Unwind’s Newsletter and My Cowl Pattern

From Unwind’s newlsetter of 6/4/13

…Snip…

Unwind Meets Classic Elite Yarns Web-Letter

We Riff on Handmade Los Angeles II

HMLA poncho

Unwind’s collaboration with Classic Elite Yarns —

two pattern booklets called Handmade Los Angeles I & II

showed many knitters that simple style and warm weather friendly patterns can fit and flatter every woman.

One of my favorite designs from the books is Sabrina Judge’s

Fringed Poncho with Tattoo.

The body is lightweight, and not too warm, knit in Classic Elite’s Silky Alpaca Lace. And the classic shape is tweaked just a bit with a riot of multi-colored fringe and the embroidered “tattoo.” Stitch in “LOVE”, as we did, or choose a word that makes you happy.

Recently I was chatting with Unwind’s newest shop gal and teacher, Cheryl Olson. Cheryl loves to knit small accessories and often designs her own cowls, gloves, hats and more.

So I decided to offer her a little challenge. Would she riff on the fringe from the Fringed Poncho? What could a knitter do with leftovers from all that gorgeous fringe? Could we make a quick, easy project that many knitters would enjoy gifting or wearing themselves?

And so we offer Cheryl’s design — the Lightweight Cowl.

The Sea Glass and Gentian Violet colors are remnants from the Poncho, but we did need a new ball of the Cameroon (green). I love how the ribbons of color on the cowl evoke the Poncho’s fringe without actually being fringe. I also love how lightweight this cowl is despite being knit with two strands of Silky Alpaca Lace.

The folks at Classic Elite Yarns liked it so much that they have published it as this week’s free pattern through the CEY weekly web-letter.

    TO DO LIST:

  • Download Lightweight Cowl Pattern
  • Purchase Handmade Los Angeles I & II Books
  • Sign up for Classic Elite Web-Letter
  • Get individual patterns on Ravelry
  • Knit a Fringed Poncho or Lightweight Cowl with yarn from Unwind

Socks Many Ways – A Workshop

Cheryl Olson guides you through the world of socks

Toe up. Top down. Magic Loop. Double Points. Two at one time on two circular needles. Short row heels. Or not. Magic cast ons and turkish cast ons. So many possibilities – you could knit socks forever.

You’ll enjoy this class where, over five, three-hour session, you’ll knit a mini practice sock, work on a human-sized sock, and experiment with many techniques that will keep your toes tapping.

Enroll today, and prepare for our first lesson. Homework and materials list will be emailed before the first class.

Dancing Days

I had a good walk / run today. My running pace was Dancing Days. :) I almost didn’t go because it was getting late. I should never try to figure out something with my knitting before I go out for a run.

Houndstooth BeginningI am working on the Houndstooth scarf and because my gauge is so different from the pattern, I needed to find out how many more repeats to do before I get to the center section. I determined that I need to do 65 pattern repeats on each end and 94 rows of ribbing in the center. Hope I have enough yarn!
~Update – I don’t have enough yarn. I weighed what I have already knitted and found out that I need at least 2 more skeins of white and one more black.~
The funny thing about this pattern is that she doesn’t say to finish the second side with so many pattern repeats. The way it reads, you do one repeat, knit two rows and bind off. Obviously this is not what was done if you look at the picture.

I finished my Maybe Mulberry scarf for the LYS. I kind of like these shots.I knit two rows of twisted drop stitch in the Luna and knit two rows in Stella. Needles = US 8. Two balls Stella and 1 ball Luna.

Warmth for a chilly evening.

New home at the store.

While I was at the store yesterday I made this necklace for the shop. I think it came out cute. I haven’t crocheted in years. Ever since I picked up knitting again I haven’t looked back. It went really quick, and I know it would be a lot quicker once my crochet skills come back. I think I’d prefer a metal needle too. I was using a bamboo one and it seemed too sticky for me.

