Tag Archives: Knit Picks

Knit Picks Dishtowels in Dishie Yarn

The dishtowels are finally done! These  were delayed slightly and at one point almost in danger of not being finished on time for my brother’s birthday. I progressed steadily on this project for a good month and a half, until a nasty sinus infection knocked me flat on my back for much of June. I thought I had come down with a summer cold so I was treating it with over the counter cold and cough meds. When I didn’t improve and my nasty cough got even worse, I finally saw my doctor.  Two rounds of antibiotics later, I was starting to feel normal, but the hideous cough lasted another three weeks.  In addition to the extra antibiotics, I had nasal spray, which I’ve never used before. When that didn’t improve things, I moved on to an inhaler. Not fun.  Knitting, blogging, and fun things in general were thrown to the wind and replaced by wheezing, napping and much grumpiness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But everything’s back to normal! Here are the finished towels in all their dishy glory. I loved everything about knitting these; the pattern, the knitting itself and (eventually) the yarn. Dishie, how could I ever have doubted you?

My brother was happy with his gift. The first thing he said when he opened the box was “Wow, these took a lot of work.” Thank you!! 

I would love to make these again sometime.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Happy Birthday, Bro!

Happy Birthday, Bro!

Advertisements

Summer Crafts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The dish towel set for my brother’s birthday is zipping along nicely. This is towel number three (out of four). The lunchtime knitting has been making an impact and I’m getting through this project a lot quicker than I thought I would. True to my sci-fi knitting heritage, I knit the majority of towel #2 and started towel #3 while watching V For Vendetta on TV last week. For some reason, that movie has been making the rounds on cable television lately. It’s on again tonight on IFC, which probably means it will be shown with no commercial interruptions, unlike  some channels out there *cough*BBCAmerica*cough*.

Today I did nothing but read knitting and spinning magazines in bed, directly underneath my ceiling fan. Has anyone read the summer issue of Spin Off? I thought it was fascinating, with its emphasis on historical spinning.  I particularly enjoyed the article on the unusual spinning wheel that was restored and is displayed at a Jane Austen museum.  All the while I was eating a bag of Fruit Rolls–fruit-flavored Tootsie Rolls.  They pop up around Halloween and the holidays packaged along with other Tootsie products, but I haven’t seen them bagged by themselves since I was a kid. So when I saw them at the Special Thoughts Outlet today, I bought two bags.  Does anyone have any childhood favorite candies that are out there but hard to find today? Share your stories with me!

Last week I was complaining that it was unseasonably cool. Now we’re having a heat wave and it’s been 90 degrees every day since Tuesday. And I’m still unhappy. So I guess that means I’m just never happy, weather-wise. What can I say, I’m a complainer! Knitting with cotton is fine for warm weather, but what should I make when the towels are done? I have Ann Weaver’s Partition Cardigan on deck, but I’m not sure I want to knit it during the summer. Yet I want to wear it in the fall. I’ll probably end up casting on for the cardigan next anyway, with thoughts of cool autumn weather and walks in the park among the changing leaves to keep me cool while I knit.

I popped into Beadworks today because I haven’t been there in a while. I wanted to find starfish-shaped beads. Now I have a quick little project shaping up to put me in an a cool ocean mood.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dish Towels, Cotton Yarn. Or, Cotton. Oy.

I don’t seem to be able to work on one project and one project only. Ever. I get the desire to move on and start something new, even when I’m happy with what’s on the needles in the first place. I managed to work on the Albers Cowl from (re)start to finish focusing all of my attention on it, but now that I’m in the weaving-in-ends stage, my attention is starting to wander. The weaving in is tedious but coming along, to be followed by blocking each square and then sewing them together. Due to an impending birthday deadline, I’ve cast on for the Dish Towels pattern featured on Knit Picks’ website. Four towels make a set.

I have to admit I’ve never had the urge to knit dish towels before, but this pattern is so cute and so simple, it had me at Cast On…I don’t know, maybe it’s the jaunty racing stripes. The towels have a clean, retro look that I really dig.

