Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nameless Lace Shawlette - Update

So, last night I started the second lace section.  When I first was laying out the lace pattern I simply went with fitting as many repeats in as I could, but as I started to knit the first pattern row I decided that I wanted at least some of the lace repeats to line up with the lace repeats of the first section.  So, back to the drawing board.  I actually counted stitches and marked them on graph paper to figure out where to place the lace pattern. There is a pleasing symmetry, and it isn't too busy so the beautiful variegation of the yarn is on full display.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nameless Lace Shawlette

Yesterday I received this positively scrumptious skein of yarn.  This is the September shipment of Roxanne's Art Walk Sock Yarn Club.  I joined last fall and have been delighted with the shipments, although this is the first that I have started knitting with any of them, although I did wind one skein up and did some swatching.  The yarn is Bamboolicious (70% Merino, 20% Bamboo, 10% Nylon) and the minute I touched it I knew that I had to cast it on and make something, hopefully something splendid or at least pretty nifty, with it.

Now, I still have a hard time knitting beautiful yarns into socks.  It just seems kind of rude to put them on your feet, but I do like the one skein shawls, so I pulled out the Over the Moon pattern that I used for my first Camp Loopy Project.  I really like the shaping, crescent shawls sit so nicely on the shoulders, and I figured that I could find some pretty lace motifs to put in place of the stockinette stitch of the original.  So, I pulled out my Barbara Walker "Treasury of Knitting Patterns" collection and found the Twin Leaf Lace motif.  Here is the first section finished.
Now I just have to figure out what to do in the next section...

Moonfleet - Finished!

And here it is - the finished Moonfleet shawl.  It is incredibly hard to get good beauty shots of this shawl, especially with the overcast day we are having here.  It is wonderfully light and ethereal, just the effect that I was going for.
Pattern - Moonfleet, by Janine Le Cras, available at The Unique Sheep, or on Ravelry
Yarn - The Unique Sheep Eos in Mermaid.  I used about 800 yards.
Beads - size 8 Silver-lined Ceylon Alabaster from Earth Faire and Silver-lined Aqua Magatamas (long 4x7 mm), also from Earth Faire.  (When you select the beads option at The Unique Sheep, Ellen of Earth Faire selects the beads to go with your yarn.  It is great fun seeing what she comes up with.)

Through the Looking Glass - Clue 1

True to my word, after I blocked Moonfleet, I cast on the next shawl - Through the Looking Glass.  The shape is Faroese, the center panel represents a chessboard, and the wing motif is lady bugs.  I am using a Gradiance color way - Autumn for Ana.
But this was not the yarn that I ordered when I signed up for this Knit Along.  When I signed up I ordered a solid color - Gold Mustard.
With berry-lined light topaz iridescent beads.  I actually ordered Autumn for Ana for the Phoenix shawl because I really didn't think that the color I had originally chosen was going to show off the design, but as I started to see some of the finished shawls I decided that the Gold Mustard yarn would be a better choice for the Phoenix shawl and decided to use the Autumn for Ana yarn for the Through the Looking Glass shawl.  The beads that I had originally gotten with my order will work just as well with the new colors, although I will have to find some beads for the Phoenix shawl, but that won't be hard given the size of my bead stash.

Both colors are Luxe, by The Unique Sheep, a wonderful combo of superwash merino and tussah silk.  Not fuzzy, great stitch definition, wonderful to work with.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Moonfleet - Clue 8

I am so excited!  I finished up Clue 8 last night, now all I have to do is the border and the shawl will be done.  I worked this clue a little at a time, 2 repeats on Tuesday, 2 repeats on Wednesday, half a repeat on Thursday (I was fighting off a migraine) and finished up on Friday.  It wasn't too bad, taken in little pieces like that.  I still don't like the purl two together through the back leg, but there were only two rows that I had to do that on.  Thank goodness for Addi Turbo lace needles, nice and pointy.  I have already wound the first skein of my yarn for Through the Looking Glass and have the knitting needles standing by.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Moonfleet - Clue 7

So I was all set for an easy penultimate clue but when I got to the last part of Clue 7, the part that transitions to the next clue, I discovered lace stitching on both right side and wrong side rows.  And, to make it even worse, there were purl two together through the back leg.  Fortunately the actual lace motif is only 5 rows, and only 2 of those are wrong side rows.  The other rows are easy - only one row with beading - and the rows are not long and the pattern is an easy one.  So, on to the penultimate clue.  I might even finish this up by the weekend at which point I will continue my efforts to catch up on The Unique Sheep knit-alongs.  Next up, Through the Looking Glass.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Moonfleet - Clue 6

Finished up Clue 6 this afternoon.  An easy knit.  Clue 7 consists of one more repeat of the King Charles Diamond Pattern (the clue 6 pattern) and then a transition chart and then I will be on to the last chart before the border.  I love this yarn (Eos, by The Unique Sheep), it is one of my favorite lace weight yarns.  I am seriously contemplating knitting another Evenstar shawl in the Aubergine Eos that I have in my stash.  I knit my first Evenstar out of pure silk, and I am not sure that I am sold on pure silk for lace, I think I prefer a wool/silk blend, it gives you the best of both worlds.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Hand Painted Knitting Yarns puts out a number of very beautiful and simple kits.  This is the scarf-in-a-scarf kit, and it is the second one that I have knit.  The first one was for Carol, my adopted sister and co-owner of Beadcats.  The kit comes with 4 skeins of Precious Yarn 2-ply 60% silk, 40% Fine Merino and a matching silk scarf.  One of the things that I really like about them is that they have a number of colors inspired by Operas.  This colorway is Parsifal.  This is dead simple knitting, garter stitch.  I picked this project up because I had to travel for work this week.  This past Monday I had to fly to California and I needed some mindless airplane/airport knitting.  I spent yesterday hanging out with some great Marines at Camp Pendleton and crawling on an M1 tank.  I took the red eye back last night and got to spend the day at home, which is way better than spending the day sitting on an airplane and then driving home during rush hour traffic.  Knitting while reading on my Kindle helps make the trips bearable.

