Thursday, December 04, 2008

Feather in Her Cap


And it's another hat! This one is called Feather in Her Cap. It features a much beloved pattern . . . Feather and Fan . . . and is sized for ladies M and L. The yarn used here is Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky in Blue Ming. This pattern is available on Ravelry and here on my blog, and will be added to my website soon.




Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fini!

A year after starting it, my beautiful Modern Quilt Wrap is completed. Abby and Emma are modeling it here for me. And so is the chair.

Modern Quilt Wrap

Modern Quilt Wrap

It was a very productive day, and I knitted up a ribbed hat from Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky in orange. It'll make a nice Christmas gift for a school mate, or if he doesn't draw a boy's name, Duncan would love to have it for himself.

Bulky Ribbed Hat

Notice the snow? Yep, it's winter all right. It's been snowing most of the last 3 weeks. Now that the ground is good and frozen, it's not melting. Many parts of northern Michigan are having a worse go of it than we are, but we're not too inundated yet. We had a white Thanksgiving, and I'm sure Christmas will be plenty white as well.

So, I've been doing a lot of small projects lately. I've knitted another Meret for a Christmas gift for whomever one of the girls draws at preschool, and I have a little purse I designed for the other name they draw. The school is having a fundraiser this Friday evening, so I knitted up some hats, wristwarmers and a neckwarmer, then pulled several things off the shelves that I'd stockpiled for such occasions. All told, I think I donated 12 knitted items, one of my books, and Art donated two gift certificates for computer repair. Here are a few of the things I knitted up for the silent auction.

Bunny Hop Neck Warmer-5 Completed-5

Koi Hat Modified-5 Garden Variety 010

Calorimetry

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Winter Lace Slouchy Beret

I've just completed a new design for a slouchy beret -- Winter Lace Slouchy Beret. Blocking opens up the lace pattern and gives the very relaxedslouch. For those who prefer a hat more along the lines of a tocque, then no blocking would be necessary at all, which results in a very textural and stretchy hat. Sized for ladies M and L, this was knit from Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky wool/alpaca blend on 6.00 mm needles. The rolled brim measures 20" (22") unstretched.

This pattern is available through Ravelry and here on my blog, and soon will be added to my website.




Sunday, November 23, 2008

52PPII #26 Completed and some other stuff too

I used my own Bella Catena Italiana pattern, modified the heel to incorporate ribbing, and modified the foot to ribbing as well. The yarn is Shibui Sock in Kiwi, knit on 2.00 mm needles.

52PPII #26 Completed

I've also completed a sweater for myself since my last blog post -- the Sweet Pea Coat by Kate Gilbert, and purchased from Twist Collective's most recent issue. I wore this today, and got nice comments about it from two total strangers. It's certainly warm, and today was a good day to try it out.

Sweet Pea Coat Finished


I've been knitting hats too. These are all three from Woolly Wormhead's Mystery Beret, which has come to be known as "Meret". The girls and I all have matching hats now. So cute, and such a quick and fun knit!


Terry's Completed Mystery Beret Emma's Mystery Beret
Mystery Beret, Clue 3 (Completed)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

52PPII #22, #23, #24, and #25 Completed!

Here are my pairs #22, #23, #24, and #25 for the 52 Pair Plunge II completed so far in October, all on 2.25 mm needles. These newborn sized socks are for the baby hope chest of a friend who’ll be having a baby next year.

22 – Fiesta Baby Boom in White Zinfandel

23 – Dream In Color Smooshy in Lipstick Lava

24 – Opal Rainforest in Papagei

25 РOpal Rainforest in Marienkäfer


Thursday, October 02, 2008

A study in berets . . .

So I wanted to make the cute Bohemian Beret from Casual Elegant knits. The pattern calls for Cascade 220, of which I have none, but I do have tons of Crystal Palace Yarns wool. I choose some Aran Marl and set to work on the first beret to see how it would knit up and felt for me.

