Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mystery Shawl 21 - Clue 1

Goddess Knits Mystery Shawl 21 started last weekend.  I finally cast on today and finished up clue 1.  I was waiting on beads.  The first clue is always a very quick knit.  I still have not done Mystery Shawls 18, 19 and 20 or finished the Fall 2010 Mystery Shawl.  But that is okay.  I have lots of projects going at once right now, but it is not stressing me.  I just alternate between the projects in a sort of round-robin fashion and I am enjoying the variety.  The biggest challenge is finding places to stash them where they are not in the way, but not completely put away.

The yarn is Decedently Divine Decadent Lace, also by Goddess Knits, 100% Merino, 100 g, 880 yards.  The color is Living Coral.  The beads are 2-08-228-76 (Beadcats stock no.) red transparent silver-lined matte irid.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Athena Fingerless Mitts - One Done

I finally finished my first fingerless mitten.  It only took me three tries.  The fit still isn't quite perfect, but it is not bad, not bad at all.  I had to modify the pattern somewhat.  The first time I knit the mitten it came out boxy and was way too big at the wrist.  So I made the cuff smaller by 8 stitches, and added the stitches back in on the first row of the hand chart.  I also started the thumb gusset on row 3 of the first repeat of the hand chart.  Once I had increased the appropriate number of stitches I kept knitting and didn't  stop working the gusset stitches until I had completed 5 repeats of the hand chart.

I really love this yarn.  The subtle yet intricate variegation of the colors is simply gorgeous.  The yarn is Zen Yarn Garden Superwash Sock, 400 yards, 100 g, in colorway Athena, specially dyed for the ZenGoddess Lace Club.  The pattern is by Renee of GoddessKnits.

Avira - Clue 1

Yet another club - I have joined far too many this year, but I really like the surprise factor, and who can resist packages of yarny goodness arriving at regular intervals.  This is the first project for the Light and Dark Lace Club, hosted by Roxanne of Zen Yarn Garden and Ruth of PennyRose Yarns.  For this project the design and the yarn are both from Ruth.  The yarn is PennyRose Benji, a 100% superwash merino, 100g, approximately 470 yards.  The color is Light Orchid.  The shawl is being knit from the bottom up, so we started out with 311 stitches.  This clue is the border.

The Unique Sheep January 2011 Crochet Blocks

I finished up my other block last weekend.  It was amazingly fun.  I've done bead crochet, and some crochet on my knitted projects, but this is the first all crochet project that doesn't involve beads.  I love the fact that the blocks are being done in a fingering weight yarn rather than in a worsted weight, which would be more traditional for a crochet afghan.  The next block is going to be mailed on Monday.  Here is a solo shot of the second block.

Last Wednesday we had a little snow here in King George - it was a lot worse north of us, we only got an inch or two.  I was supposed to go into town for a medical appointment but as we were leaving work it started to sleet, so I called and rescheduled.  Shortly after we got home I took this picture of our deck.
That is sleet.  We were very glad that we were not trying to drive into town.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Carol's Scarf-in-a-Scarf

This is a fun kit that I picked up at Dreamweaver Yarns.  It is by Hand Painted Knitting Yarns.  The kit includes 4 skeins of luscious hand painted 2 ply 60% Silk, 40% Fine Merino (400 yards), a 100% Silk 14" x 72" hand painted scarf in the same colorway, plus the pattern.  The pattern is mindlessly simply, just garter stitch, but just the thing to work on while reading a good book.  I finished about half of it while reviewing documents at work and then took it on travel with me last week.  I finished it up this morning while finishing "Sharpe's Havoc" by Bernard Cornwell on my Kindle.  I love reading on my Kindle, and it is especially nice for reading while knitting.

I have become completely hooked on the Sharpe novels.  Bruce and I watched all the movies based on the books, but the books (as usual) are far superior.  They are extremely well-written, with wonderfully drawn characters, plus they are historical fiction and Bernard Cornwell always includes an historical note at the end to explain where he took liberties and what the real history is.  I love good historical fiction (like the Steven Saylor novels of ancient Rome).  The Sharpe novels are all about the Napoleonic wars and Sharpe's career parallels the career of Sir Arthur Wellesly, the future Duke of Wellington.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mystery Sock 2011.1 - Clue 2

Finished up Clue 2 this morning while listening to Car Talk.  I am loving this yarn and the color.  The only problem with Mystery Socks is that the clues only come out once a week, so I have to wait and I just want to finish these socks so I can wear them to work.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mystery Sock 2011.1 - Clue 1

Another of my resolutions for the New Year is to knit more socks.  I have only recently been bitten by the sock bug.  They are a lot of fun to knit and there are so many cool sock yarns.  Last week I started a Mystery Sock Knit-Along by Renee Leverington of Goddess Knits.  I've been knitting her Mystery Shawls for a while now, but this is the first Mystery Sock that I have done.  The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select in Sugar Maple.  I love the colors and the way the scrunches in the cuff interact with them.  As can be seen in the picture I am knitting both socks at the same time, from opposite ends of the ball.  That way, when I finish the last clue I will have both socks done, avoiding the one sock blues.

