A standard long-tail cast-on results in a nice row of purl bumps along the reverse side. Some years ago I figured out how to do a purled long-tail cast-on, where the purl bumps appear on the side facing the knitter.
For Quadrille, which has ribbing immediately after the cast-on, I used alternating purl and standard cast-on stitches in the opposite order from the first row (purl for every knit, standard for every purl). When I turned to start the first row, the purl stitches appeared exactly where I wanted them.
The alternating cast-on would be perfect for the cuffs of the Van Halen knee-highs, the mock turtleneck of the sleeveless Summer Party Top, the Meandros Hat or Mittens, or the Gecko Hat. A good tutorial of this technique can be found at Purlwise.
This is Lightyears DK in the colorway Hercules Swirling. In fact, this is the early stages of Valerie DiPietro's Quadrille. But I want to talk about the yarn.
The first thing I noticed about Lightyears DK was its incredible softness. The second thing was its roundness, which is a strange thing to stand out in a yarn. I know most yarns are round, but this yarn stays round---is in a way firmly round while still being squishy and compactable. This leads to great stitch definition, which makes it a fitting yarn for this corset, or any pattern using cables.
Alcidina's cosmos-inspired colors are amazing, too. I chose a rather neutral, light color for my corset, but now that I know how lovely this yarn is I will look into projects that will shine in some of her other colorways, for example, Fantasy Sculpture and Rotten Egg Nebula---or some of the Lightyears fingering weight colors such as Spotlight, Orion Abstract, and A Younger Generation of Galaxies. Her other yarns are also worth a try. If the bases are anything like the quality of Lightyears, I'm sold!
Last night I logged on to Ravelry and found my Dylana pattern had been uploaded! I really love this design and intend to knit one for myself someday.
It's worked top-down using SusieM's contiguous sleeve method. I modified the method slightly to accommodate the wide neckline and to give the shoulders a different arch.
The collar is really clingy and springy, and the cuffs (at the elbow) are frilly without being obtrusive. The A-line shape works wonderfully with wool---the sweater clings to the waist without any decreases, and the hip increases allow the tunic to fit well over jeans.
I love the bottom hem---done without any sewing! I love avoiding sewing on principle, though sewing knit to knit is really almost pleasant.
The yarn is Classy from Dream in Color. It's available in so many yummy hues that it will be hard to choose just one for this sweater. My sample is in Bermuda Teal, a gorgeous head-turning semi-solid blue-green. Mmmmmmm.
I've been working on (and off) Teresa Gregorio's wonderful bonnet, Calavera Catrina from her book Ghosts. Threadpanda generously sent me a skein of Madelinetosh Vintage in the Truly, Madly, Deeply colorway along with the book and I set to work immediately.
I was itching to write about the process, but I settled for doing a masterful job keeping my family in order during our busy months (which curiously enough show no signs of coming to an end). Oh, I did fascinating things like laundry, grocery shopping, and, most impressively, sending my beautiful husband a weekly schedule of who had to be where when so we could divide up the driving. Just . . . no writing.
This enjoyable pattern had a few twists which I needed to work out on the wing. See my project page on Ravelry for the details---recommended if you'll be knitting this design. The bonnet is too small for me, but my daughter was wearing the unadorned version even before I blocked it. There are some truly ingenious elements, and I was delighted to be the recipient of the book on Threadpanda's giveaway. Thanks, Amy!
This arrived in the mail a week ago, but I'm just now getting around to writing about it. It's yarn for my Quadrille bodice from Needles and Artifice!
Three skeins of Alcidina's Lightyears DK in the Hercules Swirling colorway. I was uncertain about the yellowness of the color, but the description assured me it was "tawny" and indeed it's a beautiful blend. Ordering online when you haven't seen the color in person is always risky, but looking at the inspiration photo made me comfortable that I would love the hue. I wasn't wrong.
Incidentally, this photo was taken with the yarn under an Ott-Lite full-spectrum lighting . . . WITH a flash. The color came out much truer than without.
I can't wait to get it wound and start my project. My knitting schedule is pretty crowded, so I don't know how soon I'll be able to cast on, but I admire the yarn every day.
While saving money to order yarn for Quadrille, I knit up this Amplitude stocking. It's a pretty quick knit and I really enjoyed the assembly.
