December 26, 2008

You Know What Swatching Leads To

When I listed my possible NaKniSweMoDo choices (which have already started to change a lot) a commenter, Mary, pointed out that the Nature Wool I was thinking of using for Drops 103-1 is too thin to knit at 4.5 sts/in despite what the label says. Reading a bit more on the label I saw that it contains 242 yds/100 grams. That makes it it thinner than Cascade 220. Definitely too fine to knit at 4.5 sts/in. I wasn't worried. After looking at the Drops sweater I didn't think I would have any trouble changing the gauge. So I needed to determine my gauge. I swatched. I really, hardly ever swatch. I know, bad on me. I decided that on 6s I got a fabric that I liked that was 5 sts/in. I went back to my list and studied my queue a bit. Forestry jumped out at me. I didn't like it at all in the magazine. That belt...shudder. But seeing some completed sweaters on Ravelry and Veronik Avery's own photos of the sweater I really fell in love with the design.

So I cast on.

Three times.

I decided to knit this in one piece. It's just a raglan so no need for seaming. I also am solidly between two sizes and my gauge is a little iffy so I changed the numbers slightly. I had a *ahem* difficult time getting my ribbing pattern established. But the ribbing is done now.

I also pulled out some of the Noro Cash Laine I was thinking of using for this sweater. I haven't swatched it yet.

But then, I saw this scarf. I love a good stashbuster. I wanted to use up all my worsted-weight scraps. I started this the night before last. I found the pattern instructions really impossible to understand. I've never done linen stitch before. I ended up looking up someone else's better-written linen stitch instructions and it's going fine. But it's super boring and I hate knitting scarves. Also my scraps are mostly gray or green so it's not really popping.

And sometime last week I had a hankering for a sock project. My leftover Puck's Mischief from Selbu Modern was still sitting out. I started Retro Rib from Favorite Socks. It didn't grab me. For whatever reason the pattern didn't click for me. It's a very simple pattern but I couldn't get into it's rhythm. So I cast on for a heavily-modified Gentleman's Sock for Evening Wear from Knitting Vintage Socks. Much better but I've hardly worked on them.

I even got in a little knitting on my Sock Yarn Blanket while we took the kids to see Tale of Despereaux last night (Very scattered, uninspired movie. Our younger son enjoyed it but overall it was meh.)

So right now I'm all over the map. I'm hoping to pull myself together and focus a bit. Not my strongest suit.

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December 15, 2008

Hello Old Friend

For the last few days, since finishing my mittens, I've been working on my hexagon blanket and my sock yarn blanket. Since blankets aren't very portable I wanted to start a smaller project. I had my leftover STR from my Selbu Modern sitting on the table next to my computer. I decided to knit it up in a simple sock pattern. I picked out the Retro Rib socks by Evelyn Clark. I knit the cuffs on Saturday night. I was not happy. My gauge was too loose. The pattern was not flowing for me. I set them down. Then yesterday I dug out my Giant Latvian Mitten Cardigan. I was able to find all the yarn and the chart right away which is good since I haven't looked at it since I got home from camp. After a bit of a slow start trying to remember what my chart notations meant I was off and running. It's nearly doubled in length since yesterday. I'm into the third chart. I'm happy.

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April 1, 2008

Go With the Flow

Click for humungous.

Pattern: Go With the Flow Socks by Evelyn A. Clark, IK Summer '05 and Favorite Socks
Yarn: Socks That Rock (Lightweight) in Chapman Springs
Needle: US1 Addi Lace
Notes: I made the leg ever so slightly shorter than the pattern called for but otherwise knit exactly as written. This pattern just, well, flows off the needles. A very satisfying, quick pair of socks to knit.

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December 5, 2007

Three Down and One to Go

I'm nearly done with the picot bind off on my Gypsy Lace Shawl. It's been my shop knitting project for months. I only work on it at the shop during quiet times when I have nothing else to do. I'm so close to the end now though I brought it home with me last night to finish that final bit. Just one side left to bind off.

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October 16, 2007

Evelyn Clark Lovers Alert

Evelyn has just launched her own site where you can download seven new patterns.


August 12, 2007

So What's New?

I accidentally left my knitting bag at work last night so I started a new quilt project.

More foundation-piecing. I love the effect but could live without all the stitch, trim, press. You hop up and down so much making these blocks it's nearly an aerobic activity.

I've also been working on a Gypsy Shawl, by Evelyn Clark, at work. It's in Cashsoft 4-ply.

It's not looking like much yet.

Then today we were headed downtown and I needed something to work on. I briefly considered starting the Tangled Yoke Cardigan but I didn't have time to wind the yarn and I also think I want to *gasp* swatch before jumping into the project. Instead I grabbed a skein of Cotton-Ease and a needle and cast on for a Seamless Hybrid by EZ.

It's also not looking like much yet.

