Monday, February 26, 2007

Socks, Swatches and a Clapotis

My liberty socks are done, and a huge thumbs up to switching needle sizes instead of changing the stitch pattern to achieve calf shaping. It's a slick little keeper of a technique. The stitch pattern came from the new Interweave sock book (another thumbs up). I carried the stitch pattern down the heel flap, before getting really bored with it, and deciding to just work the ribbing pattern on the instep.

Next up was supposed to be the Tilt Jacket, but I'm not really liking the swatches for this project. The bodice of the jacket is knit on the diagonal, so you have to hit both stitch and row gauge spot on, or it just won't work. Briar Rose Colette is just a wee bit finer than the Noro called for, and in order to get gauge I have to use needles that are just to big for it. The pattern doesn't do the yarn justice, I feel, so I've scrapped that idea, and moved onto plan B.

Instead of Tilt, I've decided to knit the cover sweater from Lace Style, also new from Interweave. The feather and fan stitch pattern is perfect for this yarn, and the fabric is soft and very drapey. On 6mm needles this is going to knit up super fast, and will be a perfect spring sweater.

Finally, while I fiddled with different stitch patterns for the Colette, I knit a Quick Clapotis from ... Can't remember what the yarn is, actually. It's a thick/thin number, and works up to about 4 stitches per inch. Chris, do you think you can identify this one?

The finished scarf is chunky and warm, and amazingly soft. It's my new favorite! (Actual scarf color is nearer the close up image than this one.)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

New Project

Here's my latest project using Briar Rose Legacy. I started this shawl last week. It's the Cherry Leaf Shawl from Victorian Lace Today. I'm really happy with the colorway and the softness of the yarn. I was really worried the pattern would be more than I'd be able to handle, but it's going along really nicely. I always think a pattern is going to be too hard for me (why do I do that?) It was a bit of a challenge learning how to read a chart, but now I can pretty much glance at it and know where I am. There's always more to learn isn't there?

Happy Knitting!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Cabled Mitts

Here are my Cabled Fingerless Mitts using the Briar Rose pattern and yarn (1 hank Earth Song).

The color is true to the yarn:

Notes: I followed the pattern exactly with the exception of casting on 8 fewer stitches than called for (I am pretty small boned). I also put the thumb opening one repeat (i.e. 4 rows) sooner than the pattern called for. I didn't think the sleeve part needed to be that long.

The yarn was so soft. Perfect for the mitts. I'm delighted.

Here's a closeup of the small cable pattern (and even a bit of straw for authenticity):

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

After Hours Shawl, modified

Hi All! I hope this find everyone well! I finished my After Hours Shawl with Sea Pearl this weekend. I modified the pattern to create a three panel shawl. It is a beautiful yarn, with a luster. Please excuse the poor image quality...I'm still learning. The blocked image color is way off. The yarn is closer to the color in the other two pics.
Happy Mardi Gras!


Question: knitting with laceweight

Winning on Valentine's Day has inspired me to cast on for my knitalong project. I'd like to make a summery top with the hank of Sea Pearl I have, but I've never knit with laceweight before. I'd like to be able to wear the top without having to wear a tank top or something underneath - what needle size can I use that will give me a good fabric but won't take forever to knit? Any advice will be appreciated by this novice knitter. Thanks!
- Nichole

Valentine Winner!

Sorry guys!
Would the person that won the Valentines Day prize please email me?
I am having some trouble with my email and I need your snail mail adress!
chris at briarrosefibers dot net

Monday, February 19, 2007

I'm finally on!

Hey guys! I've been trying to get on this blog for WEEKS! I think my computer is blocking something with blogger because my account is working on my friends computer right now. Hopefully I get it figured out because I'd like to post some pictures. I'm crocheting a pair of socks out of the Fourth of July yarn right now. They are coming along great! I am also trying to finish a scarf made out of BR sport weight alpaca that is done in basket weave on the diagonal. I also have a couple of other projects in mind made with Brair Rose Yarn. Happy knitting!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hat & Scarf

It has been a while since I've posted anything...but here is my hat and scarf. I've been enjoying the warmth of these for a few weeks now. I've also finished my cabled hat and am still working on the coordinating scarf. Once the scarf is done I think I will start one of those awesome Retro Cardigans! So excited about that it Chris!!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day!