The leg is knit first, vertically (flat), with short rows to shape the calf and thigh, then grafted into a tube. Stitches are then picked up for the toe and cuff. Wonderful!
The yarn is Patons Classic Wool in Sesame, Jade Heather, and Paprika. I've been too busy to actually block the stocking, but since it's been finished for about a week I thought I should go ahead and photograph it. It looks so good and was such a blast to knit I think I'll make another with the Sesame and Jade Heather reversed (I had considered making on Amplitude and one Eccentricity).
I did get gauge in stockinette, but no gauge in pattern was listed and mine is a little loose in the leg and cuff (and my thighs are not exactly slender). You can see where the toe draws in---I guess those purl rows really make a difference!
I plan to put detailed notes about the making of this piece on Ravelry, so if you're planning to knit one (or two) check after Thanksgiving to see whether I've done that yet. There are a couple interesting things about the pattern you should know before you start.
But now I have my Quadrille yarn! Alcidina was really quick to ship and I'm looking forward to getting started on my new bodice. Or my only bodice, as it were.
I'm hosting a knit-a-long of my Little Sock, and every linked project on Ravelry earns its knitter a free pattern from Kangath Knits. One knitter (chosen randomly from all linked projects) will also receive this set of prizes:
Ghosts: historiographies, cultural manifestations, and the knits they've inspired by Teresa Gregorio, pub. canaryknits
This book contains 11 evocative patterns, over 10 pages of full-color photographs, and 20 pages of written material about ghosts. The collection holds together well and includes scarves, mittens, socks, hats, sweaters, and a skirt inspired by apparitions and their celebrations.
There's a lot to like about this book. The patterns are lovely and appropriate, the photographs are artistic yet clear, and the essays are written with enthusiasm for the subject.
The book was thoughtfully organized with all the essays and color photos at the beginning, so knitters could print the patterns without using color ink. Unfortunately for me, I wanted to print the essays and would have appreciated having them in one or two uninterrupted blocks. Color photos of each design could then appear right before or after its pattern.
The essays themselves are written in an approachable, friendly style with occasional forays into more scholarly phraseology. They seem a bit disorganized in form and trajectory, but this may be partially due to the structure of the book (essays first, then patterns). Some of the written material (for example, the "Rules for behaving when you see a spirit" by King James I of England) would have been charming placed between patterns, but I find them disorienting between the more substantial essays.
The patterns are all introduced with short paragraphs explaining the inspirations for their design. Every pattern, whether a sweater or a sock, has a very clear schematic. In some cases beautifully simple technical drawings are included. Also included are lists of abbreviations and resources for techniques which may be unfamiliar.
The suggested yarn is (with only a couple exceptions) easy to find. Weight and yardage are provided throughout, so substitutions are relatively simple in those cases where an indie dyer has changed lines or something similar.
Gregorio has found an impressive amount of variety in her subject, and turned out some truly beautiful designs. The design shown at right is the first one I plan to knit from this book. I'll let you know how it goes, but on first read-through all the patterns look well written (and clearly charted, for those gorgeous cabled designs).
Besides the designs pictured here, there are patterns for a skirt that uses yarn of gradually decreasing weights; a scarf symbolizing the delineations between Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell; an Ectoplasm cowl/hood; the elegant Feathers scarf; mittens depicting hitodama (orbs of light representing a recently departed soul); Uncanny cabled socks; a chullo with lopsided cables; and a wonderful batwing sweater.
Although I had hoped to have this review out for Hallowe'en, it seems just as appropriate to post on All Soul's Day. But I recommend this book for all knitters, whether interested in the supernatural or not. And who knows? The Annotated Bibliography just might inspire you to dig further.
Disclosure: Kangath reviewed her personal copy of Ghosts. Kangath was not compensated for the preceding review. All opinions expressed in the review are the blog author's and are not necessarily the opinions of canaryknits or Teresa Gregorio.
I'm playing fiddle for Always . . . Patsy Cline at the Baton Rouge Little Theater. I don't get to play much fiddle any more, and I'm having a blast. It's an onstage band, and we get to interact with each other and the actors a little. We also do some backup vocals, which I love singing even more than the melody.
We open tomorrow night and run through. If you're in town, come check it out. It's a great show.
Hi! I'm Kangath---
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