We all went to the art museum. We haven't been there since it reopened in May. I love the changes. They've made it even more family-friendly. There is a children's area on every floor. There's a Gee's Bend quilt in the permanent collection. The kid's like the cars. Lunch in the cafe was really delicious. Not super-overpriced. And the children were remarkably well behaved.

Then we headed to Kinokuniya and it's overwhelming assortment of craft books. I didn't see anything in knitting or quilting that really grabbed me but lots of incredibly wonderful felt books. I didn't get one though. It's not like I need to start any new projects these days.

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August 11, 2007

Knitting Lace Triangles

Evelyn Clark's new book arrived in the shop earlier this week. It's a great little volume that provides four lace pattern that you can mix and match to create a lace shawl in any size or gauge.

If you'd like to order it from the Fiber Gallery you can call us at (206)706-4197. You should also be able to find it locally at shops that carry Fiber Trends patterns.

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August 5, 2007

Do I Know How to Party or What?

Wes and the boys went off to visit my in-laws this weekend. I went pretty nuts.
First, on Friday night I went to spinning at the shop. I'm ashamed to admit that it was the first time I touched my wheel since the first Friday of last month.
Then when I got home I tried to tackle continuous bias binding for the Lotus quilt.

It's a little mind-bending. Then I spent a very, very long time trying to make the two ends of my binding meet at a nice 45° angle. There was a lot of cursing and ripping out. I finally just fudged it. It looks fairly shitty in that one spot. I can live with it.

On Saturday I went to Bainbridge Island with six other Purlygirls. We hit the sale at Churchmouse, visited the farmer's market, got lunch and went to the fabric store. When I got home with all my fabric goodies I saw that I really have a problem. There was a fat quarter bundle waiting on the front porch that I had mail ordered. I had just bought a fat quarter of one of the fabrics. Then I realized that I had already bought one last week. This is the third time in the last few weeks that I've purchased fabric only to find that I already own some. At least my taste is consistent.

Before Wes left I asked him to turn the water heater all the way up. After nearly killing myself getting in to the shower (hot!) I knew the water was hot enough to clean some fleece. I pulled out the corriedale I bought this year at Black Sheep. It got two good, long, hot soaks. It came out very clean. This evening I cleaned the rest of the targhee I bought at Oregon Flock and Fiber. It came out very clean too. Mostly. It's very clean, fluffy and white with hardly any grease left but there are still patches that are unspeakably filthy. I don't know how to best deal with this. I guess I'll collect up the grossest parts and send them back in for another soak. The entire house smells sheepy and warm right now. I think it's wonderful. For Wes and the boys, not so much.

So Saturday night Wes snuck back to Seattle and we went out for dinner at Tilth (so delicious) and we saw The Simpsons Movie. If you like The Simpsons you will love the movie. I laughed very hard. Wes then had to slink back to his parent's house. I stayed up way too late sewing the borders on the County Lines quilt and piecing the backing.

Today I had to work. But first I ran to Jo-Ann's to get batting for County Lines. A word to the wise, don't buy white batting in a dark colored shirt. I spent the rest of the day covered in white fuzz.

I started a Gypsy Shawl for the shop out of Cashsoft 4-Ply.

Even thought I'm on the really easy part of the shawl right now I made some strange little error that I tried and tried to fix. I finally gave up and ripped but then realized after knitting several rows that I hadn't ripped back far enough. I did this over and over. I left work with 3 rows fewer that I had at the beginning of the day.

Evelyn Clark stopped in the shop today so I got to show her the quilt I finished last week. She'll be delivering copies of her book to us on Tuesday!

Then tonight I made my first attempt at foundation paper piecing. The first square went pretty well.

Messy foundation block

All clean!

The second block was like the shawl. Stitch, rip, curse, repeat. I finally got the damned thing finished and accidentally trimmed off the seam allowance on one side. Shit! I decided I'd just trim them all down and I'd have blocks that are half an inch smaller. I may change my mind tomorrow and just scrap that block. I'm only planning on making four or six to make a little baby quilt. We'll see how I feel about it later.

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July 28, 2007

"Knitting Lace Triangles" Shawl

Pattern: Based on Evelyn A. Clark's new book "Knitting Lace Triangles"
Yarn: 2 skeins Artyarns Silk Rhapsody
Needle: US9 Addi Turbos
Note: I spoke with Bev Gelaskas today, by coincidence, and she assures me that Evelyn's new book will be available in about two weeks.
For this shawl I knit 40 rows of Ripple, 20 of Medallion, 20 of Flower, 40 of Ripple, 20 of Medallion then the edging pattern. This will make more sense once the book comes out.

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July 17, 2007

Finish, Start, Finish, Start, Prepare, Pack

I finished the first Hiiumaa sock.

See that teeny amount of blue yarn? That's all I have left. I know these socks are supposed to be mismatched but now they're going to be really mismatched. I dug out a bunch of odds and ends to use for it but in the meantime I got distracted and started a new pair.

