Saturday, April 30, 2011

Diadem - Clue 3

I knit Clue 3 of the Diadem shawl today while watching the Women of Ninja Warrior marathon on G4.  I don't actually recommend knitting lace while watching Ninja Warrior, it is just too distracting.  If you've never seen Ninja Warrior it is a Japanese show where people try to make it through these crazy obstacle courses.  They have been doing the show with men for a while now, but they also started a women's competition after some women started competing in the men's competition.  It is a lot of fun and you can see some pretty amazing demonstrations of strength and agility.  This picture shows the colors better.  The picture below was taken with flash and shows the pattern better.

Shawl basic info:
Pattern - Diadem, Light and Dark Lace Club, April
Designer - Ruth Greenwald (Pennyrose Yarns)
Dyer - Roxanne of Zen Yarn Garden
Yarn - Serenity Silk in Verde Oliva (80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Silk)

Monday, April 25, 2011

In Dreams Mystery Shawl - Clue 5

Finally finished up Clue 5, now I have to get cracking on Clue 6.  Clue 7 comes out on Friday.  Once I finished with the beads things went a lot faster, and Clue 6 has no beads, so hopefully it will be a quicker knit, relatively speaking.  There is another skein transition on this clue, but I don't think I'm going to follow the skein transitions any more.  The first transition was fine, I didn't have a whole lot of yarn left, but when I did the second transition I had about half a skein left.  This clue has me transitioning after only 10 rows, which can't be right.  I wonder if the 6 skein and 4 skein transitions are switched, although I haven't seen anything on the errata page...This is my first time knitting with the gradience yarns and I'm still figuring things out.

Here is a wider shot, so you can see the entire pattern.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Charleston Socks

My first toe-up sock.  Turning the heel was very cool.  This is also the first sock I've knit with a pretty complex design.  Janel Laidman, Art & Sole Sock Club.  Wonderful club.  I already have the second installment.  Amazing color, I really want to start them but have to finish my second sock first.  Each installment comes with two patterns, one sock and one non-sock.  The non-sock pattern for this installment is a lace scarf called "Lotus Garden" which I cast on last weekend.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Clematis Pullover

My latest top-down raglan pullover, but with a few alterations.  The yarn is Fiesta Yarns Boomerang in Clematis and I bought it from The Loopy Ewe (who can resist that name?) and thanks to this order have joined the ranks of the "Loopy Groupies" so my yarn came in a project bag, and I received a free sock pattern and a free skein of sock yarn.  Pretty cool, huh.  I need to finish this pullover so I can order yarn for another...

Now, as to the alterations.  I like knitting from the top down because it allows you to adjust, and make the best use of your yarn, but the increases that the Sweater Wizard software does are all bunched up at the top, and you end up with a funny bump that I just don't like.  So I did two patterns, one top down and one bottom up, and took the raglan and neck decreases from the bottom up pattern and used them in the top down pattern.  I have also been having problems with the bind-off on the top down raglans, because your typical bind-off is too tight for top down knitting.  So for this pullover I did a modified Kitchener rib bind off.  It is modified because it is typically done on purl 1 knit 1 rib, and my rib is purl 1 knit 2.  To deal with this on the first set up row where you knit the knits and slip the purls, I cast off half of my knit stitches.  I then did the second set up row as called for and tried to keep the bind off a little loose.

I have one skein plus a little left over.  On to the sleeves.  They may be three-quarters length, it depends upon the yarn.  I also haven't decided what to do for the collar, it depends upon how much yarn I have left after knitting the sleeves.

Diadem - Clue 2

And here is Clue 2.  I finished this clue up on April 13.  It was a quick and easy knit.  Clue 3 came out this week.  The yarn is Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk (80% Merino, 10% Silk, 10% Cashmere) and is an absolute dream to knit with, but then I don't think I have knit with any Zen Yarn Garden yarn that wasn't a dream to knit with.  There is no substitute for quality, and no reason to use sub-standard materials in something that you will be spending hours making and years wearing.  The color (Verde Oliva) is not one that I would typically choose, but part of the fun of these clubs is trying something new.

