My current work in progress:

1. Segel, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply Toes in the "Draco" gradient set on a 3.5 mm (U.S. size 4) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

The End is Nigh

The end of the Summer Mystery Shawlette, that is.

If you have completed Chart C, your work should look something like this:

ClueThree 240x160 The End is Nigh

Here is the final clue in pdf format, which contains the last chart, Chart D, along with that chart in written out line-by-line form.

This is the smallest piece of the pattern, just 20 progressively shorter rows plus the bind-off. Blocking instructions are included.

I hope you have enjoyed this KAL, and if you did, you will consider buying my upcoming book: Wendy Knits Lace: Essential Techniques and Patterns for Irresistible Everyday Lace, which will be released on August 23, 2011. There — you didn’t think I would let you get away without an advertisement, did you?

My Hitchcock Writing Desk

In the comments “amy1″ mentioned having a writing desk identical to mine. It is a Hitchcock Writing Desk and just for grins, I searched a little to see if I could find one online. Here is a listing with photo for one that was sold at auction. It appears to be identical to mine. I bought mine from Ethan Allen in the mid-1980s. A deciding factor in its purchase was that it matched the Hitchcock chairs I already had — which had been my grandmother’s chairs.

Hitchcock060211 240x160 The End is Nigh

These are “Kling Turtle Back Hitchcock” chairs, and while I’ve seen pictures of many different Hitchcock turtle back chairs, I’ve not found one identical to mine.

ChairBack060211 240x160 The End is Nigh

Sadly, the Hitchcock company went out of business a few years ago.

My Windsor chair (which I love) is also made by Hitchcock, but is not decorated in their distinctive style.

Windsor060211 160x240 The End is Nigh

I love chairs icon smile The End is Nigh

Lucy prefers to stretch out on the floor when she watches tv.

Lucy060211 240x160 The End is Nigh

The first person who leaves a comment correctly identifying the show and the episode Lucy is watching will win a prize! And a bonus if you can give me the exact name of the episode.

More Mystery Shawlette

Have you finished Chart B of your Summer Mystery Shawlette? If you have, your work will look something like this:

ClueTwo 160x240 More Mystery Shawlette

And a close-up:

ClueTwoCloseup 240x160 More Mystery Shawlette

Now it is time . . . time for Chart C of the Summer Mystery Shawlette!

Get your copy here (in pdf format).

EDT: If you downloaded the pdf before 6:30pm on May 26 and you are knitting from the written out directions, please download it again — there was an error in Row 5 (written out) that has been corrected.

Again, you need to read the pattern carefully, as you will be knitting the 24 rows of this chart multiple times — how many times depends on whether you added stitches to your shawl. Fear not, all is explained in this piece of the pattern. So please do read it. icon smile More Mystery Shawlette

This is a bigger chunk o’ knitting than the previous clues, being 72 rows worth (if you are not resizing it, but knitting the pattern as written). But remember, the rows are getting shorter, so by the time you are done with this clue you will only 49 stitches total on your needles.

I timed it so this clue would be posted right before Memorial Day weekend so that those of you for whom this is a holiday weekend will have more to occupy your needles while you are enjoying a hopefully long weekend.

The final clue will be released a week from today, on June 2 at approximately 4:30 pm EDT.

Lookie Here

Yes, just what I needed — more yarn.

Yarn052611 240x160 More Mystery Shawlette

This is Aade Long, an Estonian wool yarn that reminds me a lot of Kauni. I purchased mine from an eBay seller in Latvia, whose store is here. I can recommend this store — the prices are low, the shipping is reasonable, and the seller nice.

This is a fingering weight wool with long color repeats and approximately 440 yards per 100 grams. I think I’ll use mine to knit another triangle shawl.

I am knitting along on the Estonian Pi . . .

WIP052611 240x160 More Mystery Shawlette

And Lucy is too busy to supervise.

Lucy052611 240x160 More Mystery Shawlette

Summer Mystery Shawlette Second Chart

It’s here! It’s here! The next clue to the Summer Mystery Shawlette is here, in pdf format.

