Abundance

Life with Fiber and Fiber Arts

Waffles! February 18, 2014

Filed under: designs,New pattern,Uncategorized — Hannah Cuviello @ 1:03 am

Continuing on the theme of fast things to knit when the weather is chilly, I wanted to share a work in progress. A couple of years ago, I wrote a fun little vest pattern, had it photographed, but never got it to the test knitting stage. I have decided to trot it back out. It still hasn’t gotten to the test knitting phase, but I do like it, so if anyone wants to take the chance, here it is. I knit it a second time, using the instructions I had written (although, I’m generally not one to actually follow instructions). I hope someday to have a nice shiny, edited version of this, but it will probably not happen until I am out of school. When it does, you will be able to download the pattern at my website, http://www.abundantyarn.com. Until then, I hope you enjoy!

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Waffle!

by Hannah Cuviello           

This is a delightfully gooshy garment, designed with outdoor adventures in mind. The oversized collar can be worn up (for extra warmth) or down, and ribbing at the back of the collar snugs it close and keeps the chilly breezes off. The modified Waffle Brioche Stitch just begs to be snuggled into on a cold day and the simple construction allows for all sorts of personalization.

photographer: Andrea Parrish Geyer for Hydra Creations (green model) and Jim Lynn for Abundant Ideas (Taupe Model)

Sizes: 

To fit Bust: 30[34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54] inches  (shown in size 34, green and 38, taupe)

With 4-5” ease

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS
Chest: 34.75[38.5, 42, 47, 50.75, 54.25, 58] inches
Length (for long version): 25[25.5, 26, 26, 26.5, 26.5, 27] inches

MATERIALS

Cascade Yarns Lana Grande [100% wool; 87yds per 100g skein]; #6022: Cucumber; 6 [6, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10] skeins for long version, 3[3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7] for cropped version.

1 32-inch US 15/10.0 circular needle or size to obtain gauge

Stitch Markers

2 med (4-6 inch or so) stitch holders

Zipper (I used 24 inch zipper for the long version, but snipped an inch off the top)

Tapestry needle

Sewing needle and thread (for zipper)

GAUGE

8 sts/ 14 rows = 4″ in stockinette stitch on US15/10.0.mm

6.5 sts/ 10.5 rows = 4″ in Waffle Stitch

9 sts/ 16 rows = 4” in 1×1 Ribbing

Note: Row gauge is less important, because all length measurements are given in inches / cm, rather than rows and can be easily adjusted.

PATTERN NOTES

Sizing

The waist shaping in this garment is achieved by changing stitch pattern, without the use of increases or decreases. If you would like more or less definition in the waist, you can go up or down in needle size in the ribbing section.

Special Abbreviations

K3tog             knit 3 together; as part of the Waffle stitch pattern, this refers to a knit and 2 yo’s. If intended otherwise, I will specify.

Slyo                slip the next st as if to purl, at the same time bringing the working yarn from front to back over the needle, creating a paired st and yo.

Sl2yo              slip the next st and its paired yo as if to purl, at the same time creating a 2nd yo, as described above.

Wyif               with yarn in front

 

Waffle Stitch

Over odd number of sts:

Row 1 (Set up): *Slyo, k1; rep from * to last st, slyo.

Row 2 (Set up): Sl2yo, *k1, sl2yo; rep from * to last st.

Row 3 (WS): *K3tog (2 yo’s and slipped st), slyo; rep from * to last st (a knit and 2 yo’s), k3tog.

Row 4: K1 *Sl2yo, k1; rep from * to end.

Row 5: * Slyo, K3tog; rep from * to last st, slyo.

Row 6: Sl2yo, *K1, sl2yo; rep from * to end.

Repeat Rows 3-6 for pattern.

When you have an even number of sts (in cases where there have been decreases), work instructions w/in * to end.

NOTE on working stitch pattern: There will come a time when, due to decrease, your stitch pattern may shift by one stich (as mentioned in the last sentence above). It will be helpful if you can look at a stitch on your needle and predict from what you see where you are in the pattern. Here are some hints:

  • If you see a stitch with one yo, do a Sl2yo.
  • If you see a stitch with two yo’s, K3tog.
  • If you see a lone knit stitch next to a stitch with one yo, knit the lone stitch.
  • If you see a lone knit stitch next to a stitch with two yo’s, Slyo on the lone stitch.

PATTERN

Body

With US 15/10.0 mm needles, CO 61[67, 73, 81, 87, 93, 99] sts.

If making the Cropped version, skip to Waist Ribbing Section.

R1(WS): K3, work Row 1 of Waffle Stitch to 3 sts before end, sl3 wyif.

R2: K3, work Row 2 of Waffle Stitch to 3 sts before end, sl3 wyif.

