Saturday, September 30, 2006

Update (just to prove I actually do make some progress)

Yes, I know the shot of Peacock Feathers Shawl is blurry and you can't see what I've done, but I did not feel like taking it off the needles to pin it out. I am done with chart 6 and will begin chart 7. For those in the know, that means that I'm done with the small feathers in this shawl and will be starting the big feathers. Now, this shawl is knit with a yarn other than the one suggested on needles somewhat smaller than used in the original. This means a smaller shawl. Should I just go ahead and let it be smaller, or should I add either more small feathers or an additional row of large feathers? Should I really finish it off with crochet, and in that way learn a new craft since I don't know how to crochet, or should I choose another way to finish it? I kind of have something different in mind to do for the edge other than crochet, but I'm not sure if it will be a good idea or just weird. If I do something strange for the edge, I can always take it off if it really stinks. Anyone want to chime in with an opinion? Remember, I'm not artistic, just lucky when something comes out nice. Oh yeah, Mountain Pines is half-way through the boarder. What I thought was the "trees" was not the tree part. Still have not reached those darn trees but "almost" there. As for the "Fir Cone 3/4 Square Shawl", I've done 5 out of the 13 repeats of the pattern and it's dope-slap easy. A nice change from "agony" knitting. Now what, you ask, is that scarf doing on this "all lace all the time" blog? Let's just say I'm helping out a friend in need. For the details of the interruption in my knitting of lace, you can check my other site "Jane's Reality"( The closer it gets to the holidays, the more interruptions there will be in lace knitting I fear.

This is not to say that there are not tempting activity's out there on the internet. There is a nice group that is taking it's cue from the book "Twisted Sisters" and they are spinning/dyeing in order to make knitted garments. They call themselves Twisted Knitters ( It's awfully tempting but I have not sufficient time! I have the dreaded "Commitment-itis", fear of committing to a project for fear of inability to finish in time. Ah well... I'm off to knit on my very loud, very furry scarf.

That's all for now!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Old Dog....(New trick)

It's a wonderful thing, the internet. There is always someone who has information and is generous enough to want to share with others needing a hand-up with a knitting project. I've been wanting to make some of those doily patterns I have into shawls but needed to learn how to do a specific technique that I've never used before. I went in search of how-to information about the crochet cast-on for the center of a doily and found this site with a wonderful pictorial instruction of the technique. What you see in this picture is the end result, stitches that can be transferred to double pointed needles so circular knitting can begin. The information was posted on Bagatell's blog-site at, ( and is very helpful to those of use who are more visual in our learning. For the full set of instructions, go to:(

I have also started a very nice simple-minded pattern for a relief shawl. Its called "Fir Cone 3/4 Square Shawl" and can be found for free at, ( under the "Free Stuff" heading. The pattern is by Kate LeFevre and is one of those shawls that starts at the back of your neck and knits downward in the form of 3 triangles. You end up with a shawl that doesn't have a point hanging down your backside.

I'm knitting mine with Zepher (charcoal color, 50% merino wool, 50% tussah silk, US 4 Addi Turbo Needles) that I purchased while on vacation one year in Seattle. I love to buy yarn or patterns for knitting while on vacation. That way I can remember the great time I had while I'm knitting it, even if it was years later. I guess I'd call that a form of "tactile memory", only not in the traditional sense :-) This is alot of fun to knit, is growing by leaps and bounds on size US 4 compared to what I've been doing and only takes the one ball of yarn. It had better really only take one ball since I have no others and that trip was alot of years ago.

I know I was going to have my sister buy me knitting stuff for my birthday, but instead I'm getting a small "flat screen" TV for my bedroom. This might sound a little odd, but it's really a "good thing" as Martha Stewart would say. I like to watch/hear stuff my sister does not enjoy while I knit and this will make it possible for me to do it without bugging her or using my laptop computer to play DVD's. This means I can knit, have my computer on to catch up on knitting blogs, and have a DVD on at the same time. If I really want sensory over-load I can mute the TV and have a pod-cast on or the stereo on as well. Whew! None of this happens while knitting WRS however. When I knit that, I may only have music. I can't take the distraction.

