My current work in progress:

Newlyn Jacket, by Jane Gottelier, knit from Rowan Original Denim, using 3.25mm and 3.5mm needles.

Archives for June 2017

Stripes

I am pleased to report that I have reached the stripey portion of my hap shawl.

As soothing as miles of plain garter stitch in a lovely soft yarn is, it is fun to have reached this point. New colors! Fun lace!

The pattern is a simple “old shell” lace, so it was easy to memorize and is fun to knit. Each color stripe is 4 rows, so I get to switch colors before I get bored.

This is going to be such a lovely snuggly shawl for next winter!

My “New” Serger

Little HuskyLock 431 is feeling quite welcome after Sunday’s blog post. As a couple of you mentioned, vintage sewing machines and sergers are virtually indestructible. They really knew how to make ’em back then.

I found my serger on Esty, purchased from Stagecoach Road Sewing. They sell vintage reconditioned sewing machines, and an occasional serger. My experience with them was great. When I saw the serger listed on etsy, I messaged the owner of Stagecoach Road Sewing, Mike, to ask if there was a manual that came with the serger. I wanted to make sure I’d be able to figure out how to use it! He responded immediately and sent me a pdf of the manual so I felt comfortable that I’d be able to work the serger. It was shipped FedEx, carefully packed in plastic and foam to keep it safe. Mike had taken the thread mast off for shipping and he included perfect detailed instructions (complete with hand drawn diagrams) for re-attaching the thread mast to the machine, so I had no problem doing so.

My main area of concern was threading the machine — would I be able to do so successfully? The manual had threading diagrams, and there was also a color-coded diagram on the machine itself, once you open the front panel.

The threading is fairly complex and somewhat difficult to access in places, so I was surprised and delighted that I got it right on my first try. I was equally surprised and delighted that the tension seemed nearly perfect. The serger hums like a . . . well . . . like a well-oiled machine. On Stagecoach Road Sewing’s website they state that all the machines they sell are completely reconditioned and restored, and I can well believe it. And they all come with a guarantee.

This serger is not ultra-fancy with a lot of different options, but it is exactly what I wanted and needed: a basic but good serger that I could use to finish raw edges of fabric before hand-sewing. It seems that there is virtually no learning curve with this little guy, so that makes me very happy. I had never used a serger before this and I was successful on my first practice piece. I think I can just do a couple more practice pieces and I’ll be good to go.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, the Little Prince, relaxing at home.

In Between

The winner of a copy of Interweave Presents – Classic Knit Shawls: 20 Timeless Designs Featuring Lace, Cables, and More is Kathy B., who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment to be considered!

Since I finished my Camp Loopy June project last weekend and I cannot start the July project until Saturday, I started a non-camp project:

This is Ottar, a hap shawl designed by Kate Davies, knit in her Buachaille yarn in the Squall, Ptarmigan, and Islay colorways.

I purchased the kit to make the shawl in her online shop.

It is knit with a large needle — a U.S. size 9 (5.5mm) in garter stitch, so the fabric is soft and relatively loose. I am on the boring monochrome portion — the fun colorwork comes at the end! I’m hoping to finish by July 1 but it’ll be close.

In other news, I’ve not been sewing in the past couple of weeks because I’ve been concentrating on Camp Loopy knitting. But look what I just got:

This is a vintage Husqvarna HuskyLock 431 serger, completely reconditioned. It works beautifully. When I sew doll clothes I have been first overcasting all raw edges with a zigzig stitch on my sewing machine, then do the handsewing, so this little serger will make that overcasting process much easier.

My sewing machine is a vintage Husqvarna Prisma 990 from the mid-1980s (when I purchased it new). When I brought the little serger home I’m pretty sure I saw my sewing machine sidle up next to it and put his arm around it protectively. 😉

Here is Loki in one of his favorite places: on top of a dresser in the bedroom.

Classic Knit Shawls

I was recently sent another lovely book for review:

This is Interweave Presents – Classic Knit Shawls: 20 Timeless Designs Featuring Lace, Cables, and More published in April by Interweave. It’s a collection of 20 shawl patterns from past Interweave publications. You can view all twenty patterns on Ravelry.

The book has a nice variety of different shawl designs, from a lot of different popular designers, worked in a variety of shapes using a variety of construction techniques — a little something for everyone.

Some of my favorites:

The Purple Shawl by Andrea Jurgrau is a cresent shawl worked from fingering weight yarn. The pattern states 430 yards, so it can be made from a single skein of sock yarn, if it is a larger sized skein. I like the shape of this shawl — it looks like it would stay on the shoulders nicely.

The Return Journey by Lisa Shroyer is a shallow triangle, cabled and with i-cord edging that you work as you go. It’s a lovely thick piece knit from worsted weight yarn and it is worked sideways.

Ilme’s Autumn Triangle by Nancy Bush is a lovely triangle shawl knit from laceweight yarn. It’s modeled after traditional Estonian lace shawls for which Nancy Bush is famous.

Ennid Laceweight Shawl by Lucinda Guy is another triangle shawl knit from laceweight yarn, this one worked side to side. It’s quite plain — garter stitch — with a lovely little edging. While I love intricate lace, I also love large plain cozy shawls like this one.

That’s just a sampling from this great collection. Who’d like to own a copy of the book?

Leave s comment on this blog post telling me your favorite design from the book (you can see them all on the Ravelry link above) by noon on Sunday, June 25, 2017. The Random Number Generator will select a winner at that time.

Loki says:

“All those shawls look like they’d be great for me to sleep on!”

Camp Loopy Project One

I finished my June project for Camp Loopy last night:

The pattern is “Love and Happiness” designed by Amy Christoffers. I used Hedgehog Fibres Merino Singles in the “teacup” colorway. I had three skeins and I knit til I ran out of yarn. I haven’t measured the cowl, but I estimate it to be 63 – 66″ around. Big enough to comfortable go twice around the neck.

The yarn is delightfully light and soft, so I predict this is going to be a favorite cowl next winter. Cowls are hands-down my favorite winter accessory. As far as I’m concerned, there is no such thing as too many cowls.

By knitting a cabled design in a soft single ply yarn in a speckled colorway I was taking some chances. A soft single-ply is not the best choice for cables — it can be difficult to work the cable twists without splitting the yarn and there’s a good chance the resulting cables won’t have that nice crisp look. And a speckled colorway can really obscure a texture pattern. But this design had strong fairly simple cable motifs, and the yarn’s speckles were rather sparse, so I decided to chance it. I think the results are great.

Loki says:

My MacBook!”

Love and Happiness

My Love and Happiness Cowl is coming along nicely.

I have three skeins of the yarn (Hedgehog Fibres Merino Singles in the “Teacup” colorway) and I just started the third skein. Using my razor-sharp math skills, I have figured out that puts me at two-thirds complete. This is my June Camp Loopy project, so I am in good shape for finishing by the end of the month.

I plan on concentrating on knitting until this project is done. But I did sneak in a sewing project this week before declaring a temporary stoppage on sewing.

Julie is wearing a 70s maxi dress made from 4 different batik cottons, and some embroidered trim.

I have to go — Loki says it is snuggle time!