Category: Knitting

Jun 12

In Threes Baby Sweater

I’m always fascinated to know which patterns knitters enjoy so much they knit them repeatedly. This is one of mine. It’s the In Threes Baby Cardigan by Kelly Herdrich. I’ve yet to knit one for a designated recipient. I just like to choose yarn and buttons and start it — about 100 grams of a worsted weight yarn is all it takes. The smallest size (0-6 months) can be completed in a weekend. In my notes on another In Threes that I finished recently, I mentioned that I like to use this pattern to try a new-to-me yarn for the first time. There’s also a cute grown-up version by the same designer that I’m SO tempted to knit – it’s Practically

If you’d like to knit a smaller version than what the worsted weight yarn yields, simply choose a lighter weight yarn — a DK- or sport-weight — with a smaller needle.

Do you have any favorite repeat knits?

comment?
Jun 11

Shibui Crete Scarf

In May, I started the Crete scarf in spite of a record number of WIPs. However, I decided that from now on, if I have needles free, and I’m compelled to cast on for something, I’m just going to do it. Why not cast on like it’s my job. It kind of is my job! By the way — you have my permission to do whatever you want too — if you want to cast on, then cast on! You’re only auditioning the yarn, after all.

I’m such a sucker for Shibui yarn and this project has brought me joy from the beginning (and it’s a great color, which helps). I love the combination of rustic and luxurious — and Twig has my heart now. I don’t think there’s another DK-weight yarn quite like it. It’s a combination of linen, recycled silk, and a little bit of wool. I’ve seen how it transforms with blocking and can’t wait to bind off this scarf give it a good soak. The best part of knitting the Crete is the addition of Lunar — 1 strand of Lunar and 1 strand of Twig makes a gorgeous fabric. And as I do with cotton, cotton blends, and linen, I always use interchangeable needles when I’m knitting a lot of stockinette. I use the needle size called for on my knit rows and a smaller needle on my purl rows. (I don’t swatch for scarves, if you’re wondering). It keeps the fabric looking smooth and consistent. Not every knitter has the issue I have (“rowing out“), but rather than adapt my knitting technique (it would slow me down initially and the payoff isn’t worth it if I have an easy fix), I’m happiest knitting with two different needle tips.

Shibui Crete

Crete Scarf – Shibui Lunar and Twig, in Apple Colorway

comment?
Jun 09

I resolved in 2017 . . .

I resolved in 2017 to come back to my beloved blog and while it’s taken over half the year to do it, I’m back! I’ve been very active on Instagram (find me there as twistedknitter) and I try to post photos there often. I’ve also separated the business from the personal and the shop has its own Instagram (Twisted Yarns). I’d be honored if you followed both! I’ve missed blogging and writing, so I’m resolute about writing weekly again — even if I’m the only one reading. Writing has always been my way of transforming imagination into plans. Skipping the writing step has left me adrift.

For now, I’ll share one of my latest knitting WIPs along with a link in the caption so you can find read the details on Ravelry. I’m using three skeins of Silk Garden Sock and it’s nearly finished — just a few more rows! It’s an easy (and FREE), addicting pattern and will work with virtually any yarn. I’ve had it on the needles a while (started in March 2017) but life intervened before I could get back on track. So naturally, I did what I usually do and started new projects. What else would a yarn lover do when she’s surrounded by gorgeous yarns?! It’ll be satisfying to knit the last few rows and reward myself with another new start.

4 comments
Jul 25

Returning with knitting

Alexandra's Airplane Scarf

Last week, I  remembered that writing helps me to organize my thoughts and chart my life. I also remembered that upheaval of this routine means creative chaos. And creative chaos creates anxiety. So, this one area that I’ve neglected — blogging — has been very crippling and it’s spilled over into everything.  My first tactic is to begin posting on Mondays again. Writing on Monday sets the tone for my week and allows me to look at what I’ve done in the past week and what I’ll do THIS week.

