Thursday, February 28, 2008

moss, seed, and rice

My first stitch dictionary was this one, pictured on the right. Published in the 1960s and translated from the French, it was the first such dictionary I had ever seen. As a newly adult knitter I spent a lot of time with it, learning about techniques and discovering that there are many ways to put knit and purl stitches together- 900 actually. I also learned the names of stitches, and that created some confusion. The translation is from French to British English rather than American. In the crochet section in the back the American terms are given in parentheses; in the knitting section the British and American usage is very close, except occasionally in the names of stitches.

I was reminded of this when I cast on for Kim Hargreaves Darcy sweater. (see previous posts on Darcy here and here.)The instructions say to work in moss stitch, but if the directions for moss stitch are included, I couldn't find them. Luckily I knew how to make moss stitch thanks to Mon Tricot. It is simple: establish a row of k1, p1, and proceed to purl the knits and knit the purls throughout.

But a few days earlier I had been looking at instructions for the Minimalist Cardigan from Interweave Knits (Fall 2007). The stitch pattern for this sweater is also called moss. This pattern did include the directions for moss stitch, but the moss stitch it described was a version of double moss, not the moss stitch I knew from Mon Tricot.

I remembered that the American and British versions of moss stitch are different. When Americans say moss stitch they usually mean double moss. Maybe it's not a big deal, but if you didn't know that, you might use the wrong stitch in making the Darcy Jacket, since the stitch pattern isn't specified. Anyway, I went looking in Mon Tricot, and in my other stitch dictionary, Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches and found some variations.

Pictured above are the Mon Tricot versions of moss and double moss; single moss is on the right. Moss stitch is a skewed variation of rib in that it alternates knit and purl stitches and works knits and purls on both sides of the fabric. Single moss is, as mentioned above, simply k1, p1 throughout except you knit the purls and purl the knits. Working on a multiple of 2 it goes:

Moss Stitch (also called Rice Stitch) - row 1: k1, p1; row 2: as row 1

Double moss, in the Mon Tricot version is a doubling of moss stitch in every way. Instead of k1, p1, it goes k2, p2 and covers 4 rows instead of two. The instructions don't make this clear, but it boils down to this - knit the purls and purl the knits on the odd numbered rows; knit the knits and purl the purls on the even numbered rows. Working on a multiple of 4, double moss goes:

Double Moss Stitch - row 1: k2, p2; row 2: as row 1; row 3: p2, k2; row 4: as row 3.

Double moss is much chunkier than single moss. Single moss is fine textured and daintier looking, but the fabric it produces has a lot of firmness and body. I like single moss better, but of course each has its uses. All moss stitches look the same on both sides.

Harmony Guide offers a different version of double moss stitch (pictured above). This is the version used in Interweave's Minimalist Cardigan. The hunky Mon Tricot double moss is on the left. The Harmony version, right, uses k1, p1, rather than doubling it to k2, p2, but works over 4 rows instead of 2. It is daintier than the Mon Tricot double moss. It is worked on a multiple of 2 + 1:

Harmony Double Moss Stitch - row 1: k1, *p1, k1; row 2: p1, *k1, p1; row 3: as row 2; row 4: as row 1.

As with the first double moss, this one boils down to knit the purls and purl the knits on odd numbered rows; knit the knits and purl the purls on even numbered rows.

I have also noticed that the names moss and seed are sometimes used interchangeably. In the interest of clarity, I find that seed and moss stitch are not the same. Pictured below is a scan from Mon Tricot showing seed, double seed, and 2 variations of seeds:

Seed stitch uses purl bumps decoratively on the right side of the fabric, unlike moss which depends on the interaction of knits and purls to form the fabric. Seed stitch is thus one sided. The even numbered rows in the two basic seed stitches (seed and double seed) are all purl, like stockinette. Single seed is basically stockinette (k on one side, purl on the other side) with purls superimposed on the knit side in a staggered pattern.

