Tag: scarves (page 1 of 2)

Dangling Conversation

As you would’ve seen from the Instagram I posted this morning, I finished my Dangling Conversation scarf! It’s knitted out of a single skein of Manos del Uruguay Fino in “Sealing Wax,” a bright orangey-red. I bought the yarn in the last Morris & Sons sale, drawn to its gorgeous deep colour and its exquisite smooshiness. (It’s 70% superfine merino and 30% silk.) The pattern choice was inspired by a guest at an Inner City Knitters Guild meeting earlier in the year, who showed off her version in a variegated yarn. I casted mine on at Camp on August 28 and finished it this past Sunday, so it took me 23 days from start to finish. I knitted it on 4mm needles, which is a fair bit tighter than most of the other folks on Ravelry. To compensate, I added a lot of extra repeats to make it bigger and use up the entire skein. Oh, and I left off the beads. I’m not insane. 🙂

Ravelry details are here! In sort – excellent pattern; excellent yarn. Highly recommended.

The Wow! Scarf

As you may have gathered from my Twitter or Instagram accounts this past weekend, I attended the 2015 Knitters Guild NSW Camp at Stanwell Tops. When I registered for the Camp earlier in the year, the confirmation message invited me to enter the Mystery Scarf Competition. The details were very vague–basically, you were supposed to knit a scarf of a certain size out of black and either white or cream. Inspired by my Ignite talk, I thought it would be fun to try to knit an actual mystery into the scarf. So I started doing research, and I came up with several interesting possibilities:

  • The Beale Ciphers – Very National Treasure, right?! And they could literally point you to an actual horde of gold!
  • The Kryptos Sculpture – Bonus points because it actually looks kind of like a scarf.
  • The Phaistos Disc – This would look better as a circular shawl, right?
  • Tamám Shud – *shudder* Too creepy.
  • Rongorongo – I feel like this would be neat as fairisle motifs.

In the end I settled on the Wow! Signal. This was a strong narrowband radio signal detected by Jerry R. Ehman on August 15, 1977, while he was working on a SETI project at the Big Ear radio telescope of The Ohio State University. When he saw the spike on the printout, Ehman circled it and wrote “Wow!” in red pen in the margins. The signal lasted for 72 seconds. It came from globular cluster M55 in the constellation Sagittarius. It looks pretty much exactly like what we’d expect an interstellar transmission to look like. It’s never been repeated, and we don’t know what it means. I like to think it’s an alien civilisation saying “Hello!”. So I knitted it into a scarf.

The scarf is knitted as a tube out of Morris Norway 10 ply in Cream using a 5mm circular needle. Starting from the left edge of the printout, I incorporated about 15 columns of numbers by duplicate stitching them on as I went. Once the scarf was long enough, I stopped the numbers and knitted in plain white to leave a space for the “Wow!” which I embroidered with red wool. I also embroidered on some additional pen marks, like the circles around the signal itself and some of the other numbers. As a final step, I added some tassles out of the remaining black wool.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out! I didn’t end up winning the contest, but that’s okay. I took the “mystery” aspect more literally than most of the other contestants did. (The winner did an amazing double-knitted scarf with a photo of her cat on it.) My scarf is exceptionally warm and nerdy, and I had a lot of fun making it.

Two finished scarves!

Two Scarves

Finally some finished items to show! Both of these are with wool purchased at the Convent and Chapel Wool Shop in Rylstone a few months back.

First up is the Zig Zag in Zauberball Crazy. I bought the wool without any idea what to do with it-“I just liked the crazy autumn colourway-but then I saw Gemma’s Show Stopper in the Easter Show last April and fell in love! So I asked her to share the link to the pattern, which she kindly did. (It’s here!) It’s a super simple three-row repeat and knits up gratifyingly fast. I basically just knitted until I used up every single bit of it. I love the way the horizontal ribbing lines up with the colour changes, almost like stripes. It’s also really smooshy and squishy and warm. Very satisfying project! You can see a close-up of the stitch pattern here. (Ravelry details.)

