Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April FO's: 1 of 3

I somehow got quite far behind on posting about what I am currently working on (WIP = Work In Progress) and even more behind on what has been finished (FO = Finished Object).

I had the idea to post about my three April FO's, one each, on the last three days of April... but now I am behind on that as well...

1 of 3

Finished April 5, 2013

A New Shell

I love, love, love this shell!
  The fit is very forgiving.  The armholes and neckline are quite flattering.
I would definitely use this pattern again.

Pattern: Trace by Kristin Spurkland
Yarn: Tahki Yarns Ripple

The yarn is a thick-and-thin cotton "tape" yarn which contributes a super amazing amount of texture.  I purchased it at Gosh Yarn It! about two years ago.  The first shell I started with this yarn was about 3/4 done when I ripped it all out.  As happens sometimes in knitting, it just was not working.  I am so glad that I started a-New.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Midweek Meditation

Villa Borghese, 1960

“I don't paint to live, I live to paint.” 
                  ~  Willem de Kooning, Dutch American Abstract Expressionist,
                                                                   born April 24, 1904

Photo credit: http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/collections/collection-online/artwork/2

Monday, April 22, 2013

Free Pattern: Boreal Headband

I created a new project and pattern for my most recent two-handed stranded colorwork classI am now offering this pattern as a free download at my Ravelry Pattern Store.

The double layer headband was designed as a teaching project in two-handed, stranded Fair Isle knitting. It could also be used for swatching your colorwork knitting in-the-round as you check gauge for a larger project. There are two versions: one for worsted weight yarn and one for bulky weight yarn. 

© Carolyn Kern

Pattern: Boreal Headband by Carolyn Kern
Worsted weight version made with Cascade Yarns Cascade 220,
100 yd (91 m) MC, 30 yd (27 m) CC
 US 7 (4.5 mm) and US 5 (3.75 mm) needles

© Carolyn Kern

Pattern: Boreal Headband by Carolyn Kern
Bulky weight version made with Cascade Yarns Eco+,
50 yd (46 m) MC, 30 yd (27 m) CC
 US 10 1/2 (6.5 mm) and US 10 (6 mm) needles
Though, I will always think of this technique as "Fair Isle", this is not entirely accurateHere is an interesting quote from the Wikipedia article Fair Isle (technique), as it appeared on April 21, 2013:
"Some people use the term "Fair Isle" to refer to any colourwork knitting where stitches are knit alternately in various colours, with the unused colours stranded across the back of the work. Others use the term "stranded colourwork" for the generic technique, and reserve the term "Fair Isle" for the characteristic patterns of the Shetland Islands."

For some time now, I have been planning to post a short "Stranded Colorwork Tutorial"Look for this in the not too distant future. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Colorwork Meditation #6

From the Zig-Zaggy garden at Brantwood* which was the home of John Ruskin.
"The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most."   

                          ~John Ruskin
                          English Romantic Writer and Painter, 1819-1900

* The Zig-Zaggy is based upon designs first sketched by Ruskin 130 years ago, and is said to represent Dante's Purgatorial Mount. Fully realised today in contemporary form, it allows you to begin your tour of the gardens by making an allegorical journey to Paradise.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ennor/3566862832/

Previous Colorwork Meditation: #5 (Matisse) 

Thursday, April 11, 2013


For two years, I subscribed to the biannual Rowan Knitting and Crochet MagazineI received issues Number 47, 48, 49 & 50.

I do not know why, but there are at least a few magazines that come out of Great Britain that include a small gift with each issue.  Mollie Makes, which I subscribed to over the last year is one of them.  I wrote about one of their gifts last April, in a post named "Not Knitting Needles".  Other gifts were small very sharp scissors, a wooden handled crochet hook, buttons, ribbon trim and a couple more little kits for items like a cloth luggage tag.

Rowan sends their subscribers one gift each year.  My first gift was a kit to make a scarf.  It came with a very generous six skeins of Rowan Pure Wool 4-ply (which I had knit with before and liked quite a lot) in a great color called Eau de Nil.  There were patterns included for two scarf possibilities:  "Unisex Scarf", a thick heavy cabled piece worked with the yarn held double, and "Lace Scarf"  a huge and pretty infinity cowl.  Both designs are by Sarah Hatton.  This is what is left of my kit now.

I did not make a scarf.  I like my scarves smaller and lighter.  I knew immediately that I would like to make a short sleeve sweater... a henley design by VĂ©ronik Avery seemed a good choice.  I checked the yardage and put it away for another day. 

My other two gifts from Rowan (good timing, on my part, to get three gifts in two years) were an eco-friendly bag, and then the hard-cover binding on Rowan Number 50.

The eco-friendly bag is partly visible on the right.  It looks like burlap with a picture of birds in a tree on it.  On the back it says, "Relax Handknit Create..."  The tag said it was ethically produced in India and is made of jute.  It is a nice sized bag for a knitting project, but has short handles so I mostly have used it at home.  It has a thin plastic lining which makes me wonder, but I don't ask...  It was a gift.  I guess that plastic is a good thing for keeping knitting needles from poking through.

The hard-bound Rowan #50 was at least two gifts in one.  It is opened to some photos of "Betty" by Marie Wallin.  This was my favorite design in the issue.  How is it possible that for my size, the main yarn requirement was six skeins of Rowan Pure Wool 4-ply in Eau de Nil, which thanks to Rowan, was waiting in my stash?

I happily went on an internet hunt for the other colors required (making only one substitution).  At rather a fine gauge, it has taken a while to finish.  I blocked it today and you will see it soon.

It was inevitable that I made Betty.  It was my destiny.  Thanks Rowan.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Finishing Required

Pattern: 'Sheer Beauty' by Sandra McIver
Yarns: Shibui 'Staccato'
and Shibui 'Silk Cloud'
I expect that this swirl will eventually be fine, for now it is shriveled and sheer and it is taupe.  It reminds me of pantyhose.  I have quite a lot of ends to hide before I can block and then seam.

Pattern: 'Trace' by Kristin Spurkland
Yarns: Tahki Yarns 'Ripple'
This shell still needs the neckband knit.  I tried it on and I like it.  It fits well and I know that I will wear it.  The texture of the yarn is amazing.