Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sampler Stole & Legends of the Shetland Seas (Progress of a Sort)

Though I have not touched my Wedding Ring Shawl of late (I just sit at my computer and admire missalicefaye's shawl instead) I have not been totally idle. I have been doing some spinning but have stopped for the time being so I will have more time to knit. Since some madness seized me and I joined the "Spun Stitches" spin/knit along, I have started yet another stole. But these stoles go quickly as you can see from the progress on the "Sampler Stole" by Hazel Carter. At the top of the page you can see the first repeat of "Legends of the Shetland Seas". Yet another stole by Hazel Carter. I am knitting the Legend Stole out of hand spun yarn I made from Lisa Souza fibers. I plied BFL with Merino in the "Petroglyph" colorway and got a yarn that ended up being 36 WPI. I'm using US 2 needles to knit it and the colors are very earthy and quite subtle. I did not skein the yarn but wound it straight from the bobbin with a ball winder. I put a toilet paper roll that I had cut down to fit over the core of the ball winder so that my yarn will not get all messed up as I use it. If I left the ball alone, it would eventually block the yarn, but I don't have that much over twist in my plied yarn so it's not difficult to knit with and the stole will have to be blocked anyway so what the heck! As for the "Sampler Stole' I have completed the 162 row border and will now pick up the reserved stitches at the other end and do it all over again. It goes very quickly and I really want to get this done so I can give it to Yarn Place and then focus on my other shawls. I feel a little guilty about not working more on the WRS but I still hope to work more on it this weekend. I hope everyone out there is having fun knitting. I know I am. Have a Good Evening!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Waiting To Become (That's What Yarn Is)

Two skeins of 70/30 Merino/Silk spun at an average of 30-32 WPI. I say average because It's not consistant in size but I think missalicefaye already understands that my spinning is not perfect so she may be able to come up with something to use this yarn for all the same. One skein is about 750 yds the other about 647 yds for a total of 1,397 yds (I counted off with the niddy noddy so I hope that's right). If it's not enough and you need more, missalicefaye, I am happy to spin up more since I have a whole bunch of that fiber left. I will be sending it off soon so be on the look-out for it. Now I can go back to knitting a little bit since I got my Ya Ya's Out :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Brain on Auto-Pilot (Can't walk and chew gum but can still spin!)

What do you do when your brain takes a hike? If you are so unfortunate as to be me, you spin. Why? Because at least at the end of the day, you still have something to show for it even if you can barely get coherent sentences out of your mouth! It has been very warm out here and I had to take a break from knitting. I am praying this stuff comes out nice because it's going to missalicefaye. For those who spin out there, I imagine your goals for spinning are very individual. Some go for the unique, some spin for fun, many are obsessed with making sock yarns and some to get a decent lace weight yarn like me. The yarn form Mountain Pines was not 100% even but it still made a very pretty shawl. I hope it will pass muster. We shall see!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bringing The Pretty /Wrapped in Comfort

Just got a new book in the mail. This one is by Alison Jeppson Hyde and is titled "Wrapped in Comfort" She has some lovely circular shawls as well as scarf patterns using larger sized needles (US 9 or US 10 on average) and the shawls are very graceful and pretty. They are designed so they will stay on the shoulders and the instructions are both written and charted for those who have a preference. The patterns are graded from beginner lace to experienced and most all the patterns have a "story" attached to them explaining how they came to be. Though I'm currently knitting on smaller needles, these pattern are very appealing and I'm guessing the larger gage would make the knitting go pretty quickly. I just have to go look at my stash. I'm going to refrain from buying more yarn for now and "shop" from my stash for yarns for projects instead as suggested on the podcast "Stash and Burn" (see sidebar). Besides. I'm spinning yarn too. I almost have one bobbin filled with a single in the green merino/silk. It's not too bad so far. Let's hope I have developed the patience to ply the way I should.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

You Must Go Look! (missalicefaye heads for the finish line)

You have to go look at missalicefaye. She is almost done with her Wedding Ring Shawl and it is such an awesome thing to watch as she reaches for the finish line. She just has to graft the lace edging and then she can wash/block. I have a long way to go before I get to that point and a lot of distractions. Check her blog out!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Boundary Waters Shawl (Finally at the Edging!)

