The Imposter (a little knitting)

It’s been about a year since I went on my last visit to Fancy Tiger Crafts.  This was my favorite yarn shop in Denver so I wanted to get some yarn and a project to have as a fun memory of the shop.

I chose a pattern written by a Fancy Tiger designer and some Fancy Tiger Romney Yarn. It’s a USA raised, milled and hand-dyed yarn.  It’s a sturdy yarn.  They describe it as rustic. To me, this is yarn-speak for scratchy.  It is a little scratchy, but I soaked it in Eucalan and that did soften it up somewhat.  It will feel great in the cold winters we have here.  Not that I am in any hurry for it to get cold so that I can test that theory out.

I tried to get some pictures of the shawl.  This one is ok.  My lovely little garden serves as the background.



Despite its “rustic” feel, this yarn was really nice to work with.



It’s a really well written pattern too.



Hey where did he come from?  One of my nicknames for Buster is “my little friend”.  He’s always with me.  He was watching me try to take a decent picture of my shawl.

The pattern is really a variation on a basketweave pattern (the woven look is part of the “imposter”).


The other part of the “imposter” is the scalloped edge.  It looks like it is a crocheted scalloped edge, but it’s knitted.  A crocheted edging would have gone more quickly than this edging, but I loved doing this edging.  There were yarn overs at edge of each right side row.  After I bound off, I went back and picked up stitches on these yarn overs.  I then knitted a row with increases and then just knit a second row.  Here is where it got interesting for me.

I had to knit into that yarn over two rows below.  Knitting into a row other than the one I am currently on is one of those things that makes me feel like a “real knitter”.  So I had to do this 4 times with each yarn over.  It ended up with 425 stitches to be bound off, but I love how it ended up!

This would be a nice pattern for a comfort or prayer shawl although I’d use a softer yarn.

Snow? Snow! and a Fancy Tiger knitting class

It’s Monday afternoon, and we are watching the snow just pour down.  (pour?  plummet? I don’t know what the word is exactly, but it is really snowing.)  Again, this is hard for a former Okie/Texan/Tennessean/Arkansan to get used to.  Snow in mid April.  My mom is coming tonight and she will get to enjoy a couple more days of snow with us.  We will have fun going out to play in it.

Yesterday, I was so happy to be able to go to a knitting class at Fancy Tiger (greatest crafting store ever (after Knit Unto Others of course!)).   It was led by Stephen West and Ragga Eiriksdottir.  I’ve followed Stephen’s work for awhile, and he does some cool stuff.  I was surprised to learn how young he is!  He is from Oklahoma and I asked him what year he’d graduated from high school.  2007! I admire all that he’s accomplished in just a few years since graduating from high school!  I was not familiar with Ragga’s work, but I really enjoyed learning from her as well.  This is not the greatest picture in the world.  I just had my phone with me and I was trying to be quick about it.



I have another lousy picture to share because I was fascinated by this sweater that Stephen had designed and knitted.



The sweater is made out of linen, but see the white stripes?  They are made from linen (I think linen and not cotton) dipped in latex!  We all had to touch the sweater to see what this felt like.  Linen is not the softest although I think it softens over time.  The white stripes were actually fairly soft and not that latexy feeling.  I thought this was really neat.  I think he’d gotten the yarn in Belgium.

So we played with shapes.



We tried some different techniques where we played with different edgings and increases and decreases.  One of my favorite things that I learned was when we knit several rows and ended the row (on the right side) by slipping 3 stitches with the yarn held in the front.  This created an “applied?” i-cord along the side of the swatch.  I think the upper right of this picture shows that although this is the wrong side.  It’s smoother on the other side.  I loved this look.

Ragga taught us something she called the “Insanely Stretchy Cast On”  It involved using a helper needle.  It was something like the long tail cast on with the helper needle added in. There was seriously a “twirl” at the end to bring the needles back up and it also added a twist on the yarn for the cast on stitches.  I am not sure I can remember how to do it now, but when I was done, I removed the helper needle and so then had these elongated cast on stitches.  Very neat.

We played with short rows and just swatched around.  It’s not very often that I do this – just play with different stitches and short rows, and it was really fun.  I have several of Stephen’s projects now that I really want to make.  It was through playing around that he has created some really interestingly constructed shawls.  I want to make “Rockefeller“, “Geysir Stretch” and “Bolting“.  For starters.

So I guess it’s easy to see that I am pretty excited about the class.  It was a great opportunity to get creative and to think about knitting in different ways.

Ok – I’m thinking this snowy day calls for potato soup.  Davey is going to help me make some banana bread too.

Happy Monday!