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Posts Tagged ‘lace’

Pattern: Friendship by Laura Patterson
Source: Fiber Dreams or Ravelry
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss Lace in Aegean; 2 skeins
Needles: 3.75 mm / US 5 Knit Picks Harmony Options
Finished Size: 76″ x 32″

Raveled Here

I’ve heard from many people that they don’t knit triangle shawls because they don’t want the point of the shawl landing on or pointing to their gluteus maximus. I agree.  This is why when I wear a triangular shawl, I twist it so that the top center of the shawl rests on my shoulder and the center line runs down my arm until the triangle point rests on my wrist.

I will admit I prefer the rectangle shawl shape as more practical for me to wear, but one of the things I truly love about triangle shawls is the interesting design construction that can’t always be accomplished with a rectangle shawl.  This particular shawl design has several different motifs so that just when you get one motif memorized and are starting thinking you may get bored, it switches to a new motif.  I just love a design that is simple but interesting.  In my book, it’s the perfect combination.

I especially love the addition of the seed beads on the lower half of the shawl.  I must advise that you don’t do as I did and use a crochet hook that is one to two sizes too large. It makes beading a pain in the gluteus maximus.  I’ve never added so many beads to one project before, but I love the effect they give.  I think this shawl will be the perfect compliment to my little (medium) black dress.  Thank you so much Laura for allowing me to test knit this shawl.  It’s a definite favorite.

This is the first time I used the Knit Picks Gloss Lace yarn and overall I liked it.  Notice I said “liked”.  For the value, it’s wonderful, but it’s a bit thicker than true laceweight yarn and so it didn’t give the overall delicate feel I was looking for.  It does look beautiful, but when I saw it side by side with Laura’s shawl that was knit with the Jaeger Zephyr Wool-Silk, I realized that although mine was pretty, I wanted to sneak hers out of her bag and slip it into mine.  I obviously didn’t do that, but it was sure tempting.

I loved every moment of knitting this shawl, but as with all triangle shawls, I despise blocking them.  You’d think I wouldn’t mind since I’ve got blocking wires and t-pins and a great foam pad and such, but still I find pinning it out and getting everything even on both sides a huge pain. Maybe there’s a shortcut or a trick I don’t know about. Am I the only one spending an hour or more pinning out a triangle shawl?  Please give me your tips.  I have 2 other triangle shawls completed and waiting to be blocked.

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Remember when Carole sent my that wonderful “welcome to spinning” package? Well, the welcome wagon has hit again and this time I received a package from Micki. I must confess I was half expecting to receive a package from her. She’d spun this beautiful pink, gold and white yarn and commented that she didn’t really like it. Of course I volunteered to take it off her hands and so she came up with a swap idea. If she sent me this yarn that she’d spun, then in the future I’d send her a skein of yarn I’d spun. It sounded like the perfect plan.

But when the package arrived, it was kind of fat. How could this only be one skein of yarn? Well, it wasn’t.

The first thing I found in the package was this beautiful fiber from Copperpot Woolies. It’s a fluffy and soft 4.2 ounces of merino and the colorway is called Beyond the Realm.

Merino Roving

Next came another stunning fiber from PigeonRoof Studios. It’s got amazing color variations and is 4.1 ounces of corriedale in a colorway called Dovecote.

Corriedale Roving

Last, and best of all, was Micki’s very own handspun, but this was not the handspun we’d agreed on for our swap. This handspun is made from fiber made at Crown Mountain Farms. This makes it especially precious because the Sock Hop Yarn from CMF is what started my interest in spinning. This is 360 yards of fingering weight 100% superwash merino (111 grams) in the colorway Good Vibrations.

Good Vibrations from Micki

Micki has only been spinning for about 6 months (if that) and this yarn is perfect. No, really it is. As soon as I can spin yarn that looks this good, then I’ll fulfill my end of the swap. Is a year or two too long? 😉

Good Vibrations from Micki

In knitting news, I actually have been knitting. Unfortunately, I’ve been sample knitting for designers so I’m unable to share any photos until the patterns are released.