The yarn itself is wonderful to knit with and the colors work up so beautifully creating an iridescent effect.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Caribbean Pullover - Finished!

Considering that I finished up the body of this sweater on August 29, it sure has taken me a long time to knit two sleeves, but I finally finished the sweater this past Friday.  This is my third Camp Loopy project, the 800 yard project.  It took 872 yards.  The yarn is Fiesta Yarns Boomerang, Caribbean colorway, 3 skeins (2.73 to be exact).  The pattern is a top-down raglan from the Sweater Wizard software, although I modified the spacing of the increases for the neck and body, using the spacing from a bottom up raglan.  I have experimented with bind offs on all of these sweaters.  On this one I did regular bind offs on the neck and the sleeves, although I did go up a needle size for the bind off on the sleeves.  For the bottom of the body I did a lace bind off because I wanted something stretchy.  It is definitely stretchy.  On this sweater and also on the Barcelona pullover I cast on 16 stitches under the arm instead of 14 to give a little more ease in the sleeves as well as the body.  I also made the cuffs a little looser by only decreasing to 42 stitches rather than 39.  I don't like tight cuffs.  Now we just need some fall weather so I can wear my pullovers, it will be a nice change from turtlenecks.

Moonfleet - Clue 5

Last night I finished up Clue 5 of Moonfleet.  This was a short clue and the knitting was easy after I finished the fourth repeat of the Diamond in the Well Pattern.  I am just over half way done now.  I have really been enjoying this project.  The combination of the lace pattern, the yarn and the beads are all just coming together so perfectly.  It is always hard to choose the yarn when participating in a Mystery KAL because you don't know what it will look like and some patterns just call out (in my mind at least) for certain colors.  I am always relieved when things turn out well.  I also like the fact that it is a rectangular shawl because the rows don't keep getting longer, each row is a nice length and doesn't take too long to complete.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Moonfleet - Clue 4

While I wasn't driving around looking at flood damage, or taking a long nap, I managed to get some knitting done.  I finished up my third Camp Loopy project as well as finishing Clue 4 of Moonfleet.  This clue has a couple of tricky rows (especially row 9) and I did find myself making mistakes on all three repeats, but I also got really good at fixing my mistakes.  For Clue 5 I have one more repeat of this Diamond in the Well chart and then another transition chart.

Tropical Storm Lee

This past week we were hit by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee.  It started raining Monday evening, and rained pretty much through Thursday.  I don't know how much rain we got (still need to get that rain gauge), but I heard one report of 17 inches.  I can believe it.  I thought it was pretty much over by Thursday because we didn't get much rain during the day, but after we got home from work we got hit by another gully washer, and had a pretty good thunderstorm later that even resulted in a Tornado warning.  Friday they closed the base that I work at due to flooding and washed out roads in the county.  Friday afternoon we decided to drive around and see what we could see.  One of the wash outs occurred on Route 205, just past Round Hill Road on the way down to Colonial Beach.

Here is a view from the bridge just before Round Hill Road.  You can still see how high the water is.  The bridge was blocked off to thru traffic, perhaps because the state was worried about structural damage.
We walked on down to the site of the washout.  There were other folks out taking pictures as well.  There were two spots were the road was washed out.  This is the first spot, it only took out part of one lane.
And here is the big washout that took out the road.  Apparently two vehicles ended up in the hole.  You could see some busted plastic and glass in the bottom.
And here is the rest of the hole.
It must have been terrifying to drive into this hole, especially if the water was still high.  One of the women that we met there had driven a school bus full of kids from a football game in Colonial Beach through the same spot not too long before the road gave way.  She said the water was up to the steps of the bus.  Thank goodness that she and the other two school buses with her made it through safely.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wandering Scarf - Finished!

I finished up the scarf this weekend.  The yarn is wonderful to work with (as all Zen Yarn Garden yarns are), and the resulting scarf has great drape.  But it is the color that really got to me.  First it is purple, which is my favorite color, and it has such a wonderful depth to it.  The whole time I was knitting it I kept wishing I had more, so I sent a message to Roxanne, and she is going to dye me more in Serenity Worsted (for a sweater) and in Serenity Silk (for a Diadem shawlette and another shawl, yet to be determined).

Here is the blocking picture, which shows the pattern better.
Light and Dark Lace Club - August 2011
Pattern - Wandering by Ruth Greenwald
Yarn - Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Sock (Fingering / 4 ply 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 450 yds)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wandering Scarf - Clue 3

I didn't get much knitting done this week.  On Tuesday I had to go uptown for a meeting, and that left me so exhausted all I could do when I got home was watch a mindless movie and go to bed.  Then, on Wednesday I got a migraine with visual aura.  This is only the second one that I have ever gotten.  Fortunately one Excedrin Migraine knocks that kind of migraine out.  It also knocks me out.  On Thursday I knit one row shy of a complete repeat of the 4th clue of Moonfleet, and last night I picked up the Wandering Scarf again.  Clue 4 and 5 came out yesterday as well.  So, this is Clue 3, a fun lattice pattern.  I still love the yarn and really wish that I had bought more when I had the chance.  The moral to that story is always buy more when you have the chance, because you may never get the chance again.