My current work in progress:

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


Archives for May 2012

Ready for Primetime

I have released the first piece of the pattern for the Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl Knit-along: the piece that has all the preliminary information you need for the KAL, including yarn and needle requirements, gauge info, instructions for knitting a swatch, and a tutorial on how to knit a nupp so if you are new to nupps you can try them out to see if you want to knit them into your shawl.

The pattern is available for $2.00 in my Ravelry store here. There is a general discussion thread about the project in my Ravelry group here, and a yarn discussion thread here. When the first actual piece of the pattern itself is released, I’ll start a spoiler thread where everyone can post photos of their works in progress.

On June 20 the pattern will be updated to include the instructions for knitting the first piece of it. You can purchase the pattern for $2.00 at any time during the KAL so you don’t have to buy it immediately, but on July 17, the price will go up to $5.00. As each piece of the pattern is released, I’ll update the pattern in Ravelry and everyone who has bought it will receive notification of the update so you can download each piece.

I went back to work yesterday after having been on leave for several days, so not much knitting took place. But I did manage a bit on my new sideways shawl yesterday evening:

Works can not adequately express how much I love this yarn. It is Tempted Yarns Luxe Grrl and as I mentioned in my last blog post, Stacy custom-dyed it for me. Because it is red I am having a hard time photographing it. The true color is deeper and richer. It is a dream to knit, too.

But tonight I plan to finish Gyllis because I got my extra skein in the mail today. Yay!

Right now, Lucy is resting up for the weekend!


Time to Knit

I took some extra time off from work surrounding the Memorial Day holiday, so I’ve had extra time to knit. I can get a lot accomplished, I found, when not going to work. In fact, I’ve almost finished my Campy Loopy project. But then this happened:

This is Gyllis, designed by Stephen West, and to my very great annoyance, I have run out of yarn. The pattern calls for 565 yards of worsted weight yarn and I had 585 yards of Three Irish Girls Cashmerino Worsted. I have knit exactly to gauge and made no modifications in the pattern, so it is particularly annoying to have run out. Fortunately, The Loopy Ewe still had my colorway in stock (Niall) so I ordered another skein so I can complete the project.

I do love the yarn I am using and love how pretty this colorway looks when knit up:

So I’ve started something new while I wait for the extra skein to get here:

This is the start of a sideways shawl I’m designing, using Tempted Yarns Luxe Grrl yarn in an un-named colorway that Stacy custom-dyed for me. The photo does not do it justice — it’s deeper and richer in person. And so far I’m liking the pattern I came up with.

Summer Solstice KAL

I’m putting the finishing touches on the preliminary information for the Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl pattern, so I ought to be able to get it up for sale in my Ravelry store later this week as scheduled. Stay tuned for more information.

Here is what Lucy does on holiday weekends.

“I love napping in Momma’s lap!”

Time to Go Camping!

It’s Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S. and very warm here in the Washington DC area. A perfect time to go camping, right?

Fortunately, my camp is a virtual one . . . Camp Loopy!

Today is Day One of Camp Loopy. I wound up my yarn:

And I started my project:

This is Gyllis, by Stephen West. I am knitting it from Three Irish Girls Cashmerino Worsted in the Nial colorway, using a U.S. size 7 needle.

So far so good. I was a little annoyed to see that the pattern is written out only — no charts. But the lace pattern used is a simple one, and I ought to be able to get in the swing of it fairly quickly so that I don’t have to scrutinize the pattern too closely. I do much better working from charts for lace. I can see that there’s at least one error in the pattern — it jumps from Row 60 to Row 73. I am presuming this is because the number of rows up to Row 72 were miscounted, not because there are Rows missing. I’ll know better when I get to that point.

Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl KAL

The very talented Beck (lemonhalf on Ravelry) created a graphic for the KAL:

I love it!

We took photos yesterday for my “how to knit a nupp” tutorial that will be included in the pattern. I announced earlier that the pattern will go on sale in my Ravelry store on June 1 and will have all the preliminary information needed for the project — yarn, needles, gauge, instructions for knitting a gauge swatch, finished dimensions of the shawl, and info for yarn amounts if you want to re-size the shawl.

I may release it a day early if I get it completed by then — on May 31. So stay tuned!

The first piece of the actual pattern will be released on June 20. See the pattern page in Ravelry for the schedule.

Happy Birthday, Wanda!

Goldfish Wanda celebrated her third birthday yesterday. Here she is with the present I gave her: a pretty new blue marble:

Wanda likes marbles — she is always re-arranging them at the bottom of her tank.

Wendy & Lucy

This week’s installment:

Lucy plans on spending the rest of the holiday weekend relaxing in her little playhouse.

Looks Like a KAL

Well, it looks like we’ll be having a knit-along. πŸ™‚

I was happy to see such a positive response, both here and in the thread in my Ravelry group.

