A Tale of 1.25 Blankets – Stash-Busting Sock (Part 5)

 

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Left: the first version of the blanket. Right: the second incarnation.

 

For all the posts in this series, you can go HERE!

This post isn’t really a Hack post, it’s more about sharing insights – OK, it’s really just a project update. I’m not usually into sharing the ins and outs and ups and downs of making things, but this particular project involves my ‘creative process’, and I know that some people find it a slightly mysterious state that they’d like some insight into, and I’m happy to share.

I think when we last left off ,I was rolling along and had figured out how many rows I needed to work each day to get the blanket done by the end of the summer. I also had an idea about my colour distribution, and basically, I thought I was off to the races. Hahahahahaha! The best laid plans … after working about twelve inches I found, despite all my planning, I didn’t like my blanket.

1. Too Wide

I had overestimated the size I really wanted, it was working up to be about a queen size, and I just wanted a throw. Also, the rows were taking FOREVER! Part of the problem might have been the fabric’s natural stretchiness once was worked up on a larger scale (the stitch is very stretchy in the fingering weight merino wool), but I think I just chose the wrong finished size.

So I started again, from scratch. This time I chained 242 stitches to make a blanket narrower, it is working up to about 51″ wide.  To get an accurate dimension you need to measure it on a flat, hard surface, like a table or the floor. You won’t get an accurate measurement on a bed or sofa. I guess I did have a HACK for you, after all!

2. Hated the Colour

Everyone else liked it, and the colours looked gorgeous together, but I didn’t dig it. My rainbow system (above left) was VERY rainbowy, and the prospect of that much rainbow in a blanket was a bit too rainbow-brite for me. The prospect of a queen sized rainbow blanket was too much for my delicate aesthetic sensibilities. It was also kind of boring for me to work, it was very predictable, andthe harmony and redundancy weren’t working for me.

My new ‘system’ is simpler but subjective. I’m alternating warm (red, orange, yellow) and cool (green, blue, purple) colours. I’m also alternating light and dark colours, bright and muted colours – basically trying to create a contrast between colours. I like to create a tension between colours. Do you remember the Kandinsky painting at the start of the movie Six Degrees of Separation? It was a double sided painting; one side was an expressive, chaotic style, and the other more controlled. Well, I’ve always appreciated a graphic, controlled design aesthetic, but my soul as an artist is in the chaos camp.

People often ask me if I like their colour choice, and I always answer “What I like doesn’t matter.” This isn’t just a tactful way to respond to a colour combination that turns my stomach, it’s the truth, my preference is completely irrelevant. I don’t have to work with your colours, and I don’t have to live with them. My job isn’t to tell you what I like, my job is to help you find what YOU enjoy, what looks good on you, and which colours are complimentary and work well with your project. That said, if you like what I like, I’m more than happy to share!

Oh, BTW, I don’t weave in the ends until the end, because as you can see, it ain’t done until it’s DONE, and trying to rip back work when you’ve woven in the ends is a special kind of hell. Another Mini-Hack!

Conclusion

So I’m back on track …. sort of. My ‘schedule’ was totally shot to hell, but I’m really enjoying the project now, so I’m happy. As for the creative process, it’s kind of a misnomer. It’s really more of a progression, an evolution with fits and starts, giant strides and dead ends. Setbacks aren’t failures, just diversions, and sometimes they can be extremely fruitful and get you where you need to go.

 

 

Granny Stripe Blanket Aug 3 COMBO

STORE HOURS August Long Weekend

knitting on dock BLOG

We will be Closed for the Long Weekend on Sunday August 6th and Monday August 7th. Our afternoon Stitch ‘n Bitch will be held on Tuesday August 8th, from 12 pm to 4 pm.

Long Weekend Hours

Friday August 4      11am – 6pm

Saturday August 5   11am – 6pm

Sunday August 6     CLOSED

Monday August 7    CLOSED  (Stitch n Bitch with Liane is moved to Tuesday)

Tuesday August 8    11 am – 6 pm  (Stitch ‘n Bitch with Liane 12 – 4pm)

NEW Books & Magazines

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Pom Pom Quarterly, Issue 21 Summer 2017

See the projects online

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pompom 5th anniversary cover BLOG

Pom Pom Quarterly, Issue 1 (Anniversary Edition)

See the projects online

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Laine no 2 spring summer 2017 BLOG

Laine: Nordic Knit Life, Issue 2

See the projects online

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Rib no 2 ss 2017 BLOG

Rib Magazine No 2

See the projects online

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Interpretations no 4 cover BLOG

Interpretations, vol 4

See the projects online

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Take heart Cover BLOG

Take Heart

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sequence knitting cover

Sequence Knitting

The concept of Sequence Knitting is simple: take a sequence of stitches and repeat them again and again. Depending on how you repeat them, different fabrics can be created. While a few of these fabrics are familiar, many are new to the knitting world.

