Thursday, May 29, 2008

Yeay Woolworks!

I stopped into Woolworks today to pick up some yarn for an Anthropologie inspired capelet. We're going to Bar Harbor, Maine and North Conway, New Hampshire this summer for vacation and I wanted something to throw over my shoulders on the walks to dinner. I picked up this amazingly soft Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande in a lovely creamy colour. I'm hoping to make big progress during the Lost finale tonight.

To top off this to die for yarn Jen was nice enough to give me the discount for a sale they are having this weekend which I wasn't even aware of. I really like that store and I'm glad I stopped in. They will have the cutest knit fishes in the window starting this weekend, I saw them in progress and it took all of my willpower not to grab one and run. She mentioned probably having a sale for knit in public day, if I'm free I'm totally there.

I also began work on the button up shrug from classic elite's Make it Modern booklet. I'm not far into it at all but the pattern is a really easy 4 row repeat and the soft linen is one of my new favorites. It has been burning a hole in my stash just waiting for this project to begin, I hope to have that too finished for vacation.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

FO: Swallowtail Shawl

I managed to tear myself away from the wii long enough to finish up my Swallowtail Shawl.

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: Knitpicks Gloss Lace, less than one skein
Needles: Plymouth Bamboo US4
Silver foil lined seed beads, I think 8/10?

You can kind of see the tiny foil lined beads I added to the shawl in the detail picture, my camera really sucks at close up shots. I placed a bead in every other bud on every other row and I swapped out every other lilly of the valley nupp section with beads. I really like the look but dang those beads pissed me off. I used knitpicks gloss lace which I am not too fond of and the beads were just too small to move easily along the yarn. I pre-strung a bunch because the crochet hook I bought was too large to fit through the opening. For the lilly of the valley section I made my own threader with some very fine beading wire left over from my childhood beading days. This took about 2 weeks to knit but I bet without the beads it would have been one. The yarn while nice desperately wanted to felt upon itself and just doesn't have as nice a sheen and feel as other lace weight yarn I have seen. Overall I am pleased with the finished project and it makes a good entry for the earth theme of project spectrum, I snuk it in just in time! Now I just need a dress to go with this so I can wear it to my friends wedding next month.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My new mistress

My knitting time has been compromised by my new love affair.

Is it wrong that punching an animated character that looks freakishly like my husband is so much fun?

Penny has a new toy too, I'm such a sucker.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

WIP it Good

I like to see progress shots, especially lace projects. The transformation that happens during blocking lace is fascinating. Sunday evening I started the Swallowtail Shawl, I'm through 10 pattern repeats with 4 to go before I start the lilly of the valley border. I'm using Knitpicks gloss lace and I can't say I'm thrilled but we'll see after blocking. I think working with the Alpaca with a Twist Fino has spoiled me. I'm making this to wear to a wedding but I almost think finishing my long hibernating Print O' the Wave stole would be better. It is far from completion and I have a month to go, I don't know that I need any knitting deadline stress right now.

Lest you think that I have turned into a lace knitter I'll show you my progress so far on the Printed Silk Cardigan. I took a week off between lace projects to work a bit on this. Kinda boring shot so far, I'm ready to start the fun part and so far my measurements are working out like I calculated. I just love the Ella Rae Silkience and think this will be a great sweater. Unfortunately it is on hold while I finish the shawl.

Next up one lonely hexagon for arabesque. This is a long term project so I'm hoping to get about one hexagon done a week until the fall. They are fun and only take a couple of hours.

That's pretty much all I've got, I'll spare you a shot of my sock as it is only a few rows further than the last time I posted about it. It's fun but I don't think I'll be turning into a sock knitter any time soon.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

FO: Lilly of the Valley Shawl

Happy Mother's day to all of the Mother's out there. This was my Mom's gift:

Pattern: Lilly of the Valley Shawl by Nancy Bush Lace Style
Needles: Denise US6
Yarn: Alpaca with a Twist Fino

Please excuse the sweats :) I forgot to measure it so I don't have the dimensions but it is smaller than the version in the book. I made some modifications so the shawl would only take 1 skein of the Fino. I omitted one pattern repeat by casting on 74 stitches. I did 9.5 pattern repeats, increased to I think 82 stitches on each edge, and picked up 210 along each side. In total I used about 70g of yarn, about 613 yards. I could have made it a little bigger but I was afraid of running out of yarn. I screwed up the edging and bound off without making the points. Very annoying but I think my Mom liked it the way it was. I love this pattern and I love the Fino, really really nice stuff. The nupps really weren't that bad at all. As long as the YOs and Knits are done very very loosely on the previous round purling 5 together isn't too bad. I'm glad I left them in. I think eventually I will make another shawl, I want one for myself and it was an enjoyable knit. I felt bad thinking for a moment (OK, longer than a moment) that maybe my Mom wouldn't want this and I should just keep it. I did give it away and I'm glad, I think it will be loved and that makes me happy. Now that the clean up from my family's visit is over I'm going to tackle the Swalowtail shawl and relax. I've strung a bunch of beads and I'm anxious to get to it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Now Back to the Knitting

I've been trying to write this post for a week or so but between computer issues and life in general I just didn't have the energy. I'm finishing up a lace piece that I will show you next week but in the mean time I've been stealing some time to knit on my Leyburn socks. The first is just past the heel.

I had some unusually strong willpower and was able to resist the WEBS sale in April and I was delighted to see that pay off with Berroco Comfort going on sale in May. I bought a bunch for arabesque so the sale really helped. They didn't have the colors I suggested in the pattern so I had to make some substitutions. I love the colors but I don't think I will use the darkest purple. I may use the green even though that will give me one more color than called for. I can't wait to start making hexagons, hopefully tomorrow.

My willpower was short lived and I also got some Ella Rae Silkience that I am going to use for the Printed Silk Cardigan from the Spring Interweave Knits. Thankfully I found a copy while I was out this weekend before the new issue comes out. I find it helpful when others give numbers when describing yarn substitutions so I'll do my best to pass on mine. I did some swatching and with US4 I get about 6.35sts/inch in pattern and about 5.75 sts/inch in stocking stitch. I thought I had a 36 inch bust but with help measuring properly I find I'm about 37-37.5 so following the directions for the smallest size I should get a sweater that comes out to about 37 inches. I've looks at the galleries for this and searched Ravelry and I think that this sweater looks great with either positive or negative ease so I feel pretty good about this. I'll get a thicker sweater but I don't mind and this yarn is too nice not to knit right away. I've only knit a few inches on this sweater but I really like it so far, this yarn is so soft and the color is the most gorgeous light teal, the picture does it no justice. I can't wait to work with it more.

Next week I'll be starting a beaded Swallowtail Shawl to wear to a wedding this summer, what great timing for the pattern to go free!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Step Away From The Blog

Someone learned how to edit HTML this week :) Unfortunately trying to pimp out your blog can suck the life out of you and your knitting time. I promise to stop fooling around with this thing and have knitting pictures this weekend, right now I need some yarn.