Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New blog address

I have moved my blog to http://parallaxknitting.com/. I hope you will visit me there.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Free Pattern: Pink leafy scarf

My mother bought this yarn on sale about twenty years ago from a department store that went out of business years ago. It’s beautiful yarn, but I always have a hard time knowing what to do with novelty yarn – but then apparently so does my mother. I knew she always wanted something out of it, and there was not enough for anything larger, so here is a lacey scarf to show it off.

This was intended to be a Christmas present, but it is missing with my luggage, so for now this is all the evidence I have of its existence. I may add more pictures of the scarf being modeled if and when we get it back. I hope you all have been and will continue to enjoy the midwinter festival of your choice and wish you all a happy new year.

Difficulty: intermediate

Size: One size

Finished measurements: 7 inches wide and 60 inches long before blocking

Jaeger mohair cotton novelty blend [46% mohair, 44% cotton, 10% nylon; unidentified length per skein]; unidentified color; 4 skeins
1 set US #10.75 /7mm straight needles
Tapestry needle

Note: this yarn is no longer available and it doesn’t have much information on the label. Please see the attached pitures for an idea of the yarn I used.
I suggest you use whatever yarn you fancy in your stash and knit until you like the length or until you run out of yarn.

Guage: 10 sts/13 rows = 4" in background lace stitch

Pattern stitches:
Background trellis lace: (multiple of 4 plus 2)
Row 1: k1, *ssk, yo 2 times, k2tog*, repeat between * until 1 st from end, k1.
Row 2: p1, *p2, k1, p1*, repeat between * until 1 st from end p1.

Leaf: (worked over 2 background trellis lace pattern repeats)
Row 1: ssk, yo, k2tog, yo, pick up and knit yarn between two stitches from previous row, yo, ssk, yo, k2tog.
Row 2 and all even rows: work as established.
Row 3: ssk, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, k2tog.
Row 5: ssk, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, k2tog.
Row 7 and 9: k.
Row 9: yo, k2tog, k5, ssk, yo.
Row 11: k1, yo, k2tog, k3, ssk, yo, k1.
Row 13: k1, yo twice, k2tog, k1, ssk, yo twice, k1.
Row 15: ssk, yo twice, pick up yarn from previous row and knit it, slip 2 stitches as if to knit, k1, k2 pass two slipped stitches over, pick up yarn from previous row and knit it, yo twice, k2tog.
Row 17: ssk, yo twice, k2tog, k3tog, yo twice, k2tog.

Work in background lace pattern with leaves randomly placed. I chose to have more leaves at one end.

Weave in ends, block if necessary.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Movie sweaters

I went to see The Golden Compass this weekend. It has some of the best knitwear I have seen in a movie for a long time. I am so smitten with the costumes Lyra wore. If for no other reason, I recommend that movie to anyone who likes to knit. It was also a good film, but the knitting was what entranced me.

My particular favourites included a red garter stitch sweater coat near the middle, a very cute knitted hat in the shape of a hood, and a pair of mittens worked in a loop stitch.

I was thinking that a hood in that shape attached to a scarf would be wonderful, and the mittens look so warm, of course you couldn't do anything while you were wearing them, which makes the string holding them through the sleeves handy. I suppose children who are running for their lives don't need to worry about hurting themselves on playground equipment.

You can see some pictures here.

The other movies that immediately come to mind as having really great knitting are Le Divorce, worn by Kate Hudson's and Naomi Watts' characters, and all the Harry Potter movies, mainly worn by Mrs. Weasley, though they do strictly speaking include crochet if I remember correctly.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My knitting machine

I bought a second hand knitting machine a few months ago, so I could work more fine garments faster. I thought that because I felt confident hand knitting it would be easy.

It turns out it is broken. This part is supposed to be welded to the plate. It is possible I may be able to get a replacement part.

I am not sure what I was thinking. The whole reason I stopped weaving was because I don't like sitting in an upright chair or sitting on a bench while making something.

I love hand knitting; it has to be one of my favourite things to do, but I confess the siren call of endless swaths of stocking stitch in no time was too strong. I have at least two projects sitting in my knitting basket because I have hit an endless section of right side knit and wrong side purl.

