Friday, 16 September 2011

Early Autumn Knitting

Colours of the season are.... orange and purple! It's not exactly the Pantone prediction, but close enough. Nothing exactly new for me - I've already got quite a bit of orange in my wardrobe, but not so much purple, so it's a good area for expansion. And a nice change from my usual green (a colour obsession which lately has been morphing into mustard).

I started knitting a purple Whisper cardigan way back in June but had to set it aside because of my fiber rule (no wool knitting in summer). Also our new kitten went absolutely mad for the Madelinetosh laceweight and wouldn't allow me to get any knitting done. I was able to make excellent progress in Paris after I finished my last summer project (which I just have to quickly share here, even though it's not purple or orange).

Gretel by Julie Weisenberger in Habu painted cotton gima

I'm calling it Mustard and Mayo. I think it turned out brilliantly, right down to the way the speckling intensifies toward the top. The pattern only takes two skeins of cotton gima, so is more affordable than most Habu projects. And so quick and elegant. I'll have to make at least one more.

I managed to complete Whisper upon my return from Paris, in spite of kitten attacks. The pattern is ingenious. You start with the sleeves, pick up the neckline and waist in the round, do a couple of inches in rib, then bind off the neckline and continue the lower back until you reach the length you want. Absolutely no seaming or finishing anywhere.

I made some modifications - I did a provisional cast on for the sleeve so I could make them longer using any yarn left over after everything else was done. I did the back about an inch longer, then returned to knitting the sleeves. After adding some length I decided I didn't like the bell sleeves that much. Not wanting to go back and completely redo the sleeves, I decided to try a puff sleeve. I k2tog all the way around the sleeve and continued for a couple of inches of rib (mirroring the rib on the collar). I like it!

The designer offers this pattern with a modified sleeve here.

I used a deep-purple-verging-to-black Madelinetosh lace, which unfortunately doesn't photograph well in my dark, tiny flat. Madelinetosh is gorgeous, albeit a bit pricey. Fortunately this cardigan took only one skein of laceweight.

The other Fall project I've just finished is another Rose Red hat by Ysolda Teague. I've already made five or six of these - so many I've lost count - but I just can't stop! It is the most satisfying hat pattern ever, incorporating both lace and cable. For best results use angora. I usually use Orkney Angora St Magnus, which is 50% angora, 50% wool. But when I was in Paris I couldn't resist a tiny bit of yarn shopping, and I picked up some insanely fuzzy Anny Blatt Angora Super, which is a sneeze-inducing 70% angora, 30% wool. In orange, naturalement.

To complete the orange and purple theme, from Galleries Lafayette I bought a purple wool hat and floral wool cowl in khaki and orange with hints of yellow and purple. As you can see, even Bon Marché approves of the colour combination.

Any resemblance to Jack Nicholson's Joker are unintentional and incidental. I would never have even thought of this if it weren't for my husband. Thanks Richard.

Personally, I think he is stylin. Throw a bit of green in there and we're done.
Oh yeah, I forgot, his hair. More on the Joker's evolving looks at the IGN website.