Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lazy Sunday Cowl

Oh lazy sundays! Was rummaging through my closet in search of inspring scrap yarn for a quick and easy sunday knitting project. And praised be the Infinate Closet; among other treasures I found a scarf I started knitting about gazillion years ago. The project originally frogged cause the super bulky yarn would make a scarf too massive to wear. But today I picked up from where I had given up and voilá, it's a cowl!

The cowl goes so beautifully with my turqoise overcoat, love the way the colours clash so bad it's almost harmonious. Perfection! Great things come to those who stack goods in their closets over the years, hoarding does pay off!! Now all I need is a lovely cowl pin.

Yarn: Novita Mambo (100g = 100m, 70 % wool, 30 % acrylic)
Gauge: 11st & 15 rows = 10cm
Needle: 8mm

The patterning was picked up from Novita cabled jacket pattern by Arja Viitala. Here below is the chart for the part I used. I cast on 38 st, slipped the first stitches on each row (right side knit wise, wrong side purl wise) and repeated the pattern for 14 times. Before casting off the stitches quite tightly I did another cable twist row to finish.
Click to enlarge

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dreaming of a Cowl Tunic

I've got massive amounts of yarn, hopes, dreams and plans for a tunic. What I lack is the skill to design one. The patience to try. The time to patiently try over and over again.

If I learned something while making The Raspberry Cardie is that big projects like these inevitably take loooooaaads of time from an non-pro knitter like me. I've knitted most of the parts on the Raspberry Cardie 3 times and I'm still not happy with it. I finished it a month ago, just gave up and darned in the ends, thought it was as good as it would ever get. But I haven't worn it once and am now considering unravelling the whole top part down to the arm holes and doing it again. That'd be so much work! But as it is now, it just isn't right.

So I don't want to repeat my errors again and wish to plan this project better. Or find someone to plan it for me. What I want is a mid length tunic with a massive cowl neck. I'm thinking maybe 1x1 rib all the way to give it a bit of stretch, as I wish the tunic to be well fitted on the top part. I'd like to see a horizontal cabled piece under the chest holding together the separate top and bottom parts.

If I ever manage to gather patience to try these plans out, I will start by knitting a narrow piece with a nice cable pattern and measure it around my waist (1.). Then I'll pick up stitches from around the "belt" working my way up to the shoulders (2.), the parts that gave me such head ache with the Raspberry Cardie. After finishing the top part I can see how much yarn (=nerves) I have left and use the rest on the bottom part (providing I still feel motivated enough after struggling again with the shoulders), picking up stitches from the foot of the belt and start knitting towards the hem (3.). To add a bit of umph and shape to it I'll keep on adding stitches along the way down for some bit. Once I've used all my skeins but 1, I'll cast off and use the rest on the cowl (4.). Sound easy? I wouldn't count on it.. Stay tuned for more, maybe one day this plan will come to life..

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Adorable Cabled Mittens

It's lovely seeing old friends. Dear friends. Friends so old and dear nobody even blinks when I pick up my needles at the dinner table while people are still eating, including myself, and start knitting away. People who despite not perhaps fully understanding the depth of my needle addiction have come into terms with the fact that when a lady must knit the lady must knit.

Roughly around coffee time the first mitten was finished so I excused myself and took my coffee outside to immortalize the creation on camera. While doing so, in the clear bright daylight, I decided I'm never taking photos of my creations again in conditions that require artificial lighting. There's nothing like a bit of natural light. Problem is, for the last few months we've had very little of it. But going towards the summer I hope to take more representable shots of the lovely little things that fall off my needles. 