In her comment on the above post, the nameless blogger of Wool Enough and Time has pointed out that what I am here calling moss stitch is usually called seed stitch in the United States. Sure enough, I was coincidentially looking at Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls and Barbara G. Walker's Learn to Knit Afghan Book and see that what they call seed stitch is what I describe above as moss stitch. This adds to the confusion especially since my Harmony Guide, which I cite for a variation of double moss, uses moss stitch as the name for the 2 row, k1, p1, not seed.

Can you tell that I like classification and organization? I suppose that aside from my quirk, the names don't really matter, as long as everyone knows what you're talking about. Cheryl and Barbara Walker give directions for the stitch that they call moss, so no harm done. But it does bother me that the Kim Hargreaves Heartfelt book does not tell you how she wants moss stitch done. She just tells you to do moss stitch. The saving grace is that the photo of the sweater shows the stitch clearly, so you can do it whether you call it moss or seed. Thanks Wool Enough.

Monday, February 25, 2008

darcy in moss

I have been working on the Darcy cardigan from Kim Hargreave's Heartfelt: The Dark House Collection. (Isn't that a strange name for such a beautiful collection of designs? I guess the idea is to sound romantic.) This sweater is eating yarn. It is knit entirely in moss stitch, which has the basic elements of a rib due to the alteration of knit and purl stitches. The resulting fabric is both firm and stretchy in all directions. I am glad that I chose wool for this fabric. It would be hella heavy in cotton.

Here is how the bottom of the front looks with its knit-in pleats. I like how the edges are firm without having to work an edging. There is always the opportunity to mess up on an edging.

The most interesting and educational feature of this design is the flounced and pleated bottom. That's right. It isn't just pleated, but the bottom edge is uneven because it has short rows in it. The edge dips lower in the back and at the sides where the sides meet the back. The edge goes up at the center to reach its highest point. In this photo the dip is on your right, the center edge on the left.

This whole concept of pleats in a knitted fabric is new to me and opens up design ideas. Note that in this design the outer fabric of the pleat is moss stitch and the inner part is in reverse stockinette. Here is the pleat opened up so the inside and structure are more visible. The pleats are just sections of reverse stockinette that are gradually decreased away.

Oddly enough, in her latest blog post Norah Gaughan describes a design for a swingy sweater using inserts that she calls godets to add fullness to the bottom edge. In the sketch of this design the godets look a lot like these pleats. According to Norah, the godets were much too heavy and saggy for the design to be workable, so she revised it, cutting off the bottom. The yarn specified for this design was Berroco Linen Jeans, a tape yarn made up of 70% rayon and 30% linen. I have never knit with this blend, so I don't know its weight. I would think it lighter than cotton, but maybe not so light as wool, with less elasticity.

New Book: I finished the Jane Smiley book I was listening to and have started Duma Key the latest novel from Stephen King. I don't read King a lot, but I like him because he knows what's scary. I think The Shining and Misery must be the scariest books ever written. Lately I think King has become a better writer in the mainstream way, but less scary. At least so far I haven't been scared out of my wits by this book.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

buy one, not the other: book reviews

I have so many knitting books that I have become pretty selective about what I buy. I don't need more knitting pattern books unless they are amazing, even though I am much more likely to knit a pattern out of a book than from a magazine. I already have more than I can knit in a lifetime. Generally I preview books from the library when I can. Because I work in a library, this is easy for me to do. Usually I will copy one or two patterns from the book (this is legal as long as it's for personal use), or not, and let it go.

This preface is an attempt to add weight to the recommendation I am about to make. I urge you not to overlook Knitting New Scarves by Lynne Barr. I must own this book. This is even more significant on account of my 2006 scarf knitting overdose, from which I have not recovered.

When she designs Lynne Barr asks herself questions like, "What if I added short rows to create sharper edges, or eliminated all the curves to the right to create a scarf that would only spiral leftward...?" The designs in this book all share a "What if" quality, a playful approach to yarn and needles that is totally inspiring. So even if you don't need or want scarves, or scarf knitting, or even like the designs that much, this book is worthwile as a book of possibilities.