The one thing I have been madly working on since returning from vacation is this beautiful stole designed by my friend Laura. I’m honored to once again be asked to test-knit it (or did I *tell* her I was test knitting it?), but it was until yesterday that I noticed this:

Dulcavina stole

When I put the two shawl ends together, one end of the shawl is much lighter in color than the other end. Obviously one skein of the Malabrigo got a lot more of the deep blue than the first skein I used. Drat. I’m not ripping back though. It’s going to be a design element.

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Fly-By Post

I just wanted to give you all a quick post to remind you that I’m leaving on vacation (in 6 hours) for ten days and I may or may not have internet access. If I do, I’ll probably tease share with you a photo or two of the beach or a tropical drink or my toes in the water. If I don’t, then things will be pretty quiet around here or awhile.

Taureg

That reminds me, my airplane knitting will be this lovely skein of yarn.  If you like knitting with laceweight yarn, or are interested in trying it, you must get your hands on some of this. It’s Malabrigo Lace and if you’ve ever knit with Malabrigo before, I promise you’ll love this just as much … maybe more. Each skein is 470 yards / 50 grams and although I know The Loopy Ewe carries it, they didn’t have the colorway I wanted, so I purchased mine from Twist. I recommend both of these places without hesitation. They really know how to put the customer first. This particular colorway is Taureg and I’m using it to test knit another stunning stole design by Laura. I’m so lucky.

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A few weeks ago, my wonderful friend Carole surprised me with a package of rovings and a sweet card welcoming me to the world of spinning. The roving I noticed immediately was this one:

Hand-Dyed Wool Roving

This is 100% Wool (label doesn’t say what kind of wool) from Knit One Spin Two. Although the natural BFL I showed in my last post was easy to spin, the bright green color of this roving could be seen clearly which makes it perfect for the beginning spinner. I know personally how much it helped me spin more consistent singles. I’ve only spun one bobbin of this and I think I may use it a practice to try Navajo Plying.

Bright Green Singles

Also included in the package was 4 ounces of this amazing merino/bamboo fiber hand dyed by Spunky Eclectic. The colorway is Walking on the Sun, and it’s even more beautiful in person. I haven’t spun it up yet, because I’m not sure how different spinning the bamboo fiber will be. I’d like to have a bit more practice with the BFL and Corriedale I have in my fiber stash so that I don’t waste a bit of this.

Merino / Bamboo fiber

Since the first day, I have been inspired by the stunning yarn that Micki has been spinning on her Lendrum wheel. She has been enabling helping me by making recommendations of where I can purchase beautiful rovings to spin. Within the matter of a few days, my doorstep was no longer being graced with packages filled with yarn, but with packages of rovings from Paradise Fibers, Wolly Treasures, and Crown Mountain Farms. I’ve already started spinning the fiber from Paradise Fibers, which is 4 ounces of this beautiful Ashland Bay merino top in the Forest colorway.

Merino Top fiber

Photos of the other rovings will be shared as I spin them, but for those of you who don’t want to wait, check out my Flickr Spinning Set.

I know it’s hard to tell, but lately there has been more knitting going on around here than spinning. The problem is, I can’t show you everything I’ve been knitting. The only project I can show you is the beautiful blue blob which is another test-knit for my friend Laura. The project doesn’t have a name quite yet, and there will be two other knitters joining in, but since I was waiting for my sample knit pattern to arrive, I cast on and knit this as quick as I could. I’m only halfway through the stole, not including the border, but I have to stop now and work on the sample knits so it will look like this for a few weeks I’m afraid. By the way, this is Malabrigo Lace yarn in Taureg, and it’s every bit as soft as the Malabrigo worsted in my stash. Do you know how tempting it is to knit lace undergarments in this?
(No Name)
The knitting items I can’t show you are my sample knits. I met the designer at TNNA and told her I’d be thrilled to test or sample knit for her and after some email correspondence that followed, she agreed to send me a sample to knit as a trial to see how well we worked together and more obviously how well I could or couldn’t knit. When she received the first sample knit she said she loved it and asked if I could do two more for her this month. I feel so flattered and lucky to have this opportunity, and it has given my “cute knitting hobby” some credibility with family and friends since now I’m being paid to sample knit. Unfortunately for you, there will be no photos until the designs have been released.

