12 September 2010

Miss Calla

This Spring I taught a couple of classes at local yarn shops on Tuulia Salmela’s “The Tailored Sweater” method. I like to have a project that uses that method on the needles to demonstrate how it’s done –and it served that purpose.

My friend, Amanda, had a baby many months ago – and it’s finally time to unveil the sweater gift for Calla. As that is the true purpose of this little sweet sweater. It’s an empire-waisted swing jacket with a big collar and cuffs that can be worn up until Miss Calla is a big girl, then flipped down.

And, as you see, it the pulled down cuffs work as an impromptu muff too!

Thank you to Miss E for being the perfect model!
Info about this project:
Pattern: Design by me, using top down set-in sleeve method “The Tailored Sweater” by Tuulia Salmela
Needles: US 5
Yarn: James C. Brett Marble DK yarn (acrylic) - “Berries” colorway
         Pros: this sweater can go into the washer and dryer Cons: It doesn’t block anything like wool! 
         In fact, it doesn’t block.

08 September 2010

Geometric Inspiration

 I‘ve discovered Grace Anna Farrow.  Do you know her? I found her by combing through favorites of my Ravelry friends. I have not seen her design work at any of my local knit stores, so I ordered her book, The Fine Line, directly from Grace. The book arrived with a graceful handwritten card (Rothko on the cover, no less!) welcoming any questions while I constructed her designs.
I immediately bought a kit from Jimmy Beans Wool and then stumbled upon the Isager wool she recommends while on a weekend trip to Portland at the fantastic LYS: Knit Purl, and promptly purchased the yarn for Dawn.

I’ve got a conversation going in the Sweater 101 forum with Cheryl Brunette about what constitutes elegance for me. Grace’s sensibility in color and design just about sums it up. Simple garments – no fuss, no muss that serve as the foundation to lay simple designs in the form of textiles (shawls or scarves) in stunning color combinations. I often joke that I’m a lace flunky and can’t knit lace. Truth is, what I love is simplicity in both design and color, and lace generally doesn’t do it for me.
I haven’t knit any of the designs yet, but I’m inspired to commence with my own work inspired by Grace Anna Farrow –using traditional techniques and patterns with bold color combinations. One of my very favorite artists is Nancy Crow. Her work continues to evolve with every series she creates.

While we were discussion color and Grace and Nancy’s work, Carol opened to a page that knocked me out. I immediately went to the dye pots to color yarn that should work in the same way the Isager yarn does for Grace (it’s the same yardage for 50 gms: about 300 meters, making it just a tad heavier than standard laceweight yarn.) The black and charcoal are left as is. The remainder of the skeins you see below started out white or light grey and were dyed by me.

The skeins sit on the page Carol found in the Nancy Crow book. The yarn that is the same weight as the Isager yarn (and about 1/4th the price) is Swedish lace yarn, Jarbo Gastrike 1 tr, that runs$7.95 per skein for 600m. (Isager Wool 1 is $12 for 300m). I cannot wait to see what this becomes!

07 September 2010

Color Saves

[I’m the President of a knitting guild in Snohomish county, Washington. I write a small article in each newsletter, and I’m repurposing this one I wrote for the July publication.]

My fiber work in June took an unexpected turn when I mis-read a contract and thought the design I was doing was intended for a June 2011 audience. After weeks of work and when all aspects of the project appeared to be going south, I contacted the publisher and declined the project only to find out that pattern packages had already been sold and hundreds of people were waiting as it was a June 2010 project. Oh, my! All my commitments were cancelled, obligations of walking the dog and doing the laundry were foisted off on my partner, and I hunkered down to get the job done. The only thing about the project that saved my sanity was the fact that it was still fun, despite the miscommunication and subsequent late night work, because it was a colorwork project.

Color has the ability to delight and amaze. Placing yellow next to blue next to coral and accenting with black can be the saving grace of the dreaded second sock syndrome. (DSSS: when the first sock was great and now I have to knit a second one?) You can spend your life calmly knitting color stripes, varying only the hues and never changing the stitch pattern, and still make a lifetime‘s worth of amazing garments.

The world of software has provided us with tools to make color designing and experimentation easier and even more fun. Try a few of these out:

Color Palette Generator. Enter the URL of an image to get a color palette that matches the image. Generate that palette from almost any image you see on the Internet by right clicking on the image, selecting ―properties, then select and copy the address listed (ends in .jpg or .gif).

COLOURlovers is a creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes and patterns. View hundreds of thousands of color palettes.

For your iPhone:
ColorExpert. Use a photo on your iPhone to generate a palette. Although this app is expensive as far as iPhone apps go ($9.99), it offers maximum control to generate your palette. The output includes RGB, Hex, and Pantone codes to enable you to duplicate the colors via print or the Web. You'll have to wing it for your dyepots! Here are two examples of the palettes generated by ColorExpert with some of my photos:

Sherwin Williams ―ColorSnap is a free app that also generates a palette from a photo on your iPhone, but with less control.

On July 13 Abbott Smith spoke to the guild about how he tames the color beast. He shared more fascinating ways to play with the magic of color. How will color save you?
Let‘s knit!

06 September 2010

Summer Knitting

My summer days were focused on raising our puppy Emma. And, my, how she has grown!

I did get a little knitting done – here are a couple of hats completed during the summer months:

Quincy by Jared Flood
Knit in my own handspun (Rose garden). I constructed the hat using his instructions, with a different gauge and type of yarn. Love the detail: hat knit in a strip to size of head then grafted after doing a half turn to make it a mobius. Edges of the garter strip are done with icord on edge as you knit. Pick up at top to close the hat. Knit the top with a size or two smaller needle than the hat body.

Ripple by Wendy Bernard
Wendy looks so fabulous in this beret, I had been ready to knit it as soon as I saw it. This is a beret knit in sock yarn. However, should I knit it again, I would change a few things:
  1. Don’t use superwash. It adds weight and droop. A woolen yarn with more loft will be better than the worsted slick/heavy sock yarn. A shetland would have the type of bounce I was hoping for.
  2. I’ll knit it top down so I can stop when it fits. This is knit from the bottom up, and adjusting it so that it has less droop is difficult to do when you’ve already cast on.
That said, it’s a clever design and it was a fun knit.

There is more summer knitting – a shawl, a child’s cardi: photos and details soon.

P U L S H © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.