Although this is not exactly a beginner's book, I think most of the designs are doable for most knitters. Lynne appends a clearly written and photographed chapter of the techniques that come up in the book. These include how to add stitches to a work in progress, combining stitches from two needles, separating ribs to make tubes (a new one on me), knitting slits into fabric, short rowing, intarsia, and more.

Here are some examples of the designs in this book. They don't even scratch the surface of the wonder:

As much as I love Knitting New Scarves (by the way the publisher is soon releasing Knitting New Mittens and Gloves), that is how much I dislike Inspired Fair Isle Knits by Fiona Ellis. Ok, it's not that heinous, but the thing I like best about it is the author's name. Organized by the natural elements of water, air, fire, and earth (and can I say how sick I am of knitting books inspired by 'nature'?), Ellis' book uses garish colors to represent the elements and thick yarns to coarsen fair isle knitting. This is fair isle dumbed down.

The cover design, a huge thick muffler, is about the best in the book. Actually Ellis does have one idea here. In some of her designs she uses stranded knitting techniques to add color work to the edges of of a garment. I sort of like this wrap:
But in general, I hate giant fair isle patterning. Fair Isle is supposed to be worked to a fine gauge. Most of the designs in this book use DK to aran weight yarn (a few use sport), and you can see the grain of the knitting in the photos in a way that sets my teeth on edge. Plus, thick fair isle is impractical. Because the fabric is made of two strands of yarn, thick yarn becomes double thick and too warm to wear. Most of the designs are coarse looking, like these:

I doubt you can see the hideousness of the knitted grain in these photos, but they show up clearly in the book. Another fault is the lack of background on fair isle knitting and the lack of traditional examples (although examples might cast the current designs in a bad light). Ellis attempts to replace knitting history with folk tales loosely related to the patternings, but they are not very effective.

Skip this one.

Monday, February 18, 2008

dk? what is dk?

Next Project: The last post ended with me thinking about what to do with 14 balls of Knit Picks Merino Style dk yarn, color vanilla. I thought about the Minimalist Cardigan from Interweave Knits Fall 07 issue. This, in my judgment, is the best design from that issue. I love moss stitch (or in this case, double moss stitch called moss stitch).

But I am not sure that I would like this as much in white, and I would need to think in order to make the shape more swingy-- or should it stay straight? Too much to think about. I just want to cast on and do it. Plus, in looking at other knitter's results in Ravelry, I can see that fit is absolutely crucial in this design. Again, too much to think about, especially since the fit is kind of unconventional ; that is, should it meet comfortably in front or not? I will knit this eventually, but not in Merino Style. I think I would like it better in Berroco Ultra Alpaca.

Meanwhile, while I am waiting for my shipment of RYC yarn from Angel Yarn in the UK, I got this book in the mail: This is a new (and expensive) book of patterns from the world's best knitting designer, Kim Hargreaves, shipped to me very speedily from Yarnzilla in Minnesota. And guess what? While watching the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice on PBS, what should jump out at me but Mrs. Darcy:

Hard to see from this photo, but this is a squarish moss stitch jacket with a simple fold back collar, waist shaping, and a flounce at the bottom which goes longer at the back. Below the jacket is a scan of my tension square which gets the stitch gauge perfectly. So I cast on for this last night, while watching Colin Firth.

In the interest of completeness and full disclosure, I should note that I have substituted a wool yarn for cotton. Normally I don't like to do this, but I can't see how this jacket could not work out in wool. The elastiticy of the stitch work would probably make the cotton behave more like wool anyway (I hope).

Wraps Per Inch: Now I come to the main subject of this post, What is DK? I was flummoxed by the difference in size between Merino Style DK and RYC Cashsoft DK. They were so different knitted up that I wondered why both were called DK. I have a special wraps per inch (wpi) measuring stick, so I measured both yarns and found that the Knit Picks yarn measured 11 wpi and the RYC 12 wpi. Does this difference mean that one is DK and one is not?

