Friday, July 30, 2010

Knitting and Spinning

It has been forever and a day since I blogged properly, and believe me it was a busy year and a bit. I chose knitting over blogging when I had any time. I'd love to share what I've been up to.

In the middle of July, I took a great shawl design class from Miriam Felton, and knit through about half of this in the class:

I pondered a name for a while, wanting to reference the octagonal shape and the diamonds, and while listening to Narnia with the kids, and the name Octesian struck me as fitting. Now I am working on a laceweight version which is taking forever and a day, but when it is done I will have a pattern and will have someone test-knit it.

I used the lovely Zephyr laceweight, 50% merino, 50% silk. It knits up like a dream and is super soft.

Last fall I added to my personal arsenal of serenity and learned to spin; and this spring I bought a wheel (a Schacht Ladybug) and have been spinning all sorts of fun things since. My present project is some delicious tussah silk:

Despite it's luscious allure I'm finding it difficult to stick with this. It's taking forever since I'm spinning it very fine, and I intend to ply it.

On a final note, I have begun a project which is nothing but sheer folly and the creation of a UFO, but I can't seem to help myself. I enjoy knitting garter stitch so much, that I have begun this, the Blanket of Doom.

With Patons Kroy, on 3mm needles. I think I need a lobotomy. According to my calculations, I'll need 64 - 50g balls of this yarn to finish an afghan. I think in the end I'll make a baby blanket and call it a day. I do love the color changes in this yarn and to be honest I love this pattern, as simple as it is. Here is the link to the pattern on Ravelry, if you would like to make your own Blanket of Doom.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Well, after quite a long hiatus from blogging, and even longer from designing- or rather, taking notes and writing stuff up- here I am again with another hat pattern. Janet is a very special person and lovely friend, and when I had to go away I decided to knit her a hat. A special hat. So I scoured Ravelry for just the right hat and it... it wasn't there, not quite. I found a stitch pattern I liked and dove in with all my knitterly abandon, even marking down what I was doing with the half-formed notion of... another blog post, another design.

I have sadly not got myself charting software and my hard drive was wiped out so even my Excel is gone- however the urge to post has come over me and I will add a chart as soon as it is ready.

This pattern has not been proofread by anyone other than myself. I believe I got all the kinks out but if you see something wrong, please let me know.

This tam is worked in the round from the brim to the crown. A series of well placed decreases creates a floret at the crown from the lace pattern.

-Worsted weight wool or wool blend, about 100 grams
I used "Alpaca Love" by Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller. One ball was enough for gauge swatch and hat, with barely twelve inches left over. I'd suggest getting two balls.
-16 inch circular needles, size 5 (3.75mm) and 7 (4.5mm)
-4 double pointed needles, size 7 (4.5mm)
or size needed to get gauge
-stitch markers
-yarn needle

17 sts and 26 rows to 4 inches (10 cm) in stockinette on size 7 (4.5 mm) needles

Size: To fit adult women's heads. The ribbing will stretch to fit fairly large noggins and big hair; mine is 21 inches around which I've heard is on the small side.

Lace Pattern as worked in the round:
repeat of 12 sts
rnd 1: k1, ssk, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, k2tog
rnd 2: k1, ssk, k2, yo, k3, yo, k2, k2tog
rnd 3: k1, ssk, k1, yo, k5, yo, k1, k2tog
rnd 4: k1, ssk, yo, k7, yo, k2tog
rnd 5: k1, yo, k3, k2tog, k1, ssk, k3, yo
rnd 6: k2, yo, k2, k2tog, k1, ssk, k2, yo, k1
rnd 7: k3, yo, k1, k2tog, k1, ssk, k1, yo, k2
rnd 8: k4, yo, k2tog, k1, ssk, yo, k3

Cast on 90 sts onto size 5 circular and join, being careful not to twist sts. Place marker for beginning of round. K1,P1 for 8 rounds

Next Round:
change to size 7 circular needle
*k5, m1* repeat 18 times for a total of 108 sts.

Next Round:
begin lace pattern, making 9 repeats around hat.
Work the 8 rows, 4 times for a slouchy tam, 3 times for a less slouchy beret or a smaller head.

This one has four repeats and is fairly slouchy.

Begin crown shaping, switching to dpn's when stitches become too few to fit on circular.

rnd 1: *k1, ssk, k3, yo, k1, yo k3, k2tog, k1, ssk, k7, k2tog, k1, ssk, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, k2tog* 3 times, placing marker at beginning of each section. (102 sts)
rnd 2: *k1, ssk, k2, yo, k3, yo, k2, k2tog, k1, ssk, k5, k2tog, k1, ssk, k2, yo, k3, yo, k2, k2tog* 3 times (96 sts)
rnd 3: *k1, ssk, k1, yo, k5, yo, k1, k2tog, k1, ssk, k3, k2tog, k1, ssk, k1, yo, k5, yo, k1, k2tog* 3 times (90 sts)
rnd 4: *k1, ssk, yo, k7, yo, k2tog, k1, ssk, k1, k2tog, k1, ssk, yo, k7, yo, k2tog* 3 times (84 sts)
rnd 5: *k4, k2tog, k1, ssk, k4, cdd, k4, k2tog, k1, ssk, k3* 3 times (66 sts)
rnd 6: *k3, k2tog, k1, ssk, k7, k2tog, k1, ssk, k2* 3 times (54 sts)
rnd 7: *k2, k2tog, k1, ssk, k5, k2tog, k1, ssk, k1* 3 times (42 sts)
rnd 8: *k1, k2tog, k1, ssk, k3, k2tog, k1, ssk* 3 times (30 sts)
rnd 9: *k1, k3tog, cdd, k3tog,* 3 times (12 sts)
rnd 10: k12
rnd 11: k2tog 6 times (6 sts)

Cut yarn and thread with yarn needle through six remaining stitches, drawing them closed. Tie off yarn, weave in ends. Block hat to shape
on a plate and enjoy!

k: knit
yo: bring yarn over needle
k2tog: knit next two stitches into one
k3tog: knit next three stitches into one
ssk: slip next two stitches knitwise, slip back to left hand needle and knit together
m1: insert needle into the horizontal bar between the next two stitches, pick it up and knit it twisted (to avoid a hole).
cdd: centered double decrease: insert needle into next two stitches as if to knit them together. Slip them onto right hand needle and knit the next stitch. Pass the slipped stitches over the it.