Monday, January 17, 2011


So one of my resolutions for the New Year was to really learn to crochet (I love resolutions that involve learning a new craft).  To that end I joined two Crochet Alongs - The Unique Sheep Block of the Month Club and The Unique Sheep Corelli Crochet Scarf.  This is the January 2011 block for the block of the month club.  I have done a little crochet.  I've made a couple of bead crochet necklaces, but that only involves slip stitches, and I did manage to crochet the yoke of a top that I knitted, but I have another knitting top that is languishing in my unfinished objects pile because I couldn't figure out the crochet instructions for the top portion.  My first effort at this block was a bit too tight.  So I started over again with the same size hook from a different manufacturer and focused on being more relaxed.  I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed crocheting and have started ogling all the cool animals...

The yarn is Luxe 25% Tussah Silk, 75% Merino a fingering weight yarn from The Unique Sheep in Cornflower and Pewter.  I still need to make the other block with the colors reversed.

And here is a better picture of the Limestone One Skein Shawl.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Limestone One Skein Shawl

This is the Limestone One Skein Shawl by Michelle Miller, also known as Fickleknitter.  It is knit from Zen Yarn Garden's Serenity 20 yarn (70% Superwash Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon) in Mauve Swirl.  I added beads to the edging - Beadcats stock no. 2-06-707-71 purple trans silver-lined, w/ blue irid - but you can't see them in this photo.  This is a small shawl, knit from a fingering weight yarn with approximately 400 yards in 100 grams.  For comparison a lace weight yarn typically has 1200 yards in 100 grams.  What this means from a practical perspective is that this is a quick knit.

And here is another view of the Winter Mystery 2010 Shawl.  You can see the beads in this shot.  The color is not quite right.  I had to use the flash.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Mystery Shawl 2010 - Finished

I finished this up this morning.  The last clue was easy and a pretty quick knit.  I read while purling back on the wrong-side rows.  I only have 38 grams of yarn left over though, which may not be enough to make the fingerless mitts.  And here is a better picture of Miss Chatelaine, looking very Audrey Hepburn.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Miss Chatelaine - Year of Lace 2010 - Finished

I finally finished Miss Chatelaine.  I took her with me down to Florida over Christmas when we went to visit family, and basically spent two days knitting.  I don't think that I have ever spent that much time just knitting lace.  I almost finished her too, but ran out of yarn with one repeat of the edging to go.  And the reason that I ran out of yarns is that I modified the pattern.  The pattern called for knitting both of the edges, repeating the edging pattern 3 times, and then picking up stitches on one of the edging pieces, and grafting the other edging to the body to finish.  There were a number of things about this construction that I didn't like.  1) The pickup stitch count did not evenly go into the number of rows on the edging.  2) Grafting with lace is not my favorite past time.  So, I made some modifications.  First, I did 4 repeats of the edging, this allowed me to pick up every other row for the body, provided I increased the garter stitch edges on the body from 2 stitches to 4 stitches.  When I got to the other edge, all I had to do was knit the edging on to the body.  I knew that I would be very close on yarn, and I almost made it.  I made an appeal on the Year of Lace forum on Ravelry, and one of the group members came to my rescue.

Winter Mystery Shawl 2010 - Clue 4 Done

I finished up Clue 4 this morning, just in time for the final clue to come out today.  I'm loving this one, the yarn is so wonderful to knit with, and the pattern is complex enough not to be boring, but still a quick knit even with the beads.  Hopefully I'll have enough yarn left over to make myself a pair of fingerless mittens.  Of course, I'm 3+ shawls behind in the Goddess Knits Mystery Shawl series, and a new one starts soon, and yes, I already have the yarn.  Plus I signed up for her Mystery Sock.  Yeah, I'm way over-committed on my knitting, but I don't care.  It keeps me off the streets and out of the pool halls.

Poinsettia Vest

This is the December Flower of the Month Colorway from Fiesta Yarns - Poinsettia.  The yarn is Gracie Chunky, 70% Extrafine Merino, 15% Silk, 15% Cashmere.  The recommended needle size is 11 and the gauge is 12 stitches and 17 rows to 4 inches.  The yarn is very soft and nice to work with, if you like working with bulky yarns, which I don't.  A size 11 needle feels huge and awkward in my hands, especially after all of the lace knitting that I have done.  I did a single crochet edging and used up both skeins of yarn that I bought.  The pattern is a simple vest from the Sweater Wizard software.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fiori Di Sole - Chart A

I fell in love with this pattern the moment I saw it and knew that I had to knit this in Zen Yarn Garden's Serenity Lace.  This is Chart A, and I know that it doesn't look like much yet, but it will.  The colorway is On Fire.  The designer is Rosemary (Romi) Hill of Designs by Romi and I have recently become a fan of hers.  She has done a series of seven small shawls inspired by the Seven Sisters, also known as the Pleiades's, which I shall also be knitting.

Rivendell Smoke Ring - Finished

This was a very quick knit, which is good, because I really do get bored repeating the same chart over and over again.  The yarn is really fun to knit with, however, wonderfully soft and shiny, and it is addictive because of the way that it changes colors as you work.  I found myself looking at the ball and looking at the knitting and wondering at the color changes that were happening and not wanting to stop because I wanted to get to the next color.