Knit Picks was sold out of the Ocean colors kit when I placed my order so I used their Kit Builder feature and chose the yarn colors and the pattern. I don’t like the dark green Jalapeno so I chose the peachy Conch as the fourth color to keep with a beachy/ocean theme. Since my brother lives in a town known for its ties to the sea, I thought it was a nice touch.  Kit Builder is a great tool, but separately the cost is higher than the kit. I didn’t how how long it would take me to knit four towels so I bit the bullet and hit the buy button (I’ve gotta stop doing that).

I’ve knit with cotton only once or twice before, so I’d forgotten how different it is from wool. I gave up on a sweater that’s currently stuck in the Ghosts Of Projects Past bin because the cotton kept sticking to the needles. That was when I learned that plastic Denise Interchangeable Needles and cotton don’t get along very well.  I cast on in Conch for the first towel on a humid day earlier this week and almost regretted starting the project in the first place. The cotton yarn was slippery on the wood needles–a little too slippery–but sticky on my fingers. My cast on was very tight so the first row was hard to knit; passing the stitches over was frustrating. And then this happened:

yarntangle

Cotton, you’re not exactly winning me over.

My Completed Cambrian Cowl

…is no longer cursed. Blocked, steam-pressed, and buttoned, my cowl is finally happy and I’m ready to hit the town with some style and outside element protection. Amount of time it spent sitting in a project bag: 356 days. Amount of actual knitting time involved: 8 hours. This should have taken me a weekend to knit.

It’s supposed to be spring but there’s a definite chill lingering in the air. I put the cowl on as soon as I finished sewing on the buttons and wore it while I took my dog for a walk. It’s getting chilly now that the sun is going down and I was very glad to have an extra layer of warmth…and FABULOUSNESS!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The buttons are the Celtic Blue Ceramic Buttons made by Irihana Arts over on Etsy. They came in a set of three. I had a lot of fun shopping for buttons for the cowl.  It’s funny, because ceramic buttons are something I don’t normally give much thought to, but once I wanted some nice buttons for my cowl, they were all I could think about.

So that’s two UFOs finished, and two to go. But I’m not in the mood to finish those just yet. As always, I’m eager to cast on for something new.  I’m ditching the Albers Cowl…sort of. Remember this Seventies-tastic colorway I started to knit? Here’s a little reminder:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve fallen out of love with this.  I guess you could say I’ve fallen out of love entirely with the Knit Picks Palette Warm Color sampler kit.  I hate to say that, because I am a big Knit Picks fan, but together, the colors in the kit started to look dated.  I’m giving up the ghost on this one, but I’m starting the Albers over in a fresher, more sophisticated palette. Some happy pinks and purples are just the thing for spring, don’t you think?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Clockwise from the top the colors are Fairy Tale, Cosmopolitan, Peony, and Rouge. Already I can see that Cosmopolitan and Rouge are very similar in tone so I’ll have to separate those two. I’m using only 4 colors to keep it simple and affordable. Knitting starts tonight.

Once I went on to Etsy to look for buttons, I couldn’t stop.  I knew right away the Celtic buttons were the perfect match for my cowl, but there were so many other pretty, pretty buttons vying for my attention.  I couldn’t pass them up, so I bought them in the hope that someday I’ll find the perfect project for them.  Meet the runners-up:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They’re all from Unique Buttons. I especially love the starfish buttons, although I don’t know what I’ll do with them yet.  Maybe I’ll make another Cambrian Cowl in a natural sand color and put the seafoam blue starfish on it. Yes, I wouldn’t mind knitting another Cambrian Cowl at all–without a year-long gap next time.

Cowl Crazy

Happy New Year everyone.  I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and received some nice knitting and crafting gifts.  My sister gave me Clara Parkes’ new book The Knitters Book Of Socks and that made me very happy.  I have a ton of sock yarn lying around the house, and I can’t wait to dig into some of the patterns. I made several pairs of socks last fall (OK, I confess: I still need to knit the second Jaywalker) so I’ll put socks away for awhile.  But I’m going to read the book from cover to cover first and savor Clara’s incredible knowledge and love of all things yarn.

