Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Let's keep our Hands Warm

The Wrap It Up! KAL has been full of beautiful mittens and fingerless mitts.  Here are just a few.


These beauties are mindofwinter's Loden Mittens in Haven Land! Katie Scarlett.  The pattern is free with the purchase of two or more skiens on the next RSS update.  Details here.  

KnotPerfect's Crimpy Mitts in Enzo Worsted Mephisto Waltz 

ellejay119's Corsetted Mitts in Equus Chaps


ellejay119's Wood Hollow Mittens in Equus Whistlestop.  We have all fallen in love with the pairing of Equus and Cables.


ellejay's Wheaten Mitts in Paulie Juniper Berry and Wellies


 
ellejay119's Fan-cy Fingerless Mitts in Breathless DK in Buttermilk


drlinak's Slofock Mitts in Breathless DK in Dirty Jeans

ellejay119's Adiri Mittens in Equus Driftwood


ellejay119's Audrey Gloves in Equus Cape Cod



juliehart's Zart Mittens in Equus Toast Points

We invite you to pull out that single skien of Shalimar and cast on a pair of mittens.  Join us on the Shalimar Ravelry  Forum.  




Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cyber Monday at Shalimar yarns



Monday, December 1, 5AM  right here.

Join us on the Ravelry Update thread to let your wishes be known.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Let's freshen things up a bit


Last week I spent several days stripping wallpaper off the guest bath by the kitchen.  Look at those lovely Jacobean flowers.  I loved them so in 1995.  It was time for a fresh look.  

I have a friend that is an paint artist. She can do amazing things with Sherwin Williams paint and a vertical surface.  We started the discussion of the treatment and the shades to use.  The walls needed to compliment the granite and the mirror I had made from barn wood from our farm.  Her husband is a wood craftsman.  He cut sections of 150 year old beams and siding to create a mosaic that frames the mirror. 

This is how it turned out.  I've added a few Shalimar colors for you, just incase you want to knit my bathroom wall.  

Join the Shalimar discussion in our Ravelry forum.  We all love to see what you are working on.  


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stitches of Anticipation and Love

I am going to be a Grandma.  My Son is going to be a Dad.  My little Joey, who now honors his lovely wife by being at her side every step of this sometimes difficult journey.  I can hardly wait to see them as parents.

There is great joy in sharing something created by our own hands - whether it is food on the table, flowers from the garden or hand knits.

This baby must have a  handmade blanket.  My mind went to crochet immediately.  My Grandmother taught me to crochet.  I remember working a crochet blanket under her guiding hands for my first born.  My dear daughter-in-law has a great sense of style.  I admire it so.  We talked Missoni zig zags for inspiration.  We all have a color style.  Joe is my green guy.  Lyssa can make neutrals with a bit of metallic really sing.

I wanted the blanket to be open in some rows and solid in others.  I wanted to be able to change the shading of the design as I worked across the piece.  It is truly personal that way and more interesting for me to create.  I enjoy creating the color combinations so much.  Off to the stitch dictionary shelf for a starting point.  The palette of shades was chosen and the swatch was made.  Breathless DK was my yarn choice.  This couple will appreciate the true luxury of the blend of merino, cashmere and silk.



The whole time I worked this I daydreamed about this little one joining our family.  Is it too much to create something so luxurious for a baby?  I think not.  There would be no greater way to honor it than to have it used so much that it is eventually worn out.  Our hand knits are not made for the shelf but to keep us warm with softness and style. Maybe it will bring a smile as the little fingers find the open lace and peak through.


There is such great joy inside from the giving.  Do it. Join in.  Find that project that will be just right for someone you love and create it.





This baby blanket is Meandering Trails Blanket.