You are going to have a wonderful evening....Soyezforte! Congratulations on winning Chris' Valentine's Day give away of that fabulous Grace yarn.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Another Tuscany Tank Begins

I love these colors, and it's quite a departure from my mostly blue toned wardrobe. I especially love that chocolately brown that's in the mix, upper right in the photo. When I've knit the tank before, I didn't have a good method of managing all four balls without getting them into a tangled mess. The solution presented itself this Christmas with a Gladware container that leftover treats from a party came home in. I put four holes in the lid, and secured it all with some rubber bands. Not sexy, and I think you can find a container that works the same way in a catalog, but hey, it was free. Economize a little here, to save more funds for yarn! I'm just getting started with the tank, but there's still the rest of the weekend to make some progress!

Close up detail

Here is the yoke detail of the Retro Cardigan!

Bamboo research

In my attempt to reasearch all of my fibers, I have found that the info on bamboo is interesting. Did you know it can be grown as a grass? We had friends that had some in their back yarn by their pool and it was a different varity than grass, and it started to take over their yard....the kind they had sent out wood shoots more than 15' underground. Anyway, bamboo has antibacterial qualities in it! The yarn I am offering is a blend of 60% superwash merino, 30% bamboo and 10% nylon. Her name is "Grace". I think it will make fabulous socks....and baby sweaters....and fingerless mitts and..........SHAWLS....
These two beauties are up for grabs on Valentines Day! Kim will pull a name!

Retro Cardigan

This is a new cardigan that we are going to offer as a free pattern. It's done from the top down and is too darned fun to make! This one was made with two strands of Fourth of July and I have made another with one strand Fourth of July and one strand of Abundance. And you thought all I did was dye....silly you!
I will try to get a close up of the neck detail and a photo of the next cardigan too. I am still having camera issues.

My knitting mantra

As a general rule I finish objects before beginning others...general rule.

I began to flounder on the sleeves of my 'v' neck sweater in Legend. My knitting time has be severely limited and I needed some variety. The Briar Rose Earth Song was wound and staring at me - 3 skeins (2 identical, 1 slightly different) to intermingle. Cory had all of those wonderful vests...I cast on!

...I will return to the sleeves when I need the repetition of stockinette stitches.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Virtues of Bamboo?

Can anyone tell me about bamboo yarns? Are they warm? Durable? Washable? Do they fade in sunlight? I'm sure if Chris dyed these yarns, they are beautiful and soft, but having never used bamboo or soy or seasilk, my inquiring mind want to know "Just how practical are these new plant based fibers "?

PS I'm putting the lace border on the bottom of my shawl this weekend!


Here it is!

Winter Wonderland on Sat.

Hi Guys! I took this photo on Saturday and finally am able to get it up on the blog. Turns out when the computer died it's horrible death a few weeks ago, it lost a ton of settings, one of which is how to upload photos.......
So hopefully I am on track again with photos.......
I have some really cool things to put up on the blog......
We finally got some of the new fiber up online today..."Wistful" is up!
More photos tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Look what I got!

If you mix the colors in my picture with the colors in Knitterella's post then you have a true idea of how gorgeous this yarn is! Thank you so much Chris for such a great prize! I think I know what I'm going to make, just have to find a pattern.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I thought I lost you guys! Thanks Kim for helping me find my way back. I'm not a very good person to be in a blog, being away from home a lot. I can't post pictures and I don't get to log on very often. I live in northern Indiana but three of my grandbabies live in the Indianapolis area so I'm down here to visit a lot!
I can tell you that I LOVE my Sonoma yarn. It's fabulous! So very soft for a hand dyed and the color is great. Most of the hand dyed yarns I've worked with have knitted up blotchy and this one doesn't. I'm knitting the XOXO hat and mittens (one of Chris's patterns) and the directions are great. These will go to my sister in Connecticut when I'm done with them. then I don't know what's next so I may have to drop out for a while.
Happy Valentines Day to you all.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Faroese Top Down Shawl in progress

Thanks to a co-worker, I now have a picture to share! I'm making this shawl using 4th of July and a pattern from Stahman's Shawls and Scarves. This is one skein's worth and comes to my elbow (OK, I'm short!) The pattern seemed very complicated, but after taking the plunge and following the directions step by step it all worked out perfectly. I have about 4 more inches to knit and then I'll add a lace border.