It's now time to take me and my "monkey mind" off to other chores! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

One down (4 to go)

So I finished a shawl, but it's one of the" no-brainer", ones so I'm not sure it counts for very much in the way of completion. I think I have to replace it with another very simple shawl rather than a more challenging project. After all, not all the things you knit should threaten to give you an aneurysm everytime you go to pick it up! It doesn't justify starting, say, the Spider Queen. I will have to go through my pattern library and look for something suitable. Now I don't photograph well, but the close-up has about the right colors of this shawl. The yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. ( ). It's called Rio, is 100% rayon and the colorway is Lagoon (800 yds/8 oz). The pattern is "Simply Garter" , designer Judy Pascal for Contemporary Concepts. It drapes nicely but I really can't say I'd do this shawl again. For the time it took I think I'd rather be knitting something with a pattern in it.

WRS is currently stalled. I've been trying to finish Peacock Feathers Shawl and Mountain Pines first so I can stop looking at them. I also will need them for Christmas very likely as it is September ladies and gentlemen. I confess to swatching Spider Queen with some of my Cashmere/Silk at the suggestion of missalicefaye. What can I say? When she's right, she's right. Anyone who has not been to her site really should go have a look. Yes, I know. She has some really beautiful things done and she's working on the "Unst Shawl" by Sharon Miller. And I complain about the WRS! I shall bite my tongue from here on out. Which reminds me. On the Yahoo Group for those working with Sharon Miller patterns, they are saying that she has another book coming out soon. There are no pre-orders as yet, but I await the next book with great interest. Not that I will likely knit anything from it, but I do love to look at all the wonderful things I might do.

Progress report. I'm on row 67 of the Mountain Pines boarder (it goes to 99 rows then the edging is added). On Peacock Feathers Shawl I'm on row 167 (still in chart 6) with 4 more pattern rows before I end up with chart 7. WRS I'm still only half-way up the second repeat (where I stopped to concentrate on the other shawls). I plan to work on the Shetland Circular Shawl once I finish MP and PFS. I want all of them off the needles and gone so I can do some new things along with WRS which will be the perpetual challenge to my knitting tolerance for the next year. Thank the Lord that there is no time limit for WRS.

For those interested in doily patterns, missalicefaye put me onto a site, Yarn Over Lace, ( ) that has lots of nice patterns that have been translated into English. I plan to try one or two, but as shawls, not as doily's. I know there is a cast-on for the center ring but I've never done it. I believe it involves crochet, hence my limited experience in this area. Guess I'll have to learn something new :-)
I'm off to look at easy patterns right now (simple things for simple minds). Good evening to all!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Heere Be Dragone (Like I don't have enough to do)

Buying a pattern is not the same as knitting it. Honest! This very beautiful and clever pattern is by Sharon Winsauer, better known as the "Mistress of Knitting Pain" ( .

Yes, it's the infamous "Heere Be Dragone" pattern. It costs $12.00 and if you are within the USA there is no shipping or handling fee. If you are in Canada, it is $2.00 and it is $6.00 in Australia. She accepts personal checks (US only please) as well as Pay Pal, Master Card or Visa. If you mail an order into her and are using a credit card, she will need your Name, Phone number, Address on credit card account if it is different than your mailing address, Credit Card number, Expiration date as well as the 3 digit security code from the back of the credit card. You can contact her at Aurora Alpacas, 11020 N. Watson Rd. Bath, MI 48808 (517-641-6479). I just cut to the chase and sent her a check for the $12.00 and received my pattern very promptly I might add. Sharon also has some other very nifty patterns and she included her catalogue with my order. I'm providing this information because I just know others will want to make this shawl and if you go to her site like I did, you will not find any link to order this or her other patterns. Yes my pretties, you would then be forced, as I was, to contact her by e-mail for specifics. So there!

This pattern is 15 pages long, not including the pretty picture on the front which you see above. She has to print this picture to prove that it is possible to knit this shawl. Just beat me with a big stick someone. It would be less painful than it will be to knit this shawl. Sigh. Of course I have to finish a shawl before I can start this one. Same for Spider Queen. All the same, there is plenty of preliminary work to be done.

First will come the reading of the pattern to see if my feeble mind can comprehend it's slithering greatness. Then the quest for the right yarn shall begin throughout the kingdom of "Stash" well into the outer kingdom of "Retail Therapy" if no champion worthy to take up arms against this monster can be found locally. God help us!

I have joined the Yahoo Group KAL for this one too, though it will be awhile before I can start.

Short post today. I must pick back 4 rows of the Peacock. I dropped a stitch and it ran back 4 rows. Silk pretty, dropped stitches BAD!

Flirting with carpal tunnel, yours truly!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Joined a KAL for Peacock Feathers Shawl (maybe this will give me incentive!)