Ravelry thinks so. According to their chart, the RYC at 12 wpi is sport weight and the Knit Picks at 11 is DK. But the chart that comes with my measuring device says different. According to this chart (which is from Nancy's Knit Knacks), the RYC is DK (12-14 wpi), and the Knit Picks is worsted (9-11 wpi). To further compound the confusion, three online sites all agree that the RYC (at 12 wpi remember) is worsted and the Knit Picks would be between worsted and bulky. According to them, there is no DK. (Wool Festival, Spinderella, Elizabeth's Fiber and Yarn Store)

Now I thought that wraps per inch was the most accurate way to measure yarn thickness. But I guess not. In measuring for myself, I also saw that the results could be skewed by wrapping a little looser or a little tighter, although I tried to do it perfectly. I am, however, willing to call the Knit Picks DK because it knits up at the right gauge for Mrs. Darcy, which calls for a DK weight Rowan yarn. In stockinette, the Knit Picks also comes to a DK weight, 5.5 stitches per inch on # 6 (rather than #5) needles. I just think that Knit Picks Merino Style is a little horsey. As such it does have the substance needed for this design.

In conclusion, I would say that yarn measurement cannot be exact. I know that the important thing is getting the correct gauge, but I would still like a way to measure. Actually, I like the Nancy's Knit Knacks chart best because it gives a range of measurements for each weight, giving you an idea of the yarn size, but not exactitude. And that seems to reflect the reality.

A Book and a Tip: The audiobook I am currently listening to while I knit is The All True Travels and Adventures of Liddy Newton by Jane Smiley. This is set in the Kansas Territory in the 1850s, before the Civil War, where abolitionists and Southerners came to battle over whether or not the new State of Kansas would be a slave state. The narrator is a 20-year-old woman from Quincy, Illinois who met her Northeasterner husband as he came through Quincy on his way to Kansas with a load of contraband rifles to aid the abolitionist cause.

I do not normally read historical fiction (although I don't hate it at all), but I like Jane Smiley, who is an amazingly eclectic novelist, taking up all kinds of subjects. She is a wonderful and versatile prose stylist, but she is weak on plotting. I have liked her novels, but haven't been able to quite finish some of them. This one is weakly plotted as well, but the action is interesting in itself. I hope to finish it.

Here is a little tip for knitting lace by Cheryl Oberle. I like lace patterns in words rather than charts, which are hard for me to read. To make a bunch of words easy to follow, the author suggests writing each line of knitting on a separate card and flipping the cards to follow the pattern. It works great for me. I am using it with the Kimono Shawl, which I am still working on.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

odds, ends, and a plan

Not much to report from Bev's world of knitting today, but as always, I have some ideas rattling around in my head. Since finishing the Klara Bird sweater this past weekend, my sole knitting project has been the Kimono Shawl pictured above. The photo shows my progress, which is poor, but I haven't been working on it that much. It should grow faster now that I don't have another project to compete. I think it will be almost as beautiful a shawl as I pictured it to be. The mostly silk yarn is soft and cottony feeling with some heft.

In seeking a second project to start, I got to thinking that, while I read and collect knitting magazines almost as obsessively as I knit, I rarely knit items from their pages. So I got the idea to pick up a magazine at random, pick my favorite item from its pages, and go ahead and cast on. My first pick was this from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2005:
It is a flame-stitched cardigan from Shirley Paden, whose designs I always admire. I have been thinking about a design with tall ribbing at the bottom, and I have yarn that would work for this, some dry, crunchy silk from Colourmart Cashmere:

This is undoubtedly a good plan. But then I started to swatch the lace motif and Whoa Nelly! It is really hard, not simple and serene like the Kimono Shawl. The lace patterning occurs on both the knit and purl sides, and it features purls through the back loop, my most hated stitch. So maybe another time. I really do want to knit this sweater and will tackle it before the summer, but not yet.

