Friday, April 24, 2009

A Bit of Spring

I crocheted one of the "Bedfellows" from The Happy Hooker for my cousin's third birthday:

If you've seen the pattern before you may be thinking that the two animals were a bear and a bunny, not a mouse, and you're right. Once I had the head finished it looked much more like a mouse than anything else, so I just went with it. This was a great use of stash yarn (all machine-washable acrylic) and even though it took some time it wasn't all that difficult.

I knit a baby sweater for another one of my mom's friends, this time using the Offset Wraplan pattern by Sara Morris (free Ravelry download). This was cute and not a difficult knit, but it took some time (fingering/light DK weight yarn) and there are several buttons to sew on. I used just a little over one ball of Patons Grace.

Lastly, I knit the Spiral Cowl by Keri McKiernan (another free Ravelry download). I used one skein of delicious angora yarn that I bought two years ago at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival (I can't remember their name right now but I'm pretty sure they're there every year). I like that this pattern has a button and a loop so that you can close it to make it more snug, or leave it open. The angora is so warm that I don't usually need to button it up but it's nice to have that option--especially once winter rolls around again.

I'm trying to finish up projects with yarn from last year's Sheep and Wool Festival, and I've also been crocheting a bit too. I recently bought Ysolda's Whimisical Litte Knits book and I'm trying to decide what to knit first!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Narragansett Bay Cap and Scarf

I recently finished the Narragansett Bay Cap and Scarf from the book A Fine Fleece. I totally heart this book for so many reasons, one being that it really showcases handspun and rustic-looking yarns. Since I love to support local farmers I'm always on the lookout for patterns that highlight non-commercial yarns. In this case I am even more thrilled, because the designer is local too.

I'm really pleased with how they turned out. They remind me of something a fisherman's wife might have knit for her husband, like in the book Ahab's Wife (hands down one of my favorite books ever). There is also a matching pair of socks that I would like to make at some point.

Narragansett Bay Cap and Scarf by Lisa Lloyd, from A Fine Fleece
Yarn: Mirage Alpacas Mostly Merino, three hanks for the set
Source: Mirage Alpacas Shop, purchased on the 2008 New Hampshire Wool Arts Tour
Needles: US Size 4 straight needles for the scarf; US Size 5 16" circular needle for the cap
Modifications: Since the yarn I used fell between a DK and a worsted, I decided to only work part of the chart to get the same finished width. In the original pattern there are two sets of the arrow shapes that you see running down the center of the scarf. I was a little disappointed at having to change the pattern when I started, but I love the finished product so much I actually kind of forgot that it is different from the book!

Since April is a fickle month here in New Hampshire I should still get some wear out of both of these!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Lucy Wrap

I finally finished the Lucy Wrap. I got the kit for Christmas from kpixie (I think it's still available) and knit it once, only to find out that it was too short. The pattern suggested 10.75 needles, which I don't have, so I had gone down to 10.5 needles. Since it was so short I thought my needle size was the problem and I reknit the entire thing on size 11 needles. It was still much too short, so at that point I broke down and ordered another skein of yarn.

This kind of annoyed me. Part of the reason I love kits is that they are (theoretically) self-contained. Just add needles and several hours of knitting, and shazam, you have a garment. It's supposed to take away some of the stress of gathering all the materials yourself. Oh well. It turned out really well and it is unbelievably soft.

Lucy Wrap kit by Tante Sophie
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Brushed Suri, three skeins #905 Earl Grey
Source: kpixie for the kit, Purl for the third skein of yarn
Needles: Random plastic ones my grandma picked up for me at a yard sale, U.S. Size 11
Modifications: Besides adding a third skein when the first two fell short, none.

I am currently obsessed with the book Boutique Knits, among other things. I think it will be very helpful for stash-busting. I'm in love with several items from the spring issue of Knitty and I'm looking forward to the Cookie A. sock book as well. The New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival is only about a month away though, so I'm trying to hold off on yarn buying.