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)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Autumn Dress - Lace work done

I finished up the lace work and I still have some of the 4th skein left over, pretty much as I predicted.  I go back and forth on the transition rows/no transition rows question.  For this particular colorway the first two skeins that I used blended quite well, but the next two have a more dramatic color change.  The photograph emphasizes it, so it is more dramatic than it would be in real life.  I have noticed that about photographs.  When I am blocking a shawl I take a photo of it to see if I have it laid out symmetrically.  I may not be able to see it when I look at it pinned out on the blocking mats, but it will jump out at me in a photograph.  I keep thinking that there must be some mathematical progression that would make the transition smoother, more organic, but I just haven't had the energy to pursue it.

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)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Liken MKAL - Finished!

I finished up Clue 4 on Sunday and the final clue on Tuesday and just took it off the blocking pads tonight when I got home from work.  Unfortunately we're entering the time of the year when it is hard for me to get good photos during the week so I didn't get a shot of the shawl blocking.  It is supposed to be a semi-circular shawl, but I couldn't get the top edge to be straight.  Both sides of the shawls sloped away from the straight line after the stockinette section, where the lace section started.  The shape actually looked more like a shelf lichen.  I'm going to make a second shawl and I'm going to add repeats of the lace section to try to take care of that.  It means I will use more yarn so I will  play with the color changes to use more of color A - the pearl in this picture.

Project:  Liken MKAL by Sivia Harding
Yarn:  Abstract Fibers O'Keefe in Pearl, Smitten and Burnside Br
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Liken MKAL - Clue 3 Done

I've mainly been focused on this shawl and managed to finish up clue 3 this week.  The lace pattern in this shawl has a really nice rhythm to it, a row with lace, a rest row, a row with beads, a rest row, another row with lace, a rest row, and then two rows of the variegated yarn.  Nothing too hard or complicated, and the yarn feels wonderful.  The purple has wonderful tonal variations that the picture just doesn't do justice to.  The final clue (clue 5) has come out with a picture of the blocking shawl.  It will be beautiful when finished, and cuddly.  I picked out some possible beads this week for my second Liken shawl.  Here is a picture of the shawl draped on my dress form, just to give an idea of how it might look when worn.


Project:  Liken MKAL by Sivia Harding
Yarn:  Abstract Fibers O'Keefe in Pearl, Smitten and Burnside Br
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Liken MKAL - Clue 2 Done

I finally finished up Clue 2 today, just in time for Clue 4 to come out.  I don't mind being in the slow lane.  I have discovered that I am not as big a fan of MKALs as I used to be - I like being able to make design decisions with full knowledge of the pattern.  On the other hand, I have discovered that I very much enjoy being a test knitter.  Here is a close up so you can see the beads.
They are Berry-lined Topaz.  I like the colors of the yarn and the beads, but they do make a rather fanciful lichen.  I really love some of the other color combinations that folks have come up with and am really looking forward to knitting a second one in the Serenity 20 yarn that I pulled from my stash.

Project:  Liken MKAL by Sivia Harding
Yarn:  Abstract Fibers O'Keefe in Pearl, Smitten and Burnside Br
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)