Sunday, February 22, 2009

Finishes and Starts

I have been finishing things.

Project 1: This little scarf just needs fringe. I made it from Silk Garden Chunky, which is now gone from our store, but any Noro yarn will do--try Iro if you want it fast, or Kureyon or Yuzen or Silk Garden or or or.... whatever you like. Anything you choose will be great. This scarf trend, started by Brooklyn Tweed, is all over the Internet, and I have yet to see a bad one.

Cast on an even number of stitches, and K1P1, changing back and forth between two balls of two different colors every second row. Do not worry about exactly how many stitches to cast on or hyperventilate about how long it should be. It works no matter what. Good luck making just one. I've already started a second.

Project 2: I finished a Magnum Opus, my shadow-knitting sweater:

This is a great pattern. The Harrisville Shetland drapes well. (Note to self: Think about serious Fair Isle. Or maybe Fake Isle with Kureyon sock and this yarn.) The shadows are interesting: shadow knitting is made for movement, and you really can't appreciate it fully until you see someone walk around in it.

It's done on size 2 needles, so you do need persistence and patience--but if you've got those, then go ahead and make one of Vivian Hoxbro's sweaters from her gorgeous book. You won't regret it.

Project 3: I finished a pink vest. It's not so horrible that I'm embarrassed to wear it in public. But I think I'm going to rip it, maybe as soon as tomorrow, because it is so very much not my style. At any rate, here is the evidence that I finished it:

Kim says that in this picture, I look as if I hate this vest.

She knows me pretty well.

I think that it would look great on someone else. As for me, I'm going to turn it into something else. I totally love the yarn, which is Debbie Bliss's Luxury Tweed, and I love the color--so I am actually am looking foward to a new project in it. Ripping is part of knitting. I suspect I'm going to make a cabled vest that is in the same booklet as this vest. Still mulling.

So since all those projects are finished, I need to start new ones.

Before I show you what I'm about to do, let me say that in my World View, finishing the shadow knitting sweater alone is worth about 8-10 new projects, so what you are about to see could realistically be described as moderation. In my World View.

First, I'm making a Fair-Isle Yoke sweater, designed by Elizabeth Zimmerman, using the EPS. I am loving, loving this project so far. I know it doesn't look like much.....

But I'm liking the idea of using percentages to figure out fit. I'm going to teach this to my Zimmermania class next month. My plan is to finish it before they start it so that I can make sure that the percentages get us what I think they should.

I have also made ....

.... a serious commitment:

Rolling a ball of yarn (like this Fisherman wool from Lorna's Laces) means you have to use it. In this case, I'm going to make the Elizabeth Zimmerman Butterfly vest. It is kind of like her Rib Warmer. But I've made two Rib Warmers, so I want to try out the Butterfly Vest, which is similar. I wear my Kureyon Rib Warmer so much that it's embarrassing.

I'm continuing to work on my new wrap this year. I cannot say enough good things about Noro Yuzen. I love working with it, and love the colors:

I'm also about to start on this Fiber Trends shrug, and I think I'm going to make it RED, with Nature Wool Chunky:

And finally, I'm going to make a little neck warmer from Iro, using Kate Lemmer's pattern that we just got in:

So that's me. What about you? What are you just about to finish? What new projects are you starting?

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Patterns are on Their Way

This past weekend, Kim and I went to the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet festival as vendors. One thing I always do when I go to shows is look for new patterns just for you. (Well, and maybe for me, too.) Of course it's good to have plenty of yarn, but patterns (and of course knitting needles) allow you to actually do something with that yarn.

At the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet show, I found two new pattern companies that were willing to sell to shops, and so I ordered from them.

The first is from a woman named Kate Lemmers. Kate has two designs in the Winter 2008 Knitter's Magazine, and she has worked in the yarn industry for ... well, oh dear ... to tell you the truth, I'm not sure how long. But I have been running into her about once a year at various shows ever since we started the shop, so I know she's been in the industry at least 5 years. Now she is launching her own patterns. Kate lives near Allentown, so I'm trying to talk her into teaching a class or two for us at some point soon. You will love her as much as I do.

Anyway, I am the first shop ever to buy her patterns from the new pattern company she is launching. I feel good about that! So that I could get the word out to you immediately, I photographed her work at the show. (By the way, everyone shown gave me permission to take photos of their work.) The first is a cute little neck scarf. I like it because it's not only attractive, but quick to make:

Next is a cabled sweater I fell in love with. I think I might have to make it. The secret ribbing at the side is designed to provide shaping. Clever:

And I also loved this sweet little baby sweater:

I hope we'll be seeing much more of Kate's work. (Don't worry, Kate! I'm going to nag you incessently to keep designing new things!)

The second company I chose patterns from was a place called Ewe and I, which was run by Kathy Disantis and Dianne Rodabaugh. I had never met them before, but they were so sweet. And I loved, loved, loved this sweater that they designed:

It's a sampler sweater. Some sampler sweater designs look incoherent, but the patterning in this one hung together. You can either make it in one color, or use intarsia to make it more of a patchwork. I also liked how the neck just folds back: Minimal finishing. I ordered a bunch of those patterns. I think I see a class coming.

This is another little sampler sweater pattern that I bought. It would look great in Noro yarns:

Here is another cute sampler pattern, for those of you who prefer knitting scarves:

And finally, this is for my group of customers who all wanted a sweater pattern just like a sweater that our knitting teacher Lynn was wearing one day and everyone wanted me to figure out how to design it. I haven't had time, and I haven't been able to figure out a good stitch pattern for it. Fortunately, Ewe and I did all the work for me, and they gave a vest option too!

Thank you, Ewe and I! You have just saved me hours of time!

These patterns should all be in the shop soon. Let us know if you want us to hold one for you.