Beginning with 1-row patterns, the book delves into the possibilities of this technique, expanding into methods for creating complex designs that can be worked back and forth, in the round, or in shapes like triangles. The book includes stitch dictionaries with over 190 fabrics, many of which are new and reversible, as well as over 40 patterns for simple and elegant accessories.

See projects online

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TUPPERWARE Party!

tupperware

Knit-O-Matic Tupperware Party!

What

Millennials are bringing classics back, including Tupperware Parties! If you didn’t grow up in the 70s & 80s you may not be as familiar with Tupperware brand products as Baby Boomers & Gen-Xers. Tupperware is known for extremely high-quality kitchen products that WORK. Tupperware is NOT a disposable product, you only buy a Tupperware product once, they last for life and come with alifetime warranty. They’re safe, BPA free, and are made from virgin ingredients (no recycled plastics which can leech chemicals).

Tupperware is not marketed like regular commercial products. They don’t sink tons of money into advertising, marketing and corporate deals with retailers (yup, manufacturers pay for shelf space in large retailers). Instead, they sell through individual sales reps – they’ve been empowering and offering women career opportunities since their inception.  Before the advent of the internet, Tupperware was historically sold through parties held by sales reps. While I love shopping online, as a retailer I appreciate that the human element is special. Sales people don’t just want to sell you something, we have the knowledge and experience to help you get what you NEED, and do it fast. I like my apple gadgets, but the human brain is still my favourite type of computer.

If you do remember Tupperware, you might think of it as something suitable for families. But they have lots of options for singletons and aparmtment & condo dwellers.

Why

Excellent Question! A knitting and food storage isn’t really a natural pairing. Well, it’s a short-long story. Short version: everyone needs to eat.

The Long Version: a few years ago my mom went to a Tupperware Party and a friend’s house and bought me a lunch container for my salads (I’m a salad person). When my mom gave it to me I thought it was cute, but after using it continuously for at least a year I swear by the thing! It’s perfectly designed, everything is just the right size for a lunch salad, it never leaks, washes easily, and still looks like it did the day I got it. At the same party, my mother got herself some special containers to keep fruits & veggies fresh, and after a year of use she swears by them! My mom is a cynic, so I figured they had been properly vetted, and as a salad person I wanted my leafy greens to last longer. So when I found out that an old friend of mine was selling Tupperware, I thought “Great! We can have a little retro fun, throw a party in the slow season, and I’ll buy myself some containers.” And then the special containers went on sale …. there was a 2 for 1, and my brother’s birthday is coming up, soooo …. I bought them. AND THEY ARE AWESOME! I Love them so much I LURV them! When they arrived at the store my assistant, Liane, looked at my containers longingly, she told me a sorrowful story about a nefarious roommate stealing her Tupperware …. so instead of saving the second set for my brother, I gave them to Liane. And SHE LOVES THEM!

Anyway, it’s a slow time of year, and I need to buy some quality containers for my freezer (I’m clutzy, I drop everything, and all of the other brands of containers always shatter), I can’t be the only person who could use a few kitchen solutions, so I figured, let’s have a Tupperware Party in the store! The Tupper-people will bring us some food, show us some stuff, I’ll buy my freezer containers, and we’ll hang out & knit!

NOTE: We do NOT sell Tupperware. We are NOT Tupperware consultants, we will NOT be selling Tupperware. If you want to connect with a Tupperware consultant I refer you to our Tupper-people, Lisa & Curtis.

When

Saturday July 29, 1pm – 2:30pm (we can go later if we want)

Where

HERE! Knit-O-Matic, 1382 Bathurst St, Toronto Ontario

RSVP

RSVP is completely necessary, but it’ll help us estimate how much food to bring.Please let us know if you have any deathly food allergies, and if there is anything specific you want our Tupper-people to bing so you can see it in person (like, I don’t know, the ice shaver or the pressure cooker): RSVP HERE 

Can’t Make It?

Can’t Make it but still want in on the fun? No problem, Tupperware has a full e-commerce website, you can shop online HERE. (I think the shipping might be a little bit more when you buy online – when you buy in person through our Tupperware couple, Lisa & Curtis, it’s only $3.95 per order)

ASHES & KNIT HACK: Making Marls

 

 

Ashes

I just ran across this new pattern on Ravelry, Ashes, and knew that it’s simple, easy to wear look would appeal. I mean, can’t you see yourself wearing this just about everywhere and every day? It’s the kind of sweater you can make several versions of, one for each season in a different type of yarn. One thought that came immediately to mind was that this sweater would look amazing knitted up as a marled colour (see all about that below).

