Friday, March 6, 2015

Snow Queen - Clue 3

This clue finishes up my use of the Crystal AB beads.  I used Pink Pearlized Crystal AB beads on the "arms" of the snow flake and Purple Lined Amethyst AB beads for the beads that are called for in the pattern.  I wore this shawl to work this past Tuesday, the silk is very warm and the cape version hangs nicely.  The bulk of the beads are on the shoulders in the star burst section so you really don't notice the weight.

Our weather is certainly appropriate for a Snow Queen.  We had about 6 inches of snow yesterday, including about a half inch of sleet.  We stayed home from work yesterday, and we'll have to dig out today.  Depending on when our road gets plowed we may or may not make it into work today.

Project:  Snow Queen by Janine le Cras
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Marici Fingering in Dusk on the Fjord
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hot Cocoa Cassatt - One Skein Done

After finishing up the yoke I cast on the stitches for the underarms and started working the body.  Once I had worked all of the first skein of yarn I put the stitches on scrap yarn so I could check the fit and get a couple of pictures.  I'm adding the buttons as I knit.  They are glass bead buttons with little roses on them.  I slip the loop on the shank over the stitch after I make it.  Here's the back.  I'm really loving the color of the yarn.
I'm going to keep on knitting the body for at least one more skein and then figure out what I want to do from there.

Pattern:  Cassatt (part of the Sweet Paprika Sweater Club) by Elizabeth Sullivan
Yarn:  Sweet Paprika Minuet in Hot Cocoa
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hot Cocoa Cassatt - Raglan Yoke Finished!

I cast this on Saturday, but didn't really start knitting on it until Sunday.  Besides modifying the pattern to knit top down I also modified the cable pattern.  The original had "knots" or "bobbles" replacing one of the arms of the longer cables, but I don't do "knots" or "bobbles" so I recharted the cable pattern to remove that feature and complete design.  Readers familiar with Barbara Walker's book Knitting from the Top will recognize the view, although the yoke doesn't join the way it does in her drawings because the drawings don't take into account the third dimension of the body.  The yoke doesn't stay in a flat plane, it drapes across your shoulders.  I used right and left lifted increases throughout, which I think gives a nice decorative effect on the raglan "seams" and a nice edge along the neck line that will make picking up stitches for the collar pretty easy.  I've now placed the sleeve stitches on waste yarn and cast on the underarm stitches.  I'll work about an inch of the body and then check the fit.  Based upon the measurements, the fit should be good, but it is always best to confirm.  I also need to check my yarn usage so I can make sure that I won't run out of yarn with the modifications that I want to make.  I'm thinking of working the collar, cuffs and bottom ribbing in another color of yarn, just to give me more freedom to play with the design.


Pattern:  Cassatt (part of the Sweet Paprika Sweater Club) by Elizabeth Sullivan
Yarn:  Sweet Paprika Minuet in Hot Cocoa
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Hot Cocoa Cassatt - Swatches

I did take some time yesterday to wind up one of the skeins of Sweet Paprika Minuet in Hot Cocoa that I got as part of the Sweet Paprika Sweater Club, which I joined last year.  The pattern calls for a US 7 (4.5 mm), and the yarn band calls for US 6 (4 mm).  The pattern gauge is 20 sts and 28 rows, while the yarn band has 21 sts and 28 rows.  Given that this is a DK weight yarn I figured that the US 7 needles would be too big for me to get gauge so I started with the US 6.  The swatch on the left is the result.  I have the row gauge spot on with that swatch, but not the stitch gauge.  I also didn't really like the fabric, the stitches are just a little loose for my taste.  So I swapped out my US 6 needles for US 5 (3.75 mm) needles and swatched again.  The result is the swatch on the right.  I have the stitch gauge spot on with this swatch, but am a little short on the row gauge.  I like the fabric, so will go with the US 5 needles.   For this pattern stitch gauge is more important than row gauge so I will adjust the pattern accordingly as I knit.  Because I am knitting this from the top down instead of the bottom up making length adjustments will be even easier.

Here is a shot of the yarn in the skein.
Sweet Paprika Yarns Minuet - 100% superwash merino wool (100 g/220 yds).  It is a lovely yarn, soft, a little lofty, nice twist, feels wonderful to knit with.

Pattern:  Cassatt (part of the Sweet Paprika Sweater Club) by Elizabeth Sullivan
Yarn:  Sweet Paprika Minuet in Hot Cocoa
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Burgundy Pullover - Shaping Done

We ran a couple of errands this morning, including mailing off my two test knits to Laura so they could get their pictures taken, and then settled down after lunch to watch "Boyhood", which is almost 3 hours long, so I worked on my Burgundy Pullover.  It is perfect mindless knitting for watching a good movie or reading a good book.  I'm on my third ball of yarn and have finished up the side shaping and am only 27 rows away from splitting for the front and the back.  For this pattern I put the round marker in the middle of the back.  This makes the side shaping come out better because you don't have the jog.

I did find a project in my latest Bead & Button magazine that I want to make, but it uses a lot of different colors of beads and I need to figure out my color scheme.  I'm hoping that I can use stash beads - I like to do that when I can, it provides a fun challenge.  So far I have avoided the house work, well unless you count laundry, which I really don't because you just throw it in the machine and walk away.

Pattern:  Ladies Sweater - 1838 from Moments No. 005
Yarn:  SMC Select Extra Soft Merino Fino
Needles:  US 2.5 (3.0 mm) and US 3 (3.25 mm)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Snow Queen - Clue 2

This is a much better picture of the shawl so far.  The picture of Clue 1 was taken very quickly and kind of late in the day, so it wasn't the best.  This one used all three colors of beads that I bought.  I am using the purple beads for the ones called for in the pattern.

I have finished up two of the three test knits, but I can't start the third one because I don't have the yarn yet.  I may take a look at the pattern this weekend, but I feel kind of lost.  I've been working on my Burgundy pullover, but it is not at all challenging, in fact it is pretty boring, but I'm not sure I want to jump into something else.  Maybe I'll work on something non-knitting, like beading or chainmail, or even sewing.  I suppose I could always do house work...

Project:  Snow Queen by Janine le Cras
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Marici Fingering in Dusk on the Fjord
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Snow Queen - Clue 1

The Snow Queen Mystery Knit Along started this past Friday, so I can finally begin to reveal my shawl.  I test knit this pattern using the yarn above - Dusk on the Fjord in Marici Fingering.  It was my first time using Marici Fingering, which is 100% silk.  I love the richness of the colors, and it is wonderful to knit with.  I received the pink beads with the yarn, but I had also purchased several other colors from Earthfaire and was delighted to discover that I had 3 colors that went with my yarn.  As part of the test knit we were provided a complete chart of the pattern, so I could see how all of the elements came together and that inspired me to go a bit crazy with the beads.  I ended up using most of those 6 packages of beads in the picture.  I started with the silver end and the Crystal AB beads.

As part of the test knit I created a cape modification - something that I have become known for in our Unique Sheep group - and this time the modification instructions are being included in the pattern, with appropriate attribution.
The placement of the extra beads is not included in the pattern, but I have been adding notes to my project page.  This is not the best picture, taken on a cloudy afternoon in late November, but the other pictures are better.

Project:  Snow Queen by Janine le Cras
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Marici Fingering in Dusk on the Fjord
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)