Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rosebud Cape - Chart 1 Done

This is the third shipment for the first round of the Inspired by Art Club.  The pattern is a circular shawl, but of course I don't usually do those so I am converting it to a cape.  Instead of starting with a garter stitch tab as I have done on other capes I just did a regular cast on and then knit 4 rows.  This is how the Liken shawl started and I really liked how that came out.  I also figured it would give some stability to the neck of this shawl.  On the fifth row I started the pattern, beginning on row 29 of Chart 1.  I'm keeping 3 edge stitches in garter stitch.  I also added rest rows (plain wrong side purl rows) between the lace rows of Chart 1, because the original has lace patterning on every row and I'm just not going there, especially with this yarn.  Why?  Because this yarn is pure silk.
As much as I love wearing silk and sewing things out of silk I'm not a big fan of knitting with pure silk, especially lace weight silk.  It is gorgeous and I love the feel of it and the sheen of it, but knitting with it is just weird.  It feels so insubstantial, almost ethereal, and I really have to watch what I'm doing and I knit slower.  I feel a bit like those actors in science fiction movies that are pretending they are in a low gravity environment so they move very slowly and carefully.

Pattern:  Rosebuds A-Flying by Heatherly Walker
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Marici Lace in Rosebud
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Liken II - Finished

I finished up the knitting Sunday night and finished up the cast off and blocked it on Monday.  I ran out of the Divinity (the lightest color) about two-thirds of the way through the bind off, used up the rest of the Cherry Garcia (the variegated color) and then finished off the last two scallops with the Chestnut (the darkest color).  I really like the contrast bind off so I will use it when I reknit my first Liken shawl.  I've already frogged most of the first shawl, but will need to unkink the yarn before I can knit with it.  I'll do a spreadsheet for the repeats of the charts and the extra rows of the variegated.  It will be different than this shawl because it turns out that my skein of Chestnut was a little light.  It is a really great design for using up all of your yarn because you can adjust the clue repeats or add extra rows of the variegated yarn and it all just works out.
You can really see the contrast bind off in this picture.  I can't decide if I like the variegated or the brown better.

Pattern:  Liken Shawl by Sivia Harding, modified to be a circular cape rather than a semi-circle
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 in Divinity, Cherry Garcia and Chestnut
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Liken II - Charts C and D Done

I finished up Chart C last night and snapped a quick picture on the daybed under artificial light.  Once again I doubled the number of rows of Color B (the Cherry Garcia).  My yarn usage of Color C (the Chestnut) increased on this Chart, which meant that I had to adjust my plans because after Chart C I no longer had quite enough yarn to finish both Charts D and E as written.  Chart D has 8 rows of Color C and Chart E has 4 rows of Color C.  I had enough to do 6 of the 8 rows of Chart D and all 4 rows of Chart E.  On Chart D I switched to Color B two rows early.  The colors in the second photo are truer to life.

Pattern:  Liken Shawl by Sivia Harding, modified to be a circular cape rather than a semi-circle
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 in Divinity, Cherry Garcia and Chestnut
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Liken II - Charts A and B Done

I have been working steadily on my second Liken shawl.  I wasn't as diligent as I should have been when it came to weighing my skeins as I went, but I've gotten myself back on track.  I put together a spreadsheet after finishing 3 repeats of Lace Chart A and did some figuring to see how much yarn I needed to complete the shawl and how I wanted to work the rest of the charts. When I finished up Clue 2 I had enough of Color A (Divinity) to work the last clue (Chart F) and do the bind off.  Serendipity.
I then tackled Clue 3 - Chart B.  I decided to work 4 rows of Color B (Cherry Garcia) instead of the 2 called for in the pattern.  This lets me use up a lot more of Color B, plus I really like the color and wanted more of it in the shawl.  At this point I have enough yarn to work one repeat of each of the remaining charts, with extra rows of Color B for Charts C and D.

