Sunday, April 29, 2012

Maria's Diadem - Chart B

I need to finish this up before Bead & Button, which is in just over a month, and to free up my magnetic board for another project.  I love the way the color is working out.  This design really looks good in darker yarns.  This morning I gathered up all of my left over Zen Yarn Garden yarns and put them in a zip lock bag together.  I need to figure out something to do with the leftovers.  Such lovely yarn should not just languish away, hidden in the left over pile.

One thing that I did learn while I was working on this yesterday is that I really should not try to knit lace when I have a migraine, even if the Excedrin Migraine is keeping the pain at bay.  Even with a design that I have knit twice before I was making mistakes.  But I persevered, because there really wasn't another project that I wanted to work on.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lorna Suzanne Cardigan - Finished!

So, I did end up staying home from work on Monday.  After seeing Bruce off to work, I went back to bed and slept until noon, which is actually highly unusual for me.  In the afternoon I decided I needed some fairly easy knitting so I pulled this project out.  I have been focusing on finishing this one up because I want to cast on another project and I had finished every thing except the collar and button bands.  Monday afternoon I started on the collar.  After finishing up the collar and scoping out the button bands, I decided that I wanted to knit the button bands before I knit the collar, and that I wanted to block the whole thing before I did either.  So, Tuesday morning instead of exercising, I ripped out the collar and blocked the piece.  By Thursday afternoon it was dry and I started on the button bands.  I had to make them a little bit wider to accommodate the larger buttons.

The buttons are Czech pressed glass buttons that I picked up at Bead & Button several years ago.  I traded about half a dozen of my woven scarves for a bunch of buttons.

Pattern:  Lorna Suzanne Cardigan, by Ellen Mason
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Superwash Worsted in Midnight Plum, 4.8 skeins (960 yards)
Needles: US 5, 6 and 7 (3.76, 4 and 4.5 mm)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Forever Shawl - Finished!

I finally finished this shawl.  This was the February offering of the Light and Dark Lace club that Roxanne and Ruth run, and it has spent a fair bit of time languishing while I worked on other things.  I did add beads, although you can't see them in this picture.  I added them to the odd lozenges in the last section and the yarn over spines of the edging.  The yarn is Pelusa Lace, from Zen Yarn Garden, in Scarlet Letter.  This is the first time that I have knit with this yarn.  It is a slightly heavier lace weight and looks like a single ply.  The yarn is kind of squiggly so I found it a bit harder to read my lace.  I may actually try weaving with this yarn.

I had one of my random allergy attacks today.  I'm not sure as to their exact cause, but I think they are hormonally related as I never had one until the chemo (for the breast cancer) kicked me in to menopause.  Periodically I have a sneezing fit (and I do mean a sneezing fit, non-stop sneezing, have you ever tried to knit lace with beads when you can't stop sneezing?) and then get completely congested.  Drugs are only marginally effective.  It makes for a rather a miserable day.  If I still feel this way tomorrow I'll stay home from work and spend the day knitting and watching movies on TCM.

I found another wolf spider in the living room!  I picked something up off the floor and there he (not sure if it is a he or a she, I don't know how to sex wolf spiders) was.  I caught him and released him into the garage.  Well, it is raining outside and I just didn't feel right throwing him out into the weather.  My cat Jasmine, on the other hand, really wants to go outside.  I keep letting her out onto the deck, and she keeps going out, coming right back in, then turning around and asking to go out again.  Silly kitty.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Le Petit Prince - Mystery Shawl - Finished!

I love this shape of shawl.  I may even make a second one with my Luxe gradiance set in Silverlode with the silver-lined beads.  Non-conformist that I am, I did no transition rows.

We have had our first skink of the season in the house, but my cat Jasmine did not bring it in.  Apparently it wandered in on its own when the door to the garage did not get closed after Jasmine came in from one of her hunting expeditions.  I spotted it in the corner of the room behind one of our floor lamps.  It was very cute.  I caught it and put it back out in the garage.  I did call Jasmine to get her to come and do her job, but she arrived on the scene too late.

Pattern:  The Little Prince by Janine Le Cras
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Luxe in Love Spoken Here
Needles:  US size 5, 3.75mm

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hibernia - 1 cuff done

After finishing up Clue 5 of Le Petit Prince, I settled down with my Hibernia sock and Turner Classic Movies and finished the cuff.  It has been a long time since I have done any serious cabling.  I do enjoy cables, almost as much as I enjoy lace, I really should do more.  The yarn is Mad Fiber Arts Sock Options Classica.  The design is Hibernia, by Janel Laidman, the second shipment in her Knitterati Sock Club.

