I wanted to try out some of the slipped stitch patterns I was researching for my Color Knitting Class at OLLI, so I pulled a couple of balls of leftover worsted weight wool in interesting colors, grabbed the tiny little bit of red that might prove useful somehow, and cast on. This is the result. This is knit in one long piece which is then folded in half, bound off with an I-Cord bind off on the edges to join the sides, and then used again for the red corded finish at the top of the I-Pad Cozy.
There are two different slip stitch patterns used here. One of the beauties of slip stitch patterns is that you only knit with one color at a time. It gives a very interesting fabric structure....sort of thick and nubbly and cushy...the perfect thing to protect your I-Pad. I also sewed in a linen lining, which could easily include a small inside pocket. And, as you can see in this picture, it is possible to roll one end of the cozy to prop up your screen at a nice angle for reading. The I-Cord bind off makes a perfect rolled ridge to hold the edge. This works even though this table is very smooth and the I-Pad itself is slippery. I will be providing the pattern shortly.
Here is some bulky weight merino that I dyed up for my class at the Senior College at USM. I called it Dreaming in Color and it covers the four basic techniques for knitting in color. Fair Isle or stranded knitting is a pretty old and familiar technique and is easier than it appears. This is what most people think of when you talk about two color knitting. The little mittens in the picture below are knit using this technique and come from the book Favorite Mittens by Robin Hansen which I picked up at KnitWits here in Portland.
Favorite Mittens is one of my Favorite Books because it has traditional Maine patterns, and because it tells you how to scale the mittens up and down in size. The green and white socks are a Turkish sock pattern that I bought from Afghans for Afghans and they create socks that have to be seen on chubby two year old legs to have all of their charms fully appreciated. The blue and brown square in the center is a piece of Reversible Knitting. M'Lou Baber's Double Knitting is an excellent book on this technique. The garments that she designs are beautiful and timeless.
And here is a sample piece of Slip Stitch Knitting where I pulled some stitches from the knitting classic by Barbara Walker The Treasury of Knitting Patterns. With this technique you are never actually knitting with more than one color. The slip stitches create the changes in the colors. I am currently working on a cover for my I-pad using slip stitch patterns. I will show you when I'm finished. The Treasury is an excellent resource. I have had my copy for almost 40 years and it feels like a sacred relic to me of my early knitting history. I have not yet bought all the other Treasury books that follow (I believe there are 4?) but I should....and I will.
I got this picture this morning. This is Devan, with a slight fever but still nobly at work in the Media Lab. Vermont is having a snow storm -- the first snow of Spring 2011, now doesn't that sound better? -- and let's hope the last. The hat got there for her 20th birthday, along with a new pair of hand knit socks with a leaf pattern in Spring Green. Her boss liked her hat very much. He said she looked like a cake.
I hate it when my child is sick and I can't be there to dote and fuss. I am very grateful that I sent hand knits to wrap her up in. It's a way of doting and fussing by proxy. I checked things out and her friends very helpfully doted and fussed for her birthday, which I am also very grateful for.
Here is Salem, multitasking in the Studio. She is cleaning the drum carder with that wire brush in her right hand, and she is also graciously modeling Devan's Pink Hat. Devan is back at Bennington and so her head is unavailable for modeling. This hat is knit from a blend of alpaca, silk, and Bella's white wool which was dyed a really bright pink. Blending on the drum carder with the white alpaca/silk and some peachy merino got us this specific color. Devan was quite particular about the color....a pink that wasn't too purple, nor too peachy. Also Dev is quite sensitive to scratchiness in wool so the blend with alpaca and silk helped to ameliorate that.
Once the fiber was all carded together I spun it up at roughly a worsted weight (2 ply) on my trusty Ashford and knit it according to the directions for Ann's Red Hat. I am including a picture of it before I felted it to give you an idea of how the hat looks at this interim stage. Not too promising is it? It is best when you are going to felt, particularly if you are going to felt with handspun, to knit up a swatch and throw it in your washing machine to see what happens. I got a 20% shrinkage, from 5 sts/inch to 4 sts/inch. The felting also changed the texture quite a bit, from this really open loose knitting to a lovely thick tweedy felt.
The felting process also raised the halo of the alpaca which you can glimpse here at the very top of the hat. See that fuzziness? The embroidery is done with left over bits of sock yarn before folding up and sewing down the facing. I thought you would like to see how fetching the hat is in pink.....I'm seriously thinking about making one in purple for me. In the meantime I'm shipping it off to Devan today as her early birthday present. Hopefully she'll be able to wear it a couple of times before spring comes to Vermont.
My son Blake took this picture this morning at Bintliff's, where we meet for breakfast once a week or so. As you can see what came off the blocking board is really more of a handkerchief style scarf than a shawl. I am finding it surprisingly useful wrapped around my shoulder or neck in chilly inside corners or outside under my coat. You can see that it is actually made with three different colors, although the colors are not drastically different. If you are the kind of person who buys one lonely skein of some irresistible yarn, or who spins up 4 oz of irresistible fiber which results in odd lots of handspun sitting around in the stash this scarf/shawl is an excellent project for you. The pattern is now posted under patterns and through Ravelry. It is free!!!
If you would like to stay with us this is the room we rent via Airbnb. I would love to see you and give you a tour of the studio, some quality time at the knitting table, some scones and warm drinks.