Finished Object: Crystallize Beret

This lovely hat is the second I've made of its kind.  My friend, Amanda, over at Dilettant Knits designed the hat originally for Knitscene.  When the design rights reverted back to her, she updated the pattern adding multiple sizes, and I was able to test knit it for her.  I gave away the first test-knit as a gift, and finally finished this one for me!

Pattern: Crystallize by designer Amanda Bell
Size: small
Yarn: madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light

Finished Object & Giveaway!

I just finished two knitting projects that I'd like to share, and one I'd like to give away.

First, the finished test knit...
I just finished a knitted beret/slouch using a pattern by my friend, Dilettant Knits.
A nice tip when you're blocking a beret.  In order to shape the beret, you can wet block it over a plate balanced on a cup.  The curve of the plate opens up the lace patterning, and the cup allows the ribbed edge of the brim to shrink back so it'll stay on your head.

before blocking, the lace is still a bit contracted
Beret: wet blocking on a plate
Beret: wet blocking on a plate balanced on a cup
The other "knitted" project I finished is this spiral scarf using a novelty yarn product made by Rowan.  Rowan, the maker of KidSilk Haze yarn, also made this limited edition product called Kidsilk Creation. KidSilk Creation is a kind of tubular mesh novelty yarn using KidSilk Haze, but the problem is that it's not a very easy product to work with, and Rowan's team only came up with two projects to make with it... the same spiral scarf in a knit version or crochet version which are practically identical.

In any case, a friend gave me a hank in "smoke" color, and I used it to make this scarf which I now offer to you as a giveaway.  The quality of the yarn is great as it's 70% mohair and 30% silk as per the usual KidSilk Haze yarn, it's soft as a kitten, and light as air.  It would make a lovely holiday gift, and it's warm as can be!
Here are loads of people wearing their lovely scarves.

Shown wrapped once around
Shown folded in half and the ends threaded through
If you would like to win it, just leave a comment below, and confirm your entry using the rafflecopter widget!  This giveaway will close on Wednesday of next week.  Thanks for stopping by!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tyrian Loop, Knitscene Winter 2013

Tyrian Loop is a lace beaded loop that was just published in Knitscene Winter 2013!  I'm really happy to be included in this issue along with two of my super designer friends, Dilettant Knits with her lovely pattern, Black Cherry Pullover and Rock & Purl was the featured designer with several patterns, Stereo Mittens, Hi-Fi Pullover, and Victor Shawl!

Here's my own photo of the loop focusing on texture...

And from the Knitscene site...

copyright Knitscene/Harper Point, 2013

A bit about the Tyrian Loop:
It comes in two sizes 48 (21 1/2)” circumference and 7 (10)” tall; shown in size 48”
Malabrigo Arroyo (100% superwash merino; 335 yd 305 m/100 g): #872 purpuras, 1 skein 
21 sts and 38 rows = 4” in Geometric Lace patt 
• Size 4 (3.5 mm): 32 (16)” circular (cir) needle 
• Size 10 (0.75 mm) steel crochet hook 
• Marker (m) 
• Tapestry needle 
• 180 (112) 4 to 4.5 mm Rocaille beads with silver centers

This loop (or cowl) has a fun geometric lace pattern, uses an i-cord as a foundation and bind-off, and includes beads that add eye-catching pop.

And, just a bit of pride in my pals' work...

Dilettant Knits, Black Cherry Pullover

copyright Knitscene/Harper Point, 2013

Rock and Purl, Featured Designer in the issue designed a whopping 4 projects for this issue...

Stereo Mittens
copyright Knitscene/Harper Point, 2013
Hi-Fi Pullover
copyright Knitscene/Harper Point, 2013
Victor Shawl
copyright Knitscene/Harper Point, 2013
and Quadraphonic Cardigan
copyright Knitscene/Harper Point, 2013

Columbina Camisole, knitted top pattern

Here's a new pattern out for August, my birthday month!

The Columbina Camisole was named for the delicate two-colored flower, and this simple two-colored camisole with lace edges is perfect for summer picnics. It’s also a nice travel project as it is worked flat from the bottom up. Lace is added from a provisional cast-on down to the bottom edge, and upward from open stitches. The lace edging is easy to memorize and can be blocked as rounded scallops or soft waves.

Skills required to complete the project:

  • provisional cast-on
  • knitting
  • decreasing/increasing
  • picking up stitches

The pattern does contain links to resources on how to do the provisional cast-on among other techniques.  And, if you'd like to know more about it, or purchase the pattern to make it yourself, it's here on Ravelry, and soon to be on Craftsy and Patternfish too.

The main knitting is very machine knit friendly, and lends itself to a very quick machine knit, and then the finishing lace can be completed by hand.

Happy Summer!

Beads & Quilting

These days, I've been working on a top-secret project for an unnamed magazine.
See the sneak preview below...

The photo shows several different types of beads and how they look on the project's yarn.  Any thoughts?

And, in the quilting world, I've been prepping!

All my quilting blocks from last year's Craftsy Block of the Month Sampler needed some sashing in order to free-motion quilt them.  So, I'm taking that first step and adding 2.5" strips around all the blocks.  I can't wait to start FMQ'ing!  I may start before I finish sashing them all.  I don't think I have that much patience to wait!

And, news on the Knitmaster knitting machine,  I've opened it up to inspect its condition, and there's a lot of dust and cat hair, but as you saw, the machine can still knit.  Plus, the needle retaining bar (aka sponge bar) needs replacing, and once that's done it will be a lot smoother.  So, that's what I'm up to this weekend!  Hope you are all doing well yourselves.  Anyone doing any fun projects this weekend?  I am sorta missing sewing clothing.  Perhaps once the quilt and the deadline projects are done, I'll work on some trousers.