Pattern:  Liken Shawl by Sivia Harding, modified to be a circular cape rather than a semi-circle
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 in Divinity, Cherry Garcia and Chestnut
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Monday, October 20, 2014

LIken II - Clue 1 Done

This past weekend was interminable.  Bruce was out of town and I had to cope with everything on my own.  I did a lot of projects around the house, but not much knitting.  But last week, before Fred became ill I did start my second Liken Shawl.  I pretty much winged the first clue, casting on 46 stitches and doubling stitches where it felt right.  I didn't do three sections like the original, only two.  This should cause the lace patterning to start at my shoulders.
As a reminder, these are the colors that I pulled from my stash.  From left to right - Divinity, Cherry Garcia and Chestnut.  All from Zen Yarn Garden, all Serenity 20, one of my favorite fingering weight yarns - a 70 % superwash merino, 20 % cashmere, 10 % nylon combo.

Pattern:  Liken Shawl by Sivia Harding, modified to be a circular cape rather than a semi-circle
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 in Divinity, Cherry Garcia and Chestnut
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rest in Peace Fred

It is with a very heavy heart that I write this.  My dear sweet Fred passed this morning around 2am.  He became sick this past week and declined very quickly.  The vets did what they could for him, but it was his time.  He was a very Zen kitty, a simple soul and one of the sweetest cats I have ever known.  I will miss him.  He was almost completely deaf when he came to us, but he still had one heck of a meow.  I will miss his talking.  I'm having him cremated and will get his ashes in a box with his name on it.  My other cat, Jasmine, is being very sweet and giving me lots of love.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Autumn Dress - Finished!

I finished this up this past Sunday.  I would have finished it last week, except that I was in Tucson all week for work.  I did take a small knitting project with me, but didn't pull it out at all while I was gone.  I did a lot of reading instead.  Before I left I had gotten this dress up to the point where I split it for the front and back of the bodice, so it didn't take me long to finish when I got home.  I did have some yarn usage figuring to do, though.  I put together a spreadsheet to get an idea of when I wanted to switch to the final skein.  With the addition of some hand-written notes I was able to use my spreadsheet as the shaping directions.

The pattern calls for a single crochet edging on the neck and armholes.  I did one on the neck, but didn't really like how it looked so I pulled it out and picked up and knitted around the openings instead.  For the neck I did two rounds of knitting before binding off and for the arm holes I did one round of knitting before binding off.

The finished dress comes down to mid-calf on me.  On the model in the magazine it only comes down to mid-thigh.  I'm thinking I would have to be a lot leggier and bustier to get it to do that on me.  The fit on my dress maker dummy is pretty much how it fits me, with the lace ending at my waist.  I thought about trying to shorten the next one that I make, but I would have to shorten it a lot, and I prefer longer dresses anyway, so I'm going to leave it as is.  I have also contemplated making a lining for it, just to give it a more finished appearance.

After I finished this one I immediately cast on my Winter Dress using the set of Silverlode on Luxe that I have had in my stash for a few years now.  I wound the first skein and weighed it and was shocked to discover that it was light, 4 grams light.  I don't think this has ever happened to me before with Unique Sheep yarns, usually they are heavy.  I hoped it was an anomaly and started knitting.  I got through most of the first skein on Sunday and went to wind the second skein, and it was also light, and once again by 4 grams.  Now I was really getting worried, so I wound and weighed the rest of the skeins and they were all light.  Instead of 300 grams I only had 280.  I need 288 grams for this dress.  Confronted with this situation I did the only sane thing, I ordered more yarn.  This time I ordered Winter Amethyst, which goes from purple to silver.  I thought it was even more appropriate than Silverlode.  It has "Winter" in the name, and it has purple, which is one of my favorite colors.  Keeping with this convention, the Spring Dress should be knit in Spring Grass, and the Summer Dress should be knit in Summer's End.

Project:  Alita Dress by Adrienne Larsen from Knitter's Magazine 116, Fall 2014
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Luxe in Autumn for Ana
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm)