My current work in progress:

Margaret Tudor, by Alice Starmore, knit from Frangipani Guernsey 5-ply in the Olive colorway, using 2.75mm needles.

Archives for May 2007

Pattern. Arrrgh.

First of all, thanks for all the wonderful birthday wishes for my mom. I started out trying to email a thank-you to every commenter but got bogged down and I know I missed a few people — my apologies! So a big blanket thank you to everyone! I think my mom feels like a celebrity with all this attention.

The birthday festivities aren’t over yet — there’s a swanky brunch party on Sunday, hosted by my aunt.

Short Sleeve Cardi

I did finish the back of the short-sleeve cardi last night — see?

Cardi Back 053107

Cardi Back 053107

I started on the left side front. Here it is:

Cardi Left Front 053107

Cardi Left Front 053107

In reading ahead in the pattern, I found a couple of anomalies.

First off, on the back, you do a couple of increases on each side in-between the ribbed waist portion and the armhole bind-offs. There is no mention of doing this on the fronts of the cardi. Huh?

I looked at the schematic, and it clearly shows that there is indeed side shaping on the front.

I also noted on the schematic that it shows the slant of the vee-neck decreases starting directly above the ribbed portion. The pattern has you work straight for a few inches before you start the decreases.

I checked the Vogue Knitting website for errata — there are none for this design.

So I decided to do the shaping between waist and armhole to match the schematic and the sweater back (of course). And I’m going to do the vee-neck decreases according to the written directions and not the schematic, because I think the vee would be far too deep otherwise.

I also noted that the pattern has you end up with one more stitch before the shoulder decreases on the front than it does on the back. I will do one extra decrease on the neck shaping to make them come out even.

Actually, I’ll be doing several extra decreases, to compensate for the stitches I increased for the side shaping above the waist.

I’ll also need to adjust the rate of decrease to accomodate these extra stitches.

All of this adds up to some mild annoyance for me. I’m mentioning these issues here for anyone who is thinking about knitting this — keep your eyes peeled for these pattern hiccups.

(I’ll go back to the VK website and look for an email address to use for submitting errata when I’ve finished the sweater. Who knows? There might be issues with the sleeves as well!)

There was a question in the comments asking how easy it would be to size this sweater up. It comes in 4 sizes — 34, 36, 38, and 40 inch finished bust measurement. I think it would be fairly easy to size it up a bit — it’s not a terribly complicated pattern.

Camouflage Sock Number One

I went back to work today after 5 glorious days away. So the Camouflage sock came with me on the train. I did indeed finish the first sock:

Camo Sock 053107

Camo Sock 053107

Woo-hoo!

Here’s the toe of the second sock:

Sock Toe 053107

Sock Toe 053107

Can you guess what cast-on I used for this toe? Hint: I’ve whined about it being  too fiddly.

Speaking of going back to work, I’m pretty sure I heard Lucy heave a sigh of relief as I left home this morning.

Lucy 053107

Lucy 053107
“It’s about time! She was seriously messing up my nap schedule!”

(No book giveaway this week — tune in next week!)

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom’s birthday — it’s a special one. I dunno if she’d want me telling her age to the entire blog-o-sphere, so I’ll whisper it. She’s eighty years old today!

Here she is, a couple of years ago.

Mom and Me Then 053007

Mom and Me Then 053007

Yeah, that’s me with her. I’ve changed a little since then.

Remember a couple of weeks ago when it was my dad’s birthday and I told you he was one of very few very brilliant people I know? My mom is one of those few as well. Not only is she incredibly smart, but she’s incredibly talented and artistic, too, as well as having a great sense of humor. She draws, paints, sews, knits, cooks, and bakes, all equally beautifully. Any artistic talent and creativity I have comes from her. Thanks, Mom!

We went out to lunch today to celebrate. Here she is wearing her birthday gift from me — the Alpine Lace I knitted a couple of months back.

Mom 053007

Mom 053007

And the back of the shawl — looks great on her, doesn’t it?

Mom 053007a

Mom 053007a

Here she is with my Dad:

Mom and Dad 053007

Mom and Dad 053007

Please leave a comment, wishing my mom a happy birthday!

The Lucy Colorway

Several of you have asked if the Blue Moon Fiber Arts “Lucy” colorway was named after my Lucy. It was — read this blog entry from last August to learn more about it.

