Saturday, March 29, 2008

Laminiaria Done (My. It really is very ORANGE isn't it?"

Just for the record. Mohair does not stretch much and it does not stretch easily. Brute strength is required and very sturdy pins. That said, it came out pretty nicely and will make a terrific shawl for the office. Why the office you ask? We moved our offices and the room I'm in is quite chilly for some reason. They think the air-conditioner is on all the time or something. In any case this shawl took virtually all of the 4 ounces of yarn I spun and I was fortunate I did not end up running out before the end!

To re-cap. The pattern is Laminiaria from the Spring 2008 Knitty on-line magazine. The fiber is from Black Bunny Fibers in a 50/50 Border Leicester/Mohair Top with a little Cream colored Suri Alpaca to lighten it up a little bit. The colorway is "Carnival" and was spun on the Majacraft Rose for a two ply laceweight yarn. Knit on US 6 needles, I followed the instructions for the smaller shawl because I was using such large needles and knew it would end up pretty good sized anyway.

For those not already aware, I have given away Legends of the Shetland Seas to a co-worker who is going to retire soon. The day after I got it back from the folks at Spin-Off, I gave it, and a copy of the magazine to her. It's her colors and now it will be worn and not put away in a box. Being in the magazine was great. Giving away the shawl was better :-) Good evening and good knitting!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Busted! ("Legends" is in the Spring 2008 Spin-Off Magazine)

Badcatsdesigns busted me first. I guess she got her copy of Spin-Off Magazine earlier than I did :-) Last year just before Thanksgiving I got an e-mail from Amy Clarke Moore asking if I would be willing to have the Legends of the Shetland Seas stole in the gallery of the Spring 2008 magazine. She had seen it on Flicker. I was really surprised since I don't think my spinning is all that terrific. There are many spinners with much better technique than I have. I guess what I lack in spinning skills was made up for with the lace knitting . In any case I agreed, vain thing that I am :-) Amy was really very nice and it gave me the incentive to finish up the stole so I could send it to the nice folks at the magazine. I must say, they took better pictures of it than I did. Back to knitting Laminaria!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Laminaria (Star and Blossom charts)

Just a few pictures of my progress on the Laminaria shawl from Knitty.Com. I'm knitting it on US 6 and there are some very big increases in order to knit the "Blossoms" pattern in this shawl. The first picture is of the "Stars" that happen at the back of the neck of the shawl. I hope the pattern will show once it's blocked because it's very dense in this section. The next few pictures are of the "Blossoms" with a close-up of a single blossom. It looks really different if turn the pictures upside-down which is how you will view them on the finished shawl since the triangle will be pointing down. There was a little learning curve on this type of lace for me and I can't say I enjoy knitting it all that much. It's not holding my attention, truth be told. If I was to knit this again, I would also do a SSSK or mirror image on the Start Chart for the left hand side of the shawl so it would look a little better. The yarn is so busy that I left it alone but if it was a plain yarn I would have made the change. On the plus side, the pattern is well written, clear and I think the designer picked really good combinations for the shawl. I'm just not crazy about having to do all those large increases. As for the other pictures. I know I said I would try to knit from my stash, but I have not been able to resist buying yarn I fear. I guess I will just have to knit a lot faster. Did I mention that I did my taxes and will be getting a refund? And, in all seriousness, I intend to help the economy by spending my share of the stimulus package. That and the fact that, my adult niece is pregnant again and it's time to knit a few baby sweaters. It's a girl this time so a bunch of the Auntie's went yarn shopping on Saturday. I picked up some pretty Claudia Handpaints in fingering weight for the baby sweaters. The tatting shuttle is some kind of Horn and I could not make my hand put it back down once I picked it up. It might even make me do a little bit of tatting :-) The baby sweater yarn is from Commuknittyand the tatting shuttle is from Purlescence Yarns Once I started, I couldn't stop. I picked up several patterns for sweaters and I bought some lace weight yarn as well but will save them for a later post. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and that no else one was attacked by squirrels

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hyrna Finished (A Quick Knit)