Without further ado, let me present the latest mitten pattern. There's no thumb gusset, so it's easy to knit and  fits your hand nice and snug, at least the way I prefer my handwear. Again, not the most unique design, as probably all the known cables have been used in mittens a million times before, but to share the mittens I just made, here's the instruction below:

Yarn: Novita Katri (100g = 160m, 100% acrylic)
Gauge: 19 st & 27 rows = 10cm
Skeins: 1
Needle: 4mm
Left mitten: 
Cast on 36 st. Devide evenly on 4 double pointed needles. Knit rib for 13 rows (K2, P2). Knit according to the chart on needles I and II and stockinette with needles III and IV adding 1st on both needles II and IV=38st. Knit for about 28 rows, K2 on needle III, pick up 6 on a stitch holder, cast on 6 and knit 1 = thumb hole. Continue knitting until you've reached the tip of your index finger and begin cast off. SKP1 at the beginning of needles I and III and  K2TOG at the end of needles II and IV. Continue decreases on every row in this manner until 6 stitches remain. Cut the yarn and run the end through remaining 6 stitches twice; pull firmly and darn in the end.

Right mitten:
Work as mirror image.

Pick up the 6st from stitch holder plus 10 stitches from the edges of the thumb hole. Divide evenly on 3 dpns. Knit for about 13 rows. SKP1 at the beginning of each needle until 6 st remain. Cut the yarn and run the end through remaining 6 stitches twice; pull firmly and darn in the end.
Click to enlarge

Sanna's Cabled Mittens II

Sanna is a complete air head. She asked me to knit her a pair of mittens and then she just lost them while shopping. I mean, what's up with that. And then she asks me for a new pair. Same model, same size, same colour. The nerve! But I love her too much to refuse. Plus I'm not the one to tell her off, after all, I myself have lost about 5 pairs of sunglasses, a billion umbrellas, a few bags and a shoe. So, I knitted a new pair for my dear friend but still reserve the right to call her an air head.

This time I used Novita Katri (100g = 160m, 100% acrylic), my favourite. It's much thicker and hence warmer plus it doesn't itch at all. I used 3,5mm double pointed needles and the mittens took almost exactly one skein. The wrist part is longer this time, as a good pair of mittens doesn't only keep your fingers warm but prevents cold air from getting to where the sleeve ends and mitten begins. 

These mittens were tried and tested out today in the snow. Another gorgeous day in Winter Wonderland. Special thanks to my hand model, bravely playing in the snow at -15°C.

Instructions can be found here, on the original blog post.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cushion covers

A few weeks back we went out for chinese on a friday night. We came home holding a receipt for a sofa we had just bought. No idea how it happened. One moment you're chewing on your chicken kung po and the next thing you know you've bought a piece of furniture. Talk about an impulse buy. We did leave the chinese some where in between, as it happens. Now that would've been impulse shopping indeed, buying the stained red mock-velvet curry smelling cubicle bench. Luckily we managed to reach the nearest furniture store in time before this uncontrollable urge to buy something took over. 

Now I must say, impulse buying or not, that was one of the wisest things I've ever done. I luuuuv this sofa. The small "loveseat" of a sofa I had before was so not made for two people, let me tell you. Maybe for two very small butted tiny little stick insects. But not for your average "i loves my chocolates"-kinda people like myself.

To cut the long story short, the sofa is dark grey and clashed a bit with the cushion covers I had in store. Not a problem what so ever, said I, and knitted two brand new ones. Very simple, elegant, easy to mix with other throw pillows. Lazy lazy knitting. There's no buttons, zippers, poppers. Nothing extra. Just a tube seamed up top and bottom. Not very convinient if you wish to wash the covers or change them. But I just figured I wont darn in the ends but leave the ends inside the pillow and if I ever need to take them off, I'll just unravel the seams!

Yarn: Novita Katri (100g = 160m, 100% acrylic)
Gauge: 16-18st = 10cm
Skeins: 2 per cushion
Needle: 5mm 60cm circular needle
Fit for a 40x40cm cushion

Rib cushion:
Cast on 144st. Knit in the round. Knit rib (knit 4, purl 4) for 40cm. Cast off loosely.

Moss knit rib cushion:
Cast on 144st. Knit in the round. Knit according to chart for 40cm. Cast off loosely.

Sow the bottom seam, insert pillow and sow the top seam. Don't darn in the end on the top seam, but slip the end of the yarn inside the pillow for easier unravelling should you wish to remove the cover some day.
click to enlarge