crafts · Crochet · knitting

The pain

Last night I decided to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak.  The Sahara Sweater’s time had come.  First I swatched with the tiny bit I had left over, to make sure that I could get gauge on my chosen project (The Lorelei tank from Yarnplay.)  Here’s the sweater in its final moments (I know this is brutal… you may want to look away.)

An hour and a half later, all that remained was this.

And I was covered in little tiny bits of green fluff.  It’s a tough job…

I went ahead and cast on for Lorelei (no picture yet) with the leftover yarn.  So far so good.  This sweater has a neat construction, it’s knit the bottom is knit sideways, seamed together, and then you pick up stitches from the top.   It (obviousl) contains no shaping, so I’m trying to decide how long to make the tube in order to achieve a nice fit.  The smallest size comes out to around 31″, which might be ok… we’ll see.  The good part, of course, it that I can always rip back a bit if it’s too big.

I also started another sweater, the summer tweed sweater from the Rowan Kasbah collection.  I know, this is a crazy number of projects for me, but I want to be careful of my hands while knitting with the nubby yarn.

At this point I will start on the chart, which is actually a really simple one that doesn’t bother me (to be honest, I only hate charts with cables and super complicated lace (the kind without rest rows.)  I’m trying to convince myself that uneven ribbing is charming, and I think it’s working.  Summer tweed is, after all, a very strange sort of yarn.  It hasn’t hurt my hands yet, which makes me feel a bit better… I have yet another summer tweed project planned (the seafoam vest from IW Crochet I showed a few days ago.)

I need to buy a ball winder.  Marc made me a motorized one out of Legos, and I love him for it, but it’s a bit temperamental with non standard yarns.  I was thinking about ordering one of the winders at Joannes with the coupon, does anyone have a suggestion?

cats · crafts · finished objects · knitting

FO: Drops Design Bolero

Pattern: Free from Drops design here, size S

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Almond, 3 skeins

Needles: Size 7 and 8 US

Notes: The pattern was very clear and easy to follow.  I did not have any trouble with the English version.  My only regret is possibly the yarn choice.  I like Cotton Ease, and this pattern knitted to the recommended tension on the ball, but I can’t help but think that this yarn would do better knitted on smaller needles.  It has a distressing tendency towards unevenness in places, which I can only blame on the tension being too loose.  I am not happy with one of my shoulder seams, but this is because I changed methods of shaping halfway through – the 2nd method (slipping stitches) was better.  I can live with them.  I do wonder if something other than mattress stitch might be nice for armholes, as I feel there is a quite bulky seam.  I usually seam with the selvedge stitch, but in this case I went 1/2 stitch farther in for a nicer line.  I don’t think I would do that again.  The moss stitch has completely caused the buttonholes to disappear, but I’m happy with my solution of a pin.  I also like this sweater without any fastening.

I wore this sweater to church tonight and received compliments from people who weren’t aware that I make my own clothes, so I am feeling better about it than I was at first.  I think I will wear it often, and it isn’t bad for a week’s effort (I love short sweaters!)

And now, a gratuitous cute cat photo.  Dionne lying on the bed this afternoon.  I think she looks so pretty against those colors!

crafts · Crochet · knitting · yarn

Yeah, I’m making a scarf in April. What of it?

I have to admit that I never saw the point of decorative scarves.  Won’t people stare at me all funny if I wear a scarf in May, no matter how decorative and pretty?  But now I totally understand.  It’s the fun of making them!  And they’re quick too, since they don’t have to be really wide to block out the arctic winter.

Last night I started the Boteh Scarf.

The yarn I ended up going with is Cherry Tree Hill supersock in Green Mountain Madness.  I love it!  This is a really quick project too (isn’t all crochet quick?)  I cannot imagine how it’s going to be long enough to be all lovely and drapey like the model’s though… this is 4 out of 16 repeats.  But I guess it does spiral.  We shall see.  It’s also going to have a border going all the way around.

I spent the rest of my evening swatching, since I’m not sure about my next sweater project.  Some of these swatches are big, some are small (hey, I got bored!) and they should all be clickable

1..2.3.4.5.

1. Berroco Ultra Silk, swatched for Nadine (Berroco pattern)  If you like the stretchiness of Calmer I think you would like this yarn.  It’s really stretchy, and knits to worsted weight on big (size 10) needles.  It fluffs up nicely after blocking.  I really like it, although tensioning the yarn is a little tough.