It occurs that what I really want to make is a design for a tailored cardigan that I have had in my mind for about a year. It is not worked out yet, but I had swatched a sample ball of RYC Cashsoft DK and found it perfect. Here is the swatch:

Perfect. Perfect color, perfect weight, perfect stitch definition, perfect everything. So what do I do? I am seduced by the price and I buy 14 balls of Knit Picks Merino Syle DK. So I eagerly swatch the Knit Picks DK yarn and What do I get? This:

The Knit Picks swatch is on the bottom. Each has about the same number of stitches. I think the Knit Picks one might have 2 more. The Knit Picks swatch measures about 6 inches, the RYC about 4. Knit Picks DK is horsey and coarse. My parents generation had a saying, "penny wise and pound foolish." So this week, I ordered the RYC Cashsoft DK with the plan to work up that cardigan design.
Meanwhile, what to do with the Knit Picks DK.? I am thinking about it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

hello klara bird!

It stinks of inevitability. After bitching and moaning (here and here) about how ugly and unflattering the Klaralund pullover was going to be, I ending up loving it. I am still not crazy about the colors. They still remind me of bird doo. There is a greenish white in the color mix that does it I think. But rather than name this the Bird Doo Klaralund, I decided to name it, more prettily, Klara Bird.

I mentioned this in a previous post, but I want to emphasize my gratitude to Anna (Flyingneedle of Ravelry) for sharing her notes on the Klaralund she modified for lace weight yarn. Actually, this sweater is entirely a product of Ravelry. I was browsing projects that had been made with Knit Picks Shimmer to find knitters that had used it for a light weight Clapotis, because that is what I wanted to do with it. I found them, but then I saw Flyingneedle's version of Klaralund made of Shimmer.

This was the first time I had ever seen the Klaralund sweater at all. I was first attracted to how pretty it looked in Flyingneedle's version, but then I looked up other versions of Klaralund and, despite previous bitching and moaning, I thought it was cute and saw that it could be worn and look good on a variety of body types. The idea of using my Shimmer yarn for a sweater rather than a scarf stuck with me, so I ordered the Noro book in which Klaralund had been published.

I liked Anna's Klaralund better than the original version because I thought the variegation pattern of the yarn was more subtle in laceweight. This was partly a function of the finer gauge and partly because the yarn was held doubled, breaking up the stripey effect. I also liked the idea of less bulk. I used Anna's instructions in that I combined a #4 (US) needle with the doubled laceweight. My gauge was smaller than Anna's (6.5 st./in. rather than 5.5) but I liked the fabric it produced. To produce a 41" sweater (rather than Anna's 32") I was stuck with a lot of stitches. I also followed Anna's guidelines for waist shaping, which I think improved the sweater a lot.

Given my fine gauge and large measurements, Klara Bird was a tedious knit. But I really liked the fabric, its fineness and softness. When it came time to sew the pieces together (which, unlike many knitters I don't hate doing) it was like sewing woven fabric, especially since alpaca and silk are inelastic. Although I sewed it by hand, I could easily have used the sewing machine. Instead of the usual matress stitch, I used a back stitch with the right sides held together to produce a more conventional sewn seam that I pressed open. The finished product thus has the drape and flow of a blouse and the huggy softness of a sweater. I used 7 skeins of Shimmer or a whopping 3,080 yards.

My biggest concern about Klaralund was how it would look on my busty figure.
This photo angle shows off every last inch of my ta tas. However, at more natural standing angle, the sweater doesn't empahzise the bust line at all. In fact, it might minimize it.
So no worries. I might even make another one. Happy birthday Little Annie.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

bandersnatch: a free sweater pattern

As I promised in the last post, here is the pattern for Bandersnatch, a sweater I designed last year. This is my first full scale sweater design. I am finding this sweater very comfortable to wear; I think it looks as good on as it feels.