Size

NOTE: this pattern is designed to be quite oversized. Before you choose a size to make you should check the finished dimensions below, you may want to make a smaller size than normal.

  • XS (S, M1, M2, L, XL, XXL)
  • finished bust circumference:  46.5 (48.5, 51, 53, 55, 57, 58.5)” or 116.5 (121.5, 127, 132, 137.5, 142.5, 146) cm
  • Sample is size XS worn with 14.5” (36.5 cm) positive ease at bust

Materials

  • Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino: 3(3, 3, 4, 4, 4) skeins in each of TWO colours [a total of 6(6, 6, 8, 8, 8) skeins]
  • 3.25mm/US3, 24” (60 cm) AND 32” (80 cm) circular needles, AND Double pointed needles
  • 3.5 mm/US4, 24” (60 cm) AND 32” (80 cm) circular needle, AND Double pointed needles
  • Stitch holders or waste yarn
  • stitch markers
  • tapestry needle
  • Pattern

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Forester from Brooklyn Tweed: Great example of a marled knit.

Knit Hack: Making Marls

marled colorway is usually created by holding two strands of different colours together at the same time. Above is a great example of a marled knit, Forester by Brooklyn Tweed.

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Marled Yarn: Misti Alapca Chunky in a marked colourway.

You can also buy yarn that creates a marled effect (see above), it will be an equal combination of at least two colours, by sometimes there are more.

Fibre Texture

One important thing to consider when knitting up your own mark is the texture of the fibre. A marled textile works best if the fibres stick together and ‘blend’ a bit. The fuzzier the yarn, the better the marl effect. Yarns with a smooth surface don’t blend well. I think Ashes it would be awesome worked up with a single ply laceweight yarn like Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino. It has a halo to it that will make the two strands blend together almost seamlessly.

Malabrigo Lace COMBO Marls

Colour Combinations

High Contrast

Most people think of a marled colour as a high contrast and obvious look, like a black & cream (195 Black & 64 Natural) or black & light grey  (195 Black & 9 Polar). You can also experiment with something a bit more edgy, like a tan & muted pink (like 18 Applewood & 60 Dusty).

Low Contrast

Another option is a lower contrast, which creates a more subtle effect. Putting two reds together would create a subtle depth of colour (like 44 Geranio and 94 Bergamota), or a bright red & pink would be a vibrant combination (like 94 Bergamota & 184 Shocking Pink). Blues look great combined together (like 186 Buscando Azul and 26 Continental, or 27 Bobby Blue & 98 Tuareg). If you’re a purple person try 34 Orchid & 97 Cuarzo for a subtle, pretty purple.

Variegated

If you want something variegated, but the original colourway is a bit too much, try pairing it with one of the dominant colours in the colourway (like 242 Intenso & 44 Geranio, 157 Amoroso & 24 Vermillion, 228 Snowbird & 94 Bergamota, or 9 Polar Morn & 622 SFO Sky).

 

Ashes Marled COMBO

Photos: Misti Alpaca, grasflecken/Isabell Kraemer

 

 

 

NEW 9″ Circulars for Socks

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Chiaogoo 9″(23cm) Circular Needles

You’ve been asking for them (I think because of avideo tutorial), so I ordered 9″(23cm) circular needles, and they have finally arrived! Personally, I like a 12″, but some people have a hard time and need something smaller – sorry, couldn’t help myself!)

PROJECT Shoals Tank

 

Shoals Tank

My friend Rosie just finished the Shoals Tank last week and it is BEAUTIFUL! I’m not normally a lace person, but the texture is absolutely gorgeous, it only enhances the already stunning Quince & Co Sparow (on SALE until the end of July)!

The tank is worked in the round from the bottom up, the back and front are divided at armhole and worked flat. The straps are joined at the shoulder using the three-needle bind off (easy peasy)! The A-line shape is achieved by using different needle sizes, which is great, less for you to think about.

Size

  • Bust 30½ (33¼, 36, 38½, 41¼, 44, 46½, 49¼, 52, 54½)” [77.5, 84.5, 91, 98, 104, 112, 118, 125, 132, 138) cm]
  • Size shown is 33¼” 84 cm worn with ¾” 2 cm negative ease.

Materials

  • Quince & Co Sparow: 5 (5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8) skeins
  • 32″ circular needles: 2.25/US1,  2.75/US2,  3.25/US3,  and 3.5mm/US4
  • Pattern

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