It’s an amazingly gloomy day here in So. Cal. It rained last night, and it looks like it may rain – Oops, it’s raining again right now. My mood fits the gloom and I’m not sure why. Here’s a picture to cheer me up:

Malaga Cove

I finished these last week. They were designed by Stephannie Tallent of Sunset Cat Designs. The yarn is Road to China Light by the Fibre Company. I love this yarn. I knew when I bought it that it wanted to be fingerless mitts. It has been staring at me for a few months now. I never put it in the stash; it has been sitting on top of my knitting bookshelf.

All other projects took a back seat while I was knitting these. I just couldn’t stop!   They worked up quickly. I knit them two at a time on 2 circular needles, just like my socks. I think I’ll go put these on right now to warm my soul.

😉

Koigu

I’ve just discovered wonderful Koigu yarn. I’m sure most of you are already aware of how beautiful it is. I had never knit with it until I was asked to do a sample shawl for Foxy Knits. Their online shop specializes in Koigu. Merilyn was doing a trunk show at Alamitos Bay Yarn Company and wanted one of Fickle Knitter’s designs worked up in the lovely Koigu. The pattern was the Wild Lettuce Lace Shawl. I was immediately taken with how springy the yarn is. The color that Merilyn sent me was a lovely golden yellow. In some lights it took on a greenish cast.

The lace worked up quickly on the recommended US 5 needles and was a joy to knit. I finished in 11 days! After blocking I really loved it and was reluctant to send it back! I used two + skeins. I was hoping to only have to use 2, but I needed just a little more to finish the edging. If I were to make it for myself I think that I would make the body larger. I’d want a bit more to wrap around as a shawl, but the pattern as written came out quite nice. Here are the details on Ravelry.

The trunk show was on August 27, and I went to see all the other lovely samples made in Koigu. There were lots of shawls and scarves, and a beautiful coat that looked like it was an adult surprise jacket. There were so many lovely colors to choose from. There were the solids and the wilder multicolor yarns. There was a mulberry silk that I was coveting, but decided that I’d better wait. It is exceptionally beautiful, but I had to restrain myself.  Then there were some speckled yarns. I decided to get a couple of skeins of these to knit a pattern that I had gotten while in London earlier this year. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the pattern was from a company in Washington. The idea was to only buy stuff from England, but I digress. The pattern is Barb’s Koigu Ruffle. You can order a kit at the link. I made it for my trip to Amsterdam.

Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

I got a couple more skeins in one of my favorite colors, a tonal hand painted mauve. I’m making socks from them. So far they feel super comfy. I can’t wait to wear them! They were my travel knitting in Amsterdam. The pattern is Khotan from Silk Road Socks by Hunter Hammersen. I swear I am going to make all the socks in this book! 2 ½ done so far!

Speaking of Amsterdam, every time I knit in public I got comments and smiles. On the train a little girl of about 7 was so fascinated by what I was doing she had to bring her mother over to see. Either I don’t knit in public so much at home, or people keep more to themselves here.

Oosterpark, Amsterdam

That's How I Roll

I know it’s not Friday. I missed by a few days, but I was at the NAMM show all weekend and there was no wireless in my hotel room! Can you believe it? I think Holiday Inn Express needs to get up to speed…. Not that I had much time anyway….

We saw lots of cool musical toys and interesting people. I think some thought it was Comic-Con. My husband was there with his company, NewTek, Inc. producing the live webcast each night. If you are interested in webcasting videos, say a video podcast, they have the equipment you need.

Looks pretty in the picture.

(Mini Me)

I had a very busy knitting week. On Sunday, I took a yarn dyeing class with Shannon Okey at Unwind. I had never dyed yarn before. I’m not sure I’m crazy about my results, but it was a great learning experience. I’ll have to see how it knits up. I think I’ll call ’em, “Crazy Socks.” I like how my sample skein came out much better. I must have left more space between the colors on the test skein than on the big skein so I had a lot more blending of colors. I even have some blue between the purple and green and I didn’t use blue at all! Very interesting!

