November 20, 2012

Sacred Stocking Stitch

 There is something about stocking stitch.

Complain as we may when I project has what feels to be miles and miles of the stuff, it is oddly soothly and reassuring. 

Row after row of knit or purl (or in the round, just knit), it's the perfect stitch for tv watching, or talking with friends, or daydreaming. mostly because it's pretty hard to mess up. 

While knitting away at the sunshine yellow cardigan I got to thinking how easy it is to get obsessive over a project that is mostly stocking stitch. 'One more row' easily turns into ten, and there's something soothingly rhythmic about the whole thing. A long row of knit, a long row of purl, turn, repeat, over and over. 

The Sunshine Celestite Cardigan in progress

I know there's a bit of history behind stocking stitch (the English is Stockinette, but stocking is so much simpler to say), so I decided to hunt out some tidbits of info.

Each column of stitches on the right side of the fabric is a 'wale' - which I love. Except I keep thinking of actual whales. Also, the bumps on corduroy fabric are also called 'wales' (hooray for old fabric store know how!).

Knit and Purl stitches are asymmetrical (I didn't know that!) which is why stocking stitch fabric curls at the sides and ends.

The path that your yarn takes is called a 'course' and each loop is called a 'bight'

Knitted garments can stretch as much as 500%! Holy moly!

When we knit by hand we are 'warp knitting' as we are creating wales that run perpendicular to the course of the yarn (hooray for putting terminology together!)

Feel smarter about your knitting? I do. Feel smug because I should have known all this stuff already and you totally do? Yeah, that's cool.

Happy knitting!

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November 13, 2012

Would like to knit all the things: Part II

I would like to knit everything. Seriously, the amount I think I can knit in a period of time does not even remotely come close to how much I can actually knit. 

On the needles right now is Celestite in Sauterne Malabrigo Lace. As I knit away, my mind wanders to images of myself wearing hand knit cardigans that don't exist yet. 

Here's a little wish list of cardigans I would like to knit and wear to garden parties, Christmas festivities, to the movies and to drink wine in the sunshine with friends...

Stonor by Belinda Boaden (this one by Lily Kate is knit in Fyberspates Oyster. Droooooling).

Besides the fact this is a beautiful pattern, Fyberspates just released brand new colours. They are so incredibly delightful I may have let out an excited squeal when the email arrived. As soon as our order lands we'll be posting about it, to be sure.

The Queue Project hasn't been forgotten either. Nope. 

I now have allocated yarn to knit Veera's Hooray Cardigan - it's going to be a pale sage green shade of Knitsch Krissie DK (mmmm cashmere merino)

Another queue project pattern is White Pine by Amy Christoffers. This one probably won't be started until next year - it's also going to be bright sunshine yellow.

Oh, this next one - swoon. Beautiful, well thought out neckline, and that lace panel on the back. YUM. This knitter is a sucker for surprise details.

Devonshire by Pam Powers

Possibly should stop looking and start knitting...

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November 12, 2012

Would like to knit all the things.

For a few weeks now, the only projects on my needles have been small ones. Hats, socks, mitts, little bits and pieces. It makes me a little twitchy to not have something bigger on the go. Something I can sink my teeth into, something that is reassuring and can be picked up night after night without too much dilemma about what it is I should be working on. 
Way back when the last Malabrigo order arrived, I nabbed a couple skeins of Mal Lace in Sauterne. The yellow is so absurdly happy I simply couldn't resist. Yellow is my favourite colour, after all. I wound up the two skeins, thinking to look for a cardigan pattern and nab the last skein of Sauterne on the shelf if I needed it.

SOMEONE BOUGHT IT. Which happens in a shop, right? But it made my pattern choice a little tricky. I was going to knit Rocio by Joji Locatelli - I love the lace panel in the back and the neck line:


But without the third skein to rely on, my concern for having enough yarn was great. So, back to Ravelry. After much discussion at Sat Sit & Knit, we came up with Celestite by Cecily Glowik-MacDonald. Yes, it's supposed to be knit in fingering/4ply. But same needle size should make it work (she says, ha!). I like that it doesn't fully enclose the body, has an elegant neck line and is reasonably straight forward. All that yellow really needs to speak for itself. 

I've cast on and knit almost the entire yoke in 24 hours. Not bad! But now i'm itching, seriously itching to knit more big projects. Namely cardigans. A girl simply can't have enough cardigans, especially for a New Zealand summer in windy Wellington where walking out the door without a cardi on a sunny day is asking for serious trouble. 

I'll leave my new cardigan wish list for the next post. For now, back to knitting yarn the colour of sunshine!

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