July 20, 2010

donegal cap

Posted in finished object, knitting at 6:15 pm by peachknits

Pattern: Donegal Cap
Yarn: Hemp for Knitting Hempton
Started: July 12, 2010
Finished: July 18, 2010

Notes: A quick and satisfying summer knit. Zach really liked the original driving cap I knit for him, but had one complaint: the brims were a little too wide, and protruded a little too far from his head. I agreed. He imposed a new mission: find a hat pattern that would fit him better.

I’m really puzzled as to why this pattern isn’t more popular. Despite a somewhat intimidating construction method and some pretty awesome short row shaping, it’s really not that difficult once you get a handle on it. I want to know, as a blossoming designer (can I call myself that yet?) how Cheryl Andrews of Wooly Bear Hand Knits got her head around all that shaping and structure. The end result is pure genius.

Hempton by Hemp for Knitting is surprisingly forgiving on your hands, for being, well, hemp. It had a hand similar to cotton, but was stiffer and didn’t stretch much. The rigidity of the yarn makes a perfect fabric for this hat: it doesn’t sag or lose its structure, and you don’t even need a plastic template for the brim. Amazing!

This hat is an early birthday present for Zach. I think it really suits him!

July 17, 2010

haruni

Posted in finished object, knitting at 2:47 pm by peachknits

Pattern: Haruni
Yarn: madelinetosh tosh sock
Started: March 7, 2010
Finished: July 11, 2010

Notes: What a lovely, thoroughly enjoyable pattern. Haruni has a very simple lace pattern up until the border, where there’s rapid increases for several rows, followed by rapid decreases to create large leaves and blossoms. The crocheted edging was a first for me, but well worth the extra time it took to complete. The end result is a very elegant and wearable shawl that I just love love love.

Tosh sock is amazing to knit with: really springy, yet also incredibly soft. And the color! The variegation is subtle and perfect for this intricate pattern.

January 27, 2010

Ishbel

Posted in finished object, knitting at 3:55 pm by peachknits

Hello, hello. It was such a beautiful day today, and I had a chance to get some photographs of my recently finished project, Ishbel. This design is one of the most popular on Ravelry; it’s so versatile and allows you to mix and match the stockinette and lace elements to customize the shawl to your personal tastes or yarn amount.

Pattern: Ishbel
Yarn: Handmaiden Fine Yarns Sea Silk
Started: September 26, 2009
Finished: January 26, 2010

Notes: In terms of the yarn, it was very luxurious (it should be, too, since it’s the most expensive yarn, ounce for ounce, that I’ve ever purchased) but I did find it to be a little slippery for my tastes. I had a few issues with tension in the stockinette section, and I think the yarn’s inherent silkiness is to blame. That, and the fact that I never did learn to hold my yarn the “right” way, so I sometimes have problems with uneven tension.

I actually had to frog this back about five times before I decided on a way to tackle the yarn overs on both the right and wrong sides. In short, I completely omitted them and replaced them with kfb on both ends. The result is a less lacy but far more attractive alternative.

Those who have knitted this shawl probably struggled with the YOs because they’re placed before purl stitches on the wrong side. This requires you to wrap the yarn not once, but twice around the needle to gain on YO, and in doing so, the YO on one side is larger than the YO on the other side (which is followed by a knit). Yeah, I know, confusing. I’m not sure why the shawl is structured this way, but I found my solution (which I actually borrowed from others who had run into the same problem) to be quite satisfactory. It may not be a “true” 100% Ishbel, but it’s mine, and I love it.

Thanks to Geoff for being my personal photographer today!