Sunday, July 25, 2010

A quick mindless knit

A few weeks ago, I asked for votes on what to knit at Camp. The votes were mostly for the silk cardigan. I swatched but I didn't get gauge so I have to swatch a bit more to determine if I like the fabric I got, or if the fabric at the specified gauge is better.

Therefore, I started knitting the shawl at Camp. I didn't have to worry about gauge and the fabric was garter stitch. Easy peasy. The pattern I wanted to knit was the Weaver's Wool mini-shawl in an older Schaefer yarn called Judith. Here are the two colorways I had leftover from other projects.
I finished the shawl on Friday and washed and blocked it yesterday. I started with the lighter colorway, knitted 6" with just it. Then I started alternating the lighter and the darker colorway - 2 rows of each - till the lighter one ran out. After that I just kept knitting the darker one till it ran out. I had a bigger ball of the darker one in addition to the smal ball I show above. I am quite pleased with the way it turned out.
Here it is, as it would be worn, from the back.
From the front, with the ends just hanging there...
I crossed the fronts here, as they might be if tied or pinned...
This is the shawl laid flat to show the coloring and the shape. I love the way the colors have worked out.

I want to welcome the folks who stopped lurking and started commenting. I love hearing your thoughts and comments. Please keep it up! For those who weren't at Camp, I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour that I sent you on - on other folks' blogs grin

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Camp and my contest entry

I did not take any pictures at Camp this year. I realized this only after I came back and unpacked my camera. I didn't even take it out of my backpack! I have no idea why. So I am going to point you at some other blogs that have pictures.
knitaddict, feralknitter and fibernating are just three that have pictures I like.

I am going to show you my contest entry instead. The theme was Elizabeth Zimmermann's 100 year anniversary. I designed and knit a commemorative scarf in Joslyn Fiber Farm's Shine. This is a 50/50 wool/silk lace weight wool. I believe the base is the same as Zephyr Wool/silk but dyed by Joslyn. Rumor has it that she is closing down her business but here is her site. She is a great dyer so if she is closing down, it will be a loss. I bought this yarn at my very first Knitting Camp (2005?). I picked patterns from a Schoolhouse Press book - the company that Elizabeth Zimmermann founded. I called the scarf Peaks and Valleys because that is what I think life is all about. The patterns are from the Second Barbara Walker Treasury.

This is the center of the scarf. I knit it up from both ends and grafted it in the center. This pattern is one of the peaks.
These are the valleys which separate the peaks from each other. You can see the rivers running through them.
More peaks...
The two ends were in garter stitch, Elizabeth Zimmermann's favorite stitch. I wrote KNIT ON on one scarf end, and
EZ 8 9 1910 (her birth date) on the other.
Here is the blocked scarf draped artfully on the couch. It is very soft and lovely. I used the leftovers from Stor Rund Dug to complete it and I have tons of yarn left over.
I think I came in 6th or 7th from the top. You will probably see the winning entry on one of the other blogs. It definitely deserved it.

Lace weight knitting is lovely for the summer because it is light and portable and not very bulky on one's lap. Of course, I had to start a shawl in sport/DK weight at Camp and it is exactly the opposite of desirable summer knitting - bulky and hot. I didn't do the featherweight cardigan because I didn't get gauge on my swatch and I want to swatch some more before I decide if I like the fabric I got in this swatch so I will rework the numbers, or if I like the fabric I get with the specified gauge.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Knitting Green: a review

Knitting Green is a book that I submitted some designs for. They were accepted but didn't make the book - which is not unusual. I'll post them at a later date for your viewing pleasure. Anyway, the premise of the book is a broad brush across eco-friendly knitting. In some cases, it is the object that is eco-friendly, in other cases it is the yarn or both. It is an interesting set of designs that result from this idea.The cover shows a market basket, a tank and a jacket. I really like the jacket. All three are made from eco friendly yarns (Eco wool, jute twine and organic cotton).
This montage is across from the cover page and I picked it as it shows a number of the other designs. A cashmere shawl, a skirt, slippers and a market bag. There are 22 designs in the book along with 8 essays on wool, knitting green and other related topics. 7 designs are for tops, 1 skirt, 1 hat, a set of fingerless mitts and matching socks, 2 wraps/shawls and 2 scarves. There are also some miscellaneous items which I will show you.

The first is a soapnut sack. Soapnuts are the round objects in the pictures. In India we call them aretha nuts and they are used for washing hair. We boil them and then squeeze them to extract the soapy liquid which is strained and used as shampoo. In this case, you put the whole nuts inside the sack and throw it in with your wash to clean your laundry. The sack is made of hemp yarn so it should hold up very well for many years.The next item that I liked is this organic cotton/linen lace tunic.
This is cute baby rattle (there is also a pattern for a bear) in organic cotton. Not sure how practical this is but it is adorable.
Here's the hat - in organic wool
I also liked this soy-silk kimono.
Here's a knapsack in naturally dyed pima cotton. I'm not sure how practical this is either as cotton will stretch with weight but it is a very attractive knapsack.
This is the only recycled item in the book. The yarn here was recycled from a silk skirt. I was disappointed that there weren't other projects that could use recycled materials.

All in all, it is a reasonable addition to a library with a variety of classic patterns that will remain in style over time. I see these as patterns that can be used over and over which is also ecologically friendly. Given that it is not clear how ecologically friendly many of these yarns are, it would have been nice to have more projects that used leftovers or recycled yarns or objects. But since yarn companies want to showcase their yarns in books, I can see why that might not be the best business decision.

I found the book pleasing to look at. I haven't read the essays yet. I am looking forward to that on my trip.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Opinions wanted

I know I promised you a review of Knitting Green. I have it done but I'm going to post it later in the week so that you have something to read while I'm away at Knitting Camp next weekend. That is not the real reason though. I need opinions on what to knit next.

I've made a promise to knit only from stash this year. And I am finding it quite enjoyable to pull out bins and pick out yarns that I love. But it also makes choices hard because there are so many!

Here goes...

First, what project should I take to Camp to knit on? I am taking the Skew socks that I started a while ago. But in case I need something more mindless, I need another project. Door # 1: This mini-shawl in the following two leftover Schaefer Judith alpaca yarns. I have more of the darker colorway so I'll do some sort of pattern with the two colors.

Door # 2: Featherweight cardigan in this colormart silk

So which one should I take? Post a comment with your vote

Next, I am planning to knit the Sushi Ushi scarf for a class this fall. Here are three color choices - all in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn.

Choice # 1:
Choice # 2: The balls are the same as the skeins wound up just to give you a different perspective.
Choice # 3:

Again, post a comment with your vote...

Thank you for your assistance!