Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Holiday Knitting

The holidays are upon us, and despite your religious slant this time of year, there's a good chance gifts will be exchanged, and that's no different for me. Here's some project that are on my needles right now, some will hopefully be done in time to be given out as gifts.

Market Bag!

I love this thing. I have to admit, I was nervous using linen for knitting considering how hard it is on the hands, but I'm so glad I decided to go for it. This is a Christmas gift for myself, and I'm so excited for how it's turning out. I love how easy the bag is to construct as well. It's knit flat, folded in half and the sides are seamed together forming the bag. Then I just knit the handle, and attach! Viola! How simple is that? I also like how sturdy the bag will be. Since it's linen, there will be very little stretching of the fabric, and once I wash the finished product, it will soften up quite a bit. 

I'm using 2 skeins of Louet Euroflax Sport Weight in the Charcoal colorway. The yarn itself was a splurge and over half of my Christmas budget that I had set aside to buy myself things with. The pattern is a free Ravelry download. The pattern was created by Vicki Square, author of some awesome knitting books; Knit Kimono, 

Folk Bags: 30 Knitting Patterns and Tales from Around the World, and Lace Style, to name a few and I highly recommend checking out her work. 

The 2 skeins of yarn

Halfway done with knitting the body of the bag.

Next up is what I'm calling my Vintage Loxley. This pattern is another one of Stephen West's brilliant creations. The construction itself is quite remarkable, and I believe that anybody can make this hat if they have the basics of knitting under their belt. The hood is created first, using garter stitch of all things. Stephen makes use of short rows to add some shaping, and a build-in Icord boarder on the edges for a more polished looking piece. After, stitches are picked up on the side of the hood, and the back is knit in the round to create the back. Clever decreases create an oval shape and give a really cool look to the piece. Once that's done, it's just a matter of knitting the scarf part of the Loxley and finishing it up!

Now, you might be wondering why I'm calling this my Vintage Loxley? Answer is pretty simple. The yarn I'm using is 3 skeins of Berroco Vintage in the ever so descriptive colorway, 5107 Cracked Pepper. It's a nice ash grey color and I think it'll be neutral enough to work with whatever I happen to be wearing. Something that surprised me about this yarn though, it's 50% acrylic, 40% wool and 10% nylon. For how soft and warm this yarn is, I was very surprised how little natural fibers were in it! I have to admit, the yarn was a little splity, but that was also my knitting needles' fault. The points weren't very tapered, and thus not very conducive to knitting with this type of yarn. The pattern is available through Ravelry or through the Westknits website for $6. 

The finished hood. Need to work on the scarf part


What it will theoretically look like when completed.
What else is on my needles. Hmmm, well I'm still working on my Beekeeper's Quilt. I haven't completed any more hexipuffs since my last post, but I have received some new yarn! 

There they are! Pretty, huh? Here's the yarns and their corresponding colors.

KnitPicks -- kettle-dyed spruce, rouge, kettle dyed jay, and a hand-dyed orange (I think the orange is 6 grams) 
Sock it to me harlequin (7.5 grams) 
Regia bamboo colors 
Opal Neon color 1930 
Cascade Heritage Handpainted color 9872 
Patons Kroy Socks stripes in sailor stripe 
Patons FX in camo colors

I can't wait to start making more hexipuffs. I'm having a little trouble getting a uniform size with my hexipuffs, which is why I've slowed down production on them. I really do need to figure out how to make them all the same size if this quilt is going to be a success. 

While this next thing isn't technically on my needles yet, it will be today, since the pattern for the first Westknits Shawl Club and corresponding Knit-A-Long (herein referred to as a KAL) is released today! The pattern for this month is called Sharktooth and it's beautiful. I'll have a post specifically about the Shawl Club in the coming days, but for now here's a picture of the design Stephen West's latest creation, the Sharktooth Shawl!

I have some other things on my needles right now, but those are super secret presents and I don't want them knowing about them just yet. So for now, I'm keeping my lips sealed. ^_~

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