So currently I have two sock samples due by the end of this month and I’m trying to get them both finished before next Friday when I leave on vacation for 10 days. I’ve also made it to the next round of Sock Madness and the next round starts tonight. In fact the email with the pattern should be arriving in my inbox at anytime. Oh crap, that reminds me, I’ve got to go wind those skeins of yarn which might take a minute or two or twenty since this round is a pair of socks in laceweight yarn in two different colorways. Yikes! Don’t even get me started on how much house cleaning, vacation preparation, emails, and voice mails that are being neglected. Aren’t you surprised I found time to squeeze in another blog post so soon? I’m still in my pajamas though if that gives you any clue as to what got skipped today so that a blog post could be written. You’re all worth it.

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Well, she’s gone and done it again. Laura has designed a stole and scarf version of the Garden Party shawl, and has named it Flower Faire. I was lucky enough to also be asked to test-knit this shawl and since there are 3 sizes to choose from in the pattern, I requested the wide scarf size.

Flower Faire Scarf

Pattern: Flower Faire by Laura Patterson
Pattern Source: Fiber Dreams / Ravelry
Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18 in Ruby (500 yards)
Needles: US size 5 / 3.75 mm Knit Picks Options (Harmony)
Finished Size: 12.5 x 62 in. (32 x 157 cm)

My Ravelry page

After looking through my laceweight yarn stash, I realized that not only do I have a very small laceweight stash, but that the JaggerSpun Zephyr that I used on my Garden Party shawl was the perfect choice. Since I was using leftovers from a previous project though, my only concern was that I wouldn’t have enough.

Flower Faire Scarf

All sizes are knit in the same manner from the center towards one edge from a provisional cast on. After completing the first side, you pick up the stitches from the cast on chain and knit the second side exactly as the first. Easy peasy.

If you prefer to use a heavier lace weight or fingering weight yarn, then the narrow scarf version will work perfectly for that. If you want your stole or scarf to be longer or shorter, it would be quite easy to modify the pattern to either omit or add extra repeats of the different motifs.

Flower Faire Scarf

I can usually tell when I’m going to run out of yarn when knitting socks, probably because I’ve knit so many of them, but laceweight yarn seems a bit trickier for me. As I neared the border on the second side I repeatedly asked DH if he thought I had enough yarn left, or if I should omit a repeat. He said “you’re fine”. “How would you know”, I inquired, “you don’t knit”. He responded with the obvious “Then why are you asking me?”

Flower Faire Scarf

I fretted and debated during each and every row if I should omit a motif repeat before the border, and as I looked at the dwindling yarn ball remaining, I was sure I didn’t have enough. DH tried to reassure me that I had plenty of yarn, but I kept ignoring him thinking he didn’t know what he was talking about. I remembered thinking at one point that it would have been wise to weigh the first half of the completed scarf and then the remaining ball of yarn to know for sure.

Flower Faire Scarf

I finally decided to omit one pattern repeat of the last motif and knit the border. As I bound off the last stitch of the border, I looked at the ball of yarn remaining and gave myself a swift quick in the butt. I not only didn’t need to omit the last repeat of the motif, but I had to tell my husband he was right. I hate it when that happens.

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There are quite a few things in process right now, and all are so close to being complete, that there “should” be a lot of FO’s to share with you over the next 2 weeks. Notice how I said “should”. I quite frequently “should” all over myself, so one never knows. First up ……

Look at what has finally been given a bath. It’s actually already blocked, and dried and waiting for buttons.

Tangled Yoke Cardi bath

You don’t recognize the black blob in the sink? Well, neither would I. It’s the Tangled Yoke Cardigan that I completed in November. Since this is my first sweater, I think I’ve been afraid to block it for fear that it wouldn’t turn out. Either too big, or too long, or whatever. I decided that there was no need to worry about it until the blocking was complete, and I tried it on.