Le Petit Prince - Mystery Shawl - Clue 5

I took my time on this clue and even started another simple shawl this weekend (a la Tart Berries & Honey) using up the leftovers of the yarn.  This clue had two color transitions, but mine were simple without all of the transition rows (most of the clue would have been transition rows).  I am considering knitting another version of this shawl in my set of Silverlode in Luxe with silver-lined beads (unless I find some other pattern on Ravelry that I think will do justice to the colors).  There is only one more clue left, which makes me both happy and sad.  I do so enjoy The Unique Sheep mystery knit alongs.  I really need to get back to my Little Mermaid shawl.  I wasn't sure about the yarn that I selected, but the more I think about it, the more I like it.

Titania's Trifle

My choice of color for Maria's shawl may have been partly inspired by this bracelet that I finished up last weekend.  This is another project from the October/November 2011 issue of Beadwork Magazine.  The project in the magazine is called Around the Block and is by Barbara Falkowitz.  The construction is simple right angle weave with some embellishment.

Materials:  (Beadcats stock #)
2-11-510-02:  size 11 seed beads, green transparent with olive green luster
2-11-532-22:  size 11 seed beads, celadon green luster
1-03-510-02:  3 mm cubes, green transparent with olive green luster
KO Thread
Small pearls

Once again you can see from the stock numbers how easy it was for me to match the color of the cubes with one of my size 11 beads, and to have the same glass finish (luster) for my beads.  The button is from my button stash.  I didn't have any green or gold buttons that would work, but this one had the right surface finish and design to complement the bracelet pattern and colors.  I thought about painting the button with nail polish to make it match, but then decided I didn't really need it to match.  I sized the bracelet so that it fits my slender wrist fairly closely (I hate floppy things on my wrists), the finished length is 6 inches.  It is wonderful to wear, beads feel great against the skin, very sensual.  The bracelet reminds me of something that a Faery Queen might wear, hence the name.

Maria's Diadem - Chart A

Last year at Bead & Button, my friend Maria was admiring the Diadem shawl that I gave to my sister Virginia and offered to pay me to make her one.  Well, of course I couldn't accept any payment (most people don't realize how long it takes to knit a lace shawl, even a small one, and would be shocked at the price), but I did tell her that I would knit her one.  I asked her what colors she preferred and she told me fall colors.  Initially I bought some wine colored yarn (Merlot) for the shawl, but the more I thought about her coloring, the more I felt that the Merlot just wouldn't do.  Then one day at work I was pondering color choices and I remembered this skein that I had in my stash.  The color is Garden of Eden, the yarn is Serenity Silk + (75% superwash merino, 15% cashmere, 10% silk).  I really like the tonal variegated yarns, and I think they suit this pattern.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tea Rose Shawlette

The second shipment in the Stop and Smell the Roses Club came today.  I was actually hoping for some other yarny goodness from Zen Yarn Garden (Art Walk Sock Club and Quasi Yarn Club), but this is a nice surprise.  600 yards of Luxe in Tea Rose, some more lovely cards, and a bag of tea - Cotillion by SerendipiTea, Oolong Tea with Rose Buds and Rose Petals.  The design is by Julia Temiseva.

Le Petit Prince - Mystery Shawl - Clue 4

Clue 4 came out yesterday morning.  I knit about half of the clue last night and finished it up this morning.  There are beads in this clue, but not many.  Transition to skein 3 occurred about half way through the clue, this one is not as dramatic.

African Violets Pullover - Finished!

I finally finished up this pullover.  It fits pretty darn well, too.  I like the modifications that I have made to the pattern with the shoulder shaping.  I think on the next one I will start the body a little bit earlier though, the arm hole is a little long.  This is certainly the tamest pullover that I have made from the Fiesta Yarns, I'll try not to let that happen again.  Colors rule!

Yarn - Fiesta Yarns Boomerang in African Violet, 3 skeins
Needles - size 5 and 6 (3.75 mm and 4 mm)
Pattern from Sweater Wizard Software, top down raglan with modified shoulder and neck shaping.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Knitterati Mystery 2 - Finished!

So the third and final clue came out this past Friday, revealing that we were knitting a long leaf.  Faced with repeating the same 16 row chart 14 times really did not appeal to me, so I pondered what else I could do.  I quickly realized that if I tinked the last row of what I had already knit I could skip to Chart 3 and have a shorter leaf.  But then what?  Well, I could make several shorter leaves and clip them together, like those fox stoles that were entire fox pelts with clips in their mouths so you could clip them together, but I didn't think that would be very comfortable to wear.  Then I hit on the idea of knitting a second leaf (leaving off the stem) and grafting them together, and that is exactly what I did.  The yarn is Serenity 20 by Zen Yarn Garden, in Emerald Ice.