To recap, here are the previous pieces of the project:

Upon finishing the Chart A, your work should look something like this:

ClueOne 240x160 Summer Mystery Shawlette Second Chart

And here is a close-up:

ClueOneCloseup 240x160 Summer Mystery Shawlette Second Chart

Okay, this latest clue contains Chart B, which is the next 12 rows of the pattern. Please read the information on the first page of the clue, above the chart. I point out a couple of things that will help you in knitting Chart B.

And for the people who are adding extra stitches to make a larger shawl, for each set of 48 stitches that you have added, you will work 2 extra pattern repeats in the chart on each side of the center stitch.

I am tagging each blog post that has information about this knit-along with the tag “Summer Mystery Shawlette” so you can easily go back and read all the blog posts with information about the project. Click on the link at the bottom of the post that reads “Summer Mystery Shawlette.” Or enter “Summer Mystery Shawlette” in the search box in the left-hand sidebar.

Remember also that there are discussion threads for this project on Ravelry, in the WendyKnits group. I’ve started a thread for Part Two so you can talk about it and ask questions, offer comments, etc. There is also a thread for posting spoiler photos.

As Professor River Song might say “Spoilers!”

The next clue will be posted on Thursday, May 26 at around 4:30pm EDT. icon smile Summer Mystery Shawlette Second Chart

Work in Progress

My Estonian Pi is growing . . .

WIP052111 240x160 Summer Mystery Shawlette Second Chart

It is a coincidence that my needle matches the yarn color so closely — definitely not planned! It is true that this will in theory make it more difficult to knit because the stitches are harder to see. However, I tend to knit more by feel than by sight, so it’s not posing too much of a problem.

Lucy does not seem overly impressed, does she?

Lucy052111 240x160 Summer Mystery Shawlette Second Chart

 

Summer Mystery Shawlette First Chart

Alrighty — do you have your stitches cast on and your two set-up rows done? If you don’t, no worries — it won’t take you long to get that done. My last blog entry had the information for getting started, plus the link to the pdf document with the preliminary information.

ETA: Okay guys, I’m an idiot — the preliminary info was wrong — it should have been cast on 241 (don’t know how this got past both me and my tech editor). My deepest apologies!

So you don’t have to rip out your cast-on, on the first chart row, for the first and last chart stitch, simply k1 rather than do the decrease — so you would start the chart “k1, yo, ssk” and then work to the end of the chart. Then on the second side of the chart, end it “k2tog, yo, k1.” Make sense?

I’m correcting the preliminary info document to make it read cast on 241.

Now here is Part One of the pattern (in pdf format). This part has the first chart, which consists of 12 rows, and these 12 rows also written out line-by-line. Have fun! icon biggrin Summer Mystery Shawlette First Chart

For those of you enlarging your shawl (by adding an extra 48 stitches), you will work each 12-stitch pattern repeat two more times (24 stitches) on each side of your shawl.

I encourage you (especially those of you new to lace) to place a stitch marker in-between each repeat of the pattern — it’ll make it much easier to keep track of where you are.

In the Ravelry discussion thread for this project I note a lot of talk about achieving gauge. Don’t be too concerned with this. The goal is to use a needle size a couple or few sizes larger than you would normally use with your yarn so that you get a nice loose fabric that will block out well and make the lace pattern really pop.

The next piece of the mystery will be posted in my blog on Sunday, May 22 at approximately 11:00am EDT. But be sure to stop by on Thursday the 19th, because I’ll have a giveaway for you.

Tidepool

I finished my circular shawl on Sunday. I’m calling the design “Tidepool” because that’s what it reminds me of.

SpiralonMannequin051511 160x240 Summer Mystery Shawlette First Chart

I used Dream in Color Everlasting Sock in the Surf colorway. It took 3 full skeins plus a bit of a 4th skein, so I’m estimating 1400 yards total (being a bit generous with the yardage).

Spiral051511 240x160 Summer Mystery Shawlette First Chart

Unblocked, this baby was about 42″ in diameter. After I steam-blocked it, it grew to about 60″ in diameter.

Tidepool051711 240x160 Summer Mystery Shawlette First Chart

I steam-blocked it instead of wet blocking for a couple of reasons. One, because I think I would have had to move furniture to get enough floor space for blocking. Two, I don’t think my back was up for it!

TidepoolCloseup051711 160x240 Summer Mystery Shawlette First Chart

Pattern coming soon.

