Archive for the ‘Lace’ Category

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Burny progress

April 30, 2008

Knitting is, in my mind, sitting calmly in one spot and working on your fun little project be it challenging or mindless or in between, but things have just been so crazy lately there was no time for me to sit down and work on the sweater I started *or* the new shawl…

Well my problems with lack of knitting time were solved this weekend after I got a really really bad sunburn on the tops of my feet while I was in Delaware. To give you an idea of how bad, my feet swelled up to twice their normal size, I couldn’t walk so much as stumble flat-footed and in immense pain, and now four days after the initial burn my feet are still deep cherry red with a lovely complement of blisters on the right foot near the toes. It’s pretty gross, but the fact that I was confined to whatever chair I could fall in to means I got a bunch of knitting done.

This is the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan for the Spring Interweave. I’ve actually been working on it since the beginning of the month, but as busy as I’ve been, bloging’s gotten shoved down the priority list. I’m knitting it in Rowan Handknit Cotton, a yarn that doesn’t seem to get much use in full sized sweaters if my skimming of Ravelry is any indication. But so far I’ve got nothing but love for this stuff. It’s got a good hand and shows texture very well. Plus it comes in like a billion colors.  I’m also really enjoying the pattern itself. The “kimono construction” is really neat and I’ve never done anything like it before. I am, however, concerned about how well my short-rows are concealing themselves in this yarn. A good blocking should cover up the little gaps (I’m hesitant to call them holes). Then there’s the ever popular “I sure hope I’m reading this pattern right..” paranoia, but that’s nothing new.

The other really active project is the Victorian Lace Today Melon Shawl. I really need to get trucking on this one since I want to be able to wear it to a wedding in early June. Sure the wedding is in North Carolina and the last thing I’m going to want is some fuzzy whatever stuck to my shoulders, but it’s always good to have something like a shawl on hand just in case. This is a gorgeous pattern and deserves all the raves it’s gotten. Super easy to memorize and execute, it’s surprisingly good TV knitting.

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Soft but pointy

April 14, 2008

Lace is really something. You work and work and work on this thing that’s basically just a bunch of holes held tenuiously together by a substance as thin as dental floss. When you’re done it looks sad and crumpled like pantyhose thrown in the hamper.

But dunk it in some water and magically…

…you have a lovely, opework scarf with discernable points around the border!

Now that it’s all done, I’m super excited to do more. I think I’ll get a ton of mileage out of Victorian Lace Today before I need to go around looking for more lace books. And there’s plenty of materials in my stash! Let’s see, I have the bright green Kidsilk Haze, the ultra-lightweight Cashwool, that malbrigo I bought once-upon-a-time ago…

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The simplest things…

April 9, 2008

…often turn out to be the biggest pains in the ass.

Okay. Purl Beret. About as easy as a hat can be without being a roll-bottom beanie, right? Apparently I can’t do simple right now because I’ve had to rip the thing back to the end of the body THREE TIMES. One was me being completely stupid and trying to mess with the decrease pattern. Resulting hat didn’t fit at all and looked dumb, so I ripped it back to a three inch body (as stated in the pattern), and then proceeded to screw up the decrease order another two times. What the hell is the matter with me? I’d just say “screw it” and move on at this point but the Koigu is so pretty and so expensive and I’m SO stubborn. But now the hat just feels like it’s in the way sicne I swore I would not start the Flutter Cardigan until it was finished.

On the other hand, the knitted lace border is going shockingly well. My numbers are a little off on the side loops, but if I fudge the numbers I should get what I need out of it. And if the first corner is a bit off, that’s okay. I’ve never done anything like this before, so imperfection is to be expected and accepted. But now that I’m doing the border it’s hit me that this lace thing is really really fun! I picked up some Kidsilk Haze for the extremely popular “Melon Shawl” in a nice bright green that I think will go well with a dress I have for wearing to a wedding this summer. Sadly it took me two trips to get all the yarn for it. Victorian Lace Today apparently has a history of being a bit short on it’s yardage calculations and thanks to Ravelry I found that I needed 4 balls of KSH, not 3. I should have been able to figure that out with basic math (3 balls of KSH does not add up to 700 yard).

Speaking of Ravelry, I gotta say it’s a bit sad to see that the Drama Llamas have managed to make some of the more general boards a bit….well, dramariffic. But frankly, I still feel that there’s no one on that board trying to pull the kind of schoolgirl style Mean Girl Games most of us went through not too long ago. Seriously, all these people who are saying that the Ravboards have turned in to little vitriol fountains should absolutely NEVER go look at other bbs systems like Fark or Something Awful. The internet is predominantly for Haters, but Ravelry seems to manage a variety of sweet to balance the sour and even outweigh it to a point. Sure we like to focus on the bad, but seriously if you go anywhere off the big general boards you start tripping over good vibes. Maybe I’m just jaded from all the Fark reading, but I’m hesitant to all this any kind of apocalypse.

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Can we fix it?