I have noticed that ribbed sweaters are flatttering. This sweater flares sweetly at the bottom edge for modesty of the belly, yet the stretchy ribs form themselves to body countours without any tightness. The beaded rib pattern adds a touch of fanciness to a simple design, and the cotton/cashmere blend yarn is super soft. No special edging is needed because the ribs form their own non-curling, non-binding edges. It looks good on everyone who wears it.
Bandersnatch is my attempt at a wearable design with fit and construction conventions mimicking ready-to-wear. I have become more aware lately of fit in hand knitted design and more interested in solving the fitting problems that I have encountered. Sometimes, for example, hand knitting patterns give too much leeway and gape at the neckline or fall off the shoulders. I am learning to compare my own fit requirements more closely to those of the knitted pattern.

Although designed for me, this sweater will fit anyone. It represents few chances for poor fit because of the flexibility of its ribbed fabric. I sized it for a range of sizes, but precise matching of body measurements is not needed. The finished sweater measurement is taken with the fabric unstretched and might be smaller than corresponding body measurements. This is not negative ease, but a function of the sweater's stretchiness.

Note that I was unable to publish my schematic chart (which I painstakingly taught myself to draw) in Google Pages. I tried it both as a word and a pdf document, and the lines would not show up. So at the bottom of the pattern, I listed the finished measurements of each piece. Not as easy to read, sorry, but the information is there.

A note on the sweater's name: I sometimes name my knitting projects for the audiobook I listened to as I knit it. When I made this sweater I was listening , not to Alice in Wonderland, but to The Frumious Bandersnatch by Ed McBain, a police detective crime novel.

Monday, February 4, 2008

parade of finished objects: 2007

Today I am posting the list of finished objects from last year. It is a motley list; there are some unattractive objects here, but some nice ones too. So in the interest of using this blog as a knitting journal, I want a complete record of the little I accomplish year by year starting with 2007. My plan is to link from this list to the original post about the object. If there is no previous post, I will add some notes here. Then I will create a link in the right hand margin to this post.

I tried to do all of this by creating a page in Google pages, thus saving regular posting space, but I did not like the layout. On Thursday I will have something better: a free pattern for the sweater called Bandersnatch.

February: Improvised Scarf After the great scarf production of 2006 (15?) I started the year with another scarf. This was improvised with vintage yarn for a class with Judith Swartz on crocheted edgings. The scarf was lovely, but the edging was too tight and the scarf is not too useable. I also made some crocheted flowers.
Reynolds Kitten (84% acrylic, 16% wool) dk weight

March: Essential Indulgence by Leslie Scanlon Interweave Knits Fall 2005
This was a simple sweater using some navy blue yarn I ordered online for a cardigan. It was too fine and soft for the use I intended. This sweater was not a success. The neckline was so wide it had to be sewn closer, and the seams, meant to face out, had to be sewn in because they were sloppy. This is one of two designs I have ever knit from IK, and it doesn't count because it's frogged.
Desiree, Italian import (80% wool, 20% angora) dk weight; approx 1150 yards; # 6 needle

June: Rust Jacket with Relax by Rebecca, named Relax Jacket by me
The blue jacket that I made with vintage yarn was such a success that I made it again with the yarn specified in the pattern. I used navy Relax yarn (boucle) and medium grey trim in a smooth yarn, Paton's Classic Wool.
GGH Relax (10% alpaca, 32% wool, 32% nylon, 26% acrylic); bulky weight; 780 yards; #10 needle
July: Mason from Rowan Vintage Style, named Pruning Sweater by me.
Men's pattern made for self in size small with specified yarn; modeled here by Roger.
Rowan Yorkshire Tweed (100% wool); chunky; 872 yards; #11 needle

August: Orange Cardigan free pattern from Lion Brand , named Swing Cardigan by Lion Brand
To keep up my crochet skills, I made this. Never mind. Crocheted fabric is thick and stiff. Crochet certainly has its place, but not in a sweater. Looks better in the picture than in real life. Frogged.
Lion Brand Cotton Ease (cotton and acrylic); worsted weight; 1035 yards

August: Bandersnatch designed by me
My first sweater design. I am very proud. Stay tuned for many more details including a free pattern, coming later this week.
Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere (85% cotton, 15% cashmere); 1,525 yards; # 5 needle

