Ewenique Fiber- The Blog

Knitting and Natural Soapmaking

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It's Getting Chilly Outside

I finished my younger daughter's mittens last week, and she seems happy with them (it can be hard to tell with 4 year olds).

Now I'm working on a pair of my own design..well, maybe more of my own assemblage:

Some of you might recognize the yarn...yes, it is the Deep Argyle Vest yarn, but don't worry.... I have enough for both projects. This mitten is so pretty, and I haven't blocked it, nor added a thumb. They will be a gift for someone later this year, but I can't say for whom. (Can you feel the suspense?)
I used my handy knitwear design software to chart them:

Isn't that cool?
Once I finish these mitts, I'll sart on my next holiday knitting project:
take a look
I'll be making all the small people on my gift list hand-knit hats. I can't wait to start. Two kits have been ordered and are on their way to my home!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Got Nuts?

My now 4 year old asked for a pair of mittens (ok, maybe I asked her if she'd like a pair), and SHE chose the colors and pattern from choices that I presented her. I'm happy to report that she chose Hello Yarn's free squirrel mitten pattern.
I made a few changes in construction, but am keeping as much of the adorable graphics as I can.

Using a finer gauge yarn and needles than the pattern called for gave me a mitten samll enough for her hand. I'm also making them from the top down, ala Anna Zilboorg, and I've replaced the date with her initials to help her put them on the right hand more easily and to help keep track of them should they be left behind at a friend's house or school.
The back is as pretty as the front:

Thanks for the fun pattern, Adrian!
I've been hiking on school days after dropping my DD off in the morning. The slightly cooler weather is perfect for it, and the air smells so fresh and wonderful in the hills, so I'm in heaven when I'm out there!

Monday, October 09, 2006

One Down, None To Go

The first Marvelous Mitten is done.

It hasn't been blocked, and I don't plan to make its partner. The Alpaca, while buttery soft in the finished mitten, was just to hard to knit with at such a tight gauge. My finger joints still ache from the knitting. I've decided that wool is best for mittens.
In other news, I found this crawling along near the kitchen this morning:

Yep, it's a scorpion, and it was inside the house. We do find them occasionally, but they are normally dead or nearly dead when found. This guy is alive and kicking. I guess they're just one of the perils of living in the Texas Hill Country.
There hasn't been much work done on the Argyle vest...I want to knit mittens, and only mittens. I'm sure I'll put some time into the vest once I get the mitten knitting out of my system.

Friday, October 06, 2006

One Sheep, Two Sheep

As there has been minimal progress on the Marvelous Mitten as well as on the Argyle Vest, I didn't expect to be bloging today. Then, I checked my mail.
Recently I mad a swaping deal with Sheepish Annie (I know I got the better end of the deal). I sent her some sock yarn that I wasn't likely to ever use, and in return I got much more:

She sent lots of goodies from the incredibly beautiful sate of Maine. My 4 year old has already claimed the keychaine as her own. Maine is a state that I've always wanted to visit but never had the opportunity to do so. Now I feel like an honorary tourist!! She sent postcards, a copy of "Yankee" magazine so that I can see all the great spots to hit on my imagined vacation, a tourist's pin to declare to all that I have (even if only in my dreams) visited Maine, and what every knitter who is virtually visiting Maine shouldn't be without: a Maine embossed tape measure. Sheepish even included not 1 but 2 pictures of her lovely self.(You did say I could do what I want with them, Annie.) It seems that her employer has gifted her with the SuperMega photo package this year, so she is sending a pic to anyone and everyone she has an address for. I asked for 2 as I have a plan for them (more on that another day). Have you ever sent her anything? If so,you too may soon be receiving a copy of her '06/07 photo. But best of all in the package was this:

a hand knit, by Annie, cotton dishcloth. It brings life to my otherwise earth-toned knitchen, and I love it. It makes me want to knit one of those spiral baby blankets or shawls.
Sheepish Annie, you totally rock! Thanks for the smiles and gifts.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Aren't They Marvelous?

Inspired by Adrian's Marvelous Mittens, I searched for, and found, a copy of Anna Zilboorg's "Marvelous Mittens" so that I, too could knit a pair from the book.
The pattern I chose is simple once you get past the increase rows, but for some reason I am not making as much progress as I'd expected. Could it be because I stop and try them on after each row is knit?

The yarn is a baby Alpaca one that I bought from Elann.com a couple of years ago.
I'm trying to work on the Argyle vest, really I am, but I just can't stay away from mittens.

The emerging argyle pattern is more visible in the above photo than in person, and seeing it makes me want to work on the vest for a while. I've been knitting fair isle with 2 hands, and while my left hand yarn tension isn't consistent (I'm a thrower not a picker), it is so fast and fun that I'm going to do my 2 colored stranded knitting this way despite the inconsistencies in tension. My hope is that I'll get better with experience.... and then there's always the magic of a good blocking!!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Lots of FO's

I've been just aweful about blogging, so I'll try and make it up to my rapidly dwindling in numbers regular readers by showing you some pretty finished objects.
Remember the black and tan twill tri-loom shawl that I was working on? Here it is completed:

I love this shawl! It is a 50/50 blend of wool and alpaca, so it is warm and soft.
Next I made a pair of Estonian/Norwegian/Latvian inspired mittens:

They are my favorite finshed object of the year. I used a chocolate sock yarn for the main color, and a variegated sock yarn for the contrasting color, and sort of combined various shaping and pattern ideas from Elizaeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac, Nancy Bush's Folk Knitting in Estonia, and Lizbeth Upitis' Latvian Mittens. These mittens fit like a glove, and I can't decide if I like the front or the back best.
I also finished and gifted the baby bonnet from the Last Minute Knitted Gifts pattern:

Not my best work, but the baby's mother seemed to genuinely like it, and she's since taken a real interest in my knitting.
I've now started working on the Deep V Argyle Vest from Eunny Knits

I absolutely love working this pattern, and the colors I chose make me smile frequently. As Eunny says, the argyle pattern is "intuitive", and I've hardly even had to look at the chart!
Okay, so maybe that wasn't "lots" of finished objects, but this is the most I've had to show in some time. My passion for knitting has returned with an intensity that has me pouring over books and patterns and drooling over color cards and swatching like never before. I may be anti-social and obsessed right now, but I'm happy.