If I ever manage to get the knitting machine going, I will celebrate by making myself a wonderful and cozy kimono in stocking stitch to lounge around in. it should be a good first project as they can be entirely made from rectangles. Until then I may get a few rows done on this shawl: Leaves and Waves by Pat Coyle from Knitty, fall 2004. it's beautiful. My version is blue on brown, but I despair of ever getting it done because I am in an interminable stocking stitch section.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Designing gloves with short rows

I recently had a question about how I designed the short row shaping on my Urban Rustic Gloves. Here is the method I followed:

  1. Measure your hand, this includes the length of your hand from the base of your fingers to wrist, the length of all your fingers, the circumference of your hand at the palm, at the base of your thumb, at your wrist and all your fingers. I suggest you trace around your hand and write all the measurements in.
  2. Work out the number of rows you will need to go around the palm of your hand and mark the number on graph paper with each square representing one stitch. You may need to tape two or more pieces together. You will still need several rows of graph paper on each side of the palm.
  3. Work out how many stitches you will need to go around your palm at the base of your thumb and divide this number by two; add those rows to the two sides of your graph. This is the number of rows you will need to add using short rows for your thumb gusset.
  4. Work out the number of rows you will need to go around your wrist, subtract this number from the number of rows you needed to go around your palm. Round this number to make it even. This number divided by two is the number of short rows you will need between the base of your fingers and your wrist.
  5. Start shading in sets of two rows on your graph paper, starting with odd numbered rows, to place your short rows, until you have the right number of short rows. I staggered the length of these rows to make the shaping gradual; I suggest three lengths of rows alternately spaced to get even shaping.
  6. For the thumb gusset, divide the number of stitches by the number of rows, this will give you the number of stitches difference you need between each short row.
  7. To shape the ends of the fingers use one set of short rows each second row, ending approximately two stitches from the end. The first and last rows of the finger must not be short rows.
Note: Fudge the math anywhere you need to to make the pattern work. Knitting is stretchy and it pulls in a bit too. It took me a lot of attempts before I got it right.

If you have any questions, I would be happy to try to help.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Winter Knitty is up!

Winter Knitty is up, complete with my Gloves Can Be Deceiving.

I loved knitting these gloves and I hope you do too. I would love to see pictures.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Free pattern

Russian Princess in Exile

The Russian émigrés were so influential after they fled the revolution. They brought different perspectives and new fashions west and east and helped people learn to think in a new way. They also knew a thing or two about how to stay warm. This hat would not be for those who brought their fortune with them – leave the fox and mink for them; this is for those who made it out with their lives and had to make a life how they could that meant wearing wool, but wearing it like a princess, which is what I suggest you should do too.

DIFFICULTY: Intermediate

SIZE: M[L] (shown in size L)

Around head: 20[24] inches
Crown to brim: 8[10] inches

Rowan Big Wool [100% wool; 87yd/80m per 100g skein]; color: Best Brown; 1[2] skeins
1 set US #17/12mm straight needles
Tapestry needle

7.5 sts/10 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch

C8B: put next 4 sts on cable needle and put at back of work, K4, then K4 from cable needle
C8F: put next 4 sts on cable needle and put at front of work, K4, then K4 from cable needle

All sizes:
CO50[62], turn.
Row 1: K1, *C8B, K4*, repeat between * 3[4]times, K1.
Row 2 and all wrong side rows: P.
Row 3-5: K.
Row 7: K5, *C8F, K4*, repeat between * 3[4]times, K1.

Size M only:
Row 8 (dec row): K1, * put 4 sts on cable needle and hold to back as if to C8B, k2tog 2 times, k2tog 2 times from cable needle, K4*, repeat between * 3 times, K1 (34 sts).
Rows 9-13: work even.
Row 14 (dec row): K1, *K2, put 4sts on cable needle and put to front of work as if to C8F, k2tog, k2tog 2 times from cable needle*, repeat between * 3 times, K1 (22 sts).
Row 15 (dec row): P3 together 7 times, P1 (8 sts).

Size L only:
Repeat Rows 1-5.
Row 14 (dec row): K1, *K4, put 4 sts on cable needle and hold to front as if to C8F, k2tog 2 times, k2tog 2 times from cable needle*, repeat between * 4 times, K1 (42 sts).
Rows 15-19: work even.
Row 20 (dec row): K1, *put 4sts on cable needle and put to back of work as if to C8B, k2tog, k2tog 2 times from cable needle, K2*, repeat between * 4 times, K1 (27 sts).
Row 21 (dec row): P3 together 9 times (9 sts).

Draw end of yarn through remaining sts, draw tight to close the crown.
Using tapestry needle sew the seam from the brim to the crown with mattress stitch; weave in loose ends.

Photo credit: Jonathan Cross