Monday, November 24, 2008

Autumn In New York - Take One

Well Ms. Bad Cat (Bad Cat Designs) has done it again! She's shared another lovely pattern with us - a quick knit this go 'round. I actually was keeping up plus knitting Miralda, finishing socks (Twin Rib), starting more socks (Gentlemen's) and unventing/starting leg warmers while clues were coming.......and I was/am making TWO of these at once! However, work, life and some actual household chores caught up with me a bit the last couple weeks. Which is not to say I'm late. The finishing instructions only came out yesterday! I have finished the first one and will finish the second shortly.

For today.....a pre-blocking photo (below) and one while blocking (above) - I'll add a modeled view later. Check out the colors, eh? Pretty cool and these are nothing like seeing it live! I went with needles on the larger end of the scale for this and it's big and cozy.

Project Name: Adiago Autumn in New York
Yarn used: Adiago #3622
Amount used: 3.51 balls (~765 yards)
Yarn source: Yarn Place
Total weight: 176 grams
Needles: US 7 (4.5mm)
Finishing method: Hot water/shampoo soak, rinsed x2 and final rinse with hair conditioner and a few drops eucalyptus oil
Finished dimensions: 77" top x 57" sides x 45" center
Pattern name/source: Autumn in New York by Bad Cat Designs


This is another quickie I slipped in. Will need to add some pics with my cute lil' model after it's dry....

It's oh sooooooo soft :-). Oddly, I kept thinking of someone I've never even met as a candidate for this one if it didn't turn out as large as I'd hoped for myself. Normally when I have someone so much in mind for a project it's meant to be theirs but I'm not sure how that would work for this one (the mother of a very dear friend).

This was truly a fast knit. Two weeks on the calendar was only because I worked the charts for two other shawls (Autumn in New York - details to follow), finished a pair of socks and started another pair all while working on this in addition to other works already in progress!! What can I say? I simply need variety in my knitting ;-).

Check out how it bloomed in the wash!!

Started 10-31-2008 / Finished 11-15-2008
Project Name: Miralda
Yarn used: 3/28 100% Cashmere
Yarn source: ColourMart
Amount used: 775 yards
Total weight: 75 grams
Needles: US7 (4.5mm)
Finishing method: Hot water/shampoo wash; dryer and repeat followed by hair conditioner in final bath. Wet blocked.
Finished dimensions: 66.5" top edge x 34.5" center x 46" sides
Pattern name/source: Miralda; Nancy Bush's "Knitted Lace of Estonia"

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Koolhaas Hat

The one and only entry for this one, most likely ;-). This was a quick knit, hehehe. No in progress pictures 'cuz I never thought to take any while it was in progress!

The pattern is from the Holiday 2007 Interweave Knits but that sold out very quickly, or so I understand. However, it is now available for sale as a separate pattern here.

I think this was the first time I can recall in my whole knitting life that I actually used the exact yarn recommended! Pretty nice stuff, actually. See details below. I even mostly followed the pattern, only compensating because either my row gauge was off or there was a bit of an error. It turned out exactly how I wanted it so I didn't bother to check which or fix it.

Project Name: Koolhaas Hat, Interweave Holiday Gifts 2007
Yarn used: Shokay Yarn Shambala (100% yak; 164 yd [150 m]/100 g): Navy,
Called for 1 skein, used a bit more than half I believe
Yarn source: Yarnmarket
Needles: 4mm (US6) & 5mm (US8)
Modifications: One less pattern repeat than pattern called for

Oops? More previews....

.......Well I learned something new about posting ;-). Continuing with the previews.....and by the way, proper links with all the pattern credits, etc including links will be added with the full project posts.....

A mysterious green thing? Not really - but rather looks it, eh? This will eventually be a Large Leaf Rectangle Shawl from Victorian Lace Today.

Socks, anyone? These are finished too.

A goodly bit of progress on a pattern called "Ostara" by Goddess Knits. A very nicely flowing design.....

I call this my "Conference Call" shawl - it's really Magic Circle from A Gathering of Lace but it's something I can work on without looking at it and is great for conference calls and football games! Sometimes it moves along and sometimes not depending on what else is on the needles and my whim of the moment.

A Faux Russian Stole from Gathering of Lace.......although the yarn is laceweight, not fingering as the pattern calls for. This will be cozy.

I also have a very pretty purple "thing" on my needles as well but can't share that until it's both done and the designer approves......

