Sunday, April 26, 2015

Galadriel's Mirror - Chart 2 Done

I finished up Chart 2 this morning.  I don't have it on a long enough cable to show the entire shawl, but wanted to at least get past the central spine stitch so you can see the organic way the pattern is emerging as the shawl widens.  I did make a modification to the pattern.  There are supposed to be bobbles in the panels between the main lace motif.  I replaced them with beads and then tweaked the panel.  The original 5 stitch 8 row repeat was as follows:

row 1:  k2tog, yo, p1, yo, ssk
row 2:  p2, k1, p2
row 3:  k2, make bobble, k2
row 4:  p2, k1, p2
row 5:  yo, ssk, p1, k2tog, yo
row 6:  p2, k1, p2
row 7:  k2, p1, k2
row 8:  p2, k1, p2

I replaced that pattern with:

row 1:  k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk
row 2:  p5
row 3:  k2, k1 & place bead, k2
row 4:  p5
row 5:  yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo
row 6:  p5
row 7:  k1, yo, cdd, yo, k1
row 8:  p5

I removed the central purl stitch because that column of purl stitches swallowed the bead, and then I decided to add the central double decrease to row 7 to make it more texturally interesting, figuring that 3 rows of stockinette stitch would just be too plain.

Chart 3 is more of the same motif, until the last few rows but Charts 4 and 5 get interesting.  I may add beads to the last two charts.

Project:  Galadriel's Mirror by Susan Pandorf (from The Fellowship of the Ring Series)
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Tinsel Toes in Silverlode
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Galadriel's Mirror - Chart 1 Done

Susan Pandorf of Sunflower Designs has been a major talent in the lace knitting universe for some time now.  I discovered her work soon after I joined Ravelry and it was through her Evenstar and In Dreams Mystery Knit Alongs that I was introduced to The Unique Sheep.  Both of those shawls are part of a series that she has been doing inspired by The Lord of the Rings.  She's been out of the knitting world for a little while now due to some personal issues, but she is coming back and I look forward to seeing what she comes out with as she completes the series.

This pattern is part of The Fellowship of the Rings, the first set of her Lord of the Rings design series.  I've had the yarn in my stash for this project for several years now.  My Camelia Tee is now to the boring stage (endless rounds of stockinette stitch) so I decided to cast on something a little more interesting.  Susan's designs always look complicated because she does a lot of texture, with purls and twisted stitches, which results in dense charts, but they usually are not as hard as they look.  In fact this one is going to get boring as it is basically the motif (which is a thistle flower) that you see in this chart repeated over and over again.  Once I got the hang of the twisted ssk and k2tog things started going pretty quickly.

I am using Silverlode on Tinsel Toes because I felt it would be evocative of Galadriel's mirror.  I've created a spreadsheet of the stitch count and figured out my transition points and of course am weighing my skeins as I wind them and weighing them when I finish each chart.
The biggest challenge that I faced with starting this project was finding the yarn.  When I looked it up on my stash page I was surprised to discover that I had not recorded which box it was in.  I remembered where it had first been stashed, not in a box but in one of those hanging caddies, but it wasn't there so I was faced with figuring out which of the very many boxes it might be in.  I really didn't want to have to search every box that I have because I have quite a few.  In the end I was able to narrow down the search area by using some temporal data.  And once I had narrowed it down to the boxes on a single book shelf I found the yarn very quickly.  I also have some silver-lined crystal AB beads that I am using to replace the bobbles that are called for in later charts.

Project:  Galadriel's Mirror by Susan Pandorf (from The Fellowship of the Ring Series)
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Tinsel Toes in Silverlode
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Camelia Tee - Yoke Done

After I finished up skein 6 I put the yoke on a longer cable and pinned it out to check my progress.  I wanted to make sure that my gauge and dimensions were okay.  Things look pretty good, so I switched back to my shorter cable and kept going.
I finished up skein 5 and started on skein 4 before I reached the end of the yoke and started working the body.  After I had worked a couple of rows of the body I pulled out the center of my skein 4 yarn ball so I could do the finish work on the sleeves - 2 rows of stockinette and an I-Cord cast off.  I weighed the ball before and after finishing the sleeves so I would have an idea of how much yarn I would need to work the I-Cord cast off for the body.  Now I'm on the boring part, just endless rounds of stockinette.  Depending upon the length I may add in a few increases to provide some shaping on the lower half.

