Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mosaic - Underway

It was great to write to Rowan, and designer Lisa Richardson, about the concerns I had regarding the chart of the Mosaic sweater.  Within a day they both responded and now the pattern has been updated.  The original offering had a 12-row repeat when it should have been a 32-row repeat.

I've now completed one full repeat, working the back of the sweater and if you compare it to the original chart you can spot the differences.  The little 'boxes' are now offset and the diagonal lines go to the right and then to the left. You can see the original in the last post.

I substituted the Rowan Cotton Glace with Lavold Silky Wool. I'm liking the texture that I'm getting.  It's not totally smooth but has a bit of depth between the two yarns.

Doing a design in the mosaic/slip stitch pattern has got to be one of the quickest ways to work color.  You only work one color at a time and change yarns after every second row.  It's very satisfying.  I'm going to have a new sweater fairly quickly I think.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mosaic - Waiting

(c) Rowan Yarns
I found a sweater that I like a lot and that I thought would be a quick knit, something to wear for spring - assuming, of course, that spring weather makes its way to Calgary one day.  It's the Mosaic pullover from Lisa Richardson.

The pattern calls for Rowan Revive and Rowan Cotton Glace.  I've got the Revive in my stash - color #466 Marble.  Cotton Glace is not one of my favorites as it's quite heavy and the weight of it makes a garment grow.  I know.  I have an entire sweater knit in Glace.  I dug into my stash and found that I have enough Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in a complimentary color - medium blue #70, which I think is a discontinued color.  In the picture, the main color, the one used in the sleeves and ribbing is the Revive.  You may notice that the ribbing flares out a bit.  I've decided to use the Silky Wool as the color for the sleeves and ribbing.  I'm hoping that the yarn makes the ribbing behave better.

I wanted to keep the Revive as the background color for the patterned part, as in the picture. The colorwork is achieved through the use of slip stitches.  By switching the ribbing color, I didn't have a contrast color to slip on the first row, so I knit all stitches, fair isle style.  From there on, I was off to the races. I did the first repeat of the pattern.  However, there appears to be a major error in the pattern.  If you look at the mosaic patterning in the picture, the little 'boxes' alternate in position.  If you follow the graph in the pattern you end up with the boxes in vertical alignment, stacked on top of each you can see in the picture at the right.  The red box is one repeat of 16 stitches and 12 rows.  Also, the diagonal lines in the picture go right and left.  If you follow the graph, they all lean to the right.

This was a topic of discussion on the Rowan Love group on Ravelry and it was agreed that there is an error.  Emails have been sent to Rowan and, hopefully, we'll get an answer soon.  If not, I'll be getting out my graph paper and working on changing the design myself.  The wrong pattern, above, is nice, but not what I was hoping for.  I'm prepared to rip out the 12 completed rows if necessary, but I won't go any further yet.

In the meantime, I'm swatching for another sweater, Plain Jane by Patricia Roberts, as this will be done as part of a knitalong on Ravelry that starts on April 1st.  The yarn for this project is also in my stash.  I'm in stash-busting mode these days!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Little Billy

I'd been working on another knitting project for the past few weeks but I didn't want to blog about it in case it didn't turn out.  As it happens, I'm happy with the result, and the recipient is happy with his gift.  First, a bit of the back story.  Last Monday I went to a very good concert, seeing a band that I've liked for at least 30 years, ZZ Top.  I was lucky enough to have a backstage pass which included a meet and greet and a picture with the band.

I can't say enough about the concert.  The band played for about two hours and included my favorites, Tush and La Grange.  It's amazing how much music can come from three guys.  They rocked the place.  There were two giant screens on the stage and at one point a picture of Jimi Hendrix was shown.  That was followed by Billy Gibbons saying that Jimi himself had shown him how to make the unusual first vibrating note in the song Purple Haze.  Of course, the voice is different than Jimi's, but the guitar playing sounded just like him.  It was magical to experience the spirit of Jimi Hendrix, his guitar playing, coming through Billy Gibbons.  Next, the band completely changed gears and sang an old Muddy Waters song, Catfish Blues.  I love the blues and this song sent chills through me.  I was wishing I could hear it again, and again.

Here are a couple of pictures that I took at the concert:

Click on the pictures to enlarge.
The jackets are very colorful and the embroidery is intricate.  They claimed that they got them at the Dollar Store.  I don't think so!!  They are beautiful and I wouldn't mind one for myself.

Once I knew I was going to be going back stage I decided to make a little gift for Billy Gibbons...a mini-me type of doll.  I started with the instructions from Alan Dart's gnomes and then made changes.  Now, it's been finished and delivered.