Continue as est, repeating rows 3-6 of Waffle Stitch for pattern, and keeping the first and last 3 sts of every row in icord. Work until piece measures roughly 6 inches/15 cm, ending with Row 6.

Pockets

Next Row (WS): K3, work 2[2, 4, 4, 6, 6, 8], BO 8 loosely, work 10[10, 12, 12, 14, 14, 16], BO 8 loosely, work 2[2, 4, 4, 6, 6, 8], sl3 wyif.

Set body aside (do not cut yarn) and make inner pockets.

Inner Pockets (make 2)

With new ball of yarn CO 12 sts. Work St st until inner pocket measures 5.5 inches / 14 cm. Cut Yarn.

Join Pockets

Next Row (RS – should be Row 4 of Waffle Stitch): Work 1 (1, 3, 3, 5, 5, 7) sts in patt,  YO, sl the next yo, without knitting it, BO the next st over the first st of an inner pocket, slip that first st to RH ndl, k2tog, k6, ssk, k2tog (last inner pocket st and first body st after BO), work to last st before BO, ssk (last body st before BO and first inner pocket st), k2tog, k6, ssk, without knitting it, pass the last inner pocket st over the first body st and off the needle, sl the next yo, yo, work to end.

Continue working in pattern, incorporating the pocket sts (on the next row, you will K1 instead of K3tog on the pocket sts). Work 2 inches / 5 cm more ending with Row 6 of Waffle Stitch.

Waist Ribbing

Row 1 (WS): K3, *p1, k1; rep from *to last 3 sts, sl3 wyif.

Row 2: K3, *k1, p1; rep from *to last 3 sts, sl3 wyif.

Repeat Rows 1-2 for 2 inches / 5 cm.

Row 3: K3, place 3 sts just knit back on the LH ndl, k3, *p1, k1; rep from * to last 3 sts, sl3 wyif.

Row 4: K3, place 3 sts just knit back on the LH ndl, k3, *k1, p1; rep from * to last 3 sts, sl3 wyif.

Continue, repeating Rows 1-2 only for 2 inches / 5 cm more.

Upper Body

Beginning with Row 1 of Waffle Stitch, continue in pattern for 4.5[4.5, 4.5, 4, 4, 3.5, 3.5] inches / 11.5[11.5, 11.5, 10, 10, 9, 9] cm, ending with Row 6 (RS).

Next Row (WS): K3, work 13[15, 16, 20, 21, 23, 25], BO 1[1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3], work 27[29, 31, 31, 35, 35, 37], BO  1[1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3], work 13[15, 16, 20, 21, 23, 25], sl3 wyif.

Back

Attach yarn at right edge of back, with RS facing.

Work in Waffle Stitch, slipping the first st and knitting the last st of every row.

At the same time, decrease 1 st at each edge of every RS row 1[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2] times as follows:

Dec Row: Sl 1, ssk, work to 3 sts before end, k2tog, k1.

Continue working in Waffle Stitch until armhole measures 6.5[7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5] inches / 16.5[18, 19, 20.5, 21.5, 23, 24] cm, ending with a WS row.

Next Row (RS): Sl1, work 6[6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8], BO 11[13, 13, 13, 15, 15, 15], work to last st, k1. Do not cut yarn.

Left Shoulder Shaping

Row 1 (WS):  BO 2 sts, work to end.

Row 2(RS): Work to end.

Row 3: BO 2[2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3], work to end.

Row 4: Work to end.

Row 5: BO rem sts.

Right Shoulder Shaping

With WS facing, attach yarn at neck edge.

Row 1: Work to end.

Row 2: BO 2 sts, work to end.

Row 3: Work to end.

Row 4: BO 2[2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3], work to end.

Row 5: Work to end.

Row 6: BO rem sts.

Right Front

With RS facing, attach yarn at neck edge. Beginning on Row 4, work in Waffle Stitch, decreasing 1 st at armhole edge every RS row, 1[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2] time(s). Continue until armhole measures 4.5[5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5] inches / 11.5[13, 14, 15, 16.5, 18, 19] cm, ending with a RS row. Make note of the last pattern row worked. I’m not kidding.

Next Row (WS): Work to end. Cut yarn and place the last 7[9, 9, 13, 13, 15, 15] sts worked on holder.

With RS facing, reattach yarn at neck edge (to the left of the held sts) and work to end.

Continue in pattern on the Right Shoulder, decreasing 1 st at the neck edge every RS row 1[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2] times, until the armhole measures 6.5[7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5] inches / 16.5[18, 19, 20.5, 21.5, 23, 24] cm, ending with a RS row. Make note of the last pattern row worked.

Right Front Shoulder Shaping

Row 1: BO 2 sts, work to end.

Row 2: Work to end.

Row 3: BO 2[2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3], work to end.

Row 4: Work to end.

Row 5: BO rem sts.

