Sophie’s Handspun Windschief

DSC00418.JPG

When Tour de Fleece came around this year I wanted to spin in solidarity with other fiber enthusiasts around the world, though I was too late to sign up for a team. My hands were already full with knitting commitments, but I made time to spin one of the many rovings (and tops and rolags) I’ve had sitting around on the shelf for months. I went with my roving of Malabrigo Nube in the colorway “Diana,” which is probably one of my favorite Malabrigo colorways. By the way I do all of my spinning on a Schacht Flatiron.

IMG_3672.JPG

Being a spinning “nube” (gotta make use of those puns when graced with the opportunity), I attempted to spin fine singles and failed. Instead I ended up with a fingering/sport mix. While my spinning consistency has greatly improved, I have not yet managed to spin one bobbin-full of a single yarn weight. When I can one day spin beautiful fine singles to ply for socks, I will be dancing on the rooftops.

IMG_3925

I plied together my thick-and-thin-ish singles, which resulted in a lovely worsted weight skein. My friends on Instagram thought a hat would be best, so I searched through my queue and decided on Windschief, a West Knits pattern. My daughter loves the colors, so she became the obvious recipient. The yarn is a tad busy for the pattern, but Sophie didn’t want a plain knit hat, and I didn’t want to knit one either. It’s a good thing because this pattern was fun to knit!

DSC00361

Of course Sophie had to have a pompom, which I am always thrilled to make. If I didn’t feel they are a waste of expensive designer yarn I’d make pompom garlands weekly and string them throughout the house.

Advertisements

Cushman Sweater

When I first saw the Cushman Pullover on Instagram I had an instant must-have reaction. The pockets are adorable, plus it is knit up in Malabrigo Rios, an aran weight yarn–meaning it will be a cozy, super fast knit.

The pattern, which is written by Isabell Kraemer, is found in the Malabrigo Book Ten: Rios pattern book. This project is my first completed by Kraemer, but I have another WIP (Aila tank). Both patterns are well written, and the styles are very cute. I have several of her other patterns in my queue. To purchase and download the Cushman Pullover pattern, click here.

For my yarn choice I went with Rios Ilusion. It wasn’t an easy choice given that Malabrigo has dozens of rich colorways from which to choose. Much like its name, Ilusion has the mystifying effect of appearing quite differently in various light settings (see above). Furthermore, from a distance Ilusion appears purple to grayish purple; up close, however, the yarn reveals itself in muted jewel tones. This type of property involuntarily causes me to gleefully rub my hands together and open my eyes really wide like an excited monkey.

It took me over five months to complete this sweater, but that was mostly due to Christmas knitting and other projects. I’m a polygamous knitter, so I’m constantly bouncing around on various projects because I lack the focus to do otherwise. Needless to say when I was working on the Cushman it went quickly, as expected. The pattern is straightforward. The pockets were not difficult, and since I knit the sleeves two-at-a-time via magic loop, they were a cinch.

Instructions for Knitting Sleeves Two-At-A-Time

Knitting sleeves two-at-a-time enables you to knit them to a consistent length as well as maintain the same tones from a single skein. The negative is that you cannot try them on easily for sizing, so you have to knit them to your measurements. To knit identical sleeves two-at-a-time divide the held sleeve stitches roughly in half for each sleeve at the underarm and top of the shoulder, so that you have stitches for the Front Right (FR), Back Right (BR), Front Left (FL) and Back Left (BL). (The underarm will be the beginning and end of the round for each sleeve.) Then pull your needles for magic loop through all held stitches in this order: BR underarm to shoulder, FL underarm to shoulder, BL shoulder to underarm and FR shoulder to underarm. The BR and FL stitches will be on one needle and the BL and FR stitches on the other. In order to get the needles through all stitches the sleeves will have to be folded over each other and twisted slightly as shown above. You can then knit the pattern as stated, starting with the BR stitches and copying the instructions for each sleeve. All identical sleeves in which the pattern begins at the underarm can be knit in this fashion.

First sweater of the year complete! My only issue is that the bottom of the sweater is knit with a warmer skein, so as you can see above the bottom two-fifths is a slightly different shade. I forgot to check the dye lots before beginning, and I did not notice the gradual increase in warmth until it was too late (too late for my stubbornness). Oh, well. My husband thinks it looks better for it, and perhaps over time I’ll think the same.

Magic Carpet Afghan Knitting Pattern

This pattern came to be because, once again, I could not find a pattern that fit the bill for its intended recipients. I wanted a chunky blanket in various colors, so I went with Malabrigo Rasta. It’s soft, affordable and there are loads of colorways from which to choose. The colorways used in this afghan are Leguna Negra, Aniversario, Archangel, Pearl Ten, Azules and Ravelry Red (seven skeins total), and the pattern is knit by holding two strands together throughout.

dsc04298

Thinking it would be nice to have some texture mixed in with all those colors, I decided to alternate sections of garter and stockinette rows. Oh, and tassels! I’ve been quite in love with tassels this year. Upon completion, the afghan reminded me of a magic carpet, so there you have it. Voila! A blanket for royalty.

dsc04291

To download the pattern from my website, click here and scroll to the pattern image. To download from Ravelry, click here.