ideas for the future

finally i got my hands on some linen quill

So this is the other part of my haul from Purl Soho! Practically every color of Linen Quill, lol. I have wanted to knit with this yarn ever since I saw Karen Templer’s cardigan in the black, because that rustic look is EXACTLY my style. I haven’t knit any of it yet, but I’m looking forward to how it will knit up. It feels a bit rough in the skein, but I think it will bloom with a bath. I’ve balled up about half of it (remember, I don’t have a ball-winder), which has taken a while because each skein is so generous, especially for the price.

What on earth could I be knitting? This cardigan that I mentioned before! The main color will be the black yarn, with the seven other colors in the argyle, centering on that rich turmeric yellow as the main accent color. I cannot WAIT, but I’m going to refrain from swatching until after I’ve done knitting the jumpsuit. I also know I’ll have a ton of leftovers, but these colors are all so pretty (and neutral) that I don’t think I’ll have as much trouble as I usually do.

ideas for the future

two scrumptious yarns, but only so much money…

Two swatches: Anzula Squishy doubled to mimic the Cricket weight (left) and Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (right)

I wanted to make one more thing for my sister’s new baby, and decided on a jumpsuit of some sort. After browsing Ravelry for hours on end and falling love with all those little baby patterns, I settled on Eric’s Jumpsuit by Ainur Berkimbayeva, as I really liked its clean, simple lines, and the squishy all-over-garter stitch. But what to knit it in? My LYS doesn’t have any yarn I like for babies besides its cotton yarn, and I wanted something softer. I wanted something lush and smooth, with a tonal, gorgeous dye job, and Japan just doesn’t have much of that kind of yarn! All I could think of was that now is the time: to order a bunch of yarn from Purl Soho. Hey, if I order a bunch of other yarn I’ve wanted for a while, then the shipping costs aren’t so bad…

I’ve purchased Madelinetosh and Anzula Squishy from them before, and had a bunch left over so I decided to swatch to decide which yarn I’d go for. I really want Anzula, because it’s SO soft and wonderful, but Anzula in its sport weight would require me buying 3 skeins…which is like a hundred dollars… Madelinetosh is beautiful too, and a lot more affordable! I also liked more of the colors Purl Soho had available with Madelinetosh, and preferred its slightly fuzzier halo. I’d have to fiddle around with the pattern to change the gauge, but it could work.

But I swatched both yarns up, then washed and dried them in a dryer at the laundromat. And guys… you know what? Anzula just is the clear winner. The garter stitch is SO perfect for this yarn, and it is so thick and squishy. The Tosh Merino Light just doesn’t seem sturdy enough as a single-ply, and while both yarns will definitely pill, I think the Anzula will just wear better.

At the end of the day, I’m gonna be that crazy aunt that knits the baby whatever it wants. So that gives me the perfect excuse to splurge on yarn I would never buy for myself…

Anzula Cricket in Root Beer

I picked a golden honey brown, and will attach some ears to the hood. I might even make a little tail because my sister is so into the Wizard of Oz, so I could make it a Cowardly Lion type theme… Hmmm…

ideas for the future

upcoming knits

Ignore the green tint! I was playing with the colors with the Peach-tone Argyle Cardigan by Yoko Hatta because I’ve admired the pattern for a while but I don’t want any more peach-colored clothing. I’d love to try knitting this with Purl Soho’s Linen Quill, using the lovely kettle-dyed black as the main color, and definitely making use of the Turmeric Yellow. Not sure what other colors I’d like to pair with it, but could see a slate-blue and grey tones going well. Make yellow the only bright color (maybe a brown and taupe thrown in too).

Then again, Purl Soho would be expensive to send to Japan…haha. It’s already getting a bit too warm for knitted sweaters, so this might have to be an idea I juggle for a while.