2.Cascade Pima Tencel, swatched for Sizzle tank – I just plain like this yarn, which knits at 5 st/in on size 6 needles.  It turns out very soft and drapey, with a slight fuzzy haze (and sheds like mad while you knit – blocking reduces this.)

3. Valley Yarns Longmeadow, swatched for a Jaeger pattern – This yarn has a bit more body than I expected.  It is slightly splitty but not excessively so.  I need to practice more on this stitch pattern, you can see so many errors above!  Overall this yarn is just ok.  It didn’t wow me, but I didn’t hate it either.

4. Jaeger Siena, for another Jaeger pattern –  A very “crisp” feeling mercerized cotton.  While I hate heavier weights of mercerized yarns, I do like this one.  It feels nice to knit with.  This swatch was knitted with size 3s.  Size 2s would probably suit better, as this swatch is a bit loose and didn’t block well.

5. GGH Java, swatched for Flair – This yarn is a cotton/acrylic mix.  It was fine to knit with – slightly stretchy and not too splitty, much like other cotton/acrylic yarns.  The yarn blooms with blocking, and it looks much more even than it did before.  Knits to 4.5 st/in on size 7 needles.   Although I did get gauge for the pattern I want to make, I’m not making it with this yarn.  Flair is a swingy, boxy jacket thing, and I feel it needs a yarn with more body – this yarn is a tad too drapey after blocking, I don’t believe the jacket would hold its shape.

crafts · Crochet · knitting · yarn

In which I learn that things aren’t as bad as I thought!

Last night I finished up the drops cardigan, and it’s now drying on the table.

See how the sleeve on the right is (somewhat) nicely seamed, but the left one is all puffy?  That’s because halfway through this sweater I learned that you should slip the last stitch purlwise on the row before doing your shaping cast-offs.  It’s amazing what a difference it makes – it took me half the time to seam that side.  I’m very pleased with my other seams, although I continue to feel that mattress stitch is awfully bulky.  You will note that this sweater has no buttons.  There is a reason for this!  This is the second sweater in a row that I’ve made with moss stitch button bands, and while I love the stitch, I find that it makes buttonholes disappear.  Seriously – I can’t find them.  And I used a more complicated (and theoretically more stable) buttonhole this time.  But that’s ok – I think this sweater will be very happy being closed with a pin or a ribbon.  It’s very cute on, and it fits perfectly!

Up in the corner you can see a swatch blocking.  This is a summer tweed swatch, in pattern for the sweater I want to make.

This is not a fun yarn to attempt to measure in pattern, but I’m pretty sure my gauge is fine.  I usually get gauge on the recommended needles so long as I’m not substituting.  Summer tweed is a difficult yarn in general, which I knew going into this.  I have the feeling that I will need another project going while I make this sweater, since tweedy yarns tend to be murderous on my hands.

I’m in a swatching mood right now anyway… I’m sort of mindlessly making swatches for the projects I’m thinking about.   I plan to take several balls of yarn to work with me, and for every student that doesn’t show (likely to be a lot; it’s the first day back from spring break) I’ll make a swatch.  I’m trying to be better about my swatches, I’m even trying to make neat little garter stitch borders, and you know what?  It’s kind of fun!

I want to make the Boteh scarf I posted about yesterday (from Interweave crochet) so I got out all my sock yarn to decide on a color.  Is anyone else like me, and you have some sock yarn you love so much that you can’t bear to turn it into socks?  This project looks to be good for that.

And you know what?  I don’t have as much as I thought.  That’s a relief!  I won’t use any of the Bearfoot yarn (the three top yarns) because of the mohair content.  I thought about using one of my precious Sweet Georgia yarns (she’s gone from dying for quite awhile you know!) But I think the winner is my Yarn Pirate Neopolitan yarn… because I love these colors lately!

I do love that purple yarn as well… mmm, sock yarn.  If only I needed more socks!

crafts · Crochet · knitting · patterns

Because what I really need is more things to knit…

Yesterday, Marc was kind enough to give me his unused Border’s giftcard, so it seemed as good a time as any to check out the spring/summer knitting magazines.

It is possible that I’m having a love affair with post-it notes…

Since I don’t have any interesting looking pictures of my current project (it has gained another sleeve and half a front… I’m almost there!) here are my reviews, complete with an insane number of patterns to add to the list.

Vogue

I am not a huge fan of Vogue Knitting, mostly because their patterns seem to be poorly edited and deceptively photographed.  Having said that, I’ve now seen several cute FOs of the pattern below, and I am determined to make it.

