sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Monday, April 21, 2008

closely knit, love letter in yarn

I was lucky enough to snag a place at Article Pract's yarn tasting this month*. Christina chose a fun theme featuring some yarns from the book Closely Knit, and invited the book's author Hannah Fettig to join us for the fun :) Hannah is really sweet and we all had a good time petting samples as well as talking about how she came to write a book... the idea behind it is patterns for people you'd want to knit for-- babies, daughters and mothers, men in our lives, etc.

Overall I was too busy touching the samples to take pics of the knits (you can browse at amazon though), and I'm too chicken to take pics of *people* so managed this sly one of Hannah's seat instead :) I saw the intarsia kangaroo baby vest and was SO RUDE to actually turn it inside out to look at the finishing as Hannah sat next to me!! (It was as nice on the outside as the in.) I did manage one pic...

"Vintage Knee Socks" in 2 strands of Alpaca with a Twist Fino (I think?) from the 'daughters' chapter

You can also see a bit of the spread for the yarn tasting-- 8 different yarns in sample sized skeins, and snacks/drinks provided by xtina. The Fibre Company, where Hannah used to work and which has many yarns featured in Closely Knit, was also kind enough to send along larger sized sample skeins of their Khroma yarn (50/50 wool-alpaca) for all of us, very nice :) I used mine and the pattern Hannah gave us for a heart pin from the book to make a heart...


...looks like heathery fox faces :) I finished the knitting at Article Pract-- these go SO FAST! We spent half of the time chatting and goggling over the Closely Knit samples (really, really nice things) and I didn't think I'd actually finish one. Then I got it in my head to use each sample yarn for a heart-- making a bunch of different ones.


Um, you can see pretty clearly that my mattress stitch improved over the course of seaming the hearts :) The yarn tastings always open my eyes to new yarns I've never considered... I fell for Noro Silver Thaw before, and really really love the Fibre Company Babe yarn now. (I've labelled the hearts to yarn here.)

Since each heart takes SO little yarn, I used the leftovers to stuff the hearts for finishing. (I didn't stuff the Kid Silk Haze heart... very very nice and open on US 5's.) When I was doing it, I thought that something like this, a simple fast heart, would be a good addition to giving of handknits... I send 'butterflies' of extra yarn with handknits so they can be repaired, but who knows if they're held onto. If you made a heart and stuffed it with whole lengths of yarn to give with handknits, the recipient would be less likely to lose it. Even having to open the heart for the yarn wouldn't be a big deal-- for REALS these things knit up quickly and take up no yarn at all. :)

The pattern's meant to be made into a pin, but wouldn't it be fun to make a bunch to hang off of a mini xmas tree? As a wreath? Stuffed with lavender or cedar shavings and hidden among the stash? ...and don't get me started on valentine's day :)

I originally wanted to use the hearts as add-ons when spinning, but my Matchless has a "regular" 3/8's orifice and not a delta, these hearts weren't fitting thru. (I think Intertwined has a method that may work... prolly will try that later.) I decided instead to make a little yarn love letter out of them, knitting up an "envelope" as well.

Handspun naturally dyed Polwarth, fiber from A Verb for Keeping Warm

My envelope ended up looking more like a clutch with the button, but I wanted it to stay closed :) Originally, I was going to knit a flat rectangle with a tapered tip and seam up the sides for an envelope, but wanted it to be 3D like the hearts. Then I thought about knitting top down in the round, but I wanted to add the "flap" on without seaming or picking up sts for a ridge... so I decided to knit a rectangle bottom in seed st, bind off and pick up around-- knit circularly in stst for the front and back, and in seed st for the sides. The flap was seed st as well.

I pinched and seamed the sides together to get them to have that triangular look-- if I had thought it out I would have decreased for actual triangles :) This way gives me more room inside though...


I couldn't help but make a polwarth heart too, same yarn as the handspun "envelope." I just loved this color when Kristine gave it to me-- dyed with organic correopsis harvested from their garden, and overdyed with indigo, it looks like spring to me :) Article Pract is carrying this colorway as well as the whole back ceiling wall full of fiber and yarn from aVfKW-- I regret not getting a pic of this, maybe Mike has one? (BTW, have you listened to the YKnit podcast yet?! I'm such a fan.)

I just realized that I hadn't photographed my last yarn tasting's FO... another kerchief made from the yarn tasting-- this last-last time was Colinette...


I waited too long and now forget which yarns are which :) I do know I saved that beautiful gold colored Tao for the part of the kerchief at my forehead, didn't use the jitterbug since I have a huge bag of sockweight scraps I save for a rainy stranded knitting day, and I used the super fine Parisienne as a carryalong when knitting the entire kerchief for a really pretty halo effect tying the whole thing together.


The kerchiefs are a bit odd I know, but I honestly wear mine a LOT-- they keep my ears and head warm, are super simple and take little yarn, and I like the way they look on me 69x more than hats.

Another plus of stopping into your local yarn store, aside from the classes, company, and local yarns? I snagged a copy of Poems of Color; I'm 99% sure it's gone out of print. I remember holding a copy of Norsk Strikkedesign when I met Jenny and Nicole at AP a while back, should have bought it then knowing it was going OOP :) Live and learn!

Til then :)

*there's an article pract flickr group now, as well as the articlepract ravelry group too :)


Chris said...

Ok, the hearts and the envelope are very clever and cute!

adrienne said...

The hearts and envelope are super cute!
(and lucky with the Poems of Color - I'm reading it right now...)

lexa said...

Cute little hearts. Great way to use up scraps. Love the new kerchief, too. said...

hearts in an envelope how cute is that?

i like the kerchief picture!

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