Or finita, as in Italian “scarf” happens to be feminine — la sciarpa. You’ve heard it before; this was the most boring project ever, yet perfect for the long trip from LA to Seattle and back. Ben was driving and I had all the time in the world. As soon as we move to Portland or something, I might even get to wear it.We are actually considering the possibility of moving to Oregon or Washington and might go back to the area
I’ve been lazy. I’ve been busy. I’ve been unfocused. It’s OK.This was my inspiration photo at Feral Knitter’s color
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workshopa couple of weeks ago. How’s that for a non-sequitur? And this was my second swatch, where I narrowed down the colors and settled on blues and grays (what a surprise, someone said) and one red. My third swatch, which I can’t find right now, was a disaster: muddled, murky, ugly. Time to swatch again. Posted by Francesca | 2 comments
Catch up time for me after a twelve-day road trip and close
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to 3,000 miles. I thought I would blog a few times along the way, but I was either missing the time or a reliable internet connection. After three days in the Bay Area to attend the color workshop at Janine‘s house in Berkeley, we drove to Eugene (OR) where we stayed at a sheep farm with Elissa, an old friend from my spinning days who moved from Los Angeles a few years ago and now lives with two dogs, five miniature donkeys and ten sheep.From there we drove to Lakewood (WA) making a quick stop in Portland (OR) along the way. More like a blitz, really, and no time to get together with friends though we managed a strategic stop at Knit Purl, easily the best yarn store I’ve ever set foot into. Half their stock wanted to go home with me and I had to be firm to make it out of there with only four skeins of Isager Tvinni, two skeins of Shibui Cloud and one supersized ball of Kauni. We spent almost more time trying to get out of Portland than we spent in Portland because of a major accident on the Interstate Bridge. In Lakewood we stayed with Lorette and John and experienced the most marvellous hospitality which included a guided tour with ferry trip to Bainbridge Island (7-minute visit at Churchmouse Yarns & Teas), extensive stop at Pike Market and a spice shop nearby, and gourmet dinners at their place. Half the extra pounds I came home with were put on in those two days. Not complaining! On the knitting front, the only activity was mindless scarf knitting in the car. I’ve been working on the Wild Apple scarf that goes with the hat. The scarf is all in plain broken rib and let me tell you how boring that is to knit, but just what I needed while we were driving 5-8 hours at a time. About 42 inches into the scarf (14 more inches to go) I can see why no one on Ravelry has added that project; they all had more sense than me and worked on either the sweater or the hat. More pics in a couple of days. Now I have to take care of laundry, grocery shopping, and other odds and ends. Posted by Francesca | 8 comments
Today was the first day of my color knitting workshop with Janine, a.k.a. Feral Knitter. I meant to write a short post before the trip, but ran out of time. Fortunately we found a great guy to stay at our house and take care of Kelvin and Piper while we are gone, so we can enjoy our trip without worrying about the boys being locked away in cages at a boarding place. It’s all working out for the best.My first day with Janine exceeded my expectations. The workshop is called “Design Your Fair Isle Garment” and covers a lot of ground in a sensible and practical way to develop color confidence and discover how to tackle color design as it applies to Fair Isle knitting. Today was all about choosing colors for the garment of our choice, starting from a source of inspiration, and then how to swatch in the most effective way to see how those colors interact with each other. Tomorrow we will complete our speed swatches and then choose a pattern or patterns for our projects. The workshop is at Janine’s house and there are only six of us so it’s laid back and cozy and we have access to all of Janine’s designs and swatches, which is great. I’ll take a picture of my speed swatch tomorrow, after I’ve added a few more rows to it. If things work out, I
may also visit Lacis in Berkeley with a local friend. I will try to post about all things knitterly during this trip, but my online time is limited and I may be late replying to emails between now and Sept. 6. Ciao from the Bay Area.Posted by Francesca | 5 comments
My Wild Apple hat is finished and wants me to move to a very cold climate so I can wear it. This is a seriously warm hat, folks, with all those rounds worked with up to four colors. I knew that using more than two colors per round would create a thicker fabric, but I was surprised by how much thicker and warmer the hat is because of that.
If you’ve never knitted a Bohus item and are thinking about it, here are some thoughts.
Not much to say about that other than it’s drop-dead gorgeous, but we knew that already, n’est-ce pas?
The yarn is an integral part of what makes these Bohus kits as beautiful as they are. Having seen two versions of the Blue Shimmer hat, side by side, worked in different yarns, I definitely prefer the kits from Sweden. Their yarn (actually from Denmark, but dyed in Sweden by Solveig Gustafsson) is 50/50 merino/angora, dyed in colors that have been painstakingly reconstructed in collaboration with the original Bohus designers to match the items produced by Bohus Stickning between 1939 and 1969. The colors are vibrant, the yarn amazingly soft, and the small gauge makes the Bohus design sing. The yarn from Kimmet Croft, which was used to knit several items in the book Poems of Color, knits up at a larger gauge. While this may be a plus for many knitters, it does not bring out the best in Bohus design. Colors and fiber content are also slightly different and these seemingly small variations add up to a quite different overall effect in the knitted items.