It calls for Lion Brand organic cotton, which at 4.5 st/in can be easily subbed (I am not a fan of the colors of organic cotton.)  There are a few nice articles in this issue, including one on closures and a Nicky Epstein article on collar edgings.  I still don’t like Vogue though, and I refuse to make anything that someone else hasn’t already successfully made.  I am not that brave.

Knitscene

I bought this magazine for the first time ever. There are a lot of patterns in this magazine, including several which I just love!

 

(L to R) 1. Venus, in Rowan Holday 2. Butterfly in Classic Elite Bamboo 3.Dogwood Donna in GGH Savanna

I would most likely leave the flower off of #3, as I am not a fan of Intarsia, but the silhouette is really cute (you should see the back, it has a cute little keyhole with a button.)  And to the designer of #3… 4.62 st/in is not a gauge.  They must be onto me and my half-assed gauge swatches!

Knitsimple

I have bought this magazine several times before, and I’m always surprised by the number of cute non-boring designs it contains.  It’s by Vogueknitting, but I like it tons better (even as someone who is somewhat more advanced.)  This issue really focuses on cute tanks.

 

(L to R): 1. Collared tank, in Tahki cotton classic 2. Boatneck tank, in Supercotton by Skacel 3. A-line tank, in Evita by Skacel

I really love that A-line tank, that’s definitely getting added to my list!  There’s also a bolero pattern I like from this issue, in Reynolds Saucy Sport (I would either leave out the colorwork or change the colors though… I don’t love the colors at all, just the lines of the sweater.

It has crocheted borders and ties.  I really like crocheted edging, but I think I’ve only done that on one knitted sweater (Ms. Marigold.)

Speaking of crochet, I picked up two crochet magazines as well.  Something about summer makes me more interested in picking up my hook (and the ripple blanket is helping!)

Crochet Today

This is a fairly new magazine, but I didn’t actually get the newest issue.  This is the Feb/March issue, but they were still displaying it in the store.  This magazine is put out by Coates and Clark, and all the projects call for one of their lines (TLC, Moda Dea, Red Heart etc.)

 

(L to R): 1. Ripple vest in Red Heart Luster sheen 2. Buttoned vest in Moda Dea washable wool 3. Purse in TLC Essentials

I would definitely sub all the yarns, except maybe the purse (purses do well with cheaper yarns I’ve found.)  My obsession with vests is now well documented, and these are both super cute!  I would do the ripple vest in more modern colors, I’m thinking neopolitan colors, pink, chocolate, and white.  And I would swap out the crocheted ribbing on the bottom for knitted ribbing… in my experience crocheted ribbing does not hold up well, and it’s hard to judge how many rows you actually need.  The magazine itself is just ok…  I would buy it for some of the patterns, but it’s vastly inferior to my last magazine purchase…

Interweave Crochet

This is the first time I’ve purchased this magazine.  Even when I was crocheting, I didn’t really find the projects that appealing.  However, they have a new editor (the editor of the fab Crochetme webzine) and are going to a quarterly mag like IW knits.  I am very impressed by the projects in this issue!

 

(L to R): 1. Beachcomber Tunic in Garnstudio Silke Tweed 2. Empress Baby-doll Top in SWTC Bamboo 3. Boteh Scarf, in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock 4. Deceptively Simple Stole in La Lana Wools Phat Silk Fine and Silk Boucle 5. Seafoam Vest in Rowan Summer Tweed

The first sweater is both knitted and crocheted, which I love… I think the two crafts can compliment each other nicely.  I also would love to try the Garnstudio yarn, which looks lovely.  I think #2 would be nicer looking if it weren’t pink, but I do love that style on me.  I’ve been searching for a similar knit pattern, and this will suit. #3 is just lovely knitted up – I’ve seen several people working on them already, and did I mention – this scarf uses sock yarn!  Do you know how much sock yarn I have?  I love the idea of a different project to use it up!  #4 is by Annie Modesitt, and is surprisingly understated… surprising to me because her knitted patterns are sometimes so crazy (did you see that baby pattern from the current Vogue?) and yet this crochet pattern is lovely and elegant… and I think of Crochet as being the wilder medium. #5 (the vest) is of course my favorite (will I ever have too many vests? I hope not!) and I’m already debating with myself over which size to make (between the 32 and 35.)