Well, Hyrna is done and blocked and it ended up being a very quick knit once all was said and done. You have pictures of my friend, Louise who is wearing it for me, a picture of it unblocked and then a few of it blocked. The color ended up rather nice but it made me really want to knit something bright and colorful. I've been working on the Salmon Queen Doily and knocked off a few rows on the International Shawl, but not enough for me to show you. I have, however, decided to knit a shawl from the Spring '08 Knitty. It's called Laminaria and I wanted to knit it because it has Estonian Lace stitches in it and will be good practice for my International Shawl which will have some Estonian lace in it as well. It also might be a nice quick knit to lighten up my knitting in general. The yarn I'm going to use is another handspun project from Black Bunny Fibers in colorway "Carnival" It's 4 ounces of 50/50 Border Leicester/Mohair Top with a little cream colored Suri Alpaca Top mixed into one of the ply to lighten up the intense color and add a little more softness. I know the lace pattern is not likely to show well with such a colorful yarn, but I just couldn't help myself. I hope you can all bear with me as I go off on a color trip :-) Can you tell I wish it were Summer already? Hope you are all knitting fun things and enjoying yourselves!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Admit Your Mistake And Move On! (Hyrna 2.0)

Just a short post to say that I've cast-on Hyrna a second time using the heavy lace weight yarn I spun from the roving purchased at Stitches West from "Chasing Rainbows" in colorway "Lagoon". I'm knitting on US 4 at the start then went to US 5. It's knitting up much nicer this time and I even understand the instructions for the darned shawl better the second time around now that I've read the notes compiled by Jackie. Anyone considering knitting this shawl should check out her very helpful notes. I know it helped me a lot! I was really not enjoying the previous attempt at Hyrna so maybe it was fate that I dropped that stitch . I'm using my very nice glass needles from Michael and Sheila Ernst so it's now turned from knitting torture to knitting pleasure :-) I have put away the Polworth for awhile and will reconsider what to do with it later. I also have been busy spinning up the Black Bunny fiber in my stash. It's too rough for a scarf but may still make an interesting/sturdy type of a shawl. The socks are more Black Bunny yarn that my sister has knit up into socks for me so I can finally get rid of the socks I've worn holes into :-). Lastly, I'm still spinning very thin singles from my Blue Moon Fiber Arts roving that I got at Stitches West 2007 (takes me a long time to get to it all). I'm on a "reading" and a "spinning" jag so not as much knitting as usual but I can only do those two things for so long before my hands itch to get back to the lace. Now if I could only get that hour back from daylight savings time.....

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Arrggh! (Yeah. I Screwed Up Hyrna)

Yes dear readers. I screwed up Hyrna. I dropped a stitch, picked back and could not figure out what row I was on. There is also a point on this shawl where the middle of the shawl turns into a third "petal" for want of a better word and I got hung up at this point as well. Also, let's just admit it right now. I do not like this polworth yarn that I spun very much. It's just not sexy at all. I trashed the first attempt and will try it again, but I can't promise anything. I'm not feeling the love from this project yet :-( On a better note, I'm up to row 67 on that Niebling Tablecloth! I can't call it Peony because there is another Niebling that has been discribed as that, so I will just have to keep calling it the Tablecloth! I finished the center rosette and have started the stem/leaves for the flowers. In the shots, you can see the difference between natural light and flash. I used the flash from far back, shooting at night, and the camera made it a darker color than it really is. The second shot, where it is light pink, is in natural light and is closer to the real color of the lace and yarn. Go figure! I'm also up to row 117 of the Niebling Center for the International Shawl. For those with the white Japanese Ichida book there are errors on row 87 and row 101. Thanks to fleegle, I could make corrections but I think those sections of knitting were really "fugly" if you catch my drift. I'm really glad to be past them. Other than those very painful rows, the knitting has been fun and I still love the Niebling patterns better than almost any other lace knitting I've done. Since I have been buying fiber lately in lieu of yarn, I also took a little bit of time to do some spinning. The blue yarn is what I spun from the Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks roving in the "Lagoon" colorway. I am trying to spin something more substantial to give my spinning a little variety. It's a heavy lace weight and I'm not sure what I will do with it. Maybe a heavy cable/lace scarf? The Green Border Leicester/Mohair Top is from Black Bunny Fibers and the colorway is "Mermaid's Tail". I spun it nice and thick in an effort to practice spinning something other than lace weight. This will be given to my sister to knit into something since I'm not planning on making anything with it. It's not really soft enough for a scarf but maybe a hat and wristers? It's getting a little warmer out here so I imagine my knitting will begin to speed up a little bit. I hope that's the case since there is so much lace and so little time! Hope you have all had a great weekend!