Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Scrappy Tam

Scrap Happy Train Tam by Cosette Cornelius-Bates

This hat arose from the scraps of a few projects with leftovers. The brown is from the leftover Beaverslide Organic wool I used to make the Drops Jacket, and the yellow and blue are Debbie Bliss Donegal Aran Tweed from some impromptu Irish Hiking Mitts. I was initially planning to make the mitts simply in yellow, but ran out of yarn halfway through the second mitt, so I ripped that out and made one yellow mitt and one blue. The scraps seemed to fit perfectly into this pattern with the Beaverslide. They're all really rustic and hearty wools and it coordinated with the pattern really well. I was, not only inspired by Cosy's pattern, but by her creative use of leftovers and great color combinations.

While I was making this hat, I was keeping in mind a group I joined in Ravelry called Color Coordinated which has got me thinking about my own use of color and questioning the colors I'm often drawn towards. It's so easy to pick out grays, blacks, browns, and I keep trying to break out and squish around the yellows, purples, and greens that I might overlook normally. A recent trip to the Cultured Purl (LYS here in Erie PA - see map behind my head, above!) and I came home with this little nugget:

This is some breakthrough yarn for me. First of all, it's purple. And I was drawn to it. Which has never really happened before. Second of all, it's sock yarn, and I've never knitted a sock before. And so, through my Ravelry addiction, I looked at a few patterns and found that this exact yarn and colorway was used to make the Froot Loop Socks from Knitty, and I immediately cast on. So I feel I've come a long way. And I'm actually having a blast knitting the pattern. It's quite easy to remember and the yarn is so awesome. It's Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Potluck and it's like butter. I think I'm a convert to sock knitting. We'll see where this leads...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Ubiquitous...

Drops A-Line Cardigan in Beaverslide Organic Wool

I haven't really been a big sweater knitter in the past. Usually when I start them, it either takes me a while to finish them or I never wear them

This one obviously doesn't belong to the first category, and I'm hoping it won't belong to the second.

The joy of making this cardigan was the yarn. It's Organic Wool in Natural Black from Beaverslide Dry Goods. It's so rustic, it felt like I was knitting right off the sheep. So slippery and oily, it smelled sweet and natural with farmy goodness. When I soaked it for blocking, it gave up so much of it's natural oils, the water looked like a dirty pond and the wool fluffed up pretty and soft. The color is Natural Black and really it's an earthy brownish gray which makes it perfect for this quarter of Project Spectrum.

I had to block the front and backs like crazy because the length just wasn't there. I had a run-out-of-yarn fear, so I didn't knit it any longer, I just relied on blocking and it pretty much worked. The back part can creep up a bit, but nothing an errant tug here and there can't fix. The yarn tightened up and fell right into line with a nice block.

I'll most likely wear the collar turned down. It's still a bit itchy, although I have a feeling that with wear it will soften up even more. I can't recommend this yarn enough.

The buttons are from an old version of Ubernatural that I never wore, so I just snipped them off and now they have a new home!

I have a few more photos up on Flickr, if you're interested.


I feel like I"m still getting my feet wet with this blog thing, and I need to get into a groove. I seem to think that I need to come up with some writable topic, knitting related or otherwise, when really I just envisioned this as being someplace I can write about my thoughts and experiences. Hopefully I can relax and be less restricted. I mean, I don't really feel like I have an audience, but part of me writes in a way that others will be reading, so I censor myself and edit what I would normally say. Like just now I just deleted a paragraph I wrote about kitten season at the Humane Society and how most people think of kittens as cute and exciting, but I see them as overabundant (too many of them for the limited amount of adopters), easy to make sick (runny kitten eyes, sneezy kitten noses), as having bad timing (everyone wants kittens in the wintertime, when there are none) and I erased it because it seemed too negative or depressing. So I'm glad I retyped it. It's loosening my blog boundaries... And really anyway, no one's reading.

If you are though, thanks.