Monday, March 29, 2010

March of the Malabrigo

The Malabrigo FOs continue to march through March....

FO: Whoville
Yarn: Malabrigo worsted merino in Pollen and Sweet Grape
Pattern: Improvised, see details below
Needles: US 10 1/2 bamboo circs

When I first started this project, I thought it has a certain Seussish quality-- something about the combination of the colors, the stripes, and the ruffles. As I knit on, I thought perhaps the stripes had an H&M type look to them, but the name of the project remains true to my Seuss instincts.

I cast on this cowl after reading Sundara's blog post on her version of the Chevron Scarf, which is in garter instead of stockinette. I adapted her pattern notes to be knit in the round, and adjusted gauge for worsted weight yarn.
If you would like to make your own, cast on 96 stitches on 10 1/2 needles, join in the round.
Rounds 1-3: K all stitches
Round 4: K2tog 8 times, K1M1 8 times

For my color pattern, I knit the first 4 rounds in purple, then began to alternate my color every two rows. I ended with 4 rounds in the yellow. Any fun variation of stripes would work! I chose mine based on yarn available for the project-- a great way to stash bust some odds and ends. I used less than half a skein of each color.

FO: Professor Plum
Pattern: Meret by Woolly Wormhead (free pattern on her blog)
Yarn: Malabrigo worsted merino in Sweet Grape
Needles: US 8 bamboo DPNs

I made this little number for my sister, upon her request for a slouchy beret. I chose this pattern because the lace was simple and pretty. I am not a huge fan of fussy hat knitting. I am really pleased with the way this turned out, and will probably knit another 'cause I am boring like that.

By far the prettiest crown shaping I have ever knit up. This pattern is definitely a keeper.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bringing some light to the Darkside

A couple weeks ago, my hometown's LYS hosted a "For the Love of Stitches" sale. They do not participate in Stitches, but instead mark all their inventory down at least 25% for the weekend of the expo. Needless to say, there were deals to be had! I picked up a couple skeins of Berroco Naturlin, and my sister picked up two skeins of Malabrigo that immediately came home with me to fulfill their accessory fate. A funny thing happened at the sale-- a woman giving a spinning demo overheard me telling my mom that I was an accessory knitter, not a sweater knitter as we examined a gorgeous sample sweater. The woman was overjoyed to hear that language. She too, felt she was an accessory knitter and not a sweater knitter, but found that there is much "pressure" in the knitting world to knit sweaters, as if its the mark of a true knitter. Fiddlesticks! I am so happy to have realized I do not totally love sweater knitting, and that I much prefer some choice accessory knitting.

And now on to the main attraction-- accessories!

FO: Brightside Darkside
Pattern: Darkside Cowl by Sarah Fama
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Pollen (I think about 1/2 the skein)
Needles: Size 7 bamboo DPNs

Here I am on a very blustery evening, sporting a slightly smaller than I would like Cowl. If I had it to do over, which I suppose, I do, I would go up 1 or 2 needle sizes. The BO edge is tight! The cowl looks better with a coat than with this open sweater I am wearing here. I do like the pattern though, very simple and intuitive. I like the geometric theme, and I think my sister will enjoy it.

FO: Misti Cowl
Pattern: Cassie's Cowl by Thea Coleman
Yarn: Unidentified ancient skein of soft wool. I think its Misti Alpaca chunky.
Needles: US 11 Bamboo straights

After I finished this delightfully soft cowl, I put it on and decided it was way too droopy. I took it off and decided it looked like a dried up sea urchin. Instant solution-- add an awesome button. Controls the floppiness and the similarity to an urchin shell.

Spring is here!

And a slouchy hat is underway for the little sister, also in the glorious Malabrigo worsted merino.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Back to Basics

FO: Sulka Slouch
Pattern: Speckles and Swirls Beret by Gillie Parsons
Needles: US 10 and 11 DPNs, bamboo
Yarn: Mirasol Sulka, 2 skeins

Supasoft yarn (very nice and squashy) + simple and quick pattern= me back on the knitting bandwagon! I had not knit in months, and picking up any old WIPs seemed both intimidating and exhausting. I pulled out my sweater pieces to seam, only to stuff them out of sight, my brain unwilling to comprehend the whole shoulder seaming process. Conflicting online tutorials did nothing to ease the braincramp. So, when in doubt, knit something fun, pretty, and instantly wearable.

I heart slouches.
FO: Giant Garter Cowl
Pattern: knit a giant tube of garter stitch!
Yarn: Malabrigo Gruesa, 2 skeins, colorway Torerro
Needles: the biggest I own-- I think a US 13, bamboo

Excited to be knitting again, I cast on the world's most simple project-- a garter stitch cowl. I had two skeins of Malabrigo Gruesa, their thick and thin variety, in a deep red. Yarn is so fun-- infinite permutations of texture and color. I cast on a bunch of stitches, and knit until I had no more yarn. The result is a beast of a cowl. I can fold it down to double its thickness, it is so long. I am modeling it here with a different color red sweater that clashes in the most hideous of ways, but you get the idea. Warm, quick, and fun. Garter stitch let my lovely Malabrigo do all the talkin'. Up close, I think the stitches look kind of retro and designy. Fun.

The day these pictures were taken, my fave LYS Knitterly in my home town was having a big sale, so some new Malabrigo and some Berroco Naturlin came home with me. The Malabrigo is from my sister, and destined to become 1-2 cowls and a slouchy hat for her. I have already cast on the Darkside Cowl in Malabrigo's Pollen colorway.