Left Front

Attach yarn at RS armhole edge. Beginning on Row 4, work in Waffle Stitch, decreasing 1 st at armhole edge every RS row, 1[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2] time(s). Continue until armhole measures 4.5[5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5] inches / 11.5[13, 14, 15, 16.5, 18, 19] cm, ending with a RS row. Making sure to stop at the same point in the pattern as you did for the Right Front.

Next Row (WS): K3, work 4[6, 6, 10, 10, 12, 12] sts and place the sts just worked on holder, work to end.

Continue in pattern on the Left Shoulder, decreasing 1 st at the neck edge every RS row 1[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2] times, until the armhole measures 6.5[7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5] inches / 16.5[18, 19, 20.5, 21.5, 23, 24] cm, ending with a WS row. Stop 1 Row after the point when you stopped on the Right Front Shoulder.

Left Front Shoulder Shaping

Row 1 (RS): BO 2 sts, work to end.

Row 2: Work to end.

Row 3: BO 2[2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3], work to end.

Row 4: Work to end.

Row 5: BO rem sts.

 

Sew Shoulder Seams

Collar

With RS facing, attach yarn at right front and work across 7[9, 9, 13, 13, 15, 15] held collar sts, working Row 1 of Waffle pattern, and keeping the first 3 sts as i-cord (treat slyo’s from last row worked as a single st). Note: you will have an even number of pattern sts, so work only the instructions in the *. PM, PU 6 sts along the right front neck, pm, PU 11[13, 13, 13, 15, 15, 15] sts along back neck, PM, PU 6 sts along left front neck, pm, work 4[6, 6, 10, 10, 12, 12] held sts of left front collar in pattern, end sl 3 wyif. 37[43, 43, 51, 51, 57, 57] sts.

Next Row: K3, work Row 2 of Waffle Stitch to 2nd marker, *k1, p1; rep from * to next marker, work Row 2 of Waffle Stitch to last 3 sts, sl 3 wyif.

Continue in pattern, repeating Rows 3-6 of Waffle Stitch and working K1,P1 ribbing between the back neck markers, as est, until collar measures 4 inches /10cm. At the same time, work pattern Row 4 as follows when you come to it:

Row 4: K3, work to 1 st before 1st marker, k3tog (meaning the lone stitch, the next group of st and yo’s and the following lone stitch), replace marker to right of st just made, work to next marker, work ribbing, work to 2 sts before last marker, k3tog (as at the last marker), work to 3 sts before end, sl 3 wyif.

Repeat this process the next time you reach a Row 4 (2 times total).

Once collar has reached 4 inches/10cm, work the next two odd numbered rows as follows:

Next Row: Work to 2nd marker, removing markers as you come to them, kfb, work Waffle Stitch to end, removing markers as you come to them.

Continue in Waffle Stitch over all sts, until collar measures 5 inches/13 cm from top of ribbing, ending with an odd numbered pattern row.

Work i-cord BO as follows:
*Knit 3, place 3 sts just knit back on LH ndl; rep from * 2 times more.

Row 1: K2, ssk (one i-cord st and one collar st), place 3 sts just work back on LH ndl.

Row 2: K2, ssk, place 3 sts just work back on LH ndl.

Row 3: K3, place 3 sts just work back on LH ndl.

Repeat Rows 1-3 until all collar sts have been used up and only the 3 i-cord sts from the left edge remain. Work Row 3 once more. Cut yarn, leaving 5 inches /13 cm and graft to edges of i-cord together.

FINISHING

Weave in all ends and block. Sew down sides and bottoms of inner pocket. Prewash zipper, then sew it to the underside of the i-cord edging. I chose to begin the zipper at the bottom edge of the ribbing.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I will try really hard to get back to you.

Best!

Hannah

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Why I Love Tunisian Crochet… January 2, 2011

Filed under: designs,how to — Hannah Cuviello @ 3:12 pm

“Why, I love Tunisian Crochet!”

Those of you who receive my newsletters may recall a promise I made several weeks back regarding blog posts about Tunisian Crochet, to the effect that there would be some very soon. Clearly, I lied. But better late than never, right? We can call this the first installment in my “actually write all the blog posts I’ve promised to various people” resolution.

Today’s thesis: Tunisian Crochet is awesome! Really.

Now some of you may have pretty fixed ideas about the uses of Tunisian (or Afghan) crochet. True, Tunisian crochet is frequently associated with stiff, itchy, acrylic afghans your Grandma made in the 60’s and 70’s.

(Note: this lovely afghan was actually crocheted in solid white. All the colorwork is embroidered!) I will never make this afghan because I don’t hate myself am not very skilled at embroidery. That said, some of my favorite afghans are actually Tunisian crochet.

