New Design: Sencha Scarf

This is the most recent new design to debut, as part of the Tanis Fiber Arts 2012 Year in Colour Club:

sencha 3

I’m really happy with this scarf- I love the diagonal eyelet, the fringe, and the drape makes this seems so classic yet fashionable. It’s these sort of scarves that I end up wearing the most (except in the dead of winter), because they easily complete the look of an outfit, as well as look good with a spring/fall coat. The pattern is an exclusive for the Year in Colour Club, until 2013. But when it is live for non-club members, I’ll definitely blog about it!

I had a tricky time with this design at first- I
had this idea for a really textured cowl, and I was totally set on it.  I swatched many
different stitches, but in this yarn (which is an exclusive merino/silk base
for some of the Colour Club months) it just fell flat. Because this
yarn has a lot of drape in it, and it wanted to be knitted into a drapey
fabric. And I spent at least a solid week trying to force it to do
something it didn’t want to do.

sencha 1

The yarn, won in the end. The yarn always wins, because it knows what it needs to be. It had been a while since I had been reminded of that. It’s
knits like this that remind me that when you have the right yarn for
the right pattern, it all comes together. And if you’re struggling, then
you’ve got to choose- are you going to change the pattern or are you
going to change the yarn?

I’m so glad I changed the pattern. This yarn knew what it wanted to be. I just had to listen.

sencha 2
p.s.- Doesn’t Tanis look amazing in these shots?

Wee Wednesday: Bright Stripes Baby Blanket FO

I finally finished it! The Bright Stripes Baby Blanket:

DSC_1830

Pattern: Mirbeau Slip Stitch Baby Blanket

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label DK in Buttercup, Orange Blossom, Lemongrass, Peacock, and Poppy (1 skein of each, except for Poppy, since I used it for the borders.

Needles: 4.5 mm (US 7)

Mods: I alternated the 5 colours in order, didn’t do the mirrored colour repeats as called for in the pattern.

Notes:  I knit a baby blanket for a friend before, but I clearly forgot how loooong it takes to churn out a baby blanket! I’ve  been chiseling away at this one since the fall.  There have been times I thought it was maybe a bit to bright, but then I got these very fun stroller/toy bar toys, and they matched perfectly!

DSC_1833

I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  I was a little nervous at the bight colours I chose, because I usually do earth tones so this was a real departure for me. It blocked out beautifully, and is all ready to go for baby bliss when she shows up (can you believe it’s only another 3-4 weeks?!).

DSC_1842

Modification Monday: Spring Skirt

Original Pattern: Heijastuksia

Knitter Extraordinaire: Barbara (Ravelry ID)

Mods:  Used the great stranded sock pattern as inspiration for an ombre skirt, which was acheived using multiple skeins of ombre yarn and alternating skeins every 3rd row. Details and more amazing photos can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: This skirt is drop dead gorgeous for so many reasons- I love the ombre effect, I love the stranded design at the hem, the great shape of the skirt and the perfect looking zipper (just look at it!)  at the back- the knitting is amazing, but the whole garment construction blows my mind. It’s a work of art!

Modification Monday: Monkey Hat

Original Pattern: Monkey

Knitter Extraordinaire: Alexandra (ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Cleverly turned this popular sock pattern into a hat! Also increased gauge from fingering to aran. Project pages with full details on how to do the same can be found here and here.

What Makes This Awesome: Socks into a hat- I’m definitely impressed!  I love the texture this takes on when blown up in the larger gauge, and it looks great as a winter hat. I’ve never even considered turning a sock pattern into a hat, but now I’ll be looking at socks in a whole new light. Amazing!

Swatching for a New design

I think I still have at least one more new design in me before this baby shows up, so I’ve been swatching:

swatching

Both are similar (and using the same stitch patterns), although the teal swatch I cast on fewer stitches, and then I wasn’t sure what I thought about the colour variations- if they distracted too much from the design. So I cast on in Gold, for a more tonal take on things.Then I thought that what would really jazz this photo up would be to get an ostrich in there. You know, for kicks.

I’m leaning towards the gold- I think that (except on the white background) the stitches will be crisper, clearer. What do you guys think?