Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Squares Take Two: Picking up along the edge

The second week of our Summer Squares Suite takes us to our second square! This square uses some textured stitches and is another "medallion" square. I call this square The Double Bass. It is one of a series of squares that are part of a small string orchestra, if you will. The chart will be posted on The Summer Squares Group tomorrow! We are also moving forward on the first square I posted (last week.) For those of you knitting squares for a blanket, you can hold tight with your first squares, and move on to the second square. For those of you working on the full Golden Eye pattern, the border chart will be posted on The Summer Squares group tomorrow! The Diamond Border is picked up around the square using a circular needle, and is worked out toward the edges, increasing as you go.

Today's low-tech video shows how I pick-up stitches around my square. I am suggesting that you pick-up the "bumps" and not the "bars" of the garter stitch edges of the square, and I will show you how I do it. There is nothing wrong with picking up the "bars" but the look is not the same. You will get the appearance of small eyelets if you pick-up the bars, and the pick-up along the sides will not match the top and bottom edges. Remember that at the top we have our live stitches, and at the bottom we have our provisional cast-on, so these will be clean lines without any eyelets.

Enjoy your week! I will be back next week with a third square, the edging for The Golden Eye pattern, and a technique video about edgings! I might have some pretty food too...

Until then, knit on!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer Squares Take One: The Provisional Cast-on

Welcome to summer! We are celebrating with the birth of my new neighbor, Bambi. Mind you, I live about 15 minutes north of the New York City line. No matter, a mama deer decided to use the church yard next door as a playpen. This little guy is one week old...
Our Summer Squares Suite project launches tomorrow, with the first chart and instructions posted at our dedicated Summer Squares group. This week's chart (#1) is Golden Eye Square. This square can be used as the center of the Larger Golden Eye blanket. In the coming two weeks, charts for the border and edging of the blanket will also be posted.
This first week of our summer project will be well used swatching, choosing yarns and assessing gauge. I hope to spend time with our group discussing just that! Speaking of yarn...I want to show you what I selected from my stash for this summer's projects.
The Unique Sheep Eos from Earthfaire.
A lovely assortment from Land O Lace.
Colourmart cotton/silk in assorted colors...
Jade Sapphire 2-ply 100% Mongolian Cashmere...

Stop drooling on your keyboard...and don't ask what I am using which yarns for, because I won't tell you. I will tell you that my final blanket project will be in the Colourmart yarn, and that is all. Oh, and I have pulled out a few beads too, which are totally optional. Those are NOT for my blanket!

Finally, I am going to include some technique videos this summer, which will address particular elements of our Summer Squares Suite Projects. Please be aware that these are taken by BadKitten, using my digital camera. To call them amateur would be very fair! I hope they get the job done. Today's "tutorial" is about a provisional (or temporary) cast-on. I am sharing a video clip of my preferred method. You can go back to this old blog post for a review and links to a selection of methods.

There is still time for you to join our Summer Squares group. You can see the details right here! Until next week, knit on!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jade Flower

As promised, I present the second new design I had at TNNA this past weekend. This is slightly more than half a circle, and sits very well on the wearer. It is called Jade Flower.
It requires 2 skeins of Jade Sapphire 2-ply Mongolian Cashmere. I used color #100, which is called Jade Sapphire. It also uses 8-0 Japanese seed beads in silver-lined teal AB. The beads match the yarn very well, so add a bit of glitter without being obtrusive.
The piece is knit from the center neck down. The top edging is a very pretty leaf motif which rolls gently under, giving it a really nice, finished look.
Because the piece is more than half a circle, it fits and stays in place very well.
Here you can see the neck detail while my piece was blocking.
This pattern is now available through shops that stock Jade Sapphire yarns and patterns. It is brand new, so if they don't have it ask them to order it!
Do you think she will give it back to me?

I think you get the idea! I will be back on June 21st with the Summer Squares launch. Until then, knit on! I certainly will be...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Crimson Cowl

Live from TNNA...well, not really. I am live from New York, but some of my new design work is live from TNNA this weekend!
I designed two new pieces for Jade Sapphire. One is in the cowl family. This pieces uses two skeins of Jade Sapphire Handspun. The yarn has been available in a limited palette for quite some time, but they just expanded the line with a wonderful new bunch of colors. The yarn is really handspun, from Mongolian Cashmere. It might be the softest yarn I have ever worked with. Having this next to your neck is wonderful; as good as really fine chocolate, on my luxury scale.
This patterns has a few cables and a bit of lace. There are even some optional beads. You can wear the collar up or down. For anyone lucky enough to be at TNNA, I understand you can see The Crimson Cowl in the entire color range. Some amazing, faster than lightening knitter made one in every color. You know who you are!

Get the pattern (and the yarn) from any store the stocks Jade Sapphire Handspun. They won't have it yet, but ask them to order it. Hot off the press!

I'll be back in a few days to introduce the second new design making a debut at TNNA. Until then, take a look at my previous post for all the details on my 2009 summer project. We won't cast-on until June 21st, so there is still time to join and ponder your stash! Until then, knit on.