Learning new tricks

I forgot to mention in the last post that I used this project to teach myself a lot of different knitting tricks.

After the lace section, there's a bunch of plain circular stocking stitch, which is just knitting knitting knitting. So I practiced my continental knit stitch. Then, you split the front and back, and there's a whole bunch of back and forth stocking stitch. Rather than learn continental purling, which seems like a PITA, I figured out how to do left handed continental knit stitch. So rather than knitting across a row, then turning the work to look at the wrong side as I purled across, I knit across a row, and then just switched the yarn to my right hand (since I was doing continental, the yarn had been in my left had for the knit across) and continued to look at the right side, and left handed knit back across. Got that? It's wicked cool. I'll have to take a video and show you some time. Saves so much time not having to turn the work and purl. I just have to practice more to make my stitches more consistent.

Learning new tricks is what I do to keep the knitting interesting. Not that it ever really gets boring. Well, it does a bit, during those never ended stocking stitch rounds. So if you're in a knitting funk and kinda bored of it, try a new technique!


Happy Belated Mothers Day!

Yes, that's right. I just got around to finishing this bamboo lace top for my mom that I started way back in May. It was meant to be a birthday/Mothers Day present, and then I got busy. But it's done now! And she likes it. She even wore it to choir practice, so she must like it a lot.

The pattern is the Lotus Blossom Tank by Sharon Shoji in the Summer 2006 Interweave Knits. I used Sarah's Yarn 100% Bamboo in Sage. Not sure how I feel about bamboo. It's really soft and slippery. Too much so, maybe. I've got the same stuff in pink and blue also. Maybe I'll make bags out of that.

Anyways. Here's my mom showing off the back.
Lotus Blossom Tank Back

And here I am showing the front.
Lotus Blossom Tank

Mom will be wearing a shirt under it, as the lace shows off a bit too much skin for her otherwise. It's really cute either way.

But something about the fit makes my arms look HUGE. And I'm not just saying that being all self-critical. Even my husband told me it made my arms look fat, which is not the kind of thing he normally says at all. But then he pointed out that it must be the design, because the same affect could be seen on the model wearing it on the Interweave Knits cover. She's not a large woman at all, but check out those upper arms! Weird.


Finished set

I made that way more difficult than it needed to be. But it's done! A hat/scarf/mittens set in Colourmate 100% New Zealand wool. As I explained before, I had run out of yarn with half a mitten left. So I frogged the scarf several inches to get enough yarn to finish. But I was a fool, and almost didn't pull enough back.

As I was finishing the second mitten, I could tell I was going to be really really close to running out again, so I finished it about 2 rounds earlier than the first mitten. When I was done I had about 12 inches left attached, but I also had about a yard left from the hat floating around. I'm such a dork, and the half inch shortness of the one mitten annoyed me so much, that I ripped it back to use the extra yarn I had to knit an extra 1 full round, and 1 short round after the decreases. Now I'm content, and the project is finished, and the yarn is gone. Yay!

Colourmate Set

Colourmate Set


Out of yarn

Not totally of course. You should see my stash... Yarn spilling out all over the place.

No, I'm just out of yarn for this one project. See, I made that bulky wool scarf I showed off in the previous post. Eunny Jang's Spectrum Scarf (without the spectrum), which I really liked because it's a reversible lace. I'm not a fan of scarfs that have a right side and a wrong side, as I've noted before.

I had 10 balls of yarn. The scarf took 7. I had three left. I decided to make a cute hat to match. Since I've been delving into crochet, I picked the Cloche Hat with Flower from Crochet in No Time by Melody Griffiths. I used size K hook, and I obviously didn't make the flower. I thought with the multicolored yarn it would be too much. Also, the pattern called for the hat to be long enough to fold up, but I liked it better without the fold. Check it out. It's so cute! And crochet is so fun and fast.

Crocheted Cloche Hat

The hat only took 1.5 balls, so I had 1.5 left. I thought I'd make mittens. I searched far and wide for a good, basic mitten pattern for bulky yarn. I wanted to crochet first, but I couldn't find a pattern with the right gauge. In the end I found the Plaid Mittens pattern. Perfect gauge, awesome pattern. I made one mitten in no time at all.

Colourmate Mitten

Then I got worried, because the one mitten seemed to take a whole ball of yarn. I only had about a half ball left. I forged ahead anyways, thinking that worst case I could make them both fingerless mitts. This is how much of the second mitt I got.

Fingerless Mitt

Using the yarn I rip back from the finished mitt I'd be able to complete this one as a fingerless mitt, but I really like the full mittens, and wish I had just a little bit more so I can finish this one! So I've decided to rip the scarf back a few inches. Since it's 8 feet long, I think it can spare a few inches.


Back at it

I've been away for away. Both away from home, and away from knitting. I took at 5 week trip over the summer, back to New Zealand, and also to the Cook Islands and California. I made the difficult decision before leaving to NOT bring any knitting with me. I figured that if I really needed to knit, I could pick something up in NZ. And that's what I did.

Unlike last year, I did not this time visit a lot of yarn stores in New Zealand. See, the reason for the trip this time was reconnaissance. My family is moving to New Zealand in January, and we were there looking at areas we're interested in, looking for jobs, etc. Last time I was down under and went on a yarn shopping spree, I got so much, I've barely made a dent in it. It's likely that I'll be bringing all that yarn BACK over with me. So there was no way I was going to buy more now.

But I did make one visit to the Design Spun factory store and pick up 10 balls of Naturally Colourmate bulky 100% wool just to mess around with while there. It was winter in the southern hemisphere, so the heavy wool was fine to work with.

I picked this simple one row lace pattern for a scarf. I borrowed 6.5 mm needles from my mother in law and while sitting around in front of the fireplace, got about half way through. When I got home, it was still the height of summer, and I didn't feel much like working on such a heavy project. But I powered through. It'll be perfect for the beginning of winter here, before we move in January and head to their height of summer.