Flower Faire

Next up is another test-knit for my girlfriend Laura of Fiber Dreams. The pattern is named Flower Faire and is written with 3 design options. You can either make the stole size, or a scarf in fingering-weight yarn or laceweight yarn (as I’m doing). Obviously it’s just a blob now, and I’m only halfway, but I suspect much gorgeousness when it’s complete and blocked. Does the color look familiar? It’s the leftover yarn from the Garden Party shawl I posted about last time. By the way, Wendy Johnson of Wendy Knits is currently knitting up that pattern as well and I can’t wait to see what hers looks like when it’s complete.

Fiber Trends Felted Clogs (drying)

Thanks to Lynda and her blog post showing off her wonderful felted clogs, I felt inspired to finally felt mine. It also helped that Lynda was kind enough to send me an email explaining the best way to felt them. Since one of my slippers was bigger than the other, it had to felt longer and I did think it was tricky getting them both the same size, but I think I was successful. I’ll have a FO post about these as soon as they are dry.

Clapotis Acero

Then we’ve got the Clapotis. When I saw that Jillian had knit one in a solid black, I just knew I wanted one in a solid colorway as well. I dug through my stash and found 2 skeins of Brooks Farm Acero sitting in my stash. I’m in the decrease section so I hope to be casting-off and blocking by the weekend so I can take it with me next week to Stitches West.

Other than that, there’s a completed pair of socks which will get it’s photo shoot tomorrow, and then they’re off in the mail to mom.

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I just finished my second test-knit for Laura (Fiber Dreams) and I’m so in love with this shawl, I’m keeping it.

Garden Party 3

Pattern: Garden Party by Laura Patterson (Ravelry)

Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18; Colorway: Ruby

Needles: Knit Picks Options Harmony 3.75 mm / US 5

Modifications: One that I thought was no big deal, but came to bite me in the butt when I was blocking.

There are 2 other knitters who also test-knit this shawl, and the pattern is released and ready for PDF download.

Other than just the overall beauty of the shawl with all the lovely flowers and leaves, the best part of it is the construction. Not that I’ve knit a lot of shawls, but I’ve never seen anything like it. There’s a center panel of leaves that you knit first and it seems like it’s just going to end up being a rectangle, but when you get to the end of that section, it ends in a point. Kind of like a long rectangle with a triangle at the end.

Garden Party Triangle Shawl

Next you knit the rows on the right side of the shawl while you pick up the stitches from the center section. As you get to that center point of the rectangle, you stop and put those stitches on a stitch holder. Since I was knitting with the Knit Picks Options cables, I was able to just leave the cable there, take of the needle points and start the next section.

Garden Party (Right Side)

The left side is knit exactly like the right picking up those center panel stitches until you get to the center point and then you join the waiting stitches from the right side and continue knitting back and forth while working decreases to shape the triangular point of the shawl.

Garden Party 4

The final step is the large border that you start on one side of the shawl and knit back and forth while picking up the stitches along the edge of the shawl until you come to the center. Here’s where I screwed up.

Garden Party triangle border tip

Somehow my counting was “off” (won’t be the first time, won’t be the last) and as I approached the center point, I discovered that I was on the wrong row and the center border panel wasn’t going to be centered at the triangles point. So I tried to fudge. Let me emphasize that word “try”. Instead of figuring out where I went wrong and ripping back, I continued on, and omitted a lot of the “knitting into the same stitch twice” rows. Because of this, when I blocked, I didn’t have enough ease at the point, so I had to stretch that yarn into submission like it was on some kind of torture device from medieval times. Although it worked overall, it was a great learning lesson and I’ll never do it again.

Garden Party 5

Obviously after you get through the center point, you continue knitting the border along the next side and then block and enjoy the masterpiece you created. I’m very pleased with how this shawl turned out, but honestly all the credit goes to the designer. Bravo Laura!

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