Archive for October 2008

Comment allez-vous ce soir? Je suis comme ci comme ça

October 28, 2008

Pattern: Drop-Stitch Lace Tank by Stefanie Japel (from Fitted Knits)
Yarn: Berroco Love It (58% cotton, 38% acrylic, 4% polyester), colorway Lawn
Needles: U.S. 6 Harmony Option circular needles (knit flat)

I’ve been looking for something to do with six balls of Love It that I picked up at my LYS way back last year. Thanks to Ravelry (as always), I came across an example of this pattern knit in this very yarn — a pattern in a book I happen to own. After waffling a bit on the Crisp Rectangle Tunic (and eventually deciding that despite the yardage listed in the pattern, there was no way my 720 yards was going to stretch that far), I cast on with relief. Finally this yarn has found a home!

The knitting was quick as a flash. I knit it in two pieces as directed, and seamed it up with mattress stitch up the sides. Seaming the shoulders was a first for me, but with the help of a tutorial I can’t find right now (but this is the method).

I was worried if it would be long enough after finishing the pieces, but after blocking them I realized I could get plenty of vertical stretch out of it. Ends were a bit difficult to weave in because of the drop-stitch pattern, but nothing too strenuous.

The finishing touch was acquiring the buttons — green with tiny red flowers around the edges — at a yarn shop in Denmark. I sewed them on when I got home and wore the tank for the first time last Sunday (the day of the photo shoot above). Today I wore it again with a white crew-neck long-sleeved tee, and I must say that it looked even better.

Orphan yarn finds a home. Knitter gets a fabulous new garment. Everybody wins.


And one even longer coming down

October 22, 2008

The Yarn Crawl DK! I had a free day in Aarhus after my conference was over, and having seen how easily navigable the downtown area is on foot, I determined to find the Aarhus yarn shops — if they existed!

Shop #1: Fandango

Strictly speaking, this was shop #1.5. I arrived on the street at about 10:15, but Fandango didn’t open until 11. So I walked a bit further down the street to Askeladen, a charming toy shop that also happens to carry some yarn. I bought trinkets for the kids, but no yarn — wanted to check out the real LYSes first.

Fandango was beautiful. I snapped a picture of the inside — the only shop in which I did so. It’s intimidating to take pictures of somebody’s store displays.

The place was lousy with Noro. You can see it there on the left side of the photo and on the center table. Oh, my Lord. But I was looking for Danish yarn in particular, so I left with no fiber but with four buttons for my Drop-Stitch Lace Tank (6 DKK apiece), which lacks only same to be completed. Total damage: 24 kroner (about $5).

Stop #2: Garnlageret

This cozy store was actually full of Danish women shopping and chatting! I settled on this slightly heathered blue-green fingering-weight merino. I was looking for (1) color, (2) yardage and (3) squooshability (essential for packing), and this 450 meter skein fit all three bills. Total damage: 66 kroner (about $13).

BC Garn Lucca Fino

Shop #3: Isager

No photos of this one. A beautiful large shop, but most of it is the actual packaging operation, since the yarn sold is a house label that is shipped all over the world. I didn’t see anything that met my criteria without being laceweight (a hurdle I haven’t tackled yet).

Shop #4: Ingers on Volden

Another designer’s store, but here I saw a large variety of products that met standards 1, 2, and 3. How could I resist this deep heathered red? It’s actually more wine-colored than it appears in my photo. Fingering weight and a whopping 540 meters. Total damage: 120 kroner (about $24). Duo

What a day! I’m thrilled. Over on my daily blog I’ve posted loads of pictures of this beautiful town (starting here). Check it out!

They are persuaded by the music of the bells

October 21, 2008

Opinions differ whether it’s rude to knit during a conference presentation.  I did not let the ambiguity prevent me from knitting through every single presentation at the International Society for Religion, Literature, and Culture conference in beautiful Aarhus, Denmark.


Well, all save one — I didn’t pull out these brightly striped Jaywalkers during the first keynote presentation.  But by midway through it, I wished I had.  Not that the talk was bad or boring, but lack of sleep led me to zone out far too often, and wish I had something to fiddle with so the motionless sitting wouldn’t comatize me.

So I didn’t make that mistake again.  And after two and a half days of sessions, I had about six inches done on the legs, having started just past the cuff.  Pretty fast work for me, given that I stopped frequently to make notes or ask questions.

I also brought knits to wear.  Check out the first public appearance of the Spring Forward socks, here relaxing by the Aarhus River!

And my Clapotis has been out in the chilly fall weather every day.  Here’s a self-portrait in the Botanical Gardens.

Every shop window is full of knitwear, especially large chunky or cabled scarves.   I couldn’t resist taking photos of about every other one.  They’ll probably pop up on Ravelry so some design detectives can help decipher the patterns.  It’s nice to walk around with your neck cuddled up in loveliness, feeling utterly fashion forward and yet fitting right in.

All the dancers start to sway in time

October 11, 2008
From Toxophily

Pattern: Spring Forward by Linda Welch
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential (75% superwash merino wool, 25% nylon), colorway Meadow Multi
Needles: U.S. 1 (2.25 mm) nickel fixed Options 40″ circular (two-at-a-time magic loop)

This has been my take-along sock project since June.  Which tells you how often I’ve had time to knit while out and about for the last four months.

I got this yarn back before Knit Picks introduced the multi colors in Essential; they ran a test dye-lot and didn’t think the colors came out vivid enough, so they offered them at $2.99 per 50 gram ball, if I remember correctly.  I got the Peacock colorway from which I made my ‘Vog Ons, and loved it so much that I ordered the other two that were in stock.

From Toxophily

What a cool pattern this is. Basically two pattern rows alternating with knit rows — and yet look what it makes. A meandering path through lace eyelets that bespeaks both solidity and lightness.

I’ve added these to my small and slowly growing collection of handknit socks.  Now if only the temperature will drop below sixty degrees, I’ll be walking on my own handmade clouds.

All I can see is the fire in your eyes

October 5, 2008
From Toxophily

The Drop-Stitch Lace Tank is finished and blocked.  Sometime this week I will take a deep breath, sew it up, and find out whether it fits.

That means I’m ready to cast on a new project, and I think it’s time for holiday gift knitting.  More fingerless gloves, no doubt; a scarf or two; perhaps a handsome hat; there might even be some hand towels in my future.  The stash is certainly primed and ready.

But what patterns?  Let me throw that question out to all of you.  Here are the yarns I’d like to use (links are to Ravelry stash for those who know the secret password):

Ideas?  Bring ’em on!