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Aug 6, 2018

Geometry

When I was a kid, geometry was one of my favorite classes. In fact, I distinctly recall completing a rather complex project where we were charged with representing a series of geometric shapes in a way that demonstrated our understanding of the underlying mathematical principles.

I used pins and colored string to create swirling, dimensional shapes that impressed my teacher (known for his tough standards) and won me a top grade. This was a very long time ago, and while I've seen similar things since then, at the time it was seen as fresh and unique.

Clearly, my love of textiles and geometry can be traced back to my childhood, so I guess it's no surprise that color, texture and crisp geometric shapes regularly surface in my knitting designs.


All of this is a long way of saying I have another afghan on the needles, and it's moving forward at a steady, satisfying pace. The first strip is finished, and it's patiently waiting in the background while I tackle the next one.



I confess, I'm rather excited by this project. It's fast and easy, a quality I treasure at times like this, when work (and life) are so complicated there's nothing more enticing than a simple, straightforward knit. 

It's also a true stashbuster. I'm using Four Seasons, a lovely cotton-wool blend by Classic Elite, yarn I've held in my stash until the right project came along. This project will put quite a dent in that precious reserve, but it will also move a fair amount of yardage out of stash, which is an ongoing goal.

Finally, I once wrote that in the US, red, white and blue where the true colors of summer, so it seems only fitting to be working on a project that features these iconic colors. And if all goes well and time permits, I may have it completed just in time for Labor Day, the last big blowout of the summer season. We shall see.

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Jul 22, 2018

FO | Rose Gradient Scarf

With the last end woven and a light steam blocking, the rose gradient scarf is officially complete. It's about time, isn't it?!


Luckily, the end result was worth the wait. The 50/50 blend of silk and merino produced a light, fluid fabric that's the perfect weight for year-round wear. 


The fabric is reversible, so while each side is different, both are attractive. In the rolled shot below, you can see the fluted columns on the front (right) and the subtle ribs that decorate the back (left).
Each section is 10 inches long, and the five-stage ombre progresses from magenta to fuchsia and into light pink with marled sections in between to create a smoother transition between colors.


Rose Gradient Scarf
Pattern: In development
Yarn: Helen's Lace Solid (
50% silk/50% wool, Lorna's Laces)
Needles: US 8 (5 mm) and US 9 (5.5 mm)
Size: Narrow
Dimensions: 4 x 50 ins
Yardage: ~400 yards

After some swatching, I opted to carry two strands of lace weight throughout, using a US 9 to work the body of the scarf and a US 8 for the first and last inch to minimize the tendency of handknit scarves to flare at the ends.



I like my scarves on the narrow side, and the 50-inch length is perfect. It's long enough to be worn draped under the collar of a jacket, wrapped multiple times for a cozy cowl-like effect, or folded in half with the ends tucked through the fold. As an added plus, it goes with many of my favorite outfits, and it's the perfect accent for a rich magenta work jacket that's one of my winter staples.

If versatility is the standard for a successful hand knit accessory, this simple scarf is an all-out win. With its subtle texture, reversible stitch, vibrant color and multiple wearing possibilities, I can see this becoming my go-to scarf for work, play and everything in between.

Jul 15, 2018

Slow Mo

Between a rapid series of deadlines and the normal turmoil of life, knitting has been occurring in slow motion. Yes, it's happening, but headway is so gradual you could blink 20 times and not miss a thing. 



In spite of this turtle-like pace, progress has occurred. The fifth and final light rose section has been finished and bound off. 



Now, I'm weaving the ends at the color transitions and prepping the scarf for blocking, which means the end is in sight.



The fabric is light and drapey even in its unblocked state, so I couldn't resist. I had to take a few minutes, pat it into place, and admire how the marling technique helps this five-stage gradient fade smoothly from solid magenta to fuchsia and then light rose. 


The next time you see this project, it will be finished, blocked and ready to wear, but you certainly haven't seen the last of this yarn. I have to confess, I'm so enamored with this particular ombre effect, I'm already experimenting with fresh possibilities. Stay tuned.


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