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Friday, October 27, 2006

New Threads FRIDAY!


Pattern: Chic Knits
Designer: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Jo Sharp *DK Wool*
Color: Navy
Gauge: 22 sts/30 rows over 4″
Needles: #6

The crispy, damp weather in Chicago has made a Sneaky Pete find the finish line!

This is my favorite time of the year (give or take a little of the damp back to where it belongs – North Sea?)

Now is the time I can relish the sweater wardrobe and pair it with a down vest or two. My favorites – an older Black down vest with stretchy knit sides – and a new vest I got up in Northern Lower Michigan a couple of weeks ago at a J.C. Penny’s coat sale. It is Chesnut Brown, very fitted, with some nice channel quilt detailing. Much more wearable than your run-of-the-mill square quilting you see everywhere else.

My other must-have on a vest – SNAPS! paired with a zipper, for quick closure + quick release. Fantasy wish list: 2-way zippers on ALL outerwear for the chilly climes. Why men’s clothing almost always have his option, but not Ladies is Beyond My Ability to Understand -wtf? I run; I jump; I split those single zippers like banana peels.

I love the look of Navy with Black – this is my uniform for Winter 2006-2007 – I love how the hood on this turned out. It folds really great – a combination of shaping and drape. Not the best picture – but this is body conscious/fitted and has nice active-wear fitting sleeves as well. This is the second sweater I’ve made from Jo Sharp DK Wool – why did they discontinue this stuff?

Although I knit this almost to the buttonband gauge of 22.5 sts per 4″, I think this yarn would work well even at 19-20 sts per inch. [omg we’re pushing the envelope here step back].

The lovely Amisha (doing some swatching for Ariann) even says: “I’m currently having excellent luck with Jo Sharp DK wool, the regular kind. Ball band says 22.5 st/4 in, and I get pretty close to that on a size 6 needle (and a pretty tight fabric). On a 7, though, I get exactly 19 st/4 in (and in fact JS has a couple of patterns that are at that gauge)– I have to say I like the fabric better, the knitting is a bit quicker, and it works *perfectly* for your designs. The yarn also seems to be very sturdy (it’s not merino, but it’s completely un-scratchy– more of a substantial feel) and it doesn’t pill. Wheee!”

WHEEE indeed – I’ve been *compiling* a bit of this stuff myself since they discontinued (and discounted) it. Now I can go amuse myself and make some swatches at this bigger gauge and see what up.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I am going to go out on a limb here and TESTIFY how much fun I had doing this little wrap fest of yarns for Ariann. I encourage all of you to try it – something about playing with the yarn this way, in close proximity and close comparison, makes a lot of things CLICK.

You can see many fundamental characteristics, up close and personal, as you make this little chic stick – loft, density, tensile spring, controlability – all things that make a yarn good for a project or a dudley.

It also totally reinforces, for me, the fact that the ball band on any yarn is just a starting point. For instance, I assumed Karabella Aurora 8 is best knit with a size 8 needle for a gauge of 18/24. However, this yarn and one with a similar recommended gauge, Rowan Cashsoft Aran, totally benefits with a slightly Tighter Gauge.

This is easily accomplished by using a #7 needle – making the gauge 4.75 sts per inch instead of 4.5. It helps the fabric made from yarns with a more delicate fiber content become slightly more crisp and well behaved. Just that one little adjustment can make your garment last longer and wear better.

Monday, October 23, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  

When the other work laid down its weary head,
the housework demanded equal time.
First up on the Rooster: LAUNDRY.

Tell me what this is and why it’s FUNNY
– win enough yarn to make these
the #1 accessory pattern amongst Bike Messengers in NYC…

thanks Mary for your company & inspiration – check out her cool Voodoo!

— entries taken until Friday, October 27, 2006 – TBA Mon 10/30 —

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