Pattern: Alan Dart's Jultomtar - modified

Size:  Small

Lana Gatto Wool Gatto - color #5000 black used for hat, clothing and boots
Hayfield Bonus Toytime DK - #963 flesh
Lion Brand Fun Fur Solid - color #124 champagne for the beard
Dream In Color Smooshy - color: Chinatown Apple - only used a couple of yards for trim on the boots.
All yarn is from my stash.

  Needles: US #2/2.75 mm and US #10/6.0 mm (beard only)

Notions:  Doll-sized sunglasses - purchased at Michael's - I had to shorten the arms of the glasses.
Fiberfill stuffing.  Resin pellets so that he would sit properly
Gibson guitar - similar to one of the guitars he plays.  Purchased at Christmas in Prescott.

Note:  The Bamileke hat on the doll is my design.

And here, below, is the band, with Billy holding Little Billy. 
Left to right:  Dusty Hill (bass), me, Frank Beard (drums) and Billy Gibbons (lead guitar) with Little Billy
By the way, the hand you see on the right side of the photo belongs to actor Billy Bob Thornton who was in town to film a new TV show called Fargo.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Music Monday - ZZ Top

It's music Monday and this time I've got the music of ZZ Top going through my head.  Why?  Well, tonight I'll be going to see the band at the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary.

We'll have to give this Little Old Band From Texas a warm welcome.  They're brave to come to Calgary in March, even though the weather has warmed up somewhat in the last week of so.  This clip with Billy F. Gibbons is from Live From Daryl's House, an excellent online music show that comes out on the 15th of each month.  Daryl is Daryl Hall, as in Hall & Oates.  Check it out, go through the archives! 

Now, I'm going back to listening to some ZZ Top songs.  Have mercy......

Click on the links, below, for 3 more songs that you might enjoy (I do!!), this time with the whole band:  Billy Gibbons on lead guitar, Dusty Hill on bass, and, ironically, Frank Beard (the guy without the long beard) on drums.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Penguin Sweater Finished

The little penguin sweater is finish, actually has been for a few days.  I've been struggling with taking a decent picture.  This little teddy bear is the perfect size for the sweater so I wanted to use it as the model.  However, no matter where I took the picture, what time of day and what settings I used, the head always came out blurry.  I give up and will post this picture as is.  When taking a picture cuts into your knitting time, it's time to quit and get back to the needles.  Also, the neck looks a little weird.  That's because teddy has a big bow and it covered most of the sweater so I tucked it inside.


Pattern:  Little Penguin Knitted Jumpers by Phillip Island Penguin Foundation

Size:  One size

Yarn:  Cakewalk Yarns Footsie (the shop is now closed, unfortunately)
Color:  Cakewalk
Yarn was from my stash.  Very little was needed for the sweater.

  Needles: US #3 / 3.25 mm

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I've Never Knit Anything Like This Before

Do you know what I'm knitting now?  Can you guess what it is?  It's half finished at this point.  The other half is a second piece exactly like this one.  It's about 8 inches in length from top to bottom and used 14 grams of yarn.  I've been knitting for many decades and I've never made this before.  It looks a little like a covering for a miniature hot water bottle, doesn't it?

Give up?  It's a sweater for a penguin.  Why?  Well, because I've never knit for a penguin before.

I had read from several online sources that there was a world-wide appeal for sweaters for penguins.  You can read all about the Penguin Foundation by clicking here.  Going here, you'll find a link to the pattern for the little penguin sweater.  It's been interesting to go through the site and learn more about these little animals.  My 4-year-old grandson was quite intrigued by the idea that Grandma Jo was knitting for a penguin.  The only ones that he's seen are the larger ones at the zoo and he loves going to the exhibit.  Telling him all about the oil in the water and cleaning the birds was a science lesson.

I had a tiny ball of yarn left over from a previous project, block #46, weighing 32 grams.  I didn't know if it would be enough but I thought I'd start and weigh the remainder from time to time.  When I finished one side of the sweater I had 18 grams remaining so I should be able to finish with a few yards to spare for seaming.  The pattern has instructions for both fingering-weight yarn and DK.  Of course, I used fingering as it's what I have the most of in my stash.

Next post... the finished sweater.

Added a couple of hours later:  I was knitting the remaining side of the penguin sweater and watching TV when a commercial for Dawn dish soap came on, talking about how Dawn is used to help clean wildlife after an oil spill...including penguins.  What a coincidence!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Happy Mardi Gras, Pancake Tuesday or Fat Tuesday.... or just Tuesday.

We knit for Christmas, Easter and other holidays so why not Mardi Gras?  I'm making one of these Mardi Gras balls each year until I fill a big bowl with them.  Each year there will be a new and different one.  If you want one, too, go here or here.  Jackie has made a fun and excellent pattern.  I only made one change.  Instead of filling it with a cotton stuffing I put it over a 2-1/2 inch styrofoam ball because it's not going to be used a stress ball but as a home decoration.

Laissez ... les ... bons ... temps ... rouler!!