Wednesday, October 26, 2011

FO : tea leaves cardigan

It's done! Actually it was done almost a week ago, but it took me a long time to block, sew buttons and then drag Iain out for some photos in front of the Inca wall on the other side of town. 

Hey look, it's my standard awkward sweater pose! 

I blazed through this sweater because I desperately need another sweater out here in Ollanta, and I can already tell this is a sweater I'll wear all the time (though maybe not here, because something about life in this town thrashes your clothes, and this sweater is too pretty to be thrashed). The pattern was very easy to follow, and  I made very little adjustments to the pattern, just omitting the increases under the arms and knitting at a very slightly tighter gauge to get a slightly more fitted sweater. I also added button holes all the way down, as you can see - I like the fastened at the top look, but I think it'll get more wear through the winter this way.

I really loved everything about using Codex by Sanguine Gryphon (starting with the colorway name - On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl) and am holding my breath to see how it looks after a few wearings. I love single ply yarn, and could easily see this becoming my go-to such yarn for sweaters. The color is difficult to describe, but is absolutely gorgeous. I was a lazy knitter and did not switch skeins, but I think I got away with it? 

Much as I love this sweater, I can't help but feel that the Inca wall steals the show in these photos, because really, how cool is this wall?

Raveled here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

WIP : tealeaves

Current wip of the moment is a Tea Leaves cardigan in Sanguine Gryphon Codex. Finishing it has become something of an obsession, so I'm actually much further along than this photo from earlier in the week - I've also done the button bands and most of one sleeve. It's nothing new for me to become unreasonably fixated on finishing a project, but this time around I think it's mainly because I only have one real sweater here in Ollantaytambo (I did *not* pack wisely), and I'm desperate for something warm to wear! So here's hoping it comes out nice, because no matter how it looks, I'm going to be wearing it all the time anyway. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

FO: (late) midsummer mitts

Another test knit, though I am being woefully late in posting this. This is a super cute pattern by 
Jess of Sushi Pie, which used less than skein of Manos de Uruguay Silk Blend (way less - I actually made three of this glove, because the first was too big!) Though the pattern is only written in one size, I went down to size 4 needles for the entire thing to get a hand-warmer that fits perfectly, and would be perfect for times like right now, when I'm typing in a freezing cafe and wishing I'd brought these along. Anyway, if you like leafy things, you should check these out!

Raveled here

Sunday, October 9, 2011

holy knitted batman, batman!

As promised! Actually, I thought he was a ninja when I bought him, but I'm okay with him being Batman. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

a weaving lesson

Last Tuesday, I got to go up to a nearby village to take a very simple weaving lesson from the Weaver's Cooperative with whom our NGO works. Being tied into a backstrap loom and trying to weave a bracelet was definitely a new experience, as was learning a new skill from someone without actually talking with them (the women spoke mostly Quechua, not that my rusty Spanish is up to the task of a weaving lesson). The woman teaching me probably wove virtually all of the first bracelet for me - it was only early on in the second one that I finally caught on and managed to do it myself.

As you can see, most of the preparation was done by the weavers rather than us (the weaver determines the pattern when she sets up the loom), which means I can't unfortunately do this on my own, especially since I suspect this is the most difficult part. I had fun watching, though: 

They make it look so easy! 

I got so carried away taking photos that I don't actually have any of my own sad bracelet, which I'm OK with, because it's not very pretty - my friend's, above, is much nicer!  Still, it was really fun once I got into the rhythm of it, and since part of my volunteer work involves selling the handicrafts made by these women, I was especially happy that I finally got a glimpse of how it works - not to mention a newfound appreciation for the work that goes into it! I'd like to try doing this on my own someday, but I think I'll need well more than the heavily supervised hour and a half I've had so far. I'm thinking this might be helpful ...

Also, excitingly, there were women spinning yarn everywhere. 

So that's here! More soon, hopefully! In the meantime, because the month when you have next to no internet is the best time to do things like this, I've joined Twitter under @wayfaringknittr (there wasn't enough room for an extra e, which annoys me to no end, but, oh well), so, feel free to add me if you're around :) 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

FO: boe

This was a test knit for Anke, whose classic, elegant sweater patterns I have long coveted on Ravelry.  This was the first time I was ever so bold as to volunteer myself as a test knitter, though - shyness aside, I also spent the last month moving myself to a remote mountaintop in the Andes - but I'm so happy I did, because this sweater is gorgeous. I love everything about it - the open, airy gauge, the asymmetry, the floppy neck (which looked better when I first blocked it, but got wrinkled before these photos, in the doorway of our homestay, were taken). 

Though Anke's prototype used a pretty linen yarn, I knit my Boe with less than two skeins of madelinetosh Merino Light, on massive size US 9 needles. There are a few odd bits where I'm not sure I did the short rows correctly, but nothing too obvious. Which is good, because though Ollantaytambo may be too cold, this sweater is perfect for springs back home, so I know it'll get a lot of wear :) I'm not totally sure when this pattern will appear on Ravelry, but when it does, I highly, highly recommend it - I already want to make myself another one in black.

Raveled here

Monday, October 3, 2011

Machu Picchu and an FO!

We are back in our small Andean mountain town after a weekend at Machu Picchu! It was a bit of a last minute decision to go, but I'm so glad we did - we totally lucked out with the weather, and had an awesome time. 

Also, possibly less excitingly, I was able to finish these Toasty handwarmers on the train to Aguas Calientes, which meant I could wear them the next day before the sun came out and clouds lifted over the ruins. 

The pattern: I used the Toasty pattern only a starting point for the length, but cast on only 30 and then did a modified thumb gusset as follows (the same for both hands):
k15, PM, m1, PM, k15.
k one round.
k to M, sm, M1R, k1, M1L, sm, k to end of round.
k one round.
k to M, sm, k1, MIR, k to 1 stitch before M, MIL, k1, sm, k to end of round.
k one round.
Repeat the previous two rows until there are 11 stitches between the markers. Knit one more round even after the final increase, then, on the next round, slip all thumb stitches to scrap yarn, and CO 2 more stitches using backwards CO.
k one round.
k to 1 stitch before the new CO stitches, SSK, K2tog, k to end of round (and then k to desired hand length - in my case, 3.5 inches above the thumb).
For the thumb, I picked up 2 stitches from the gap, then knit them together on the next round; and worked 9 rounds altogether before binding off.
I'm quite happy with the way these came out! I got slowed down knitting these because I was also working on a test knit, but once I sat down to finish these, they went incredibly fast. They were probably the most simple pattern I'd worked on in ages, and I found it incredibly satisfying to have such a quick, pretty knit.

I was also insanely excited to use the yarn, which was a handspun DK by Pigeonroof Studios - I had it with me for two weeks before I finally had time to use it - I actually put it in my carry on bag just in case my checked bag got lost (this happens to me like, one out of every five times I fly, I swear!) and I really love it. The photo doesn't really do the colors justice - it ranges from coffee browns to more black-cherry-browns to gold, and is so soft and pretty, I can't wait to wear these more! Fortunately, Ollantaytambo is freezing cold, especially at night, so I have plenty of opportunity.

Raveled here