My current work in progress:

1. Mighty Mini, designed by Rachel Henry, knit from Socks That Rock Worthy in the "Tanzanite" and "The Green That Sings" colorways on a 3.0 mm needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Nom

You may remember that immediately after Clara reviewed the new sock yarn from Alchemy, Juniper, in Knitter’s Review, I ordered some. When I got it, I wasn’t disappointed.

I just started a sock in some of my yummy yummy yummy Alchemy Juniper. Did I mention it was yummy?

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I’m knitting a sock using my favorite Alchemy colorway: Dragon. This yarn is pure pleasure to knit. It is very very soft and nicely sproingy. Read Clara’s review, linked to above, for a description of the superfine merino from which is it made and the yarn’s cabled construction.

I’m knitting up a sock that has a similar design to my freebie pattern “Peace Socks” — a similar leaf motif, flanked by some traveling stitches. I wanted to see how Juniper did with both lacework and cable twists.

I’m executing k3tog and k3tog tbl decreases on this design and am having absolutely no problem doing so. The yarn is bouncy and resilient and very easy to knit. The traveling stitches are equally easy to execute. Although the yarn is a multi-ply, I’ve not snagged it anywhere.

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Nom!

Girasole Q&A

Thanks for all your kind comments on Girasole. In answer to a comment question, I do not know how to pronounce it. Ask the designer. icon wink Nom

And there a number of questions asking what I was going to do with it now that I’ve finished it. I do not plan to use it as a shawl, but a throw for over the back of a couch.

And in answer to another question, the way I’ve seen circular shawls worn the most is with about one-third of the shawl folded down and the resulting more-than-a-half-circle thrown over the shoulders.

Lucy Sez:

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“Fluffy tummy available for scritches and kisses!”

Girasole

I did indeed finish Girasole yesterday. Here it is, in all its glory:

girasolecomplete062109 medium 240x159 Girasole

Note that there is no small furry animal reclining on it. Lucy plopped herself down on it when I first laid it out, but by the time I was ready to snap a photo she had gotten bored and wandered off.

Project Specs:

Pattern: Girasole, by Jared Flood
Yarn: Indigo Moon fingering weight merino in the “MyroGreen Lite” colorway
Needles: 4mm (U.S. size 6)

I knit the pattern exactly as written and found no problems whatsoever with the pattern. It’s well-written and easy-to-follow and there’s nothing too difficult in any of the lace patterns. An adventuresome lace beginner ought to be able to knit it.

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The fingering weight sized Girasole calls for 1150 yards. I purchased 4 skeins of my yarn at 370 yards per skein. I used exactly 3.5 skeins of the yarn, so assuming the yardage per skein was correctly stated (and I’ve no reason to believe it wasn’t), I used a total of 1295 yards for my Girasole, 145 yards more than the pattern called for.

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Now, I am a loose knitter knitter but instead of going down a couple of needle sizes, I did use the recommended needle size for fingering weight yarn — the 4mm needle. I didn’t bother to check my gauge as it’s a lace piece. And my Girasole blocked out to about 60″ in diameter, rather than the 51″ stated in the pattern, so that’s likely why I used more yarn.

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Speaking of blocking, I did not wet-block this. I steam-pressed it. I started in the center and worked my way out until I got to the edge, pulling out the tips of the edging as I went around. This worked very well and I got a nice even circle, even though it might look a little uneven in the first photo above, which was taken at a bit of an angle because I didn’t feel like climbing up on the coffee table to take a birds-eye view photo.

In Other News

I’ve decided to abandon (at least for now) the small gansey I have been working on. I’m not happy with it for reasons I can’t exactly explain and I can’t get enthusiastic about working on it, so it has been shelved.

I did start a new sock, but I’ll talk about that tomorrow!

Lucy Sez

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“Eh. I didn’t want this dumb ol’ shawl anyway.”

ETA: I was safe at home when the D.C. subway collision occurred this afternoon. Thank you for your concern for my well-being!

A Post in Mostly Pictures

I made better progress than I expected on Girasole. I’ve got between two-thirds and three-quarters of the edging done. Here is what remains:

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Someone here approves of Girasole.

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She has made herself right at home.

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Doesn’t she look comfy?

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I don’t know how I will break it to her . . .

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That I’m not making Girasole for her!

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Hmmmmmm . . .

Some Answers to Some Questions

I was interested to read y’all’s comments about milk protein fiber as a component of yarn. As the Tilli Tomas Elsie is my first experience with a yarn that has milk protein as part of its makeup (it’s equal parts moo, silk, and wool) I did not have any pre-conceived ideas or opinions about it. The yarn is very pretty and feels nice, and has no unusual aroma that I can detect. When I start knitting with it I will report my experience.

There were a few Girasole questions yesterday:

Lynne E. left this comment on yesterday’s blog post:

I have a question about the Girasole pattern. You mentioned before that you were up to the maximum stitch count, but you seemed to have the entire border left to knit. How is it possible to knit a circular item from the center out, without having to increase at regular intervals as you move outward? Is the border lace pattern so stretchy that you can just block the border ferociously and get a circular piece?

This shawl pattern is based on the same principle as the famous Pi Shawl, by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Having knit a Pi Shawl in the past, I can tell you it works. However, I am no mathematician, so shall not attempt to explain the underlying principle.

Laura asked:

What kind of join do you use for a new ball when knitting lace?

When there are a few inches left on the current ball of yarn, I simply hold the “old” yarn doubled with the strand of the “new” yarn and knit a few stitches with this double strand.

Timmie asked:

My prediction was that you’d finish Girasole by weekend–are you going to make it?

Absolutely not! But barring any knitting atrocities, I will be on Chart G by the weekend.

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However, I did make some good progress on Girasole today. We had a fairly major train delay this morning that tacked 45 minute on my morning commute. Forty-five minutes of extra Girasole knitting time!

By the way, have y’all noticed that I have no socks on the needles and haven’t for a full week? Am I going through sock withdrawal? Or am I sick of socks and renouncing them as the devil’s playthings? Have I taught Lucy to knit socks in my stead?

Tune in next week for answers to these burning questions and other inanities.

Lucy sez:

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“Wait . . . did she just call me an inanity?”

Moo

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Yep, the Tilli Tomas Elsie yarn is 33% milk protein. I’m afraid I know nothing about fiber made from milk protein, nor have I ever had or knit with any before. To me the yarn looks like a silk wool blend.

I did find an interesting article about milk fiber, here.

And no, I did not think it was a coincidence that this yarn is called Elsie!

Weather

Yep, the 10-day forecast shows thunderstorms for the next ten days (today is just all-over grey and rainy). That’s typical for this area. It can be hot and sunny all day, but more often than not you can count on a late afternoon-early evening thunderstorm to roll through. We’ve been lucky so far this spring in that it hasn’t been too hot, but I’m sure we’ll be hitting 90 and beyond all too soon. I am not looking forward to that. Not a fan of hot weather.

Girasole

I’m knitting along and hope to be starting on Chart F tonight or tomorrow. Woo!

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I’ve used up two 370-yard skeins and have just started the third skein.

What Lucy likes to do on rainy days:

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