Thursday, April 28, 2005

Rowan Cotton Glace in Candyfloss Posted by Hello

Almost Finished

I've been dragging my feet as I reach the end of Bell from Rowan Magazine #27. I just haven't been in the mood to pick up stitches and knit the button bands. I'm feeling the need to get it off the needles before I cast on a new project though. Which means I also need to pick up 7 pretty buttons too. Should I be a complete Rowanette and splurge on these shell buttons? (see, we're back to the nautical theme already.)

Nautical Knitting

I live in a seaside town and the colors and textures of that sometimes find their way into my knitting. I knit a shawl sometime ago that was a lovely, soft green/blue mohair which reminded me of seaglass. Last week I found the same brand of mohair (Le Gran from Classic Elite) at my local yarn shop. It was a pale celery green and reminded me again of seaglass. I bought a skein and hope to use it to add some kind of fringe to the shawl using the beads below. I have no idea exactly how I'm going to do this, but I'm hoping and praying for some free time soon when I can lay it all out without worrying that little inquisitive hands will make a grab for it.

I've also been working on my very first lace project. I bought some Shimmer yarn in the color Turquoise Splendor from Knit Picks. The variations in color reminded me of the ocean so I decided to try making a shrug in an Old Shale pattern. I started out on bamboo needles which was a bit of a nightmare. The yarn felt sticky on the needles and I was forever tugging and pulling at it. Finally picked up some Bryspun needles and I'm a happy girl. The pattern doesn't look like much now, but I've been assured that it'll look prettier once it's washed and blocked properly. Of course at the rate it's knitting up, I should be finished just in time to see the Shrug go the way of the Poncho. Must knit faster!

SeaShawl Posted by Hello

Wave Shrug Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

brim up Posted by Hello

Drum Roll Please...

The cap is finished. Sewed the button on this morning and it's modeled below by my lovely assistants.

After a Monmouth break I'd like to try it again on double pointed needles in the larger size and see how it felts up.

Finished Monmouth Cap Posted by Hello

Monmouth Cap, button view Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Rowan Bag Posted by Hello

bag lining Posted by Hello

Meanwhile, back in the 21st Century.....

While anxiously waiting to sew a button on my cap I decided to finally sew a lining into my Rowan Big Wool bag. According to the pattern, a lining was optional. They lied. If it contains a tube of lipstick the bag suddenly becomes a misshapen mess. I found the perfect fabric in the remnants bin at my local craft shop and sewed it in today. And to think, this project has only been sitting in my sewing bag for about a year.

As a side note, Rowan's Big Wool would give you the perfect gauge for the monmouth cap as long as you don't mind taking out a second mortgage to finance a hat.

Historical Knitting Epiphany #2

I have a feeling there were more than a few pilgrims to the new world who came to regret only bringing one Monmouth Cap on their voyage. I've recently discovered that a wet bulky wool cap takes FOREVER to dry.

Monday, April 25, 2005

the happy hat family Posted by Hello

The Evolution of The Wooly Monmouth

I've developed what my husband charitably refers to as "an interesting fixation." While watching the PBS series Colonial House I took a liking to their knit hats and wanted to make one. I knit it in green bulky wool on circular US size 10.5 needles from the bottom up, starting with a K2 P2 rib.

It wasn't quite right, so I did a little research and learned about the Monmouth Cap. I decided to try again, but this time knitted from the top down with a brim that folded under and was grafted to the inside of the hat. I only learned to knit on double pointed needles a few days ago and was a little intimidated to try and write a pattern while also knitting in the round so I knit it on straight needles, kirchener stitched the hem and tried to make the back seam as invisible as possible. Still not quite right. The back seam was too obvious and it was a little too large compared to reported measurements I found online. My gauge was off slightly too, but that had more to do with what I was able to find handy at my local yarn shop. I deally this should be worked in a super bulky hand spun wool or a close facsimile like Bartlett Bulky.

Back to the drawing board. I started again with some Lamb's Pride Bulky in brown which is the color most commonly associated with the Monmouth Cap. I worked it with 4 double pointed needles and it wasn't nearly as tricky as I expected (see photo below.) When it was time to graft the hem I got a little nervous. To work around the needles I'd have to do a kind of inverted kirchener stitch. Once I started though I had a little historical knitting epiphany. I don't know if the original cap knitters worked their caps from the top down or not, but as I worked the hem it naturally created a purl row that made it easier for the brim to be turned up and not only stay in place, but also have a neat decorative edge whether the brim was worn up or down. Sa-weeeeeet!

I chain stitched a back loop and washed and blocked it. The last thing to do is add a top button. For lack of more info on the original buttons used I made a sorry excuse for a traditional Dorset button such as these , except the bulky quality of the yarn made any detailed needlework impossible. I'm waiting for my Monmouth cap to finish drying so I can sew the button on.

What could it be? Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 24, 2005

It's Not Easy Being Green.

How do you think this poor yarn felt after it had traveled all this way to a new home, only to be greeted with a gasp of shock from me? I knew it was going to be green, but it is oh so very, very green. Based on the picture from the Knit Picks site I was expecting a softer more yellow-y, first buds of Spring green, but instead I have the strange urge to sing about "The Rainbow Connection" whenever it's near.
My first reaction was that it would have to go back, but I confess it's growing on me. I can't imagine wearing an entire sweater of this stuff, but it is a deliciously soft cotton and would make a great little cropped cardigan or tank or such. We're learning to coexist.

Howya like them apples? Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Mildly Obsessed

Welcome to my own special place. Here I will ramble on about knitting, so my poor family doesn't have to feign interest anymore.