Sunday, April 15, 2012

hi everybody!

I'm back! I've been having camera issues lately, but just received a new one this week, and, boy, do I have stuff to show you! First things first, here are my finished Burnhams:
And here are the fronts:
 It's a delightful pattern. I'm sure I'll wear them to death when I move to Boston. Oh, that's right - I'm moving somewhere cold! Yay! I got accepted to a PhD program in English at Boston University and will be moving there in August. I actually knitted these for my first trip out there, but of course it was eighty-five degrees when I went and they were not needed. I'm sure I'll have plenty opportunities to wear them later in the year, though. :)
Here's the next thing I made: Cookie A.'s Kai-Mei. They're sooo comfy, made out of Lorna's Laces. The pattern was a little... non-rhythmic for my tastes, but the finished result is gorgeous.
 Also, for some reason, even though I have the same number of rows and stitches in each sock, the pattern was going to end at different places. I did double decreases on the second sock to compensate. But the end of the left sock decreases in more sharply than the right. Not sure what happened.
 Here's the last thing I'm sharing today: Kate Gagnon Osborn's Glashutte Hat. This is something of a minor tragedy. This was easily the most difficult hat I've ever knitted it, and one of the most beautiful ones at that. I had 200 stitches a row, if such a thing is possible. I've knitted sweaters with way less. In fingering weight. I checked my gauge very carefully, and got the right gauge, but my head is huge and the hat turned out... well, non-slouchy.
 It was a very difficult thing to accept, I'll admit, but I didn't want to add another repeat, for the sake of my sanity, so I thought I would just leave it as is. It's perfectly functional and still a pretty nice-looking hat.
Next time: pictures of WIPs!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Joy of Mittens

Facing a possibility of an East Coast move this summer has been a major inspiration in my knitting. The thought of actually having a pressing need for certain clothing items that I never use now has opened up a world of possibility.

Take, for example, the mitten. Mittens are, in my book, one of the coolest things to knit. The small canvas offers immense possibilities for creativity because of the fact that it is so limited. But, living in Southern California, I never need them. My hands are never that cold. So, I have neglected them.

This winter I have worked on them eagerly, though, fueled especially by the beautiful patterns in The Loft Collection. I've already knitted Parson:

and am now busily at work on Leila Raabe's Burnham.

Both patterns were very entertaining, but in totally different ways. Parson was great because the diamond pattern and the pattern on the palm were both small repeating motifs that were fairly easy to knit (usually 3x1 repeats).

Burnham is very different. The pattern on the back of the hand is, frankly, brilliant. It consists of small motifs organized in a non-linear way and has been fascinating to knit.

This is the first mitten, unblocked yet, so please excuse the lumpy unevenness. Will definitely post again once it looks decent. The second one is actually farther along than the picture up top. I sat down after taking that picture and knit through the thumb gusset in two hours. That's pretty fast for me!

Both mitten-knitting experiences have, of course, been enhanced by the yarn Loft, which creates a fuzzy, velvety fabric that is perfect for colorwork. I think I might just knit Carlisle, so I have a complete set. :) We'll see...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Scarves are on the way up! (at least for me)

Like most knitters, I began by knitting scarves. My first substantial project was a garter stitch scarf for my boyfriend which took me about a month to knit and which he proceeded to lose about a month after I made it for him. I think that, because they were the first project that I was able to knit, they were associated in my mind with long, tedious bouts of knitting and thus became very unpalatable.

Recently, though, I started becoming aware of some very cool scarf patterns. And I started remembering that one of the main reasons that I began knitting was, not to knit sweaters, because that seemed inconceivable, but to knit scarves. I loved scarves in high school, but could never find any I liked. The only ones I liked were the ones my friends knitted or crocheted. So, here are the fruits of my recent thoughts on the subject...


This is a lovely pattern by Gudrun Johnston, who, incidentally, is one of my all-time favorite designers. Her patterns are always so carefully thought-out and have gorgeous little details that make everything come together beautifully. The I-cord edging on this scarf is a case in point. It makes the scarf look wonderfully polished, yet is very simple to do. This was a stash-buster for me, so I was very pleased.

And now I am working on yet another Brooklyn Tweed pattern, this one by Leila Raabe:
It's in Loft, in a lovely shade of dark green (the color Artifact), which my camera sadly failed to capture. This is a very special pattern. The lace is patterned on both sides, which I thought would be a horrible bother. But, of course, I've gotten used to it and now really enjoy working on it.

So, I think scarves are going to be a definite presence in my knitting this year! Good thing, too, because if I end up moving to the East Coast over the summer like I'm hoping, I'm going to need them!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hello 2012!

I can feel it in the air. This is going to be my biggest knitting year yet! After two years of full-time school, I feel like my creative energy really needs to go in a different direction. Thus, I am creating this blog. It will (hopefully) be a space in which I can happily marry the two things I love best - the written word and knitted fabric - into a single creation and, additionally, a way for me to chronicle my achievements during the following year.

So far, this year has been almost completely about Brooklyn Tweed. Their recent collections have absolutely mesmerized me, and I have not been able to stop knitting with Shelter and Loft. They are my dream yarns, in a palette that completely appeals to me.

Here's Michele Wang's Jaffrey, an absolutely darling hat in one of the most perfect shades of pink I know:

And Parson, by the same designer, an incredibly addictive pair of mittens that has fueled a mitten craze here at Chez Nadia:

And the most recent Brooklyn Tweed FO, Rosebud by Jared Flood. This has to be the perfect slouchy hat:

I loved the different levels of texture in this hat - the ribbing, the garter stitch, which takes on a pebbly quality in Shelter, the braids that frame the cable, and the cable itself, a glorious example of the form:

I hope this year will be a year in which I push myself to do new, different, and hopefully better things as a knitter. Hopefully, I even take a stab at designing my own pieces... I, of course, have other Brooklyn Tweed patterns on the needles, but will modestly leave them for another day.