But it can really be so much more! Tunisian crochet is a fast, simple way to play with mixing colors and textures. It creates a fabric with structure, perfect for outer wear with a tailored look. With the right gauge, though, it can still have a graceful drape.

For example, I have recently designed the Aspenglow Jacket for Interweave Crochet (“Toot, toot” goes my own horn).

I only mention it because today I am going to go over the basics of the Tunisian crochet stitch as well as the color changing and cabling techniques that are used in this cardigan. There will be a little review for those who subscribe to our newsletter.

Let’s start with the basics. You will need a crochet hook and some yarn. Today’s featured yarn is Imperial Stock Ranch Lopi. You can use an afghan hook if you want, but if you are just following along at home to get a feel for it, you can use a regular hook with a smooth, consistent body shape. Once you have decided that you absolutely love Tunisian Crochet, you can invest in some special hooks:

I particularly like these hooks with long cables; I find them easier to manipulate and, were I to make an afghan, I could more easily fit all the stitches.

I imagine that most of you (even you knitters!) have made a crocheted chain at least once. If not, there are numerous resources out there. Your chain has a distinct front and back to it. On the front, you see a row of interlocking V’s with top leg and a bottom leg. On the back, you see rows of bumps. Now, this is largely a matter of personal preference, but when I insert my hook into the chain, I usually go into the back bump. It is pretty easy to see and I end up with a nice, neat row of V’s along the bottom of my work.

If you are following along, insert the hook into the bump of the first chain stitch, yarn over and pull the hook back through. See below.

Leaving the new loop on the hook, repeat for each chain bump across. You should end up with a hook full of loops. This is the first half of your foundation row (vocab word).

To begin the second half of the foundation row, chain one (YO, pull through one loop), then yarn over and pull through the next two loops on the hook (step 2 above). Repeat Step 2 only until there is only one loop on the hook. Your foundation row is now complete. Good job!

From now on, each row will consist of two parts, an over and a back. This first part of each row (the over) is called the Forward Pass (FwdP).

You may notice that one of the most visually prominent parts of each stitch is a vertical strand of yarn. Begin the FwdP by inserting the hook behind the vertical strand (shown above). Yarn over and pull back through. This is your first Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss). Repeat this process for every vertical strand across.

The second part of the row is the Return Pass (RetP). This is exactly the same as the second part of the foundation row; Chain one then yarn over, pull through two the rest of the way across.

If you keep at it long enough, you will have something like this:

Three rows of Tunisian Simple Stitch

So there we have the basics. You can now make a giant Tunisian Crochet afghan.

And if you would like to stripe your afghan?

On the row before you start you new color, work your RetP until you have two loops left on the hook.

Execute your last “Yarn Over, pull through two” using the new color.

I imagine that you can take it from here, but just for good measure, complete the FwdP with the new color.

If you would like single row stripes, RetP until there are two loops left on the hook, change back to your first color as before.

This approach gives you nice, neat stripes. Myself, I prefer to mix it up a little.

One of my favorite things about Tunisian Crochet is the woven-looking texture you get from the opposing vertical and horizontal lines. By adjusting where we do our color changes, we can get rows where the horizontal and vertical lines are in opposite colors. To begin, work the FwdP with one color (Color A). When you get to the end, make your chain one with your other color (Color B).

Work your RetP and the FwdP of the next row with Color B.

After a few rows, you’ll start to get the feel of how the colors blend and merge.

I think it’s pretty nifty. The Aspenglow Jacket (above) uses a variegated color of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted against semi-solid for a sort of random, speckled effect.

At this point, to be honest, you have almost all the skills you need to make this jacket. The missing piece is creating the surface texture. For this, we combine our fancy new Tunisian Crochet technique with some tried and true crochet stitches. Specifically, we will be using a Double Crochet (dc), which you may have met before, or rather a Front Post Double Crochet (fpdc), which is really very similar.

Begin with an initial Yarn Over, as you would for a dc (note: I am using primarily American terminology; Canadian and European crocheters may call it something different).

Once you have complete steps 1 through 3, you will have the beginning a faux cable. At this point, however, it won’t really look like much. Complete the row as instructed and perform the RetP (changing colors, if you want). On the next row, work until you come to the dc from the row below.

Yarn over as before, but instead of inserting your hook into the vertical strand, insert it behind the body of the dc. Yarn over and draw up a loop.

Complete the stitch as before. This is a front post double crochet.

What we have done here is stack two double crochets right on top of each other. If you were to repeat this every third stitch or so, you would get an interesting ribbed effect. This is not what we want here, though. We want something that looks like cables. To get this, we have to create movement in our textured stitches. If you have been following along, go ahead and finish off the FwdP and RetP. On the next row, work the FwdP up to the Fpdc from the row below.  Next, Tss (that’s just the regular old stitch you’ve been doing) in the vertical strand above the fpdc from the previous row. Skip the next stitch (vertical strand) and then Fpdc around fpdc from the previous row (which is now behind you). This requires a bit of a backward reach. The effect is that the new fpdc is at a slant.

