WIP Wednesday 164 – In which I knit an opera

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing fine.

Majoran

I’m a happy camper, since nature has decided to grace us with a bunch of beautifully sunny and crisp fall days. My mood always adjusts to the weather, and a long stretch of dreary greyness leaves me downcast and unhappy, while a few days of sunshine make me want to sing the whole day…

Also improving my mood is the fact that I sent two finished samples and pattern drafts off to the UK this week. Nothing like completing a task to make you feel accomplished and contented. This has the added bonus of leaving me a bit of time for private knitting, which I may actually share pictures and information about. Yay!

I’m making the Flying Dutchman socks – a pattern that’s been on my to-do-list for a few months, with a very specific recipient in mind. On monday, while out grocery shopping I came across this yarn in the absolutely perfect colours!

Flying Dutchman Arrangement

Taking advantage of the wonderful weather, I took myself, my knitting, a glass of fresh apple juice and an audio book out onto the balcony. Flying Dutchman is a well written pattern and easy to follow, which probably wasn’t easy to achieve with this in-the-round Jacquard technique. Chapeau to the designer!

Flying Dutchman Closeup

I made a few modifications to the original:

  • Knit in a slightly larger gauge, since I need the socks to fit my father, not a medium-sized lady (the men in my family are virtual big-foots)
  • Knit an afterthought heel instead of a flap-and-gusset heel (purely because I’m lazy)
  • Have the motif show on the outer, instead of the inner calf

Can you see the ship appear in the stripes on the leg? It’s hard to photograph in full sunlight, but it looks great in reality! My dad, being a passionate yachtsman, will hopefully be as thrilled with this ghostly yacht appearing on his socks as I am…

WIP buttonAs always, I’m joining up with the knitting crowd gathered at Tami’s Amis for WIP Wednesdays… why not go and pay a visit?

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WIP Wednesday 161 – Socks and more Secrets!

So, the one top-secret design WIP is on hold for now, until I’ve received the missing color. Time to move on, no time to waste.

Will I be able to show you more pics of this one? No, of course not. Why do you even ask? Sorry, it’ll keep that way for at least 3 weeks more (if I’m really, really quick).

Generic toe craftily obscuring the finished sock in the background...

Generic stockinette stitch sole  craftily obscuring the finished sock in the background…

This is one of three designs I’m currently preparing for upcoming issues of Knit Now magazine. It’s obviously a sock. That much I can tell. What else?

  • It’s toe-up
  • It has a short-row heel
  • It does NOT feature w&t’s
  • It’s rather on the bulky side (obviously)

I’m knitting with Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica.

All in all I like this yarn: It’s singles (which I asked for), it’s pure wool (which I generally like) and it’s surprisingly soft. There’s one little fly in the ointment: Parts of it are severely overtwisted and almost as thin as sewing thread, while others are thick and fluffy without any twist at all. This can of course happen in handspun yarn, and I’d definitely use this yarn again, but it can probably shine and show off its qualities better in a larger, all stockinette project. I’d love to try one of their beautiful variegated colourways for a simple stockinette cowl or scarf.

As always, I’m joining up with the knitting crowd gathered at Tami’s Amis for WIP Wednesdays… why not go and pay a visit?

 

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WIP Wednesday 160 – In which I have to keep a secret

Welcome back, WIP peeps! I’ve been awol for the last month, but now I’m back in the game!

Yeah right. I wish.

The problem is, that all my current knitting is top-secret, no-show, once again. So all you’ll get will be pictures of my WIP, artfully arranged (read: a bunched up heap) so one can’t tell what it actually is or what its key features will be. Isn’t that fun?!? … Sorry.

DSCN1150

Diamonds

(Photo credit: Kim Alaniz)

So here’s what I feel I can tell you:

  • It’ll be a spring/summer knit
  • It will NOT be a sweater
  • As you can see, there will be some fair-isle knitting
  • And a lot of different textures
  • And all that color and texture has one common theme. I’ll give you a hint ⇒

But I’m sure I’m allowed to talk yarn. Nobody can say anything against that, can they? So yarn it’ll be.

