Monday, May 28, 2012

Karen Clements and her Chunky Knits

It's Memorial Day weekend and we are all supposed to be enjoying warm weather and thinking ahead to summer; probably not the time to be blogging about big, wooly warm sweaters.  Except it is pretty cool here in Northern California and it has been snowing off and on through part of the weekend at our home near Lake Tahoe:


Notice the snow shovel; we don't put that away until the middle of June.

As I've said before on this blog, I'm not much of a lace knitter and I'm not into knitting projects that call for  smaller needle sizes.  With the exception of socks, patterns that call for size 1 - 6  needles are not my kind of thing, although I am in awe of the incredible work that has been done by many on these finer size needles.  I seem to gravitate towards those patterns that call for size 8 - 11 needles where the pattern works up quickly and there is the hope that this sweater might actually get done before I run out of enthusiasm and it ends up in my WIP pile.  If the needles called for are size 13 or more, even better!

I've been browsing through Pinterest admiring the photos and clever and interesting work done by fiber and  craft artists when I came across Karen Clements and her amazing chunky/bulky  knit designs.   I wanted to knit just about all of them and, on size 17 and 19 needles, by golly, I could probably do it!  Not only are these projects a quick knit, but they are very stylish;  here are a few examples:


This is the Lakeside Cotton Vest made with Trendsetter cotton yarn in size 17 and 19 needles.

This is the LA Magnum Reversible Vest  knit in Cascade's  Magnum with size 19 needles:


Here's a Capelet made in Magnum with size 19 needles:

Here's a Magnum capelet done in crochet:


    There's lots more to see on her web site   So where does this designer live who turns out these chunky warm styles? Karen is based in the LA area  - go figure!  Hey, even So. Cal can get damp and chilly in the winter.  Personally, I'm not sure I would want to work with Cascade's Magnum, as it can be scratchy,  but Blue Sky Bulky Alpaca would be a nice choice.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend with some time for knitting and relaxing!


Friday, May 25, 2012

A Summer Sweater

My swing cardigan, Alexandra, is moving right along.  I've got one half of the front done and working on the other half:


This Azapa yarn is nice to work with - very soft and the colors are great.  Unfortunately, my photography isn't doing this justice.  Starting to plan for a summer sweater project and I have narrowed the possibilities down to the following:


This is a Jenny Watson design called Elizabeth and the yarn is Araucania Nature Wool but I would probably use a cotton blend for this.

This is Hannah Fettig's Wispy Cardi and I think this is so cute and a quick knit as well.  It was knit with Quince and Co.'s Lark:


I found this pattern on Quince and Co.'s pattern page and I think this is the one I am going to make.  It's called Olga and unfortunately, the sample is in white so it doesn't show up very well here:


It's done in Quince and Co's Chickadee but I found some yarn in my stash that I think will work well with this.  It's Reynolds  Coco that I bought at Webs a long time ago and just never found the right project for it.

    Here's a better picture of Olga.  This was done by korallik and she was kind enough to allow me to use a picture of her version:


    Happy Fiber Arts Friday and have a great Memorial Day Weekend!  



Friday, May 18, 2012

My Bandwidth and a New Project

I love knitting hats - you can finish them so quickly!  Here's my Bandwidth hat which is a Stephen West design.  I used Madelinetosh Vintage and now I know why everyone is talking about this yarn company  - the colors are gorgeous and the yarn is so soft.



Here's a better picture of my finished Montana Cardigan:


On to a new project.  I am making this swing cardigan for my daughter with hand dyed Azapa yarn from Araucania.  Jenny Watson is the designer and it's called Alexandra from the Araucania Collection, Book 1:



This is the second project I have made with this yarn - it is so soft and warm!  The fiber content is alpaca, merino and silk  and the colors are so rich:


Have a good weekend and Happy Fiber Arts Friday - check out Andrea's blog for more inspiration!                                                                                                                                                                    

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Day After Mother's Day

Hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day weekend;  by that, I mean someone serving you breakfast in bed or taking you out to lunch and then lots of time to knit while watching your favorite movie.  Two of our kids were not around here this weekend and my husband and son took off to watch an Oakland A's game on Saturday and so I had the afternoon to myself to do a little knitting and watch Diabolique, a very famous French movie from the 50's with Simone Signoret.  Have you ever tried to knit and watch a movie with subtitles?  Not so easy.  You really have to keep your eyes on the screen to follow along (unless you understand French) and this movie is known for its complicated plot with many twists and turns long the way.  Needless to say, not much knitting got done, but it was worth it.  Here's what I'm working on:


 Stephen West's Bandwidth and I'm using Madelinetosh Vintage.

