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A ten-day pullover

So many months ago I bought a lot of kettle dyed pure wool from Manos del Uruguay simple because I couldn’t resist that particular colourway–bright pink, lemon green, orange, purple, and brown! (and I won the lot cheap, cheap like VERY cheap). But these skeins were since put in some plastic bags because I simply have no idea what would be the best combination of variegated yarn and a pattern.

I had learned my lesson hard and young. This scarf is one of my earliest FOs, done when I was 12:
my first ever scarf!

The moment I went into a yarn shop to purchase some balls for the knitting class, I was drawn immediately by this blend of cream and orange and had to buy them for the class! Yet, when the practice sessions were over and time for a scarf came, the simple knit and purl pattern, meant to be zigzagging vertically, was just disappeared amidst this melange of honey! Not that I didn’t like the FO but I was not quite pleased by the overshadowing of colour variation.

This is not saying that I dislike variegated yarn ever since. There are indeed quite a few skeins in my stash at this moment, most of them lace weight and their colourways are more or less semi-solid. This lot of Manos del Uruguay is the wildest I would say.

Now 2010 began with snow, so it seemed I should do some stash burning while I could. Who can resist a colourful swatch like this, in the snow?
A swatch in the snow

I then choose a pullover pattern from Lana Grossa’s Linea Rossa 1, and made this top in 10 day!

Long Woolly top

Still, I am not a big fan of variegated yarn, but this pullover stands out from my closet because it has crazy colours! Anyway, the top is warm, and I am mildly pleased. :)

Long cable skirt

When I picked up knitting again in 2006, one of my biggest entertainment was buying back issues of Vogue Knitting from ebay just to look at those beautiful pictures. I fell for some designs ever since but didn’t knit the majority of them, such as this Aran Skirtt from Winter 2005/6, which was always on the top of my Ravelry queue as long as I could remember. I’ve even designated a lot of yarn for this “project” very soon: Rowan’s Soft Lux, a much disliked yarn that mixed lurex with wool.

Maybe because errata were marked on the ravelry page for this pattern, but never an addendum was posted by VK, so I dreaded to start knitting it just because I hate to do the detective work. Or, maybe because I’ve knitted with Soft Lux before, and know by heart that it wasn’t the best yarn out there though the fabric would be warm and cute (or overtly cute for some), so an opportunity to work with the yarn again was far less than exciting to me. So the skirt pattern was always the first one in the line.

But on the first of December last year, when a pair of Herringbone Opera Gloves were all done and no project was planned for me–except a black shawlette my friend Y had commissioned me some months ago and I intended to leave it for the last minute because the light in winter is simply too dark for a dark lace project–I thought I should give the skirt a start!

The knitting was actually fun and I couldn’t stop doing it (again, except some days before the Christmas, I had to knit the black shoulder warmer for my friend)! A Christmas gift

I did make some changes to the skirt pattern. The biggest one was that I made it as a one piece, not knitting the back and front separately. I just do the short row shaping twice in a row (in reverse shapes of course) to work the front and the back continuously. Then, I made the “front” narrower than the “back”–4 repeats for the front but 5 for the back. The result is quite pleasing-it is more curvy in the back so it would suit the shape of my hit better. As a result, seeing from the front, my FO is nearly a pencil skirt rather than an A-skirt, and it becomes more flattery for me to wear!

Just after I uploaded the picture on my flickr, I looked at my flickr archive for a photo of the design I took. There were notes on the shot, indicating certain things I shall avoid (had I knitted the skirt). In one of them, I surmised that bobbles along the waist line wouldn’t be appropriate–whoa, I should have read these!

Anyways, it’s done, though it’s girlish and childish, I love the skirt. :)

ps. as for my first 2010-FO…I am not sure what to do with it but hopefully it would be revealed soon.

Herringbone Opera Gloves

Happy New Year, every one!

Now the Christmas is gone, it’s now time to knit for yourself! That’s why I choose to debut the complete pattern of Herringbone Opera Gloves via Ravelry. I do want to finish up the pattern much earlier, in November, so some of you could probably knit them as Christmas gifts. Yet, I believe, as you knit it, the desire to keep them would be stronger than to wrap them up as gift! So why not just start offering the pattern at a perfect timing such as today, as a way of saying goodbye to 2009 and welcoming a new year, too?

Herringbone Opera Gloves

It needs a name 1

I used Rowan’s 4 ply soft to knit these gloves. Sadly, I only learned about it this week, Rowan is now discontinuing this yarn! 4 ply soft is amongst the first yarn I knitted with when I picked up knitting in 2006, and it remains to be my most favourite! Rowan’s own pure wool 4 ply would be a good yarn substitution, but 4 ply soft doesn’t have the superwash touch at all, so it is more comfortable knitting with it. There are about 3 sweater-worth 4 ply soft in my stash, but I know I shall miss it greatly!

For those of you who consider buying this pattern:
They are knitted from fingertip to elbow, or to desired length, so it is not like cuff-down method used in most of gloves patterns. I should also warn you that the pattern is for ONE SIZE only, and they shall fit hands/arms of general women– ways of making it bigger are given in the instruction though. And the pattern is written for magic looping. :)

I will upload more photos in the future.

Happy New Year once again!

As far as knitting goes, I’ve got several other wips and, gladly, FOs! Each of them deserves an individual entry but before I could ever manage doing it, I’ve got some photos for one project I love most.

I started knitting this pair of gloves in spring this year, hoping to be able to submit it for Knitty’s early holiday knits. But, as always, I was distracted by several other projects. To make the matter slightly worse, a deep dark brown colour like that needs your extra attention, which I couldn’t afford sometimes. Only until September did I pick them up occasionally, with knitting done the week before the last.