On Wednesday Sarah Hatton from Rowan taught a class on how to update your favorite sweater. She taught how to take your measurements and figure out the stitch count. Then we worked on figuring the decreasing for sleeves and necklines. She was great, very knowledgeable. Of course I had to get the pattern book and get it autographed! I wish I could visit Rowan when I go to London. They are in the countryside, about 2 hours away.

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I worked like mad to get the Baby Shawl done by Wednesday so I could turn it in. I blocked it that morning and even put the blocking boards in my car’s trunk to finish drying while I took my mom to the doctor.

I knew I might not make it back in time to go home and I was right. I was a 1/2 hour late for my class so I was a little surly by the time I got there. I really felt like all my brain power was drained by the traffic between Santa Monica and Burbank. Uggghh. Still, it was a good class. I just wish I had been there from the beginning and had brought a simpler sweater to figure out. I tried to figure this one that I got for Christmas. I think it’s really pretty. But she said I would have to take lots of measurements for it. My head just about exploded in trying to figure it out! I think I’ll stick to figuring out DH’s favorite sweater which is a drop shoulder sweater with straight sides. I brought that too, and no one could figure out the stitch pattern. It must be some crazy machine knit thing. I suspect it is double knit because there is rib on the back side and brioche on the front. At least from what I can tell.

At the end of Sunday’s class Stephanie and Shannon were talking about Stitches West. Stephanie said she doesn’t have any socks for her display. Of course my eyes lit up. I haven’t done any socks in I don’t know how long. I’ve been itching to get started on a pair. Shannon just happens to be working on a new book and I get to make one of the socks from it! Yippee! I’m using Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in a lovely gold color called Ginger. I love the depth in the color, and it really shows off in the pattern that Shannon designed. Since the book won’t be out until March, I’ll save the details until later. My socks should be done sooner than that though. 😉

Two Socks, Two Needles. That's... how I roll!

Happy Knitting and I’ll see you Friday!

Knitter Ditter

New Info: I just found this pattern on Ravelry so I can talk. It is called Gördes and is published in “Silk Road Socks” by Hunter Hammersen, published by cooperativepress.com. That’s all for now.

Ishbel

Ishbel in Ysolda Red

I have finally completed Ishbel, designed by Ysolda Teague. I think she’s my new favorite designer!  The yarn is Ysolda Red from my Lorna’s Laces Color Commentary subscription. The pattern for Ishbel came with it. I fell in love with this pattern at the very end. It has been a love / frog project for me. I was about to give up when I discovered that I was crossing the end yo because of the way I knit. I knit stockinette in the combination style made popular by Annie Modesitt. I discovered that I had to purl the yo with the yarn over the needle instead of under to avoid an annoying little cross in the yarn. Since the yo is on every row  it is supposed to just go straight across. I think. Well, that’s what I wanted anyway.

Once I discovered the error of my ways, all was well and I knit on the lace bit with no further problems. I really didn’t get the beauty of the design until the blocking phase. The point at the bottom of the shawl comes together so beautifully. It looks like flowers growing up from the bottom. I should have taken a better photo, but here it is!

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock
Weight: Fingering / 4 ply
Content: 80% Wool, 20% Nylon
Color: Red (semi-solid)
Needles: US 6 – 4.0 mm
Pattern: Ishbel
Adjustments made: I added an additional 4 pattern repeats (2 on each side) so that my gauge would be close to the pattern. I think it came out larger than expected after blocking which doesn’t bother me. Now it’s a cute little shawlette! More info and photos at my Ravelry Project page

Annis is Finished!

I finished Annis the other day and blocked it. Today I took it over to Unwind where it will live as a store sample. I think it’s beautiful! Check it out live and in person!

The yarn is so soft, you just want to keep petting it. It will make a great wrap to keep your shoulders warm on a cool summer evening.

