Thursday, March 10, 2011

In a Cabling Kind of Mood

Since I (re)learned to cable without cable needle, it's about all I want to do now--cable, cable, cable.  So I've got two projects to show you this week--one very simple project with a complicated cable and one complicated project with a very simple cable.  First the simple project:

Knotty Gloves:
Even though it's March, it's still very chilly up here in Maine.  The snow is starting to melt, but those ugly, dirty snowbank leftovers are still clinging to the side of the road.   And this means that my sad little fingers are still quite cold.  They needed a little something soft to warm them until warmer temperatures finally arrived.  I've had quite enough of big complicated gloves for the time being, but fingerless mitts are much, much easier.  Thus, these little babies came to be:
The pattern is Knotty by Julia Mueller--I can't get over how beautiful her glove patterns are--but rather than knit through the fingers, I continued to knit the palm section for 10 more rounds and then knit 5 rounds of ribbing.  I know there's a pattern for a completely ribbed version of these out there, but I really like the diamond pattern on the back of the hand as the ribbing tapers off.  Very pretty.

For yarn, I used Berocco Ultra Alpaca Fine--a wool/alpaca/nylon blend.  It is nice and soft, but I found that it tends to tangle very easily.  I spent an entire afternoon last weekend untangling my yarn cake.  It's pretty nice, but there are a lot of better sock weight yarns out there.  I don't think I will be buying it again.

Arching Cables Jacket:

I am getting really, really tired of that Venezia project.  I've completed it up to the armpit, but that now means that I have to revise the sleeve instructions and math just wasn't in the agenda for this weekend.  Instead, I started another, quicker, more gratifying project that I could start without whipping out the calculator. 

The pattern was featured in the Fall 2010 Interweave Knits and was written by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark.  It has a really cool construction.  You start with the cabled belt and knit that flat, then pick up stitches for the upper chest and shoulders section and when you finish that, pick up stitches for the lower "peplum" section on the other side.  One of the coolest features is that it's a drop-shoulder design, meaning I didn't do any decreases in the shoulder--it drops straight down, as it were--but the outer section is knit on the bias.  So that as it drapes off your shoulder, the stitches face down, as they were meant to.  Very thoughtful design.

The yarn is Valley Yarns Stockbridge--alpaca/wool.  This is WEBS's own discount brand.  I'd never used it before, but have had good experience with WEBS, so I thought I would give it a try.  I like it.  The price is good, it's warm and not scratchy, and the color is a really lovely dark green with a slight hint of blue.  It's a good alternative to Knit Picks if you're looking for some alpaca.  I would buy this again for sure.

My favorite part of this project, though, was using my new Knit Picks harmony interchangeables.  I looooove them.  I couldn't put the project down--hence why it only took me 6 days!  It takes some finesse (and an elastic band) to get them to screw in all the way, but they're so worth it.  I love the pointy tips, the smooth wood, the flexible cables, the pretty colors.  Really, there isn't anything I don't like.  Best $85 I ever spent on a knitting item.

For my next series of projects, I plan to hunker down and put some more work into that danged Venezia and, for sanity's sake, start working on little projects for the Facebook pay it forward thing.  I owe 4 projects and I've only started one of them.   Uh-oh...



1 comment:

Carly said...

Both are lovely, as always. :-)