Friday, August 29, 2014


I finished up the left over Jaded Jazzberry yarn, all I need now is the Lemon Drops.  It is all scrunched up because I didn't feel like putting it on a longer cable just to take a quick photo, but you can get a sense of the colors.  They are so rich and lush.  Now I'll set this one aside and get back to working on one of my other projects that I have been neglecting.  I will confess that I really don't like having multiple projects going at the same time anymore.  Picking up, putting down, picking back up, figuring out where you were and what you were doing just seem like so much extra effort these days.  I like to be able to sit down and just focus on one thing until I finish it.  The only time I don't mind putting something down for a while is if I'm stuck and not sure how I want to proceed.

Pattern:  Over the Moon by Vicki Mikulak
Yarn:  Luxe in Jaded Jazzberry
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Monday, August 25, 2014


This past Sunday I took a little break from knitting and did some pearl necklaces.  I had picked up another strand of natural multi-colored pearls and gave the previous strand that I had turned into a necklace to my step daughter.  She is going to be interviewing for her Residency and I figured that she needed a strand of pearls.  As I told her, if you're wearing pearls, you can do anything.  I find cashmere and pearls or silk and pearls particularly powerful combinations.

When I bought the multi-colored strand I also picked up a white strand.

Once I had these turned into necklaces I tackled four strands that I have had in my stash for a little while now.  I knew that I wanted to use them together but I was really struggling with a design.  In the end I went for simple.
First I did some stringing of the pearls onto Soft Flex.  For all of these necklaces I used the 24k Gold Extreme flex Metallic Flex Wire, Fine (.014 inch diameter).  I separate the pearls with size 14 beads, clear for the white and multi-colored strands and a transparent light purple for the purple strands.  Then I had to figure out lengths.  The bead board I have only lets me do 3 strands at a time.
First I did the 3 inner strands, and then I removed the inner most strand, shifted the others and placed the outer strand.  Eight crimps later I have a multi-strand necklace.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jazzberries and Lemon Drops

I finished up my Oliver Twist test knit yesterday and started really working on my leftovers shawl, which I have decided to call Jazzberries and Lemon Drops.  I ordered a 100 gram set of Luxe in the Lemon Drops gradiance for the knit on border.  These leftover shawls are a lot of fun to work.  They really showcase the colors of the gradiance set and allow me to play with color combinations when I pick the color for the knit on border.  I have a couple of borders that I like to use for these shawls borrowed from other patterns.  The basic shawl pattern itself is from Over the Moon by Vicki Mikulak.  This is the fourth one of these that I have done.  I have used up all of skein 1 and am almost done with the leftovers of skein 2.  This is a really gorgeous colorway and it knits up into such a beautiful shawl.

Test knitting was a lot of fun, but it was also challenging in that I had to decide when to switch skeins.  I did a spreadsheet with stitch counts for each chart and basically tried to do about the same number of stitches in each skein, but yarn usage varies depending upon how lacy the design is, and I did some adjusting based on what was going on in the design.  I ended up with a fair bit of the first 4 skeins left over (14, 16, 14 and 10 grams) and not as much of the last two (6 and 4 grams).

Pattern:  Over the Moon by Vicki Mikulak
Yarn:  Luxe in Jaded Jazzberry
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Periwinkle Shrug - Look, it is starting to look like a sleeve

I had to go to court this past Wednesday.  I had been subpoenaed as a witness for the Commonwealth, or a witness for the prosecution, as I prefer, being the title of an excellent film.  It was the preliminary hearing for the guy that stole my wallet and my Swiss army knife.  I grabbed the knitting bag that had this project in it as I headed out, not sure how much time I would have to spend there and not sure what I would be allowed to bring in to the Courthouse.  I had to leave my Kindle in the car, along with my cell phone (no electronics allowed) and my Leatherman (no knives or weapons of any kind).  I knit for a most of the two hours I was sitting in the courtroom, toward the end of the morning the police officer that was stationed at the exit of the courtroom switched out and the new guy told me to put my knitting away.  Thankfully my case was next.  The guy waived his right to the preliminary hearing, so I didn't get the chance to testify.  So now it goes to the Grand Jury in October, unless they work a plea, which it sounds like they are going to do.  The charge was only petty larceny, but he had two or more prior convictions, which bumps it up to a felony.

