Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yarn & Knitting Machine Goodies

It's time for a knitting update! The beaded project is off to the presses, and I'll post when it's published.  I'm so excited about it.  With a bit of time to work on my own personal projects, I learned how to manipulate stitches with the knitting machine.  Now I can increase and decrease.  Yep, and with a bit of time on Sunday afternoon, I managed to get the back/front of a sweater done!  And, I took notes so hopefully I can make another piece to match it along with some sleeves.

Did you recognize the yarn I used?  I used the other part of this skein of variegated Wollmeise in my latest design (see below). It looks so different!  Check out that variegation pattern (above) when the waist decreases started.  Such crazy color pooling!  It reminds me somewhat of DNA.  I am glad I'm making a teensy dent into my insane yarn stash.

And, with that, I started another swatch to practice some of my knitting machine skillz.

In hand-knitting this is a bit of progress I made on a KAL I started in (blush) October.  I'm getting there.  It's an in-between project that I haven't had much time to finish until now.

And, speaking of that sneaky yarn stash that keeps reaching toward SABLE, a few pretties managed their way into my life.  Firstly there's this cone of ITO with stainless steel in it.  Steel.  Hee hee!  It's going to be an experiment to attempt some hand-knit gloves with conductivity.  Steel will at least conduct heat, so I'm hoping it will work with smart phones.  I am still wary that the stainless steel will work, but heck, it's so pretty and shiny it's worth a try.

And then, there's the softest yarn in my stash so far.  This beautiful hank from the Mulberry Dyer was part of Prêt-À-Tricoter's Brit Knit Lace Club 2013, Kit #2.  It is the most beautiful yarn I've seen in a long time.

And with that, folks, I leave the month of April behind.  I'm sure looking forward to May.  It's a month full of giveaways and Me Made May!  But, more on that tomorrow...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Show & Tell, Stoffmarkt Holland and More

Last weekend was the Stoffmarkt Holland in Freising (the outskirts of Munich).  It's held twice a year and this year the weather held up really well, and there were so many people it was a bit overwhelming.

Twice a year, vendors from the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium travel around Germany and sell there wares at this market.  This year was no different, although it felt as if the leather vendors had already sold everything but their dregs before they arrived at Freising.  I had a shopping list in mind, and one of the items I had been searching for was a bit of leather to try my hand at making gloves (pun intended).  No luck this time around, but I did come away with some other goodies...

I recently purchased a used Bernina/Bernette 334DS overlocker from the 1980's and I am totally smitten by her hum and love feeding her lots and lots of stretchy jersey and knits.  So, one of my purchases was a bit of really nice jersey knit from the Serukid kiosk.  If you're looking for children's/baby fabric, cottons, terry-cloth, fleece, organic cottons, etc... they have really high-quality stuff there.

Another difficult-to-find item for which I'm always on the look-out is nice wool fabric.  Once again the market proved a success in finding mill-end wool.  This one is 100% wool fabric in a nice subtle check.

I also found some nice elastics for lingerie and everyday use.

I also found a great deal on pattern-tracing paper in large wide rolls which is great.  This way I don't have to tape together bits and pieces of my tracing paper.  I ran out of drafting vellum on the roll that I had had for nearly 10 years this past fall.  That went a long way!  But, still on my list of things to find are a bit of glove-quality leather and curved rulers bigger than my current little french curve.

In local news, Stoff&Co. recently moved to my neighborhood!  They used to be a bit far away, but now... they're temptingly close. Too close! They stock lots of pretty print fabric including Liberty fabric, and lots of lovely things such as this little sampler packet below:

And, now to concentrate my efforts and sew up some of this stuff!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

StitchinCrochet PRO!

Finally, another loose end tied up. This particular loose end has been around for 3 or 4 years.  I've been collecting e-mails, handy symbols that I missed, and re-organizing this font for a looooong time.  It's done now.  I've simplified the organization of the glyphs so they are grouped together by type: dc increases together, dc decreases together.  I tried to be sure there were corresponding increase and decrease symbols where it was relevant, and I eliminated some of the more fanciful and esoteric symbols that are not used commonly.

And, the result is StitchinCrochetPro now available on myfonts.com!

For more details on what glyphs/symbols are included in this version, check out the "gallery" section of the font here.  It includes the keyboard key and symbol abbreviations guide as a pdf.
Let me know what you think if you get a chance to try it!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Quick Gifts 5: Easy Lace Loop & Cowl Set

It's finally published!  I just wanted to make sure you knew in case you wanted a quick weekend project.

Recently I've been trying to tie up long-time loose ends and this is one of them.  A few years ago several of our local SnB members (myself included) purchased these beautiful variegated skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino.  A few years passed, and we still had no idea what to make with them.  Each is so different from the other, and each is beautiful in its own way.  So, after fiddling with  many many stitch patterns and needle sizes, I finally came up with a good combination of yarn, needle size/gauge, and pattern!

Here's what resulted from the effort:

I'm quite happy with the results, and if you'd like to try your hand at the pattern, it's available here on Ravelry.  It makes a really quick knit in the DK weight, and different yarns react differently to the pattern.  Some pool others stripe, but I'm happy with the end results of both combinations.

Details on the pattern...
The pattern is for 2 sizes: Cowl and Loop. 

Instructions are given for 2 yarn weights: DK and Fingering.  It’s a great pattern for stash-busting and using up variegated yarns.
Cowl: ~24-26” / 61-66 cm circumference 
Loop: ~44-48” / 112-122 cm circumference 
Cowl: ~22” / 61 cm circumference 
Loop: ~44” / 112 cm circumference
All have height ~10.5” / 26.5 cm
• knitting in the round 
• slipping a stitch, dropping a stitch 
• passing a slipped stitch over live stitches 
• yarning over
DK/8ply Yarn 
Cowl – 150 yds / 137 m DK/8 ply yarn 
Loop – 300 yds / 274 m DK/8 ply yarn 
Fingering/4ply Yarn 
Cowl – 275 yds / 229 m Fingering weight / 4ply yarn 
Loop – 550 yds / 457 m Fingering weight / 4ply yarn
1 stitch marker, tapestry needle