I’ve tried out a couple of patterns out of the Vogue Knitting Winter 07/08 issue. The blue lace hexagon, which reminds me of a sand dollar, is intended to be one of several sewn together to make a wrap, and is designed by Norah Gaughan. I think I blocked it a little too hard.

I also knit one of the medallions which makes up the Nicky Epstein capelet, shown in the same Vogue issue.

Unfortunately, sans camera I can’t post a picture of this one, which is too big to scan. But here’s a picture of lottloft’s version, which I found on Ravelry.

Mine looks about the same, only it is knit in a black chunky angora that I recycled and dyed. It’s definitely big enough to be a pillow cover, which is what these shapes inspire me to make! Or maybe an afghan?

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I love stitch dictionaries. Since receiving ‘A Treasury of Knitting Patterns’ by Barbara Walker from the library, I have been obsessed with the multitude of possibilities that it contains. I flip through it every night before bed, finding new stitches that I love, and fantasizing about the garments they will inspire.

Since I have probably 400 yds+ leftover merino laceweight left over from my butter clam scarf, I decided that a perfect canvas for experimentation would be a pair of fingerless gloves; simple enough tubes stretching from hand to elbow. So armed with Barbara Walker, I measured, designed, and knit a couple of swatches.

design-gloves-measurements

As I have a limited amount of yarn, and I will be hand dying it, I will knit both at the same time, from the hand up to the elbow. I am not sure exactly how the hand will be covered; will there be tiny individual fingerlets? The gloves must definitely have a distinct thumb tube. The main idea is to have a lace pattern on the top of the arm, extending over the top of the hand, and stockinette stitch on the palm, and the underside of the arm. That way increases can be handled within the simple stockinette underside, or with a row of yo’s along the border of the lace. At and above the elbow, I want to switch the pattern to an all-around ribbing of some kind – maybe a lacy rib, or perhaps a chunkier, more solid one, but something with significant stretch to hold the glove up.

swatch-merino-lace-chevron

The final (and sometimes most difficult) question is color. I plan to dye the yarn prior to knitting … but I’m kind of tired of making dye tests, so I think I’ll just wing it, and well, we’ll see what happens!

kaleidoscope-cardigan-WIP
Pattern: Kaleidoscope by Sarah Sutherland, published in MagKnits [free]
Yarn: Knitpicks Bare Merino Wool-Silk Blend Fingering Weight (70% merino wool / 30% silk 440 yds / 100 gram hank ) which I hand-dyed using blue food coloring. 200 grams (880 yds) will be enough for this sweater, which makes it cheap ~ about $13!
~

I’m maybe half-way through this cardigan, and I am loving the color of the yarn, as well as the slip stitch pattern that I decided to substitute in for the stockinette. When I dyed this yarn, I was somewhat disappointed by the result, as I was going for a deeper, pair of blues, but the result, knitted up is vibrant (which I like), and has subtle color shifts which I am very happy with in the knitted result. I’m not a fan of the patchy, variegated way that space-dyed yarns often knit up, but the color and tonal differences in this dye job, combined with the interesting stitch pattern, seem to be subtle enough to be very pleasing, and give the piece depth, without making it stripy.

I knit it from the top down, instead of bottom up, as the pattern was written, because I wanted to be able to try on the most crucial part (the neckline) immediately, so I knew that my sizing calculations were working out, as I’m knitting at a slightly different gauge and in a different stitch pattern than the pattern was written for. So the process has involved a fair share of math!!

kaleidoscope-slstpatterndyedyarn-KPmerinosilk-blues

The Slip Stitch pattern is knit as follows on a 4-row repeat (but it’s really just 2 different rows, one of them just being straight purl, so it is VERY easy)

  • R1 (RS): *K1, Slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in front*
  • R2: Purl
  • R3: *Slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in front, K1*
  • R4: Purl

I found this pattern in Step by Step Knitting Stitch Patterns, by Kristina Bryszewski [1988, K.M.B. Publishing, Vancouver, BC]

Butter Clam Scarf

by Emily Wessel

ButterClamScarf-lacepatternThis scarf began as a swatch, and just kept growing. I love the way the lace pattern is tiny, simple, and geometrical, yet very textural. It is a perfect first project for getting comfortable with lace knitting motions, as well as with lace-weight yarn. The lace weight merino wool is very stretchy, and relatively thick [for a laceweight!], making it easy and forgiving to knit – perfect for a first lace project. Plus at $2.50, the project is unbelievably cheap!
SIZE:
5 1/2″ wide by 68″ (5′-8″) long

GAUGE: Gauge is not really important in this case, just start knitting the scarf and see if you like the effect.

NEEDLES: I used a US#2 circular needle, but swatch and you will see what you like, but note that smaller needles create more contrast between the ‘solid’ parts of the lace and the eyelets.

YARN: Knitpicks Lace Weight ‘Bare Merino Wool’ (880 yards/100 gram hank). This is the undyed version of their ‘Shadow’ Lace Weight yarn, which comes in lovely colors, and 50 g hanks (440 yards/50 gram hank). The scarf I knit used approximately 45 grams of my 100 g hank (this translates to 396 yards, and the scarf is quite long).

YARN COST: $2.50 (Knitpicks ‘Shadow’ is currently $2.50/50 g hank)

SHELL LACE PATTERN:

Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: edge stitch, *K2, yo, P1, P3tog, P2, yo* repeat to last 3 sts, K2, edge stitch
Row 4: Purl

ButterClamScarf-laceTO KNIT SCARF:

Cast on 46 stitches using twisted loop cast-on.
Knit 2 rows in Stockinette Stitch.
Work scarf in Shell Lace pattern for 130 repeats, or until desired length.
Knit 2 final rows in stockinette stitch, and bind off using suspended bind-off (or basic bind-off worked very loosely, perhaps using larger needles)
Block and enjoy.

Note: I knit a scarf that is 6 repeats wide, however, if you prefer a narrower, more delicate scarf you could knit 4 or 5 repeats instead.