Continuing in this manner will yield a line of fpdc’s that cross your Tunisian crochet fabric on a diagonal (or in whatever direction you choose to send them).

To slant your stitches the other way, work Tss up to one stitch before the Fpdc from the previous row, skip the next Tss and Fpdc around the Fpdc from the previous row, then Tss in the top of the Fpdc from the previous row. Sorry, no picture here.

Well, is that enough for now? Have I given you something to think about? Come February (because I have a few projects in the works at the moment), I will be doing a knitalong for the Aspenglow Jacket. I will spend the month in between now and then trying to decide if I want to use Lorna’s Shepherd worsted (like I did before) or Cascade 220 Paints. It’s going to be a tough call. It may in fact take the whole month to decide. Hopefully you will hear something from me in the interim. Until then, Happy New Year! May your resolution lists be short and easily fulfilled!

 

 

 

 

1AM in the Abundant Yarn Household May 21, 2010

Filed under: designs,Yarn Pics,Yarn review — Hannah Cuviello @ 8:26 am

Getting ready for the cotton-knitting season, I have been rephotographing most of our summer yarns. This last weekend was spent primarily on Cascade Sierra. For those of you who may not have worked with this yarn before, it is a worsted weight  80%cotton/20%wool blend from Cascade, most notable (in my opinion) for its wide range of colors and satisfying, weighty drape. Having immediate access to all these pretty colors means playtime for Hannah.

Fast forward to 1 in the morning on Saturday, with me sitting on the floor, quite happily arranging colors and imagining the afghans and sweaters I could knit. At least it’s cheaper than going out to a movie, and it provides infinitely more entertainment. I am fairly certain that, if there were a job called Professional-Afghan-Color-Picker, I would be perfectly content working at it  40 hours a week. If I didn’t have roughly 4 dozen other projects in the works, I’m also pretty sure I would be casting on an afghan right now.

Oh yeah, I took pictures too.

Corals

The thing I love most about Sierra is how subtle the color variations are. Most people I have met have at least one of those chevron afghans that go through a gradient of a particular color (most often Green or Brown, I think). That is what I kept seeing in my head when I was playing with the Sierra.

Sierra Blue

I probably shouldn’t include all the pictures, because it would reveal to the world just how much time I spent on the floor playing with yarn, but I figured that I should at least pick my favorites. Who knows, maybe someone out there is struggling with just the right color combination and these pictures will help. I might mention that I am always both willing and available to offer my opinions on yarn combinations. Of course, asking me to spend more time looking at yarn is some kind of enabling, like asking a chronic gambler which horse to back.

Sierra Greens

Sierra Yellow-Orange-Brown

Well into the evening, I came up with a fun little game for myself; I pick two colors from opposite sides of the color wheel and transition from one to the other. For example, I would start with Orange and Purple…

Step 1 of game: Orange and Purple

And then pick colors that blend from one to the other.

Orange to Purple

Or…I would start with Sherbet and Olive (two fairly light colors)…

Sherbet and Olive

Olive to Sherbet transition

I think that I actually will be making an afghan out of this one. Mitered Squares, I think.

Olive to Sherbet afghan

Is that a bit dated? I think it’s dated to a time I never actually experienced, which means that I never got sick of that combination. Good to know; I guess that’s why we plan these things out. I may still go for it. Although I was also really fond of the Black to Olive transition.

Black to Olive

Black to Olive Transition Afghan

Well, um…maybe I will make them both.  I think I had better stop now. As much as I may have time to sit on the floor and play with yarn, I just don’t know if I have time to knit much more than two afghans. Besides, I still owe everyone two entries in my “Ways of Knitting” series. I am, in fact, working on swatches for it. I promise that I am not sitting idle (except for the playing with yarn thing). You see, I am just trying to placate you all with pictures of pretty colors. Ooooh… look at the pretty colors…..

 

Interlude April 3, 2010

Filed under: designs — Hannah Cuviello @ 6:50 am

I have been very seriously thinking about beginning the next eight swatches for my “Ways of Knitting” post. Very seriously. Actually, the swatches themselves are all knit; just have to sit down and talk about them. To be entirely frank, though, I have gotten just a wee bit tired of looking at stockinette for the moment, and I can only assume that some of you have as well. Here, then, is just a brief interlude of Other Projects that I have going on. I hope you enjoy.

You’re Smocking Me…

Normally, before I begin the process of sweater design, there is a certain amount of planning that goes on. A notable exception to this rule has been my current little sweater project. In this instance I said to myself one morning,  “Hey, I’m going to knit a sweater with some smocking on the yoke.” I dug out my Blue Barbara Walker, A treasury of Knitting Patterns, (Book 1), dialed up smocking and cast right on at the neckline.