I was expecting to have my own unique results, knowing that so much about felting is just a pure and simple crap shoot. I knitted the pattern exactly as directed, and felted it as specified as well. The top of the beret felted very well and evenly; however, the band didn't and was quite large. No problem . . . I basted a nylon thread through the band, gathered it to my desired finished size and felted it some more. The band did come down to size, but then the top became just a smidge smaller than I'd wear. Although, it would make a great beret for a guy or someone who likes to wear a head-hugging style of hat.

So, next I made modifications to the pattern to see if I could get something that worked with both my head and my yarn. I decreased the number cast on, thus reducing the band circumference. I increased the number of rows in the band and just before the increase round so that there would be a bit more "forehead coverage". And I knit the hat 1" higher than specified before beginning decreases. This worked much better for my yarn, and I really love the results I got with the Crystal Palace Yarns Fjord in Periwinkle.



I'd definitely make this hat again, with the modifications. It's just too cute!

Monday, September 29, 2008

4 Pairs of Socks and a Sweater

Well, I haven’t quit knitting socks… . though I haven’t posted in a while. I took a 2-week break from socks during August to knit Marnie MacLean’s Lily sweater, which I purchased from Twist Collective, and it turned out great!

Lily blocking-1


During September, I’ve finished four pairs of socks –

Pair #18 (below, right knit from Tausendschon sock yarn in Sommerlavendel and my own design on 2.25 mm needles)
and Pair #19 (below, left knit from Wollmeise sock yarn in Pfauenauge/dark intensity in the same design as pair #18 on 2.25 mm needles)

18 and 19 finished-1

Pair #20 (knit from Dream in Color Smooshy in Lipstick Lava and my own design on 2.25 mm needles for ladies 10” foot)

Beauty Queen-1

Pair #21 (knit from Elann.com Superwash Worsted in Canton Teal, remnants from my Lily sweater, on 4.50 mm needles sized to fit an infant)

Cookie A Class Sock-1

And I have Pair #22 (also my own design, in Shibui Sock in Kiwi and knit on 2.0 mm needles) cast on and knit this far:

52PPII 22-1

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dawn Leeseman is in the House! Casual Elegant Knits Blog Tour Continues

Today, I’m happy to welcome Dawn Leeseman to my blog as part of the blog tour she and her co-author, Faina Goberstein have underway. She’s here to talk with us about felting.

Their book,
Casual Elegant Knits, includes four felted projects. There are a felted beret in two sizes, two large bags, and a smaller purse. The beret and bags are modeled by a man, however they are definitely suitable for a woman. One distinguishing feature in their felted designs the incorporation of edgings that help to tailor and define the shapes.

Me: Dawn, welcome to my blog! I’m so happy to have you here. As you know, felting is one my passions, along with sock knitting. I jumped into felting about 4 years ago. How about you . . . when did you pick it up?


Dawn: I had knit for about 10 years before I discovered felting in the 90’s, but did not really design a felted project until I started designing professionally. My first felted design is the Scalloped Tote written for Y2Knit in 2003. The top features a feather and fan lace pattern. I had never seen the use of any stitch pattern, especially lace, used in any of the published felted patterns and approached it from the “What If” standpoint.

Me: I love that you were fearless in doing something new with your Scalloped Tote design. I find being able to innovate something in a project very satisfying. What is it about felting that you find most satisfying?

Dawn: I love the way that the knitting is transformed into something totally different. I also like that it can be a bit unpredictable, especially when designing from a swatch that you have felted. However, what is also great about felting is that no matter what, you always end up with something. Even if the project does not turn out, you can always use your imagination to create something else, perhaps using the cut and sew method or simply using the fabric to make some flowers or trim for another project.

Me: Felting is not without its ability to strike fear into the hearts of knitters. What is it about felting that you consider to be the most challenging?

Dawn: That would be the flip side of what I like the most, that bit of unpredictability can be difficult when I want something very definite and the end product defies all of my predetermined calculations. Another challenge is when interchanging yarns; you can’t assume that a yarn with the same ball band information with felt in the same way.

Me: So tell us a little about your design process.

Dawn: Once I have determined what I want in my finished project then I choose the yarn type For the most part I like to stay will a basic wool and tend to steer away from my beloved novelty yarns. For the most part I like to use yarns that I know will give me good results time after time.

