Monday, June 30, 2008

DESDEMONA Beaded Lace Shawl

[update 14 Mar. 10]

Desdemona Beaded Lace Shawl available for $6.

The story of Othello and Desdemona may be familiar, but did you know that the tragedy turned upon a lace scarf?

Early in their relationship, Othello gave Desdemona a gift: a lace scarf. Evil Iago stole Desdemona’s scarf then told Othello that Desdemona was having an affair. To support his lie, Iago told Othello that Desdemona gave the scarf to her lover.

Othello confronted Desdemona. Othello demanded that Desdemona show him the scarf, but she (obviously) couldn’t find it. This was the proof he needed of her infidelity, and he killed her.

Here she is, portrayed by Frederic Leighton (1888).

Tragic, yes. Also, great knitting inspiration. This scarf must be soft enough, delicate enough, and beautiful enough to honor Mrs. Desdemona.

Teardrop Lace: A simple eyelet lace pattern, easy to memorize, great for a beginning lace knitter. Pattern .pdf includes chart and line-by-line lace pattern instructions.

Includes instructions for optional bead detailing to signify sparkling teardrops on the scarf.

The Lana Grossa Babykid is the softest mohair yarn I've ever touched. And I've touched a lot of mohair.

Just $6.00 for a PDF download.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

BRYHER Cable Scarf - Updated Version

Katie Rose here:

[updated January 2015]

Updated pattern PDF available as a $1 download from Ravelry, here.

Bryher is one of the first patterns I ever wrote. The first one I knitted (viewable here) was stolen from a restaurant—I left it on my seat, returned 15 minutes later to pick it up, and it was gone, gone from the restaurant completely. Here's a picture of the original:

Who would want to steal a handmade scarf? Until it disappeared, I wore the scarf every day. I made Madame Luscious to take its place, but the hole in my heart remained.

Enter Bryher 2.0. This time around, I've written a more complete pattern. I even made a PDF and put it on Ravelry as a free. The most recent update of the PDF includes a photo-tutorial on knitting cables without a cable needle, too.

Notes on the Pattern

Bryher 2.0 was knit with Idena "Mohair Lux" in colorway #4118, a green-purple variegation. (This replaced the Artful Yarns "Portrait" in the Madame X colorway from Bryher 1.0.)

This mohair is held with a Paton's Classic Wool Merino worsted-weight yarn in colorway Deep Olive, just like Bryher 1.0.

Needles are size 10 circulars. Scarf is worked in k1, p1 rib with a braided cable off-center. The first stitch of each row is slipped to create a selvedge.

Who is Bryher?

This scarf is named for the novelist Bryher.

Bryher was the pen name for Annie Winifred Ellerman, British novelist born in 1894. She was the life-long companion of the poet H.D. She was also very rich, and used her wealth to help Jews escape Germany in the 1930s.

A tough world traveler, she would have needed a compact, warm, yet stylish scarf like this one.

Check out other knitters' great projects on Ravelry using the link below.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Straps for Celia

I decided to add directions for straps to the Celia Cruz pattern. If you've already downloaded it and would like to see these directions, just send me an e-mail!

The straps are knit in strips, with buttonholes included so that you can wear your top any number of ways:

Tank Style

Halter Style

Criss-cross Style

Of course, you could also just sew the straps inside the top if you wanted to make the garment a particular style. Or graft them on, I suppose.

I haven't made straps for the lighter pink version yet, but since it was my second attempt the sizing for that one is better and the top stays up nicely without them. You can see that this earlier version is a little baggier around the top on me--something I fixed on the second one.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Nella FO - from Sweden

These Nella pictures were sent to me from Eva B. who lives in Stockholm, Sweden. She lengthened the cropped-ness of the body and sleeves. No doubt it is chillier where she lives and this makes the sweater more useful. I love seeing mods.

I love the pastel colors. And the pearls!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Knitting Travels: Bethany Beach, DE

This week my husband and I headed up to Bethany Beach, Delaware, for a week of extended-family fun. My niece brought her knitting--she's eleven now, and I taught her to knit last year. We've knitted together and watched Star Wars (the real Star Wars)--I finished Plath, and am continuing work on Desdemona (a new pattern). She's knitting the ubiquitous garter stitch scarf. And she loves it.

Here we are on the boardwalk, and me in my Plath. (Bethany Beach just did this fabulous dune recovery/rebuilding project and there's actual sand dunes behind us, with baby sea grasses.)

I found the local yarn shop, Sea Needles, on Ravelry's store search (one of my favorite things about Ravelry). Today, my husband and I rode bikes to Sea Needles. The bike-friendliness is the greatest thing about Bethany Beach. Here's a better shot of Plath, atop the bicycle.

Half of Sea Needles is actually a needlepoint shop and a frame store (see the sign?), so although it's pretty large, the knitting schtuff is only about one-third of the store. The tall shelves and narrow aisles give it a old-fashioned feel. They have some Noro, a lot of Plymouth, and bulky yarns. They have nearly no lace yarn. In short, it's an afghan-friendly yarn store. They have a lot of things that I'm not familiar with, and if I hadn't spent my year's allowance on yarn already, it would be fun to explore some of them. The things I look for first--Cascade, laceweight, Malabrigo--were not present, but as far as LYS's go, this place does the trick. Good selection of Addi Turbos, too. I picked up Rowan 42, so gorgeous! And the lady who helped me was super-nice.

