Four Projects Down! But…..

I got four orphaned projects done this weekend, three of which I found, but two only needed finishing work, and the third, I needed to finish the rest of of the project and finish it, but it was small.  Here’s what I did.

So, I accomplished something this weekend!  Yay! 

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Works In Progress: Update One

Yay!  I finished my lacy poncho!  It’s done!  But, I found another project that I had completely forgotten about in my one project bag.

I had started this scarf as cables practice back in October/September.  I had started it over because I was doing the cables incorrectly.  So, I did that.  And never finished the scarf.

Well, I’m working on finishing it now.  One problem:  I threw out the pattern.  D’oh!  Eh, I’ll just wing it.  I can follow the ribbing pattern by the stitches themselves, and I’ll just twist the cable stitches whenever I dang well feel like it. 

So, one down, another found.  I will get there.  One day.

Yipes! Stripes!

I was bored last Friday night. I turned to surfing the Internet, and my browsing came across Kollabora on Twitter. They had a teaser up about a Friday Challenge. It was Friday. I needed a challenge, so I hopped over to their blog entry. The challenge? Black and white stripes!

I love the classic look of black and white stripes. I puttered around on Ravelry, looking for a good pattern. Nothing stood out to me. So, off to my books. I pulled out my trusty copy of One Skein Designer Wonders, and found the Simple Mistake Rib Vest Pattern.  The pattern calls for DK or light worsted yarn, but I’m using plain ol’ worsted.  And I’m not doing the mistake rib pattern, just plain ol’ 2×2 ribbing. 

Ah, and the yarn.  I wasn’t sure I even had black and white yarn, but I found a skein of each in Red Heart acrylic in my stash.  Eh, good enough. 

I’m also alternating white and black yarn.  Strangely, I’ve never done stripes like this before.  It’s fun! 

I hope to have this finished by the end of the week.  Things have been on the nutsy end of the spectrum, so I haven’t had much time to sit down with this project. 

So that’s the black and white of it right now.  Also, take a closer look at Kollabora.  It’s a fashion-forward crafting site.  Look me up.

Cat Sweater

A while ago, one of my doctors asked me knit her cat Kashmir, a seal point Siamese, a sweater.  I finally found the time to knit said cat sweater.  It looks sort of sad and pathetic here, but I hope that kitty gets to strut around in his new duds. 

The neck may seem skinny, but it’s in ribbing as a mock turtleneck.  It has two holes for the front legs, and a nice, rounded out area for the chest.  I understand Kashmir is long and skinny, but I’m afraid this is going to look like a boat on him.

I wish I had had my doctor take more measurements of said cat.  There are actually some pretty nice patterns out there for custom sweaters for cats, but they involved math…..eh.

So, I settled on a lovely chihuahua sweater pattern that can be found here.  It also looks stretched out because it’s in garter stitch. 

When I dropped off the sweater this morning, the receptionist had to take it out of the bag and got a kick out of it.  It was the same gal that when I was getting ready to knit the sweater I called the office and said, “I have a strange request for the doctor.  I need her to measure he cat.”

The receptionist thought this was very funny.  I would have, too, truthfully.

Still, the doctor had what I asked fore when I saw her next.  And now Kashmir has a sweater that I hope fits him.  I guess I’ll know when I see my doctor next.

Fair Isle Knitting and Color

I recently got a new book on Monday, titled Alice Starmore’s Book of Fair Isle Knitting.  I highly recommend it if you are interested at all in giving Fair Isle knitting a shot.  Besides going through knitting basics and concepts, Starmore also discusses how the Shetland people of Fair Isle got their inspiration for their famed designs and colors;  from what’s around them.

Inside the book, there are photos rocky shores, flowers, boats, etc.  Each one has a Fair Isle pattern and color scheme inspired by that photo.  It got the dusty wheels in my head creaking to a start and turning.

Hmm.  I’m a photographerI have photos.  I know of places on the Internet where I could play with this idea.

So, to start, I picked a photo.

It’s from an art reception my Aunt Suzy had for the release of her new book.  Quite cool.  The photo is of tarts and fruit representative of Italy.

Next, I decided to create a color scheme.  Now, I could get into color theory and stuff, but I went to the best place to get a color swatch on the Internet:  Adobe’s kuler.  It’s free and fun to play with.  I’ve used it for website designs and such, but never for knitting. 

New to kuler?  Sign up for a free account, import a photo, and see what you can do.  Kuler will then create a color scheme based on your photo.  Play with the variations.  See what you can get.  It’s a great tool for any artist.  Here’s a link to my profile so you can see the schemes I have public.

Here’s the kuler scheme I got from the above photo.  I had to do a screenshot of it to show you.

Nice, right?

For the next step, I went down to the local drugstore and bought a pack of 24 colored pencils.  They didn’t have graph paper, so I went to this site for free graph paper to print.  I them plunked down on my afternoon break and started to color, matching colors in my pencils to the ones in the scheme. I came up with two examples.  Please excuse the graphing errors, as this was done in sort of a rush.

Using an extremely basic Fair Isle design, I came up with two color schemes that seem to be quite nice.  I prefer the bottom one to the top. 

My last step?  Get yarn, swatch, and see what happens.

This is only the tip of the ideas I’m getting from this book.  The inspiration for designs is amazing, too, but I need to give that part a closer read.  My hope is that I have given you a few tools to start thinking about color and designing your own patterns. 

Entrelac

I’m still recovering from tendinitis in my  left shoulder and elbow.  I hate it.  It’s painful, it gets in the way of work, play, and sleep.

I’m still doing a little knitting.  I can’t quite crochet yet as it uses my left arm and hand a lot.  Spinning is completely out of the picture until I’m better.

What I found works well with knitting in little spurts is entrelac, a method of knitting where you get a nice, basket weave pattern.  It’s fun, goes quickly, and I can put it down and pick it up frequently when I need to rest my left arm.

Entrelac was a  little confusing for me at first, but Interweave has a wonderful tutorial on the subject that is free on their website.

I practiced on a test swatch on some Liberty Wool that I had left over from another project.  It had some pretty color changes that I thought would look nice with entrelac.

So that’s how I’m keeping sane during this physically painful time.  Entrelac enabled me to keep working at something I love and be able to rest what I need to take care of.  

Handspun Hat

I finally put some of the handspun I made on my drop spindle to good use.  I knit myself a hat, of course.

I used the three skeins that I have acquired through spinning of the natural wool roving I had been working with.I love the natural rustic colors with the unevenness of the yarn.  It’s cool, I like it, and it’s mine.

Here’s the nitty gritty on Ravelry, if you are interested.

If you are a spinner, what have you created from your own handspun?