Monday, November 21, 2011

Stitch and Bitch, Skagway style

For awhile now I've wondered what it would be like to have a knitting community in my immediate vicinity.  For so long I've been a solitary knitter and I prefer that, for the most part. Knitting is intensely personal for me: a time to really be still with my thoughts while I mull over every topic under the sun, from what I'm going to eat for dinner to what my life's purpose is (deep, I know).

I've grown in my craft for the most part by myself, with no one around to tell me that I'm doing something wrong, or that I'm doing something right. I kind of vaguely knew that there were others here in Skagway who knit, but it was never anyone who I felt like I would or could hang out with.  So my stitch and bitch nights consisted of me, myself and I. And I really started to wonder what it would be like to not have to bitch to myself.

So, to solve my problem of having no one to stitch and bitch with, I've been casually pushing my friends to learn how to knit.  A couple weeks ago, a lady in town offered a beginning knitting class and I oh-so-discreetly texted my friend Sarah and told her about it.  Sarah has been on the receiving end of some of my handiwork, so I knew she was at least semi-interested in knittery things.  I was so excited when she decided to go!

She learned the basics in the class and then came shopping in my stash last week for a suitable yarn for her first project (she chose a gorgeous blue alpaca blend yarn, by the way...a girl after my own heart). We then had our first stitch and bitch the following night at a local bar. 

We numbered only three but I'm encouraged that we'll have another very soon and hopefully our numbers will grow. It was surprisingly nice to knit in the presence of others...and I felt only a little bit self-conscious (mostly because of the curious looks we were getting from fellow barflies), but I'm hoping that will wear off in time. And I'm hoping that I can encourage even more of my friends to pick up sticks! Yeah!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Winter IK 2011 Preview

Be still my knitting heart.

I have been obsessively going to Interweave's website to see when the Winter IK preview photos would be uploaded.

I guess maybe I haven't checked in a day or so, but this morning I went to see if anything new had been put up has!

My Offset Cable Mittens are included in this very first print publication!

Here's are some links you should follow right now!

Winter IK 2011 Projects Preview
Offset Cable Mittens - Extra Photos 

I'll give these mittens a proper post soon, but I just had to shout this from the rooftops as soon as I could. You understand, right? Right.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Twist Collective Winter - Swansea...New Design!

Okay, so the Winter 2011 edition of Twist Collective has been out a little over 24 hours now and I'm still not coming down from the high I got from leafing through the virtual pages.  What an amazing collection!  A couple of my favorites are Yukimi by Maureen Hefti and Bellevue by Robin Melanson.  But my jaw literally dropped when I saw Voluta by Rachel Erin. One word: Stunning.  But you really can't go wrong with any of the designs in this edition. I might choose to knit them all if I had the chance!  You definitely have to appreciate the amazing talent that goes into creating these unique gems.

Considering the caliber of talent in this issue, I'm so honored and excited to have a design included!  

Photo by Jamie Dixon...Courtesy of Twist Collective
Swansea is a hat/mitten combo that combines twisted stitches and nupps, two of my hugest obsessions right now.  I liked the idea of the twisted stitch rib coming from different directions and then interlacing, ending in a cute little bobbly's my original vision in the submission swatch, knit in KP Wool of the Andes.
Taking that idea and adding in some Quince & Co Lark in a vibrant green and you get the finished product below! While the stitch pattern covers the back of the hand, the palm and thumb are worked in the simple but lovely reverse stockinette.

Photo by Jamie Dixon...Courtesy of Twist Collective
 Now, my original submission was just for mittens, but Kate asked me if I could come up with a complementary hat.  An idea had been already bouncing around in my brain, so I naturally said I would and the resulting topper turned out just as I had pictured.
Photo by Jamie Dixon...Courtesy of Twist Collective
Although I had envisioned these designs knit up in a heathered yarn (when DON'T I envision something in a heather?!), I thought the solid effect turned out great and was a perfect fit for their Bright Spots feature.  

Photo by Jamie Dixon...Courtesy of Twist Collective
Let's get down to details, shall we?

Finished measurements:
Mitten circumference: 7 ¾ (8 ½)" / 19.5 (21.5) cm
Length: 9 ½ (10 ½)" / 24 (26.5) cm
Shown in size 7 ¾" / 19.5 cm

Head circumference: 18 ½ (19 ¾, 21, 22 ¼)" / 47 (50, 53.5, 56.5) cm
Hat height: 8 (8 ½, 9, 9 ½)" / 20.5 (21.5, 23, 24) cm
Shown in size 18 ½" / 47 cm
Intended to be worn with 2" / 5 cm of negative ease.
3 skeins Quince & Co. Lark (134 yds / 123 m per 1 ¾ oz / 50 g hank; 100% American Wool ) in Parsley
Two skeins of yarn will make either the hat or the pair of mittens.
Needles & Notions:
Size 5 US / 3.75 mm needles in style preferred for small circumference knitting in the round and 16" / 40 cm circular needle.
Two stitch markers, tapestry needle, waste yarn
26 sts and 34 rows = 4" / 10 cm in p3, k1 tbl ribbing in the round
24 sts and 34 rows = 4" / 10 cm in Stockinette stitch in the round
Construction Notes: The mittens are worked from cuff to tip, and the hat is worked from the bottom up. The twisted rib and bobble patterns are presented in both charts and row-by-row instructions.

To purchase Swansea, please follow this link to the Twist Collective website.  Thanks very much for your interest!