What I really think this magazine shows is how crochet is sometimes shortchanged.  It does make a huge difference using nice yarns as opposed to the acrylics used in most crochet patterns.  I do understand that crochet uses more yarn that knitting, and I don’t mean to be all crazy yarn snob – hey, right now on the needles and hooks I have Caron and Lion Brand yarns.  But it’s important to use a yarn that really shows off the design… and really, I don’t ever want to wear acrylic again, as nice as it is for afghans.

Of course, I’m as guilty as anyone else.  As soon as I learned to knit I hid all my crochet hooks in the closet.  It’s possible I might be reaching a point where I see both crafts as legitimate… or at least rescue my hooks from the back of the yarn storage!

books · crafts · knitting · patterns

Many topics, one post.

Work continues on the Drops cardigan. I’ve just broken into the third ball of cotton ease, and I’m 1/3 through the 2nd sleeve. I should have plenty!

For some reason I’m totally in love with moss stitch lately, which is lucky since this sweater has plenty of it! Last night I knit while we watched “The Money Pit,” which is a totally silly 80s movie starring Tom Hanks when he still tried to be funny. I love it because all of their hijinks with their old house remind me of my entire life. Then I got online and browsed houses for sale in the area. We aren’t really looking for a year, but I wanted to see pictures of the insides of old houses. It’s a weird quirk of mine.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the library and checked out some knitting books (our library is not very good, they rarely have what I’m looking for.)

That copy of “Knitting without tears” is super old! I read it last night, and while I didn’t perhaps learn the most, I did love the tone in which Elizabeth Zimmerman wrote. I’m interested in reading her other books now! “At Knit’s End” is cute of course, and the Knitting Answer book has just given me the answer on how to avoid “stair steps” when shaping sleeves in a seamed sweater. How did I not know this before?

And then there’s “Designing Knitwear” by Deborah Newton. I checked it out based on a few recommendations I had seen online. I did think that her design philosophy was admirable, and I liked the advice about developing a “designer’s eye” but… it’s hard to take her seriously when she designed this:

Oh dear. And there are instructions for this monster in the book. You know, I was carefully cropping my photos for this, taking out all the text, and I thought “What am I doing? Who is going to be searching the internet and suddenly be struck by a desire to knit their own coat of many colors” Ooh, that just made me think of the Dolly Parton song, you know, the one where she’s singing about her coat of many colors and how the other kids made fun of it. I love Dolly. No, really. Love her. No excuses.

Anyway, I looked up the copyright on the book, which was 1992. And I may be wrong, but even though I was still well into the spandex/stirrup pants age in 1992, I don’t recall people running around in sweaters like this. I do give this book props for one thing though…

Finally! The aran motorcycle jacket I’ve been waiting my entire life for!

Ahem… seriously, the book does have some very good ideas on the design process, and contains good information (if a bit too reliant on the dropped shoulder.) I wouldn’t buy it, but I’m glad I checked it out!

On a more tasteful note, Berroco, the company that gave us the Footsie Pillow, continues to redeem itself to me. This morning their newsletter contained two free patterns that I quite like!

I would even make the first pattern (but then I love deep V necks.) It’s made of Bonsai, and sadly I don’t have enough, but I can think of many great subs!

crafts · knitting · yarn

Why I knit

First of all, thanks for all the wonderful comments about my Puff sleeved sweater!  I’ll do my best to respond to as many as I can (especially if you asked a question) but I don’t want anyone to think I’ve forgotten them – it really does mean so much to receive feedback on my knits.

I’ve been thinking recently about why knitting has grabbed me the way that it has.  I’ve always been single minded –  my history as a musician sees to that.  Years of classical training, days of practicing, perfecting each bar, each note – this leads to a determination to perfect techniques, and a certain large reserve of patience for the time it will take to get there.  I have been called a perfectionist (I have also been called a “control freak,” but lets ignore those voices for now, shall we?)  I use all of that training every day as a music teacher, and every weekend when I prepare the music for the many masses I play.

I could have gone on (as many of my peers and friends have) into apprenticeship programs and to artist diplomas, all leading to life as a classical musician (in my case an opera singer… this is what I trained my whole life to be.)  But I looked at their lives – nomadic, unsettled, uncertain – and I knew myself well enough to realize that wasn’t what I wanted for my own.  This took me years, and it is not without a certain amount of guilt that I write this.

