Archive for March, 2009

WIPs 03/25/09

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

This week has been a continuation of high stress and distraction. Due to that, I have only been working on projects that I can knit tightly and that I don’t care if I have to rip back.

1. Desdemona – wisely holding off until I can establish peace of mind. Otherwise I know I’ll be ripping and that’s not what I want to do with lace.

2. Tryst Vest – I finished up the main body of the vest last night. This was good timing as I could allow it to soak overnight and spend the day on the blocking board. The next step is to seam the shoulders, and then pick up and knit the armhole and neck/front edge bands.

Tryst Vest

Tryst Vest

As you can see, I’m hastening the drying process along in hopes that I can work on the edging tonight.

Fastest Socks Ever

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

I’ve set a new record for myself: the Merino Lace Socks are finished in a single week. I wasn’t even trying to knit them quickly; I was just working on them exclusively. I *love* this pattern. I could almost start another pair right now.

Merino Lace Socks

Merino Lace Socks

Merino Lace Socks

Pattern: Merino Lace Socks by Anne Woodbury, published in Favorite Socks
Yarn: Schachenmayr nomotta Regia Line Steps Color in 5364 Marble
Needles: 2.5 mm and 2.25 mm Knit Picks circulars
Notes: Knit at 66 sts around on 2.5 mm, this stitch count is about as small as I would ever go for this size needle. Because the pattern has lace and ribbing it works just fine. For the heel I dropped down to 2.25 mm needles in an effort to prevent baggy ankles and help with durability since the heel is knit in pattern.

I had this pattern on my list of things I wanted to knit for a long time. Finally the right yarn and recipient came together, and WOOSH on and off the needles they went!

WIPs 03/18/09, Best Laid Plans

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

My knitting mojo has returned and since I have wrapped up all the little projects I had, I came up with a new plan to have variety of projects to work on. First let’s clear out a finished project: mug warmer.

Mug Warmer

I don’t have a lot to say about this. I thought it would be a cute, useful way to use up small amounts of worsted weight, but the pattern kicked my butt. On the fourth try I ended up with what you see above. It works. It’s just that after the fourth time knitting it I expected better. (Not knocking the pattern – many other knitters have had success and created darling mug warmers.)

Moving on…

1. Desdemona – this is my detailed project that requires focus. I plan to swatch and then get started on the center panel. What I’ve learned so far – this is not a project to knit while having heated discussions. It requires focus.

Mug Warmer

2. Merino Lace Socks – this will be my small needle project. The pattern is by Anne Woodbury and is in Favorite Socks. I’m using a durable Regia yarn from stash. I’d classify this as one of those astonishingly quick sock patterns. The pattern repeat is 12 rows and you just keep saying, “oh, one more repeat” and next thing you know you’re past the heel turn. Socks are further along than this photo.

Merino Lace Socks

3. Tryst Vest – this is my larger needle, relatively mindless project when I don’t have the focus to work on lace or the socks. It also will use up the remaining Williamstown in teal from my GYC. Seeing as how I got super absorbed in the socks I haven’t even cast on for this yet.

I’m not sure how all of this will play out yet. As the title says “Best Laid Plans”. I have a feeling that I may not be able to switch back and forth from Desdemona to other things without wrecking my gauge. If that’s the case, it doesn’t bother me – it just means I’ll be focused on a single project at a time. 🙂

Shakespeare in Lace

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

I’m so excited to show you the first shipment from the Shakespeare in Lace (SIL) Club! Last year I started getting interested in lace and that led to joining SIL. This is the first time I’ve ever joined a club and I felt comfortable with this one because Anne gave us the inspiration and a hint of the colors up front – enough to spark my imagination, but each shipment will still be a surprise.

The first installment is inspired by Desdemona’s handkerchief in Othello. The pattern is by Miriam Felton and the yarn is Wooly Wonka Lace weight in a merino, alpaca, tencel blend. The colorway is British Queen. I understand the pattern will be available for sale later this year.

Desdemona

Desdemona

Desdemona

I should have included something in the first photo to show scale. This was a mega skein! See how it’s too big for my swift? It kept falling off one side. I’m not a very competent at winding yarn by hand so I worked through winding it from the swift as much as I could. In the end I did finish it by hand.

I started a little swatch, but there’s not much to show so I’ll save that for a later post.

Winter In…

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Montana? No, this is Winter in western Washington. Check this out.

Snow in W. Wash

Snow in W. Wash

Snow in W. Wash

Five inches of snow at my house in Washington. This same day in western Montana I was enjoying 50 degrees and partial sun while letting Blondie look for the first shoots of green grass. We are expecting a few snow showers this week in Missoula, but the temperature is expected to be in the mid 40’s so it won’t be sticking around long.

