Lotus

Lotus Leaf Hat

I am what you call an eternal optimist always thinking things are going to be better than expected. Yes, even moving.  But we all know moving is never fun.  I don't know why I thought differently this time around. J and I brought a few boxes over to our new apartment last night, mostly my knitting books and kitchen stuff that we're not using.  He filled both my little Jetta and the back seat of his 4Runner and it took us a good hour doing several carrying trips to bring everything in. We both felt really proud of ourselves thinking we made a good dent in the big move that was still ahead. 

For a split moment before I opened the door to our current apartment I had this anticipation of seeing something done, something that's definitely missing, but when I flicked the light on I looked around and felt it appeared even more full of stuff than before.

The only bright side to this is that it's already been rented for next month which means no more viewings.  No more making the place absolutely spotless for the visitors. It's a miracle I even pulled my apartment together when the first appointment was made!  I am notorious for never checking my voicemail but something just made me do it and thank god I did.  Those people would have been running to the highest cliff in Jersey City if they saw the mess it was in.  It was one of those moments I wish I had a time lapse camera to show the tornado of clean that I was that afternoon.

Lotus Leaf Hat

So while I had to vacate my apartment for a while I was working on this little hat. It is actually a side product of the fun that is Vestvember!  I had told you all that I was thinking of doing a vest with this motif along the bottom but now I like the hat so much I think I'm just going to tweak it a bit and make a few of these instead.  Don't you dismay however I'm not leaving Vestvember behind but am thinking of knitting a more traditional stripped vest. 

I'm so excited with out the lotus pattern came out.  I had been thinking of doing something like this for a while now and just needed that extra oomph to actually put it together.  My fair isle is getting better but I still can't predict my gauge.  This hat isl a little too tight.  Regardless, first draft – not too shabby!

Lotus Leaf Hat

Flora

flora

Presenting Flora

Pattern: My own!
Yarn: Manos Silk Wool, Green and Beige, 1 ball each
Needles: Size US7 and US6 circs
Size: 20 inch circ. hat

As I mentioned before I got bit really hard by the fair isle bug.  It started with the Orla hat and is now showing itself with this viney creation.  It all started with a few strokes of my pencil on knitters graph paper and turned into this beautiful hat.

flora

The color of the leaves has a slight variegation which surprisingly gives it depth! I started this hat while out on the lawn celebrating WWKIP day.  After a few rows in I thought it was going to be to big. So I changed my game plan and thought, well cowls are in too! I just needed a reason, any reason, to keep going!  I continued on even when I realized I had casted on 4 too many stitches. (oops!) I was simply too impatient to see how the leaf pattern would come out.

flora

I finished the main design yesterday and wouldn’t you know it fits perfectly (not too snug and not too loose!) on my 22 inch head… yea!!

I’m still trying to decide whether to change the edging to ribbing, maybe change the way I decreased for the head, maybe add a lil something at the top??  Decisions decisions!  I’m just excited to have what I thought in my head actually BE on my needles… such a weird feeling! and so fun!

it makes perfect sense

While at TNNA I had the opportunity to take some really wonderful classes from some really ridiculously superb teachers.   I learned the magic of knitting socks and a wonderful way to make buttonholes all the while being in the presence of two of the greatest knitters ever.  So why after all that great tutelage all I want to do is draw fair isle patterns!?

orlawip

I blame the yarn!  Mission Falls 1824 is one of the softest superwash wool I’ve had the chance to touch.  My mind raced with different hat patterns all waiting impatiently to get their way to the tip of my pencil.  This first rough sketch above is inspired by one of my favorite designers Orla Kiely.  I love her leafy motif that’s become her signature.  I modified mine a bit and although I designed this to look like leaves – they also look like giant knit stitches!

My stranded knitting is a bit rusty so it was a little rough at first but I got into the flow of it.  I’m thinking on version 2.0 of the hat I’ll go up a needle size for the stranding part. 

The makings of an idea...

This is another idea that’s making it’s way out of my head and into a pattern.  I picked up some luscious Manos Silk Wool for this next hat.  I’m trying to be patient and gauge properly so that I don’t go too far before ripping (but you know that will happen anyway! ;-)).

I remember talking to Rhichard from Koigu and asking him if he gets overwhelmed after TNNA with all the orders and yarn he has to dye.   He surprised me by saying that he is at his most creative when he gets back after seeing all the patterns and other yarns that surrounded him.  At the time I was pretty tired, thinking of getting  Jeni’s, but mostly thinking of home really doubting if that actually happens.  Now that I’m here I see what he meant.  All those creative people in the same room, sharing ideas and inspiration, how could it not rub off?

I’m just excited to see where this goes 😉

norwegian mittens (well almost)

I’m going for the blog post trifecta! (3 days and 3 posts… shush about my quiz yesterday that’s So not cheating…) Ta Daaa:

Norwegian Mitten

I honestly have started this post about 4 times not really knowing how to begin! I Love my Mitten LOVE IT.  It is SO Beautiful.  I am so happy with the fair isle.  SO surprised at how quickly I picked it up and how my stitches actually look decent.  But here is the sad part people,  I think I’m going to have to scrap it (well I won’t rip it out but keep it in a sacred place where it will be looked at and thought of fondly.) For two reasons:

  • I didn’t really gauge properly.  (and by "properly" I really mean AT ALL) It was much too tight and my row gauge (although there isn’t one) was much too short.  I used a 4ply and realize a good DK would have been perfect.  At first, I thought about giving this away to someone with smaller hands than I but then reason #2 happened.
  • The Thumb! I totally screwed that up too! It’s much to high up on the mitten PLUS it’s small and feels weird to wear.  Much like Jessica said, it’s position is awkward. SO, again next mitten is going to be knit with the thumb out the side as my wonderful Ann Budd Pattern book tells me to do! (much like these beauties from Brooklyntweed)

Norwegian Mitten

It is beautiful to look at and I will be casting on immediately for version 2.0, but it’s bitter sweet.  This mitt wants to be Worn! Not stuck on a wall somewhere or in a drawer.  Perhaps when I am willing I will (gasp) rip her out and start her anew.  Until then, I begin again…

Norwegian Mitten

All in the learning process, right? We knit the good, we knit the bad, we knit them all and there we have the Facts of Knit!

that was easy.*

Norwegian Mittens

Remember how I said I was intimidated by Fair Isle… well remind me to never say that about anything unless I’ve tried it.  With a little boost from the knitting help website and a good glass of red wine, I set on my mission to try it out. 

I started out the mitten using the idiot i-cord (also a first for me!) which is a brilliant way to start anything.  Nice and clean. The only problem I had was how to weave in the ends to the i-cord  making it seamless without twisting it.  I confess I did rush the damn thing because I was too excited to get my Fair Isle’ing on.  I’m using the two stranded method (where you hold one color in each hand).  I’ve been practicing my "scooping" continental style knitting so this wasn’t as hard for me as I thought it would be.

I’m so focused on the fair isle that I’m slightly neglecting the mitten pattern. I am hoping I’m putting the thumb in the right place… It says just to put it "immediately" on the back side, which I’m assuming is right after the neutral 3 side stitches… again, it’s practice so I’m not going to worry about it too much, yet.

*from that staples button.