Seduction Indeed

Posted on | May 27, 2008 | 7 Comments

I was in Ithaca for the Memorial Day weekend and visited my favorite yarn shop, Knitting Etc. There, I found myself irresistibly drawn to the aptly named new Berroco yarn, Seduce. There was a gorgeous shop sample of Norah Gaughan’s Mobius (from Vol 2) worked in the Seduce rather than the called for Linen Jeans. As soon as Hickory suggested that I try it on I was hooked. The yarn feels light and comfortable – and the colors – wow! They’re reminiscent of minerals or jewels. I was completely lost. I would have loved to make the Mobius, but the thought of seaming in the collar separately was daunting and so I decided to make the Drawstring Raglan from the current issue of Interweave Knits.

Here are the colors I chose:

The greyish blue on the left will be my main color (to replace the beige) and I’ll be using one less color in the striped region. I’m going for a more subdued palette.

An FO, a new UFO, and an almost FO design

Posted on | May 21, 2008 | 9 Comments

I’ve finished the Lily of the Valley Stole from Lace Style for a while, but forgot to post about it. I used Jaggerspun Zephyr in Suede for this and worked it on a smaller needle than called for in the pattern. I’m not a huge fan of shawls, but I like scarves, so I was aiming for a less lacey, more solid look. Because of the decrease in needle size, I ended up working an extra 4 repeats of the lace pattern to get the scarf long enough – and even so I think it could have used an extra repeat or two more. I love it. It’s soft and drapey and lovely. I’m just really careful not to get it snagged on stuff. I even ended up knitting the edging on this. When I do make stoles, I usually don’t do the edging because I find them too fussy and precious. But I like the edging on this stole (I make it shorter than called for in the pattern) and the bind-off with two strands held together is brilliant.

This will be a self published design and I hope by posting an oblique picture of it, it’ll push me to actually finish and self publish the thing. I’ve been meaning to try my hand at self publishing for a while now, but never seem to get my act together. Somehow, without the stress of deadlines propelling me forward, all of my self published efforts seem to run out of momentum mid-stream. I have a baby cardigan and a vest that are trapped in various stages of done-ness.

I intend to donate all the proceeds of this pattern to breast cancer research. I’m hoping that this will spur me to finish it too.

Blast from the Past

Posted on | May 8, 2008 | 11 Comments

Many moons ago I worked on a design for JCA and I finally got word from Mona that it’s time to share! :)

I had a lot of fun with this design, but if I were to do it for myself, I’d definitely go for a smaller gauge yarn for better drape and fit. While I do like lace done on large gauge yarn (ala BrooklynTweed’s Hemlock Ring blanket), I think for garments, the delicacy of a small gauge yarn is more my style. Still, for a faster project, the light worsted/DK weight gauge of the called for yarn makes for a satisfying knit I think.

For this design, I was going for something feminine and at the same time casual and almost sporty – thus the lace cap sleeves paired with the henley placket and raglan shape. I also used eyelets to mark the waist/bust shaping to echo the lace on the sleeves.

Blast from the Past also refers a bit to the styling of the photos. Doesn’t it kind of look vintage (in a fun way, I’m not being critical!)? Or is it just me?

Summer IK and contest winner

Posted on | May 3, 2008 | 19 Comments

For this hoodie, I was going for a very delicate, airy piece so I knew I wanted a fingering weight yarn combined with a small repeat lace. The Habu silk wool makes for a extremely light, gorgeous fabric – perfect for a beach coverup. The cashcotton 4 ply loses some of the sheen of the Habu, but has a delightful softness to it and the resulting sweater is more cozy while still retaining the lightness of my original idea. I thought the small repeat lace (dainty chevron) with its vertical structure would be flattering for a variety of body types.

The other main element of this design is the wide stockinette bands at the hem and sleeve cuffs. I love wide lace edgings on an otherwise plain stockinette sweater. For the hoodie, I thought it would be fun to turn that look on its head and have stockinette edgings on a lace sweater. To help the edges lie flat, attached i-cord gives it a clean finish. Finally, because I’m a sweatshirt kind of girl, I added a hood – a casual touch to counteract the potential fussiness of an allover lace garment.

In other news, with the help of a random number generator, I picked the winner of my brother’s Threadless T-shirt. Number 6, AKA Mel, please contact me with a size preference and your address. And congratulations!

Italy and a contest

Posted on | April 16, 2008 | 38 Comments

The husband and I just came back from a week long trip to visit his family in Italy. Whenever we make the trek out there, we usually spend the bulk of our time with his family and in his hometown. When vacation time is so limited, it’s hard to justify taking time for ourselves. Still, we managed to steal away for two days and visit Cinque Terre – a series of 5 cliff hugging villages on the Ligurian coast connected by a 5 mile hiking trail. We’ve meant to go for a while, but the weather, or family obligations, have always conspired to keep us away in the past. But this time the weather was perfect and the family obliging. We stuffed ourselves with seafood and with lemon gelato. Apparently, the carefully terraced cliffs are teeming with olive and lemon trees. Human ingenuity has managed to transform a tricky landscape into a place of bounty. The town I liked best was Vernazza, the second village on the trail:

In other news, my brother’s first Threadless design has debuted in their store:

And to celebrate his first (and hopefully not last) Threadless design, I’m holding a contest. Just leave a comment and I’ll pick one at random to receive a shirt in the size of his/her choice. I know, I’m boring. I can’t think of something more clever than that and at the same time, I don’t want anyone to feel they have to jump through hoops, so I’m making this easy peasy. Of course, you can leave a comment even if you don’t want to enter the contest. Just indicate your disinterest in the comment and I’ll try to mitigate my brother’s heartbreak ;)

ETA: I just realized I didn’t impose a deadline for the contest. I’ll keep the contest open until I next post. Since my posts seem to be pretty infrequent these days, the contest should be open for a couple of weeks.