With a Bit of Focus….

Friday, March 13th, 2009

I was able to finish Hedera. Phew! I took my time with these, working on them in between other projects. In hindsight I took a bit too much time because by the end I was sick of looking at them. Oddly I wasn’t that sick of working on them, more of looking at them sitting on the couch in the pile of knitting.

At any rate, I still love this shade of sky blue and I love how the lace pattern looks both on and off the foot.

Hedera Socks

Hedera Socks

Pattern: Hedera by Cookie A, available from Knitty
Yarn: Opal Uni-Solid, sky blue color
Needles: 2.5 mm Knit Picks Circulars
Mods: None. However, I was concerned about knitting a sock at 60 sts around on 2.5 mm needles and rightly so. While the lace pattern is quite stretchy, they were very snug on my foot. If I were to knit them for me I’d find a way to increase by 4-6 stitches which is tricky in this pattern. This pair is not for me and with any luck Grandma Glenda’s feet are a bit daintier than mine.

I have a tiny bit of finishing to do on some other projects and then I plan to start 3 new projects next week!

WIPs 03/11/09 (late again)

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Ehh…I thought if I waited until the end of Wednesday I might have something to show you for WIP Wednesday, but it didn’t happen that way.

1. Hedera – nearly finished. I’d show you a photo, but it’s the same as last week’s because I just ripped back 2 inches of one sock due to TWO bad rows. I already have one mistaken row that I’ve accepted in the other sock; two mistakes in last night’s progress were not staying in.

2. Mug Warmer – needs a button. Then I’ll take a photo and show it to you. I thought this would be a good way to use up scraps of worsted weight yarn, but me and this pattern don’t get along. After knitting a single mug warmer to at least the halfway point 4 times I only have one not-so-great mug warmer.

If you see my knitting mojo could you send it home please?

Wisp

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

It’s been forever, but I finally took some photos of me wearing Wisp. Does anyone even remember when I knit this? I knit it up, then took weeks to buy buttons, then took more weeks to take photos of it being worn.

And yet these photos are still less than ideal. Besides being self portraits, I see wearing this with a bright, solid shirt that matches one of the colors in it. I have shirts that fit that description yet I can’t seem to put the two together and get photos so you’ll have to imagine it.

Wisp

Wisp

Wisp

I didn’t feel like I was having success wrapping it around my neck twice, but maybe if I had a long sleeve jacket on it would work? I don’t know. I like how it turned out, I just need to play with it a bit to figure out the best way to wear it.

Pattern: Wisp by Cheryl Niamath, available at Knitty
Yarn: Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino in color P137
Needles: US 9 Addi Turbo Circular
Mods: I think my only mods were to use sock weight yarn and a larger needle. I may have also made it a repeat or two longer. My inspiration for knitting Wisp was Through the Loops. If you haven’t seen her Wisp you should go have a look now.

Crofter’s Cowl

Monday, March 9th, 2009

This quick knit filled several needs – it used up the rest of the Lorna’s Laces remaining from my Koolhaas hat, it gave me something to do that didn’t require much concentration, and it keeps my neck warm. We’re getting bitter cold weather again this week.

Crofter's Cowl

Crofter's Cowl

Pattern: Crofter’s Cowl (Rav link) by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Periwinkle
Needle: US 8 Addi Turbo Circular
Mods: I was running out of yarn so rather than knitting the pattern repeat in two halves and then grafting them together I simply continued on in pattern. As it is I only have 5 pattern repeats (which is perfectly wearable) and then I ran out of yarn.

WIPs 03/04/09 (oops, 03/05/09)

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

How did it get to be March already? I’m looking forward to Spring so this isn’t really a bad thing. I dug through my photos from last year and found that the crocuses began blooming on April 6th last year. In other words, I have another month before it starts looking like Spring outside. We’re also expecting 1-3 inches of snow in the valley today.

1. Woodland Shawl – blocked. The first photo you can see the pattern and the second photo is accurate color on my monitor. Personally, I think these colors are too garish to wear next to your face, at least how they striped out in this pattern. But I suppose this could be wrapped around the neck and pinned. Another thought I had was to make a simple table runner with a solid center and a border or two, and then attach the “shawl” to it.

Woodland Shawl

Woodland Shawl

2. Hedera – making nice progress. These have no deadline, I just pick them up and knit a few rows when I feel like it (several times a day).

Hedera

3. Crofter’s Cowl – I’m going to start this today so I may as well put it on the list. I’ll be using a half skein of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Periwinkle.

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted