My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Archives for June 2010

A Shawlette for Beginners

Reader Sue asked in the comments yesterday:

I have not knitted much lace.  For a beginner, which one of your shawlettes would you suggest?

Anyone have any suggestions for Sue? I have a hard time answering this objectively since I created them. For those of you who have knitted my shawlette patterns, which one or ones do you think easiest?

I am working along on my new shawlette and still loving both yarn and needle. 🙂

There was more discussion of the Signature needles in the comments yesterday. Yes, I like them better than my Addi Lace needles. I think they are pointier (my stiletto tips are anyhow) and they are better quality.

It’s my opinion, and I stand by it. Most needles are mass-produced. The Signature needles are hand-crafted and hand-polished. Of course they are going to be better. And of course they are going to cost more. It is up to the individual knitter to decide how they want to spend their hobby bucks, and how much they want to spend on their tools and yarns. I have no problems with that. I think I’ve used every brand of knitting needle under the sun at one time or another, and I have never used a needle I like better than these babies.

More on the needles — my understanding is that the next sizes they are going to offer are U.S. 3 and 4 — I can’t wait. But what I really can’t wait for is when they get down to size 0 — because that is my sock needle of choice. I’ll be happy to invest in two size 0 circulars with stiletto points for all my sock knitting. (Hear that, Signature Needle Arts? I’m waiting!)

Lucy sez:


No Guilt

I was, I admit, a bit surprised by the comments on yesterday’s post. I did not know that so many people felt guilt at pitching out a project that wasn’t working for them. I’ve never had issues with guilt over this — life is too short to force yourself to work on something you are not enjoying, particularly when that something is your hobby or means of relaxation — something you do for fun.

So embrace your inner bad-ass! If you hate what you are knitting, stop knitting it! Frog it! Give it away! Throw it away! Power to the knitters!

I shall now step down off my soapbox and resume knitting on my fun project.

Wendy T. asked in the comments:

Signature needles – – would you say they are pointer than Knitpicks?  That much nicer?  What length did you get for your Size 6 – – I’m gonna bite and get one too but I don’t know if I should get 24″ or 32″ – – – I tend to use 24″ the most.  I’ve been eyeballing them for a long, long while.

I don’t know if they are pointier than Knitpicks as I don’t have a size 6 Knitpicks needle to compare to it. Well, I probably do in the Knitpicks Options set that I have kicking around somewhere. But I stopped using that set because the joins were very unreliable and kept unscrewing themselves.

What I will tell you is that the Signature needles are much higher quality than the Knitpicks. It’s like comparing a BMW to a stripped-down Hyundai. Or a Montblanc pen to a Bic ballpoint. (As I recall, in her review of the Signature needles on Knitters Review, Clara Parkes likened them to a Montblanc pen.) This is truly a matter of “you get what you pay for.”

Lucy sez:

“You talkin’ to me?”

No Worries

Thank you for your condolences on the demise of my Elemental Boatneck. It’s not a big deal, really.

Several of you asked what the issue was with it. It was, as I said in yesterday’s post, unflattering. Well, technically I said it looked lousy on me. Imagine, if you will, a plastic garbage bag with holes cut out for head and arms. That would likely look better than this sweater did. Not that it was too small or too big — I imagine it fit the way it was supposed to. It was just unflattering and something I would never wear.

I really ought to know better than to attempt to knit summer sweaters. But my last two summer knits (CeCe and and d’Azur) were both successes, so I threw caution to the wind and tried another summer sweater. Yeah, no.

But all I did was waste some time and kill some yarn, so it is no biggie. I will not bother to rip and repurpose the yarn. The Rowan Linpur is a multi-strand yarn that I know from recent experience looks, well, a little ratty after being ripped out. Truthfully, the whole thing went out in the trash yesterday.

(Yes, you might think this is a waste of yarn. Yes, I could have finished the sweater and donated it to charity. But considering that I have donated bags and bags of nice clothing over the past few months, I don’t feel bad about trashing a sweater that I think is ugly and unflattering. I think my charity karma is just fine at this point. Remember the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine was trying to donate the muffin “stumps” to the poor and the poor refused to take them? Yeah, that’s how I feel about this sweater.)

So yesterday afternoon I started something fun.

This is the beginning of a shawlette of my own design. I am using some of my very yummy new Loopy Ewe Solid Series Yarn. This is the Hydrangea colorway.

This is a fingering weight yarn, so it is the perfect weight (in my mind) for lace. It comes in 2 ounce skeins of about 220 yards, so I plan to use 2 skeins for my shawlette. So far, I am having a very good time indeed. The yarn is lovely to knit and the color is bright and cheerful.

And I am using my fabulous fabulous US size 6 Signature needle with stiletto tip, which makes lace knitting so much fun.

Life is good.

Progress and Not

First of all, congratulations to Beth in Seattle who was chosen by the Random Number Generator to receive my review copy of the Debbie Bliss baby book. Beth, I’ve emailed you.

I made some great progress on my sweater over the weekend. I finished the body and neckband.

I finished a sleeve.

I sewed the sleeve into one armhole and tried the sweater on.

And hated it. It looks lousy on me, so this project has now officially been relegated to UFO status.

I’ll start something new shortly.

These things happen. It’s just the chance you take when you knit something. It’s not like you can try it on first.

So I think I’ll return to something lacy.

Lucy, meanwhile, continues to relax.

It’s a tough life.

Linen Stitch Update

At the moment, I am not knitting linen stitch — I’ve just started the lace portion of the front of this sweater.

I’ve got the back done.

It is an extremely simple lace stitch, and lace is worked on every row. For some reason, this throws me — several times I found myself mindlessly purling back instead of working the purl-side lace pattern. It’s just a matter of paying attention. Or rather, not paying attention.

Once I get the front completed, I think I will go ahead and do whatever blocking I deem necessary (and I don’t think it will be much) and join the front and back and do the neckband before I do the sleeves. I like to get as much finishing done as possible on a sweater before starting the sleeves. Just a mind game I play with myself. Then when I finish the first sleeve I go ahead and set it in the armhole. Then when I finish the second sleeve, the only finishing I have to do is setting in that sleeve, and the sweater is done.

I find if I leave all the finishing to complete after the knitting, I drag my feet.

I said I don’t think this sweater will require much blocking. Linen stitch makes a nice sturdy fabric that does not stretch or sag (making it a great choice for a cotton sweater, which has a tendency to sag). It also does not need a lot of blocking. I think the most I will do is lightly steam the lace portion and the edges of the armholes.

By Sunday’s blog entry, I should be sleeve knitting.

And then I get to play with this:

The new Solid Series from The Loopy Ewe. Woo-hoo!

Lucy plans on playing with her fuzzy rat.