Archive for April 2010

You’re a superstar, yes that’s what you are

April 18, 2010

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Pattern: Tunic knitted with a lace pattern in Muskat by DROPS design
Yarn: Ella Rae Baby Cotton (88% cotton, 12% nylon), colorway Spring
Needles: U.S. 6 Zephyr acrylic 60″ circular needle, magic-loop style

With a name like Spring, what else could you do with this yarn?

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I was inspired by the bright green of this yarn — the perfect anecdote to the pinks and purples of the girls’ clothes I see all around me, the very embodiment of the season. And although I had never tried to decipher a Drops pattern before, I was willing to try. The Norwegian yarn retailer has an extensive archive of free patterns, usually in a flowing, modern style, but they have a reputation for a somewhat cryptic style. Nevertheless, this was exactly what I wanted. After the joyful experience of knitting this cotton for three elegant washcloths, I could not wait to drape my daughter in its sproingy softness.

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I admit that there were times between the tunic’s inception in late March and its completion in mid-April when I almost lost my nerve. I was knitting a slightly thinner yarn at a slightly smaller gauge than specified, using the 7/8 size numbers, and expecting a roomy but well-fitting top for my size 6 wearing five-year old. I had 500g of yarn, plenty of yardage according to the pattern. But as I watched my third ball dwindle before getting to the armholes, I worried. As I looked at the generous circumference of the lace panel at the bottom and the depth of the armholes and front slit, I worried.

But when I used a three-needle bindoff to seam the shoulders, I began to believe. And when the garter-stitch neckline was complete and I laid it out on the back of the sofa, I dared hope beyond my expectations. “Oh my lord, I think it might be perfect,” I wrote in my Ravelry notebook late last night.

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There’s no other word. Perfect yarn, perfect color, perfect style, perfect fit, perfect girl. Now all that’s left is the perfect summer to go around it.

Into action everybody sprang

April 2, 2010

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Pattern: Vine Stitch Scarf by Sarah Fama
Yarn: Berroco Blackstone Tweed (65% wool, 25% superkid mohair, 10% angora)
Needles: U.S. 8 Signature straights

Scarves. Scarves. Scarves. I love everything about them. There is nothing bad about knitting a scarf. And a scarf is always wearable. Everybody in your life needs a scarf, so you always have someone to give a scarf to. I have pledged to myself that I will never be without a scarf on the needles again.

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This one was so easy and fun to knit. It’s one row. I took it everywhere. I picked it up and knit it at the drop of a hat. The yarn is a beautiful teal-dolphinesque tweed, soft and felted. I don’t know if it’s completely right for this pattern, but I don’t care. It’s a joy, the whole thing.

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I had no idea how the blocking would affect this sort of flat, foggy yarn. What happened was that it held the blocking beautifully. Instead of the ribbing texture you might get in a yarn with more ply and twist in this pattern, I got openwork. It’s light as air, and although it’s wool and mohair and angora, it was perfectly comfortable on this 80-degree day.

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I want a whole closet full of scarves like this. I was basically wearing jeans and a t-shirt today, and look — the scarf makes it an outfit. Even if they were a chore to knit, I’d want them. But I love knitting them. So there’s pleasure all around.