Next is the Linen Stitch scarf in Marlyn Alpaca. This stuff is SO SOFT. I originally intended to knit something with long lengthwise stripes, but I saw a sample of linen stitch and I was impressed how classy it looked. I thought it might make a nice “businessman’s”-type scarf for the Snook. So I casted on a bazillion stitches and then started knitting random width stripes of the two colours. Man, linen stitch rows take FOREVER to knit! I basically just knitted until I couldn’t stand it anymore. Then I put some fringe on both ends to finish it off. Very nice! He wore it to work today. You can see a close-up of the stitch pattern here. (Ravelry details.)

Tsumugi Who and Moneta Dress

Actual finished craft objects! I should probably blog these before I completely forget.

Tsumugi WhoTsumugi Who
Is this going to be my ONLY knitting finished this year? Only time will tell. At any rate, earlier this year I decided to splurge and buy myself the Tsumugi Who kit from Dairing that I admired at Camp last year. (Note: They have since changed the name to Seta Soie. I don’t know why. Supplier change? My kit did come with grey instead of the beige.) I cast on in the winter – probably at the Abernethy knitters retreat? – and I remember questioning the pattern. (Teresa Dair’s “patterns” are only patterns in the strictest sense of the word.) I decided to go with garter stitch so it wouldn’t curl. And I was off. I went through the entire pattern once and found myself with significant silk left over. So I kept going. Once it got to about 14 feet long, I figured Tom Baker would be happy so I cast off. Then it took me a few more months to finish weaving in the ends. And now it’s done. I even managed to wear it a few times before it got too warm. The colours are gorgeous and strangers have complimented me on it, even guessed the reference. That was nice.

MonetaMoneta Dress
I haven’t sewn much this year either. But at one point I ordered the Colette Guide to Sewing Knits along with the Moneta dress pattern. That was step one. The history of making this dress is one of diving in before my brain had a chance to object. Step two involved making an excursion to Tessuti’s during a sale with some of my (then) co-workers where I picked up a couple different knits to experiment with. This was a black merino double-knit. Step three was me cutting it out many, many weeks ago… and then packing it away in my office. Finally, this past weekend, it occurred to me that if I actually finished the damn thing, that would be one more unique dress for Frocktober. So on Sunday I pulled it out and finished it during a Gilmore Girls marathon on Netflix. I think my seam allowance was inadvertently too wide and my waistband elastic was HELLA WONKY, but to my delight I found that the knit fabric completely hides every flaw. It looks great. I’m very, very happy with this project.

Easter Show Entries 2013

Easter Show Entries 2013
It’s time again for the Sydney Royal Easter Show Competition, and this is my SEVENTH year entering. (Good grief – really?!) I’ve entered a lot of items over the years, and some of them have been awarded with ribbons. A recap:

Needless to say, Win the Easter Show has been on Hermione’s To Do list for a very long time. This year I again sent in three entries.

Catriona VestCatriona Vest
This is a pattern I’ve had in my Ravelry queue for a long time. I bought the wool (Pear Tree Merino) from Dr. K in a destash last year and it seemed like the perfect choice for it. I made a few significant modifications: I adapted it to be knitted in the round up to the armholes, and I mirrored the cables to be symmetrical. I also dug around on Ravelry to find someone who had charted the cables, which was really helpful. (Why Debbie Bliss is incapable of including a chart, I have no idea.) I really, really like the finished vest. The wool was a great choice, and it makes the cables stand out. I entered this in the Sleeveless Garment category (no more Aran for me; I’m not that masochistic) and I think it’s probably my best shot at a ribbon. I’m also really looking forward to wearing it this winter! More photos and details on Ravelry.

Juno ReginaJuno Regina
In the end, my first real lace project took me nearly THREE YEARS to finish. I started this in 2010 and I’ve been working on it in fits and starts ever since. That middle bit was a total slog! I’m happy with how it turned out though, and it’s destined as a (very late) wedding gift for my friend Kriti Sahni. The pattern is of course from Knitty, and the wool is Morris Empire 2ply. Special thanks to Miss Fee for lending me her blocking wires! (Although I had a nightmarish time blocking it. I somehow managed to catch a thread on the sink plug and pulled out a long loop! I spent like an hour hunched over it laboriously adjusting stitch tension to repair it.) Frankly, I’ll be thrilled for this just to be exhibited. The lace category is notoriously competitive, and – my fake rivalry with Reecie notwithstanding – I don’t really stand a chance. Again, more details on Ravelry.