Mother's Day was fun:  I got some cute workout clothes, lovely roses, Eggs Benedict for breakfast and an audio book from my daughter, along with the paperback version:


She also sent me one of these cute mesh storage things from IKEA.  I had my eye on it when we went there and thought it would make a great place to store small planned projects, WIPs, sock yarn, more yarn I didn't need to buy, etc.   I'm going to hang it in my craft room:

So this picture kind of summarizes my Mother's Day:


Nice breakfast, followed by lots of time to knit, look through my new book, enjoy my flowers and thumb through my new Summer issue of Interweave Knits at a leisurely pace.  Life is good and I have a great family!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  


Friday, May 11, 2012

A Couple of Finished Projects

It's been a great week, knitting wise.  Finished my Cabled Capelet and just about done with my  Montana Cardigan; just need to finish the belt and block it:



Of course it's in the 80's this week and I won't be wearing these guys 'til next Fall, but still, there is that great feeling that comes with finishing another project and planning for the next one.

Here's a project I would like to find time for this summer.  Saw this ruffled scarf at Jimmy Beans:



It's made with Bodega from Trendsetter:


Can't  resist putting in another picture of my friend Vera's Color Whirl.  She's got a great sense of color and always seems to find accessories that go perfectly with her projects - love this shawl pin.


Happy Fiber Arts Friday!  Check out what other knitters are up to at Alison's blog.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Madelinetosh and a Trip to Jimmy Beans

The weather is turning delightful with warm sunny days and the snow has just about disappeared from our neck of the woods  near Lake Tahoe - time for a road trip to Reno to see what's going on at Jimmy Beans Wool!   Three of my friends started out in the Bay Area and stopped at Got Your Goat and Filati's in the Sacramento area.  Then it was on to Truckee to meet up and plan our trip to Reno.  Vera and Cris were wearing a couple of things they had made.  Here's Vera's Color Whirl which got lots of complements wherever we went:


She made this with Prism Symphony and the color is really gorgeous - not sure if these pictures do it justice.   Here's Cris wearing her Must Have Cardigan, a beautiful aran cabled sweater:


Then it was off to Jimmy Beans:

Jimmy Beans has moved to a big new space in Reno and they have a nice shop but their inventory is so extensive, you really need to visit the warehouse in the back to see everything they carry which is where the best of intentions to stick to a few selected purchases go flying out the window:

There was a whole section of Madelinetosh Onesies on sale - these are skeins that are seconds - and it was fun to go though boxes and boxes of these yarns and plan a project using them.  I decided on Stephen West's Spectra and here's the Madelinetosh Merino Light I chose:


A few more pictures of our haul.  Most of these skeins were Madelinetosh but they also carry an extensive selection of Lorna's Laces:

More Lorna's Laces:

Here's some Madelinetosh yarn chosen for a Catkin project:


It was a great day and we will be spending the summer working through all these planned Madelinetosh projects.  Can't wait to see pictures on Ravelry!


Friday, May 4, 2012

A Few Random Things


I love this!   Repinned this from my daughter Sara's Pinterest Board; thought I'd start this day off with a smile for all you knitters.

When Pam Allen first launched Quince and Company I signed up for their email list and looked forward to seeing their designs and trying out the yarn that went with them.  From what I have seen, the yarn looks great, the colors are lovely but I haven't seen a pattern that really made me want to jump in and try it for myself until I saw this cute sweater:


  It's called Sibella  by Carrie Bostick Hoge and the yarn is a sport weight called Chickadee.   I think it would be a nice project for the summer.



Here's my progress on the two projects I have been working on.  This is my Cabled Capelet and I'm ready to pick up stitches around the top and do the ribbed neck:


  Finishing up my Montana cardigan:


Happy Fiber Arts Friday!