I started this scarf intending it to be a mindful, relaxing knit — something easy to pick up and put down. Alexandra’s Airplane Scarf is knit in the round on a larger needle than the yarn typically calls for (in this case, Kidsilk Haze Stripe — but can be used with any lace weight yarn and a 5.00 mm circular needle). Although I started it when nights were cool and having the scarf-in-progress on my lap made me cozy and warm, I finished it during a hot, humid Houston July. I love it.

AlexandraAirplane2

 

4 comments
Jun 30

Outline Shawl : Progress

My latest project: Outline Shawl, designed by Beata Jezek of Hedgehog Fibres. In spite of my legendary short attention span, this project is nearly complete. I’ve rushed downstairs every morning to squeeze in some knitting time before work. Those minutes have added up — only about a foot more to go. Color sequence is Villain, Teacup, Whisper, Cinder, and Pollen – more details on my Ravelry project page, linked above.


Outline Shawl

7 comments
Mar 12

March Socks : Embossed Leaves

Did March sneak up on you like it snuck up on me? I hardly feel like I got to enjoy February — or find much time to knit. I didn’t get to choose my March sock of the month until last week, and while I knew the pattern I wanted to use was Embossed Leaves, I wasn’t inspired by the yarn I had initially matched it with. I also didn’t have the right size double pointed needles for the other possibilities. In my search for a substitute, I fell in love with a skein of Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 from the Art Walk Series (“Iris“).  I can usually resist most of the  beguiling yarns that arrive at the shop where I work, but the idea of a yarn being a limited edition edition colorway can be irresistible. Ultimately though, when I cast on with the DPNs I had, I knew the Serenity 20 wasn’t going to work. Because I was committed to using Embossed Leaves, I did some quick rearranging of sock of the month projects and cast on with Colinette Jitterbug (“Vincent’s Apron”) instead:

Embossed Leaves

I am SO pleased with this combination and it’s been a very quick knit (helped along by marathon viewing sessions of Scandal).

There was also another potential sock option in the wings, however, because I wanted to reacquaint myself with Magic Loop. So I cast on for yet another sock — different yarn. More on that soon (and if you keep up with my Instagram, you might already know which yarn I am using).

8 comments
Jan 31

February Socks : Marilinda

It’s time to reveal my February Sock of the Month:

February Sock of the Month

I’ve had Cookie A‘s Marilinda sock pattern in my queue since August, 2011. I love her sock design sensibilities and own both Knit. Sock. Love. and Sock Innovation. Do you have those knitting books that you always keep handy for inspiration? For me, that’s usually sock books. A worthy volume usually has a good combination of patterns that are easy to execute, followed by a majority of patterns that are slightly more challenging and require close attention to charts, and finally, at least one pattern that would represent a huge challenge. Marilinda falls in the middle group.

Because I’ve always pictured this sock in a bright pink or red, I chose the “Raspberry” colorway in Cascade Heritage Silk. The model in the book was knit with regular Cascade Heritage — sans silk — and I really felt like I wanted the slight sheen you get from the addition of a little bit of silk (mulberry silk, in this case).

Cascade Heritage Silk

Stay tuned here and on Ravelry! My loose guideline (notice: not a “rule”) is that I finish just one Marilinda by the end of the month.

Random notes:

Other Sock of the Month blog entries

If you have a minute, read this post written by a knitblogger whose sock knitting thought processes (and rationale for purchasing yarn and needles!) I could identify with. Here are her finished Marilindas.

4 comments
Jan 31

January Socks : Shur’tugal

Alice Yu’s sock designs are wonderful. They’re just challenging enough to keep me enthralled, with familiar elements for a sock knitter like me who prefers to knit her socks one at a time, cuff-down, with a heel flap, on DPNs. (However, all of her sock patterns can be used with the Magic Loop method or knitted in the round on two circular needles). I purchased her book, Socktopus, when I realized that she didn’t offer her patterns as individual Ravelry downloads. Fair enough though, because there are already several of her sock designs in my queue, and the book is a better value than buying several individual patterns. I knit Shur’tugal with Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20, in one of their One-of-a-Kind colorways. While this isn’t going to be my hardiest pair of socks (what with the cashmere and all), they are luxurious and warm. And super soft.

