Barbara Walker… week 8

Jah Rastafari

Jah Rastafari

Heather was home last week between classes and exams.  She mentioned that she will be going to a scout moot next weekend with the theme “Reggae vs DIsco”.  I immediately thought “do I have a stitch for you!”.  I knew this, Tricolor Wave Stripes, was the next stitch in Chapter Four, Color-Change Patterns.  It may have been good  to do another slouch, but it is difficult to get slouchy with such a dense stitch.

My next hat went from COLOUR! back to white, It uses Basketweave from Chapter Two, simple Knit-Purl Combinations and Braided Rib from Chapter Three, Ribbings.

Braided Rib and Basketweave

Braided Rib and Basketweave

I tried my best to stay in the pattern as I decreases at the top, but it was difficult to maintain the integrity of the stitch whilst decreasing the number of stitches per pattern repeat.  I don’t mind the top, but I think the basketweave got lost.

disappearing the basketweave

disappearing the basketweave

My last hat of the week uses Reverse Cross-Stitch Ribbing in combination with Mock Cable Rib (as suggested in the book).  I also broke into Chapter Nine, Eyelet Patterns with Zigzag Eyelet Pattern below the Simple Eyelet Pattern.

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I played a bit with the top from last week.  Disappearing 14 stitches toward each other in four sections.  This time when I got to the top of this part, I continued up with slip 1, knit 2 together, psso to the top.  Not actually that much different than the top last week’s hat.

disappearing eyelets

disappearing eyelets

I didn’t get too far this week because my knitting guild challenge is due tonight and I had to finish up my entries on the weekend. My entries are very much also-rans this year, but someone has to lose, right?

 

 

Barbara Walker….week 7

Black and white sampler-side view

Black and white sampler-side view

For these first two hats, I cast on 108 stitches using Patons Classic (worsted weight) wool and 4 1/2 mm needles.  I like 108 stitches if I am doing something that pulls in a bit, like cables or colour work.  108 has a lot of ways to be divisible 3 x 36, 4 x 27, 6 x 18, 9 x 12. For more ordinary tension stitches, I usually cast on about 100 stitches, which covers stitch repeats of 4 or 5 nicely. or 98 or 105 for a stitch repeat of 7, 102 for stitch repeats of 6..  These first two hats used 9 different stitches, all from Chapter 4, Color-Change Patterns.  For the first hat I started at the bottom with Pin Stripe Pattern.  I did a total of 14 rows of each colour, then joined back in to the cast on edge.  I continued up the hat with Three-and-One Tweed, Corn on the Cob Stitch, Pin Check, Pin Check Variation, and finished with Waffle Check. I separated each section with a knit row, then a purl row of black.  I like how the hat fits and it is really cozy and warm…not that we need THAT any more this year, YEAH!!.  Here is the top of that first one:

Black and White sampler-top view

Black and White sampler-top view

I liked how the pinstripe looked, but I felt the band could be less puffy.   I experimented on the second hat and did 7 rows of knit 1, purl 1 ribbing before doing 8 rounds of each colour in the pinstripe pattern and joining back to the cast on edge.

Another black and white sampler

Another black and white sampler

I continued up this hat with Maltese Cross Stitch, Waffle Check Variation, and finished with Dotted Ladder Pattern.  I did a two stage decrease at the top, and I liked the effect (for each quarter of the hat, I decreased on 2/3 of the stitches with the decreases heading toward each other, then when these stitches were gone, did the same thing on the remaining stitches).

Another black and white sampler...top view

Another black and white sampler…top view

I was pleased with how that looked, so decided to do the same basic thing on my next hat, this time doing half the stitches first, then the rest, but without the visual distraction of the colours.

Quaker ridging slouch hat-back view

Quaker ridging slouch hat-back view

I like how this top looks, but unfortunately maybe not on the hat I did.  I used Little Hourglass Ribbing from Chapter 3, Ribbings for 14 rows, then switched to Quaker Ridging from Chapter 2, Simple Knit-Purl Combinations.  As I was knitting this hat, it struck me that it was a pretty flexible stitch and the purl sections might roll up like my socks from a couple of weeks ago, so I thought it might work well as a slouch hat, which I did.

Quaker Ridging slouch hat-side view

Quaker Ridging slouch hat-side view

Heather and my friend Jen both liked the slouch thing, so I decided to do another using Cross-Stitch ribbing and Banded Insertion Pattern.

Banded Insertion Pattern-side view

Banded Insertion Pattern-side view

J decided for this one to just let the stitch itself tell me how to reduce it, even though I still have some ideas related to the last cast off.  I will save them for the future.  I have made notes so I don’t forget.  I quite like how the back turned out.

Banded Insertion Pattern-back view

Banded Insertion Pattern-back view

 

 

 

Barbara Walker…week 6

silly little hat

silly little hat

I kept looking at the beginning of Chapter Four, Colour Work, which starts with this pattern, Simple Vertical Stripes, and thinking “ugh!” This pattern reminds me of Phentex slippers and old ladies’ tea cozies. I decided that I had to bite it and get going because I actually love colour work and am looking forward to later things in this chapter. My compromise is to make a little hat which I can stick in the drawer of the doll’s dresser. It needs to be populated anyway. I used 1 mm (US 00000) needles and some knitting-in wool from spools I bought at one of my local wool stores.  Yarn Forward.

