Sunday, September 30, 2007

TKGA In Oakland (So I shopped more than I knit)

OK. I confess. I didn't knit as much as I shopped this weekend but it was a kind of social thing for me as my sister, my sister-in-law and my friend Louise all went to this event. The Knitting and Crochet show is much smaller that Stitches but who am I to turn up my nose at yarn? Besides, there is usually something at a show that I would not easily find in a local yarn store. I did not get a lot of things but those that I did get are very nice. See above crochet hooks in rosewood handles from Asciano FiberArts Tools from Sausalito CA. (phone 415-331-9227) or( Yes, my sister got them for me only so I can do the crochet cast off for dollies but the handles are large, comfortable and much easier for me to handle without my hands cramping up or risking carpel tunnel syndrome. They are also much prettier than the ones with plastic handles that I have been using. I got sizes 0.75 mm and 1.25 mm. Since it's tough to buy birthday presents for someone like me, my sister usually just gets me what I want at a show like this and does not make me wait until my actual birthday to use them :-) In addition to the hooks, my sister also got me 2 skeins of Habu Silk (NS-18J, 21 d/102 orgazine degummed (indigo dyed) color 5. They have this dyed by a gentleman in Japan (Mr. Mori) who does this in the traditional way and is teaching his son to do it as well. Each skein has 1,400 yds on it but trying to wind it into a ball sucks big-time as it's slick like rayon and wants to knot up or tangle. Still, beautiful stuff and I have no idea what the heck I will do with it. Last, but not least I got myself 2 skeins of 60/2 silk from RedFish DyeWorks. It is 1,400 yds/skein and the silk does not take the dye evenly so it's more like a "mostly solid" type of a silk. Think the way denim might dye unevenly. I actually like that aspect. solids are OK but a little visual interest that is not a extreme tone/color shift is nice when making lace. It wasn't very crowded at the show but there was enough to look at that no one left empty handed. I enjoyed speaking to some of the members of the Lacy Knitters Guild and picking up information about The Lace Museum in Sunnyvale. All great resources if you are interested in lace. That's it for now. I have to go knit now so I won't feel I got all these new things for no reason :-) Have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fuchsia Doily (085/18) So it wasn't Bleeding Heart

According to Mary Francis at Lacis the flowers in this doily are supposed to be Fuchsia. Too bad. I kind of liked the idea of "Bleeding Heart" or "Love Lies Bleeding"but then I'm a morbid kind of person at times :-) Using US 0000 for the center and US 000 for the remainder, it was made with one ball of Flora 50 in red from a burda magazine in German "Alles aus Garn: Kunststrickent / Folge 1. I'm not perfect. It has mistakes (0ne reason why I will likely never enter a county fair) but I learned new things with this doily so I am very happy. Thank you to every one out there who helped me to figure out how to knit this doily and to everyone who is enjoying this lace as much as I enjoyed knitting it. I am in a finishing frenzy now so I hope to post more completed lace soon.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Long time, no blog! (Where the heck is she?)

It's been awhile since I last posted. Work and life really do take too much time away from lace knitting in my opinion. However, I didn't realize just how long it had been until I got an E-mail from fleegle asking me if I was "OK". I am indeed "OK" but I was touched by her concern. Never fear! I'm out there knitting (you shall see progress on next post) shopping (like I actually have room for more stash or patterns), and swatching lovely samples of yarn shared with me by fleegle and Laritza (you really can't ask for more fun than that). On top of all of that, Kathy has generously given me a square of linen that she wove herself to work with. I am in hog heaven!

Starting at the top, I heard on Shawl Knitters Yahoo Group that doilyhead had obtained permission to re-print some Niebling patterns so I went and purchased the down loadable pattern for Kunstgestrickte Kostbarkeiten (Knitted Lace Treasures). The pattern on the cover is apparantly called Fingerloke" (Finger Lure). According to the translated text, the lace was originally knit using sizes 100 and 120 thread on 1.0 mm needles (US 00000). If you click on the link for doilyhead you should be able to see pictures of the patterns. There are others on her flicker site. Does collecting Niebling patterns constitute an addiction? Hmmmm. Anyway, next up I have finally found the time to swatch samples that were sent to me. The gray swatch was yarn that fleegle sent me that she got in Tokyo from "Avril". It's a merino 2/48 yarn and is smooth, slick and very lovely in my hands if a little bit "splitty" to knit. While it's nice, I know if I reached into my stash to knit something it would not be the first thing I would pick. The white swatch was sent to me by Laritza and is the Jamison Smith cobweb yarn she used for her Wedding Ring Shawl. It's much more sturdy and easy to work with than what I'm using for mine so I can really see why she picked it. Laritza says that JS sells the stuff in 1 kg cones of 20,000 yards and she might just have to get some. I'm off of singles though and this cobweb yarn is a single so I have to pass on it. Still, swatching them both was fun and a great way to determine if I'd want to buy any. My thanks to both fleegle and Laritza for the opportunity!

