Saturday, January 28, 2012

Knitting it EZ style

This blog post is pure knitting content, so if you are not a knitter, feel free to skip this one.

Most of the things that I have knit since coming to Spain have needed to be ripped out. Knitting is a basic skill that I have been able to do for several years quite well. There has been almost no obstacles in creating what I wanted with the two sticks and some yarn. I tried patterns fearlessly. I taught knitting for three years. I would learn with my students. I have learned techniques only to turn around and teach it in minutes. I know knitting.

Maybe I knew knitting.
Since moving to Spain I have had to rip out and reknit 90% of the projects I have started. I suppose that  it boils down to my mind is so full from all of the new things I have to learn I miss the simple things. This phenomenon has only gotten worse since I started my new job, although it may have something to do with the fact that I am only knitting at the end of very long days. 

So here are somethings that I have knit over the past months. Believe when I say all of them had parts re-knit at least once, but I think I was able to fix them well.

Meet my new Mobius scarf (Zimmerman inspired). It is a reversible cable pattern in one of my favorite colors. I can put this around my neck twice and use the twist to fold down into the "V" of my jacket while having the other loop close to my neck and face.
I got this yarn in Reno at Jimmy Beans wool with one of my favorrite friends. So this Scarf well always remind me of the Rocky Mountains and Lara. 

I love Lornas lace's Shepard line. This is Shepard Sport, in the colorway Brick. It is sturdy and soft. It holds up well in Socks, so probably in scarves too. I should have alternated the skeins as one is darker than the other, but this is a mobius so I am pretending that the color change (which you can purposely see in the picture) is on purpose. 

This was my Barcelona project over Christmas, and it was perfect, just the right amount of interest with the cable twists every 6 rounds and K2, P2 rib for the rest. I knit this in a strip and then grafted the ends together with a half twist. It did take forever on size 3 needles, but I like the professional (store bought?) look the small yarn gives it. I have been wearing this for weeks, and it has yet to be blocked, so it looks this good pre-blocking.

Elizabeth Zimmerman (also the first person believed to knit a mobius strip) was one of the greatest knitters of all time, and I will always be a fan. Recently I have knitted a lot of designs inspired by her. The Opinionated Knitter is a lovely book, with great photography, stories, and patterns. One pattern that I have wanted to make for quite some time is the "Baby Surprise Jacket". It is started at the shoulders and through some smart shaping, and some origami, it becomes a jacket. It is an ingenious and timeless design.

 Knitting one these out of cotton might not have been the best idea I ever had. Cotton always shows decrease and changes in tension. However my friend Audrey is due in March and maybe by the time the baby can fit this it will be summer?

I would like to make one out of wool next, as sewing up the shoulders neatly was very difficult. Maybe a provisional cast on? I am not sure if that would work. I made the shoulders presentable by doing an I-cord 3 needle bind off on the shoulders and just an applied I-cord on the neck. It took me about 6 tries to get it right.

I found buttons to match at Corte Ingles. Just standard shirt buttons but the colors match almost exactly.
Now I must remember to mail it off to Colorado. :)

Please note the expanded "skirt" in the back to make room for the diaper, genius! 

This hat is ingenious too! It is the Gnomy hat in the Knitters Almanac. It has built in ear flaps and it hugs your head. I made modification to the top of the hat for it to come out round. I do not remember exactly what I did as it took me about 7 tries and a lot of suggestions from other Ravelry members to get rid of a bump that was forming at the front. (The hat in the book ends in a point, looking like a gnome hat.)

This hat looks very rustic because it is made out of somewhat thick and thin handspun. As I was making this for person that had to be outside in the cold by the sea, I made sure to line the ear part of the hat. I used doubled lace-weight Pollworth I had spun. 

I am so in love with how creamy the white wool looks, why do I not work more with white? 

 I sewed the live stitches of the white wool down with a sharp darning needle, making sure to split the piles of the brown and not have it show through to the other side.

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