The first piece of the pattern, the preliminary information for the KAL, will be released on June 1. I’ll announce it here and in the Ravelry thread. At that time, you’ll be able to purchase the pattern for $2.00 and you’ll receive a pdf with preliminary information: yarn and needle requirements, suggestions for yarns you can use, a pattern for a swatch you can knit, and more. Then on June 26, the pdf will be updated with Part A of the pattern. You can purchase the pattern at anytime during the KAL for $2.00 up until July 17, the day the last Part (Part E) of the pattern is released. On July 17, the price goes up to $5.00

So if you think you might like to knit the shawl but don’t have tine right now, you can go ahead and buy it for the reduced price and knit it later.

In the mean time, you can feel free to put it in your queue — I’ve created a pattern page in Ravelry.

There was a question in the comments about how difficult the pattern is — can a beginner knit it? In yesterday’s post I listed the skills you need to have to be able to knit the pattern. They are:

  • knit
  • purl
  • cast on stitches
  • bind off stitches
  • work yarn overs and k2tog and ssk decreases

If you can do this, and think you can deal with close to 300 stitches on the needle, you can knit this shawl. Actually, I think this pattern is easier than last year’s mystery shawl. The construction is different, and if you use stitch markers, you will be dealing with less than 20 stitches at a time.

The only part that a beginner might find difficult is the knitting of nupps. I am including a nupp tutorial with the pattern, and you have the option of knitting it without nupps.

I am knitting the prototype right now with nupps, and once the KAL starts, I plan to knit it again without nupps.

I love love love the yarn I am using: Shalimar Breathless. Love! I purchased mine at The Loopy Ewe and it is one of the nicest fingering weight yarns I’ve used. It’s a blend of merino yarn, cashmere, and silk, so seriously, what’s not to like? It is beautifully soft, has great stitch definition, and is non-splitty.

I’m using the Loden colorway.

I plan to have this prototype Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl done by Sunday, because that’s when I can cast on my Camp Loopy project!

Lucy sez:

“Momma got me a little playhouse.”

“I like it in here!”

KAL, Anyone?

A number of people have asked me if I was going to do another Summer Mystery Shawl, and until very recently, I had no plans to do one. But now I do. πŸ™‚

Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl

Here are the details:

The shawl is sort of a crescent shape that stays on the shoulders nicely. Knit from fingering weight yarn (expect it to take around 420 yards and it’s better to have a more solid than variegated colorway), it is extremely easy to resize (and complete instructions for doing so will be included). It is Estonian-style lace and you can knit it either with nupps or without. You’ll receive a step-by-step photo tutorial for knitting nupps with your pattern purchase.You could conceivably place beads instead of nupps, but I’m not including instructions for beading because I am not an expert in beaded knitting. But if you have experience knitting with beads, you could do so, and I’ll let you know in the materials list how many beads you would need.

The pattern will be both charted and written out line by line.

I’m knitting the prototype right now and think it is looking good! πŸ˜€ And I’ll knit it again during the KAL.

Skill level: To knit this shawl, you need to be able to:

  • knit
  • purl
  • cast on stitches
  • bind off stitches
  • work yarn overs and k2tog and ssk decreases

There are a couple more maneuvers used in knitting the shawl (like a centered double decrease), but they are explained thoroughly in the pattern, so if you can do the above, you can knit the shawl.

The KAL will start on the Summer Solstice: June 20, 2012. The pattern will be available for sale June 1, 2012 in my Ravelry store for $2.00.If you purchase the pattern before June 20, you will receive the materials list, information on shawl size and notes about knitting it larger or smaller. Gauge information and instructions for knitting a gauge swatch will be included.

OnΒ  June 20, 2012 the pattern will be updated to include Part A of the pattern. All purchasers will be notified via email and Ravelry message that the pattern has been updated.

All future updates will be done the same way: each update will be appended to the existing pattern, so for each update, you’ll just need to print out the new pages added. The pattern will be released as follows:

  • June 1: Initial information, including yarn and needle requirements, gauge, swatching.
  • June 20: Part A, along with the nupp tutorial
  • June 26: Part B
  • July 3: Part C
  • July 10: Part D
  • July 17: Part E

You can purchase the pattern (including all updates to that point) for $2.00 at any time before July 17, 2012. On July 17, 2012 the price of the pattern will go up to $5.00.

I’ve started a thread in my Ravelry group for this project, so feel free to congregate there.

I do hope you’ll join in. The shawl is a very pretty one and very enjoyable (I think) to knit. The last two mystery shawls I did I distributed free of charge, but an undertaking like this is quite a lot of work, so I hope you’ll understand that I’m charging a nominal fee for it. The pattern you received will be thoroughly tech-edited and tested and written with a lot of detail, and offers options for modifications.

Speaking of shawls, I like my Bigger on the inside shawl!

And Lucy sez:

“There can’t be a blog entry without a photo of ME!”