Lucy is all a-quiver with anticipation.

Lucy051711 240x160 Summer Mystery Shawlette First Chart

Summer Mystery Shawlette

I’m happy to see that so many of you are going to knit along on the Summer Mystery Shawlette.

I have worked up a document (in pdf format) with all the preliminary information you need, along with the cast-on and shawl set-up. It is here. The link will be available from my Free Patterns page soon as well. And from the Ravelry pattern page too. Read this document first. (A note to advanced knitters who want to resize — add stitches in groups of 48 to make it bigger.)

Now, some guidance,

Skill Level

There is nothing that is terribly difficult to do in this shawl. You need to be able to cast on and bind off, knit and purl, and execute the following stitches (the links are to instructions for how to do each stitch):

The pattern is both charted and written out so you can choose which method works best for you.

Choosing Yarn

I’d say that for yarn you will want to lean towards less variegated rather than wildly variegated. The more solid your yarn color, the more the lace pattern will show. Some subtle variegation will work, though. I’m using a semi-solid: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the Mulled Wine colorway.

Yarn051511 240x189 Summer Mystery Shawlette

Choosing Needles

My shawl is worked on a 24″ Signature Needle Arts circular with stiletto tips. I think it is easiest worked back and forth on a circular needle, and I find a 24″ needle just right for the number of stitches cast on. Remember, this is worked from the bottom up, so you start with the most stitches you will ever have, and work down to fewer. To start, I wouldn’t go any smaller than a 24″ length because you’ll have your stitches bunched up a lot of the time. As you work your way up, you can transfer your work to a shorter needle, but I am happy leaving mine on a 24-incher.

A 32″ needle is fine as well if you don’t have a 24″ length.

Note that you will also need a needle 2 sizes larger than the size you are going to use to knit your shawl (see “Getting Gauge” below). This is for the cast-on only (to make sure it is nice and stretchy) and you will immediately knit the stitches off this larger needle onto the one you will be using to knit your shawl on the first set-up row.

Getting Gauge

The unblocked gauge is 5 stitches to an inch in stockinette stitch, and I get that with a U.S. size 5 needle (but I’m a loose knitter). If you know you are a tight knitter, do a little swatch with a size 6.

But remember, this is lace, so gauge is not terribly important. You just wanna be in the ballpark. And if you have a choice between 4.75 stitches to an inch or 5.25 stitches to an inch on two different needle sizes, go for the size that gives you the looser gauge rather than the tighter (i.e. 4.75 stitches to the inch).

Casting On

The pattern specifies either a long-tail cast-on or a lace cast-on(scroll down for the lace cast-on), but really, you can do whatever cast-on you are most comfortable with that will give you a stretchy edge. The cast-on is done on a larger needle to aid in stretchiness. I almost always do a long-tail cast-on.

Beads?

I’ve not included an option to bead the shawl because I am not a fan of beaded knitting as a rule. I prefer to knit my knits unadorned. icon smile Summer Mystery Shawlette That doesn’t mean you can’t add beads if you wanna!

Ravelry Discussion

Remember, there’s a discussion thread for this project in the Wendyknits Ravelry group, here.

Timing

The next piece of the pattern will be released on Tuesday (May 17) — I’ll post it here in my blog. There are a total of five parts of the pattern — here is the release schedule:

  • Preliminary Information — cast-on and set-up — today
  • Part One — Chart A, 12 rows — Tuesday, May 17, around 4:30pm
  • Part Two — Chart B, 12 rows — Sunday, May 22, around 11:00am
  • Part Three — Chart C, 72 rows — Thursday. May 26, around 4:30pm
  • Part Four — Chart D, 20 rows, and finishing instructions — Thursday June 2, around 4:30pm

Note that Part Three is a big chunk — I wanted it to be released before Memorial Day weekend (here in the U.S.) so those of you who have extra knitting time can indulge. But remember, because you are knitting from the bottom up, the rows get shorter and shorter, so it is not as daunting as it sounds!

That’s the schedule. However, you are welcome to knit at your own speed. If you prefer, wait until the entire pattern is released and start then. No pressure here!

Lucy is clearly feeling no pressure.

Lucy051511 240x160 Summer Mystery Shawlette