Archives for posts with tag: knit2together

It’s been getting cold, and closer to Christmas, and both of those are inspiring a stream of little bagatelles…

I forgot to include my ball of gray Cotswold-angora roving in this picture (and the dishwater gray Hideous Panties) but I thought it would be nice to put together a little still life of the various grays, cool and warm, matte and shiny, that I’ve been working on lately:

In the back, my Lara sweater; clockwise from there, my feather and fan cowl in silver Artfibers Ming, pinned with a beautiful Perl Grey ringstick from Purlescence; my Dryad Mitts in Squirrel Heather Knit Picks Swish; and a skein of local, millspun alpaca from the farmer’s market–worsted weight, 50g/110 yards.

So the Ming Cowl is done, and I’m suffering from Ming withdrawal. Sigh… look at this stuff.

Apparently, I can make this heap of silvery gorgeousness look like a crumpled heap of grayish fabric when I wear it, but I think it’s beautiful anyway.

Pattern: the Luxe Neck Warmer from Knit 2 Together

Yarn used: Artfibers Ming, Color 08

Needles used: Size 10/6mm Denises

Started: 10/14/07

Finished: 10/25/07

Notes: This is the second time I’ve knit this pattern. It’s a nice pattern, if more decorative than truly warm.

So that’s one thing. Here’s another. The farmer’s market alpaca from the top picture quickly turned into another warm gray winter accessory:

Pattern: Cat Bordhi’s Cashmere Moebius Cowl

Yarn used: Alpaca from the Bloomington Farmer’s Market for the main part of the cowl; my own handspun angora for the edging. The white angora fluff I used (“roving” seems like such a harsh word) was from Breezy Manor, and was the leftovers from the second mini-skein I spun up and Navajo-plied for Last Minute Knitted Gifts angora booties for my friend Jen’s newborn baby.

Needles used: Size 10/6mm 40″ Addi Turbos

Started: 11/5/07

Finished: 11/5/07

Mods: I ran out of alpaca yarn, so I switched to the angora for the edging, made it through only rows 1-3 of the lace edging, then started to run out of angora as well and began to bind off. I ran out of yarn during the bindoff, and had to use the no-yarn crochet hook bindoff for the rest of it. Thankfully, the unusual shape of the cowl means that a tight bindoff will not impede getting the finished object over your head.

Notes: I loved using this alpaca. It felt so fluffy and light while I was using it that I felt like I was knitting with cake frosting, or whipped cream. It’s warm and utterly soft and fluffy around my neck, and the rather hard, overspun, rope-like twist I put into the angora is good for durability, and keeping the angora from shedding and flying away too much. I took pictures with my preferred way of wearing it–tight against my neck with the half-twist overlapping in front like a shawl collar, and the excess fabric folded down to tuck into my coat. I think Cat Bordhi’s version has a smaller circumference, which seems more attractive as an accessory but less warm for the chest. I might try the pattern again, subtracting one pattern repeat.

The pattern uses Cat Bordhi‘s signature Moebius cast-on, basically a clever way of getting your needle through both the top and the bottom loops of a provisional cast-on, with the half-twist that makes the Moebius strip one-sided. The Girl from Auntie has a great series of posts about approaches to knitting Moebius strips, and Thomasina has compiled a big list of links to other Moebius patterns on her geeky knitting page.

“A mathematician confided
That a Möbius band is one-sided,
And you’ll get quite a laugh,
If you cut one in half,
For it stays in one piece when divided”

Have you ever knit a Moebius strip using Cat Bordhi’s method? I definitely recommend it as something to try at least once–it’s fascinating. The cast-on is for the “equator” of the Moebius strip, and the knitting grows up and down from there as you knit in the round. All the lace lines in this pattern slant the same direction as you’re knitting them, but once you’re done, you can see that they are facing you from the right side on one half of the strip, and on the wrong side from the other half, so you have a half stockinette, half reverse stockinette cowl with chevrons of lace radiating out from its equator. You can probably see this best in the top picture I posted.

I am about halfway through my second Luxe Neck Warmer from Knit 2 Together. (I’m taking it slow this time.) This knit is pure sensory pleasure–the silvery variegated silk/wool gleams in subtle, semi-solid grays, like a South Seas black pearl, and the silk gives it a slight fuzzy haze that softens the stitch definition; it’s an incredibly soft and evenly spun singles yarn without a hint of over- or underspinning; and after lots of thrifty knitting with snaggy, sticky rubber band stitch markers, it feels like such a luxury using the pearl stitch markers I got from KnittyK8’s Etsy shop.