This is just a sampling! There's more........but all in good time :-)

Busy Busy Busy

Wow has it ever been crazy. I thought once I got the wedding shawls squared away things would settle a bit. Perhaps I was mistaken - or the "busy" just shifted a bit? I've been getting a ton of stuff done, projects finished and new ones begun but many are pictureless. Some details must be left out for now since I'd hate to spoil any Christmas surprises. Gearing up for Christmas is very much on the agenda though and many things are either begun or even finished! I decided this year to just get done what I can get done and not stress over it. The kids are the first priority and I'm nearly done with their presents (yeah!).

A preview of coming attractions with limited details.......

This is my Handspun Forest Canopy Shawl - yep, as in I am the spinner of this particular yarn. The knitting is actually complete but I don't have picture of it yet. There may be a bit more news about this one soon......

Another Forest Canopy but not handspun. Knitting complete on this as well.....

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Glimpse of Peacock "In Action"

Not much to say at the moment - or perhaps TOO much to say and not enough time for the updates ;-). None the less, I did receive this lovely shot of Peacock today..... never mind the brilliant pink pants.....those were a pre-wedding jest.

More updates coming soon.......

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wow, look at that Peacock!

This one turned out as well as I hoped and then some......

First, let's look at some contrast. Lace is good for the "ugly duckling to swan" effect anyway but this yarn takes that to a whole new level. Here are a couple of shots showing the contrast between having the oil washed out and straight from the cone.....

Contrast (Washed to the right, same needles for all!):

Look at all those stitches!! Ok so Isis had more - a lot more ;-). But not quite so squished on the needles.

Complete - but wait - this is washed.......and NOT dressed! Looks pretty decent....

Washed, not yet blocked - detail view:

And here she is - a few different shots......

Project Name: White Peacock Feathers
Yarn used: 2/28 white 50/50 cashmere/viscose
Amount used: Just under 1000 yards / 63gr
Total weight ~ 63 gr (2.25oz)
Yarn source: ColourMart
Needles: 3 mm
Finishing method: Hand washed (dish soap, shampoo, conditioner with rinses of course) and run through the dryer on low before wet blocking.
Finished dimensions: 44" center x 69" top x 55" sides
Pattern name/source: Peacock Feathers Shawl

The Veil of Isis Unveiled

She's been off the needles since August 3, but the only pictures I had did not do her justice. Today we changed that at long last. It's true, the size is not quite large enough and I am currently making another......because I just don't want to rip back the hours of error-free work in the border and do it over for this one. Crazy, I know!

Project Name: The Veil of Isis #1
Yarn used: 2/28 white 50/50 cashmere/cotton
Amount used: Just under 1000 yards / 64gr
Other materials? 22 gr clear, silver lined 8/0 beads
Total weight ~ 86 gr (3oz)
Yarn source: ColourMart
Needles: 2.5mm
Finishing method:
- Washed by hand (dish soap, shampoo, multiple rinses and conditioner)
- Run through the dryer on low after washing twice for shrinkage
- Wet Blocked for final dressing
Finished dimensions: 41" square
Pattern name/source: The Veil of Isis by Bad Cat Designs
Modifications: None
Other notes, including techniques used: Should have gone for the 6th repeat for that little bit extra but she's beautiful anyway. (Even if I do say so myself!)

Heartland Lace - Part Two (Final)

Ok so at last perhaps a bit of blog catching up is in order here!

My prior post on this project explained the history, now, the long awaited sequel to close things out with some nice pictures and the details of the project....

The pre-dressing shot:

While dressing:


More detail:

Project Name: Heartland Lace Shawl
Yarn used: Handpainted light fingering weight 50/50 wool/silk
Amount used: approx 457 yds / 103 gr (3.5 oz)
Yarn source: Estes Park Wool Market 2007
Needles: 4mm
Finishing method: Hand wash/soak with wet blocking
Finished dimensions: 64" top x 32" center x 44" sides
Pattern name/source: Heartland Lace Shawl, Evelyn Clark Designs/Wild Fibers Magazine Winter 2007
Notes, including techniques used: Did 4 repeats total

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Heartland Lace Shawl (Part one)

This began from a combination of events......first I had received an invite to a knit along for the Heartland Lace Shawl pattern. The original was done with buffalo down yarn since the pattern was created for a Buffalo Gold contest. It's a great pattern. A fun knit and quite flexible. At first I toyed with the very fun idea of just doing it well behind the group and spinning up my own yarn. That was a fun option and I might knit it again for that. But.....

