Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happiness isn't always what you expect

Georgina's Pin PillowWell hello there! I'm back, and with three new patterns for you. To thank you for your patience between posts and patterns, the first one is a freebie - Georgina's Pin Pillow, shown at left. It's a very easy, infinitely customizable pin cushion pattern available here. (Ravelry link here.) It was made and named for my mom, whom I love very much and who taught me to knit. It only takes a small amount of yarn - I used the extra from the Felicidad cardigan, and there was still some left over. (Don't you just love the Flying Whirl pin-wheel that the pins came in? I do!)

Felicidad Cardi
In addition to the pin pillow, you have two new sweater patterns to choose from. The most recent is Felicidad, which is Spanish for "happiness." It's a versatile cropped cardigan striped with variegated and solid laceweight yarn, which harmonizes the colors and prevents pooling and flashing. Would you guess that the two colorways are the ones shown in the pin pillow photo? The Diamond Trellis Lace pattern is an authentic antique from The Jenny June Manual of Knitting and Crochet, published in 1886. The sweater has been in my mind for some time, and it has only now come to completion. It was worth the wait - it's very light and comfortable to wear, and I think it will become one of my summer staples. (And I'd say that even if I hadn't designed it myself.) Now I want to make one in a solid or semi-solid yarn. The pattern includes 9 sizes, XS-5X (to fit bust 30"-62" / 76-157.5 cm).

The Saga of Felicidad

Felicidad on the beachAs today's post title suggests, happiness - or felicidad - isn't always what you expect. Designing Felicidad was an adventure, and there were times I wanted to throw it across the room. The yarn had a peculiar affinity for the floor, and it kept jumping off my lap as it was being knit until I eventually corralled it in tupperware. (Yup - gravity's workin'.) The sweater was originally supposed to have 3/4 length sleeves, but I didn't have enough yarn. (Note: the XS, S and M - mine is M - can be knit with only one skein each of the Ella Rae Lace Merino!) They were originally going to be the same lace as the body, but they didn't want to be; they fought me, and I tore out more inches than I care to remember. Looking at it now, I believe that the stockinette with picot border works better anyway.

A suggestion for when you knit this or any lace garment that needs to fit: make a big gauge swatch and block it aggressively. Wash, stretch, pin. I made one and blocked it, but not aggressively enough. My first row gauge was 11 rpi instead of 9. This made the back and fronts about 4 inches too long on the first blocking, and I had to rip out a lot of lace. Save yourself the pain. The Ella Rae Lace Merino held up very well to repeated frogging, though, and I would happily use it again.

Light Lyric Coloratura

Here is sweater pattern #2: Light Lyric Coloratura. (Here on Ravelry; Here on Patternfish.) It was completed several weeks ago and somehow escaped blogging. It's another lightweight garment that can be dressed up or down. Though the lace looks complex, you only need to follow one chart at a time, and much of the body and sleeves are simple stockinette. Yes, there's seaming, but that adds to the stability of the sweater. Another plus: the pattern includes 9 sizes, XS-5X (to fit bust 30"-62" / 76-157.5 cm). Curvy girls, rejoice! I particularly like the way the hem lace skims the hips and thighs, which are my particular trouble spots. Also, an open cut with no buttons means no pulling at the front - just flattering drape.

Are you wondering about the name? Here's the story. Operatic voices are categorized according to their range, weight, and color. A light lyric coloratura soprano has a very agile voice which is capable of fast musical acrobatics and clear high notes. Think of Beverly Sills or Kathleen Battle. This type of soprano may sing such light roles as Adele in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus or Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto, occasionaly crossing over to more dramatic roles, such as The Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte by Mozart. My favorite description, from Opera for Dummies, is that they are "the tweety-birds of the musical aviary." I love to sing opera, though with an untrained voice I do it only for fun, and usually not in public. :) The light lyric coloratura songs are an incredible amount of fun. I also like to sing Gilbert and Sullivan, who added humor to the operatic type music. Fun x 2, at least! The Mikado & Patience are my favorites, though there are also some great songs in Ruddigore and Pirates of Penzance. Come to think of it, some of their soprano characters (Yum-Yum, Rose Maybud, and Mabel) can fit into the light lyric coloratura category as well.

So there you have it - a free pin pillow and two new sweaters. I hope you enjoy them. Happy knitting!

Georgina's Pin Pillow - free!
Download PDF here  |  Ravelry

Felicidad Cardi - $6.95
Ravelry  |  Patternfish

Light Lyric Coloratura - $6.95
Ravelry  |  Patternfish


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  2. The Pirates of Penzance is playing at BRT next season (2013). We should go! Oh, and lovely patterns, by the way.