If you have never played around using different textured yarns in your knitting, you will find it is a fun way to create a unique and complex fabric all your own. The technique of "layering" works best with yarns that are in the same color range. If you are anything like me or my friends (Renee of Renee knits too can attest to this) your stash is likely filled with yarns in the same color tone already. In fact, I personally find it very hard to break away from my "colors" even when I want to. On more than one occasion I've come home with new yarn only to realize - in shock and disbelief - that once again I've bought yarn that is very similar to something that I've already got. But that won't happen again because I. will. not. buy. blue. yarn. again. maybe.
To create a rich and complex fabric what you want besides yarns in the same color range is yarn in different textures as well. Rowan Kidsilk Haze is a great choice for layering because it will soften up any yarn and give it a soft halo of color. My Lace Ruffle Scarf is an example of a project knit using this technique. All you do is hold both strands of yarn together and knit away. Wonderful stuff that kidsilk haze.
The only real design element in this scarf came from a suggestion of my dear friend, Murielle of Murielle's knitwear, who suggested that I try adding a couple of rows of lycra to the middle, which I did. It is for this reason that the fabric breaks very sharply and gives a nice clean modern look to the scarf which is best illustrated in the picture above. I'm actually hoping to get Murielle (a knitwear designer) to write a guest post for us here on Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog and share some of her designing tips and tricks with all of us!
This is the first project that I've knit with beaded yarn and I love the effect. It is hard to show in the pictures but the texture and tactile feel of this scarf really makes it special. I did enlarge the picture below to better show the detail.
Free Pattern: Romantic Beaded Scarf
Materials: Approximately 450-600 yards DK weight yarn (use two or 3 different textured yarns of similar color) I used 3 skeins Tilli Tomas Flurries (colorway skydrop); 2 skeins Tilli Tomas Aspen (colorway skydrop) and 1 skein Rowan Kidsilk Haze (colorway heavenly). Optional: small amount of Lycra or very thin lace weight yarn.
Needles: Circular US 10.5
Gauge: Not terribly important but I like my scarfs to be at least 60 inches in length so swatch and calculate the number of stitches to achieve whatever length you chose. I knit this scarf on 190 stitches and my scarf measures 62" x 6" - without including the fringe.
Note: This scarf is knit in garter stitch and is knit from side to side and not top to bottom - hence the need to use long circular needles. Yarn A = Aspen yarn stranded with Kidsilk Haze and Yarn B = Flurries yarn. Using Yarn A cast on 190 stitches (or whatever your gauge indicates) and knit 2 rows. Knit the next two rows knit using Yarn B. Continue alternating every two rows between Yarn A and Yarn B. To knit the scarf on the bias (which is what I did) on all odd rows increased 1 stitch at the beginning of the row and decrease 1 stitch at the end of the row. I did this on odd rows as follows: K1, make one, K to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1. The optional middle design is worked on very thin yarn using much smaller needles (I used 2 strands of Lycra and dropped down to US 5 needles) and knit in stockinette for approximately 6 rows. Make the fringe ~ because I wanted lots of texture in the fringe ~ I made my fringe using only Yarn B (beaded yarn) and cut strands 16" long (8" when folded) and attached them using a crochet hook. Have fun playing with different yarns!
And a Little About Valentine's Day while I'm in the mood to talk about Romance!
Fifty years ago the blue velvet heart pictured below held a stand of pearls given to my mother as her wedding gift from my father. That's romantic. But it's even more romantic that he sold his fishing boat so he that could afford to buy my mother a beautiful engagement ring.
Today it displays a beautiful romantic necklace that I purchased from the talented and thoroughly enjoyable blogger, Tracy of Pink Purl, whose Etsy shop is filled with fun and romantic accessories and jewelery. Her blog is a delightful place to visit with wonderful writing, varied craft projects, and tasty recipes! I tell you, some women are so multi-talented it just floors me.
We don't exchange gifts around here to celebrate Valentine's Day but we do try and make it a fun day and an occasion to make each other feel special. That's fun and easy to do if you write a special Valentine poem. To get you started I'm sharing a couple of our Valentine's:
Mr Puffy's Valentine to Mia (Mr Puffy harbors a crush on this little dog who lives next door):
You're so cute
You're so sweet
I'm going to share
My milk bone treat
Claudia's Valentine to Steve:
Hair dark as coal
Eyes blue as the sky
No one's cuter
Than my sweetie pie
Steve's Valentine to Claudia:
I regret this was not printable. It failed to pass the strict family guidelines here at Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog. No good asking what it said as I will not gratify any prurient interest.
But I will share one way that Steve and I keep romance in our lives and that is to eat dinner by candlelight every night. So rummage up some candles (unscented candles work best for dinner) and give it a try this week ~ it's a nice way to relax and begin your evening!