Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fair Isle Camera Case

Because every camera needs a case :) I decided I'd make mine nice and personalized - it's not based on any pattern - I basically pulled a bunch of motifs together and made it up as I went along.

Needles: US3

Yarn: Harrisville Designs New England Shetland, primarily in Tundra and Olive. Color accents were pilfered from my leftovers from other Mitten Alongers - Steve & Kiki.

The motifs are both geometric and organic all at the same time - I'm really happy with hot it turned out, with the one motif set transitioning as the closing flap wraps around the camera over to the other side...

I did discover that fair isle in the flat is a serious kick - doable, but tricky - trying to maintain proper tension while purling 2-handed was definitely a learning experience.

The mother of pearl button, pulled the whole thing together quite nicely :) I'm happy to report it's a perfect fit for my camera!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Multi-color Mitten Along

Pattern: Norwegian Snail Mittens by Hello Yarn's Adrian, found in The Knitter's Book of Yarn.

Needles: For cuffs: US0; for the main body of the mittens: US4 (yes, my gauge is *that* different between plain color knitting and colorwork knitting.

Yarn: Harrisville Designs New England Shetland, primarily in Tundra and Olive. Color accents were pilfered from other Mitten Alongers - the Brown from Blogless Erika; the pinks and blues from Steve & Kiki.

Comments: Both Mittens were knit simultaneously, in the same manner that I knit socks (two at a time on one honkin huge circular needle). There was a little bit of juggling around to keep the yarn all untangled, but I managed. I should say that knitting the thumbs last was not fun - as I had the both mittens attached in a rather ungainly manner to my needles (yeah, I knit the thumbs simultaneously as well).

Overall, a very fun knit - the longer floats were a little challenging to manage, but I think things came out quite nicely. The welts were challenging - especially the first one (mine are probably slightly twisted because I didn't manage to pick up quite the right corresponding stiches on the cast on edge). Once the welts are done and you have a good hang of knitting with multiple strands of yarn, the only other real big kicker is the Row Gauge...I didn't check mine closely (I never do, mostly because when I am usually knitting, I can adjust the spacing of my shaping accordingly on the fly)...anyhow, row gauge nearly did me in...but as you can see, I wound up modifying the pattern to work :)

Incidentally, I now have a fine understanding of why shetland wool is superb for steeked colorwork projects. I did attempt to only rip back part ways on my mittens, with the intent of dropping stitches and picking them back up again to adjust the motifs accordingly - the Shetland Wool proved to be rather resistant to the whole idea and simply wouldn't cooperate (it kept sticking to itself). I should have had a clue given how sticky it was to itself even in ball form. The good news is, if for some reason your knitting gets away from you while knitting with this yarn, chances are you won't have lost too many stitches in the process!

Deviations from the pattern? Of course - but not many - in this case, I used quite a lot of other colors to complete the duplicate stitches (because i was lucky enough to have all those other colors at my disposal), the fern motif is greatly shortened due to my ridiculous row gauge, and the tips of the mittens are kitchenered - rather than being bound off using the recommended 3-needle-bind-off.

Oh - Start to Finish? July 4 2008 to July 12 2008. But Illanna beat me to the finish ;)