Wednesday, August 25, 2010

double your fun and the norwegian purl

my first little bit of double knitting

Double knitting has been something that I've been hankering to try for a long time and I finally got my chance this week at a class with Erika Schlueter at the Yarn Basket. She's teaching a mohair double knit scarf similar to the one (ravelry link) that she designed for Knit.1. Erika was lots of fun and full of great tips. She also showed us how to do the Norwegian Purl which may finally be the answer to my continental style purling awkwardness. It's a bit of a mind bender at first, but it didn't take too long to get comfortable with it. I'm nervous to work with mohair again after my last Rapunzelian affair, but for the sake of being a good student I'm diving in.

There's a pretty good video on youtube of the Norwegian Purl, but I thought that I would share my photos from the workshop.

Norwegian Purl step 1

Step 1: Leave the yarn in back. Don't bring it forward like you would normally for purling.

Norwegian Purl step 2

Step 2: Put tip of right needle through to purl as usual.

Norwegian Purl step 4

Step 3: Pull the stitch out quite far and twist to grab the yarn in back.

Norwegian Purl step 5

Step 4: Grab the yarn in back over the top and pull through the loop. This is hard to see in this pic, but if you grab the yarn in back from underneath your stitch will end up facing the wrong direction.

Norwegian Purl step 6

Step 5: Pull the old left stitch off the needle and voila, Norwegian Purl is accomplished.

Poof

We got Poof from the NHSPCA about a month and a half ago. He's 2.5 years old and a total love. He and Foggy are still living in separate cages but we let them have a pig party once in awhile so they can rumblestrut, butt drag, butt sniff, chutter and engage in other dominance behaviors.

My quilt top is all done and just waiting for the backing fabric that I ordered. I'm going with this.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

drive by

Drive by post. Been a bit MIA here, bogged down by a lot of work, but taking a quick break to update.

swatch for a hat

Here is my swatch for the Huz's hat. It's a mixture of New England Shetland and Rauma Finullgarn. The pattern is from Mostly Mittens. The Huz has decided that he likes the red and the orange, but not the oatmeal (he would prefer gray), or the blue. Oh, you picky man. I have ordered new yarn and will reswatch, going up a needle size to 2s, and maybe try another pattern. The fabric turned out pretty stiff.

Mamluke socks

Since I've been on hold for the Huz's hat, I have been ITCHING for a colorwork fix. So I pulled some yarn out of the stash and started working on Mamluke Socks (rav link) from Folk Socks.

Monday, August 9, 2010

puzzling

reducing glass

Putting this quilt together is like working on a giant puzzle. The pattern of the quilt (Tapestry Garden from Kaffe Fassett's Kaleidoscope of Quilts) is actually harder than it looks. Sewing it together is easy, it's the layout that is tough. The arrangement of the fabrics should allow the eye to happily dance around the surface without getting stuck anywhere.

The layout is in three columns, with a mixture of three different sized squares. I had two columns laid out during the workshop but I had to work out the third column at home. It really helped to have a reducing glass to be able to take a step back from it where I had it laid out on my bedroom floor and see the bigger picture. The fabrics used need to have some drama but work together, like big prints in the big squares. I'm using a mixture of Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler prints. Some people in the workshop attempted to use small prints in the large squares and it really did not work. It was cool to see how different the same pattern could look with thirty different versions around the room. I have it all put together now but just need to add the borders. It's been fun to make this, like solving a puzzle with no prescribed end.

Shirt Stripe Boxes QuiltTapestry Garden QuiltMorning Garden Quilt

Kaffe has done this pattern in at least three different ways. The first version, Shirt Stripe Boxes from Passionate Patchwork, is made entirely out of shirting fabric. It's a masterpiece as far as I'm concerned. The two others, Tapestry Garden and Morning Garden, are from Kaleidoscope of Quilts, and are a reworking of the first one in florals. The floral version is a great platform for him to teach what he does best, color, and of course sell all his fabrics.

swatching at the beach

The beach was a nice place to do some swatching yesterday. I'm thinking of making a hat for the Huz using patterns from Charlene Schurch's Mostly Mittens. The Huz has a bit of a pumpkin head and always has a hard time finding hats that fit and is particular, so he's hesitant about me making him a hat. What if he doesn't like it, will he have to wear it?! Will I make him something too whimsical like my "giant sock dress" (his words!) ?! Will it be too colorful? I can't believe he doesn't trust in my knitting and color abilities, just shut up and take the damn hat, will ya?