This is Unst, also from Knitting on the Road. I missed this one a while back in the knitalong so I'm playing catch up. I'm actually using the suggested yarn, Lang Jawoll, which I got as a gift from Brynne the last time she was moving (not to be confused with her current move).

I cast off my shop model shawl inspired by the Evelyn Clark workshop I went to in May.

Hopefully I'll find time to block it before I leave for camp on Thursday(!).

I also started a ripple afghan for Dulaan.

Rebecca was giving away these natural colored wool. It's a pretty rustic yarn. It's kind of rough and still has a lot of lanolin in it. I was inspired by this afghan made in organic cotton. Crocheting, for me, continues to be a humbling craft. I finished the first two rows since I took this photo. So far, so good.

Now I need to pack and prepare for my Guild
presentation on Ravelry tomorrow. You know you can check and see where you are on the waiting list now?

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May 15, 2007

A Shawl, a Shawl and a Bunch of Other Stuff

I just finished binding off my shawl. It's in the "looks like a wadded up Kleenex because it hasn't been blocked" phase.

I had my camera with me at work today and snapped a picture of the new shawl shop model I started based on Evelyn's workshop last weekend.

Sorry, it's right side down.
A little more on Evelyn Clark's new book. I think it will be more of a booklet. It will be published by FiberTrends and I'm visualizing a format similar to their magic loop book. The book provides instructions to make a lace shawl in multiple sizes and gauges using four lace patterns that you can mix and match. The sample I'm making for the shop is in Artyarns Silk Rhapsody. It is terribly yummy.

Here's a Ruffle Skirt I knit from Barefoot Knits in Ty-Dy.

Uber-cute, if I do say so myself.

There's also a Mountain Colors seafoam lace stole that I have been dragging my feet on.

It's easy but sooooo boring to knit. And on huge needles. And I've knit one before.

There's also this cute cardigan from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms knit in O-Wool.

This yarn is seriously nice stuff. It's solid and sturdy but not harsh or itchy. It comes in some great colors too. I keep thinking I'll knit myself another Rogue in it someday.

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May 8, 2007

Designing Lace with Evelyn Clark

What a fabulous long weekend. On Friday morning I loaded up my car with yarn and needles, picked up two friends, and headed north. We visited four yarn shops, had lunch and strolled through the town of Mount Vernon. I tried out a Majacraft Rose spinning wheel and I do believe I am in love. My other great discovery of the day came at the Red Apple Market in Mount Vernon. (They had Mexican Coke! Coca-Cola in the US is made with corn syrup. In Mexico it's still made with sugar. Wes and his co-workers have been buying it by the bottle at a local restaurant and have fantasized about finding it by the case. The clerk at the store looked at my like I was crazy when I lugged a full case up to the register.)

We arrived at the "cabin." It's less of a cabin and more of a gorgeous summer house. Thirteen knitters in all including Evelyn and the organizers. We were fed, we sat and knit and took in the sunset.

Sunset on Friday night

On Saturday we has a leisurely morning then class began at 10. Evelyn has a new book which should be available soon from Fibertrends. The book gives a mix and match format to create a triangular shawl using four lace patterns. We were given all the materials from the book but also given the opportunity to design our own pattern.

A Rose-Kim Original

Evelyn had mentioned to me a month or so ago that she hoped some people would use handspun for their shawls. I was a little concerned that I did not have time to spin a shawl's worth of yarn. Then, while organizing my stash, I found that I had already spun a shawl's worth of yarn. Bingo! Dazzle the llama coming right up.

Then we started knitting.

And knitting.

I knit over 100 rows before we left.

I also started a new Baby Surprise Jacket with my leftovers from Retro Prep the Third.

The house where we stayed was called Eagle Point. There were sculptures of eagles everywhere. I fully expected to see an eagle while there. I didn't. As I complained to my traveling companions on the way home that we hadn't seen any eagles I had to screech to a halt.

There was an American Bald Eagle standing in the middle of the road in front of my car eating a flattened possum. I managed to grab my camera and snap this picture before he flew away. The sucker was ENORMOUS. Note his size in relation to the hood of my car. And he was at least ten or fifteen feet away from me. It was kind of amazing.

We took our sweet time heading home, stopping at few more yarn shops, touring the city of Mukilteo trying unsuccessfully to find a yarn shop that turned out to be closed on Mondays, eating lunch in Edmonds and toodling through the shops.

I got home just before five and in time to pick up the boys from childcare. I called out to my oldest son, who looked at me and said, "I thought Dad was picking us up." "It's great to see you too, honey." Then I called out to my younger son. "I thought Dad was coming." "I missed you too."

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May 4, 2007

See Ya!

I'm off for a lace knitting retreat with Evelyn Clark. I'll be back on Monday. Don't envy me too much while I'm gone.