So I made my choice, and I am very lucky to be able to work in music for a living while keeping my life the way I want it – settled, with a home, close to my friends and family.  Unfortunately, it does leave me with tons of leftover energy from the years of practicing.  I think that is why I knit.  I love the sense of being able to create something.  I love the colors and textures of the yarns, and the endless possibilities you can create using only two stitches.  Before I knit, I loved to do counted cross stitch, but I was always afraid to deviate from a pattern.

I’m very interested in learning to design knitwear, at least for myself.  Does anyone have a book on knitwear design to recommend?   I’ve always loved fashion, and I’ve read so much about the history… and I have a lot of free time (hee!) so recommend away!

I do have some knitting related pictures for you today!  Yarn from WEBs, and first look reviews (and I swear, no more yarn for a month – I can do it, so long as I stay away from the Yarn sale forum at Knitty!)

Valley Yarns Longmeadow in Linen, to make this Jaeger vest pattern.  At first glance, the yarn is very soft, but not totally without structure.  I was worried that it would be floppy like tencel yarns, but it isn’t.  It is a cotton/acrylic microfiber blend.  It has a slight sheen, but is by no means shiny – I think it will make a nice sub for the Jaeger Aqua called for in the pattern.

Jaeger siena, to make the Jaeger shell pattern above (without the unnecessary belting – enough already!) I have never made a pattern using 4-ply yarn, and for some reason I have a real desire to try.  Isn’t the color lovely?  This yarn is 100% cotton, and very soft and smooth.  I’m very pleased I bought this Jaeger book, by the way – it has lovely large photos and very clear schematics for all of the patterns.

Berroco Bonsai yarn, probably to make this little sweater, although there are other possibilities.  This is the drapiest yarn I’ve ever seen in the skein.  The nylon wrapping the bamboo gives a really lovely shiny effect.  It’s so soft, and I just can’t wait to knit with it!

Berroco ultra silk (on sale at WEBs) to make this sweater.  I love this design, although like all Berroco designs it suffers from lousy styling.  I love loose floaty tops like this in real life, although I don’t seem to knit them often.  I think this will look really cute with a little fitted camisole and jeans.  I am less than enthused with the color I got, but really I think that’s because I’m tired of brown after the last sweater.   I will come around – brown is a very good color on me.  The yarn itself is one of those tubular yarns, and I am interested to try it out!

crafts · finished objects · knitting

FO: Puff Sleeved Cardigan

 

Pattern: Feminine Puff Sleeved Cardigan, from Fitted Knits

Yarn: Cotton Fleece in Pinecone, almost 3 skeins

Needles: US 5 and 4

Mods: Lots.  I knit far fewer increase rows than called for in the pattern, in order to achieve a smaller size than written.  I also had a larger gauge, so I had to adjust for that.  I lengthened the body, and I did the lace in all stockinette.  I removed two repeats of the lace pattern to comphensate for my smaller number of stitches, and it worked out fine.  In general, this sweater involved more math that I would really like.  I wish this book had more 32″ sizes!
Notes: I am pleased with this sweater, with one exception.  The buttonband.  I have tried and tried to get the buttons to work, but they just don’t.  The sweater fits fine, but the buttonbands are sort of floppy.  Because of this, I’m considering some sort of a configuration involving snaps.  I cannot deal with it coming undone all the time (and this is after I sewed the buttonholes way smaller.)  Other thoughts… the pattern was well written, although I do wish it had included measurements in inches instead of rows.  The collar is also a tad big (I would use smaller needles on that if I could do it again) but it isn’t too bad.  I love the shape, the color, and the purl rows.  But it is still a work in progress as far as I’m concerned, because I know I won’t wear it until the fastener problem is fixed!

Of course, the most important part is that Leon approves.  And he does.

crafts · knitting · yarn

A new WIP

I believe I started knitting just around the time that Cotton Ease was discontinued.  So while I’ve never knit with it, I have seen lots of people hoarding it.  Last week I noted that my Michaels had started carrying the new Cotton Ease, so last night I ventured over there.  First, the bad – I wish they had retained some of the old colors.  I look washed out in faded colors – I need some strong, clear colors to balance out my paleness.  Most of the new colors are of the faded type.  The black, in fact, verges on a sort of dingy blue-gray.  I couldn’t decide, so I told Marc to pick the color he thought would look best on me.  He chose Almond, a color somewhere in between ivory and a very soft yellow.  I would never have chosen this color for myself, but as it turns out I’m pretty pleased with it.  It lacks the tinge of beige that usually makes me avoid ivory colors.  So last night I cast on for the Drops Design (Garnstudio) sweater I showed yesterday (the first picture on the top row.)

