Monday, March 27, 2006

Flower Basket Shawl

Before:

After:

FO: Flower Basket Shawl, by Evelyn Clark from Interweave Knits Fall 2004

Yarn: Aracunia Nature Wool

Needles: US 9

Notes: The lace pattern was really fun. Most of the mistakes that I made came from forgetting to pass the slipped stitch in the double decrease. Checking at the end of each row saved my a lot of frustration once I figured out my lace knitting weakness.

Lesson learned: In the future I will pin my project out every so often just to check for undetected errors. I found one in my shawl while blocking it. I've fixed it, but I'd rather not have any other nastly little suprises like that again.

My big photos of the shawl didn't turn out so I'll have to post one a little later. Maybe a shawl action shot.



Friday, March 24, 2006

Swap!

It's a lovely thing to be expecting something in the mail. If it's a suprise, you may have some vague expectations of what your package contains, but for me it's the anticipation that's the real thrill. And if it's a swap, on top of all this you have a warm feeling inside knowing that it was made especially for you.

I've recently been involved in a stitch marker swap hosted by Lain over at While you were sleeping and I got my first set today from Robyn. I love the colors that she chose for the marker beads. The greens and olives go so well together. I can't wait to use them. I have been thinking about making another clapotis for my mother for mother's day, and I think this just decided it for me. Robyn's markers will work wonderfully for this project and the yarn.

Thanks so much, Robyn. I feel lucky that you were my swap partner!! And thanks to Lain who did a great job of organizing everything. Can't wait to see my next set. :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

All about the shawl

So I got the new yarn for Eris and swatched it out, but it's not going to work. I'd have to knit it really tight to get the correct gauge and I don't want to do that. It just wouldn't be doing the yarn justice.

This new bag of Jaeger Shetland Aran has a little bit different feel than I remember. It's rather more like the samples cards of Beaver Slide yarn that I bought recently, in that it has a spongy feeling to it. So I dug out another old ball of it and sure enough it also has the same texture. Funny thing is, I used Shetland Aran to make the Celtic Cap and had the right gauge for Eris.

Okay, so what to do?

Knit something else, of course! Perhaps something that you have been thinking about knitting for a long time, something that you just bought yarn for because the yarn spoke to you in the store.

The Flower basket Shawl, by Evelyn Clark. The picture is not so grand as I took it with my mobile but you get the idea. Right now, I am working on the sixth lace repeat and I'm still on my first skein of yarn. I'm using Aracunia Nature Wool so the put up is large, but I am thinking I won't have to break out the third skein. It's been a great knit so far. I can't wait to try blocking my first real shawl. :)

I've been sick for almost two weeks now and I haven't been doing any martial arts. I went to the doctor last Monday and I thought for sure they would say I had strep, but with the lack of fever they sent me packing. So it's been dragging on and on and now I have another cold. I tried to go to baxing on Saturday, but got sent home. Winter needs to end here so that I can sit in the sunshine and reclaim my health.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

March, Pomatomus, Felting

Thanks!

For all the positive comments. It means a lot to me. Things are still confusing and messed up. But I am working on getting out of the mire. :-) So thanks again. Just to prove it, I have been doing some knitting and I can feel my mind coming out of it's numbness (if that makes any sense). Little ideas have been popping up, little fixes for this and that knitting problem, urges to design a pair of socks, etc. So I know that I am on the mend emotionally, at least for now. We'll see what the coming weeks bring.

March WIPs

Pomatomus socks from Knitty in Mountain colors Bearfoot in Juniper It's March and I'm going to complete the Pomatomus socks that I started in January, gosh darn it! I've sworn it to myself. And here is some evidence that I am working on them. Actually they are further along than that. I'm on the gusset at the moment. I really like working with the Mountain Colors Bearfoot. The yarn feels great to knit with and the colors are just amazing. As I knit along, each new color brings to mind a different part of a juniper tree. And somehow I feel that I am becoming acquainted all over again with these trees, glorious Juniperus.

Button hole scrap bagThis is another project for March. I'm making a topdown button hole bag to carry my boxing gear. I mean why else would anyone knit a big ole bag like that? ;) Anyway, it's a stash busting scrap bag. I'm using all of my left over yarn (that I know felts well) and a couple of new skeins to knit it up. I think I will end up having to buy more yarn because this thing is ginormous. And it's going to have to grow to be gimungous if it will ever felt into a BIG bag.