I also made a trip out to Hobby Lobby to shop for buttons for Jess and I can’t decide what kind to get–I’ll have to go out to Jo-Ann, because I had no luck at Hobby Lobby. I want one of the following:

– Smooth plastic buttons in a matching burgundy

– Plastic buttons in black or dark brown

– Fabric-covered buttons–maybe with a tapestry-like home decor fabric?  I think this might make the jacket look too dowdy.

– Crocheted button covers, like in the original pattern

It’s hard to decide what will make the jacket look chic and retro rather than old ladyish.

Here’s some of the stuff I did this weekend. I have lots of fibery goodness to report on, and lots of pictures!

First, a stealth finished object!

The Season of Mists Cowl

Pattern: Luxe Neck Warmer from Knit 2 Together
Needles: 16″ size 10 Denises
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden in colorway 230
Started and finished: 10/4/07. Took about 3 hours of knitting
Finished dimensions: Approximately 20″ around, 9″ long (there was enough yarn left over for perhaps one more repeat of the pattern)

I had a sudden craving for a yarn purchase, and left a lunchtime visit to my local yarn store with a skein of Noro Silk Garden in hand: colorway 230, an autumnal mixture of browns, yellows, reds, and greens that felt perfect for the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

I was pleased with this quick little pattern, though it might work better with variegated yarn than with self-striping yarn. I wasn’t totally pleased with the way the Noro worked up. In the skein, the combination of colors looked all subtle and warm and brought to mind the changing colors of autumn leaves. Knitted up, it made me think of stop lights, particularly the green, which looked far too bright and garish. Like crayons, or tree frogs, both of which have their uses, but not in a temperate October vignette. I ended up duplicate-stitching over a couple of rows of the green with some of the leftover brown yarn in an attempt to tone it down. What do you think?

Anyway, I’m thinking this pattern might be a good use for my one precious skein of silvery, semi-solid Artfibers Ming, instead of Cat Bordhi’s Moebius Cowl, as I was originally thinking. It’s pretty, and lacey, and versatile; you can wear it either down, like you’re wearing a scarf

or up, like you’re robbing a bank.

Another thing I did this weekend was finish plying my Stormy handspun. I don’t really have any specs on this, to be honest; it’s a two-ply yarn spun up from Louet Northern Lights roving in “Icy Winter,” a mixture of blue, white, black, and gray, but I have no idea how many yards I have, or how much it weighs–4 oz, maybe?–or what the thickness is. In any case, here are some photos of my makeshift guitar stand niddy-noddy (not a great idea, I’ll use the swift next time) and a close-up of the lovely yarn. Purty, ain’t it? I’ll probably make some kind of scarf with it.

I saw this cool truck full of chickens and straw bales on the road on Saturday. I also saw a hay ride in Bryan Park and a guy carrying his spiky brown bearded dragon through the farmer’s market, but unfortunately I left my camera at home and missed those photo ops. I heart Indiana!

And the last fibery thing to report on is the exciting afternoon I spent dyeing yarn with chemgrrl yesterday.

We used black walnuts to dye the yarn.

Those two pots on the right are what we boiled the yarn in, simmering it for an hour or two. We took out the yarn and put it in this big washtub to cool.

I like to think that’s one of Leigh’s walnut trees reflected in the dye, but I don’t know if that is in fact the case or not.

It was interesting seeing how the different yarns we dyed took up the color differently.

Leigh dyed up some Knitpicks Bare wool (not sure if it was Peruvian or merino), and it came out pretty dark:

My violet Lopi came out a beautiful dark chocolate brown:

Some handspun wool yarn I got in a swap from cmtigger came out a pretty light caramel color:

Some of my own handspun Romney singles came out lightest of all. I dyed them again last night with some of the leftover dye, so they might be a little darker today. I spun these with a lot of twist, in preparation for plying with another yarn, but then stuck them in a box somewhere and forgot about them. I was thinking I might ply them with a natural brown wool single–I have some chocolate brown roving to spin up–or maybe I’ll separate it into two balls and do a two-ply of just the Romney, or maybe I’ll knit with it as energized singles and see how it looks. I think I have about 260 yards here. It seems already pretty bulky as a singles. Any suggestions?

The preparation of the walnut dye took some work. And, um, mostly on Leigh’s part. Leigh told me she had started to crack open the fallen green walnuts with a sledgehammer when she noticed tons of maggots crawling out of the walnuts! Brave dyer that she is, she chucked the walnut pieces into the dye pot anyway, and boiled it for a while. I came over and the first job we had was to fish all the walnut pieces out of the dye bath and then strain the dead maggots out with a pillowcase. Here’s the strained maggot and walnut pulp mixture. Yum!

Has Mike Rowe ever worked as a natural dyer?

Look at all the pretty yarn drying in the sun, though. That’s some compensation.

(Says I, who didn’t have to deal with the live maggots at all. Thanks, Leigh! Take a bow…)