It came! It came! My Colette has arrived! This is what my gorgeous custom dyed yarn looks like:

The row of skeins in back looks slightly more blue than the row in front, because they are. The blues in the far group are more in the range of ocean, while the front row of skeins has more green. The apple green in the front skeins really pops (which I can't seem to get the darned camera to see!) and looks just delicious against the deep blues and mauves. I will probably use these hot green skeins for the quarter panels of the bias knit bodice.

The subtle differences in the colors of each skein illustrate exactly why I love hand-painted fiber so much. I love the process of figuring out how to use each skein to best advantage, and each project is unique. No one else on earth will have a Tilt Jacket exactly like mine. Can't wait to get started!

Of course, I must make myself finish the socks in Legend before I get to swatching the new swag. I decided that size 2.25 mm needles were really too small for this yarn, and that the sock pattern 80 sts around was really too big. This is the second pattern I've attempted with these socks, and then abandoned. Fortunately I didn't get too far into the second stitch pattern before realizing I didn't like it.

The third pattern is working just fine. I found the stitch pattern in the Interweave Sock book I raved about last week, but decided not to use Ann Budd's actual pattern. After three attempts I knew what this yarn would do, and how many stitches to cast on, and didn't feel I needed a pattern.

Here's a close up of the stitch pattern, slightly stretched, the way it will look while the sock is being worn. And a shot of sock number one, nearly finished. I cast on 66 sts onto size 3.25 mm needles, and dropped down to 2.75 mm after about four inches.

The socks are knitting up nice and thick, just the way I wanted then to, and will I'm sure be very warm.

Love, love loving the colors! There is no pooling at all.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Interlocking Balloons

Thanks to Kniterella for straightening out my technical problems! I'm glad to join this KAL.

I have been slowly working on the Interlocking Balloons scarf from "Scarf Style" with Earth Song (alpaca) in a really great colorway of blues etc. The chart for this pattern is pretty complicated to follow, though not that complicated to actually knit. It's just really slow-going with a nine month old to manage at the same time.

I also owe Chris some edits to a ribbed turtleneck pattern I wrote at the end of last year. That is on my to-do list...soon!!


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Saturday, February 03, 2007

I Need a Bigger Closet

To accommodate all the vests that just keep flying off the needles. This is the Tuscany Tank, done with custom dyed yarn. I love the deep blues and the overall complexity of how the colors work in the finished piece. That's the big payoff with this project--you take what sometimes looks like four unrelated colorways, and then as you knit it, the magic happens. The classic timeless design of this tank really lets the yarn be the star. With the play of color, it also can be worn with many things. Even worked with two strands of a heavy worsted yarn, it doesn't read to me as bulky. I think that perhaps the flax that's blended with the wool gives the garment a little more drape that one might expect. I love the Tuscany Tank so much, I'm about to cast on for another! (Which will make a total of 4 so far)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Love that yarn

I'm making good progress on my shawl I'm making from 4th of July (pictures coming next week). In fact I'm rather obsessed with it - such a joy to work with this yarn - love the feel, the colors. Quite a different experience from the other two shawls I've made which were from teeny tiny yarns and took forever to finish. Well - true confession - I finished one and the other is only half done. It's made from a mix of merino lace weight and Rowan silk. I focus on getting 6 inches finished, then I put it away for 4 months and work on more enjoyable projects. My daughter loves this shawl, so someday I will finish it and give it to her, but in the mean time... it's Briar Rose fibers for me!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

And the winner is......

Congratulations to Buttercup!

I've used my Sonoma as a back drop, but here is a picture of her actual yarn.

I tried and tried to take good photos last night of the name being pulled out of the hat, but they turned out terrible. The cold 'Michigan Room' offered better accommodations today.

So, Buttercup, what are you going to make?

Don't worry, I'll bet there will be another chance at a giveaway for the rest of our knitters!

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