Thanks for all your nice comments on the Kiri shawl. It’s now carefully folded and stored on a shelf. Lucy seemed to think it was for her, a particularly luxurious kitty blanket. We had Words when I took it away from her . . .

Foam Squares for Blocking

I had a couple of questions about the foam blocks I used for blocking the Kiri shawl. They are interlocking fitness mats. You can get something like them at places like hardware stores and possibly Target. I ordered mine from Amazon.com — a set of the 2’x’ squares here and a set of 1’x1′ squares here.

What’s Next?

I started knitting something from the Spring/Summer 2007 Vogue Knitting — design #19, a short-sleeve cardigan. If you go to the preview page at Vogue Knitting, you can see a photo of it. It’s shown under the heading “The Paper Chase” a little more than halfway down the page, and it’s the tan cardi at the far right.

The pattern calls for Lion Brand Yarn Organic Cotton. I am using GGH Big Easy, in a lovely milk chocolate. It’s 100% cotton and is working up at the same gauge as the suggested yarn — 18 sts/4 inches on a US 7 (4.5mm) needle.

I’m making the largest size (which has a bust measurement of 40″) and it calls for 12 skeins of Organic Cotton, which is 80 meters per 50g skein. The GGH Big Easy is 70 meters per 50g skein, and I have 13 of them, so I’ll hopefully be okay. I’ve got a good part of the back done, and I don’t think it’ll take more than 4 skeins, so I think I’m okay, yarn-wise.

Here’s the back so far.

Cardi Back 053007

Cardi Back 053007

The pin in the side is to denote the start of the armhole — makes it easier to measure.

And a close-up of the bottom:

Cardi Back Closeup 053007

Cardi Back Closeup 053007

Lucy Sez:

Lucy 053007

Lucy 053007

“I must think of a way to get that Kiri shawl away from her . . . “

Kiri

Here is Kiri in her unblocked state:

KiriUnblocked052907

KiriUnblocked052907

Here is a close-up of the bound-off edge:

KiriEdge052907

KiriEdge052907

Here is Kiri being blocked:

KiriBlocking052907

KiriBlocking052907

Here is Kiri being worn by Gwendolyn:

Kiri052907

Kiri052907

Kiri is a free pattern from Polly at All Tangled Up. I made my Kiri from Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silkmo in the “Lucy” colorway. I used a US 8 (5mm) needle and approximately 80 grams of yarn.

While pinned out for blocking, my Kiri was about 83″ across the top edge and 42″ down the center back. Once released from its pins, it shrunk a little, but it’s still a nice large shawl.

My skein was 106 grams in weight so I had 26 grams of yarn leftover. (Are you impressed with how skillfully I figured that one out?) I could have probably done 2 more repeats of the leaf pattern, but I’m glad I stoppedwhen I did — I like the finished size very much.

Tales From the Stash

Several of you asked me how I store my stash. As you could see from the stash peek-a-boo photos, most of it is in plastic bags. Some are the bags the yarn came in, some are bags reclaimed from other items, some are ziplock bags. Nothing is really airtight, as I think it’s a good idea to let the yarn breathe. I don’t have any problems with moths (thankfully!).

How did I acquire my stash? Some of it was purchased with particular sweaters or other projects in mind. Some was acquired “just because.” When purchasing, I just kind of try to figure out how much I’ll need for a sweater or a shawl, and buy enough. So far, that’s worked pretty well for me. I don’t have any good method of organization, like a database. I rely on my memory. Scary, huh?

To close:

Lucy052907

Lucy052907

Lucy colorway on Lucy original!

Memorial Day

(Photos are hosted on Flickr. You can click on a photo to display a larger version of the picture. The link beneath each photo takes you to a smaller version of the photo hosted on the WendyKnits server — if you can’t see the photos, click on the links.)

I hope you all have been having a good Memorial Day. I started the day my favorite way to start a holiday.

oatmeal052808

oatmeal052808
Steel-cut Irish oatmeal with dried cranberries and pecans. Yum!

So, Lucy and I have been having a quiet day. One of us has been napping.

Lucy052807

Lucy052807

One of us has been tidying up the condo, including the stash room.

stashroom052807

stashroom052807

And the stash closet.

stashcloset052807

stashcloset052807
I’m sorry, but that’s all you get to see of the stash room and the stash closet. 😉

Although I’ve not worked on it since Friday, it seems time for a photo of the Camo Sock.

camosock052607

camosock052607

As you can see, I’m knitting it toe-up, and using a gusset and slip-stitch heel.

