Friday, August 31, 2012

Cute Yarn for a Short Term Relationship

by Kelly

What's not to love about yarn? Especially a bunch of yarn piled in a heap. The different colors and textures and personalities of the yarn complement and contrast each other, and all sorts of unlikely relationships start to seem like a good idea. Kind of like a really good party, only without all the drunken shouting and slamming of car doors in the alley afterward. And maybe without a Häagen-Dazs splurge when the relationship falls apart, although a botched crochet design can be a heartbreaking event.

But let's put this somewhat strained analogy aside for a second, and ask what can you do if you don't have a stash of yarn to act as inspiration? Well, you could let a yarn company put one together for you. Specifically, I'm thinking of Lion Brand's cute new collection, Bonbons Yarn, which I ran across, as is the way of the Internet, when I was looking for something else entirely.

via LionBrand

These sweet, tiny packages are available in cotton, acrylic, and metallic, depending on which color collection you choose. The yarn itself is sport and DK weight, and each skein is only 28 yards long, so these are the perfect short term relationship for those of us who love color and are looking for relief from a larger project that's giving us trouble.

Speaking of larger projects, I'm seaming the Mary Maxim Kimono at the moment, and that is proving to be lots of fun. More on that in the Monday post. Right now, a tiny smiling amigurumi figure might be on the agenda. Even though I don't have any Bonbons in my stash.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Renaissance Tunic

So, Kelly, now that you are perfecting your hand knit clothing, I found this pattern for you to try. Might be a little hot for the Southern faire, but could it be any hotter than all those layers of clothes! The pattern is at

Monday, August 27, 2012

"Beautiful Lace" Translated from Fancy Work Recreations

by Kelly

Check out this little bit of lace that I knit from a pattern in an old ebook titled Fancy Work Recreations. The name of the pattern is 'Beautiful Lace'.

Of course, this is supposed to be knitted as actual lace, using "No. 50-70 linen thread and No. 18 steel needles." But I thought that trying out a vintage pattern that uses old abbreviations, with no picture for guidance, and doing this for the first time with tiny thread and needles, would be just asking for trouble. Especially lace. Grrr...I'm feeling tense just thinking about it. So I used what I had on hand, which was worsted weight yarn and size 8 (US) needles. It's still very pretty, isn't it?

If you're curious to see what else the book holds, check out this link to the book on the Internet Archive. Look over to the top  left of the page you land on, and you'll see a 'read online' link. And don't worry, the book's not just for knitters - there are many beautiful crochet lace patterns too.

And since I had to translate the old fashioned abbreviations used in the pattern, I thought I would save someone else a little trouble, and post a more modern version here. I won't even attempt to match the original gauge - this will only be the written instructions.

I've done the best I could to troubleshoot the pattern, but if you find any typos or mistakes, please let us know in the comments.

The increases and decreases are sometimes staggered, so don't worry if they don't follow each other immediately. But a quick way to check, if you think you've made a mistake, is to count the stitches when you've finished a row - the total should always be 28.

Beautiful Lace

CO 28 stitches and knit across

1. Sl1, k2, (yo, k2tog)twice, yo, k1, yo, k2, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k2, (yo, k2tog) three times, k2

2. Purl this and all even rows

3. Sl1, k2, (yo, k2tog)twice, yo, k3, yo, k2, k2tog, k2, k2tog, k2, (yo, k2tog) three times, k2

5. Sl1, k2, (yo, k2tog)twice, yo, k5, yo, k2, k2tog, k2tog, k2, (yo, k2tog)three times, k2

7. Sl1, k2tog, k1, (yo, k2tog)twice, yo, k2, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k2, yo, k1, (yo, k2tog)twice, yo, k3

9. Sl1, k2tog, k1, (yo, k2tog)twice, yo, k2, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k2, yo, k1, (yo, k2tog)twice, yo, k3

11. Sl1, k2tog, k1, (yo, k2tog)twice, yo, k2, k2tog, k2tog, k2, yo, k5, (yo, k2tog)twice, yo, k3

12. Don't forget to purl the last row!

repeat above 11 rows for pattern.

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