Self-Replicating MittensSelf-Replicating Mittens with QR Code
You may have seen these as there have already been some photos on the blog. Basically, the idea was prompted by my Girl Geek talk last year on Knitting Geekery. I got excited about the idea of making a “meta” knitted object, where the item’s pattern was encoded into the item itself. After some brainstorming and research, I settled on a QR code. I knew that other people were using them on knitted items with some success. I wanted my code to be as simple as possible, so I needed to use a URL shortener to mask my intended address. I settled on using Google‘s, reasoning that it was likely to be around the longest. (Though who knows these days, right?) Google also conveniently generate the QR code for you! Then it was just a matter of knitting it. I did several test patches, but none of them worked. I tried fairisle; I tried Swiss darning; I tried cross-stitching over the knitting. I just couldn’t get any of them to successfully read on my iPhone. I was thisclose to scrapping the whole idea. With less than a week to go, I made one last attempt using very thin baby wool and the thinnest needles I had (2mm). Still no go. At the eleventh hour, I decided to try blocking the hell out of it. I cut a piece of paper to square and aggressively pinned the wet fabric to it. Suddenly – IT WORKED! I couldn’t believe it. I shared a photo to Twitter and other people got it to work too. Hallelujah! Then it was just a matter of knitting another patch and sewing them to the mittens (which I’d already finished). I set up the target page once I dropped them off at the Show. (I included a note explaining the concept and warning the judges that the website would give away my identity.) Anyway, I’m very happy with them. I entered them in Creative Knitting, but truth be told the knitting skill required was minimal. They’re more of an Art piece than anything, and I just hope people will get the concept. If nothing else, the folks on Twitter seemed to like them! Again, details on Ravelry.

The Arts Preview Night is Tuesday, so I’ll know then whether I can finally cross that pesky To Do item off my list!

Matt’s Random Striped Scarf

Matt's ScarfMatt’s Random Striped Scarf
Remember back in June when I launched my site redesign? Well, in exchange for making my awesome header, I agreed to knit Matt a custom scarf. He liked the look of Kelley Deal’s recycled scarves, so that’s where the inspiration came from. I used sixteen different colours of 8 and 10ply wool on a 4.5mm circular needle (knitted as a tube). Each colour was assigned a number and put on a bit of paper in an envelope. In another envelope I had a selection of bits of paper with 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8 written on them (Fibonacci stripes). I’d pick a slip from each envelope and then knit the specified colour in the specified number of stripes. After all the slips were gone, I put them back in and mixed them up again. This assured that the stripes were random, but not too random. (I wanted a relatively even distribution of the colours.) I think it turned out really well! It’s about six inches wide when flattened, and about five feet long. (Another view.) Matt didn’t want fringe, so I sewed the ends shut. It’s now blocked and on its way to him. Thanks again, Matt! There are a couple other pics on Ravelry

And isn’t the Snook a natural male model?

Flurry of Finishing

I had meant to make this weekend a Flurry of Finishing (with regards to my knitting) and I guess I was moderately successful.

Argosy Colts Vest Jacket Steek

Okay, first up is Argosy, which is a scarf I started a couple weeks ago as a way to use up the leftover Noro Silk Garden from the Cabled Jacket of Doom. It’s a fun little pattern to knit and it grows pretty quickly. I was nearing the end of it at the TC SnB Thursday night when Kate asked if anyone had any scrap wool to use as a stitch holder. I gave her about a foot-long piece. Would you believe that twenty-four hours later I ran short by EXACTLY THAT AMOUNT? D’oh! Rather than frogging back and making it shorter, I laboriously trimmed down all the tails from my joins and then spit-felted them all together. Yes, I spit in my own hand and rubbed the yarn in it til it joined. This scarf is riddled with my very own DNA. Hence, I’m not giving it as a gift to anyone. It’s pretty though, right?