Join the creation chatter of all things Shalimar on our Ravelry forum.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

One little extra

Sometimes we knit a sweater and it needs just a bit of a tweak after all the instructions have been followed.  We wear it the first time and realize that an improvement can be made.  This was the case with my Morrocann Nights.  This is a lovely design by La Maison Rililie.  I was particularly intrigued by the texture across the body of the sweater and the transitions to the waistline.  The shoulder are graced with a cable.  I worked it in Paulie in the color way Byzantium.  The sweater is a top-down seamless knit.  The fit was easy to adjust as I knit.   Paulie is to lightweight, but warm.  The blend of merino, camel, silk and cashmere is the definition of luxury in my book.  There is a soft halo, yet there is good stitch definition in the textured sections of the knit.  



I wore it on Saturday for the first time. I tried on a half dozen layers underneath it.  The neckline was wider than I wanted for an afternoon baby shower.  Maybe a bit of shoulder would work for a date night look, but not today.  It also kept rolling. You can see the rolling tendency here in this WIP photo.  
I think the fix is a bit of crochet.  A round of single crochet will stabilize the cast-on edge.  I also did a few decreases as I worked the single crochet.  5 sc, sc2tog was the formula.  Don't giggle too much as you gaze at the working yarn.  See all those kinks.  I had used every inch of yarn to get the sleeves as long as possible.  I am unraveling my gauge swatch for this bit of work.  
The neckline seems to need just a bit more so I added an embellishment that will stabilize the neckline even more.  It is a row of slip stitch that is worked through the knit sts rather than over the edge.  It looks like a little braid laying on top of the fabric.  





After these two rounds, I took it to the steamer once more.  I worked perfectly.  The neckline doesn't roll and it won't stretch out over the shoulders.  

Join the Shalimar discussion in the Ravelry forum

Monday, November 3, 2014

Falling Sleeve KAL - The wonders we share


There will be photos of the wonderful finished sweater soon, but I thought you might like to know some of the other delights of the Falling (S)leeves Sweater KAL.

Shaligals are:


  • Suportive of the Swatch.  We cheered each other on with advice about sizing, needles, blocking, and appropriateness for the pattern chosen.
  • Admire the search for the right pattern.  We enjoy the dialog of finding just the right match for yarn and  pattern.
  • Sports fans - We love knitting in football season.
  • Interested in how we keep track of increases/decreases in our patterns.   We do this in so many different ways.

  • Generous.  Many projects are being knit for others.  Not just baby sweaters, but full adult sweaters.  Big hearts work through our hands.
  • Part of a team.   Knitters working on the same projects cheered each other on.  There were many Bailey's Irish Cream, Amaro, Pier 60 and Adiri Knitters. 

  • Collectors of many types of knitting needles.  We all have favorites that seem to partner with our personal knitting style.
  • Compassionate when another Shaligal shares a loss.

  • Empathetic when a section of a sweater has to be raveled to make it just right.
  • Appreciative of a well defined cable pattern

  • Work with patterns on traditional paper or with technology on an tablet.

  • Wise enough to know (or learning to be) to alternate skiens when knitting with hand dyed yarn.

  • Willing to adapt a pattern for personal style - necklines, waist shaping...

  • Chatty about Sleeves!  What is it about sleeves that can be so enticing?
  • In awe of sweaters others knit.  Our personal queue grows and grows.
  • Giggly when we say the word Naked
  • Want modeled sweaters with the smiles showing
  • A resource when you have a question about any knitting technique
So if you ever wonder whether you should join a KAL, remember there are extra benefits well beyond the completed project.

Join the conversation in the  Shalimar Yarns Forum on Ravelry.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Breathless Lace



Let's look at Orza, a new sweater design by La Maison Rililie  .  The shades of color and variations on the striping really intrigue me.  

I'll be testing Breathless Lace.  I had just one skien of Buttermilk in the stash.  I chose a ChiaoGoo Knit Red Lace needle in 3.5mm/US 4.  Let's see how it works up before the RSS Etsy update today where I can get the rest of the shades I want.  