Smocking Stitch

I have been trying to do a lot of designing lately, which has included sketches, swatches, schematics, but has yet to yield a finished garment. I think that the minimalist process approach I have to this sweater is something of a reaction to that; I just want to knit and have a sweater.

With this no-designing design approach, stylistic elements just sort of happen. Some of them turn out to be good. Some of them…not so much. Several inches in, it turned out that I was knitting a square neck. This is good. I like square necks.

Square neckline

A little bit of garter edging there and I’ll be good to go.

The next thing to happen was the addition of a second stitch pattern, just below the bust. Again, the deciding element was “what do I feel like knitting?” It turns out that I felt like knitting mistake rib on the bias, in four sections.

Ribbing on the bias

This, it turns out, was not so good, for several reasons.

While the result of this bias work would have been a nice scalloped edge to the sweater (well, two big scallops, anyway) there would also have been a certain amount of scalloping at the top, which I did not plan for. For several inches, I told myself that this was OK. I was knitting at a fairly loose gauge and it would all just mellow out with the blocking. Be that as it may, I decided it was time to draw a picture of what this sweater might ultimately look like.

sketch of potential sweater

Lesson learned: When you don’t put any planning into a sweater, your sweater may end up having zero sense of cohesiveness. It may end up looking like a costume piece from Star Trek (not that I have anything against Star Trek, but I’m not planning on attending any conventions in the near future, so I don’t need a Star Trek sweater).

Well, back to – or rather finally to- the drawing board. I think that with this sweater, simplicity is going to be the key. I already have a stitch pattern I like, I don’t need any more. Plus, I really had my heart set on pockets, and there was certainly no good place for pockets on that funny bias thing. So, what if I do something more like this:

Simplify, simplify

Just an all-over-smocked sweater with a square neck, 3/4 length sleeves, and garter edging. Very simple shaping at the back and sides will be enough. I guess I might as well go do some math, as long as I am planning this sweater anyway.

I will keep you updated.

April Showers

It is now officially April, and the month has started off just as the Nursery Rhyme prescribes, with heavy showers and grey skies. This, however, has never been enough to keep me from enjoying my morning knitting-on-the-porch-with-coffee time.

Porch Time (coffee not pictured, but ever-present)

Really, I think that the most important thing to note in this picture is that I have a new toy.

See?

Grommet Bag!!

Now, it is important to remember that this is, in fact, a Store Blog, which means that I will be plugging our new products from time to time. It is important to remember, though, that I would only ever plug something that I absolutely love! (Well, I would only ever order a product that I absolutely love!) That said, I love my new grommet bag! It’s super thick vinyl, so none of my little pokies poke through, and yet I can see said pokies at all times, so that I don’t have to go reaching blindly for them.

And now back to your regularly scheduled blog post:

Today’s porch knitting, it turns out, is not knitting at all. As of yesterday, I am officially on a Tunisian crochet kick. What fun! So far, I have mostly been practicing different stitch patterns:

Flower stitch?

This is supposedly a flower stitch. It would look decidedly less sinister if I had made it in a different color.

Tunisian crochet cables

I have also been playing around with crocheted cables. Honestly, crocheting has never been my favorite way of making cables. I have to say, though, that with Tunisian crochet, they are a little more fun.

This will be an ongoing interest, I think. Expect to be notified when we get a new shipment of afghan (Tunisian crochet) hooks in the store!

Wink, wink!

Finally, one of my ongoing (read, never-ending) projects is writing the pattern for my “Wink” mittens. Every Winter, I make a little more progress. It’s one of those things that really shouldn’t take much time, but somehow seems to.

Wink-Right Hand

So… there’s a face there. Lot’s of people don’t see it right away.

See the face?

I kind of like that it’s not immediately obvious. It’s like a little secret (“wink, wink”).

Wink Palm

The pattern itself (which is primarily charts, of course) has been more or less done for about two years (ugh! am I that much of a procrastinator?!). The trick was to find exactly the right yarn. This exactly right yarn turned out to be Imperial Stock Ranch Sock. It is a sport, rather than fingering weight yarn, which turned out to be just what I needed for this pattern. It’s also just the right kind of wooly for a very traditional feel.

All that’s left now is to knit up the Left hand and finalize the pattern. Of course, we are fast approaching the end of mitten season for this year. I think I will release the pattern for our Christmas in July promotion, so the mittens can be made in time for the next bout of cold weather.

In the meantime, I have stockinette stitch swatches to write about. I feel like this little interlude has done wonders for my bank of stockinette stitch related words. Expect to learn about the last eight swatches any day now! (It’s so exciting!)

Until then, Happy Knitting, etc.

