Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hello Spring! Here's a new free pattern!

Spring is FINALLY showing up in full force over here. I'm seeing flower petals floating along on the (STRONG) winds we've been having here in the Bay Area. To celebrate this change of seasons, here is a free pattern for a scarf that I designed last year. I called it Colliding Stars after my friend Melissa, who owns a calligraphy and design business guessed it - Colliding Stars.

She saw the initial sample of this scarf that I knit in some random green yarn I had in my stash. (Funny story - I bought the yarn from a fellow Ravelrer who had dyed it a bright neon green. I took it and overdyed the scarf a dark green, but I think I agitated the yarn too much so it had this sort of semi-felted look to it. Pretty interesting).

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the initial Colliding Stars scarf, and the pattern follows. You can download a pdf version of the pattern here or on Ravelry.

Colliding Stars
Denise A. F. Twum

I love simple lace patterns that can be used to whip up quick little scarves. The lace pattern I used for this scarf is “Diagonal Ridges” from “The Harmony Guides: Lace & Eyelets” book, edited by Erika Knight. Knit with worsted weight yarn on large needles, this scarf will be done in no time, and the finished product will be a light and airy scarf perfect for spring and summer outings.

Whatever size you want

Finished Dimensions
8in x 80in

Classic Elite Yarns Waterlily (100% extra fine merino; 100 yd [91m] /50g): #1919 Petunia, 2 skeins

US #13 (9mm) straight needles

Crochet Hook E/4 3.50mm
Tapestry Needle for weaving in ends

Not important

2 stitch markers

k2tog - knit 2 stitches together
wyif - with yarn in front
yo - yarn over

Pattern Instructions
Cast on 21 stitches (or a multiple of 5+2 stitches, and 4 edge stitches)

Knit 2 rows, keeping 2 edge stitches on each side separated by the stitch markers. Knit the first stitch on each row and the slip the last stitch purlwise on every row to create a selvedge.

Diagonal Ridges Pattern (Edge stitches not shown)
Row 1: K2tog, yo, *k3, k2tog, yo; rep from * to last 5 sts, k5.
Row 2: P2, *K3, p2; rep from * to end.
Row 3: K4, k2tog, yo, *k3, k2tog, yo; rep from * to last st, k1.
Row 4: K1, *p2, k3; rep from * to last st, p1.
Row 5: *K3, k2tog, yo; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2.
Row 6: K2, *p2, k3; rep from * to end.
Row 7: K2, *k2tog, yo, k3; rep from * to end.
Row 8: *K3, p2; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2.
Row 9: K1, k2tog, yo, *k3, k2tog, yo; rep from * to last 4 sts, k4.
Row 10: P1, *k3, p2; rep from * to last st, k1.

Diagonal Ridges pattern Chart- Edge stitches included

Repeat pattern until scarf is as long as you would like. Knit 2 more rows and bind off all stitches (or until there’s one stitch left on needle if you want to work the optional crochet edging).

Optional Crochet edging
1. Switch to crochet hook, chain 4 stitches, and sc to first selvedge stitch on the side.
2. Sc into next stitch, chain 3, and sc into same stitch.
Repeat row 2 all along one side of scarf and cast off.

Finishing Instructions
Weave in all ends. Soak/wet scarf and block to desired dimensions, making sure to open up eyelets so the scarf is light and airy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another sunset scarf

Y'all know how I get when I have deadlines looming. I cast on for a new item! :) So, in that vein, I cast on for the Purl Ridge Scarf by Stephen West, even though I have a lot of deadline knitting to do. I used the KnitPicks Palette yarn that was leftover from knitting the Sunset Moody Kerchief on a US 10.5 (6.5mm) circular needle. I worked 11 rows in each main color, and about 5-6 rows in the mixed colors for the color changes. The scarf came out very long - it's long enough to wrap around your neck three times!! However since I used fingering weight yarn held doubled, it's very light to touch. Here are some pictures of this lovely infinity scarf.