For me it was an easy choice, but I recommend that you look at other knitters’ projects on Ravelry and decide for yourselves. I have to admit that the idea of knitting a whole sweater with all that stockinette stitch with 2 mm needles scares even me, and I love tiny needles.
My only complaints about this fabulous yarn are tangential:
— A few knots in some really tiny skeins.
— I wish the yardage had been a little more generous. There was enough yarn to knit the hat and I had a bit of leftover from all the colors, some more than others, but when I saw the tiny skeins I was so scared about running out of yarn before finishing the hat that I did not dare to swatch. Me not swatching… can you believe it? And yet that’s what I did and my hat is a bit bigger than I would have liked. In retrospect, I know that I could have made a swatch but what if I had chosen one of the colors that turned out to be almost precisely measured? I was so freaked out that I cut all my ends very short, to save yarn.
The first 4 cm in garter stitch with 2.00 needles were oh so hard to get through. Having had hardly any experience with garter stitch, I had no idea that it grows so slowly. But once I started the color pattern there was no stopping me, even though those rounds with 3-4 colors and both knit and purl stitches did slow me down considerably. Oh, and all those ends to weave in at the end… I guess that can’t be helped.
This is the color breakdown of the 76 rounds of the color pattern for those of you who like numbers:
— 8 rounds in 1 color
— 47 rounds in 2 colors
— 18 rounds in 3 colors
— 3 rounds in 4 colors
The chart is clear and supplemented by a table that lists the colors used every time there is a color change. That table was especially useful when colors very similar to each other were involved.
Some minor frustrations with the pattern:
— The written instructions mention that patterns don’t necessarily line up (no problem with that), but the chart is one continuous chart with no separation between the parts that line up and those that don’t. I found that confusing.
— My only real problem with the pattern are the decrease instructions. In addition to the increases not being included in the chart, the written directions were imprecise. Maybe I’ve gotten too used to US patterns, but to say *K5, k2tog* for a round that includes purl stitches gets me confused.
In spite of the complexity of the pattern —or perhaps because of it? — it was a very enjoyable knit. I love the design and if I can bring myself to knit all that st. st. in one color and 2 mm needles, I may even attempt the sweater at some point, though I am more likely to get another small kit for my next Bohus. Oh, you thought because of my knit picking that this was the end of it? Nah, I know a good thing when I see one.
The chart for the Wild Apple sweater in Poems of Color shows 15 colors, while the hat kit from Solsilke has 14. I wonder if the difference is between sweater and hat or between book and kits. Anyone knows?
I couldn’t find a website for Kimmet Croft’s Fairy Hare. If you have a working URL, would you let me know?Posted by Francesca | 16 comments
A question for those of you in northern California or southern Oregon. We are finally working out the details of our upcoming road trip and we are almost there, but still need to figure out where to stop between Walnut Creek and Eugene. We are thinking somewhere close to the California/Oregon border, either on the coast or near HWY 5. Do you have any suggestions for what would be a good place to stop and spend the night? On the knitting side of things, I finished the Wild Apple hat and will soon post a few notes about the experience for
those of you who are considering getting your first Bohus kit.Posted by Francesca | 5 comments
and had Vanessa of coloursknits
design it. Finally a website that
is easy to navigate
and beautiful to look at. Now you can search for yarns by weight, fiber, name, and more. Another change is that they are offering other companies’ products, such as wood and metal buttons, hand blown glass buttons by Moving Mudd, and notions by Merchant & Mills. All beautiful items that would be perfect accompaniments to Habu knitting projects. The shopping cart hasn’t been enabled yet. When it is, I’ll be totally screwed.Posted by Francesca | 4 comments
Peggy asked if there are a lot of ends to weave in. I am happy to say that there aren’t; you carry the unused colors vertically at the beginning/end of round; see picture below.
OK, not the greatest picture, but you get the idea.
Have a great week everyone!
Ah, Kelvin thanks all his admirers. :)
My Wild Apple kit arrived from Sweden yesterday afternoon and I’ve been possessed ever since. These photos don’t do justice to the colors; I can only say that the yarn is gorgeous and the design absolutely brilliant. Kerstin Olsson is a genius. I am in love. I need more Bohus kits. Kelvin seems to like orange.
Nebbia has been tested and the pattern is back to the tech editor for the final revision. If all goes well,
it should be released next Monday, August 15, a.k.a. Ferragosto in Italy. Not that I expect anyone in Italy to be knitting under their beach umbrellas. In the meantime, I just finished a pair of wristlets inspired by Florentine Renaissance fashion. Working title: Lucrezia.It’s so gratifying to be doing something quick for a change. Posted by Francesca | 12 comments