Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Baltic Pullover (AKA Mothed)

Mothed is a free pattern on I liked the simple lines and the eyelet detail on the sleeves.

The simplicity of design seemed perfect to showcase a special yarn - Madelinetosh Merino Light, in a truly stunning colourway: Baltic. It was a birthday gift from Seb. I used about a skein and a half to make this.
The first picture was taken pre-blocking, so the eyelet detail on the sleeves hadn't opened out yet. Here is a picture of the eyelet after blocking:
Mothed Sleeve

Design: Mothed, by Mags Kandis 
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (fingering weight), in Baltic.
Yardage used: 726.0 yards (663.9m)
Needles: 5mm (US 8)
Project's ravelry page.
Knit between June 10 and July 22. I started this for International Knit in Public Day, on June 11.
International Knit in Public Day
Knit in Public Day. Picture by Katia.
Skirt is here and crocheted top is here.

As beautiful as the yarn is, I was really disappointed to find it very tangly. I adore the intense shade and love the feel and drape of the finished result. Yet the yarn, especially in one of the skeins, had a tendency to felt against itself, which created an awful tangled mess at the core of one of my balls - and resulted in a waste of time untangling it, and of yarn, as a chunk of it was simply not salvageable. Good thing I didn't end up needing the whole two skeins! Perusing the feedback on the yarn's page on Ravelry, I realized I wasn't the only one with this problem.
On the upside, the people at Madelinetosh read about my poor experience and messaged me to say they had worked on the problem, and offered to send a new skein in the same colourway to make up for my troubles. I look forward to receiving it and see how the yarn behaves.

I brought a few alterations to the design to give it a more finished, polished look than the original version. The most important one is that I changed the edgings:
  • bottom edging: P 1 rd, K 2 rds, P 2 rds, K 2 rds, P 2 rds, single crochet BO with 6-mm crochet
  • Sleeves edging: P 2 rds, K 2 rds, P 1 rd, single crochet BO with 6-mm crochet
Mothed Sleeve
I also knit longer sleeves: 12 rounds instead of 4 before the eyelet pattern.
For the eyelet pattern, I knit it as is for the right sleeves, then edited the eyelet pattern in Gimp to reverse the picture for the left sleeve, for symmetry.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Some catching up to do - the Damson Shawlette

Well, well, I have quite a bit of catching up to do. This summer ended up being so busy, and I just needed to take some time off the Internet and computer in August.
Those of you listening to the podcast already know we spent 10 days in England. I may be posting a few pictures.

Still, it means my latest projects have gone unreviewed on my blog, despite being mentioned on the podcast.
I've decided to just dump them all in a few short posts, with the relevant information, so that I can go back to posting about my next and current projects as they are actually being completed, not weeks or months later!

First up today is the Damson shawlette.

Design: Damson, by Ysolda Teague, from her Whimsical Little Knits 2 booklet.
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, which I used for the first time, and is now definitely on my top 5 list of yarns to knit with - and to wear. The shade is Abril. I used a whole skein (400 meters = 440 yards). This yarn turned out so light, drapey and silky after blocking.
Needles used: 4mm (US 6)
Project's ravelry page.

This yarn was my treat at the end of the students' semester (which by no means signifies the end of my semester, contrary to what they think! But still - it meant no more papers to grade for 2 months at least!).
As with any real treat, I wanted to use it straight away.
I wanted a simple design to show the yarn’s variegation - but not overly simplistic, so as not to get bored wit it. Damson turned out to be just the right project.
I knit this between June 18 and July 3.

This has been around my neck a lot in August - as we stayed in chilly Northern France and then England, travelling in air-conditioned trains, etc. It's really soft, and already quite a favourite of mine. I don't wear it as shown in the pictures, but the other way around (with the "point" of the shawl" to the front rather than the back), scrunched around my neck. So it's just as much a shawl in shape as a useful accessory in everyday wear.

Back soon with more knitting FOs, and my autumn wardrobe plans!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fluffy Fibers: Episode 05 - "not a finer county in England than Derbyshire"

In which Elizabeth Bennet would no longer approve of Mr. Darcy's Pemberley. I chat about my adventures in Derbyshire, in the Peak District, mention my upcoming sewing projects and my current knitting projects, and share a summer recipe full of veggies.
(Quote in the episode's title is from Pride and Prejudice, chapter 8, and to be taken with a pinch of salt).

You can download the episode (36:05) here, or listen directly from the embedded player below (if it works on your browser).
Here is the direct feed for the podcast, and you can also find the podcast on iTunes.

Podcast Powered By Podbean

~Episode 05 Shownotes~
Intro; 1. Peak District; 2. Sewing Projects; 3. Knitting Projects; 4. Something Natural, Something Seasonal

- Fluffy Fibers group on Ravelry.

1. Sheep, tea and hikes in the Peak District (3:19)
... And a little bit of stash acquisition, as well!
- Purl City Yarns
- Fyberspates
Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply in Slate and Gold
- The Natural Dye Studio (yarn picture at the top of this post)
- Electric Sheep's Riot episode
- A Playful Day also has an episode on the riots; I didn't mention it in the podcast simply because I haven't had the time to listen to it yet, but it is most probably worth a listen. Besides, her podcast is lovely!

2. Sewing Projects (15:50)
Autumn wardrobe in the plans!

3. Knitting projects (20:45)
- Finished project: Abstract Leaves Cowl, by Deb Mulder; in Lang Yarns Lyon (80% silk -20% linen) (currently blocking)
- Started and finished: Snapdragon Tam, by Ysolda Teague, out of Rowan Lima
- Started and am about 60% done on: Vitamin D, by Heidi Kirrmaier

4. Something natural, something seasonal (28:44)
My recipe for a vegetable flan:
- half a kilo/a pound of seasonal vegetables (I chose 2 types of zucchini, one pepper, you could also use tomatoes and/or carrots)
- I forget to mention that I also usually chop and cook 1 onion in olive oil, for added flavour.
- 4 eggs
- 20 cl or 3/4 cup of cream: soy cream of cow's milk cream
- seasoning: gomasio, pepper, herbs (I used rosemary and thyme, grown in my neighbour's garden, which she kindly gave me)
- optional (I personally recommend if you're not a vegetarian): ham, cooked or cured
- optional (recommended if you don't put any ham): cheese of your favourite sort; I'm not being specific here because every country has their own wonderful varieties of cheese!

Forgot to mention that the more you beat the eggs, the lighter and fluffier (ha!) the flan will be.

Bake for 35 minutes at 210°C / 410°F (thermostat 7). Do not open the oven during the baking, or the flan won't rise.

Credits: Music: Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, mvt. 3 by Joseph Haydn, played by Mario Ajero.