Of course he was there, with a woman, not sure what the relationship was.  I recognized him and he recognized me but we didn't speak.  He didn't seem to think that any of this was a big deal, nor did the woman with him, which I will confess bothered me.  I really don't think that he thinks that he did anything wrong when he stole from me, and I'm not sure what you do with people like that.  I also got my money back this week, well most of it, anyway.  The evidence envelope had $61.54 and I was told that he took $65 from my wallet, plus a couple of bucks in change, including a 1965 quarter.  I got back $60 in bills, and $1.54 in change including 4 quarters, none of which were from 1965.  Makes you wonder some.  I was tempted to go to the bank and exchange it for money that he hadn't handled, but I didn't.  I did mention the Swiss army knife to the prosecuting attorney and she said I could get restitution for it.  I put the value at $40, which was about the retail value of the knife I bought to replace it.

But back to knitting.  I like the way this shrug is knitting up.  The fabric has a nice feel to it, and I love the feel of the Ultra Pima Cotton, and the sheen.  I am almost done with my test knit.  I've proofed the written pattern against the charts and have an annotated file to give back to the designer with all my corrections as well as my notes on yarn usage, and when to switch skeins and how many nupps there are.  Now I just have to finish up the knitting.  I'm on the fifth of seven clues, so it won't be too long.  I still won't be able to post anything about it until the MKAL starts, but I will be able to post the shawl that I'll make out of the leftovers.  I've done this before using a simple crescent shaped shawl pattern that is all stockinette stitch so it really just show cases the colors of the yarn and then adding a knit on lace border.  The yarn colors really are gorgeous.

Pattern:  Quicksilver Lace Shrug by Kristiina V.
Yarn:  Classic Elite Ultra Pima in Periwinkle
Needle: US 2.5 (3.0 mm)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Periwinkle Shrug

Last weekend, my step-daughter Amy was home for a couple of days looking for a new knitting project to take with her to Florida for her vacation.  I got her knitting a couple of years ago by giving her a learn to knit kit and a Knitter's Companion and answering her questions and helping her with her mistakes.  Since that time she has knitted a scarf, a hat, a nice cardigan/coat and a small kerchief shawl. The latter two still need blocking, which we'll do when she passes back through in a couple of weeks.  She wanted something lacy, but easier to wear than a shawl so I suggested a shrug.  I pulled up Ravelry and started a pattern search and quickly spotted the Quicksilver Lace Shrug by Kristiina V.  The pattern is free, but is a little sparse for a beginner, so I decided to knit it as well and I annotated her copy with more detailed instructions.  I happened to have some Classic Elite Ultra Pima cotton yarn in my stash that I had bought for Camp Loopy but never used because I decided after I ordered it to skip Camp Loopy this year.  I had bought two colors, the Periwinkle seen here and Major Teal.  Amy picked the Major Teal, which will look stunning on her.  I am hoping that everything will work out.  I have my doubts regarding the yarn/needle combination - DK weight on a US 2.5?  But the measurements are working out so I guess I am doing okay on gauge (she didn't give a gauge for the pattern - she just states that it is not critical) and I like the fabric I am getting.  I am looking at this as something of an experiment because I have been thinking of designing some lace shrugs to use up some of my one-off skeins of fingering weight yarn that I have accumulated in my stash.

Pattern:  Quicksilver Lace Shrug by Kristiina V.
Yarn:  Classic Elite Ultra Pima in Periwinkle
Needle: US 2.5 (3.0 mm)

Baroque Violet - Folded - Body almost done

I was making pretty good progress on my Folded top until I had to start my test knit.  So now this one is on hold until I finish that.  In fact everything else is pretty much on hold until I finish the test knit.  I am almost up to the arm holes on this one and I have the perfect reading material to keep me going when I get back to it - The Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin.  I have read his work before.  He wrote the extremely disturbing short story Sandkings, which I first read in Omni magazine as a teenager, while home alone during a storm.  I read a lot of science fiction growing up but have trouble finding books that grab me anymore.  It was really nice to start reading The Game of Thrones and just be able to lose myself in the story and the wonderful writing.  I'm moving quickly on the test knit, reading while working the rest rows and even a little on the lace rows.  Yes, the book is that good.

Pattern:  Folded by Veera Valimaki
Yarn:  Madelinetosh Pashmina in Baroque Violet
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm) & US 5 (3.75 mm)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Watership Down II - Second Border - 20 repeats down, 70 more to go...

Thought I would just post a progress picture.  This border is taking a little longer than normal because of the beads.  I can only knit a couple of rows of each repeat before I have to pause and slide beads further down the yarn.  You have to be careful how you do that sliding because they can really cause wear on your yarn which could lead to it breaking, which would be a very sad thing.  After some experimenting I have discovered that 3 beads is the optimal number to slide at a time.  Of course, after each repeat there is one fewer bead to slide.  I am placing the bead between the first and second rows of the repeat - so at the end of the first row, beginning of the second row.

Pattern:  Watership Down by Janine le Cras
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Eos in Moulin Huet
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)