Sunday, December 3, 2006

Wading through the Frog Pond

Remember the Swallowtail Shawl from a previous post? Well, here's how that turned out:

Yesssss, boys and girls, I frogged the whole damn thing. Have you ever been knitting along and suddenly you realize that this is the wrong yarn for the wrong project? But you kept on knitting? To make matters worse, I had a feeling that something was not quite right. Oh, yes, indeedy. It was quite wrong. But I kept on knitting. All the motifs had shifted over one whole repeat. How the hell did that happen, huh? Was the knitting fairy godmother trying to tell me something all along and I was deaf to her entreaties to STOP KNITTING RIGHT NOW!!!!! THIS IS NOT WORKING!!!!!!!!! But, nooooooooo.....I kept on tinking and knitting and tinking and knitting. Dogged determination is what I was calling it. Yesireee. I don't give up easily. Nope, not me.

Only a moment, a split second, of clarity came to me just in time to stop the nonsense. (Or maybe it was the sun glaring on the snow....) Whatever. I hooked that baby up to my ball winder and cranked away. Goodbye Swallowtail Shawl in Morehouse Merino.

Hello Victoria Shawl in Jaggerspun Zephyr. (From Victorian Lace Today) This time, I'll listen to my knitting fairy godmother.

Knit on

Friday, December 1, 2006

Wintry Blast

The storm has been through and wrought its havoc. Now we dig out and deal with it. Life goes on. It's a good day to stay in and knit or dream about future projects....and make chili. The sounds of the neighborhood kids laughing and shouting while they sled is nice background noise.

My second lace project (Swallowtail Shawl) is moving along, albeit slowly. I apparently have trouble counting past three because in this very simple pattern there has been a fair amount of tinking. That'll teach me to knit and count while watching television. Usually, this isn't a problem, but it seems that senior moments will strike without warning and.....blotto!....there goes the pattern all out of whack. I vow that from this moment forward, I will pay closer attention to the knitting because I absolutely HATE tinking laceweight yarn. Okay, sure, that'll work, I'm sure.

My first order from Sarah's Yarns came the other day. I've never worked with Jaggerspun Zephyr and the word is that it's one of the best lace yarns out there. Word on Sarah is that she's also the best. I ordered some Zephyr in Indigo and also in Curry. This stuff is drop dead gorgeous. Sarah is truly the best as rumour had it. She's amazingly fast in fulfilling orders and sends a great selection of color cards with a first time order. I highly recommend her for both excellent customer service and the best prices I've seen on Zephyr. (No connection...just a very satisfied customer.)

Both of these yarns are destined to be "Victorian Lace Today" projects. Just which ones is yet to be decided. I'm so bowled over by Zephyr that I ordered more from Sarah in the color Steel. I ordered enough to make a large shawl. The planning and anticipation is part of the fun, isn't it?

I also have some Alpaca Cloud on order from Knit Picks. I ordered the Midnight color. This is also on the project list from VLT.

That's all from this lace maniac.
Knit on

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Here I go again

Looks like this blogging thing might just take off.

Knitting going on around this house. I just finished a self-designed scarf for a nephew in return for a huge favor he did our family recently. He's a wonderful young man and deserves the "kick ass scarf" that I promised him. Hope this one qualifies as "kick ass".
Robb's Scarf

It's a reversible cable and rib pattern. Very simple to do, actually. I used Cascade 220 in black and grey tweed yarns. Needle size #8's.
Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches. (48 in this scarf - 32 in black and 16 in tweed. You can decide how wide, just remember to use a 4 stitch multiple.)
Knit in k2 p2 rib for 4 rows beginning with tweed side, twisting the two colors of yarn around each other once as in intarsia knitting.
On 5th row, slip first 8 tweed stitches onto a cable needle and hold in back, k2 p2 next 8 tweed stitches from left needle, then k2 p2 8 tweed stitches from cable needle. Twist black and tweed yarns around each other once (intarsia style) and continue with black in k2 p2.
Continue in ribbing, twisting the yarns at each color change and cabling every 10 rows or so. You decide how tight or loose you want the cables to be.
Bind off in ribbing when the scarf is long enough, you're bored out of your skull, or run out of yarn.
If you don't want to fiddle with the color changes, use a single color. It flies along very quickly.
Swallowtail Shawl Progress

I've begun my second lace shawl. Since the Shetland Triangle was such a pleasure to knit, I decided to go with another Evelyn Clark design in the Swallowtail from Interweave Knits Fall '06 issue. These are wonderful learning to knit lace projects. They aren't huge, are easily memorized, and give a lot of design bang for your knitting buck. So to speak. Ask me if I feel the same after working some nupps. We'll see.

Yarn: Morehouse Merino laceweight in a heathery lichen green.
Needles: Inox size # 5
I plan to knit this a bit larger by knitting 19 repeats instead of 14 in the main body of the shawl. I think I read somewhere that the math works out correctly this way. If anyone knows different, please let me know.
Next up is something from Victorian Lace Today. My new favorite book. I have some Zephyr calling out to me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A New Beginning

Here goes. My first blog. Bear with me....this is a new experience. I'll try very hard not to be lame or redundant. No promises, though.


This is a knitting blog with a bit of photography thrown in. I do both with varying degrees of success.

I'll start off with my first lace knitting project. I recently completed The Shetland Triangle from Interweave Press's Wrap Style book. I used fingering weight sock yarn from Crafty in A Good Way. The colorway was Garnet and is a gorgeous, rich red with dark claret. This is lovely yarn.

For a first lace project, this was ideal. The pattern is easily memorized, so makes for a good take along project. It's also easily resized, which I did, in order to make a larger shawl.

Without further ado:

A closer view:

My next project is another Evelyn Clark design...Swallowtail Shawl. I'm using Morehouse Merino lace weight in a heathery lichen green color. I just cast on and worked a few rows to see how it would progress. I started with Knit Picks needles, but changed to Inox. Have to say, for this yarn, I prefer the Inox for the better grip. Wish they had the pointy-ness of the Knit Picks, though.
Okay. That's it for now.