Thursday, March 6, 2008

Amabilis

The month is less than a week old and already has both meowed and roared. Perhaps in harmony with that seasonal split personality, Malabrigo March is reminding me of how much I love fancy texture stitches. I also hate the same stitches, but right now it's all good. The Amanda Hat by Gina House is finished and she is lovable perfection, if I do say so myself. I'm particularly happy with the way the Diagonal Demi-Brioche stitch and the color pooling work together.

Amanda

Amanda as written is a bit too deep for my head, so I set out to omit one repeat of brioche stitches, four rounds, half below the garter band and half above. Apparently I can't count to two, because somehow the omitted rounds are all above the garter band. Ah well, I rather like the subtle asymmetry. I also added an extra set of decreases on top for a better fit.

Amanda crown

Consistent gauge is extra important when working brioche stitches. The fabric has a strong propensity to pull in, which causes many knitters to tighten their gauge, which causes the fabric to pull in more, ad infinitum (– and beyond!) in a spiral as inexorable as a gravity sink or an economic depression. Happily, it's generally a virtue if a hat tapers toward the top, which makes Amanda a forgiving project for the first-time brioche knitter.

TheChevalier next Malabrigo March project on the needles is Chevalier Mittens by Tikru. I'm a great admirer of her Suomi style and this pattern is no exception. Alas, my poor digicam seems unable to capture the richly ombréd red-violet of the Pagoda colorway; indeed, what it does register seems to obscure the beautiful cables. So I dabbled in some special effects to convey a better sense of the luscious texture.

B/W Chevalier

Chevalier as written has a cuff that reaches almost to my elbow – a magnificent gauntlet for a knight of yore, but too much of a good thing for my taste. I've shortened the cuff. I'm working the m1 increases for the offset thumb gusset so that they lean away from the thumb instead of the more usual lean toward the thumb, resulting in soft organic curves on the palm side that showcase the yarn and contrast with the embossed relief on the back of the hand. Sorry, no pix of the thumb gusset this time, I got obsessed with the color balance problem.

Dendrobium

Red-violet does seem to be a challenge for my digicam, cf this splendid dendrobium orchid from last year's Flower Show. I'm off to Philly tomorrow to chatter in botanic Latin, walk and gawk 'til my feet fall off, and stock up on goods, garden and otherwise. (Thanks, Alotta.Knittin, for the advance review. I'll look for those Flying Monkey cupcakes!) As I mentioned to blogless Kelli, I'll be the one inhaling – all the fresh flowers and plants are such a breath of spring.

9 comments:

Lynn said...

Your Amanda hat looks great! I started one for Malabrigo March also and absolutely love how it is turning out. It's a perfect pattern for the subtle changes in semi-solid Malabrigo.

CrazyFiberLady said...

The hat is gorgeous!! I can't wait to see that mitten progress. Stunning so far.

Will Pillage For Yarn said...

I love that hat! Fantastic. Now I know what I'm gonna do with that one skein of plum colored Malabrigo I've been hanging on to!

Silvia said...

The hat is great, as are the mittens. All that texture wants me to put down my current project for something new!

Kim said...

Oh the cablely goodness in those mitts! I love how the Amanda hat turned out. Enjoy the Philly flower show wearing your new March bonnet.

Kristen said...

Lovely watercolor hat. I go for texture too.

Jessica said...

Nice to see you AND your lovely projects last night. :) Enjoy the garden show, it sounds like a great pick me up for this yucky weather we keep having.

Nancy said...

Both your hat and mittens are beautiful. Have a great time at the flower show. Spring is almost here....

Devorah said...

Great hat! I love the texture and it looks nice and cozy.