Friday, November 25, 2011

The Jungle Book Shawlette - Clue 2

As I was knitting the first row of Clue 2 I discovered that I had made a mistake on Clue 1.  Somehow I had ended up 2 stitches short.  Obviously I missed a couple of yarn overs, but I couldn't see where, so I frogged and started over.  This early in the game it is easier to just start over than it is to diagnose and fix.  I am enjoying the pooling and I think that this colorway is more suited to this kind of shape, where the row length changes, even if it is a step increase rather than a continuous increase, than to a fixed row length.

Yesterday afternoon and evening I worked on some simple knitting, another raglan pullover in Fiesta Yarns Boomerang in the Casablanca colorway, one of their Color Cruise 2012 colors.  There were too many interruptions to try to focus on lace, but today I will go back to my Christmas Carol Shawlette.  I am about to start Chart 4.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Christmas Carol Shawlette - Chart 3

I managed to squeeze some knitting in this morning before I had to start the cooking and finished up the two repeats of Chart 3.  I started the second skein on row 13 of the second repeat of the chart.  The turkey is in the oven, and the bread is toasted for the stuffing.  Pretty soon we will have to chop the celery and onions and peel the potatoes and get them all cooking for the stuffing.  I saute the celery and onions in butter (lots of butter), boil and mash the potatoes, cut the bread up into cubes and mix them all together along with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.  Yum.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Carol Shawlette - Chart 2

I was four rows into Chart 2 before I realized that I had forgotten to do the increase row.  Luckily there were only 46 stitches in each row to tink back.  That is what I get for trying to multitask.  But even with the false start I still managed to finish the second chart while I was watching King Solomon's Mines on TCM.  I had to use the flash to take this picture, which really brings out the gold in the yarn and almost makes it look metallic.

Christmas Carol Shawlette - Chart 1

Of course, once I had finished Clue 1 of the Jungle Book I was restless for another Unique Sheep project so this morning before heading into work I cast on A Christmas Carol Shawlette, The Unique Sheep's Christmas Club this year.  The yarn is Tinsel Toes and this is my first time knitting with it.  I chose the Tinsel Tinsel colorway, which starts out with gold and goes to silver.
There was also a green and red colorway option, and having seen that shawl completed I wish I had gotten both!  Can you have too much Unique Sheep yarn?

The Jungle Book Shawlette - Clue 1

The first clue came out last Friday and this past weekend I cast on after knitting a couple of swatches (yes!  I actually swatched!) to determine the needle size that I wanted to use.  The pattern called for size 6, but I knit the last two shawls with this yarn (The Unique Sheep Luxe) on size 4 needles.  I ended up splitting the difference and went with size 5 needles.  When I signed up for this KAL I ordered Luxe in Sunflower, a wonderful yellow, but I swatched with Nature's Goddess, because I was lazy and it was already wound into balls.  And while I was swatching the yarn shyly asked if it could be the Jungle Book Shawlette, and so here it is.  But never fear, I have plans for the Sunflower colorway.

Pattern - Jungle Book Shawlette by Janine le Cras
Yarn - The Unique Sheep Luxe in Nature's Goddess
Needle - US 5 (3.5mm)

Beauty Shots

I finally got enough light to take some beauty shots of my last three shawls.  It also helps that I took the afternoon off.  So, without further ado - The Holden Shawlette:
Yarn - The Unique Sheep Verve, Old Farm House (November Sip 'n Stitch yarn)
Pattern - Holden Shawlette, by Mindy Wilkes

The first Fickle-Zen KAL:
Yarn - Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Lace II, Raspberry
Pattern - Fickle-Zen Mystery KAL #1 by Michelle Miller (aka Fickle Knitter)

And Through the Looking Glass:
Yarn - The Unique Sheep Luxe, Tart Berry
Pattern - Through the Looking Glass by Janine le Cras

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holden Shawlette

So last weekend I received this yarn as the first shipment in the latest Sip 'n Stitch Coffee Club by The Unique Sheep.  The yarn is Verve a Light Fingering Superwash Merino, in Old Farm House gradiance.  The pattern is the Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes.  I thought that the pattern would show off the subtle colors of the yarn, and the stitch definition of the yarn would show off the pattern.  The pattern calls for repeating the lace motif 2 and a half times, but I repeated it 3 times.  The colors of the yarn actually reminds me of Agate.

