Arts Festival Season: New Knits

After the slow-moving projects of summer, I’m back at top speed preparing for my neighborhood Arts Festival in November. I’m working on some new items that are quick to knit and I think will do well in that affordable “snap decision” price range. I liked the brioche knitting technique that I learned earlier this year and decided that it would be a perfect match for some winter ear warmer headbands – and let me use up the smaller skeins of yarn that I still have left in my stash, even after my summer pinwheel circle stash-busting project. I can make these at a rate of about one a day, so I’ve been able to make a bunch and have fun with the color!

Here’s my pattern:

US4 12 in circular needle / 2 colors worsted or DK weight yarn

Row 1: In color A, cast on 91sts w/ longtail method (make sure it is relaxed so it will have some stretch)
Row 2: k tog first and last stitch to join, p1, k1 to end
Row 3: k1, p1 rib
Row 4a: In color B, start brioche section, working the knit stitches in color B
Row 4b: In color A, continue broiche section, working the purl stitches in color A

Work paired brioche rows a total of 11-14 times depending on desired width of headband.

Note: When working brioche in the round, your row start will creep backward a stitch each pass. You will need to “catch” up the starting point of the row a few times in the process by working the stitches to the starting point of the row and then moving them back to the other needle to work the other half of the brioche row pairing to the row starting point. Make sure you are back the the beginning of your row in the last broiche row pair to finish.

Finish row 1: After the last “b” brioche row  is worked in color A, continue in k1, p1 rib in color A
Finish row 2: k1, p1 rib
BO: Bind of in the Italian method to create a springy edge, be sure to keep it relaxed to match the CO row.

Enjoy!

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Things We Like: Station to Station

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Masterminded by video artist and multi-tasker Doug Aitken, Station to Station puts art, music, food, and performance on a train and shares it with the world via happenings at station stops across the country. With a mix of international icons and local treasures appearing at various points along the way, you never know quite what you’re going to get from, uh, station to station. Luckily there’s a comprehensive website that keeps you informed while chronicling the action for those of us who cannot attend. Actually, though, you could say that the website itself is a participant as it grows and morphs and changes each day with more content than one can rightfully digest in one viewing.

Basically, it’s like the circus coming to town. But a lot more fun and a little less scary.

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Knit Progress: Short Socks & Sweater Jacket

Its been a while since I posted any knitting projects, part of the reason being that this summer has turned out to be busier than expected, and the other being that I took on my first full-fledged sweater project.

To back-track a bit, I finished up my summer sock diversion with the short Mermaid sock pattern by BarGie using some Austermann Murano Lace in the blacks/grays color way. I was able to get the color transitions to match on both socks, which was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed making these, so I decided to modify them with a different stitch pattern down the middle to use up the rest of the skein. After experimenting with several patterns, I ended up with this leaf motif. While I love the yarn, it isn’t the best choice to show off the stitch patterns. Lesson learned.

I wasn’t sure what to work on next, so with the encouragement of my friend and constant knitting companion Ashli, I decided it was time to tackle a garment that took more than one skein of yarn to make. Luckily it was also around my birthday, so I got the perfect book to get me started: Knit, Swirl! by Sandra McIver. I had admired the coat patterns and liked their relative simplicity.  I decided to go with Forest Fiesta because I liked the shape and the DK yarn weight which would let me use the Austermann Murano Lace to its best effect. I chose the red color way because it has a lot of beautiful variation when looked at in detail, but overall gives the impression of a solid color.

I was happy to find that it is an extremely easy pattern to knit – the only thing a bit challenging is moving the yarn around the large circular needle in the beginning. I also liked the fact that it knits up in one piece with just one large seam to sew together to finish the piece. The Murano Lace yarn created a light fabric that contrasts nicely with the voluminous nature of the sweater. There are some other beautiful variations in the book that I may try in the future.

My next few projects will be creating some new pieces to sell at our neighborhood arts festival in November. I’ll be glad to work on some quick pieces again.