Thursday, September 03, 2015

Forgot to Mention This in My Last Post

One more stash-busting project: a rib-knit cowl made with Lion Brand Al-Pa-Ka yarn I bought years ago.



 I gave it to my stepmother, who is always cold. She is thin enough that she can pull it down over her shoulders, and it looks really good on her. She plans to wear it under her coat this winter.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Summer of Stash Busting and Charity Knitting

I didn't plan it this way, but the summer of 2015 has turned out to be the summer of stash busting and charity knitting. I heard a while back that Loopy Yarns is collecting garments to send to people displaced by the April earthquake in Nepal, so I made a hat....



which led to more hats...


which led to me using up a lot of old yarn that had been loitering in my stash for way too long. It feels good to finally be using it instead of looking at it and feeling guilty.

I'm also making a scarf using stash yarn. Both of these yarns are quite bulky, so I'm using size 11 needles and only cast on 25 stitches. I suspect the scarf won't be very long, but it will be thick, cozy, and warm. For some reason, the scarf looks gray, but it's actually a soft heather green. I took the photo in natural light, so I don't know why the color is off.





This was also the year of paying it forward. In a previous post, I mentioned that I participated in a pay-it-forward initiative that someone started on Facebook. A few weeks ago, I got some gorgeous Knit Picks lace yarn in the mail from my friend.


Those colors are perfect for me! I don't know what I'm going to make yet, but I know it will be beautiful, and the colors will be a perfect segue into fall, which is just around the corner.

Monday, July 27, 2015

More Random Summer Knitting and a Hat for Nepal

The weather finally got warm here in Chicago, so I don't want to work on anything too big and bulky. Smaller items are just the ticket for summer knitting and I can easily keep them in my bag for knitting on the go.




I've done a couple more wash cloths. I was thinking of giving them to my sister-in-law as a housewarming present (she just bought her first home), but I might keep this orange one for myself. I love orange. My nephew loves orange, too, however, so I think he might want it more than I do.



I'm also making a few hats for charity. The good folks at Loopy Yarns are collecting knitted and crocheted garments to be taken to Nepal in November to help people who were displaced by the April 2015 earthquake. I've already got a couple of wool hats in the stash, and I finished a new one last night.


I think the brown wool is Lion Brand fisherman's yarn, but I'm not sure what the green wool is. It has been in my stash forever. I plan to make a couple more hats with that brown yarn. If I have time, I might also make some mittens and socks.

What are you knitting now that the weather is finally warm?

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Random Summer Knitting

Happy Independence Day! I hope you're enjoying the long weekend and not blowing your hands off with illegal fireworks. People in my neighborhood have been insane with the fireworks all week. I'll have to shut my windows and turn on the air conditioner tonight to be able to sleep. My cats are nervous wrecks, poor things.

Anyway, I finished knitting that silk mawata scarf last week. It turned out beautifully and it's a nice length, long enough to go around my neck twice and be tied in various ways. My only complaint about this unspun silk yarn is that it tends to stick to itself. I feel like I'm always smoothing out the fabric because it crumples on itself and won't drape the way it should. Still, it was a fun project and I would do it again.



I started making a cardigan for myself but it's slow going--the lace pattern requires quite a bit of concentration and I haven't memorized it yet--so I don't have a picture worth posting yet. I do, however, have this dish cloth I knit last night while watching the final 2 episodes of Orange Is the New Black season 3. (Side note: am I the only one who was very disappointed by this season? I found myself getting very bored during some of the episodes, and that never happened to me during the first two seasons.)



I love pink and green together; it reminds me of watermelon, which is appropriate given the season and given the fact that I made watermelon popsicles yesterday, too. I'm keeping this one for myself. The cheerful color combo makes me happy.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Knitting With Silk Mawata

I bought this mawata (silk cocoons stretched over a square frame and then dyed) kit years ago.



I don't even remember when and where I got it. All I know is that I found it buried in the stash when I was looking for something else. So, you peel apart all these whisper-thin layers of silk, stretch the fibers out into one long strand, and then try to spin them. 


I'm not a good spinner. The results are rustic at best. But I don't mind thick-and-thin yarn and I think it looks good knit into this very open lace pattern on big needles (size 10 1/2).



Also, these colors, copper and turquoise, are gorgeous! I cannot wait to finish and wear this. It has been pretty chilly in Chicago so far this summer, so I might not have to wait until fall.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Practical Knitting

As much as I like to make beautiful, fragile things that require a lot of care, I also like to knit things  that are a little sturdier and can stand up to heavy use, like dish cloths. Paper towels are wasteful (I try to reserve them for nasty cat-related mishaps) and sponges harbor too many bacteria, so washable reusable cotton dish cloths are what I use for everyday cleaning in the kitchen.

For my sister-in-law and her mom, I made pink dish cloths for Mother's Day; they love these cloths and are always asking me for more, so I was happy to oblige them. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures before I gave them away. However, I made one for myself using the leftover yarn, so at least you can see the colors. Pink usually isn't my thing, but I like this combo of light and dark.




I made this trio of cloths as a housewarming present for a friend who just bought a new condo. I hope he likes them. I often see him wearing blue and yellow so I at least know he likes this color combo. Whether it goes with his other kitchen gear is another subject, but I'll leave him to sort that out.



Last night I dug out an old project I started but never finished: a baby hat knit with unspun silk mawata. I had bought the kit for a class I took at the Madrona fiber arts festival years ago. I'm determined to finish this hat and then start another mawata kit I bought long before that, at a Stitches Midwest back in the mid-2000s. I got frustrated years ago and set it aside but now I think I know what I'm doing. We'll see. As always, pictures will be posted. Hope you're enjoying the 3-day weekend.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Late Spring Knitting

Hope you all had a lovely Easter (or Passover or Ostara or whatever spring holiday you celebrate). I started the first 2 projects featured here during Lent and finished them right around Easter. I made hats for the children of some good friends of mine; I had made them both hats a couple of years ago, but they have since outgrown them and needed new ones. 

For the boy, I made an orange beanie using leftover sock yarn. The pattern, if you can call it that, is my own. I did rib knit for a while, then switched to stockinette, and then when it seemed deep enough, I did the spiral decrease for the top. It looks really cute on him.


 
For his older sister, I made a tam o'shanter using some wool-silk hand-dyed yarn from the stash. I had used this yarn to make a Clapotis scarf for myself a while back. The pattern is from Ann Budd's book of handy knitting patterns. I still have plenty of this blue-green-yellow yarn left over, so I might make another project for myself, such as some gloves.



 Finally, I knit yet another cowl for myself. This one uses Disco Diva yarn from Mia Bella in the color way Oranjello. I finished this late last night and haven't blocked it or even woven in the ends yet. That's a Sunday afternoon project. I knit it in the round using a zig-zag lace pattern from a Barbara Walker book.



It's getting warmer, but I think I'll still have a few opportunities to wear it before summer. It has been a chilly spring so far, and it's always cooler here by the lake.