 

ideas for the future

Interweave Knits, Winter 2017

ep15145_2_medium2Bray Cardigan by Josie Mercier

The latest Interweave Knits is just FULL of sumptious cabled patterns! I think sometimes designers have to be careful of the amount of cables they use, especially if the pattern uses heavy yarn and moss stitch, just because it can quickly overpower a sweater. Yet I think intricate cables can be so fun, so I’m always looking for patterns that strike that perfect balance. I think IK did an amazing job of that. I probably wouldn’t knit this cardigan as I don’t particularly need a heavy cabled cardigan, but it’s gorgeous.

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Tullamore Pullover by Brandy Velten

This one is simple and perfect. Love the mock turtleneck. Think it might work better with a different yarn choice that makes the cables really pop.

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Ennis Pullover by Sarah Solomon

This is my favorite! (could be the oatmeal color though) I love all the simpler vertical cables and the intricate crisscross in the middle. More than anything I love how light it looks because of the thinner yarn (though it says it’s DK. With my loose guage, fingering weight would be fine). This might be a new contender for the cabled sweater I want to knit – this or Alina’s Journey. Think how beautiful either of those would be in a deep red wine color! I’m still leaning towards Journey since I’ve love the unique argyle cables, but this one is sticking with me too.

ideas for the future

getting back on board

Well, I gave myself a day or two to mourn, but it’s time to get back to work. Or, in this case, back to knitting. I gain such solace from knitting in normal times, so I have a feeling it will be even greater comfort in the future.

(I know it is priveleged and lucky for me to be able to just *go back* to knitting, but do know that I’m doing what I can while living in Japan as an American.)

Anyway, here’s the state of the queue as of November 2016:

queuenov2016Actual things I’m working on:

1. A cardholder (my own pattern)

2. Sari by Kieran Foley

Future patterns I’d like to knit in no particular order (and this may change):

1. Journey by Alina Schneider

2. Peach-tone Argyle Cardigan by Yoko Hatta

3. A jacket/cardigan of some sort, inspired by Chanel and designs in the Knitting Life pattern book by Keiko Okamoto

4. A skirt with a dense knitted fabric, with sewn liner. I’m looking for something not tight at all, a little bit more loose than a pencil skirt yet not flowy. And I’d like it to hit right above the knee. (I had a RTW skirt like this for many years that got too threadbare to wear. I’ve always wanted a replacement) Pictures are taken randomly from Polyvore – let me know if you’d like them taken down.

I think I’ll work on the two patterns on the needles first (I wanted to finish Sari for Christmas but I don’t know if that will happen unless I dedicate every free hour to it), and I’ll be mulling over what to work on next. I’m intrigued by my skirt idea, but this would be just as much a sewing project as a knitting project, and I’m not an experienced sewer. It would be quite a reach for me, which is why I’d really like to tackle such a project. But I’m also drawn to a sumptious cable-y sweater like Journey (which I would knit in a red color, I think). That, or the striking argyle cardigan.

As far as the Chanel-type-ish cardigan ideas, I think I’ll be looking for more inspiration over the next few months. I’m not at the skill I want to be for such a jacket (it would be lined), so I think I’ll try a skirt first and then see if I even like doing such a project. But it would be a very interesting project indeed!

ideas for the future

silk really takes color well

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A long time ago, I saw a picture of Sari by Kieran Foley on tumblr, and just fell in love. In particular, it was yuki77’s Sari that immediately sent pangs of desire through me. I think the original Sari is impressive looking and the gradation of rainbow colors is very nice. But I’m not a rainbow-type of girl, and luckily yuki77’s Ravelry entry listed all of the yarn she used (with exact amounts and everything!). I need to start being more detailed on my own Ravelry entries in case anyone wants to copy me!

