My current work in progress:

Rona, by Alice Starmore, knit from Alice Starmore Hebridean 2-Ply, using 3.25mm needles.

Archives for June 2005

We’re Getting There . . .

I am at the third corner of Tina’s edging, which means one more side to go — the home stretch!

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In the meantime . . . stash enhancement!

At Knit Happens last night I bought a pile of Kaalund Expression mohair in the “wombat” colorway. Not exactly sure what I will use my wombat for, but in the meantime, it sure is pretty to look at!

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I also purchased two more Fiddlesticks lace patterns, because Knit Happens is now carrying some of them. I got the Lacy Lattice Stole pattern:

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I think this would be really pretty in Rowan Kidsilk Haze. And coincidentally, I just purchased some, off eBay.

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And I got the Whisper Scarves pattern, which includes two different scarves. This:

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And this:

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Both of these can be made longer by adding pattern repeats.

And today, some patterns from Heirloom Knitting arrived.

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And I got a pile of Cherry Tree Hill Suri Alpaca the other day (another eBay purchase):

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Two colorways — Old Rose (I think it’s called) and Martha’s Vineyard.

Clearly, I’ve got a lot of lace knitting ahead of me.

And Lucy has taken up residence inside the knitting bag.

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Life is good.

Juggling Eggs and the 100-Stitch Repeat

Have you ever actually been tempted by a pattern with a 100-stitch repeat?

This question was asked in the comments today.

The answer is, for lace, no. I don’t think I’ve seen a lace pattern with a 100-stitch repeat. Colorwork is another thing. Some of the Dale of Norway sweaters I’ve made are somewhat “pictoral” — no pattern repeats of the main design. It’s just one honking big chart. Like Lillhammer and Nagano. (You can see my FO pix of those — they are linked to from my knitting gallery page. The link for that is over in the sidebar.)

So Tina is plodding along. I am now more than halfway done with the third side, approaching the third corner. Soon . . . the home stretch!

Here is Tina, relaxing with some chocolate.

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The chocolate was courtesy of Rossana, who I saw at Knit Happens. I actually made it to Late Night for the first time in over a month, I think.

I did a teeny bit of knitting on Tina, but I spent a good part of the time performing a cable-ectomy on Kristine’s Grace. (Y’all remember Kristine’s evil sweater Grace, right?) I think the operation was a success, though the patient is still in recovery.

But now I’m home, and Lucy is happy to lie on my knitting bag.

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What’s White and Catches on Everything?

That would be Tina.

It’s a miracle I haven’t ripped poor Tina to shreds by now, but she is, amazingly, intact.

Exhibit number one:

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I wear this bracelet 24/7 (well, except for right now — I took it off to photograph it).

See this little catch-thingie?

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Its raison d’être since I’ve been knitting Tina is to reach out and grab a thread from Tina and pull it. So far I’ve managed to extricate Tina from its grasp and by futzing around with the pulled out thread, make it step back into the body of the shawl.

I’ve learned to turn the bracelet around so that the little catch-thingie is on the outside of my wrist, away from my knitting.

But Tina is not entirely blameless in these scenarios.

This morning when I was taking Tina out of my knitting bag, she grabbed onto this:

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The zipper pull on my accessories bag within my knitting bag. But once again, futzing ensued and disaster was averted.

And of course she catches on every rough spot on my fingernails, so I’ve been wielding the emery board quite a bit these past couple of weeks.

But Tina is growing. I rounded the second corner last night and I’m into the third side now. Which makes the edging more than half done. Doh . . . see what a brilliant grasp of the obvious I have?

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Kim said in the comments:
Tina is so beautiful! But she looks painful to me. As in how do you keep track of where you are in a pattern row with your stitch count without ripping your hair out? I doing FBS and I think I frog or tink more than I knit! I use yellow stickie to move along the pattern row. 3 Stitches at a time. You can see them crossing the Grand Canyon on my blog because thats how I feel right now about FBS. It’s supposed to be a ‘nice’ knit for beginning lacers. I would be in tears with Tina! She is so pretty and beautifully complex. Like a fractal of nature.

She looks complex, true. But the center panel is dead simple — so much so that I didn’t bother with stitch markers.

The border patterns are trickier, but each pattern repeat is 24 stitches, so I put a marker between each repeat. At any given time, you are dealing with a universe that consists only of 24 stitches. Granted, there are a few places where you have to move the stitch marker because it falls in the middle of a decrease, but you just need to pay extra attention there.

