Saturday, December 31, 2011

last FO of 2011

Latvian Garden Party

Fittingly it's a baby blanket to keep little baby 2012 warm. This is an awesome and free pattern, called Baby Blanket Latvian Garden by the Needle Lady, available on Ravelry.

Latvian Garden Party

I started it last spring and it took awhile only because I kept putting it down to work on other things, it was some comfort knitting to slip back into when I needed it. My friend was pregnant when I began and I fear that the baby may have grown a mustache by now.

The original pattern has hearts on the either end which I replaced people and hence it is called Latvian Garden Party. Since long periods would happen between knitting it some mistakes in the pattern were made, like the orange people got taller but I forged ahead. This will be a little detail for the baby to puzzle over.

Latvian Garden Party

Learned a new technique, working the steek stitches in purl which apparently a common way to work the steek in Norway. A bit of a pain to purl stranded in the round but it works much better if you can master the Norwegian purl. The nice thing is that it will cause the steek stitches to naturally fold to the back. Crochet reinforced steek, cut it, and then machine reinforced too as I was worried that the sock wool would be slippy. The background reds are Wollemeise and the white is Cascade sock, these two yarns are almost identical in weight and work really nicely together. The other colors are all leftover scraps of sock yarn from other projects. I did the binding like a quilt binding and should have given myself bigger strips to bind with because I had to pull it tight in some places and squish it in and unlike a quilt, it’s not so easy to trim it down.

Happy 2012 all!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

mala

Mala

Needed some easy, comfort knitting after the wedding shawl and I came up with this circular scarf, or cowl, based on a mala (mantra beads) and the auspicious number 108. There are 108 beads in a mala, so everything in the cowl is a divisible of that number. You can read more about the significance of that number here.

Mala

This is knit flat in stockinette with the edges unabashedly curling in and grafted together at the ends. It can be double or triple wrapped around the neck. It rolled into itself heavily while I was knitting but relaxed a bit after blocking. I experimented with a crochet edge to get it to lay flat and even went so far as to buy a book called Around the Corner Crochet Borders and used the puff stitch in there. It's a very nice looking book but isn't for beginners, I haven't done much crochet so I had to do some recon to figure out the stitch. Ultimately, I thought the edge looked better without the crochet, so I ripped it out.

Mala

The yarns I used were Madelinetosh Vintage in Warm Maize and Ginger and Mad Color Fiber Arts Sweet in Pharaoh's Gold. This is an easy cowl, most knitters could figure out how to do it on their own but I wrote up the pattern to share in case anyone felt the urge to make it. If you want to get your knitting meditation groove on and feel peace settle over you in your knit and purl mantra, you can download the pattern here . Also available through Ravelry here. Peace.