Me: One of the remarkable things I’ve learned about the designers I’ve encountered is how generous they are with sharing their knowledge with knitters. Do you have some felting tips to share with our readers?

Dawn: Of course! First, work in all ends to the wrong side and check your work for any dropped stitches before you began felting. Second, take care that you stop the washer before it goes into the spin cycle as this may set creases that cannot be removed. Finally, take the time to shape your damp project. For a felted bag I use a box covered with a plastic bag that is the same dimension as the finished bag, I like this form to fit snugly inside so that I get good definition.

Me: I’ve had my share of horrible felting-gone-wrong moments. I'm sure you have as well. Do you have any advice to offer about how to avoid the most common felting pitfalls?

Dawn: Oh yes, I have! Do not put anything in with your felting that sheds lint. This can be permanent. I used a towel one time to help in the agitation process and ended up with lint embedded in the felted fabric, I was unable to remove the lint and it spoiled my project.

Also, do not use yarn from your stash that you assume is wool without felting a swatch. I keep my yarn leftovers sorted in plastic containers. Some of the acrylic wool blends look so much like wool that somehow a leftover skein made it into my wool container; it was missing the ball band. I was trying to use up some stash and worked for hours on a bag. When I put it in the washer, I agitated for what seemed to be forever, and still no felting.

Me: Dawn, you’ve had some longevity in the knitwear design world, do you have any insights, hunches, or crystal ball gazings into what the future of felting will be and what trends we may expect?

Dawn: I have seen felting really evolve over the past ten to fifteen years. Designers are experimenting with so many elements of design. They are combining wool with novelties, and using unlikely stitch patterns with stunning results.

At first I thought it would be a passing trend, however I see that it has earned a place in the knitting world. I think that designers will continue to surprise and delight us in the future.

Me: Dawn, you and I have both designed some patterns for Crystal Palace Yarns. I think we both started doing some things for them at about the same time.

Dawn: Yes, we did. I began working with Crystal Palace Yarns in late 2004 after meeting one of their yarn reps, Marge Okuley. I had shown my portfolio to her and she liked my work. She recommended me to Susan Druding, the owner. Susan sent me some sample balls of yarn and I worked up some swatches and sketches. She liked my ideas and we have been working together ever since.

I have not done any felted projects for Crystal Palace, but have admired your work Terry. What are you currently working on?

Me: Thanks, Dawn! That makes me very warm and fuzzy!

Right now, I’m in the throes of the 52 Pair Plunge II and since June, I have completed 19 pairs of socks. As an added challenge, I've set myself the task of designing as many of the pairs I knit as I possibly can, so you can expect to see more sock designs popping up on my website in the coming months.

I’m fairly well serially monogamous when it comes to knitting, so I don’t have a whole lot of unfinished projects started. I have a Modern Quilt Wrap by Mags Kandis in progress, as well as a wrap of my own design cooking on the needles. And always a pair of socks! I have a few felting projects percolating in my brain, too. Always multi-tasking!

However, very near on the horizon, I see many of your felted berets from Casual Elegant Knits on my needles for Christmas gifts for friends, family, and teachers. I just love that beret! What can you tell me about it?

Dawn: Thanks! That is one of my designs. Even though Faina had not done any felting prior to the projects in the book, she gave me great input as to what she envisioned for our collection. She even test knit and felted the beret. It was her first felting project.

Me: Well, it looks fabulous! It’s a great way to assure beginning felters that they also can have that kind of success.



Congratulations to you both on such a great collection of designs, and on the publication of your book. Thank you so much for joining me today, and have a great time on the rest of your blog tour! I’ll be checking in tomorrow to see your stop at the blog of Liz Moreno.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Casual, Elegant Knits Blog Tour -- Here on September 13!

I'm pleased to announce that my blog will be a stop along the way as Faina Goberstein and Dawn Leeseman tour the blogosphere talking about their wonderful new book, Casual, Elegant Knits from Martingale. This collection of gorgeous, knit-lust inducing patterns was released this past July, and I can't wait to talk to the authors here on my blog about it.