Now I get it.  Cotton Ease is a really nice yarn!  It’s similar to Nashua’s new Cilantro yarn (which I love for the name) or a less stretchy version of Calmer. It doesn’t hurt my hands, and it produces a nice, lightweight fabric with even stitches.  It isn’t at all splitty, which is nice after two sweaters using Cotton Fleece (I love Cotton Fleece, but it does split like mad.)  The only other new color I like is the lime, which my Michael’s didn’t have, so it may be time for me to stockpile for myself a few of the older colors!

The translation of the Drops sweater seems to be fine so far.  I chose this sweater because it’s cropped, so it won’t take long to get through all the directions.  Looking ahead, I can see some slightly dodgy neck shaping directions, but nothing you won’t understand if you’ve made a seamed sweater before.

While I was at Michael’s I also bought a pack of those huge coil-less safety pins that seem to be popular as sweater closures this season.  I have at least one sweater in mind that will need a closure, and most of my brooches are too  heavy.

I also have some yarn pictures to share.  I got these from the Yarnzilla sale, with their volume discount it came to 35 or 40% off… very good deal.  Check them out if you haven’t!

L to R: Rowan Summer tweed in Jardinier, Rowan Calmer in Refresh, Rowan Felted Tweed in Sigh.

I’m clearly in a tweedy mood. Love all these yarns.  Someone please go buy up all the Rowan yarns before I get tempted again!

crafts · Crochet · knitting · patterns

Randomness

I sometimes read the search logs for my blog, because it’s interesting to see what people type in to arrive here.  Today I saw this: “Half Dollar Cardigan too long sleeves.”  Well, if that’s you… rejoice in the fact that you are not alone!  Almost all the completed or nearly completed ones I’ve seen feature this complaint.  Personally, I’ve been rocking the cuffed look.  I in fact wore it for Easter, and I can assure you that no one noticed.  I think the cable distracted them.

Last night I finished up the Puff Sleeved Cardigan, and it is currently drying on the dining room table.

I’m having buttonhole problems.  The buttonhole called for in the pattern made holes too big for my buttons (which are the size called for in the pattern) so I sewed them up a bit.  We’ll see if that proves to be a durable solution.  More on this when it finally dries and I can get modeled photos.

Yesterday’s post about possibly ripping my Sahara got me to thinking about my knitted/crocheted items that don’t see any wear at all.

Top to bottom: Sahara (cascade pima silk,) Rusted Root (Shine sport,) Sweet Pea shawl (Classic elite flash,) Crocheted shrug (Berroco Cotton twist.)  I am amused to note that being around all those strong colors sucked all the color out of my rusted root, which I can assure you is green, not gray.  I don’t wear any of these items.  The one that makes me the most sad is the shawl – it turned out beautifully, but I simply cannot wear that shade of pink (it’s the pink tweed color used in the “Happy Hooker” book.)   Rusted Root is a lost cause because of poor yarn choice, and because it was my first sweater.  I am in fact plotting a new rusted root in a more appropriate yarn.  Sahara has been discussed  – I tried it on again, and I think the only way to fix it is to completely redo the bottom and neckline lace… but even then I will have to realize it would fit better a size smaller.  And the shrug… don’t ask me why I thought it would be a great idea to make 40 granny squares and crochet them together, complete with mock ribbing around the edges (note to self: crocheted “ribbing” is not stretchy like actual ribbing.)

So there are my failures… does anyone else have projects like these –  completed, unworn, and unloved… but you can’t bring yourself to frog them?

On a happier note, I recently rediscovered the free pattern archives at Garnstudio.  I remember hearing a lot about the massive archives here when I was a crocheter (where there are far fewer cute patterns), but not nearly as much from the knitting community.  Phildar has been getting a lot of love lately, so I think I’ll give a little to another non-US company.  Here are some of my favorite designs:

 

Clicking on a picture should take you to the pattern.  I’ve put the first one shown (the cropped moss stitch cardigan) on my list to try out their patterns, and I also just adore the lacy tunic length sweater.  I also think that little vest looks a lot like Rowan’s “Bloom,” which is a happy thing… I was not going to purchase that entire magazine for one pattern.  If you go to the website you will find literally hundreds of free patterns translated into english.  The only thing to watch is whether the little flag shows a US translation or British.  If it’s British you will need to watch the needle sizes etc, but it really isn’t too difficult.  I’ve knit British patterns before with no problem.