Yarn: Colinette Parisienne
Weight: Lace 2 ply
70% Kid mohair, 30% polyamide (nylon)
Color: Variegated Blue-green
Needles: US 7 – 4.5 mm, 32″ circular
Pattern: Annis from Knitty, Spring+Summer 2010

One note: I found an error on line 13 of the chart. It should have a yarn over on either side of the double decrease (S2KP). Just in case you run into the same trouble… Oh, I see they have already corrected the pattern. Never mind!

Firmaments is Finished!

I am finally done with my tablecloth. I think it ties the room together. 😉 Lebowski, anyone? I did choose the color because one of our pictures has a lot of this blue in it.

The blocking took nearly all day. Apparently my gauge was off by a couple of inches. I tried to stretch it to the pattern’s dimensions, but the pins kept popping. At first I had it on the bed, but couldn’t get it to stretch enough, so then I laid it out on the floor. I bent my lace blocking wires all to heck by putting them around the edges, but I don’t care. I think it looks beautiful. It seems to fit the table nicely too, and I think 4 more inches would have been too much for this table.

I wonder how you are really supposed to block a circular knitted piece?

Today's Sweater is a Wrap – "Literally"

Apologies to Brenda Dayne and Saturday Night Live for that title.

A while back I wrote about some lovely yarn that I acquired at my LYS. I had my eye on a wrap that one of the girls was wearing and noticed how lovely it was draped across her shoulders. I couldn’t stand it so I bought the yarn. I know, I’m weak. Who could resist this?

The yarn is Schaefer Laurel in the Susan Sontag colorway. I noted at the time that the colors reminded me of the beach. I also noted that when I got home and started working on the pattern that they wrote out for me, my brain decided that it couldn’t be right. My memory kept thinking that the ribs were thicker and there was more substance to it. It kept looking like a shopping bag to me. Actually, this would be a great stitch pattern for a shopping bag. I think the yarn might be overkill for a market bag though.

Anyway, it was driving me crazy. I went to the web to look for stitch patterns. I found Lacy Diagonals and that was better, but still not giving me the thicker ribs I was looking for. I modified that and came up with the pattern below. Actually, this is the first pattern that I have written out. I named it Sky Wrap because it reminds me of clouds in the sky.

By the way, I was wrong. I went back to the store and compared my wrap to theirs. Stephanie’s wrap was exactly as she had written it. She liked what I did though. My ends slant, hers were straight. My memory thought that her ends were slanted. What a brain fart! Anyway, mine’s an original and I love it! I wore it all over Amsterdam in September.
At some point I’m going to post the pattern, but until I remind myself of what I actually did, I’ll have to leave it off. Remind me to remind myself to refigure it out…….



I just finished Josie’s baby blanket.

I bound off using a size 7 needle and the 6th bind off on this page: http://weebleknits.blogspot.com/2003/05/stretchy-bind-offs.html

I want to keep this handy because I keep referring back to it. I hope someday I’ll remember how to do this automatically. The easiest thing is to just use larger needles.

My daughter didn’t want traditional pink or yellow. She chose purple for her new little girl. This yarn has a pearly white strand running through it that adds a bit of “glitz.” I think she’ll like it.

I finally got the invitations to the shower mailed.

I had forgotten that Monday was a postman’s holiday. Hopefully everyone will forgive me that I asked them to RSVP so quickly. It’s ok, in all we have invited about 60 guests. If the laws of invites hold true, 75% of them will come and that leaves us with about 45. Now to figure out the food. Do I make it myself or buy pre-made? I’m being a little Martha Stewart-y about all this. I have to count tables and chairs and tea cups. I’ll probably end up buying paper ones. I wish they were shaped like tea cups rather than coffee cups. Other than that I hope it doesn’t rain. It would be nice to do this in the backyard. Martha would have a conniption

about my back yard though. Maybe she would get up early in the morning to plant petunias!