Check out the gorgeous tote bag my mother-in-law gave me for my birthday yesterday. It holds my laptop, my books, and my knitting! Perfect! (It's leaning against the wall behind the bikes.)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Why Scarves?

Okay, this is the funniest thing I've read all week.

Just think about it as you knit another scarf.

And for your sweater knitters, check out this post, too.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Joint: Bull City Fiber Loft

This month has seen the end of one beloved institution, and the start of another.

Knit-a-Bit of Chapel Hill, NC, is closing its doors after decades. The saddest part how much the world will miss seeing Alice, the proprietor, on an everyday basis.

A new yarn-friendly spot has just opened in Durham, NC (8 miles from Knit-a-Bit). Located upstairs on the main shopping strip of 9th Street, the Bull City Fiber Loft sells spindles, fiber, yarn and other great goodies. Most awesomely, they have a full slate of fiber classes, from spinning to dying, knit and crochet. The proprietor, Molloy, is up there all day, with coffee and hot choc, sofas and floor pillows, and welcomes all who would come and just hang out and knit. Check it out on the web.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Knitting in Seattle

Katie and I flew into Seattle last weekend for the Rhetoric Society of America conference. Within hours of arriving, and checking into our kick ass hotel room in the Westin, (see view from our room above), what did we do? Register for the conference? Meet up with professional acquaintances? Hells no! We got our priorities in line and headed straight for So Much Yarn, a great little shop just down the street from our hotel. Katie had forgotten her size 5 needles, which she needed to work on a secret new project she's designing, so we hightailed it to the store for our first visit. We were greeted by Ginger and Teresa, who (little did they know) were about to receive daily visits from us.

The store is well stocked and organized by type of fiber--wools, cottons, etc. The dark woods make it a cozy store, and there's a nook in the back with books to consult and chairs to sit and knit in. Ginger and Teresa were super friendly and glad just to chat. I ended up buying five skeins of Araucania Patagonia Nature Cotton in a light emerald green shade, while Katie bought some gorgeous plum-colored Takhi Sierra to make Plath.

At the conference, we tried our best to live up to the Knitty Professors name. I was working mainly on a pale blue version of Plath for my sister's birthday and Dalloway, while Katie was working on her secret project, Plath, and Desdemona (pattern coming soon). One of the surprising things about knitting at the conference was the number of people who came up to talk to us. The reactions varied, but were mostly positive. One woman came and showed us a pair of bright blue and green socks she was working on. Steven Mailloux sitting next to me at a featured session mentioned that he wished he had something similar to work on--his wife is an avid knitter. Greg Wilson--my fellow panel member for our presentation on nuclear rhetorics--mentioned that he's a quilter, an equally engaging (if less portable) activity. There were a few skeptics who wondered how we could knit and concentrate on a talk at the same time, but we both replied--truthfully--that knitting actually makes it easier to listen attentively. I'm not sure what the scientific reason for this might be, but it is definitely true. I started knitting during a long series of job talks in my department last year, and while I think some of the candidates were a little unnerved at the site of someone knitting in the audience, I definitely found that I was able to follow the talk better if I had something to do with my hands.

Our second visit to So Much Yarn occurred on the second day of the conference, when Katie realized that she hadn't bought enough of the Takhi yarn for Plath. Teresa was working on a Noro Silk Garden project, and we persuaded her to check out Xylem instead--which will look gorgeous in Silk Garden. We can't wait to see how it turns out! We also showed off some of our patterns--Plath and Dalloway, namely.

All in all, it was a happy knitting conference. I took off for the San Juan Islands on Monday and brought all my knitting projects--but unfortunately my time was taken up with hiking, biking, and swimming in the freezing waters of Puget Sound. There are tons of sheep on Lopez Island (and goats and cows), and I had hoped to come across some local spinners/dyers/yarnies, but to no avail. Had I done my research, I would've come across this. Definitely a reason to go back to Seattle/Puget Sound sometime soon!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New Pattern - Celia Cruz Strapless Top

My new pattern, Celia Cruz, is now available up on Ravelry and available for purchase.


Celia Cruz is knit top down in the round, using Cascade Sierra (or any light worsted, cotton/wool blend yarn, such as Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece).

Directions are included for optional straps, which can be worn a number of ways:

halter back crisscross back

For maximum versatility, I’ve provided directions for both a babydoll verison (above) and a fitted version (below).

To ensure a perfect fit, I’ve provided 14 different sizes, from XXS to XXL+ (based on above bust measurements of 28,30,32,34,36,38,40,42,44,46,48,50,52, and 54". Use your above bust measurement (not your regular full bust measurement) to determine your size; the bust shaping will help you to customize the fit in the bust area. Full instructions are provided for bust shaping using both horizontal and vertical bust darts (especially recommended if you are a C-cup or above).

Cuban salsa singer Celiz Cruz (1925-2003) inspired this quick and fun summer pattern. Born in Cuba, Cruz spent most of her life singing and recording in the United States, but she was known throughout the world as the “Queen of Salsa.” By the end of her career, she had 23 gold records and 3 Grammy’s to her name.

The floral motif for this strapless tube top is reminiscent of Cruz’s 1960s style.

Celia Cruz makes a quick and easy summer project, and a perfect top for summer jeans, capris, shorts and skirts.