August: Suzanne's Scarf from Interweave Knits, Spring 2000, named A scarf of your very own by IK.
The final installment of the great Christmas scarf project of 2006. It took me a year to finish this because it was such a slow knit. Sue is wearing it this winter (07/08) for the first time and gets compliments.
Jamieson's 2 ply Shetland Spindrift; fingering weight; 300 yards; # 3 needle
September: Clapotis 1 Knitty
A great success. I wear this frequently and continue to get compliments on it. The colorway, called Regency, is soft yet colorful and looks better in person. This came in handy on a plane trip to China that I took in mid-September.
Patons Classic Wool Merino (100% merino wool); worsted weight; 675 yards; # 8 needle September: Kimono Shawl Neckwarmer based on Kimono Shawl from Folk Shawls.
I was so in love with the Kimono Shawl that I made a short scarf because I did not have the yarn to make the whole shawl. This little neckwarmer, which has to be fastened with a pin at the throat, is pretty, but it itches like hell, so I can barely wear it, but it is too pretty to scrap. The finished size is 9"x31". I made it on the trip to China. I got the yarn in a swap. I still have about a scarf's worth left, but I am not sure what to do with it. (In January of this year I have started the actual shawl)
Southwest Trading Company Bella (50% soy silk, 50% wool); dk weight; #9 needle

October: Kelly Cardigan in Classic Knits by Erika Knight
Love this sweater. I read a blogger saying that it feels like a hug when you wear it. That is exactly right. And I now know why they call this yarn Crack Silk Haze.
Rowan Kid Silk Haze (70% super kid mohair, 30% silk); fingering weight doubled; 1,600 yards; # 5 needle

November: Clapotis 2 Knitty
Second Clap made for Mother's Christmas present. And I'd do it again. This colorway, Rosewood, is very striking and photographs better than the first Clap.
Paton's Classic Merino Wool; (100% merino wool); 675 yards; #8 needleNovember: Wool Peddler Shawl from Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle
Very wonderful. My first real shawl, not counting Clapotis. Blocked a little smaller than given in pattern: 31.5" x 70". The yarn I used was recommended by the designer as a substitute for the discontinued yarn origanily specified.
Berroco Ultra Alpaca (50% alpaca, 50% wool); worsted weight; 860 yards; # 7 needleDecember: Jilly designed by me
This sweater was inspired by a store bought cotton sweater. The pattern still need some tweaking (it's the armscye and sleeve cap, surprise, surprise) and the yarn choice needs revision, so I will have to reknit it. The yarn I picked is too soft; it needs a crisper feel. I'll post the pattern as soon as it's ready. As is, the sweater is flattering and comfortable to wear.
Cascade Pima Silk (85% pima cotton, 15% silk); aran weight; 981 yards; #8 needle

December: Squatty real name Amanda's Squatty Sidekick by Amanda Berka
This is an adorable pattern and it is available online through Interweave Knits, so I will have to take back what I said previously about not liking their designs. They do seem to excel in accesories, and I will probably be making more of them in 2008. I will stand by what I said about their sweater designs. This was a Christmas present that was well received and has been used by my daughter. I made it with yarn scraps, worsted weight, doubled.
Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride and Berroco Ultra Alpaca; worsted weight; about 500 yards on # 13 needle.

December: David's Scarf real name Tweed Scarf from Men in Knits by Tara Jo Manning
I can't believe I left this out in the original post. I have had to go back and add it. It was a last minute Christmas gift idea, but it turned out well.
Cascade 128 Tweed; chunky weight; about 150 yards; #10 needle
Although I haven't felt knitting burn out, in looking back over last year, I can see that I had it at the beginning of the year. It was probably all the Christmas scarves I made. I needed a break. But as the year progressed, the quality and amount of my knitting progressed as well. With two original sweater designs, five additional sweaters (not all good), and three shawls counting Claps, it wasn't a bad year.