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!


LittleBerry said...

nice to hear from you....

your yarns from Colourmart look great, lovely colours even the pink one... I have to say I prefer knitting with colour to white, I just find it uninteresting...

fleegle said...

Oh gosh...I forgot about all that linen thread I have left over from my bobbin lace days. I don't think I would ever knit with it again. I made one handkerchief edging with 160/2 and 00000 needles and hated every single stitch. The handkerchief was lovely, but got stolen with my purse years ago.

I thought the Avril stuff was splitty too---too bad, it's so soft and fine. I wonder if running it over a cake of thread conditioner would help. I use it for old flat silk embroidery thread that is a bit fragile. I might give that a try.

I also bought a bunch of 3/45 cash/silk from Colourmart this week, on top of the gigantic Yubina buy I made last week. I gotta stop. And I won't go to Stitches East in penance.

So glad you are back with us! We missed you!

Jane said...

Dear littleberry,

Nice to be back! I really like knitting with color when I can. I don't have anything against "White Work" so to speak, but I always end up longing for color like you.

Karla (ThreadBndr) said...

Good to see you 'back'. I, too, was getting a bit worried.

My next major lace, Sharon Miller's Unst Bridal sqare shawl, will be in white. As will Princess. One of them will be my DIL's wedding veil. I want it to be Princess. But I know Unst is within my skill range and Princess may be a bit beyond me right now. We'll see.

How does linen knitted lace block out? I remember from my weaving days that it is pretty inelastic.

Jane said...

Dear fleegle,

160/2 size thread? No wonder you hated knitting it! I resisted buying all that silk for a while but finally had to give in. They really are pretty. I have resisted the siren call of Yubina but just how long I will be able to do that is up for grabs. How can you and I hold out against such temtation? I thought the Avril stuff lovely to touch but I'd go nuts trying to knit it. I'll be interested to see if the thread conditioner works. We have some at home for sewing. I vote that you should still let yourself go to Stitches. After all, why should you punish yourself for internet buying when most local yarn shops don't carry what you want to knit? Besides, Stitches is like going to the circus, but with yarn.How can you say "No" to that :-)

Soo said...

Welcome back!

Gorgeous yarns - I agree with the colour bias although I think the gifts I'll be knitting for Christmas are in white or black. Oh well.

I've never knit with linen -- for some reason I decided I wouldn't like it and that has been that. (Of course I said the same thing about olives for the first half of my life so there is always some chance I'll change my mind!)

And I'm off to check out this Niebling source. I've recently acquired 4 more German magazines -- so if there is a Niebling's Anonymous support group I'll be joining you there.

Opal said...

I'm so glad your back to blogging! Looking forward to seeing progress pictures! :-)

Jane said...

Dear Karla,

Both the Unst Shawl and the Princess Shawl would be beautiful choices for a wedding veil and I don't think the bride who is gifted with either one is going to complain! You are a brave woman to knit one for such an event but I know your knitting skills are up to the task. Sometimes it's more of a challenge to find time to knit than the actualy knitting though. Good Luck with that! As for knitted linen lace and blocking, I have no idea since I've never done it before. I do know that other things I own that are made of linen become softer after multipal washings, the color gets lighter and yet linen is very durable. It is not elastic at all in either case so should still block well. We shall see what happens. I still have to figure out an edging. I think I will go look in Sharon Millers book for suggestions. Fancy or Plain? I tend to be over-kill but this is a lovely geometric pattern so maybe less frilly is the ticket!

Jane said...

Dear Soo,

I'm not known in the family for being subtle so color often appeals to me. I've knit with linen only once. A co-worker asked me to knit a cable sweater for her since she could not find one she liked in her size. She selected linen yarn and it was a little rough to knit it on the hands as it does not have any "give". Still, it looked fantastic when it was done and gave terrific cable deffinition. I have tried to tat with linen and it's basically thread. I imagine it will be similar to knitting with crochet or other styles of tatting cotton. I'm actually really interested to see how this turns out. I'm trying to hold back on the Nieblings since I'd like to knit a few up from the magazines and books I already have but I do know what you mean about them being addicting!

Jane said...

Dear Opal,

I owe you eye candy since you are always making sure to give me my fix of knitting beauty! I hope to finish off my exsisting projects and not start too much new except the Dragone, but "the best laid plains" etc. We will see! Good to hear from you as well!

z's momma said...

I love your Colourmart yarns. That silver is stunning.

And the Niebling pattern book. I must resist...I too am addicted to Niebling patterns. I've even had to resort to selling my stash to pay for patterns, how sad is that?!

Finally, I've been meaning to ask this (maybe I missed it in my knitting books): Is there a chart for lace swatch that you and fleegle do? I love it! Please let me know where I can find it. Thank you.

missalicefaye said...

ooooh--so many pretty pictures! I hope to see lots and lots of Nieblings appearing around here in the near future! :)

Jane said...

Dear Z's momma,

I love the color of the silk as well and I hope to find something really nice to knit with it. I'm usually so loud with the colors that this is a real change for me. I love the Nieblings too but I hope you are only selling stash that you don't want any more! There is a Russian Site that has a on-line copy of the magazine I used to knit my current doily from. If you don't already have this magazine you could copy the patterns fromt he site and save a little money. I will post it in the side-bar of this blog under the "Stuff". It has other patterns as well of his but all are in German. If you need me to send you the English Translation of the Burda symbols I would be happy to send you one! As for the pattern that Fleegle and I are knitting, it is the "small trees" pattern that is from Sharon Miller. It's the same as the regular trees just smaller.

Jane said...

Dear missalicefaye,

I think you can count on more Nieblings in the future. They really are fun to knit and I have several in mind already that I want to make! We aim to please!

Laritza said...

Swatching is fun. You can just imagine how things will turn out. When you say treating linen in the old way I assume you mean mangling. Yes you can get it done. The woolgatherers offer the service: