I just loved the color and was intrigued by the adult mohair. It is not next-to-the-skin soft but it is a lovely yarn and would make a good shawl. Unfortunately, there is no more of this yarn, and still about a third of the edge to bind off. I already frogged back once to before an increase round when it became clear that I wouldn't have enough yarn for the edging, so I'm not doing that again.

I supposed I could frog back the edging, keep going around and around with this yarn and then start the edging with a different yarn when I run out. But this yarn is so unique (how much two-ply adult mohair have you encountered in your knitting career?) that I'm not sure what would pair well with it. Or I could frog back the edging and redo it as a simple garter edge, which is one of the options EZ suggests. But this edging is so pretty!

Right now this lovely thing is sitting in the time out basket. Think I'll go work on my mitten.

FO: John's Yoke Sweater

Pattern: Seamless Yoke Sweater lessons from Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmermann, colorwork patterns from Sheila MacGregor's Traditional Fairisle Knitting [Ravelry link]
Yarn: Wool/Tencel blend sock yarn from Foster Farm in blue and natural, purchased at the Columbia Farmer's Market
Needle: US4/3.5mm
Recipient: John, my one-year-old nephew
Mods: Well, there aren't really any, since I was following a recipe, rather than an exact pattern, but I did try to make the arms long-ish, so the sweater could be worn for a while.

Now, I've knit seamless sweaters before (mostly raglans), but this was my first yoke-style one with colorwork, and it turned out pretty well, I think. Getting five stitches per inch, I cast on 130 stitches for a 26" chest and went from there, following EZ's guidelines. This was all in Part II: Two Sweaters, Lessons One (Seamless Yoke-Sweater Body and Sleeves) and Two (Yoke Patterns, Weaving and Finishing). I threw in a couple of short rows to lengthen the back before starting the yoke and did the Casting-On Casting-Off at the neck, which was a little tedious but came out nicely. The only thing I didn't do was the phoney seams, which certainly help a grown-up sized sweater hang better but seemed not quite necessary on a sweater this size.

In more EZP news, I'm taking a break from her sweaters for the moment and have the Stonington Shawl on the needles, with the lovely red merino Mom and I brought home from the Door County yarn crawl. I've knit the body (a square on the diagonal) and the first side and am now wondering why I can't knit the edging on this side before going on to pick up the next side -- EZ has you knit up trapezoids on each side and keep all stitches live before you knit them all off in one long go for the edging. Doing the edging on one side would eliminate holding all those stitches, since they'd be done. I guess the question is linking the edging from one side to the next. It just seems like an unnecessary step to have all the stitches OTN around the shawl, when you work the edging perpendicularly. So, I've stalled as I ponder. And I have to choose an edging pattern, as this version of the shawl is from the book recipe, rather than a pattern (it was published in pattern form in Knitter's and a Spun Out, later).

I also have my first Selbuvotter OTN, having charted my initials and the year -- I'm doing NHM #10 with some modifications. The stranded work takes some concentration, going back and forth between Terri Shea's charts and mine for the front and back of the mitten. I'm excited about them -- it's been a long time since I had a pair of mittens.

And I just whipped out a little vest with the lovely Madeline Tosh Worsted from the NYC Yarn Crawl. I'm not sure it's finished yet, and then I'll need to grade the pattern. This will be my first grading experience (yay, no sleeves), so I'm excited and a little anxious.

29 October 2009

Healing with Crystals & Gemstones

Healing with Crystals & Gemstones by Daya Sarai Chocron (Weiser Books)
Art direction, photo research, production

The Fairy Party Book

The Fairy Party Book by Marina T. Stern (Red Wheel)
Art direction, hiring of freelance illustrator, production

Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow

Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow by Karen Casey (Red Wheel/Weiser)
Art direction, photo research, production

28 October 2009

Free Pattern: EZ as Pi Lace Beret

A beret from the top. Starting with i-cord and progressing into a Miniature Leaf Lace from Barbara Walker, this beret increases based upon the principle of Pi.

Download a PDF now.

Free Pattern: Jean Beret

A new pattern...

This one is for my mom. She wanted a cozy, beret-style hat that was large enough to pull down around her ears to keep warm in Chicago (and up in the snowy wilds of Wisconsin sometimes). You can wear it down around your ears like a stocking cap, beret-style, or pushed back on your head, which seems to be all the rage these days. I knit it with two skeins of Crystal Palace Yarns Merino 5 Solid in Black, and a good sub would be Berocco's Pure Merino to get the same fabric, but Malabrigo Merino Worsted or Cascade 220 would work just as well (and only one skein!).
See the pattern now.