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?

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