Monday, January 31, 2011

Metamorphosis is evolving!

This week we are moving onto Chart C, and for the Metamorphosis Shawl it looks like what you see above!
Here is a close-up of the Chart C pattern from my pullover sweater,
And a little more fabric here. This is the chart knit with both the cluster stitches and the beads. We are using this pattern below the bust and through the waist. Because of the dramatic clusters, the stitch pattern gives gentle waist shaping without any other effort. We also posted a whole series of insert charts, which we are using for hip shaping. Things are looking pretty fine!

We have our border comings next week, and for that we have three different options for our sweaters and the final chart for our first shawl. We will be sharing those three charts next weekend. After that, people working on sweaters will start their sleeves and people working on shawls will finish their first project and move on to their second project. There are two new stitch patterns coming (separate from the three borders) which we will combine with the patterns we already have. Just a ton more great knitting. Several group members have plans to start a second version of the sweater, without even taking a deep breath in between! And in case they are reading this, those two new stitch patterns can be used for their sweaters, as they each flow well from one to the next. You could add an extra stitch pattern within the yolk, just saying...

If you want to know more about our Metamorphosis Winter KAL just check out the tab at the top of my blog.

We have a huge amount of snow in the NYC area right now, and we are expecting another 6-9 inches, followed by a few inches of ice for good measure. I might not be able to get to work on Wednesday, which could mean a great knitting day, assuming I make it home from work on Tuesday. Now I just have to hope that all that ice doesn't take my power (and heat) out. I can knit in the dark, but not if my hands are cold...

Until next week, knit on!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Vogue Knitting Live: Stash Enhancement...

But first, a little Metamorphosis update! This week we progress with our sweaters. Above you can see my raglan seam (with open ms) and below you can see the completed v-neck closure for the pullover. Both photos are while blocking, and I slipped a white sheet of paper in for a better look at the details.
On Sunday Jeri and I posted the second installment of the pattern, which takes us past the yoke and on to the body of the sweater. Below you can see how I tried on my sweater to confirm a perfect fit. It is hard to take a photograph without help, and with needles still in place. Please forgive the poor quality!
Next week we will be moving on to the next lace chart, which creates a little waist shaping. It is also the second chart for our first shawl. The group is great fun and you are welcome to join us as we explore sweaters and lace (in some serious detail!) All the information is here.
So I went to Vogue Knitting Live on Saturday. It was very freezing cold in NYC, but Margaret was willing to drive, so several of us went in style. It was really crowded and the light was not great, but that didn't stop me! This is who I got to see: starting from the left are Dawn, Cara, me, Margaret, Karen, Jeri and Pat. I also saw Judi, who is not in my picture. I did not see Sandra, Benita, Janet or Paula, despite looking for them! Karen and Pat actually took a class. Sandra, Benita, Janet and Paula took a few classes (which is probably why we didn't get to see them.) The rest of us were just yarn junkies...
I got a bag of Noro King for a new idea Jeri and I have been working on. It is a light fingering weight with a crisp feel (think raw silk.) The yardage is excellent, so the bag of 10 skeins will make a jacket for me.
I got some lovely natural black alpaca blended with natural dark brown merino. This is a heavy lace weight and really nice, with an earthy feel. I can't wait to play with it.
I got two little skeins of lace weight kid/silk just because the colors really grabbed me and are so shockingly pretty together. In a shocking way. I really love color in the winter.
I got a skein of the newish Noro lace to try out.
And I got two cakes of lace weight Merino from Windy Valley, which were on sale for a lovely price. The color is more lavender than pink, but the flash washed it out a bit. It feels devine knitted up (they had some sample garments.) What more can I say?
I'll try to be back next week with a Metamorphosis update, showing both sweater and shawl progress. Until then, knit on!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A New Year Means Lots of New Projects!

First things first, Happy New Year! The end of last year roared right by me, and the beginning of 2011 has maintained the same crazy pace. I want to tell you all about the exciting Winter Project we have going on, but I have to introduce my new design first.

You can see the fabric detail well here, and appreciate the lovely glow of the silk.
This one premiered at TNNA with Jade Sapphire and is called Tea Leaves. I used two skeins of Jade Sapphire 2-ply silk/cashmere in the Tea Leaves colorway, along with some lovely Japanese jet lined amethyst ab seed beads. Check with shops that stock Jade Sapphire yarns for this pattern (or email Jade Sapphire to request a list of shops that stock the pattern.)
I also added Netsuke Wrap and Beaded Serpent Scarf to my Ravelry pattern store. I think I might have some other new designs ready for you very soon, but hold that thought!

The most exciting thing chez BadCat right now is Metamorphosis. You can see assorted swatches for this project above, thanks to my Thursday evening knitting friends. I suggest wine with your swatching. In case you missed the announcement for this great project, there is a special tab at the top of my blog with all the details. We will be casting on in a few days, but thus far we have measured ourselves for the sweater, discussed materials, fit and ease, and swatched a little.

Metamorphosis is a collaboration between Jeri Riggs and moi. Each knitter gets to choose a sweater size (and there are a wide array of size options (seven, to be exact) from a 34 inch chest on up.) Each knitter can choose between a cardigan or a pullover. Each knitter can choose the style of the raglan seam. Jeri is a remarkable engineer. There are bead options, stitch complexity options, peplum design options, different edging options, oodles of charts...and more. There are a total of three shawl/scarf designs also, which are really modular and can be made larger, smaller, thinner, wider, simpler or as ornate as you like! You can see the raglan seam options here.
This is an open version of the raglan seam with 8/0 beads...
And this is a closed version of the raglan seam with 6/0 beads!

This weekend we will be casting on for either a sweater or one (of the three) shawl designs. Yarn is actively being selected and you can see from my little pile of yarn that I plan on knitting a bunch! My sweater yarn is from Mocha's Fibers and is kettle dyed. I am really enjoying it. Below you can see the color I am using for my sweater, called London Fog. The tube of beads next to the skeins are Miyuki 8/0 lined ivory AB. You might also notice a cone of Colourmart 2/28 silk/merino and some Miyuki 10/0 triangles. This is for the second shawl design in the Metamorphosis series, details to come soon!
The first winter project shawl design, appropriately called The Metamorphosis shawl, uses the charts in the same order as our sweater. I knit my sample in 2-ply finger weight yarn that I spun from gorgeous fiber purchase at Rhinebeck this past fall. It is 80% Shetland and 20% silk and I used about 4.5 ounces of wonderfully prepared batts to get about 800 yards of yarn. The fiber came from Potosi Sheep Farm. Just a peak at how the shawl begins. Crystal ab 6/0 beads...
If you feel the temptation to join, this would be a great time to come over! See the details right here

I hope to find more blogging time in 2011, and especially to keep everyone up to date with progress on Metamorphosis. I will leave with you a little bit of heaven, represented by yarn to chase away your winter blues. It just doesn't get any better or brighter than this...