Picots and Lace - Finished

I actually finished this block up on April 12, but have gotten behind on my posting.  Busy with travel for work, and depressed and cranky with wacky hormones.  This is my favorite block so far, of course, there have only been three blocks, so the field is not that large.  I love the colors.  Yellow used to be my favorite color.  In fact when I was a girl my room was painted yellow and I had a daisy clock on the wall.  I still love yellow, it makes me smile, and sometimes we need something to make us smile.  The green isn't quite right in the picture, which is odd, as it was taken under natural light.

And here is a shot of the two blocks together.
Of course I have already received the April block, but haven't started them yet and here it is almost the end of April.  Too many projects on the needles...

The yarn is The Unique Sheep Tinsel Toes, 50% Tencel, 50% Merino, in Sunbeam and Grass Green.  The design is by Melinda Miller.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Diadem - Clue 1

Around the end of last year Roxanne of Zen Yarn Garden and Ruth of Pennyrose yarns teamed up to create the Light and Dark Lace Club.  The first installment was the Avira shawl, this is the Diadem shawl.  It is a half circle, knit in Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk (80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Silk) in the Verde Oliva colorway, one of four colors dyed specifically for this club.  Like the first shawl, Avira, this one is also designed by Ruth.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In Dreams Mystery Shawl - Clue 4

I spent most of yesterday and this morning knitting Clue 4.  I am using my second skein (the third skein in the set because I started with the Blue skein, which was number 4) and the purple is really starting to show up.  I do think that so far this shawl has been easier than the Evenstar shawl, and being only half a circle it definitely knits up more quickly, even with all of the beads.  The design is exquisite and the yarn (Eos, from The Unique Sheep) is a dream to knit with.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Picots and Lace

After finishing up the February block I picked up the March block in anticipation of receiving the April block soon.  This is Picots and Lace, the March block from The Unique Sheep Block of the Month Club.  The yarn is Tinsel Toes (isn't that a great name?) and is 50% Superwash Merino and 50% Tencel.  The Tencel gives it a nice sheen.  The colors are Sunbeam and Grass Green.  The design is by Melinda Miller.

This is my favorite block so far, primarily because of the colors.  They just make me smile.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Galaxy Crochet Block - Finished!

I finally finished the second block for February of The Unique Sheep Crochet Block of the Month Club.  Part of what I was waiting on was a new crochet hook.  The one that I had been using had just a regular metal shaft and I found that it hurt my hand after a while so I ordered a Tulip crochet hook.  I had also ordered a complete set of the new Addi crochet hooks, but the size I needed was the one size they didn't have.

This morning I wound the yarn for the March blocks.  I will probably receive the April blocks this week.

Here is a shot of both blocks:
They did come out a bit bigger than the January blocks, which is okay, because I wasn't going to use them in the same finished piece.  These blocks are crocheted in Unique Sheep Pashmi (80% Merino, 10% Nylon, 10% Cashmere).  The design is by Melinda Miller.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Leaf Bracelet (Knitted)

For the past year or so I have been buying kits from Earth Faire for beaded jewelry.  This is one of the first kits that I bought - the Leaf Bracelet, knitted version, designed by Ellen Sandin, the owner of Earth Faire. This kit is the Winter colorway.  It was a very quick project and pretty easy.  The only real challenge was knitting with the Kreinik Metallic thread on size 0000 (1.25 mm) knitting needles.  My tension was tight as well, but I anticipated that it would be, and used it to my advantage.  The kit calls for the bracelet to be one that you slip on over your hand, but my hands are kind of large when compared to my thin wrists, and bracelets that I make to slip on tend to be too floppy on me, so I added a magnetic clasp.  For the cast off I recommend the one used for lace shawls where you knit two stitches and then knit them together, rather than passing the first stitch over the second.  It gives a nice cast off edge and pretty much guarantees that your cast off won't be so tight that the bracelet curls up and is too small (ask me how I know this).

This is my first time bead knitting something like this, but I do plan on doing more.  I have three more Earth Faire kits in my stash, one more bracelet and two necklaces.  I also have some Pearl Cotton.  One of these days I'll tackle a knitted beaded bag.