I also bought myself an Espresso Machine and enjoyed my first cappuccino this morning made with the coffee that came with the club shipment.  Purists might take issue with me not using an Espresso or French Roast bean, but I just wanted to enjoy the flavor of the coffee, not send myself into orbit with a caffeine buzz.  I know that I could have used a French Press to make the coffee, but then I wouldn't have had the frothy milk, and I really like the frothy milk.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Through the Looking Glass - Finished!

I spent the last four days knitting Never Ending Borders (NEBs).  First was the Fickle-Zen Mystery shawl, which I knit in one day, and then there was this shawl, which took me a bit longer.  I will confess that I made a couple of unintentional design changes (otherwise known as mistakes) on this one, but it still all worked out okay. The color is Tart Berry, the yarn is Luxe by The Unique Sheep.  This is one of my favorite fingering weight yarns.  It has a fairly tight twist so it gives great stitch definition, and when you block it the yarn softens a little and you end up with this wonderfully soft, drapey shawl.  I love the colors and as I was knitting I thought that the last skein, which is dark blue and purple, would look wonderful in Marici and might be suitable for a shawl pattern that I have been eyeing.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fickle-Zen Mystery KAL

I spent all of last week working on the first Fickle Knitter - Zen Yarn Garden collaboration, the first Fickle-Zen Knit Along.  Roxanne dyed the yarn and Michelle Miller designed the shawl.  The yarn is Serenity Lace II in Raspberry.  I used a size 5 needle, rather than than size 7 called for.  Now that the weather has turned colder I have become a real fan of small shawls, wearing them around the house and to work.  This was a quick and easy knit, and the border pattern is easily memorized.  I did modify the pattern slightly by working a knit 3 together on the right hand side, so it would be symmetrical with slip, knit two together, pass slipped stitch over on the left hand side.

I signed up for The Unique Sheep's Sip 'n Stitch Coffee Club this fall and received my first shipment this past Thursday.  A bag of coffee (whole bean), a coffee cup and, of course, yarn.
It makes me want to get one of those hutches that have the hooks for the coffee cups, and an espresso machine so I can really enjoy the flavor of the coffee.  I don't usually drink coffee, so when I do I tend to splurge.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Arachne's Delight - Charts A & B

So Friday I cast on the latest offering in the Light and Dark Lace Club.  For this one the yarn and pattern are both by Ruth of PennyRose Yarns.  I've never done a shawl of this shape before.  The pattern called for size 5 needles, but I went down to size 3.  I just can't knit yarn this fine on size 5 needles.  By the time I cast on the first two clues had come out, so I was able to work off of the combined chart.  The lace pattern is super easy.

I finished up the last row after we got back from a day in Charlottesville with the kids.  We finally got to meet the son's girlfriend.  We all went to the Veritas Vinyard for the tasting and tour.  I highly recommend doing the tour.  We even got to taste some wine in process from one of the fermenting tanks.  We liked the white wines, but weren't too impressed with the reds, they didn't really have much body.  The vinyard is located near Afton Mountain, and the countryside is just gorgeous.

My cat is curled up in her chair under her blanket.  I leave the chair set up for her, with the blanket in place (she gets perturbed if humans sit there, or if humans put things there).
And when she gets up and settles down, I pull the blanket down.
Creating a nice cave that gets warmed by her body heat.  I always figure she curls up there when the world gets to be too much.  I totally understand.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Through the Looking Glass - Clues 6 & 7

A couple of squidgy photos of Clue 6 and Clue 7.  More for the colors than for the pattern, as the pattern is the same as Clue 5.
I finished up both clues last weekend, but haven't felt much like doing anything this week.  I did start the border, but I've only knit one repeat.  I did make a mistake near the end of Clue 6, but I didn't discover it until I was near the end of Clue 7.  Hint, it didn't affect the pattern, just the stitches at the beginning and end of each row.  I was one stitch short at each end.  I didn't bother fixing the mistake, instead I repeated it in Clue 7.  As I've said before, do something once and it can be seen as a mistake, do it twice, and it is a design feature.  I had to do an extra row of stockinette stitch to get the right number of stitches for the border, which worked out okay because in the original pattern you end up with 2 stitches too many for the border.  Now that I am on the border, I no longer feel the need to be monogamous to this project, so I think I will cast on the most recent Light and Dark Lace Club shawl.