The current design WIP uses Rowan Panama. I hadn’t heard of it, let alone knit with it before, so it was kind of a surprise when the yarn support parcel arrived.

At first I was less than impressed, I have to admit. Before it is knit up, it has a slightly weird texture, like a loose crochet chain with unevenly spaced, shiny slubs. When I started knitting my gauge swatch, I was even genuinely disappointed. I had been working with sofTropes heavenly soft kidsilk lace yarn over the last weeks and compared to that it felt like knitting up thin strips of cardboard.

But.

Rowan Panama in Orchid and Begonia

This yarn undergoes an almost magical transformation during washing and blocking! After it had dried, my gauge swatch had turned wonderfully soft and smooth, the slubs had evened out to shiny flecks reflecting the light beautifully for visual interest, and even the tiny 4” square of knitted fabric had a perfect drape. Wow.

I’m really glad I was “coerced” to using this yarn by my editor, because I’d have never discovered it on my own. In a yarn shop, I’d have passed it by after the first look and touch and dismissed it as a bad idea. Well, it isn’t. Promise. Although, even after I’ve made my way through 3 balls of it, I still find knitting with it a little difficult. It’s not as bad as I felt in the beginning (what cotton/linen blend can hold up against the softness of silk and kid mohair?), it feels sort of “gnarly” and splits like hell. But I feel that the gorgeous end result is well worth the trouble of knitting it…

Did you ever knit with this yarn? Or did you discover your own surprising yarn gem? I’d love to hear about it…

As always, I’m joining up with the knitting crowd gathered at Tami’s Amis for WIP Wednesdays… why not go and pay a visit?

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WIP Wednesday 148 – Nachtfalter KAL Progress

Happy WIP-Wednesday everyone!

KAL Week 1So, we’re having this KAL with my Nachtfalter pattern –  hosted at Holla Knits and conducted by Katie Canavan from Under the Red Umbrella. And, what can I say: Even though I designed this pattern and knitted it about 1 1/2 times before, I’m quite enjoying myself.

I’ve already finished this week’s goal (knit the complete ribbing) and it’s a good thing I have some proposal writing and swatch knitting to do, or I’d pull another all-nighter and probably finish the first half of the lace today…

There’s a lot of chatter in the KAL forum on Ravelry – Nachtfalter knitters are a talkative and creative bunch it seems. There’s a lot of customization, modifications and adjusting going on – so if you plan on knitting this baby for yourself, be sure to check it out!

Do you have your own WIP to share or want to look at other great projects? Hop over to Tamis Ami’s and join the crowd!

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WIP Wednesday 144 – Chicken Sox!

Happy WIP-Wednesday everyone!

Writing about ankle socks last Sunday apparently put a fixed idea into my head – I immediately cast on a pair after I finished writing up the Lace Rib sock pattern.

I really, really liked the mesh inserts from the “Anarcadia” anklets by Wollhuhn. The pattern was written either for much lighter yarn or much wider feet than mine – I had to go down 12 stitches to get a good fit. But no way I’d miss out on knitting them in this specific yarn! It’s Nomade from Wollfaktor in a gorgeous purple colorway (that I still can’t bring my camera to photograph properly…).

Also: It’s a cuff-down pattern, and by now I’ve been firmly converted to the toe-up way of making socks. (My friend Steffi, who’s responsible for this, will probably go “I told you so…” at this very moment. 🙂 ) Thus another modification was called for.

There’s a cable pattern on the back of the (very short) leg I’ll have to modify as well, because I haven’t got enough stitches for the given pattern.

All in all these socks will look a lot like Wollhuhn’s, but will have been worked quite a bit differently.

Oh, the name… “Wollhuhn” is German for Wool-Chick(en), so I thought I’d reflect that in naming my project…

As always, I’m joining up with the knitting crowd gathered at Tami’s Amis for WIP Wednesdays… why don’t you join us?

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