I'll hopefully be back next week with some more pretty finished projects! Enjoy the rest of your week! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Yellow Shells for Zeina

You all know my friend Zeina. She's the lovely lady who has been modeling most of my knits for the past year or so. Sometime last year we went to a yarn shop together so she could choose the yarn she wanted for me to knit something for her. She chose Mirasol Tupa yarn in the Daffodil color (#801) and we bought 2 skeins. She likes the color yellow, you see.

I first made a crochet necklace for her using the Mirasol Tupa yarn, from this Crochet Necklace pattern by Creative Yarn.

However the necklace took very little yarn, so I still had almost all the 2 skeins leftover. What to do? I let the skeins languish in my ever expanding yarn stash until last week, when I was home sick with an ear infection. I wanted to knit something I didn't NEED to have done by a certain time, so I decided to knit a present for Zeina. 

I chose the Little Shells pattern by Holly Griffin-Weidner, as it required 250 yards and seemed like a quick knit. And it was!! I cast on for the shawl on Feb 25th and I was done by Feb 29th. I made a few modifications though. The pattern asked for a US #8(5mm) needle, but I used a US #9(5.5mm) as I wanted a more open fabric, and did not knit the lace border at all. I also cast off with a US #11(8mm) needle for a loose edge.

I tried to get Zeina to come model her own gift, then surprise her at the end of the photo shoot with the shawl, but she was unable to make it, so I had to make do with my little plastic bust.

I would absolutely recommend this pattern for anyone who wants a quick gift. Because of the large stockinette section, the shawl grows very quickly before you get to the lace pattern. I'm actually thinking of knitting this pattern in a few more colors to see how it looks. The Mirasol Tupa yarn is gorgeous, and I want more of it in this exact colorway! It's like spun gold! 

I hope you have a great week, and are enjoying the extra hour of sunlight each day. See you next week! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hooray for Stitches West 2012!! - Part 2

Where was I? Oh, I had just finished my visit with Roxanne of Zen Yarn Gardens. It was now 5:30pm so I had to dash out of the conference center and drive as fast as I legally could to get to my son's daycare before 6pm. I was so happy with my loot, and excited for my Sunday class.

I almost forgot! I bumped into a friend from Dartmouth, Katharine Velleman, who is also a knitter, and lives in San Francisco. We are 45mins away from each other and have yet to still meet up. Among the thousands of knitters, crocheters and fiber enthusiasts at Stitches West, we bumped into each other! It was nice to catch up for a few minutes!

So come Sunday afternoon, I was a little tired after my weekend schedule and feeling sick with a sore throat, but I knew I had to go for my class. I made it to the conference center at 1pm, and headed straight for the market because I had seen Kauni at one of the booths and just had to have a ball. I've been looking for Kauni Effektgarn in the EU colorway for a while now, so I was pretty excited to get my hands on one ball, as well as on the EJ colorway.

I also got myself a beautiful ball of yarn from Zauberball.

I was about to head towards the Bobbin's Nest Studio booth when I realized I had less than 5 minutes to get to my class. I didn't even know where the class was located!! LOL! I dashed to the registration desk, where the kind lady gently asked me to look at the back of my badge. There it was! She gave me directions to my class, and I walked as quickly as I could into the class, Sneaky Short Row Shaping by Gwen Bortner. It was a very informative class, and I enjoyed learning a bit more about short row shaping. Below is the handout from the class, and the swatch I made with the four different short row shaping techniques we learnt. I used KnitPicks Swish DK in the Doe and Cornmeal colorways for the swatch.

During a 20min break from the class, I rushed back to the market to pick up this delicious skein of Duet 50/50 mohair and wool from Brooks Farm, a yarn farm based in Texas. The yarn is so soft that I knew I had to have a skein for myself!

I can't wait to knit up all these goodies! So what did I learn from Stitches West? I learnt that I wish we lived in the magical world of Harry Potter so I could use the nifty time turner thingy that Hermione had in Prisoner of Azkaban, so I could go back in time and take ALL the classes I wanted to at Stitches, AND visit all the booths I wanted to in the market. I had such a great time! Hopefully next year I would have made enough money from knitting to pay for the whole package and attend all the days of the conference. Rock on Stitches West, Rock on!!