Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fuchsia - Sleeves!

I finished the sleeves today (been reading a lot on the computer at work) and cast on for the body.  The cuffs fit my tiny wrists perfectly, hugging them just a little without being too snug, and the upper arm is comfortably roomy.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Calla Lilly Socks

As part of widening my knitting horizons I joined Renee Leverington's Decadently Dark Sock Club.  This is the first kit.

Mystery Anniversary Shawl (Mandala II) - Clue 1

This is clue 1 of the Mystery Anniversary Shawl, also known as Mandala II, another Renee Leverington/Goddess Knits design.  It is a circular shawl that has 4 different charts for each clue and it is up to the knitter to pick which chart to knit.  Fun.  The yarn is Decadently Dark Faded Lace in Daffodil, dyed up specially for this project by Renee Leverington of Goddess Knits.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring Mystery Shawl 2010 - Finished

I finished knitting this last night and blocked it this morning.  I love the design, but I don't think I'll be doing nupps anytime soon, although they do add a nice design element...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Evenstar Shawl - Clue 3

I finally finished up Clue 3, thanks to getting my works in progress back under some semblance of control.  Of course, clue 6 is coming out on Friday...but I'll get caught up, eventually.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fuchsia - take 3

I think that this is the third time that I have started a sweater with this yarn, two attempts from the top down and now this third one in the more conventional bottom-up.  All three in the round.  So here is the beginning of a sleeve.  I usually start with the sleeves - lets me check my gauge without knitting a gauge swatch.  I needed to get it past the ribbing so I could have some simple knitting for my everyday bag that I take to work.  I find that knitting on something simple (and it doesn't get much simpler than knitting in the round) while I'm reading helps me to focus better.  It also helps me think when I am writing.  And sometimes, when things get too crazy, I just need a knitting time-out to re-center and regain my equilibrium.

Jade Pullover - Finished (Almost)

I finally finished up the knitting on this one yesterday on our trip to Charlottesville and back.  We had gone there to see the Spring Dance Concert (modern dance).  Modern dance is not our usual fare, but Bruce's daughter Amy did the lighting for two of the numbers and danced in two more.  It was a beautiful day for a drive and after the show we took Amy to St. Maarten's for a late lunch/early supper.

The gauge in the top portion (that I knit side-to-side) is a little looser than the gauge of the body (that was knit in the round).  While this is a common occurrence (most knitters tend to purl looser than they knit) it had not caused a noticeable difference in my knitting before.  I think the fact that this is a pure silk yarn is probably the reason that it is noticeable at all.  The yarn itself was a real joy to work with.  The color did rub off on my hands while I was knitting, however, and it did bleed when I soaked it prior to blocking (I almost always wet block).  The most interesting thing, though, was the transformation of the fabric after blocking.  Before it was blocked it felt heavy and a little stiff, but after blocking it was light with a wonderful soft hand and drape and I know it will be a delight to wear.  I just need to find some special buttons for the sleeves.

Evenstar Shawl II - Frogged

Well, this past week I decided to frog (rip out) the Evenstar Shawl that I was knitting in the Eos.  I am still working on the one that I am knitting in the Silk.  So now I have almost 1900 yards of wonderful lace yarn to make into another spectacular circular shawl, and there are several that I am contemplating.  There were two primary reasons that I decided to do this, one was just to get my works in progress under control, and the other was that the redesign just wasn't going where I wanted it to.  Sometimes you just can't get there from here.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Evenstar Shawl II - Clue 2

I also finished up clue 2 for my other Evenstar Shawl.  I added the four extra stitches to the chart repeat at the end of chart 1, so now the motif from chart 2 lines up perfectly.  Adding the stitches did shift where in the chart my round began by 5 stitches, so I drew a line on the chart to mark it.  I find the number of stitches that I shifted somewhat curious, as when we begin chart 4 we are instructed to shift the marker by 10 stitches, but in the other direction...

Spring Mystery Shawl 2010 - Clue 4

I finally finished up clue 4.  The nupps are starting to get to me a bit.  I can do them, I understand their function as a design element, I'm just not that crazy about knitting them.  The shawl is turning out quite beautiful, however, so I will persevere.  As with adding beads they interrupt the flow of the knitting, however, and a lot of my enjoyment is in this flow.  I'm still coming to terms with that.  One more clue to knit and this one will be done and I can get back to the Phoenix Rising shawl, which has been calling my name.

I would be making more progress were it not for the fact that I have become hooked on the Mary Russell books by Laurie King.  Thank you Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard!  I have already finished the first book and started the second.

Jade Pullover - grafting done

I finished up the back of the top and grafted the front and back together and have started the body.  The rest should go quickly as I will be working in the round.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

In the Kitchen - Seed Cake

There will be knitting updates later, but this afternoon I made a Seed Cake, from The Art of Irish Cooking by Monica Sheridan.  The book is advertised as "Traditional recipes, menus, and cooking lore from the Emerald Isle, presented with wit and flair by a noted culinary expert."  The book is certainly delightful to read.  The seed cake was offered, along with a glass of port, to young lady callers.  Drinking the port by itself would not have been proper.  Seed cake has been on my mind since re-reading The Hobbit.  It is, apparently, an old-fashioned English tea cake.  The Aesthete Cooks has been exploring them, and that is where I found out about this particular recipe and the book that it comes from.

The Seed Cake itself is delicious, light but with a bit of a kick thanks to the caraway seeds (apparently a traditional ingredient in seed cakes).  I don't think it will last long.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Evenstar Shawl - Clue 2

I finished up clue 2 of the Evenstar Shawl last night.  This one is being knit according to the pattern.  I also figured out how to make the clue 2 motif line up with the clue 1 motif.  It was stupidly simple when I saw it, but I don't think I would have without knitting the clue.  The basic problem is that clue 1 is a motif over 16 stitches and clue 2 is a motif over 20 stitches.  All I have to do is add 4 stitches to each repeat of clue 1 before I do the main increase row (where I double the stitches) and everything should work out.  I am going to rip back on my first shawl and try it tonight.  Modifying the pattern is just not working out the way I would like it, the motif is fairly complex and I can't get it to work out across the number of stitches that I have to work with.

Jade Pullover

I finished up one side of the jade pullover through the short row shaping and have started the other side.  Once they are both done I will join them and knit the body in the round.