It needs a name 1

It has lace. It has slip-stitch.

It needs a name 3

It has cable.

It needs a name 2

They are long!

I will try to finish up the pattern asap and offer the patter for sale–I do want to offer it for free but considering the amount of time I spent writing up, answering questions, and doing anything ever related to it, and I’ve never sold a pattern before, I’ll start with this one.

Before that, a name is needed for the pattern, and more photos should be taken. To be totally honest, I still have to tidy up yarn tails and everything. :)

Fichu break

I knitted two fichus earlier this year, and the pattern is now on the latest Popknits.

The first one, Caffè Latte, was a commission from a good friend of mine, using Wagtail’s mohair yarn. I love its luster, yet, after blocking, it does not always retain its shape like other yarn.
Afternoon Break

The second, Green Tea, was cast on during my break of my first job interview after getting the diploma. I used Malabrigo lace for it, and it was soft to the touch, beautiful to look at, and keep its shape! :)

Afternoon Break

I’d really love to write about it in more detail, not only because it’s my pattern and I knitted it twice and I should also do some self-promotion, but also that knitting it would be a very interesting experience for novice lace knitter. Such as, by manipulating your gauge, you can make the next trim smaller than the outer trim, and based on the same chart. Knitting it will help you to discover how flexible lace knitting is and the learning curve will for sure enable you to be more confident in lace knitting!

Yet my time can only bring me to the very point of this post, that a missing component, a schematic, is not included on the pattern page. The pattern is published in early June, I know, but I only discovered it now, because I am simply overwhlemed by lots of things… Maybe later I would have a long post, a FAQ sort of thing, but for now it’s the missing schematic only:

Fichu schematics

I know the digital drawing could be better, but that’s my first encounter with Adobe Illustrator. I would very much like to perfect my skill for sure.

ps. In fact, this post was drafted on 4th June.

This post is about a knitting technique that I used for the fichu Afternoon Break. The aim of this technique is to allow the continous knitting of two different sections from the same starting point, without picking up stitches there. Once you get the first few stitches done, you’ll find how easy it could be! Eventually the technique will save you some time and result in a smooth transition! (or at least I hope you’ll think the same!)

You can use this technique on both sides, and I am showing it from the right side, because I spilt the neck band and the upper trim from the right side in Afternoon Break. Apart from the pair of needles you’re using, you’ll need two other spare needles, preferably of smaller sizes (they don’t have to be same size), for seperating those stitches.

1.
Tutorial

This is the beginning of a right side row. I have 14 stitches on the needle (10 st st and 2 edge stitches on both sides).

2.
Tutorial

(RS) Simply knit back and front of each stitch (increase one each stitch). 28 stitches on the needle.

3.
Tutorial

(WS) Use the first spare needle to transfer the first stich on the left needle. The use the second spare needle to transfer the second stitch. To show this clearly, in the picture, I put the first needle in front of the WS and the second needle behind it. The following picutres are for the purpose of showing the transfer step by step.

4.
Tutorial

Transfer the third stitch on the left needle to the first spare needle (front needle).

5.
Tutorial

Transfer the fourth stitch on the left needle to the second spare needle (back needle).

6.
Tutorial

Continue putting the odd-numbered onto the first spare needle and the even-numbered onto the second. This picture shows that I have transferred 8 stitches onto both needles: four onto each spare needles. At this point, you should feel at ease transferring stitches this way!

7.
Tutorial

After doing this the whole row, now you’ll have odd-numbered on the first spare/front needle and the even-numbered on the second spare/back needle, if seeing from the WS. The picture shows it from RS, so the first spare needle is on the back (the one with yarn tail). If you don’t like the feeling of dangling needles, feel free to transfer the non-working row to a strand of waste yarn. Now you’re ready to continue the knitting of different session!

8.
Tutorial

This picture is just showing what it looks like if knitting the back session first–it will leave you with a row of live stitch in front of the piece.

I hope this tutorial would be helpful. ^_^

My regular life in the past few weeks was loaded with streams of unexpected activies because of some interview invitations (one from a UK top Ten Uni! though I didn’t get the job). I had to read plays and articles, as well as visit some archives, of all had nothing to do with my own work. I imagine in the following weeks, life would be the same, except that we’ll get more and more sunshine and this fact along cheers me up!

The progress of my work is reasonably lagging behind, which I tried to rectify the situation whenever possible, but the knitting was doing fine-not as much as I’d like it to be, but I did manage to have TWO FOs in the past month. These became my second and third FO of the year (not very productive) and in the end it became relatively unstilumating, because I was knitting the same design, the first time I’ve ever knitted one pattern twice!!

I cannot reveal the pattern just now, but it will be published online very soon. The pattern is done, but I am still struggling to master Adobe Illustrator in order to perfect the pattern. I love this photos, so until it get published, I am posting it here nonetheless:

soon to be my 3rd FO this year

As always, I am lucky enough to be able to get “Vogue Knitting” early (a.k.a. the not-so-vogue Designers Knitting for us UK knitters), directly from the USA.
The fake VK

With limited knitting time, it makes more sense to me to design and knit my own patterns, however, sometimes there is just something very beautiful that I’ll have to make it, so I cast on this one,

Lace stocking from VK though I never am a sock knitter! Plus, it would mean that I’d got a pair of stocking very soon, if I didn’t get the second sock syndrom this time. :) Probably won’t–there are 4 charts needed for this design, one is available on the magazine, and three others from the website. As of this morning, VK hasn’t uploaded the rest of the charts! This means I’ll have to put on hold the first sock and cast on the second sock tomorrow and doing so reduce the possibility of getting second sock syndrom.

All I hope is VK uploading them before I depart for my (working-)holiday next Tuesday!

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