 

Little spools of wool

Little spools of wool

So now I am passed that little hurdle, I have made a couple of regular hats with some of the colour change patterns after that one.

 Two-Stitch Check/Four-Stitch Check Hat

Two-Stitch Check/Four-Stitch Check Hat

This hat uses the next two patterns in the chapter.  I redid the top four times before I left it.  I tried to disappear the stitches staying in the two-stitch check pattern several times before giving up and putting this top on it instead.  I used 9 points of decrease, decreasing on the white (knit) rows, alternating with plain rounds of black (purl).  I did another hat this way a month or so ago before I fired the blog back up.

Top view of Two-Stitch Check/Four-Stitch Check Hat

Top view of Two-Stitch Check/Four-Stitch Check Hat

I then carried on.  I really was not fussed about this, (Elongated Check) pattern, but it is OK on the hat, I think.  Better done than perfect, as they say.  Whoever THEY are.

Hat using Elongated Check Pattern

Hat using Elongated Check Pattern

This hat also uses the next stitch in Chapter 3, Ribbings- Embossed Moss Stitch Ribbing.  I played with disappearing the stitches in stockinette stitch on the top using 7 points of decrease. I did ssk at the beginning of each decrease section every row for 3 rows, did a row with no decrease, then did three rows where I did a k2tog at the end of each decrease section, followed by another plain row.  I alternated like this till I had nothing left.  I quite like how it looks.

Top of Elongated Check Pattern Hat

Top of Elongated Check Pattern Hat

That’s all she wrote for this week, better luck next time…

Barbara Walker…week 5

shaker fruit baskets from shakerworkshops.com

shaker fruit baskets from shakerworkshops.com

I had better get my skates on if I am actually going to get through the 500 or so patterns in this book…If I continue at four a week it could take upwards of 2 years! Oh, well, I will keep going till I am not enjoying the process any more.
Easter Basket hat

Easter Basket hat


This is the hat I did this week using Slip-Stitch Honeycomb from Chapter Five, Slip-Stitch patterns and Twisted Knit-two Purl-two Ribbing from Chapter Three, Ribbings. I decreased aggressively in four places to get the pointy bits that look like an upturned Shaker Fruit Basket…see image above.
Easter Basket Hat

Easter Basket Hat


This hat and mitt set are in a style I had been working on quite a bit earlier this year. I use random balls of novelty yarn from the discount bins and combine them with plain worsted weight yarn. I usually enclose the back of the novelty yarn with regular worsted yarn, because a lot of them are on the scratchy side, which is probably why they end up in the discount bins in the first place. For the Easter theme, I used a novelty yarn that had Easter Colours in it.
the inside of the Easter Basket hat

the inside of the Easter Basket hat


Last spring, I made a pile of hat and mitt sets, so I got pretty good at making mitts to match any hat I made. I decided in the interests of diversity, to include mittens to go with this hat. In order to use more stitches, they are not totally a set, but rather the mittens use Baby Cable Ribbing from Chapter Three, Ribbings and Woven Stitch from Chapter Five, Slip-Stitch Patterns. These mittens were quite popular with the waitresses this weekend, but maybe they were all just sucking up for tips.
n.b. If you are ever going to use woven stitch, add stitches. I increased from 40 to 46 from the ribbing to the body of the mitts and I could have done more, say 48 or 50, although they are not bad. I had to restart because I had not originally increased.
Easter Mittens

Easter Mittens

Last day in Quebec City

Alan took this picture of me in the pool from our hotel room window..note the snow surround

Alan took this picture of me in the pool from our hotel room window..note the snow surround

First thing in the morning, as soon as the pool was open, I went for a swim. When I was looking up the Delta Quebec online before we left, I saw that it had an outdoor heated pool. I thought this meant in the summer and said to Alan…no swimming this weekend. I was wrong-they heat the outdoor pool to swimming temperature all winter. It is pretty bizarre and decadent. It reminded me of the hotel in Guilin, China that becomes a waterfall..I couldn’t find one of our own pictures, so I got this one from the web. I have to admit I am not a good enough person not to be impressed and enjoy these things…
Hotel in Guilin, China, the facade of which becomes a waterfall nightly

Hotel in Guilin, China, the facade of which becomes a waterfall nightly


We walked into the old city for breakfast and I had the best eggs Benedict ever. And I order them whenever a restaurant has them. They were served on what amounted to pulled ham, and good quality ham at that. I am not sure I can go back to ordinary ones now. So often they overcook the eggs and they usually put them on a nasty deli slice of ham.
Eggs Benny for breakfast...

Eggs Benny for breakfast…


We left the restaurant and took the funicular car down to the lower town.
Vertigo, anyone?

Vertigo, anyone?


