I am a HUGE fan of the Australian TV series involving the lady detective Phryne Fisher. If you have not discovered this gem of a show, you can binge watch Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries on Netflix, where the whole series is available for your viewing pleasure. Make sure you are ready with at least a pint of ice cream or a bag of popcorn and full reign of at least half the couch so you can get comfy. (The show has a Miss Marple feel, but instead of an old lady, the lady detective is a vivacious middle-aged woman who is both sure of herself and her place in the world. She is fun, sexy and smart. The supporting cast is loveable and the world of Miss Fisher is addictive.) As it turns out, I am not the only person who enjoys both knitting and Phryne. I kind of geeked out a little bit when I discovered this...it was like validation of my guilty pleasure.
I was reading the Knittingdaily weekly update and it turns out Meghan Babin, an editor at Interweave, is also a big fan and spotted the Phryne inspired beret in the latest isse of knit.wear. (It may be self-serving, since knit.wear is part of the Interweave engine, but self-promotion is fine with me when quality knits and one of my favorite shows are concerned. Besides, it's kind of her job, I respect that.)
Well, Ms. Babin is going to be hosting a knit along on the Ravelry group Miss Fisher's Knit and Crochet Mysteries. (Who knew a group like that existed? There really is a group out there for everyone.) This knit along is going to be to complete the Phryne Beret mentioned above. So, in the spirit of ametuer sluething, I checked out the beret and it is very cute. The pattern is a little pricey, at $5.50. I think I might just head to the bookstore and buy the whole magazine, which is $14.99 and contains more than three patterns...so it seems more cost effective. They probably do that on purpose. :-) I am excited to join this knit along, so I have joined the Ravelry group and am eagerly anticipating the start of the project, which is April 25. If you read this blog, I hope you can join too.
dThis post title is probably a little misleading. The Cricket tabletop loom by Schacht Spindle Co, Inc. is not new, but it is new to me...and what fun! My husband got it for me for my birthday and I've been playing with it almost non-stop. I had a little trouble deciding where this post belonged, is it a review or a project? Perhaps it's a little bit of both; I was just excited about finding a new fiber craft. Yarn't you glad? (Yes, I wrote that.) Just to get my feet wet, I decided I would try a very simple scarf with a black tweed for the warp and a white for the weft. I only had the reed that came with the loom, so worsted weight yarn was the only option. The upside of that was the scarf worked up crazy fast. I'm used to knitting time. I find there are a lot of Star Trek sounding terms with weaving, and because I seem to be on a roll of lame puns today, weaving really moves at warp speed compared to knitting. After a few hiccups warping my loom, the process was relatively painless and fun. The scarf was finished in a smattering of hours. (My birthday was Sunday, I was done with the scarf by Wednesday...and I promise I did not work obsessive hours on it.)
Once I finished the scarf, I was a little sad I didn't decided to do something a little more visually stimulating. However, I feel like it's good not to get ahead of myself, this was a perfect first project. The scarf's finished length is approximately 90 inches, which is delightfully long and perfect for a good bundle in cold weather. The trickiest part seemed to be the edges. I followed the instructions and always left my yarn at a 45 degree angle before beating it with the heddle lightly, so I had no trouble with the scarf pulling in along the edge. My trouble was having a little too much yarn on the switchback leaving an edge that was a bit sloppier than I would like. It could have been a little bit of the yarn, too, which was hand spun and had variable thickness. This added to the beauty of the texture of this scarf, but perhaps it gave me more trouble with the tension on the edges than a more consistent yarn would have. This may require further investigation. (I would never blame the yarn, it is all me and my lack of experience.)
If you are on the fence whether or not to pick up weaving, you should choose the side that includes this table top loom. I sat on the floor in my living room and put the loom on my coffee table when I made this scarf, so I could weave and hang out with my family, making it a wonderfully social craft. I ran in to a little trouble when my two-year old decided he wanted to help...but you know what, he could help and the scarf turned out great. Now I get to tell him we both made it, which delights him. I will include the information on purchasing this loom in a review post, so I will limit my discussion of that here.
Summary: In my limited experience, I found the edges were the trickiest part of making a scarf, but that will come with confidence and practice, I am sure. Considering the length of the scarf, this project went faster than I could have imagined. (Perhaps it would be a perfect way to get some of those holiday gifts done when time is running out.) I think starting out with solid colors was good for practice and to learn the relationship between the warp and weft and how the colors show through and play off each other. There is a ton of potential playing with color using this loom, I am excited to start my next project.