I’ve put in a lot of time on Kiri, though.

kiri052807

kiri052807

It doesn’t look like much there, does it? But at the point that photo was taken, I had 4.5 rows left to do before the cast-off.

I’m casting off now.

kiricastoff052807

kiricastoff052807

I’m using a 6mm needle to do the cast-off (the shawl is knitted using a 5mm needle). I’m doing a stretchy lace cast-off. You start by knitting 2, then slipping them back on the left needle, and knit those 2 stitches together through the back loops. Then knit 1, and slip the 2 stitches back on the left needle, knit 2 together through the back loops. And so on, until you have worked all the stitches.

So Kiri knitting will be completed shortly. I will be blocking tonight.

It’s a great pattern, and I do recommend it for lace beginners, as it is a fairly simple pattern and easy to memorize. And if you are doubtful about managing the cast-on that I described yesterday, don’t be. Try it first in larger, smooth yarn and yu’ll see that it’s pretty simple to do.

Lucy has nothing to say at the moment. She’s napping. 🙂

Provisional Cast-on for a Triangular Shawl

ETA: Okay, okay. I changed the labels  below the photos to be briefer since so many of you complained about them interrupting the flow of the entry. The text in parentheses below will be at the top of each entry. Happy now? 😉

(The links below the photos  take you to smaller versions of the photos hosted on the WendyKnits server — if you can’t see the photos, click on the links.)

Karen M writes:
I wonder if you can help me with the cast on for Kiri. I keep screwing it up despite having read about it and trying it several times. I am so frustrated . . .

The cast-on used for Kiri is similar to one that I’ve used for other triangular shawls. It can be fiddly, particularly if you are doing it in mohair. When I started Kiri, I had my doubts about my cast-on, wondering if I was going to have to rip it out and start over. I decided to wait until I had a couple of inches done, and look at it again. It turned out just fine.

So I thought I’d do a pictorial here on the Kiri cast-on. I’m doing this in a non-fuzzy yarn so it’ll be easier to see what’s going on.

The first thing you do is cast on 3 stitches using a provisional cast-on. I crocheted a chain using waste yarn with a few more loops than I needed, like so:

caston052507

Crochet Chain Photo

Using the yarn for the shawl, I knit 3 stitches into 3 loops of the chain made from the waste yarn:

caston052507a

caston052507b

Knit Into Chain Photo and Knit Into Chain 2 Photo

Then I knit 14 rows:

caston052507c

14 Rows Photos

Now, the instructions tell you to knit up 1 stitch in each of the ridges created by the garter stitch. I have 14 rows, so I have 7 garter stitch ridges. I pick up and knit 7 stitches:

caston052507d

caston052507e

caston052507f

Pick Up Photo and Pick Up 2 Photo and Pick Up 3 Photo

Now I undo the provisional cast-on and knit those last three stitches:

caston052507g

Undo Cast-on Photo

I have a total of 13 stitches — the 3 “live” stitches I started with, the 7 stitches picked up from the garter ridge, and 3 stitches picked up from the provisional cast-on.

caston052507h

Cast-on Complete Photo

Now I can start following the directions for working the shawl.

Here’s the cast-on edge in my Kiri:

cast-onedge052707

Kiri Edge Photo

And here’s how I am knitting Kiri:

kiri052607

Kiri Photo

As you can see, Lucy is an integral part of the process!

kiri052607a

Kiri Photo

I haven’t gotten much knitting time in on Kiri this weekend — the KOARC and I put on our geek hats yesterday and installed Windows Vista on one of my dad’s computers. It went pretty smoothly, but it took over 5 hours to get everything installed and configured correctly!

So, to distract you from my appalling lack of progress, wool pr0n!

toykorose052607

Sock Yarn Photo

This lovely skein of sock yarn is a wool/silk blend from the dyepot of the lovely Rabbitch. Y’all knew she opened an online shop, right?

The colorway of this skein is Tokyo Rose. The name of the yarn just cracks me up:

rabbitworks052607

Sock Yarn Label Photo

Book Giveaway

The winner of the Martha Grimes mystery novel is Mary H. Mary, I’ve emailed you.

Lucy Sez

lucy052607

Lucy Photo

“Come play hide and seek with me?”