 

Recipes for Happy December 2, 2009

Filed under: designs,New pattern,Yarn Pics,Yarn review — Hannah Cuviello @ 7:57 pm
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It’s well into the busy time for fiber enthusiasts. The weather is getting colder, so we knit bits of warmth for ourselves and our loved ones.  The gift giving season is upon us, so we knit for others. This year, I’ve had so many huge projects on my plate that my “for warmth” knitting and my “for gifts” knitting have both lagged frighteningly far behind. It’s so bad that I actually just bought 2 sweaters (Don’t tell Grammy)! I haven’t gotten so hard up as to purchase a scarf or hat yet; I think I would sooner just wrap the yarn around my head (OK, maybe I would do that anyway).

With all I have to do, I have actually gotten very little knitting done (for me).  This is worrisome because I am not only trying to develop several patterns at the moment and trying to fulfill all my knitting obligatoins (as in, I promised someone a garment and have yet to deliver), but mostly because knitting equals sanity, as I’m sure you all know. I have found that the amount of knitting I do on a daily basis is closely linked to my problem solving skills and ability to cope with stressers in my environment.   In the absence of actual knitting, I have had to find other little things to help me maintain my overall optimistic and happy nature and prevent me from prevent me from downward spiralling into new and frightening depths of crazy.  Here are some of the things that have made me particularly happy in the last couple of weeks and for which I am very thankful:

Of course, Ice cream. This, however is not just any ice cream; these are perhaps the two best flavors of ice cream ever. On the right, we have Bone Chunks: Lemon ice cream with chunks of chortbread and white chocolate and chocolate covered sunflower seeds. It’s as bright and happy in your mouth as it is in the bowl.  On the left is Circus. I love this ice cream because it is thematically consitent. Cotton Candy ice cream with Mother’s Circus cookies (the white and pink one with the sprinkles). You might go into a little bit of sugar shock eating it, but it’s well worth it. They come from a local creamery in Spokane (Brain Freeze) and can be purchased, among other places, at The Scoop, my new local ice creamery.

Sloot Prototype

Some of the knitting I did manage to get done turned into a prototype for my new favorite garment, the Sloot – that is, Slipper Boot.  This is a child’s size and I have already cast on for the big one (my size!).  The ripple pattern makes this extra comfy and cushy. Doing the prototype gave me some very useful insight into changes I will have to make for the full sized version.

Sloot Side view- Have to change the increases

For one thing, I will do the calf increases along the center back, rather than on the sides, which will give it a less drastic increase while still being symmestrical. Other than that. I am thrilled.

Not my size.Kitty may be less impressed.
At the risk of seeming like more of a crazy cat lady than I really am, here is something Saffron (aka, kitty) wanted to add to the “Makes me happy” list.

Saffy's recipe for Happy

This consists of a soft place to sleep, a sunbeam, and something lacey to sink the claws into.  Coincidentally, this picture also makes me very happy. I distract her with curtains so she stays away from the knitting.

Lacking much knitting time myself, I was thankful to find a willing knitter to finally finish my second cabled fingerless mitt. While I’ve had this pattern written up for awhile, I have just never gotten around to knitting the second mitt.

If I do say so myself, I am quite pleased with these mitts. They are simple, but have nice little touches, like symetrical, off-center cables.  As of a day or so ago, they also have…

An afterthought thumb gusset.

This makes me soooooo happy. Many people who knit these fingerless mitts when I first printed up the patter didn’t care for how wide the thumb hole is. Admittedly, it is very wide, but I was aiming for maximum maneuverability. Now, everyone is happy. I have revamped the pattern, added directions for the thumb, and put up on the website for free download. I’m hoping people will take advantage of this; they’re really a ridiculously quick knit and perfect for the season (being both warm and good gifts).

Click on the following picture to go to the download page. Enjoy!

Finally, when I don’t have time to knit, the next best thing is to look at pretty yarn. So here we go (with commentary, since all the people in the room with me now are not yarnies and look at me funny when I talk to the pretties, but I have to let it out somehow.)

Meet Mericash.  This yarn is almost at odds with itself; so light and ephemeral it’s hardly there at all, but with colors so vibrant they seem to fill all the space around them.

Look at this.

It’s like “POW” right in the eyes, but the most refreshing, beautiful pow ever and I just keep going back for more.  It makes my hands itch. I’m feeling major cast on urges!

Some yarns, I’m sure you have noticed, have real personalities.

Pearl is a total Diva. Look at her, all dressed up and ready to go out. She’s sultry and elegant, and colors always look better on her. She’s almost a little too perfect.

At the store, we had completely sold out of our Pearl, and I have to admit that I was feeling a bit safer not having that kind of  temptation.Then we got in these new colors.

I just want to scrunch my fingers in them!

"I'm Ready For My Closeup..."