The Estes Park Wool Market (EPWM) takes place Father's Day weekend. This year I was NOT going to go because I still have so much yarn and even more unprocessed fleece from my prior visits. I'm in the midst of reorganizing my fiber storage and so on and so forth. Realistically I knew if I went, I'd bring home at least another fleece or two. What to do? I was trying to behave, right? keep myself busy, distracted and pretending to be virtuous instead of climbing into the car and heading for Estes.....I decided to use a very pretty, hand-dyed 50/50 wool/silk fingering yarn I bought at the 2007 EPWM. It is, perhaps, not the best possible match for this pattern. It has been waiting for the right pattern to come along. This one works for me and it served it's bonus purpose well since I spent my weekend knitting instead of bringing home more to spin/knit. I am rather finicky about using hand-dyed, multi-colored yarns for much of anything, especially lace. I often love the colors, I just rarely think they work well for patterns. I do think that this one works pretty well though, so long as it's on a contrasting surface. The contrast, is however, quite necessary.....and works better when darker but white is what I had for these pictures. I'll see if I can't do something darker for the final pictures.

Some early in progress pics:

June 15 -

June 23 -

A little news.......

Well how time just flies right by. Update the blog? Answer email? Knit? Garden? What DO I do with my time? hehehe

No pictures today, just a very quick blurb to say I'm not only still around but yes, pictures are coming. So many things actually moving along or even FINISHED. Weekend before last I finished knitting the Heartland Lace Shawl. I haven't posted about this one - it was a quick knit in terms of knitting time but had many time-outs while I worked on other things. I did that one to both console myself and keep myself away from this year's Estes Park Wool Market where I would have had many new things just follow me right home ;-). It worked. Blocking and pictures coming soon.....

Last weekend, I finished binding off the first of my Veil of Isis shawls WAHOO! It's amazing...... blocking plus pictures of that will also be coming soon.

I am cruisin' on Peacock with the intent of finishing THAT also before my sister's wedding shower since she is having it here in Colorado in 9 days. Cross your fingers for me.

I have so many things on the needles calling me and more to come.......but approaching the finish of several others in addition to these. So far I have actually NOT cast on anything new.....yet.

Many other things going I'm still around, just running a good bit.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer Sampler Study.......

Study? Well sure......and doesn't that make a great reason to have another thing going? hehehe

I am making this for my darling daughter as an ongoing birthday present. She's enjoying the progress-watching and anticipation. Since her birthday was last week this one is obviously not a surprise, nor was it intended to be. She chose a meadow green Yubina cashmere lace yarn.

The Summer Sampler Study is another of Andrea's projects she is generously sharing with us. She's also including all sorts of extras like tips on figuring out gauge, blocking, etc. A post a week and now that we are officially into the charts it may come as a shock to know that while, yes, I started a few days late.....I swatched on 3mm needles......

And then I cast on.......and caught up for the first chart.....

.....with days to spare before the second chart.......

......and can now continue with other projects guilt-free on all fronts as this project awaits the next happy installment ;-).

Sunday, June 8, 2008

New beginnings.....

Well now that the immediate round of marathon knitting is finished I'm reorganizing a bit. The list of things on the needles is warring with the list of things I'm wanting quite badly to make so I'm trying to reset things a bit for priorities and also efficiency. It's much easier for me to work on some things "anywhere" and other things only where I can focus a bit hmore. One of my excuses....ah, I mean reasons.....for having multiple projects going at once. Quite valid really but even so, it helps to reset a tad here and there.

So what's still on the needles? Peacock is still moving along a bit. Unfortunately she is one of those that takes paying a bit more attention to counting on right side rows and thus does not get as much attention as others! Still, she will be quite gorgeous when finished. Peacock is another that the number of stitches grows as the project does. I've done 3/5 of the NUMBER of rows but......not 3/5 of the total actual stitches. The yarn is still super yummy. Wonderful to work with and will be just gorgeous. Note that she needed a bath and I finally was able to capture some of the shimmer effect of the yarn. I still love it. We shall see if Sally does.

Isis #1 is about 50%+ complete. I have decided 5 repeats for that one will be enough. It's a fun knit still and one that's good for taking most places. It could go even more places if it weren't white - such a dirt magnet! To give you some idea......right now it's more than 600 stitches per row. By the end of repeat five, it will be close to 750.....with the border ending a bit short of 900!

I'm still working a bit on the second one but am a little more focused on the first iteration at the moment. They'll both get done. But only #1 has to be finished before case Sally likes that better than Peacock!

My Faroese Shawl and Branching Out scarf are both also still works in progress and are moving along a bit. I'm toying with setting aside other works temporarily to wrap both of these up since they really are getting close to done. We'll see.