More specifically, we'll be chatting with Dawn Leeseman and I'll pick her brain about felting, which you know is a knitting subject close to my heart. Be watching my blog and tune in on September 13 to see what Dawn has to tell us about felting and about Casual, Elegant Knits.

If you are interested in following the tour, the schedule is listed below, along with links to the tour stops. The tour launched yesterday with the first stop at the blog of Lynn Hershberger. Pop over and see Lynn's interview with Faina and Dawn, and be sure to catch more of the tour at the sites below.

Schedule:

Lynn Hershberger
http://colorjoy.com/weblog
Sept 4th

Carol Sulcoski
http://www.goknitinyourhat.blogspot.com
Sept 5th

Cindy Moore
http://fitterknitter.livejournal.com
Sept 6th

Amy Polcyn
http://frottez.blogspot.com
Sept 7th

Connie Chang
http://www.physicsknits.blogspot.com
Sept 8th

Marie Grace Smith
http://www.mariegracedesigns.com
Sept 9th

Susan Lawrence
http://knittingasfastasican.com
Sept 10th

Marnie MacLean
http://www.marniemaclean.com/words
Sept 11th

Tikru
http://madebymyself.blogspot.com
Sept 12th

Terry Ross
http://terryrossdesigns.blogspot.com
Sept 13th

Liz Moreno
http://nephele.wordpress.com
Sept 14th

Donna Druchunas
http://www.sheeptoshawl.com/blog
Sept 15th

Jennifer Tallapaneni
http://www.pieknits.com/blog
Sept 16th

Kristi Porter
http://www.domesticsphere.com
Sept 17th

Joanne Seiff
http://www.joanneseiff.blogspot.com
Sept 18th

Simona Merchant-Dest
http://www.stylishknits.blogspot.com
Sept 19th

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pair #16 for 52PPII is completed -- Chainlink

Pair #16 is finished. 2.25 mm needles, BMFA STR lightweight in Scottish Highlands, and my own new design called “Chainlink”. The pattern is still under construction and will be available soon. It will feature instructions for both top down and toe up construction, and be sized for Ladies M and L.

Chainlink-4

Chainlink-11

Chainlink-9

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pair #14 and Pair #15 for 52PPII Done!

My pairs #14 and #15 completed in August are a contribution to a book project. Pair #14 is in Louet Gems Pearl in Sandstone. Pair #15 is in Louet Gems Pearl in Caribbean Blue. Both are knit from the same design (mine) on 2.25 mm needles. One is knit top-down and the other toe-up.

Gingerbread

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pair #11 for 52PPII Completed

This is a design I'm playing with to see how I want to have the finished pattern turn out, so these will be one of a kind. But socks is socks, right? :-)

Fiesta Baby Boom in White Zinfandel, 2.25 mm needles. Back to the drawing board!


52PPII - 11 finished

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Slave to the Plurk

This sock is dedicated to Plurkers everywhere. You know who you are. You are that soul who is glued to the computer, a slave to the progression of the timeline across the screen. Now you can wear those timelines around your ankles, like the exquisite shackles they are, tying you to your Plurk friends with a continuous strand of yarn. But then that’s pretty much what life is all about, huh? Being linked together with our friends.

You may choose to work these socks either top-down or toe-up. Instructions are given for both, and the chart will work for either version. The design features a standard wedge toe, a hybrid mini-gusset/short-row heel, and a turned hem cuff.

The chart features a combination YO/K2tog at each end of the purl “dialog box” motif to simulate friend avatars and message indicator graphics, however, you may simply replace those with K stitches if you prefer a design with no eyelets.

Additional modifications could include placing a bead in each YO (or on the appropriate K stitches, if you decide to omit the YO/K2tog stitches).

Regardless of how you decide to personalize your own Slave to the Plurk socks, I’m sure you’ll enjoy knitting this easy and quick design to commemorate your own abject servitude to the Plurk!

Oh, and you can Plurk me at this link. Come check out Plurk and be my friend!