(they won’t)

Yuki77 used Ginga-3 from Hasegawa Corporation, a light fingering weight silk yarn. It’s 100% silk, which I’ve never worked with before (I’ve got a shawl I crocheted about 3 years ago that’s a silk-acrylic…with more acrylic than silk), and I’m just amazed by the vibrance of its colors. I’ve always heard how well silk takes dye, but it really is true. Look at the rich green and yellow up there! (called “jade” and “yam” by the company, which I love. “Yam!”) The thing is, it looks way more like wool to me, because it’s all tweedy. I LOVE tweedy, and in fact I’m not even a big fan of shiny yarns, which is why I haven’t worked much with silk in the past. But this silk is perfect. The feel is like linen, the look is like wool, and the colors are all silk. Wonderful.

(and I’m lucky that it’s a Japanese yarn, so very easy for me to get!)

I swatched for the pattern, and I’m pretty much on gauge with size 1’s, of course. Not that gauge matters much with a shawl. I’m excited, because this is one juicy pattern. Lace on both sides, stranded colorwork, AND intarsia. The finished objects all look so ornate! I LOVE the colors I have, and they are perfect for autumn, but I’m not sure if I’ll keep this one for myself. It would really suit my mom, and I haven’t knitted anything for her in ages…

ideas for the future

state of the stash

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I’ve been a crazy person lately, wanting to knit all the things. That always happens when I finish a big project. I’m such a monogamous knitter that my hands yearn to grab all the things I didn’t get to knit for months. Luckily I’ve been able to get through a lot of stash…so much so that I have barely any left. Isn’t that a miracle??

I have a bunch of leftover fingering weight yarn (both sock and linen yarn for summer tops), but I’ve gotten through most of my wool yarn. Well, of course, I’m not counting the huge stack of yarn for my Bohus sweater, which is in a seperate basket. And there’s yarn on the way for a Sari shawl and the summer striped Vasa top that got moved to the back of the queue. It felt so GOOD to purchase those yarns, knowing that I had plenty of room for them. I’m actually going to Tokyo in a week, and I was thinking I’d stop by the yarn shops there. But I think I’ll pass this time. I think it’s best that I only buy yarns that I need for specific projects, rather than yarns I buy because they’re pretty.

Or maybe I’ll just browse the yarn shop’s selection online and then see what other Ravelers have knitted with them…

newstash

ideas for the future

springy, cable-y goodness

(c) twist collective fall 2016
(c) twist collective fall 2016
  1. Windvine by Henna Markkanen
  2. Proscenium by Fiona Ellis
  3. Carnelian byMary Anne Benedetto
  4. Sinua by Susanna IC

Twist Collective’s newest issue has so many lovely sweater patterns! I covet these four patterns, though I particularly like both Windvine and Sinua. I think the cables on Sinua are so unique and cute, while the cables on Windvine are truly breath-taking and a great show of skill. I also love the neckline on Proscenium and the coziness of the rib on the Carnelian. These could be nice ideas for after my Bohus sweater?

Which, by the way…I waited too long to buy the yarns I wanted for the yellow and red, and now they don’t have enough. I’m not sure what else to use, as those were the perfect matches for what I wanted. Kind of frustrating. I’ll wait until September before panicking though – that’s when the new yarns will come out and the old yarns will be restocked. So I’ll be crossing my fingers until then!

(c) twist collective fall 2016
(c) twist collective fall 2016
ideas for the future

pokemon patterns

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As I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of PokemonGO in the last few weeks, it’s really reawakened my love for the little pocket monsters. I have been playing Pokemon in one form or another for almost twenty years, so seeing all this love for Pikachu makes me all nostalgic inside. So I was thinking: how about mixing my two passions here? Knitting and Pokemon? There’s gotta be some good patterns, I thought, as I looked on Ravelry. Well, mostly it’s a bunch of strange creations that don’t really look like Pokemon (I think they’re inherently suited for something like a sewn stuffed animal, rather than crocheted or, ugh, knitted patterns). I think the issue is that you really have to adapt their design for crochet, rather than try to make a huge stuffed animal that tries to emulate the original design. But hey, I’ve never designed stuff like that so who am I to judge!