Shur’tugal was my study break sock last semester, and I wasn’t putting pressure on myself to finish the pair. But then it got cold, and I knit the second sock in record time so I could wear them! That’s when I realized that having a finished first sock in the bank (so to speak) gave me instant motivation — finishing just ONE sock is far less daunting to me than starting and finishing TWO. This dovetails perfectly with my sock-of-the-month plan. I’ve designated a second bin as my Sock Bank — where single socks wait patiently for their knitter to decide to knit them a mate. I have loose guidelines about this, but one thing remains inviolate: everything related to the project has to be intact in a labeled (project name and date) plastic zipper bag — yarn, pattern, notes, and needles (if practical).

With my tendency to find starting a sock most appealing when I’m stressed, I have some lovely single socks ready to go in the Sock Bank. I’m not worried about deadlines (well, when am I ever when it comes to knitting?) because handknit socks and having warm feet in the winter are always in fashion.

image

6 comments
Jan 28

Not going anywhere

Despite all evidence to the contrary, and for those who have wondered and sent thoughtful emails, I am not going anywhere — and neither is my blog home! The blog break was unintentional, but I leaned in to it. I recently decided that I’m taking this semester off from school and am not enrolled in any classes. Instead, I’m really looking forward to spending quality time with my yarn!

Sock planning session

Last week, I had a fun planning session related to my sock knitting queue. I love knitting socks, and I want to honor that this year, because time and knitting opportunities are precious. Since I already have (and continually seek) more sources of sock knitting inspiration than anything else (books, individual patterns, Pinterest, Ravelry), I am excited about my idea. (Obviously, I also have the stash to support it). I am not ashamed to admit that I focused on a plan that works out in my favor:

Sock of the Month plan

Short version of my plan: I get to start a new sock on the first of every month. To make the decision making process easier, I am working ahead to match patterns to stash, printing out hard copies of patterns (or referring to the book or digital source) and placing yarn, pattern, and related notions in a plastic zipper bag. I can choose one bag every month, and leave the bin undisturbed till I get another “turn” the following month. (Hat tip to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, who had a similar idea a few years back). Eight months later, she updated that the system was really working out for her. The main difference between her plan and mine is that I don’t have to intend to complete a pair before I start a sock project on the first of the month. (After all, it’s my plan and I can do as I want, right?) Also, my rules are loose enough that I’m not going to blindly choose a bag — I’ll decide when I open the bin which project I want to knit.

Guess who’s looking forward to February 1st?

16 comments
Jun 16

Ann Norling #35: Feather and Fan

I started this blanket over a year ago and the intended recipient is already one year old. I’m sure I’m not the only knitter to have ever done this, right? My kids all loved blankets well into their grade school years and my daughter still has her favorite blanket, so I think it will still be well received.

It was my first time using Cascade Pacific, a machine-washable blend of merino (40%) and acrylic (60%). As soon as it was off the needles, I washed it on the delicate cycle with a small squirt of Soak (Lacey) and dried it in my dryer — it laundered beautifully. It’s a great choice for baby afghans.

The pattern is a classic and I’ve used it before — Fantastic Eyelet Crib Blanket.

Purple Feather and Fan

Feather and Fan with Cascade Pacific

What about you? What are your favorite blanket patterns for babies?

Even though I had it on the needles for over a year, it’s actually a quick knit. The pattern is easily memorized and it’s great TV knitting. I don’t knit much while I’m in school, so I’m catching up on my WIPs now that it’s summer. I have a lot to share (and not all of it is knitting — think jewelry!)

Feather & Fan

Feather & Fan with Cascade Pacific

 

 

9 comments