Download the free pattern here from Ravelry.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Simple Pleasure, again . . .

My 8th pair of 52PPII socks is my own Simple Pleasure. These are knit from Tausendshon sock yarn in the Klabautermann colorway on 2.25 mm needles. The pattern is available from my website, and also on Ravelry.

This is a great design for men or women and the 4-stitch pattern repeats over only 2 rows. Easy summer sock knitting


Simple Pleasure #2

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Boys To Men . . .

Boys to Men is a new pattern, and my #7 pair of socks completed in the 52PPII. The socks shown here are modeled by my 7-year old, Duncan, and were knit from the Regalia remnants (50 grams of Wollmeise in Rittersporn on 2.25 mm needles, toe-up).

This is an embossed moss rib stitch pattern featuring a hybrid gusset and short row heel in three sizes to fit young child through adult men foot measurements. Experimenting with worsted weight yarn and larger needles would create even more sizing options.





Saturday, June 21, 2008

Regalia . . .

Regalia, my sixth pair of socks for the 52PPII is now off the needles and available to buy on my website, at Ravelry, and through the Buy Now button below.

Regalia is knit from Wollmeise Sockenwolle 100% Merino Superwash in the beautiful Rittersporn color using 2.25 mm needles. Knit top-down with a mirrored stitch pattern for the right and left legs, the motif is located off center. The heel is a standard heel stitch heel flap with a French heel. There is a standard wedge toe. The sock is designed for Ladies S (M, L) and features optional beading within the motif’s medallions.
The design is clearly charted, with no written stitch instructions given for the stitch pattern. Instructions for how to read the chart are given for those who have little or no experience with chart reading.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

52PPII -- My Sanity is Debatable

Yes, I've gone round the bend. Almost certifiable, I'm sure. I joined the 52 Pair Plunge II. The 2008 challenge to complete 52 PAIRS of socks between June 1, 2008 and May 31, 2009. If you know me, you're probably going, "Yeah, menopause hasn't been very kind to poor Terry. She's lost all reason. First it was adopting 3 kids after she was 45. Now, it's committing to knit 52 pairs of socks during the next year."

Oh, if you only knew. Not only will I knit 52 pairs in the next year, but I have challenged myself to design as many of them as possible.

And, since June 1, I've completed three pairs, nanny-nanny-boo-boo, and thank you! First was Flamenco, (OK, so I got a couple of days headstart and the rule is COMPLETE pairs during the year, so that is totally within the rules all you Type-As out there) then a pair for Abby from the Flamenco remnants.

And then just a couple of hours ago, only about an hour short of the end of the first week of the plunge, pair #3, which is Enchantress. Enchantress will be available later on this month when Meg finishes test knitting the model in the most lovely black Panda Silk to show the very mesmerizing stitch pattern. But for now, I knit through the pattern myself using Lime and Violet's Sasquatch Sock in the Violet's Spring colorway. Even though the stitch pattern is swallowed up by the beautiful hand dyed colors, I did get this pair finished, and what the hey . . . . socks is socks! :-)

So here they are, and just WAIT until you see the black Enchantress version!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Top-down or toe-up . . .

Ana left a comment in the Koi Socks (thanks, Ana!) asking about whether the Koi socks are worked toe-up or top-down. The Koi socks are knit top down, but the stitch pattern would look exactly the same worked from toe-up, and is easily convertible.

Which made me realize I needed to put more information on the Socks page of my website to tell a little bit more about the pattern. I've incorporated a brief description for each pattern which you may find helpful.

In a nutshell, Flambeau, Gracious, Tangled Faeries, and Miss O'Hara are all toe-up construction. The rest of the socks are knit top-down.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Flamenco . . .

This latest sock is called Flamenco, featuring lacy ribs and a central lace strip which runs from top to toe, and even down the center of the heel flap.  It's knit top-down with a standard heel flap and gusset construction, and sized for Ladies Medium.

This sock is my first completed pair in the 52 Pair Plunge II.

Flamenco is  available now from my website, from Ravelry, or directly from my blog by clicking the button below.