February 27, 2008

Of course! Probably my favorite thing about knitting is that if you just look closely enough at the fabric and know the basic mechanics of what it took to make that fabric, you can fix just about any problems. Or at least that’s how lucky I’ve been so far. My crochet-hook-fu has been getting stronger and stronger to the point where I can fix a mixed up knit/purl ten rows down and not totally ruin the sock. I like fixing little problems.

 Sadly, I ended up with a pretty big problem when it came time to do the toe on the Toujours Pur sock. The pattern includes a standard toe, but *once again* my standard toe came out silly looking and ill fitting. The sock itself is gorgeous so there was no way I could let it lanuish with a terrible toe. I went through all my reference books (I’m obsessed with reference books like dictionaries and encyclopedias and how-to manuals) and discovered the “round toe.” After some creativity with stitch count, I got the sock down to 64 total stitches and followed the instructions in More Sensational Knitted Socks from there. One can never have too complete a reference library, if you ask me.

One place my reference library *can’t* help, however, is with my ginormous house sweater. I’m using some old Wool-Ease Chunky in Charcol to make a quick pullover for around the house. The gague of 2.5 sts to the inch is *killing* me. I ended up on 17s to make this beast. But the fabric is coming out just how I’d hoped and I’m up to the part where I need to make the sleeves….And here’s where the problems come in. First of all, I don’t have another set of 17s I can work a 20 stitch cast on from. There’s the addis I’m using on the obdy and that basically has surgical tubing for a cord…not so much gonna happen with the magic loop, and I’m not even sure size 17 dpns exist. That’d be quite a sight…But I’m gonna give it my best seeing how the 17 tips and 40″ cords I just ordered for my Options do. If that fails…I can use my hated bargin bin 17s with the gnarly plastic cord of doom and do a two circular trick. Yuck.

Even if I do manage to knit the sleeves there’s still the matter of attaching them; a process spelled out only in the vaguest of terms in “The Opinionated Knitter” and not much more clearly in the Hurry Up Last Minute pattern from Knitter’s Almanac that I’m using. I’ll do some more internet detectiving before I throw in the towel and annoy a message board with my plees.

Lastly, I’m making a lace…thing. It’s the ultimate in simplicity but it’s really teaching me the structure of lace. The pattern itself consists of a mind boggling 132 repeats of faggoting (I feel like I need to apologize to a couple of friends just for typing that), after which you attach a simple border. I don’t know how to do any of that stuff, so even though it’s not exactly the more eye catching of lace pieces, it’s a valuable learning lesson…one that, clearly, I haven’t gotten very far with. Picked the red while I was in a Project Spectrum-y mood and I still like it. I don’t own enough of the deeper, hotter end of the color chart. The icky pink acrylic (it actually squeeks!) making an appearance in this pic and the house sweater above, is not meant to be included. It’s just my least splitty, most easily visible waste yarn. I made some regretable choices as a beginning knitter.

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“Well there’s your problem”

November 20, 2007

“What a cute hat!” my mother exclaimed on seeing the completed Odessa.

 “Thanks,” I mumbled halfheartedly.

“It’s such a pretty color! Is it part of Ryan’s Christmas gift? It’s a bit big for a baby hat, but I bet she’ll grow in to it soon.”

“Not supposed to be a baby hat,” I grumbled.

But, sadly, there is absolutely no way this is going to fit on my head. Not with my hair. The yarn is very smooth so it slides right off, on top of the fact that it’s too shalow and too small around. I got gague. I don’t know what went wrong. But look at it! It’s the size of my hand! Now I don’t know what to do with it…

Heir of Slytherin Coriolis…what can I say? I did the socks really really terribly wrong…but I don’t mind. The second one is almost done and I’ll have some wonderfully warm, neat looking house socks (they’re not gonne fit in any of my shoes). Just a few inches of the leg and some 1×1 ribbing left to do before I show them off. The third shipment, Prizoner of Azkaban, came in on Monday while I was stranded at home from work due to bad weather. The colors are DEFFINITELY ones I would buy for myself, and I like the included pattern. It’s a bamboo blend, which I’ve never used before, but it feels so smooth and nice. I’m looking forward to getting the Heir off the needles and digging in to the new yarn.

Speaking of yarn, I haven’t actually purchased any new yarn at all this month. None! I’m not counting the sock club since that was set in motion months ago. I’ve been mainly stashdiving and making presents for people with yarn that was bought ages ago for just that purpose. No new yarn…that’s so strange. And I’ve even thought about it too. When I decided I wanted a heavy version of the Luna Moth Shawl, I was thinking of hitting my new favorite LYS (The Down Loft in Basking Ridge. It’s AMAZING in there) for the materials…when I looked in my stash and found some perfectly nice undyed Cascade 220. This was perfect! I love natural colors of wool and figured it would make for  nice, versetile shawl. Never done a real lace pattern before, but so far it’s really fun. Plus I’m kinda cheating as the yarn and needles are so big.

I also have a very fancy new coat that I hope to have a picture of soon, and it requires a black hat fancier than my beloved Glaistig (which probably gets worn more than anything else I’ve ever made) to go with it. I’m thinking some kind of beret (I might fancy up a basic pattern) out of the Black Lamb’s Pride I have stitting in stash. See! I’m being good!