Next is my entry in the perpetual Best Sister Ever Sweepstakes. My little brother Joey loves the Indianapolis Colts (who just won the Superbowl). So as a surprise, I made him this hooded vest. The pattern is from this great new book and I drew the intarsia graph for the logo and name myself. (It’s here if anyone wants it.) Very cute, huh? I knitted it out of Heirloom Easycare 8ply. Mom predicts he’s absolutely going to love it.

And lastly… I’m thinking of renaming it the Zombie Cabled Jacket That Just WILL NOT DIE. I had planned to finish the damn thing once and for all, but nothing with this project is easy. I did manage to get it steeked though. What’s more, I actually had one whole side of the zipper sewn in and the other one halfway done before ripping it off completely. The little cut ends were poking out, you see. It bothered me. I can’t get them to lie down nicely so I can trap them beneath the zipper. I’m thinking now of possibly ironing on some sort of interfacing just to keep them smooth. Any thoughts?

Knitty Pattern Round-Up

ClapotisKnitty Pattern Round-Up
Finally I’ve got another Finished Object to share with you, along with two knitted Gifts. First is my take on the ubiquitous Clapotis. I never planned to knit one of these wraps (which have gotten ridiculously popular in the last year), but I just happened to be listening to the KnitCast interview with the designer on the same day that we got this luscious new shade of Noro in… and I was powerless to resist. I worked out that I needed six balls of Kureyon to do the pattern as written, but after I’d casted it off I realized I wanted it longer and frogged it back to include a seventh ball. As it is, I can wear it as either a really big scarf or a smallish wrap. I like it. (I blocked mine out into a rectangle and I prefer it knit-side out, both of which are different from the model photos.) Next is Shimmer, a glamorous little lacy shrug that was knitted by my friend Miss Fee. She made it for herself to wear for a wedding but afterwards decided it was too big to wear again (and too nice to consider unraveling). She persuaded me to try it on and pronounced it a perfect fit, and then she gave it to me! How nice is that? It’s knitted out of Filatura di Crosa’s Zara mixed with Night to give it a bit of glitz. I know I was anti-shrug before, but this one is just so pretty and girly! I need to get some nice tops to wear with it. And last is the long-awaited picture of baby Ruth Cunningham wearing the Norgi jumper I knitted her. I have no idea how Nat and Staci managed to get it over her head, but doesn’t it look adorable anyway? I love it with her little jeans!

Shimmer   Ruth in her Norgi

Colourways Wrap II

Colourways Wrap IIColourways Wrap II
Man, I feel like it’s been ages since I had a Finished Object to report! This is a sample I designed and knit for the shop. We had an original “Colourways Wrap” from a few years ago, but this one uses slightly different yarns (and an extra ball) so the pattern needed to be rewritten. They’re all Anny Blatt yarns, which means this is one of the most expensive items I’ve ever knitted. All seven yarns are carried the full length of the wrap, which means I had to resort to putting the balls in sandwich bags to avoid creating the World’s Biggest Knot. But at last, it’s done! We’ve got the range of yarns in several different colors and we plan on selling them as a kit. So anyway, yeah, from tomorrow my first official pattern will go on sale in the shop! Pretty neat, huh?

127 Print Scarf

127 Print ScarfI’ve been obsessed for weeks with this 127 Print Italian wool that we’ve got at the shop so I finally bought a few balls last weekend and knitted it up into a scarf. Here’s Snookums modelling the finished product. Isn’t it pretty? The colors just come out like that when you knit it. I tried to combat the dreaded stockinette-curl with a border of garter stitch and regular thin garter stitch bands between the color stripes, but the darn thing still has a tendency to roll into a tube. *shrug* I still like it.

Notes: For those wishing to do something similar, I used three balls in total. Casted on 35 stitches on 6mm needles and did a few rows of garter stitch before starting the pattern. I worked out that I there was enough space between color patches to do three rows of stockinette, then four of garter, and then back to stockinette. It only got irregular where I changed balls.