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Monday, June 22, 2015

A Camping Project

Over the weekend I went camping for the first time in at least fifteen years. A friend had invited myself and my son and I thought it might be fun. I forgot how much I hated camping as a teen. I still hate camping. In fact, now I loathe camping. It's way too much work packing, schlepping supplies, setting up, trying to cook in the wild, porta potties, pulling it all down...I'd rather hang out for a day at the state park and have the fun stuff like 'smores and then go home and sleep in a real bed.

But I brought a long a quick grab and go project that didn't require a lot of attention - the Figure 8 Headscarf from the latest Interweave Knits - to work on the few times I got to sit down and relax.

As luck would have it a friend of mine had gifted me with a random ball of yarn in pinks and purples with no identifying band. It felt like an acrylic blend, definitely not a cotton or wool, and looked to be about the right weight, so I decided to cast it on. I didn't gauge swatch for a headband but it doesn't really matter for this type of pattern, IMO.

Decided to shorten the number of repeats before and after the twist to fourteen instead of seventeen. I didn't care for how long it was in the magazine's picture. The pattern is incredibly easy to memorize, after one or two times of repeating the eight rows all I had to do was remember what row I was on and the stitch pattern came to me. And I finished it in one weekend!

Thanks for the aforementioned horrible time camping I was exhausted today for work so I just threw my hair up in a bun and tied the scarf around my head to cover my greasy hair. Et voila! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Review: Interweave Knits Summer 2015

Yes, I renewed my subscription. It was only $33, so I figured, why not? First, it was really nice to see some smaller, quicker projects featured in this issue. Interweave too often consists of larger projects like sweaters that would take at least a month to complete. Sometimes you want a quick knit, and this issue offers a lot of those. The first section "Section Hike" has three headband, a head scarf, and a kerchief, all of which are adorable.

My two favorites were the Berkshire headband and the Olympia headband, both knit in shades of purple/maroon.

Not only are they small projects they're super cute! I'm going to go through my stash this weekend and see if I have yarn I could substitute for the Olympia headband and knit it up over Memorial Day. The remaining three patterns in "Section Hike" felt kind of tacked on to the collection. The Applachian Thermal and the Bartram Vest are both knit in Oatmeal/brown-ish shades, which at this point makes me want to scream. COLOR. This is a summer issue, for pete's sake! The Mount Robson Pullover is knit in a beautiful forest green, and I love the ribbing in the body contrasted with the saddle stockinette shoulders. Since I don't have a man in my life to knit it for, however, I guess it'll have to wait

 The second section, titled "Wild Bouquet" did feature pieces in a variety of colors like soft green, pink, lavender, etc. The idea being a bouquet of wildflowers. I liked the slouchiness of the Phyllotaxis Hat, and the open lacework in the pattern would keep it from getting too hot. The Clove Hitch Tee is boring and boxy. I don't think it would be flattering on anyone, honestly. 

The Wildflower Bolero's pattern features the self-striping yarn and bobbles, I'd like to see it in another color but it's at least interesting visually. It doesn't meet all the way in the front, however, so I'd probably add stitches on either side to eliminate the gap. 

 Both the slip stitch and the openwork on the Dianthus Cardigan and the Blue Columbine Cardigan would get tedious after a while. They're both pretty, but I wish the magazine had better pictures of the front. The detail of a triangle of openwork on the cuffs on the Blue Columbine pattern is very cool.

 There are two shawl patterns in this collection which, even though I'm not a fan of shawls, have beautiful designs and colors. The Western Slope Tee has an open work section on the front, so you'd have to wear it with a camisole underneath. The back is worked entirely in straight stitch up to where it divides for front and back. As I'm currently slogging through a piece with a lot of straight stitch I don't think I'd find this a fun project. 

 The third collection in this issue, "Local Color," features three patterns with colorwork designs. I hate all three of them. There's the return of the browns/creams on the Magic City Henley and the Chrysler Cardigan (which the editor featured on the cover - WHY?). They both scream 'Old Lady' to me and look very dated. 

The Chesapeake Jacket has turquoise crabs and waves against a cream background. If that's your thing, great. 

 I wish that, instead of including the "Local Color" section, the editor had just chosen more patterns for the "Home & Hearth" section. The sock braided trivets are made of i-cords and were obviously included to help sell this i-cord maker thing-y Interweave is selling, but they're cute and practical. 

Since my son is always losing coasters under the couch I may make a few for the living room. The Cottage Baby Blanket is just gorgeous, even though it looks like a lot of work it would truly be a heirloom piece. Like I said, I wish the editor had chosen more patterns to fit in this section. Overall, I'd say the patterns in this issue were hit or miss. Here's a shot of the pictorial table of contents at the end of the magazine.

Of course no one is going to love every single pattern in an issue, but since this one has a lot of smaller projects perfect for road trips and summer afternoons I would recommend picking this one up. I've already started one of the headbands for my camping trip this weekend!
 - D