Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Famous Marius Pattern

Wow it's been another four months!
My life transformed a lot in the past four months. I got engaged and married.
Before getting married, I felt the obligation of uncovering my yarn stash, and so I did. It was not surprising when I saw his aghast expression! He only knew I knit occasionally, but had yet discovered the secret behind the closet.
He replied: I don't need to buy hats and gloves and scarves for the rest of my life!
Okay, this is the 2nd completed item for his lifelong quest.
And I told him, this is a very special hat - a Nordic design, in a British yarn blend, and is hand knitted with love in Canada!

Yarn: Rowan Purelife British Breeds DK
Needles: 3.3mm and 3.5mm
Design: My own creation based on the famous Marius pattern

I love the undyed shades and the superior quality of the fiber. At first glance they looked like just another skein of Brown Sheep Nature Spun, or Cascade 220 Highland Wool, or Ella Rae Classic Merino, but after just the first few rounds I quickly found they knitted up so beautifully, with just the right balance of drape, crisp, softness, luster, and smoothness that they surpassed the latter undoubtedly. It's the first time I tried Blue Face Leicester and I fell in love! I am eager to try different breeds of wool yarns now! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dawn from Nectar

Finally I have something presentable!

Pattern: Dawn from Nectar by Kim Hargreaves
Needles: 4mm and 3.5mm circulars
Yarn: about 6 balls of Den-M-Nit
Size: M

As usual I started this project long time ago - sometime in the summer last year...
It was forgotten in the closet for the entire winter, until recently I saw many white summer dresses featured in many shops. Now it's done, and I am ready to get a white summer dress to match the deep denim blue!
I am not a big fan of cotton yarn, and have always associated the dense and inelastic characteristics of cotton yarn as inferior traits. But this Den-M-Nit, a real pure indigo cotton yarn that I purchased online months ago from Elann really surprised me. The finished cardigan is not at all heavy or saggy. Even better, it shrank and faded nicely upon washing and tumble drying. The knitted fabric has a somewhat crispy texture that shows off the stitches stunningly. As a knitter I was provident, I read the yarn label before cast-on, and added extra 2 inches to the body length to compensate for the shrinking nature of denim yarn. Love this cardigan, love the design of Kim Hargreaves!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Something Whimsical

I was planning to crochet a teacup pad but inadvertently used the wrong color for the first four rounds (yellow instead of green). Consequently, some makeover was necessary to camouflage my mistake.

But unfortunately, although the rose in the center appears to be in harmony with the pattern, it makes the whole thing useless.

In conclusion, that's what happened for someone who no longer frequently picks up a crochet hook.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Second Sock Syndrome Conquered

And my Gentleman’s Sock in Railway Stitch is DONE and MAILED today. This is my first attempt on the hundreds of fabulous sock patterns designed or redesigned by Nancy Bush. Concisely written instructions, I followed the pattern meticulously to the last word, altered nothing except adding two grey bands on the cuff. It was originally a solution to save a few extra yards of the main colour for the foot, since the gentleman who will be wearing the socks has bigger feet than the pattern was designed for. In retrospect, I found the bands balance up the strip pattern of the heel flap and toe nicely. Shall I call it “form follows function”?

Yesterday as I looked through Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Knitting Rules for her generic sock pattern (which has been extremely popular in Ravelry) I stumbled upon the “Ten Reasons Not to Knit socks” list and the 3rd point really made me laugh out loud:

Once you knit a pair for someone, there is a 96% probability that you will be not only asked but continuously implored as well, to provide him with a lifetime of hand-knit socks. If this person is young, this could be a lot of socks.

Hmm… I guess it’s time to stash more sock yarns!

Pattern: Gentleman’s Sock in Railway Stitch from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Needles: I tried using one 100mm long 2mm Addi Turbo circular needle, four metal DPNs but eventually found the most comfortable way was to knit with a set of five Clover bamboo DPNs.
Yarns: CC yarn is unknown brand from the basement of Romni Wools four or five year ago. MC is Lana Grossa Meilenweit 50 Seta/Cashmere. Also, the MC used in heel flap is Regia Silk for the reason that I was really afraid of running out of the Lana Grossa, which Romni Wools doesn’t carry anymore.

Personally I love the pattern, as well I stated in my letter to the recipient that my hand-knitted socks are “labour of love”, so he must wear them with pride and cherish them with heart!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Gentleman's Sock in Railway Stitch

The recipient of my hand-knitted socks must be the luckiest, most blessed man on the planet. Each sock contains 15000+ stitches, and each stitch is intertwined with love.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My iPhone Pouch

A lovely phone deserves a lovely  pouch.

I haven't picked up my knitting needles for several weeks. Last weekend quite spontaneously I had the impulse to create something with yarn. My impulse to knit was able to keep myself in seclusion for an afternoon, stitching and ruminating.

Simple pattern, easy knit, but the result is surprisingly sophisticated.

Yarn: Jamieson's Spindrift 2-ply in Natural White, Crimson and Cobalt. 

Needles: 2.75mm and 3mm double points

Notions: A super kawaii button from Purl Soho. 

Special effects: Pouch body was slightly felted (by washing machine) to make it more durable. 

If I am going re-knit this pouch, I will make it 0.5 inch smaller for a better fit. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Crimson, Cobalt & Natural White

My all time favorite color combination, and the heart pattern is appealing, with a hint of Scandinavian folk art spirit.