Thursday, April 30, 2009


My new favorite top down cardigan is Liesl. The beautiful Liesl by Ysolda Teague, it is the perfect summer cover up. This my second Liesl, in RYC Soft Lux, I had four balls in the stash and it took four balls to knit. Casting off was a leap of faith, as this was all I had left to weave in.

I did the picot bind off on the the sleeves and a regular bind off on the bottom band. I knitted the 38" size as I was going to give it as a gift, but after trying it on and wearing it yesterday morning over summer jammies, I think I shall keep it for myself - I like the bed jacket feel.

Number one is hanging in the closet and number three is on the needles.

I have owned Coraline for ages and will definately have it on the needles before winter comes. I am also eager to have a go at Sandrine, using the Trinity I have in stash. I like the cross over but will shorten the sleeves to 3/4 length, I am getting to that age where I don't want fussy around the wrists.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Knit Goes On

In March I taught a class on the February Lady Sweater, the most knitted project on Ravelry. If you are a knitter there is no excuse for you not being on Ravelry, the patterns, the groups, the supportive community, its all there and more.

I had knitted the cardigan last summer, while dad spent five days in the hospital, using Blue Sky Cotton (from stash) and this time wanted to knit a winter version. I choose Malabrigo worsted, in the second most popular colour of Lettuce. The yarn was from the Malabrigo Project Club through Eat, Sleep, Knit. The club lasts twelve months and for $36 per month you receive Malabrigo yarn and a pattern, some months the yarn is worth less than $36 other months it is worth more. I had the buttons in stash, however I hated the button holes I had made, so I decided to cover them up with knitted flower covers. I am looking forward to wearing this later in the year when the cold weather returns.

Since this was a third attempt I wanted to change the pattern up, there is nothing worse than boring knitting. I knitted the yoke in stocking stitch rather than the garter. I used knit into front and back for the increase and not the yarn overs. The lace pattern I broke into groups of seven stitches with panels of seven stitch stocking stitch. The lace is on the front and down the center sleeve only, the back is all in stocking stitch. I decreased the arm stitches as I worked down the arm, as I wanted a much tighter sleeve and cuff this time. I knew in February I was going to teach the class in March and since it had been several months since I had knitted the pattern a quick refresher was needed.

This was my second attempt, a childs size using Jaeger Trinity, sadly a now discontinued yarn. I had four balls in the palest yellow and about 10 balls in the palest pink in stash. I knitted the extra small size on size 4mm needles. I knitted the yoke in stocking stitch, did one repeat of the lace pattern around the entire body, and then knitted the back in stocking stitch, and the left and right front in the entire lace pattern, I think it worked out to 35 stitches on each side. I knitted two repeats of the lace down each sleeve. This cardigan is as light as air, the Trinity is a linen, silk and viscose combo which makes for a nice summer cover up. I have enough of the pink and as so tempted to try an adult one on size 4mm needles and using the XL size.

I love this cardigan pattern, by Pamela Wynne, based on the Elizabeth Zimmerman baby cardigan. It is so adaptable and you can change it to suit your needs.

My new favorite pattern is Liesl by Ysola Teague, I am now on my third in as many weeks. Very easy knit, and adaptable with so many different weights of yarn (as long as you get gauge). Pictures and details to follow next time. If you are looking for a quick yet lovely gift that doesn't have to cost a fortune, this is it.

I will now have a little rant, the new Vogue Spring/Summer Knitting has a short sleeved top (#5) knitted in Jade Saphire Silk/Cashmere 2-ply which sells at around $32 for 400 yds. If you were to knit the xs size it would cost you $128, if I were to knit my size it would work out to $192 - for a sleeveless top. What were they thinking!!! I am all about the cheap and cheerful!

I am starting to offer a Kids Knit class every other Saturday morning at the shop. I wanted to offer something that was a little more affordable in today's climate, $10 for an hour of knitting instruction instead of the $25 for an adult. Starting with a belt or a wash cloth and hopefully moving onto more complicated and larger items if the students stay with it. I am also toying with the idea of a week long summer camp for kids, Monday to Friday, two to three hours per morning, do you think a small group of 8-12 year olds would be interested?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring, Spring, Spring...........

When Spring brings a breath of fresh air it clears not only the lungs but also the head.

I am no longer working part-time at the yarn shop, but do still teach there. I enjoy teaching and passing on what I have learned in over 45 years of knitting. It also allows me knit garments I want to knit with a deadline - I have to provide a sample - that impetus is just what I need to get on with the knitting.

My class philosopy is that it shouldn't cost a fortune to knit. So far all the classes I have taught are from free patterns. I offer a wide variety of yarn choices from reasonable to more expensive. The patterns I choose have one or two needle size requirements and the time management has to be reasonable, I don't want the projects to be time consuming or boring.

I recently offered this class

Baby hats using organic cotton and 1824.

I also found this adorable top pattern free on Rosie's Yarn Cellar (under Rosies patterns)

The top is knitted in Rowan 4ply soft from the top down, with the yoke being in garter stitch and the body in trellis lace. I added beads before the increase row on the yoke, and extended the sleeves by 10 rows as I wanted the last row of beads to show. I lengthened the body as I wanted it to be more of a vest than a capelet. The top is very light and airy, and even though 4ply is wool for a cool spring evening this is just the ticket. I am knitting two others to use in the class, one using a raspberry sock yarn that has silver threads spun into the yarn, for the yoke I used silver beads, much more of an evening top. The third also in 4ply soft is a very soft pink with soft pink beads. So far no has signed up for the class, which actually in an odd way doesn't seem to bother me, I think the fact that I have three lovely tops for three lovely teenagers this Christmas is just fine. If I hadn't decided to teach the class I wouldn't have knitted this top.

In March I offered a FLS class, as I result I now have three February Ladies Sweater's, one in Blue Sky Organic Cotton, a second in Malabrigo Worsted, and the third is a child's size using Jaeger Trinity. I don't have pictures as they are at the shop but I will take my camera this week and be sure to get some pictures.

I haven't knitted a pair of socks in a couple of months, I recently bought the new Cookie A. Sock Innovation book, which has sparked my sock light, that and the ever increasing sock yarn stash may mean that socks will once again be on the gift giving list.

I have the added the tzu widget on the right, I can't decide if its cute or creepy, and if it hadn't looked like one of our tzu's I wouldn't have added it. If I find it to creepy it may have to go.