Recently in Projects Started 2013 Category

Knitting Challenge

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It's always fun to have your kid tell you she wants you to knit her something.  Sometimes, however, it's challenging when your kid is trying to channel early Madonna and has the color preferences of a 6 year old girl.  

I decided that I could make her a scarf.  Scarves can be colorful, scarves do not take that long and, generally, scarves can last more than one year, which is a plus in a kid who seems to need an updated wardrobe about every 15 minutes because she is suddenly taller.

So I took Ms. Z to the yarn store and told her she could pick something out for a scarf.  Initially, it started out that she could pick one color.  By the end of the trip, it became two colors because she couldn't decide between her favorites.  And because I am a sucker for a 6 year old with her own design ideas.

I'm beginning to understand why the Project Runway designers always struggle when they have to design for a client.

So, here is her yarn selection:

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You might be thinking Oh, that is just a camera problem.  That yarn cannot possibly be that neon pink.  

Unfortunately, you would be wrong.  That yarn is absolutely that neon pink.  And she wants it paired with that very vibrant purple.  On the plus side, this is fabulous and beautiful superwash merino.  Like butter.

I actually like both of these colors,   That pink paired with some more subtle grey is a knockout.  And I do like a vibrant purple,  Together?  I remain unsure.

Ms. Z, however, knows that she wants both of them, and knows that she wants a scarf knit horizontally with zig zags.  It was this fact that she had such a clear design in her mind that convinced me to buy the yarn.  I want to support and encourage her to play with color and have an artistic vision.  

I am thinking of using Stephen West's Creekbed as a starting point as it gets at the general idea, but have not really figured out how to do the striping.  Fibonacci perhaps?  I have this notion of starting with narrow going to wider with one color while starting wider and going to narrower using the other.    Might have to map it out to get a better idea...


Saltwater Completed

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My finished projects haven't been as regular as I would like, but after some dedicated effort on Saltwater and some blocking (for some reason, it is the blocking step that I, well, block on) I have something to share.

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Yarn:  Sundara Silky Merino in "The Great Pacific"
Needles: 3.25 mm Addi Turbos

I found this scarf a little hard to style in a way that would provide a sense of it's size and structure.  I think the best way to wear it is backwards with the point in front and the ends wrapped around, but that didn't show much of the detail or sense  of size.

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I hope this image is more helpful at describing the shape.  If you imagine two elongated bird wings in flight, I think you have a very good idea of what Saltwater's shape is.  This is definitely something I would put in the scarf category, as, in my hands, it isn't very deep, even at the deepest point.

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I liked how the pattern designer created texture with the alternating bands of stockinette.   Easy knitting, but lovely result and it makes the whole scarf fully reversible.

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This closeup is to help you see the color variation in the yarn better.  It presents lighter here than it really is (the other pictures are more true to color) but it does show that the yarn does have beautiful depth and variation.  It reads solid, but solid with a lot of depth, especially with the sheen of the silk. 

This pattern was easy to work through and well written -- it's definitely easy knitting and shouldn't present too much difficulty even to a novice knitter.  The only remotely challenging thing is casting on the extra stitches that are used to create the center piece of the scarf after the two end pieces are complete.  And it's hard for me to say enough nice things about the yarn.  I really love this yarn stock, which is 50% merino, 50% silk.  It's also pretty nice to work with. It is a bit splitty, but duller tipped needles (like my Addi Turbos) make that issue much less.

After completing the project, I had about 24 g of the 150 g skein left over, so the pattern was pretty yarn efficient.  When I'm spending a lot on yarn for a project, I appreciate when the designer uses a reasonable amount of it and doesn't leave me with too many left overs.  Clearly with all the oddments of fingering weight yarn I am accumulating, I need to make a scarf that can use up all my bits and bobs in a nice way.

Saltwater Heart

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While this project is not particularly photogenic (yet!) when laid out on the table, it almost can't avoid taking on the shape of a heart, given the way it is constructed.    Happy Belated Valentine's Day to all!  

This project is Saltwater by Heidi Kirrmaier and was the pattern provided along with the Fingering Silky Merino in colorway "The Great Pacific", both of which were a part of the Sundara Yarn Luxury Yarn club that I participated in last year.  The yarn is beautiful.  Although it looks solid, it has the subtle variation of a dark indigo.  When you knit it, it has depth without screaming "Hello!  I am a variegated yarn!" It is truly a treat to knit with.  I'm using my 3.25 mm nickel plated Addi Turbos (I didn't want pointy tipped needles for this yarn) and it slides along quickly and has nice stitch definition. Someday, I'd love to make a sweater out of this stuff!

The project itself is nice as well (and you can buy the pattern on Ravelry if it interests you).  It's super easy, but has alternating sections of stockinette and reverse stockinette so it is easy to knit while doing something else, but doesn't get crazy boring.  The construction is interesting, too, as you initially knit each half of the scarf separately and then bring them together -- though not with grafting.  The piece is also completely reversible - always a plus for me when it comes to a scarf.

It's hard to tell from the picture, but I am starting into the home stretch for this scarf.  I must say, I like projects where the stitch numbers decrease as you get towards the finish instead of increase.  It feels like running downhill!

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