I have been swatching like mad for the other projects I want to begin. Some have been on my mind for a long time......some are much newer. Even so, I'm keeping options open for a few add-in's ;-). Some of these knit alongs are nice and easy that way - you can only finish your clue and if you're like me, that means more than one thing at a time, for sure! It's also part of the organizing. One project I will probably cast on for in the next couple of days is a pair of socks. There's a birthday coming up (July)......... As for others.....well, I might fit in another couple of quickie projects like this:

Isn't she cute? This is the Little Flower Doily from Bad Cat Designs. Doesn't Andrea come up with the best designs? Project specs:

Project Name: Little Flower Doily
Yarn used: 2/28 Silk - Sky Blue
Yarn source: Colourmart
Needles: 2.25mm (US 1)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Where'd she go?

Well between work - being on call sure does eat up time! - and marathon knitting in between the usual life stuff......I kind of disappeared for a bit. Pretty much had to go quiet on everything else from online groups to taking non-emergency calls, even from family. This was for the quick project for a friend at work (her daughter's wedding....nothing to wear....) that I referenced in my last post about samples (swatches). She decided on the fishnet pattern and merino in forget-me-not blue. Pretty. Basic. And took all my spare time for the last couple weeks :-). "Spare" is relative.... I'm not a particularly slow knitter - perhaps even fairly quick but my spare time might be a little different from yours ;-).

The "pattern", such as it is, is below the picture......

Instructions & the "particulars" of the project:
Materials I used:
~36 grams (576 yds) of 3/44 Superfine Merino laceweight from Colourmart
3.25mm needles - straight or circular. I used 24" circular because it was convenient
Dressing (Blocking) supplies
Dressed Gauge ~ 22 stitches to 4"
Dressed size for mine: 17" x 60"

Knit on 89 stitches (multiple of 2+1; also added 4 per side for garter = 80+1+4+4=89). Mark 4 on each side with the first row - they will stay garter stitch.
Garter stitch 6 rows.
Begin pattern -
Rows 1 and 3 (WS): K4, P to the last 4 sts, K4
R0w 2: K5, *K2tog, yo; rep from * to last four stitches, k4
Row 4: K4, *K2tog, yo; rep from * to last five stitches, k5

I did 106 repeats of the 4 row pattern. I also chose to slip the first stitch of every row purlwise with yarn in front.

Knit another 6 rows garter stitch.
BO: with WS facing, slip 1, *k1, knit these two stitches together. Repeat until only 1 left and do your usual yarn break & weave in

Monday, May 5, 2008

Swatches and more swatches

Yep. Swatches. I know I already have plenty on my needles....but......I have a friend who needs a scarf or shawl for her daughter's wedding. This will be simple. Quick. It'll have to be, the wedding is May 25th!

Besides, this gave me a wonderful chance to play with a few of the Colourmart yarns I hadn't yet cast on with. You could say the swatches were as much for me as for her. I have several upcoming projects......yarn decisions will need to be made :-). I did five of them total, four different yarns in four different patterns but a total of five colors. They ranged in size from tiny to large......and told me fun things about the yarns. I must's perhaps a good thing I hadn't played with that merino any sooner. Yummy stuff. Perhaps she'll choose one of those..... I don't have pictures of the other two - both different cash/silk samples and one of those was a bit of a surprise - I'm going to have to do a second 2/36 sample. It bloomed even more than I had expected! The fourth pattern was just another mesh.

Two strands of 2/50 Chocolate Silk; fishnet pattern; 3.25mm needles

3/44 superfine merino, Forget-Me-Not; Stork's Nest pattern; 3.25mm needles

3/44 superfine merino, Ice Blue; Cat's Paw pattern; 3mm needles

I actually have done a bit of work on other things as well ;-). For example, Isis #1 is into her fourth pattern repeat! This would be out of either 5 or 6 repeats, I haven't decided although I am leaning in favor of 6. That would be oodles of stitches on every round (even more so than now by a goodly bit). And that last repeat would take a fair number of beads.....adding a bit to the weight. We shall see. I will probably put her on string and dry block after either repeat four or all the way through five......that will take a bit of time, it's true, but not as much as the possible alternatives for having to fix it if I made the wrong choice!

You might note in the picture that the center is considerably more dense - fluffier even - than the knitting closer to the needles. I got something on it and rather than continue to worry about stains, I washed the center. It may bloom even more when I finish it properly but none the less it does show a nice bit of the contrast with how much the "bloom effect" can make a difference!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bits & pieces.....odds and ends?

In spite of casting on for not one, but TWO new shawls and making substantial progress on at least one of those.....I've actually done a good bit more in the last week. Just a few of those things......

I managed to do some more housecleaning and clearing out to storage this past weekend. Plus more moved out of the old storage and into the new. The storage consolidation project progresses.....and the weather might finally be starting to cooperate again to move things along more briskly. Not to mention that as things progress my motivation to have it done increases. That and I'm super antsy to get my loom moved into the back room so I can finally do some weaving again. I have a couple of weaving projects that are just begging to be made ;-).