I'm excited about getting to the bottom. Not because I will be all but finished, but because I am knitting this bag as an experiment in shaping. Can shaping really be exciting? Sometimes it feels like knit magic. Anyway, I think I made the button holes a bit too large and will have to got back with a crochet hook and fix it up a little bit. I was planning on using some crochet anyway as reinforcement and decoration so this is no big deal. Where ever you are I have to say, "Thank you Minda for teaching me to crochet!!!!!!"

I'm also crocheting two scarves. One is a simple twirly whirly in black Suri Merino from Plymouth. The other is going to be more complicated. One of my LYS's got in some Rowan Calmer and I had to go and touch it (well let's just say that I knew I was going to buy some but I tricked myself into going there with noble intentions). You see I had never seen this yarn in person before and was quite curious about its fame. Once I thought of it I though of a project for it. Needless to say, I came home with two skeins in a beautiful blue to make this scarf. I have the pattern book and there are lots of interesting things in it. Some day I will do a show and tell.

Oh and wasn't this supposed to be the year of the sweater?

I've decided that knitting Eris in Andean Silk was torture and deserving of it's own little level in hell. The Andean Silk just needs to be made into something else because I wasn't enjoying the knit. So all my Andean Silk is currently single, free and looking for just the right project. Not sure what that will be yet...If anyone has some ideas, then drop me a line please because I would really like to enjoy this soft and silky yarn.

Meanwhile, I have been a very busy little ebay shopper. I bought a pack of Jaeger Shetland Aran in Aqua from Jannette's Rare Yarns. I swear she's got to be one of the best yarn sellers out there. I've only bought a couple of items from her, but they have come lightening-fast. Really, you know you're getting A+ service when your package from overseas arrives days before those ordered from inside your country.

Anyway, I think this will be the new yarn I will use for Eris. After I got the Andean Silk I discovered Jaeger Shetland Aran and would have rather of had it anyway. So maybe my wish is coming true in a round about way. One of my favorite blog authoresses out there knit a lovely Eris out of this yarn in forest green.

And.....

I have been working on some other interesting projects lately, but they're suprises, so I can't post pictures just yet......;..;

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Ice Princess Mitts with pattern

Picture while drying in the sunshine I want to thank everyone that has posted encouraging comments on my blog and spoken to me in person. It's been really heart warming. Thank you. The last couple of weeks have been a roller coaster ride and I am still very confused about how I feel and what's going on with my relationship. I have a feeling that it's not going to end well and so I know that change is coming. I've discovered that I think that I am all right with that and that I might end up happier than I am now. It's scary, but it just might be true. So right now I am just trying to take comfort in the small things and enjoy what I can until things are more settled.

They are still wet. I really didn't want to put my hand in there! This isn't the greatest picture. They look really cute on. In an effort to get on with regular life, I have been trying work out of my knitting doldrums and finally finished a piece this week at my stitch'n bitch. Really these should have taken me a week and not a month to complete, but better late than never.

So, this winter I bought a season pass to the ice skating rink. It's outdoor and it can be quite cold. I can't stand to skate in a coat but without one I was so cold. So as a compromise I started wearing a vest but my arms were frozen even with gloves (another thing I hate wearing when skating).

So I decided to make something that would keep my arms warm, but that I could still wear gloves under for the added warmth. It had to be something girly, afterall it was for figure skating and it had to come from my stash ( I am admitting that I have one now). Thus the idea of the Ice Princess Mitts were born. Luckily I had some angora sitting around and the perfect yarn from my KR gift elf, Cayli.

Supplies

  • For main yarn use a heavy worsted or worsted weight yarn that any ice princess would deign to wear. I used hand dyed and spun yarn gifted to me from a very talented fiber artist.
  • Yarn for froufrou trim, be it white worsted angora like I used or funfur, etc.
  • Set of US8 DPNs
  • Tapestry needle to weave in ends.
Pattern

  • Beginning: Cast on 30 stitches of main yarn, dividing them evenly over 3 needles. Join for knitting in the round being careful not to twist the stitches, blah, blah, blah...
  • Arm: Knit in K1, P1 rib for 7 inches or desired length.
  • Thumbhole: Knit 6 rows back and forth continuing in K1, P1 ribbing. Join for knitting in the round again. Knit 2 more rounds in pattern.
  • Froufrou: Join angora (double it up for the best effect) and knit 1 round of ribbing with both yarns. Fasten off main yarn. Knit 7 more rounds with angora or what ever you find to be pleasing. Cast off loosely.
  • Finishing: Weave in ends with tapestry needle and wash and block to fluff up angora. Mine ended up being 10 inches long.