Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday #1

Dear Self,

Remember that year you ran to the yarn store on December 21st to start your Christmas knitting? Remember how you only watched Christmas movies to scare yourself into working faster? Remember how you managed to make a sweater, pair of socks, and a couple of scarf/mitt combos? Well, forget it. It's not happening this year. This year you're starting on October 21st. 

Today is a couple of firsts for me. My first ever WIP Wednesday and the first time I start Christmas knitting before December. 

There's something about knitting like crazy that last week before Christmas that's really exciting but this year I'm going with a more relaxed pace as far as knitting goes because I want to take full advantage of my favourite time of year instead of hiding and knitting away. A few weeks ago my dad said (very guiltily) that he only has 3 pairs of handknit socks despite having an entire family of knitters. You want socks? I'll give you socks. I'll give you seven pairs of handknit socks. 

I'm  really not loving the way these are knitting up. they stripe nicely for half of the sock and then the other half just doesn't look right. I may end up frogging and trying again with different stitch count or even just plain stockinette. Or maybe I'll go crazy with a slip stitch or something. 

So that's my main Christmas goal. At least seven pairs of boring (he loves boring) ribbed socks for my dad. And a sweater (or two) for my mom, and at least one large lace shawl for someone I cannot name. Plus I need time to stock up on new items for me! In all my years of knitting I have yet to make myself a hat. Every year I go hatless even though I can whip one up in an afternoon. This year I will have my hat. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I really love Noro. I know a lot of knitters don't but I absolutely love it. While I probably wouldn't knit a sweater with some of their yarns (Kureyon, I'm looking at you) there are lots of other projects I would attempt. Unfortunately I have fallen madly in love with making Lanesplitters and already have several more planned.

Pattern: Lanesplitter
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden [7 skeins 358 grey-black-purple; 770 yards]
Needle Size: 4mm
Ravelry Project Page: Lanesplitter II

I've made Lanesplitter before but I didn't use Noro and instead opted for a solid on solid look. So when i found this colourway of Silk Garden I just went for it. First, I love knitting it. It''s a mindless knit but the constant colour changes make it not boring at all. It's also incredibly warm. It's perfect for winter but it can get a little hot with intense indoor heating. I'm willing to suffer through it though because I love the look of it. Unfortunately I didn't really follow the pattern for length and just went with a skirt I liked the fit of already and because of this it looks great standing up but is a little short when sitting down. Considering that this pattern is known to grow a little I'm not too worried about it. The only downfall is that I wear tights underneath and little fuzzies end up all over them underneath the skirt but because no one sees it, it's not really that big of an issue. 

Pattern: Lanesplitter
Yarn: Noro Kureyon [7 skeins; 770 yards]
Needle Size: 4mm
Ravelry Project Page: Lanesplitter III

I'm not as in love with the second one I made in Kureyon. While I love green and pink together I'm just not really loving the sudden pink and should have cut it out. I'm thinking of going back and fixing this. Either way i see lots more in my future. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Let the yarn do the talking

As much as I love lace and cables and texture sometimes I really love the simple things especially simple things that let all the wonderful colour changing yarns do the work. Sometimes it's nice to sit back and watch someone else work for you. And that's just what colour changing yarns do. They take something so simple and what would normally look plain in a solid or scattered in a variegated and turn it into something gorgeous with minimal effort. 

Yarn: Zitron Unisono [2 skeins 1225 gray-purple; 656 yards]
Needle Size: 5mm
Ravelry Project Page: Northern Lights

Some patterns are just made for long colour changing yarns and Northern Lights is one of them. In fact, I don't think I've seen a solid version of it although I'm sure there are quite a few. I have wanted to make this pattern for a very long time but it's so simple that it needed just the right yarn so I put it to the back of my mind while I searched for the perfect yarn. And then I met Unisono. I fell in love with this yarn because it feels incredible and then i discovered that what looks variegated in the hank actually has long colour changes and my mind instantly went to Northern Lights. I did a quick search to confirm and bought two skeins right away. 

I thought it was a dream to knit with and then I washed it. As soon as I lifted it out of the water I just wanted to pet it so I knew that once it dried it was going to be even more amazing to touch. The colours are incredible and I will definitely be using it again. 

Pattern: Multnomah
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock [3 skeins 252; 984 yards]
Needle Size: 4mm
Ravelry Project Page: Multnomah II

Around the time I started knitting Noro was a big deal. It's still a very popular brand but it was huge at the time. So I amassed quite the collection of it because every time it went on sale I'd buy a quite a few especially the Silk Garden and Silk Garden Sock. There are a few colours I like but most tend to have one colour that just doesn't fit in quite right. I understand that it's the pop of odd colour that makes Noro so interesting but some of them just don't work for me and I end up cutting it out. But this colour, 252, is my perfect Noro colour. Okay, 358 (blue, gray, purple) is also pretty perfect. But there is just something about the bright green and deeper blue that I love about this colourway. 

When it comes to Noro I love feather and fan and other scalloped edgings because these stitches just show it off exactly the way I love showing it off. Multnomah is a pattern I have made before and it's another magical pattern that looks good in solids, variegateds, and of course long colour changing yarns. I made this one h-u-g-e. I used 2.5 times the yardage and I love the size of it. 

Yarn: Koigu KPM [2 skeins 1205 yellow 350 yards; 1.5 skeins 1160 merlot 262 yards]
Needle Size: 4mm
Ravelry Project Page: February Mystery Shawl

Sometimes you do need to do a little work for a simple knit instead of having the yarn do all the work. One of my new favourite ways to stripe is the vanishing colour where one fades into another. I think for a simple pattern it really ends up looking great. 

I loved the two colours together but as they were knitting up I felt like they were a little too off but once I washed it the red in the merlot ran a bit and darkened the yellow which made it look a lot better actually. The merlot is now a lot darker than when it was knitting up but in the sun the red undertones pop out and it looks great. In regular light it's more of a dark brown which I think also looks great. 

I strayed from the pattern a bit. First, I read the yardage wrong and thought I needed almost 400 yards of each colour so when I was almost done the pattern I thought it was odd at how small it was turning out. When I went back and re-read the yardage requirements I noticed my error. But I also noticed that the bottom of the shawl didn't match the top so I tried my best to make it symmetrical but ran out of yellow and needed to use the rest of the merlot for the cast off. I think it worked out nicely. I definitely plan on making something similar but with a better plan in mind.