I added a few more rows - several actually - to Peacock. She's getting to be quite respectably sized! This picture is actually from today! - I'm about done with the second type of feathers and moving on towards the third. I did put her on a 47" needle yesterday morning. Good for the pic but I'm switching back to 24" circs - that extra cable is just annoying however much it might make it easier to see a bigger view for pictures!

My Branching Out scarf gained some new repeats - enough to add another 5% to the completion status. Ok, I guess I should say I added them since they did not mysteriously appear. No pixie dust for the knitting.

Faroese grew a little......about what I'd call 1 %. This one and Branching Out are a bit of a shock - size 10 and 8 needles respectively. I say shock because it's a bit of a jump between 2.5 or 3mm on up to 5mm+!

.....and of course Isis #1 grew quite a lot and #2 grew a little, hehehe.

Then there's that Mystery Lace KAL. Hmmmmm, what do I say about that one? The sheer volume of mail & time for that is just silly considering the topics. Things turned into quite a mess. Honestly, I think it started with over sensitivity, stress, etc and reacting badly to things that likely were not meant as they were taken. Miscommunication at it's best - er, worst? The designer was also trying to do too much - answering every question over and over again instead of referring people to prior posts or letting experienced folks help. Just a big mess and many folks, especially the designer got pretty worked up about some things. So.......she's closing the group and opening a new one for those who want to pay $10 to participate. Well.......she seems like a nice lady who is going through some bad times. But ..... I think I will pass for a huge mixture of reasons. of today I have even finally done some more updates on project entries (see below)......

Another one!?!? about two?

Well.......last weekend I was either very bad or having a really good time, depending on how you want to look at things. It continues, too. Saturday I cast on for yet ANOTHER project. But oh what a fun project...... The Veil of Isis from Bad Cat Designs has been on my upcoming project list for a few months now. I'd studied the charts......and actually at first had a little trouble wrapping my head around quite how they fit together. I had, in fact, finally concluded it was one that would come together when I had it on the needles. I think it would have......but as it happened, it clicked for me a little sooner. I had even joined the yahoo group created by the designer. I had put it off long enough in spite of the urge to try it quite some time ago. So I cast on. I must say, I normally am, at worst, mildly annoyed at the fiddly process of a circular beginning. I love knitting in the round outwards, it's just the starts can be awkward. Normally. This one was downright painful for some reason.....but only the beginning. Once I had it going, oh what a joy to knit! I am actually approaching the end of my third repeat out of 5-6 (roughly). It just flows and is very addictive to knit. I'd have thought the beads would slow me down more since I haven't used them before. They did at first but I think I'm getting the hang of them ;-).

I'm using clear, silver-lined beads and another Colourmart yarn - big shock, right? hehehe. This one is a white 2/28, 50/50 Cashmere/Cotton. It runs about 7000 yards per pound. White, in spite of the colorful, gorgeous yarns that arrived on my doorstep that same Saturday in luscious bright, pretty spring/summer colors. But white it was to be for another option for the October wedding.'s what it's looking like so far......a bit hard to see the full picture at this stage. Actually this is what it looked like 4 days ago - it's grown a nice bit since then.

But.....I kept thinking about the pictures on the designer's web site.....and looking at them and the design....and there were those colors....... Now, I could have asked Andrea my very simple question. She seems very nice indeed and I'm sure she would be happy to answer. That's even one of the reasons for the Yahoo ask and answer. But......if I had done that than what excuse would I have had to cast on a SECOND Veil of Isis in a lovely mint green color of the most exquisitely soft cashmere/silk blend you could ever hope to knit with? One that, even still in spinning oil as it is, coming straight off the cone, frankly makes other yarns - even soft ones - feel rough? Well, that would just never do ;-). This one didn't even give me a hint of trouble with the circular beginning!

Isis 2 - I don't think I can call it "revisited" since I'm still working on the first one! This one has clear, rainbow coated (AB) beads:

I'm enjoying the yarn and the great pattern. I'm working on this one a good bit less......but I'm happy to have started it ;-).

A note about the yarn for's a 3/45 - 65/35 cashmere/silk blend (about 7500 yards per pound). I love it but frankly, I'd have done a little better in terms of patience and time to have reversed these. The cash/cotton is a much firmer yarn. The cash/silk is a bit prone to splitting and not one I would knit without watching. It's so soft & fine you can hardly feel it on the needles!

Excuse me.....I need to go pet my knitting, oh, I mean knit now ;-)........