Some people who have spent time with me while I was talking about yarn (hmm, redundant maybe)  may have heard words to the effect of “my favorite yarn” escape my lips. These words, I’m a little ashamed to say, could have referred to any number of yarns of which I was enamoured at the time. Now, I’m not fickle, I just have much love to give. When it comes down to it, though, there is one yarn that I have stashed more often than any other, and from which I have made more items. And…we got in new colors. Please welcome Lorna’s Shepherd Worsted.

Observe it’s suppleness.

Note the delicate transitions from one shade to the next, the colors that evoke serenity and peace.

There are just too many beautiful colors from Lorna’s.  They have to be stopped. It’s not fair to us knitters; how can we possibly knit all the beautiful colors.

OK. I have to go knit now.

Next time …

Scenes from the Lorna’s Shepherd Sock photo shoot! (about 60 colors in stock- I just counted).

 

Next Up… November 10, 2009

Filed under: designs,New pattern,Uncategorized,Yarn Pics — Hannah Cuviello @ 4:35 am
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I have finished a pattern. It’s done. seedling hat

I typed it up, added pictures, made a chart (with much technical help), put it all together and converted it to a pdf. I have now officially exhausted my technical abilities. That’s all I’ve got- it’s guess-work from here on out.

I am going to try uploading it to my blog. Here goes (remember…guess work).

hmm.

See the empty space? Yeah.

Well, luckily, I have access to someone who has much more computery knowledge than I have. My father has successfully uploaded the pattern to the store website, where it is now available for free download!

seedling side

Click here to go to Download Page

With all this awful computer nonsense accomplished, I think I’ve earned some knitting time! “What’s next?”, you may ask…

Some of you may remember the 5 beautiful, naturally dyed colors that Stevanie at Abundant Yarn (now at Pico Accuardi dyeworks) developed for Cascade.  Cascade colorsWe hosted a color naming contest for these during Sock Summit, and Cascade chose the names a month or so ago.  From left to right, we have Seattle Blues, Sage Honey, Wild Honey, Desert Adobe, and Briar Rose.

I am working on sock patterns for each of these colorways, inspired by the names.

As you can see, I’ve been hard at work.

sock plans

Clearly, I tend towards the technical in my pattern development.

It can’t all be work, work, work, though (go ahead and feel jealous that I call drawing pictures of socks “work”). I actually have some personally fulfilling projects started, the most exciting of which is a new pair of slippers. Now, to understand what this means, you have to realize that slippers are an institution in my family.

Let us start at the beginning, though. I had a knitting Grammy. She was the foundation of all the fiber experiences of my life. Among the many patterns that were her signature creations (well, I don’t know if she really came up with the patterns- they could be everywhere- but she sure knit a lot of them) were a particular pair of slippers.  These slippers were simple and quick to knit, and were among my own first projects.

Grammy slippers

Every year at Christmas, every member of our family would receive a pair of knitted slippers. Such was the voracity of Grammy’s slipper knitting. Pictured above are perhaps the last extant pair of Grammy-knit slippers. I love them, but I want more. Now, of course I could just knit another pair of slippers and have them done in a relative snap. When I say “more”, though, I don’t just mean more pairs of slippers, I mean more slipper in each pair.

I’m going to make Slipper Boots! Sloots! Sloops? sbippers? Whatever.

You see, it is ridiculously cold in Spokane, and I am not used to this. The more of my body is covered with wool, the better. If the wool just happens to be knit in a ridiculous, puffy stitch, well even better still. I’m so excited! I’m knitting them right now, in between letters (is that why my blog posts take so long?).

New slippers

The choice of yarn here was, of course, key. I knew I wanted a worsted weight wool. Working from my stash naturally narrowed the options (OK, so it didn’t actually narrow them that much). I had to choose between Cascade 220 in Green and Gold, Lorna’s Laces Shepherds Worsted (my favorite yarn to knit with- yes, I have a favorite) in some dark variegateds and Imperial Stock Ranch 2Ply in “Black Cherry” and “Heathered Teal”.

When I came down to it, though, the choice really made itself. I already have a couple of projects in Cascade 220 green and gold (one of which happens to be slippers), so that was out.  I have a weird, covety thing about the Lorna’s in my stash (saving it for the perfect sweater), and I just couldn’t let it go, even for such a worthy project.  It came down to the ISR.  Really, this is a perfect wool for the project. It is remarkably light and lofty, while still holding its shape, the colors are lovely, and it come in rather large put-ups. Plus, ISR is an amazing company and I enjoy supporting them.

That said, I have a warm cup of coffee and some knitting waiting for me…

Spokane Cup

Cute novelty cup that I found in Seattle, of all places. It only holds about 4oz of coffee, but it is one of my favorite possessions. Plus extra getting up for refills just means that I work off another slice of pie, right?