I finally finished the border for the Boundary Waters Shawl as you can see above. I have started adding the edging and I think it looks pretty good. My sister-in-laws sister, Millie, has finished a lace shawl (her first) so I will be breaking in the shawl frame by blocking it for her. My sister's wheel, a Majacraft Rose, is a really terrific wheel. Thing is, I hated the "delta" orifice and had to obtain a "lace" flyer assembly with a circular orifice. It spins great now so I'm making more lace singles. If you see this fiber, it's the same one I used for Mountain Pines. Why do more of the same fiber you ask? Because. When I bought the fiber, I was knitting cable sweaters. I bought enough fiber to make an entire sweater. I will be spinning this stuff into lace weight yarn till Hell freezes over. The set comes with bobbins with thicker cores so that the take-up with lace weight singles is much easier and the orifice has a ceramic liner for smooth going. So now I'm spinning both this green fiber as well as the Lisa Souza Petroglyph fiber which I'm spinning on my Schacht wheel. It's really good to have more than one wheel in the house! "Squeee!"

In addition to the spinning and knitting I've also been guilty of shopping for more yarn. I know I don't need it but I still wanted it. I think this is the only time I have ever bid on an item on
E-Bay. I have bought items but not bid on them. I purchased the really lovely suri alpaca and I think it will help me to figure out how to spin the baby suri alpaca fiber that I recently bought at Copper Moose. The suri alpaca has virtually no crimp so I think seeing this yarn will also help me to figure out how to make mine. The color of this yarn is more "peach" than pink but I don't know if it will translate in this blog. On my monitor, the last picture of this yarn looks closer to the actual color. I have an idea of what I will use it for but I will wait until I get a few things done before I start my next projects. Once Boundary Waters is done, I will start the "Heere Be Dragone" shawl for my niece. I'm still knitting on the shop sample for Yarn Place but won't post again until I have one end border done. It still looks very pretty and is fairly easy to knit because it's only a stole. Good Knitting!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Samper Stole (row 55 of border)

Still Knitting on the Sampler Stole. I'm up to row 55 of the border and there are 162 rows in all . I don't know if this happens to anyone else, but I find the odd dropped stitch from time to time even though I tug on my lace periodically as I knit to try to catch them early on. It happened on my WRS center and it happened with this one too. You can see it in the top shot at the bottom of the picture. It's the third diamond counting from left to right. I have picked it up and will just have to"tie" it in place and hide the ends. No way am I going to rip back to that point! Once again, not perfect but not too bad. Does anyone out there have any experience with trying to starch Shetland Lace? Sharon Miller had described doing it but if you store the lace, you have to wash it out and re-block it since you don't want the buggies to be attracted to the starch. As if the wool itself was not already an enticing little snack for moths. A word to the wise. If you Xerox /enlarge a chart from a book like I did, don't forget to check for color-coded changes in the chart symbol instructions. This pattern had several and I didn't transcribe them to my copy so I had to pick back a few rows when I realized that my stitch count was off. I should have looked more closely a the "legend" that explains the stitch symbols. In some rows, the symbol for Sl1,K2tog,psso was supposed to be K2tog at the beginning of the repeat so the stitch count would come out correctly. I guess knitting lace is always a learning experience :-) I added a shot of the un-pinned stole center so you can more easily see the color shifting of the yarn. What exactly is it about variegated yarn that has me hooked so bad? After all. Lace shows to better advantage when your eye is not distracted by shifting colors, or so it is commonly believed. Yet I still like those color changes. Guess only time will tell if I am disappointed in the results. Until then, I'm enjoying the knitting. Good Evening to all!

Friday, June 01, 2007

It's Still Lace (knitting,not)

I was checking out Laritza's blog to find that she has, among her many other talents, the ability to weave and crochet in addition to spinning and knitting lace. Of course, I had to ask if there was anything she could not actually do. I have a feeling when she told me there was a kind of lace with a "funny name" that she could not yet do, that she may have been referring to tatting. If so, here are some of my tatted edges. I don't do large projects in tatting, just edges. I'm too spastic to do large projects with tatting. It's not knitting, but I believe it still qualifies as a type of lace :-)