After wandering around a bit, we took the ferry across the river to Levis and back. I am a sucker for ferries, Hong Kong ,Bangkok Italy to Athens and on to Crete, between the islands of New Zealand, etc. I once had a memorable crossing of the English channel as a teenager. The ferry passed the breakwater into heaving seas and soon the entire population was heaving along with the boat. When the kids were little we sometimes took the long way home from Toronto via Picton and took the little ferry that connects Prince Edward County with Kingston. It is a perfect ferry ride for small children. If it is not right there, you can watch it coming. You can see the far shore as soon as you embark…kids attention span stuff. All the bang and no fizzling out.
gillianknits.com
The ferry to Levis was great because if you stood at the bow, you could look down and watch it crash into the ice floes and bust them in pieces. We only discovered this on the return trip and I wanted to go do it again, but we refrained. Unfortunately, the ice floes only cover half the width of the river now. Two days ago they went pretty much all the way across. I guess we really hit a good day to get here so we could see that.
Heading back to Quebec City from Levis

Heading back to Quebec City from Levis


After the ferry we went and looked at the lobby of the Chateau Frontenac and had a coffee in the ubiquitous Starbucks, then returned to the hotel and out for supper. We are now back home. It was a great mini vacation. I don’t even mind that I have to postpone my trip to Peru till the fall…

Quebec City and surrounding area…the adventure continues

bridge to Ile d'Orleans

bridge to Ile d’Orleans

Yesterday (Saturday, our second full day here), we took a road trip out of the city to visit Montmerency Falls and the Ile d’Orleans, which sits in the middle of the St. Lawrence just east of Quebec city. It has a circumference of 75km according to Wikipedia and so the road that circumnavigates the island is probably a bit less than this. It was as picturesque as all get out. We saw at least three tiny little churches, probably only large enough to seat a family, as well as lots of full size ones. The river was as beautiful as you can imagine with the sun reflecting off the ice floes. The houses and farms seemed all well kept, at least so far as you can tell with snow covering everything. Because the deciduous trees had no leaves, there was little to encumber the views of the river.
Just over the bridge as you leave the island is Montmerency Falls.
Montmerency Falls

Montmerency Falls


If you look closely, you can see two climbers going up the dome that has been formed by the constant freezing of the spray at the bottom of the falls. Apparently these falls are 1 1/2 times as high as Niagara Falls, but lack the width.
closer to the falls

closer to the falls


I love waterfalls in the winter, they get such interesting ice buildup. We took a cable car up to the top of the falls, then walked around at the top and came back down on the cable car. We would have walked one way but the interesting looking staircase was closed for the winter still.
Coincidentally, just as we were leaving these falls, Heather texted me that she was just at Niagara Falls for the first time in her life on an impromptu trip–one failure of parenting–she texted OMG, WHY have I never been here before. Because your parents took you round the world instead of down the road, I guess. Sucks to be you.
St. Patrick's (belated) day parade Quebec City

St. Patrick’s (belated) day parade Quebec City


After we got back to town we went to see the St. Patrick’s Day Parade…but wait, wasn’t that two weeks ago, you ask? Why, yes, but according to our waitress the night before, if you want the good pipers, you have to get in line behind Boston, NYC and Montreal. These poor third tier towns.
After the parade, we just came back to the hotel and vegged, then went downstairs for supper. We are taking it easy this trip…not the power tourists we used to be back in our heydey.

Loving Quebec City…

We are in Quebec City because Alan won 4 nights in a Delta hotel. The hotel is great, quite close to the old city. It is way swankier than any accommodation I usually have. We have a love seat and a desk in the room, which makes it easy to spend time in. The hotel has a good restaurant if you don’t feel like venturing out for a meal, although the meals we have had out have been spectacular. Since we aren’t paying for accommodation, we have been paying a little more for food than we usually do also. Maybe we are just lucky, but the food seems better here than at home.
Even though we are only a little over 4 hours from home, it seems more exotic than that. And the weather is fantastic-hovering around 0 (32 in Fahrenheit) and sunny every day so far. After our long, cold winter it seems positively balmy. I love the fact that most of the conversation you hear around you is in French, so it makes you feel more like you are away. You hear French sometimes in Ottawa, but mostly English in our area.
We got here on Thursday late afternoon, taking it very slowly to get here. We will return even more slowly as we have a few stops planned.
On Friday we started with a bus tour of the city. I find these to be very helpful when travelling to orient yourself and give you an idea of what to visit later. In the afternoon we hung around the hotel, then I went across the street to an observation deck on the 31st floor of the tallest building in the city. It was OK until I hit the east side, then it was FABULOUS. The view over the old city and out over the St. Lawrence and Ile d’Orleans was one of those views I never want to leave. I think it may be amongst my top ten ever views. I stayed there for about an hour just watching the ferries and tug boats floating through the ice floes, making wakes behind them that stayed for ages before they filled back in, and looking at the old city I had been walking through in the morning with its ramparts.
Google decided on another photo array…so here it is
https://plus.google.com/u/0/112081205643155371059/stories/a2312fec-b923-3a69-850e-f480fee3fc3314c627a4185?cfem=1