April 18, 2010

Bamboo Diamond Shell in Progress

I'm currently working on the Bamboo Diamond Shell from Boutique Knits by Laura Irwin. This is one of the best knitting books I have purchased in the past year - the patterns are wonderful and all the pieces are unique and beautiful.

I had trouble with counting my CO stitches and kept ending up with too many or too few. After taking it apart 4 times I'm finally on the right track! The bamboo cotton blend is Southwick by Valley Yarns - it's nice and "bouncy," really nice to work with and the subtle sheen is lovely. I'm about 3/4 through the bodice now and will be separating the sleeves soon. The diamond pattern is really easy as I got the hang of it too.

I decided to work the bodice longer so it's something more wearable for me. I love how it looked in the book, hopefully it will look just as nice with a longer bodice.

April 3, 2010

Short Row Scarf

Image from LionBrand.com
I saw this scarf in the Winter 2009 Lion Brand catalog and knew I had to make it for my friend Winnie. The colors of the yarn used (Lion Brand's LB Collection Superwash Merino in mulberry & mahogany) are so fantastic together!

The gorgeous cityscape-like pattern is created by knitting short rows with the mulberry and the rich brown as the base. Using size 4 needles, this was a really fun knit. I finished it just in time for Winnie's birthday in March and was so glad she loved it.

As luck would have it, I found a matching vintage button at the antique fair just a few weeks before I finished the scarf. In the same shade as the mulberry, it was the perfect color and size. Is that perfect or what?

The pattern is free and can be downloaded here (you need to sign up with Lion Brand). It is classified as "Intermediate" but I think it should really be for the "Advanced Beginner." All it involves is the knit stitch, decreasing, short rows (this version is really simple and sounds harder than it is. No "wrapping" involved), and making a buttonhole. I was able to do it and I'm definitely not an intermediate knitter. Knitting with two colors and doing short rows kept it interesting while not frustrating at all. If you like knitting with smaller needles, this is a perfect project with a big impact.