Thursday, September 30, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mondo Lace Cowl--Asterisque

My love affair with Asterisque began with a browse through the Etsy store Phydeaux. Brenda, the proprietress, has a wonderful aesthetic that resonates with me because of her application of color and texture in her designs. As luck would have it, I won a giveaway on Brenda's blog and got to chose a pattern from her store. I took no time to make my choice.

As soon as the pattern arrived, out came the knitting needles that look like broomsticks. Darned big old things that feel unwieldy in my hands.

I never have liked working with size 19 straight needles or anything larger, and this time was no different. A quick change to an Addi size 19 circular needle made a huge difference and everything start to click!

This super fast project has ginormous flare and can be worn multitudinous ways.

It feels so soft and cosy that cold weather is seriously gonna be fun this year.

As an added treat, I also won this marvelous wash for fine fibers on the giveaway:

It smells so great that I may add it to my bathwater!

Knitting patterns for Brenda's beautifully contemporary designs can be found at Phydeaux Designs or on Ravelry.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Moebius Cowl

In August, Sivia Harding was the guest speaker at the Tigard Knitting Guild in Tigard, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. Sivia is a gifted designer who has recently moved to Portland and now works at one of my favorite local yarn stores, Twisted. She is a big fan of using beads in her designs, which rates her high with me.

Sivia's pattern collection is inspired. Her graceful personality comes through in her many lace shawl designs. I hope some day to have the time to sit down and knit one.

I was smitten in a flash with Sivia's marvelous textural piece called Harmonia's Rings Cowl. It starts out as a moebius cowl and then grows into a little capelet.

The cowl has a picot beaded cast-off on the collar edge that is so sweet. The pattern is cleverly reversible and easy to memorize. I whipped it out in a week because of being possessed by it.

This was my first experience with knitting a moebius project. Cat Bordhi's You-Tube video on the moebius cast-on was extremely helpful if you have never done one.

As with the project in the last post, I knit this cowl with needles one size larger than the pattern suggested in order to have a little larger and drapey end result.

This pattern is fun to make and delicious to wear. Visit Sivia's website to see her full pattern collection.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Knitting Escape

It isn't a vacation from knitting, but it is a little escape from my own designs.

Sometimes it's easy to get bogged down in the details of your own work. A refreshing thing to do is to work a wonderful pattern created by someone else. You can relax and know that someone else has worked out all the details, done the test knitting, and tech-edited the pattern.

I don't get a chance to do this much because of spending most time on developing my own designs, but this year I managed to schedule three knitting escapes. This was the project for my knitting vacation last January and February

This lovely shawlette called Citron was designed by Hillary Smith Callis and can be found on the Winter 2009 issue at by clicking here. The knitting of it it had a relaxing, almost meditative, quality.

I worked it intentionally looser to create a slightly larger shawlette. Our office building can get mightily cold in the winter and I wanted it to fully cover my shoulders.

In August I was close to burn out and took two more escapes to knit other people's patterns. The next two posts this week will feature them.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Autumnal Gold

There was a time when I couldn't stomach fall colors. It was a reaction to having seen too much avocado green shag carpet and too many harvest gold kitchen appliances in the 1970s. I blasted into the eighties with a reactionary craving for jewel tones like everyone else.

So it came as a surprise when I found myself in the last few years loving green, brown, gold, rust, orange and wine. In defense, the current go-round of harvest hues are more saturated and clear, whereas the 1970's versions were from a dull and muted palette.

This post has some selections in beautiful gold for your viewing pleasure.

by Amaia

by laslopezlas

by ao3designs

by PaleFireDesigns

by fibercottage

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, & Caramel

All those good Autumn flavors are waiting to be sampled. I'm ready for a rainy afternoon spent knitting in a local yarn store by a gas fireplace or sipping hot chai latte at a coffee shop while reading a good thriller.

Who am I kidding? A knitwear accessory store owner doesn't get much time to lounge around reading novels all afternoon. Not at this time of year.

Here are some lovely handmade choices to spice up an Autumn wardrobe.

by flutter


by eweniquelyewe

by thebijoubabe

Brown Sugar Vintage Redo
by Cloezilla

by octaviabloom