The first thoughts as I cast on were a bit intimidating.  This is lace yarn.  I just finished a sweater in at the beefy wooly yarn Equus.  I had to get my lace mindset put back together.  It didn't take long.  The first few rows on any project are a bit fiddly.  We need a bit of fabric on the needles.  I felt like I was knitting in slow motion until about the 5th row.  By this time the gentle halo was starting to show it's beauty.  First a bit of garter stitch, then on to stockinette stitch.  

This swatch has been gently steam blocked.  It improved so much with the steam that I think a good soak will improve my stitch evenness even more.  
Gauge on the stst section works at 14 sts for 2".  This is spot on gauge for the textured stitch she calls Beaufort .  You can see it shown right above the stst section.  This is a great start.  The gleam of the silk in the yarn is really speaking now.  The halo is filling in the spaces.  My hands are really starting to get into the lace groove.
Now onto the the stitch patterns specified in the design.  I split my swatch into halves, knitting one on each side.  In hindsight, that was not a great plan.  The row gauge is so different on them it distorts the pattern some.  I still think we can learn something.  
The lace pattern is used for the sleeves.  The openness is really delicate and interesting.  The double decrease was easy to work with these needles.  The glow of the yarn showed off even more. I hope you can see the halo of the cashmere filling in the lacy gaps.  I was a bit skeptical as I started.  Would this yarn would work up to gauge?  Once again it came out spot on.  The resulting fabric is very soft, delicate and lustrous.  

I need to work on my color combinations now.  The undyed shade is beautiful.  Think how I'll feel about this when I start working with the hand dyed shading.  This will be a really special sweater.


Join us for a discussion about color choices on the Shalimar Yarns Ravelry forum RSS update thread.



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Where to find color inspiration?

Traveling is a nudge to look around for me.  I try to absorb how this place is different than what I know so I pay attention a bit more.  There is an appreciation for home that is renewed, yet an admiration for another place is kindled.

Portland has an amazing rose garden.  Look at these!  The subtlety of shades and combinations.  The vibrancy of color.


The Japanese Garden is serene and full of textures of green, brown, gold and grays.
  




  The walk along the Oregon coast beach is blustery, sandy and wide open skies.


Then there was the early morning run in Volunteer Park in the Capital Hill section of Seattle.  

There is color inspiration everywhere.  I'm happy I noticed.  Now I have to figure out how to integrate this inspiration into my knitting.  It's almost time for mittens, hats and cowls.  Maybe a slip stitch pattern.  I can use multiple shades. The layers will make the accessories warm.  Mittens inspired by a walk on the beach.  What shall I call them?  Off to the stitch dictionaries.  



For other Shalimar inspirations join our Ravelry forum.




Friday, September 19, 2014

They love Shalimar on Bainbridge Island

A tag-a-long with my hubby trip on a business trip to Seattle has been a lovely experience so far.  We are trying to experience all the aspects of Seattle that Midwesterners think it is. 

First up is coffee. We have enjoyed excellent espresso and coffee.  Rich and full. Unique beans roasted just right and prepared with finesse. This place can satisfy all my coffee snob tendencies.  Ones that seems truly normal here. Decadent. 

Seattle is surrounded by water.  We took the ferry to Bainbridge Island.  Smooth ride without much of a crowd. The cloud cover kept the view of the mountains hidden.  
I'm wearing my Hazeline shawl knit from Breathless.  My very first Shalimar knit ever.  Thank you Anne Hanson for introducing us.  I don't think I have ever had a day where so many people have commented on my knitting.  First to comment was the chef's wife that sat us at the lunch table where I had a roasted veggie plate.  Who knew eggplant could taste so good?  Then the Canadian woman at the next table had to comment. She has a whole tub of yarn, but doesn't know how to knit yet.   

Bainbridge Island is the home of Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. I think 3 knitters in that shop commented in the shawl. Knitters know enough to reach out and touch.  This is a kind and welcoming shop that does a great job of partnering yarns and patterns. So friendly.


Then off to the bike shop.  Hubby loves a good bike nerd discussion.  Even the bike tech guy commented on the shawl.   I love Bainbridge.  Small town by the big city. 

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