Right now I’m knitting two cowls at once. I know, I’m crazy.  I started Ann Weaver’s Albers Cowl in November, fresh off my sock-knitting jag.  You can buy it on her website or on Ravelry. It’s a devilishly cute and easy knit made up of log cabin squares.  It’s nice mindless knitting that I can churn out on my lunch hour at work.  This pattern made me overcome my aversion to all garter-stitch garments.  So why am I knitting a second cowl?

I’ve developed a little New Year’s tradition over the past couple of years.  I like to cast on for a new project bright and early on New Year’s Day, no matter how many WIPs I have going. I choose a small or simple pattern like basic mittens or accessories so I can finish it relatively quickly and return to the other projects I have on the needles.  I cast on for a new year to symbolize a new beginning.  I choose something that can be finished quickly to symbolize the importance of following through, but I take care not to put any obstacles or anything insurmountable in my path.  In other words, enjoy the process, don’t sweat the small stuff.  I like to think this will bring me luck for the new year.  This year’s new project is Lion Brand Yarn’s free  Cloudsong Cowl pattern.  I adore the color palette and the simple fair isle.  Keep reading for cowl details:

Albers Cowl

The Albers Cowl uses sock yarn and is a great way to use up all that extra stash sock yarn lying around the house.  Not that I’d know anything about that…I used Knit Picks Palette because I love the stuff, and I have the warm palette sampler they sold a few years ago still in its original plastic bag.  This cowl was a perfect way to make something useful out of it.  Plotting out all the colors to use for each square made me realize something about this sampler: no matter what the color, all of the shades are very similar to each other.   The browns and tans in particular are virtually identical when placed side by side.  I did a lot of playing around before settling on the color sequence.  I actually cast on for this project twice.  The above picture is my second attempt, the square that I like.  This is the first square I knit:

It’s feeling…groovy. Not that I take the comments of others to heart, but my sister remarked that the color combination made it look like a potholder from 1972.  And I have to say, I agree. :0  I think the yellow is the real culprit here.  I was desperate for a color that stood out from the others, but when taken together, all I can see is that “classic” harvest gold/avocado combination those of us of a certain age grew up with (think  kitchen appliances).  It was a pain to cast on for another square but I’m glad I did.

Cloudsong Cowl

The cream, magenta and green colors Lion Brand uses spoke to me of the spring blossoms that will be here before we know it.  They were too perfect together to alter.  This is knit with Cotton-Ease yarn in Sand, Hazelnut, Azelea and Cactus on circular needles.

I didn’t have the right sized circular needles so this project gave me the perfect excuse to try the Knitters Pride circs everyone on Ravelry has been talking about.  My LYS’s owner had positive things to say about them and showed me a pair she was knitting with.  Each sized needle uses a different color of wood.  These are size 7 on a 24″ long cable, and they’re a gorgeous black with white marbling.  But the real test is how they knit and not how they look.  These are very nice to work with.  The join is smooth and doesn’t snag my knitting. Now, I love my Addi Turbos, but the real reason I have so many pairs is that they are the only circs the LYS closest to me stocks.  The store that stocks Knitters Pride also stocks Knit Picks needles.  It’s nice to have a cheaper option close by, even if it is a slightly longer drive (the Mexican restaurant nearby also makes the trip worthwhile!).

Last week brought temperatures in the single digits.  Some areas saw below 0 with  the windchill factor.  On Wednesday it was 8 degrees in the Boston area.  It was not a good day to lose knitwear, yet two people did just that.

This is the first piece of sad knitwear I came across.   Someone lost this, or left it on the coat hanger, at work.   This is a cute little scarf, and it looks handknit.  Someone either made this and left/lost it, or someone made it as a gift and it was left behind.  Maybe it was deliberate? We all know how some people don’t appreciate handmade knitwear. But I don’t think it was deliberate. 🙂 It’s too bad, because single-digit days are the kind of days where you definitely don’t want to forget stuff like your knitwear.  I shrugged my shoulders and passed it off as an unfortunate oversight until I stepped outside two minutes later and saw this:

Someone else did the same thing. Or maybe it’s just one forgetful person.  Either way, there was at least one person kicking him- or herself on one of the coldest days of the year.  I just hope they didn’t have to wait for a bus.