Garland Shell

Posted on | March 21, 2008 | 4 Comments

My newest pattern with One Planet, the Garland Shell, is now available here.

For this design, I was lucky enough to use their Black Pearl Cashmere line, a DK weight pure cashmere yarn that’s indescribably soft.

The small bands of lace at the hem and around the neck dress up this casual shell. It can be worn next to the skin as shown or over a blouse. I had a lot of fun knitting and designing it.

Drawstring Chemise #2

Posted on | March 17, 2008 | 7 Comments

I have a wonderful friend who I’ve known since we were 5. She’s the friend I’ve known the longest and while our friendship has waxed and waned over the years, it’s been very constant in many respects. She’s an inspiring, tireless individual – devoting her all to whatever endeavor she undertakes – from her day job in finance to her true passion and art, landscape photography, to her many charitable ventures. Several years ago, when my husband and I got married in his native Italy, she was one of my two middle school/high school chums who made the trek out. Not only was she a guest, but she also photographed our wedding, giving Maurizio and me the priceless gift of her artistic perspective on our special day. A black and white candid shot of my husband having his tie adjusted by his uncle is among my most prized possessions.

As if that weren’t enough, several years ago, she gave us two framed photographs of my favorite images from her portfolio – a keyhole look through a natural bridge in Bryce Canyon and thematically similar if very different look through a portico in Cinque Terre.

I can never hope to match the many gifts she’s given me. But in a first attempt, I made her a Drawstring Chemise, my design from the most recent Interweave Knits, out of Artfiber’s Hana – a 100% plied silk. The gauge of the Hana is a bit smaller, but I prefer that look anyway. For camisoles and tanks, I think the finer the yarn is (within reason of course), the better, in order to preserve maximum drape.

Unfortunately, I was halfway through the Chemise when I noticed some dye irregularities in the Hana. There were distinct white spots. Artfibers immediately sent me out a replacement cone. So I suppose this will be my chemise and I hope to start on my friend’s chemise as soon as possible.

Hana is a dream to knit with – very soft, very supple with the great sheen of silk. I love the feeling of it next to my skin. I’m so tempted to make a slim cardigan out of it. I’m not sure how well it’ll hold up to use. Already in the chemise I have, I do see some fuzzing, but it’s minimal, especially compared to many of the other silks out there on the market. Above all, I’m very impressed with Artfiber’s customer service and how prompt they were to respond to my concerns.

Lace Obsessions and the dangers of Knitting friends

Posted on | February 22, 2008 | 11 Comments

Last week I cast on for the Lily of the Valley Shawl by Nancy Bush from Interweave Press’ Lace Style.

I had seen a friend’s lovely version the day before and it just wormed its way into my brain. I already had the appropriate yarn in my stash (Jaggerspun’s Zephyr) and the book on my shelf. There was nothing standing in the way of my starting it (other than 2 deadline projects that is!).

I am using size 3 needles because I intend for this to serve more as a scarf than a stole and I thought a less lacey version would be more practical for everyday use. I didn’t quite think through the implications of going down so many needle sizes though (the pattern calls for a size 6 needle). I’ve already gone through the ten repeats called for in the instructions, but will have to keep trucking for another couple of repeats to make sure the scarf is long enough.

Okay, now I need to get back to work.

Physics Phun with Conan O’Brien

Posted on | February 14, 2008 | 4 Comments

These are a bit long, but they’re fun! I thought the professor handled the shenanigans pretty well (we’re not known for our social agility generally).

Spring Interweave

Posted on | February 9, 2008 | 20 Comments

The spring issue of Interweave Knits is out now and I have two patterns in it: the Drawstring Chemise and the Printed Silk Cardigan.

I wasn’t sure if I preferred the sleeves to be done in the twisted stitch motif (main sketch) or if I wanted them in 1×1 rib (upper right), so I sketched out both possibilities. Eunny chose the latter and I’m glad she did. I think the 1×1 rib ties together the ribbing in the empire band and on the neckbands. The only other thing I changed was to ditch the narrow 1×1 ribbing at the hems. I preferred the smooth edge finish and the La Luz was drapey enough to make even a crocheted edge unnecessary. However, if you find that the body hems curl too much, it’s a simple matter to add a single chain crochet finish.

I’m also very grateful for the great reception I’ve been receiving for the Henley Perfected. The last time I checked, 72 projects have been entered in Ravelry. I really appreciate the support and it’s fun for me to see the different henleys people have made!

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