Project:  Camelia Tee by Anna Nilsson
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Marici Fingering in Dusk on the Fjord
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Camelia Tee

When I test knit Snow Queen I received an exceptionally generous set of yarn.  Typically the six skein sets are 300 grams, mine was 378 grams.  I used 208 grams for Snow Queen, which left me with 170 grams of yarn.  At first I thought I would do another one of my color study shawls, but 170 grams is a lot of leftovers.  It comes out to over 700 yards.  There are a lot of things I could do with that much yarn.  I did a pattern search and came up with the Camelia Tee, a sweet little top down tee with raglan shaping and a lace panel on the shoulders.  Once I finished up the test knit I was working on I cast on.
The pattern calls for a provisional cast on, and then going back, picking up those stitches, knitting two rows and doing an I-Cord cast off.  Piffle, says I.  I will just do an I-Cord cast on.  The I-Cord cast on is lovely, but it is a bit tedious.  You work it by casting on 3 stitches and then working into the back and then the front of the first stitch, then knit the other two stitches.  Slip three stitches back to your left needle and repeat.  For most of it I actually detached the left hand needle from the cable, only re-attaching it when the I-Cord got long enough that it was getting close to the end of the cable.  The I-Cord cast on has a wonderful advantage, you can easily rip back if you make a mistake because those cast on stitches are not going anywhere.  I had to rip back several times.  First I messed up the set up row with the increases so one of my sleeves was coming out wonky.  Then I tweaked the lace chart by removing all of the purl stitches, but realized after working through the chart that I wanted to keep some of the purl stitches because I was losing the texture, and I noticed a mistake - a spurious yarn over.  I finally have it the way I like it.  I'm working it from the darkest color to the lightest color.

Project:  Camelia Tee by Anna Nilsson
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Marici Fingering in Dusk on the Fjord
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Butterick B4861 - Art Nouveau Palazzo Pants I

I took a break from knitting this weekend and did a little sewing.  I ordered this fabric from the Vogue Fabrics On Line site.  I get their swatches.  I rarely order fabric anymore.  When I first started sewing I ordered a lot of fabric from Fashion Fabrics On Line.  They had a swatch club as well.  They no longer have the swatch club, and don't seem to have as interesting a selection, although they still carry a lot of fabric.

I ordered two different cotton Art Nouveau prints - the one I used to make these pants and the one in the photo below, which will be used to make another pair of pants using the same pattern.
I started out the way I always do - washing the fabric.  I threw both pieces into the washing machine, along with a color catcher, and washed and dried them the way I would the finished piece.  Then I ironed them.  The photo above was taken on the ironing board.
Here's the one I used this weekend, after ironing, hanging out on my loom.

Given the bold pattern of this fabric, I knew that I had to be very careful laying the pattern pieces out.  First I pulled out the pieces that I needed and ironed them.  Then I laid out the fabric in a single layer and placed the front and back leg pieces, carefully lining them up vertically.
Once I had cut out the pieces, I marked them and then unpinned that pattern tissue and laid the cut pattern pieces right side down on the fabric, matching the fabric pattern as best I could.  After cutting them out I laid the pattern tissue on them and marked them.
The sewing didn't take very long, overcasting the raw edges after sewing the seams took the longest.

I also took some care with the placement of the waistband, and I laid it out across the grain, rather than with the grain, because of the directionality of the pattern on the fabric.  I couldn't make the pattern line up with the pattern on the pants (not being tubular), but I could at least maintain the symmetry.
The button is a vintage glass button that I found at a Bead & Button show some years ago.  It is actually a transparent purple, but the light is starting to go, so I couldn't get the best picture of it.
I also conveniently had a 7" zipper in my stash that was the right color.  This is the real advantage of having lots of things in my stash, I can usually complete a project without having to run out to the store to buy notions.

Hot Cocoa Cassatt - Finished!

I actually finished this a week ago (on April 4) and once it had finished drying it has been on my dress maker dummy waiting for me to take a picture of it.  In the mean time I got distracted by a test knit.

Here is a picture of one of the sleeves, so you can see how I modified the cables.
The original had bobbles, which I just don't knit, so I completed the cable design.  They twist the opposite direction on the other sleeve.

Pattern:  Cassatt (part of the Sweet Paprika Sweater Club) by Elizabeth Sullivan
Yarn:  Sweet Paprika Minuet in Hot Cocoa
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Snow Queen - Finished Shawl

Now that the final clue has gone out for Snow Queen I can finally reveal my finished shawl.  I really love how it came out.  Here is the obligatory blocking photo.
Posting photos has inspired me to get out the leftovers of start another one of my "color study" shawls.  Jazzberries and Lemon Drops was the last color study shawl that I finished.  I wasn't sure if I would do one with the leftovers from this shawl simply because I have so much yarn left over - there are a number of other shawl patterns that I could make - but I really like making something that just lets the colors of the yarn be the star.

Project:  Snow Queen by Janine le Cras
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Marici Fingering in Dusk on the Fjord
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)