Sometimes it's nice to be able to knit along with others, but not really have to "get together". I just don't have time to get in a car and go somewhere to knit with others. I commute during the week so I thought I'd give the KAL at Yahool for the Peacock Feathers Shawl a try. I've never participated in a KAL before. The Wedding Ring Shawl can hardly count as it will take a year to finish (I'm half-way through the second repeat of the center panel). What I found is a nice group of people who are all interested in at least this one thing we share. I'm afraid no men have yet joined this group but I bet there will be some eventually. Of course, I had already started my shawl, many on the group have not yet begun, but it is actually encouraging me to keep up the knitting on it and not lose interest. I am now up to row 150 of the pattern. See above a pin-out of the work in progress. I had to transfer the work to longer circulars to pin this out but it was worth it for you to see it. Of course, I have at least one or two "Homer Simpson" fixes ie not perfectly done but, "Good Enough!" Since I'm using US 3 needles rather than US 4, it may be somewhat smaller but that's alright by me. I'm still working away on other projects and shawls but I will post those later. "Mountain Pine's" is still closer to completion than "The Peacock Feathers Shawl", but it also has a Vandyke edge that must be added at the end, and that always feels like an eternity to do. I may change the edging to something else of course, just so my shawl will not be exactly like everyone else's who has made this pattern.

Just so we are clear that I'm nuts. I have sent away for a new pattern that I saw on Criminy Jickets blog ( . It's called the "Heere Be Dragone" pattern. Yes, it is a triangle shawl with a dragon knit into it. I have a neice who loves dragons. You know where this is going of course. The only question now is what yarn to use so the dragon will show up nicely, and will this cause me to finally lose all of my remaining hair? Oh well. This means I must finish at least TWO shawls. One so I can do the Spider Queen and another so I can do the Dragone. Very little spinning will be happening because I must use every spare moment to knit!

Until I have more to show or more to say, Good Evening Friends!

Monday, September 04, 2006

3 Day Weekends (where did the time go?)

I didn't really knit that much this weekend in spite of the 3 day holiday. I spent part of it with the family and I just can't knit well when I'm around others. It's too distracting. I've been making an effort to work on the "Mountain Pines" shawl however. I really want to finish it so I can work on "The Spider Queen". I know, I know. The deals knitter/spinners make with themselves are often baroque and without real meaning to anyone but ourselves. I really must finish a shawl so I can start another shawl? What kind of whacked logic is that? Still that's the deal. I can swatch "Spider Queen" but not really knit it until I finish something. The yarn I spun for MP does not show to advantage in these flash shots. When It's done, I'll try to get an outdoors shot that shows the subtle nature of the colors. While I look at this shawl with a critical eye, I can see some parts of the yarn that are thinner than they should be, fatter than they should be in some locations. When I was younger this would have driven me crazy but now that I've exceeded the "half century" mark, I think I can live with the irregularity. I'm up to row 47 of the border (it's 99 rows total, then you knit on an edge) and I'm about to start the "Pine Trees" that are in the border of this pattern. It's silly to get off on that aspect of the knitting I know, but I get a kick out of seeing the motifs take shape.

I'm working on the second repeat of the WRS center panel and it's still something I can knit for only 1-4 rows before having to stop and do something else. It may be the fact that the row of stitches is quite long and each row of pattern itself is also quite long. This pattern differentiates between decreases that are left and right leaning decreases (darned dyslexia) so it takes me more time to read/knit each decrease stitch. In contrast I was swatching "Spider Queen" and it does a standard K2 tog for all decreases. Knitting this is very easy as a result. If anyone is considering making a Shetland Shawl, I'd suggest doing Hazel Carter's patterns first before trying Sharon Millers as a starting point because of this aspect of the knitting. Just my opinion of course! I check in on the Yahoo Group for knitters making Sharon Miller patterns and some of the others on that group suggested I just do K2 tog for all the decreases if it's that big a deal for me. Since the yarn I'm using is so fine, it might not be very noticeable that I'm doing left or right slanting decreases but it's hard to change what I'm doing now that I've started out one way.

Just a mention here about perspective. Once you start knitting with Gossamer weight yarn, all the other laceweight looks and feels like you are knitting with rope. I Swatched Spider Queen with some Zepher I had around the house using a US 3 needle. I just couldn't get into it at that weight. "Spider Queen" implies use of a pretty darned fine yarn. I will go through the stash and examine what I have for candidates.