Anyway, I thought I’d share some interesting patterns in case you’re thinking of creating a creature for yourself or a Pokefan in your life.

  1. Magikarp Pokemon by Nichole’s Nerdy Knots – an adorable representation of everyone’s favorite useless Pokemon. Crochets up fast!
  2. Chubby Squirtle by Justine Dalipe – the perfect round shape
  3. Pokemon: Pikachu by i crochet things  – I think this is the best shaped Pikachu in the entire Ravelry library. Look how perfect his cheeks are! And his head is a nice oblong, rather than a sphere.
  4. Shellder Amigurumi by Seo Roh – Ingenious. Rather than design a black sphere with eyeballs, the designer suggests Shellder’s inner body by just hinting with the shadow of the two shell halves.

poke2

  1. Chikorita by Justine Dalipe – Another perfectly shaped Pokemon by this designer. All her stuff is great, but I’m partial to both Squirtle and Chikorita as they were my starters in those generations.
  2. Pokemon Milotic Amigurumi by Jose Luis Blanco Machinea – What a work of skill and beauty. I won’t be creating this one, but I think it’s absolutely gorgeous.
  3. Pokemon: Gengar by i crochet things – This Gengar is even more wonderful than the Pikachu above. I tend to dislike patterns that use felt appliques for features on amigurumi, as I think it’s very hard to get to look right. But this one looks great!
  4. Karpe Diem: Useless Goldfish by Akabeko Botan – Love the name. This would be perfect for a little kid. And I love how they suggested Magikarp’s scales on his tail.

I wish there were more options other than amigurumi on Ravelry though. My favorite Pokemon products are things like stationery, bags, and other trinkets where a Pokemon has been added subtly to the design. Like a handkerchief with a small Pikachu silhouette. I’m not a six-year-old boy, I don’t need to broadcast my love of a 20-year-old franchise to the world. So I wish there was like, a sweater with a subtle Onix or Goldeen motif or something. …Maybe that’s something I’ll have to make myself!

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(of course Brock would have an Onix striped sweater, and Misty a sweater in Goldeen colors!)
ideas for the future

a top-down improvised idea

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If I was to participate in the Fringe Association knitalong, and I’m not saying I will, maybe I would knit something like this. I’m a big fan of close-fitting fisherman’s rib sweaters, with collars that stand up a bit. I’ve seen them a lot lately at work (well, not lately, as it’s the middle of summer), and I kind of want one for myself. But rather than a fisherman’s rib that’s worked all over the sweater, I was thinking it could be just done in a few sections. For example leading out from the collar into the shoulders and down the arm. Or a little bit on the side. Then, maybe some eyelets on the raglan increases.

I pulled out a few yarn leftovers to maybe swatch out the idea. Again, I’m not super crazy about adding a new sweater in my queue, especially when I’m not raring to knit it. But I kind of want to try a knitalong, so that’s why I keep thinking about it! I have some bulky tweed yarn and some sleeker DK weight wool that I might play around with later to see if I even like the ideas I’m thinking of regarding the stitch pattern.

I will say though, as I was going through my stash for leftovers, that I quite lovingly fondled the yarn for my Bohus sweater. I still want to knit that first! If I’m not crazy about my swatches, I might be a *good girl* and just forget this whole top-down sweater business. That way I can get to that sweater even faster.

Anyway, ignore all that: … Here’s me and an addendum written a day later. I swatched some yarn and just was NOT feeling it. The wool yarn felt hot and scratchy in my fingers, the texture of the knit was all wrong, and it was way too bulky. Fisherman’s rib should NOT be knit with bulky yarn, unless you’re trying to make a coat or something. I came to the conclusion that I’m forcing myself to think about a top-down improvised sweater when I don’t really want to do it. So I won’t. I’ll pass on this one, and hopefully I’ll see a knitalong one of these days with better timing. I’ll certainly keep my eye on Fringe Association!

…And I still like the idea of the sweater itself. Maybe one day.