Next up are pictures of the beautiful hand woven linen square that was made by Kathy . It's a lovely warm color and she left it just as it came off the loom so it will be even nicer once it is washed etc. Kathy did mention there is a way to treat the fabric "in the old way" so I think I will take her up on her offer of some information on what to do with it once it's done. Since the thread she used was a "One Of A Kind" find. I had to go to Lacis to find some linen thread that would be close in color. Good old trusty Irish Linen. Now to find a good edging and read up on how to do this. I've never tried to attach edging to fabric except with tatting. With that, I just used a stiletto to punch holes for the lace to be attached. Perhaps it will be similar with this? Please, don't tell me I have to crochet it on or I will slit my wrists. Did I mention I do not like crochet Sam I Am?

The next picture is of 4 cones of smooth silk I got from ColormartUK in a variety of plies and weights. I have no plan for them but I'm sure I can come up with something to do with them :-)
Since I never get out of Lacis without buying more than a spool of thread, I also picked up a cone of Silk Tussah 2/60 weight yarn as well as some cones of 2/50 Linen thread from Belgium and discovered that the "anonymous" cone of linen thread I have had for years and years is by the same company but looks like it's in 2/80. Who knew? I'm going to "test drive" some linen samples. If I fall in Love with it, I might use it for the "Princess Shawl" since I'm sick unto death of what I'm using for WRS (too darned fragile for clumsy me). I could "rough house" with linen until the cows came home to no harm. Very tempting idea!

Next post will be progress pictures and I hope to find a little more time to knit. Until then, good evening and good knitting!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Doily 085/18 (With a little help from my friends)

OK Opal. You wanted to see the doily, you get the doily! Yeah. I cast-on another doily since you all helped me out with those instructions I could not figure out. How could I resist? LOL!

I have to say I think that doily's are my "socks". Small projects, portable, fun to knit, quickly done. I never could get into the whole sock thing but doily's, I think this has real potential. Yes, I'm still knitting on Lyra (I'm up to row 145 of 180 rows) and yes, I'm still working on the "brain death" edging of Boundary Waters (rounding the third corner and heading towards home stretch). And no, I'm not "feeling the love" from the WRS yet. I think Lyra and Boundary Waters will end up done at the same time so I can just have a "blocking fest" using the shawl frame. So this little 88 row doily (I'm on row 63) is just the ticket to keep me from a bad case of "Start-itis". I do not need to start another large project just yet.

The doily is from Burda Kunststrickent / Folge 1: Alles aus Garn which I bought on E-Bay. The doily has no name that I can find in this magazine and if it says who designed it I can't find it. Of course, it's in German so maybe it is in the text somewhere. I did find Herbert Nieblings name in there but that does not mean that all of the lace in that magazine is from him. Still, that little doily sure feels like it could be one of his. Any one what to guess just what flower this is? I'm thinking "Bleeding Heart" or something like it. Short post. I have to go knit now or I will never finish anything!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Lyra (Row 129) WTF does this mean in English?

Ahhh. The hazards of buying old lace knitting magazines in German. Yeah, they give you the English translation of the symbols in general but that doesn't help you when the center graph pages have special little comments for the pattern you want to make in GERMAN with symbols you don't have on the key. The two magazines you see there are ones that I got on E-Bay and they are in German. The third one is a magazine I bought in 1992 in English though it was also published in German as was the Anna Magazine that contains my copy of the Lyra pattern. I made a close-up shot of the instructions that I do not understand and the symbols that I don't understand. I'm thinking they are asking me to do a cable cross but I'm not sure. Those are from the older Burda magazine so I think it may have been before they came up with a more standard version of cable icons. I'm just guessing here. If anyone has a clue, let me know. It's for a doily I'd like to knit. These two magazines in German have quite a few patterns I'd like to try so I will work on these as well as the patterns I have in the Japanese books for awhile. Not all Nieblings are appealing to me. I favor the ones that have flower/leaves etc. Not so much a fan of the ones that are straight traditional doilys. I have to say that being on vacation for 12 days has made me realize how little time I have had to really knit. Most of my time is taken up with the commute to work but since I've been off I have knit for hours at a time. I can knit late at night without being concerned that I have to get up at 5:30 AM to get to work. It has been really nice and I just have to find more time to knit once I have to go back to work. Anyway, here are a few shots of things I'm making progress on. Boundary Waters I'm on side #3 and it's very dull to do the edging but I'm trying to make myself finish this so I can do the edging for the Sampler Stole. Also, I'm enjoying the Lyra pattern so I'm having trouble making myself finish the edging I know I need to do on the other projects. The flower center consists of small single cables that cross each other and look a little bit like a rope spiral. You don't get great definition with yarn but I bet this is a knock out with crochet or tatting cotton and I plan to find out by knitting Lyra again with Flora 50 or Cordonet 50 cotton later on. No progress on the Wedding Ring Shawl. It has been very warm here so I'm not at all tempted. Still, if it cools down I will try to knock off a few more rows but it lacks the appeal or ease of Lyra so I won't hold my breath. Hope everyone is having a good weekend!