I keep my chart on a magnetic board with a line marker.

Therefore I know what row I’m on at all times. (That is, unless someone ::cough:: Lucy ::cough:: moves the magnetic strip when I’m not looking.) And I mark pattern repeats with stitch markers as I said.

If you’re knitting something that’s, say, 204 stitches across and the pattern repeat is 6 stitches, well, it’s not very practical to mark every single repeat. But you can group your repeats in managable chunks — like placing a marker every 24 stitches. You know you have 4 repeats in-between the stitch markers so there you are — back down to a mangeable universe of stitches.

Does that make sense?

Of course, if you’re knitting something that has a 100-stitch repeat, then you are screwed.

Well, not screwed, but the best way I could think of to keep track is using the little convoy of post-it notes marching across your chart.

Or, you could split the repeat up into sections. Photocopy your chart and draw a red line vertically at regular intervals (say . . . every 25 stitches). Then place a marker every 25 stitches. You may have to move your markers to accomodate increases and decreases now and then, but I think you’ll be better off than if you didn’t use any.

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Proof That Lace Knitting is Good For You

As I mentioned yesterday, I took Tina on the commute today.

So, I’m happily knitting along, when I notice that the train has been stopped at a station for an inordinately long time, and the doors have not opened yet. If the train is not positioned properly at a station, the doors will not open, and apparently the driver had overshot the station. (Now I’m not sure I can blame the driver — the trains run on sort of auto-pilot so it may have been the bonehead train’s fault.)

We sit at the station for at least five minutes, and then the train pulls out of the station and then sits for five minutes more. Then the driver comes through the train to go to the controls at the back end of the train and backs the train back into the station, and the doors open. She gets off the back of the train and returns to the front, and we go on our merry way, fifteen minutes late.

Usually I’m frothing at the mouth over delays like this, but this morning I just thought “Cool. I got an extra repeat of the lace done.”

Of course, to balance things out, on the way home there was standing room only on the train, so I got no knitting done.

But I’m approaching the second corner on the edging.

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I feel like I’m calling a horse race: “And they’re approaching the first turn, and it’s Lacy Tina, leading by a nose!”

A couple of you mentioned in the comments that instead of flipping the shawl from side to side I ought to knit backwards. Ummm, yeah I do know how to knit backwards, but this is not a good project to do it on. The edging is garter stitch lace, so I’d actually be purling backwards. Also, the lace pattern is worked on every row and is made up of yarnovers and slanted decreases. I’m feeling woozy just thinking abut keeping track and ensuring that all the decreases are slanted in the right direction.

But if the “wrong-side” rows were just worked plain — yeah, I’d be knitting backwards.

Yesterday’s Bastardized Song Lyric

Yeah, it was Todd Rundgren’s Bang the Drum All Day. 0h, and Jon? About your comment: “I knew the song, just had never heard of this Rugrat guy before.”

This Rugrat guy?

You and me gotta talk, buddy.

And In Other News

A bill was passed in the Commonwealth of Virginia designating the Virginia big-eared bat as the official state bat. Oooh!

Lucy is not impressed.

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I Don’t Wanna Work, I Just Wanna Knit on My Shawl All Day

Bonus points to anyone who knows what song lyric I bastardized for today’s blog title. (And kudos to those of you who identified the song lyric from Thursday’s blog title. I’m not the only Head East fan, I see.)

Yes, shawl knitting is addictive. Even if it is knitting the freaking 17 billion stitches of edging on the freaking Tina Shawl.

I am so not a fan of knitting on edging. By the time I get to that point in a shawl, I am so ready to be done with it. And the edging can take a long time. It looks so small, but it’s knit back and forth and there’s a lot of time wasting flipping the shawl to and fro (and fro and to). So it always takes longer than I expect.

So my poor little peacock feathers shawl hasn’t been touched since Friday’s commute.I did finish the first section (60 rows) though.

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And I did turn the first corner on Tina.

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I put a needle point protector on the non-working end of the circular that the body of Tina is on.

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I’m using the working end of the circular needle plus one straight needle to do the back-and-forth knitting on the edging.

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This seems to work best for me. And now that I’ve got a bit of the edging completed, I thnk I’m going to attempt to take Tina back on the commute. Even though it is a whole lotta shawl, it certainly doesn’t weigh much. We’ll see how I do!

But the Sunday afternoon knitting is conducted under strict feline supervision!

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